PS3 Review

SingStar Dance

Greg puts on his dancing shoes...

Dancing titles are making the rounds on consoles at the moment and it's established karaoke series SingStar's turn with SingStar Dance, a Move compatible title for the PS3. It's pretty good as well, although assessability is a slight issue.

Either alone or with a friend locally or online, you can grab a Move controller and strut your stuff in front of the Playstation Eye, copying the moves of a dancer onscreen whilst the official music video of your chosen song plays in the background. Alternatively you can switch to Playstation Eye view and witness your shame first hand as you try to pull off the moves successfully for the reward of points. It's actually fun, hugely embarrassing in front of other people, but fun nonetheless. 30 songs make up the playlist, concentrating on pop and R'nB and include a good selection of 'go-to' karaoke and dance encouraging hits, such as Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and The Backstreet Boys - Everybody (Backstreet's Back). If either karaoke or dancing has ever taken your fancy then there's a song on the disc ready to get you moving or singing. In addition to two players dancing simultaneously, two more players can join in lending their vocals, giving way to a four player show that is sure to be a big hit at parties. Getting a few of your more eccentric friends round for a sing, dance and laugh can be good fun, even more so if you invite a few less eccentric friends round and get them compromised to the state of stupid, get them to join in, and play their shame back to them the next day with the help of the built in video recorder and photo system. Now that's fun.

Much like in SingStar's previous version a recording function is built in that allows you to record your escapades. You can extract 30 second chunks of each recording, adding special effects and saving it for prosperities sake, and even upload them online for the world to appreciate. It's all part of a comprehensive community network, a feature of online systems brought together brilliantly to allow an easy and streamlined way of sharing and rating content, and downloading additional songs to your library. Right now additional dance songs aren't available but developers London Studios intend to update some of the current downloadable content with the addition of dance, as well as add new songs with dance functionality in the future.

The experience SingStar Dance provides is tailor made for party play and as the song library grows so too will the appeal and longevity, however, several elements stand in the way of instant fun. The Move controller requires recalibrating for each new player which takes up precious time but the biggest issue is with accessability.

Many of the dance moves are very hard to pull off, and you're not gently eased into it either. Changing the difficult has no affect on the moves you're required to perform and there are no tutorial modes to teach you steps at a slower pace. Instead you're propelled into a song and need to vigilantly watch and copy as much of what the dancing figure shows you, making plenty of mistakes along the way. It requires a rinse repeat action of playing songs and gradually learning the intricacies of each one, which is not ideal for pick up and play party fun. It can be frustrating, sure there are a few easier songs to dance to but regardless they all require a little practice. There is also no indication of the songs difficulty to dance to; picking a song is dancing roulette.

Accessability is SingStar Dance's biggest drawback, in fact it's arguable its only one, as it's an otherwise fun and engaging package and at the very least it offers additional songs for SingStar fans. It's a shame then that this issue compromises the party play so profoundly, however, for those looking for a well structure set of precise instructions for learning dance moves relevant to the included songs, then this is right up their alley, and for the rest of us, it's still fun but requires some dedication.

E3 Trailer