PlayStation

SingStar Dance Review

SingStar Dance LogoSingStar Dance allows up to four friends to sing and dance along to 30 pop hits using PlayStation Move Motion Controllers, a PlayStation Eye and two included microphones. Players can also upload and share their performances to the My SingStar Online community.

Unfortunately, the dance element is far from intuitive and lacks enough content to be compelling. Long-time SingStar fans will also find a high ratio of content that has been previously released on disc and as DLC though the SingStore. Read More…

For the uninitiated, the SingStar series are karaoke performance games that, in most cases, feature the original music videos of popular songs form the 1960s to present day. Players are scored on both their pitch and timing across three difficulty levels. There is no way to actually fail a song in SingStar and the games thrive in a social gaming environment.

SingStar Dance, as its name suggests, adds dancing to the mix by way of one PlayStation Move Motion Controller per dancer. During dance-enables songs, a recorded professional dancer will appear on the right side of the screen.

Players must hold their Playstation Move Motion Controller in their right hand and attempt to follow along to the on-screen dancer as they perform choreography. This controller-based approach to dancing doesn’t feel very natural and the choreography relies heavily on right arm motions, oftentimes looking awkward.

Should a friend want to dance with you, the game will switch to a two-person routine that includes distinct co-operative moves and features a second on-screen dancer to follow. This helps add some variety to the dance routines and keeps the game marginally interesting. For the most part, however, the dancing adds nothing positive to the SingStar series and simply isn’t very fun.

Though the developers did include a practice mode, I never seem to feel comfortable with the routines, given their unnatural overuse of your right arm and no system in place to remind you of the next move. I feel like I’m blindly trying to follow along with a music video rather than really learning a dance routine.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was Already in SingStar

The biggest problem with SingStar Dance is its content, or rather lack thereof. The 30 on-disc songs make great choices as dance songs and do represent good value thanks to the inclusion of music videos and two dance routines for each, however these are only 30 songs out of a library of almost more than 1000 including the PS2 SingStar titles.

I’ve been playing SingStar since it was introduced to North America and even imported the UK version of the first PlayStation 3 title months before it was released here. I have a library of well over 300 songs at this point, so to only be able to use less than 10% of them in dance mode is sorely disappointing and makes this edition feel like a cheap novelty.

About a dozen dance-enabled add-ons for previously released songs are available on the SingStore at this time at a cost of $0.49 each (songs themselves are $1.49). I should note that dance add-ons only work with content purchased on the SingStore and not with disc-based content released prior to SingStar Dance.

Obviously it would be logistically impossible for the developers to add distinct choreography to the entire SingStar library, however what they could have done is created a pool of generic dance routines that could be used with any song of a certain length or at a certain tempo.

Because of its awkward dance mechanics and re-hashed song selection, I can safely say that SingStar Dance is my least favourite edition in the entire series and that I’ll likely never play it again other than to show my friends how bad it really is.

The one-armed dance mechanic can be easily cheated, the rap system is still completely broken and I already had more than 30% of the included songs in my library; a problem likely to happen to many long-time SingStar fans.

Positives:

+ Great Social Gaming Title
+ Can Record, Upload and Share Content with Large Online Community


Negatives:

- Dancing Mechanics are Not Fun, can be Cheated
- Content Overlaps with Older Discs and DLC
- Less than 45 Dance-Enabled Songs in a Library of over 1000


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Game Forward Score: 2/5

Brian J. Papineau > Game Forward

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SingStar Dance (PlayStation 3 - Move Enabled) Quick Facts:

Genre: Music / Rhythm
Developer: SCEE London Studio
Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: November 1, 2010
Price: $39.99 including Microphones
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)