In the back of the Spinal Tap limousine, David St. Hubbins asked his manager if the Tap were ‘hitting that market’. In this particular case the ‘market’ he was referring to was the City of Philadelphia, but in recent years ‘that market’ is rapidly becoming the world of videogames. From Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Metallica to Rock Band: AC/DC via SingStar Abba and Lips: The Wurzels (or did we imagine that one?), the launch of a videogame celebrating your output must now be some sort of badge of honour on the rock ‘n’ roll circuit. It comes as no surprise then, that legendary rockers Queen are undergoing the karaoke treatment with the launch of SingStar: Queen.
Both SingStar and Queen are so well established as brands, they can’t really be illuminated any more by the musings of a reviewer such as myself, with only a few questions needed to dissect SingStar Queen’s desirability: Do you like Queen? Do you like SingStar? If the answer to both these questions is yes, then we recommend you buy this. However, song packs such as this can be assessed by their value for money and the songs included, and in this respect SingStar Queen doesn’t fair too badly.
Freddie Mercury was, for many, the ultimate showman. His voice, stage presence and flamboyant posturing could fill an arena with ease and made him a genuine icon. Queen’s music was also unapologetically grandiose, from the schizophrenic opera of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to the epic ‘Innuendo’, they made records free from constraints. For these reasons, Queen make a perfect fit for SingStar, where performance is the game, and attempting to wrap your vocal chords around Mercury’s powerful voice can be as exhilarating as it is challenging.
While the synergy between Queen and SingStar may be clear, the justification for this release is harder to pinpoint, and one suspects that it is primarily a means to raise (or maintain) SingStar’s profile. We say this because, at the time of release, five of the twenty-five songs included here were already available as individual downloads from the SingStore, and this collection could have easily been expanded. However, for the asking price, SingStar Queen offers reasonable value for money, and a solid collection of Queen’s hits.
Looking at the track listing serves as a reminder to the quality of Queen’s output, with the song titles alone enough to stir up a desire to grab the mic and belt out a rock anthem. From ‘We are the Champions’ to ‘Fat Bottom Girls’ to ‘We Will Rock You’, nearly everyone will be able to find something they want to sing.
Beyond the track list, everything that makes the SingStar series so popular is present and correct; the slick menus, SingStore access, PS Eye functionality and a cast iron guarantee that it will perform the entertainment duties at a dinner party without batting an eyelid. So, SingStar Queen does exactly what it says on the tin. And with SingStar’s recently released wireless microphones, there’s never been a better time to unleash our inner Freddie Mercury.
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