Making SingStar is the easiest job in games by miles. The poor old developers of The Getaway have to trudge around London, taking photos of every shop, recording the precise locations of each bin, and making sure they use the correct kind of red for all the pillar boxes.
The Gran Turismo people have to record the engine noises of 500 cars before even starting on the 200 tracks.
To make a new SingStar, though, all you have to do is this. The development team, probably only two people one of whom is part-time, phones up Sony Music and asks them to send round a few music videos. They're in the same building, so they'll be there by next morning at the latest. They then go on Google to find the lyrics and type them into their SingStar development machine. And hey presto, another billion-selling instalment of the game even old women love is ready for release.
So here we are, a mere three months after reviewing SingStar Anthems and giving it a decent but very camp 6/10, with the hard-totell- apart Christmas game SingStar Legends. What's the difference between a Legend and an Anthem? It seems to be the age. SingStar Legends is going after the classics tag, with such dadpleasing greats as Rocket Man by Elton John, Surfin' USA, a bit of John Lennon and Unchained Melody, which will be a nightmare to sing with all those high notes all over the place.
MURDER LENNON AGAIN
The interface is unchanged. It's simple; there's a big list of songs to scroll through, and the same selection of microphone-passing multiplayer games for up to eight people to play when drunk. The only little interesting thing to note is the Rap Meter that pops up when you're doing a turn on Blur's Parklife - players are able to choose to be cockney rebel Phil Daniels or take on the more trad Albarn singing role.
If you're buying SingStar Legends, you're buying it for the song selection. This is the oldest and most mature line-up yet, with wall-to-wall dadpleasing singalong classics. You simply cannot go wrong with I Want You Back by the Jackson 5, and it's a coldhearted and quite possibly dead man who won't get some fun out of singing along with Bowie's Life on Mars or a nice bit of Tina Turner.
So yes, this is the final piece of the SingStar jigsaw. We've had cheesy pop, we've had the god-awful Rocks! One with Coldplay on it, we've even done the gay anthems - now it's time to get serious in a Jeremy Clarkson kind of way. This is SingStar Dad Rock with a few newer songs thrown in for when the kids want a go. It's SingStar for men - men who like This Charming Man by The Smiths and aren't
ashamed about admitting to really liking the Pet Shop Boys back catalogue - especially the 1988 Christmas number one Always on my Mind.
And to be fair, who doesn't like the idea of spending Christmas Day totally wasted and belting out Smells Like Teen Spirit, then Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire, then Parklife, then Smells Like Teen Spirit again and again and again, before enjoying a tearful climax at bedtime with John Lennon's Imagine in
front of the whole family? A great SingStar edition for people who appreciate the classics.
A decent selection of famous classics makes this the party-hardest SingStar for years.
- A bit of David Bowie for dad
- Elton John for mum
- Nirvana for the boys
- No changes to the 'formula'