Singstar Country

SingStar Country features a selection of 30 songs ranging from artists such as Alan Jackson to Johnny Cash to Jessica Simpson.  Thirty songs may not seem like much compared to some games in the music genre, the game offers a healthy variety.  Each artist has made his or her  mark in the country music world at one time or another, and the cast is a good representation of modern and classic talent.  You not only get the song but the full-length music video for each track.

            It’s not necessary to unlock anything in SingStar Country, all modes and songs are available from the get-go. In addition to the 30 songs. six medleys fit whatever mood you may be in. The Country Love medley, for example, is perfect for serenading your spouse, especially if you were married in the South in the past few years and were legally obligated to dance to Rascall Flats’ “The Broken Road” at your wedding.

You can choose to sing the full song or a shortened version, a nice feature since some of the tracks are several minutes long. Once the song begins, the music video plays with the lyrics scrolling across. Bars in the middle of the screen indicate the pitch and timing of notes, and the thickness of the bars adjusts according to difficulty level. Being able to adjust the volume of your singing is a welcome addition, although it would have been nice to be able to fade out the original artist as well.

I have very few complaints about the game, one of which is that there is no way to know how close you are to the right note until you’re singing it.  Some games let you see the note you’re singing between words, but in SingStar Country you only find out how close you are to a the right note when it’s being scored.  Also there’s no way to know which songs are more difficult.  If you aren’t very familiar with the lyrics, a few of the songs can be brutal to keep up with, even on the easiest setting. 

So long as you have the space on a memory card, your performances can be saved for future enjoyment, if you’re into that sort of thing. If you suffer from performance anxiety, there are several weird and kinky ways to enhance yourself. Several sound effects and voice distortion modes are available and they can be turned on simultaneously and mixed and matched, creating myriad options for making already terrible singers sound even more ridiculous. 

Sing Solo mode allows you to rack up points all alone, but this game clearly made for groups. Two teams of up to four people engage in a battle of music and talent and sweat where every point counts.  Many different modes are available for multiple players, including duets, head-to-head battles, racing to reach a point goal, and passing the mic for multiple singers on one song.  There is also a Freestyle mode with no scoring, also known as singing along with CMT.