Hitting the PS2 one more time
A massive hit in the UK, the SingStar series really came to the U.S. way too late to be relevant. Sony’s take on what makes a good karaoke game is too different - and really, not as good as - the longer-running, more popular Karaoke Revolution games from Konami. Namely, Sony relies on using the original artists and videos of each song rather than a beefier list of tunes, sound-alikes, and cheesy 3D graphics.
At 30 songs, the list of hits you get to croon to in SingStar Pop pales in comparison to the 40-50 songs found in more recent versions of Karaoke Revolution. But the bigger problem here is something the KR franchise suffers from, too - a lack of song selection focus.
It seems like the developers really don’t know who they’re trying to cater to in Pop, leading to a song list that feels cramped and erratic. You’ve got some contemporary stuff from Alicia Keys and Franz Ferdinand; some slightly crusty stuff from the likes of Britney Spears (back when she was a deliciously naughty school-girl); and a handful of downright ancient ’80s hits from folks like Cyndi Lauper and Whitney Houston in her pre-diva days. But there's not enough of any of those eras to make it a must-buy for fans.