In many ways, playing SingStar Vol. 3 is a lot like having last night's leftovers. It looks exactly as you remember, and while you lose some of the freshness, it's still a tasty experience. Your enjoyment of SingStar Vol. 3 depends entirely on your love of karaoke or other games in the series, and judged against those, Vol. 3 fares well. It has a great mix of songs, slick presentation, and superb online support--just don't expect anything new or innovative.
No matter what your musical tastes, you should find something of interest in Singstar Vol. 3. The tracklist comes as no surprise to anyone who's played SingStar before, with a familiar mix of pop, rock, alternative, rap, and R&B. Like its PlayStation 3 predecessors, Vol. 3 includes 30 songs on the disc, as well as access to hundreds of downloadable tracks on the SingStore which sell for ï¿½0.99 each. The tracklist runs the gamut of popular songs--from Queen to Fergie and even the Smashing Pumpkins. But while the songs on offer are fun and diverse, those looking for new options or modes will be disappointed, as the game matches Volume 2 feature for feature.
The harmony mode is back, although it's a shame that it only features in Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder's "Ebony and Ivory" duet. If you're used to singing the melody it might take you a bit to get used to harmonies, and you might even feel as if you're singing out of tune, but with a bit of practice you can start to pick it up. It's also a shame that SingStar's microphones are still wired and need to be plugged into the USB port on the front of your PS3, and there's no trophy support. Despite these omissions, however, what SingStar does, it does well. The core gameplay is identical to previous versions' and is plenty of fun to play, especially when you're accompanied by a few friends. If you connect a PlayStation Eye or EyeToy, the game will take a series of snapshots and a short video during each song for you to cringe, laugh, or cry at afterward. You can also save these to the PS3 hard drive and, if you're bold enough, upload them to My SingStar Online for others to watch.
All of the regular modes return, including Sing Solo, Battle, Duet, Practice, and Pass the Mic, which support up two teams of four battling against each other. There's still no online play, but the community features in My SingStar Online make a great addition to the offline experience. With a community of thousands of karaoke fans you can easily waste hours browsing through submitted photos and videos with often hilarious results.
SingStar Vol. 3 represents good value for your money, with a budget price of ï¿½24.99 in the UK without mics, which is actually less than just buying 30 tracks from the online store. It's worth bearing in mind, however, that you could cherry-pick a lot of the songs on Vol. 3 from the SingStore at 99p each, although not all are available at the time of review. Whether you're considering it as an addition to your existing SingStar collection or as your first foray to the series, you're guaranteed a fun night in. That said, it's still a shame that Sony has failed to add any new features this time around, especially online play which would definitely be a huge plus to the series.