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Review: SingStar Guitar

Because we need more guitar games.

I know what you’re thinking. When SingStar Guitar arrived, we were all thinking the same thing. We have Guitar Hero and Rock Band in a billion incarnations, is there really any need for this? How can SingStar Guitar possibly compete with an existing line-up of thousands of songs, full instrument sets and the impending release of what will likely be the all-conquering music game of all-time with 17 fret guitars and MIDI keyboards that is Rock Band 3.

The answer is, SingStar Guitar is aimed at a different market, and it was mildly shocking to discover that the game is really rather fun.

The gameplay is the familiar highway that you would expect, with the chaff stripped out: there is no star power, no multiplier and only three difficulty levels (using 3, 4 and 5 of the buttons respectively). The presentation is very clean and SingStar-like and some may actually prefer it to Rock Band’s highway. Obviously, the emphasis is more on pop music.

Regarding the logistics, SingStar Guitar is basically like any other SingStar disk: you get 30 songs you can sing, but this time you can play them on the guitar as well. Wisely, London Studio have implemented support for all existing Guitar Hero and Rock Band guitars so you won’t need to gunk your house up with even more plastic junk peripherals. The SingStore has been enhanced to allow selected songs you already own to be upgraded for guitar playability for a small fee. These upgrades are being released fortnightly along with the regular SingStore song releases. If you already own SingStar, your game will be patched to version 5.0 next time you play, which will allow you to use your guitar, so there is technically no need for the disk. The only difference between SingStar Guitar and other SingStar disks after patching is that the Guitar disk includes 30 guitar-compatible songs out of the box.

Now that’s out of the way, why should you bother to buy this, or upgrade your existing songs? Well firstly SingStar: Guitar allows any combination of one or two players can be assigned to any combination of instruments, ie. One player can both sing and play the guitar at the same time, or two players can sing, or play the guitar, or both. The single player singing and playing guitar simultaneously mode makes for some very tough challenges and is a lot quicker and less hassle to set up than in Guitar Hero or Rock Band which requires you to fudge it by creating two players. Also it’s not possible to have two people singing at the same time except in the latest Guitar Hero and Rock Band releases supporting 3-part harmonies.

Along with that there’s quite a few other bonuses over other games; load times are instant – a significant benefit over the considerable load times of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, you get the music video, which turns out to make quite a difference, every song is scored out of 10,000 meaning your scores are comparable across songs – something you can’t do in Guitar Hero or Rock Band, which may be important to you if you are competitive like me, you can’t fail, there’s no need to change disk during parties; and of course it has the pop music focus of all SingStar games.

Of course, there is no career mode, no character customization, no bass play or drums, no challenges. And right now, there are only the 30 songs on the disk plus another 8 or so released on Wednesday 20th October on the SingStore which you can actually play – however this will change pretty quickly in the coming months. Your desire to play therefore will have to come from self-motivation to beat your own scores and those of your friends.


  • Guitar mode is well-implemented and better suited for casual gamers than Rock Band
  • Songs are cheap to upgrade on the store at only 33p each (Norway)
  • It’s the same SingStar experience we’ve come to know and love


  • Not many guitar-compatible songs available yet
  • No career mode
  • Only six new trophies, all of which are very easy to accomplish
  • It’s the same SingStar experience we’ve come to know and love

There isn’t much more to say. As usual it’s another solid SingStar disk release, more of the same, but with added plastic. I didn’t think the guitar element would be much good, but in fact it was, and made me inclined to upgrade some of my other songs for guitar play.

You can find the full track list here.

Don’t forget that my web site – www.totalmusicgaming.com – has full support for SingStar Guitar and guitar-compatible SingStore tracks including trophy tracking and score entry for solo guitar, solo guitar and vocals and two guitar modes. We’ll also have day 1 support for Rock Band 3, DJ Hero 2 and Def Jam RapStar.

Score: 7/10

Read more:
  1. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    Can’t wait for this, pleased to hear it will work with my GH4 guitars.

    I really don’t get on with Guitar Hero tracks, hopefully Singstar with its European bias actually has some decent music from the likes of Kasabian, Oasis and many others, and more popular international acts like KoL etc.

    Lack of career mode doesn’t bother me in the slightest, I only ever play in party and/or family situations anyway

    Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 14:04.
  2. nofi
    One for all.
    Since: Forever

    This could be fantastic.

    Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 14:07.
  3. Jimster71
    Since: Jul 2009

    Its already out. Shopto and amazon had this in stock last week.

    Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 14:25.
  4. Kevling
    Since: Dec 2008

    For those too lazy to click, here’s the tracklist.

    Some great songs for a Singstar disc, nevermind the guitar versions as well. Think I may pop out and nab this now!

    3 Doors Down Kryptonite
    Bloc Party Helicopter
    Blur Song 2
    Buzzcocks Ever Fallen In Love With Someone
    Colbie Caillat Bubbly
    David Bowie The Man Who Sold The World
    Elbow Grounds For Divorce
    Florence and the Machine Kiss With a Fist
    Franz Ferdinand No You Girls
    Jamiroquai Too Young to Die
    Kaiser Chiefs I predict a riot
    Kasabian Fire
    KT Tunstall Suddenly I See
    Ladyhawk My Delirium
    Muse Supermassive Black Hole
    Paramore CrushCrushCrush
    Pixies Debaser
    Pulp Disco 2000
    Queen & David Bowie Under Pressure
    Stereophonics Just Looking
    The Stone Roses Waterfall
    The Clash Rock The Casbah
    The Cult She Sells Sanctuary
    The Cure The Lovecats
    The Raconteurs Steady As She Goes
    The Veronicas Untouched
    The White Stripes Fell In Love With A Girl
    Tina Turner Steamy Windows
    U2 Beautiful Day
    Vampire Weekend A Punk

    Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 14:48.
    • cc_star
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever


      Worth it for Stone Roses Waterfall alone, nevermind Kasabian’s Fire, Pulp, Buzzcocks… Awesomez, brilliant news and already more tracks I’d use than are in the whole Guitar Hero & Rockband back catalogue & stores combined.

      Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 14:55.
      • Stef Nighthawk
        Since: Jun 2010

        Nevermind the buzzcocks! the filter on this forum is acting up :-p

        Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 15:30.
      • Peco
        Since: Oct 2010

        I may too get this now I know it’s got Waterfall in it! The Pixies and Pulp too? Fantastic. I’d kill for them to release a Britpop or just British music focused game in this genre.

        Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 18:03.
    • jammie_dodger
      Since: Oct 2010

      Florence and the Machine… SOLD!! :p

      Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 16:12.
    • Kevling
      Since: Dec 2008

      I agree CC, it’s a great tracklist. So much so I’ve just been and picked it up from Gamestation (£19.99)

      Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 16:13.
  5. djdustb
    Since: Nov 2008

    tempting. only £15 on Amazon for all that

    Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 15:12.
  6. 3shirts
    Since: Aug 2008

    Since I already have Singstar and various plastic guitars, it almost seems silly not to upgrade a couple of tracks and have a go. Any idea how much it costs, per track, to do that?

    Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 15:38.
    • nofi
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      It says it in the review.

      Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 15:55.
      • Kevling
        Since: Dec 2008

        In the UK store, songs are 99p to buy for singing only, then an additional 40p for guitar.

        Guitar addons currently available:-
        Bloc Party, Banquet
        Hoobastank, The Reason [ORIG]
        Kaiser Chiefs, Ruby
        Maxïmo Park, Apply Some Pressure
        Stereophonics, The Bartender And The Thief
        The Police, Don’t Stand So Close To Me
        The Script, The Man Who Can’t Be Moved
        The Temper Trap, Sweet Disposition
        Wings, Band On The Run

        Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 16:10.
      • Kevling
        Since: Dec 2008

        UPDATE: I checked last night and the Guitar upgrade is not yet available without the Guitar disc. The Singstore says it will appear in the “Extras” section of the Singstore in “November”.
        Given that Singstar Dance comes out 5th November, I would expect both extra modes to become available at the same time.

        Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 16:12.
      • Kevling
        Since: Dec 2008

        UPDATE 2: Here’s a screenshot to go with that last message confirming availability of the Extra mode and the upgrade price
        Photo was taken from the Singstar Viewer, rather than in-game, hence the comment about loading Singstar first to download it.

        Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 16:16.
  7. seedaripper1973
    Since: Forever

    Damn you and your sexuality DJ-Katy…i could marry you! (again brilliant writing)

    Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 16:18.
    • DJ-Katy
      Since: Apr 2009

      I hate my sexuality too if it’s any consolation – cos if I was straight, I’d be the perfect geek gamer girlfriend and be getting laid every day the last 4 years instead of being single.

      Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 18:28.
      • Spotter5
        Since: Forever

        Maybe we could dress up as women? Would that help? I would be willing to do that, for you.

        Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 18:44.
      • DJ-Katy
        Since: Apr 2009

        If you’re willing to dress up as a woman and go outside to a restaurant with me I’m willing to go on a date with you just for the entertainment.

        Comment posted on 22/10/2010 at 09:27.
  8. Charmed_Fanatic
    Since: Aug 2009

    It’s the same SingStar experience we’ve come to know and love … how is that a con?

    Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 19:18.
  9. Liberi Fatali
    Since: Aug 2009

    Why… can’t they include instrumentals!?

    Comment posted on 21/10/2010 at 19:57.
  10. MXZ
    Since: Jul 2010

    It has david bowie?

    sold and Platiunmed!

    Comment posted on 22/10/2010 at 07:43.

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