It’s easy to say that Singstar 80s is “more of the same” because it is. There’s very little innovation to be found in the fifth Singstar offering. However, judging by sales of the series worldwide, Sony’s London Studio doesn’t need innovation to sell a game.
Thirty songs are included and the focus is on pop and Top 40 hits, but the decade’s popular rock and even rap songs are represented. Taking a quick glance at the back of the box you’ll see names like Cyndi Lauper, Run DMC, Billy Joel, Starship, and the ever popular Europe (who sings The Final Countdown, which, by itself, makes the game worth buying).
The song selection is one of the best I’ve seen in a Singstar Game; unlike some previous versions, every song is represented with a video. In the case of the aforementioned song by Europe, we’re treated to live concert footage.
Gameplay is virtually unchanged from previous versions. The emphasis is on group and party play with the single player mode really just there for practice. Group play supports the standard battle mode for two people as well as a Party Mode where the focus is on mini-games that require you to pass the mic from person to person in order to keep everyone in your group of up to eight people in the game and having fun. There is a playback mode after each song so you can review your singing, and high scores are saved to the PS2’s memory card. The EyeToy is supported and will replace the song’s video with live video of your performance. Sadly, there is no way to save your performances past the initial post-song review.
Overall, Singstar 80s is a strong entry in the series. The only issue that I found with the game is that unlike some other Singstar games, I was not able to swap discs during play. This means that song selection was limited to the thirty choices included with the game. However, other people have had success swapping discs so my issues could be an isolated incident. I can’t help but think that Singstar is a game that will really benefit from the current generation’s larger storage capacity and content downloads. On the bright side, Singstar 80s is compatible with the PS3 and the microphones work perfectly with the USB interface of the machine. If you are a Singstar or 80s music fan this game is a definite buy.