SingStar Celebration

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
SingStar Celebration Game Poster Image
Latest karaoke game brings party to smartphones, consoles.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Encourages socializing, music appreciation, expression. That said, some music videos, lyrics might be inappropriate for little kids.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No central character/protagonist. But artists are role models in their own right, for better or for worse. Some, like Adele, show there are some strong women, who show other young women you can be overweight but still beautiful, talented, confident. Other artists may give impression you need to be thin, dress provocatively, be flirtatious to be accepted.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

One music video shows violence, shows a battle during U.S. Civil War. Soldiers can be seeing shooting, with blood stains on some soldiers' faces, uniforms.

Sex

Some music videos show, suggest sexual imagery, often with lyrics that support visuals. One video has a couple rolling around, caressing, straddling each other on a bed (in their underwear). In another video, a woman grabs another woman's buttocks. In another, lyrics say "You open the door wearing nothing but a smile."

Language

Videos mostly censored, only mild language found in radio edits included.

Consumerism

Ships with 30 songs but there are about 600 to purchase in game. Also, these are music videos from popular artists, across many genres. It could be argued music labels are using this game to promote these artists, their music, live shows, apparel, other merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some videos show (or make verbal references) to alcohol, drug use. In one video, a man is growing weed; syringes, bongs seen too. Some alcohol-related lyrics include lines like "Let's get drunk on the minibar," "Takin' all the liquor straight."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SingStar Celebration has some suggestive imagery and lyrics. Based on music videos your kids could easily access on YouTube, for example, SingStar Celebration shows sexually suggestive visuals, such as a man and women, in underwear, rolling around in bed (sometimes straddling one another), or one woman grabbing another's buttocks. Other videos depict or reference violence, alcohol, and illicit drugs. While it comes with a number of songs, there are more than 600 available for purchase to expand on the content, which could arguably be considered a promotional tool by record labels to highlight artists and their merchandise.

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What's it about?

Friends? Yep. Smartphones? Check. PlayStation 4? You bet. Now all you need is a copy of SINGSTAR CELEBRATION, the latest game in the SingStar series that's also part of Sony's PlayLink collection of PlayStation 4 (PS4) titles that work with a smartphone as your controller. That's right: If you don't have a SingStar microphone (wired or wireless), this music karaoke game lets you sing into your Android or iOS device, through the free SingStar Mic app. As with its predecessors, your goal is to sing along to a collection of popular music videos, and you'll score points by matching the pitch and duration of notes scrolling across the screen. More than 30 tracks are included, such as disco classics (ABBA's "Dancing Queen," Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," or Blondie's "One Way or Another") or newer songs (including Adele's "Hello," Calvin Harris & Disciples' "How Deep Is Your Love," and OMI feat. Nicky Jam's "Cheerleader"). This PS4 exclusive includes a few different modes, and one that supports up to eight players. You could also record your performance with the PlayStation camera (not included) to upload to the online community.

Is it any good?

For under $20, music fans -- and especially those who love karaoke -- will find this music game to be a fun and accessible collection of mostly modern pop hits. It's not perfect, but the PlayLink integration works, which puts a new spin on an old formula by letting you use your smartphone's microphone instead of paying for a standalone microphone. That said, Sony's London Studio offers only a mediocre number of songs, at 30 music videos included in the price, and most are current pop tracks. Of course, DLC (downloadable content) will expand the library considerably (to about 600 songs), but you'll have to pay a couple of bucks per track, if desired.

The two-player modes will likely be the most popular, such as Battle and Duet, but the game's Party mode supports up to eight players, who take turns singing. You'll be divided into teams of two, and a member is randomly selected per side to perform a random song. Too bad the game doesn't support more than two simultaneous players; it would be fun to have two friends singing together (with harmonies) against two other friends, while alternating lines of the same song. Overall, this PlayLink title is a great party game, especially for the price, but a greater song selection and more head-to-head options would hit a high note.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about trends in pop music. Which new artist is your favorite and why?

  • Talk about whether this game is no worse than watching the same music videos without seeing the lyrics for karaoke purposes, or if it's still inappropriate for young eyes and ears. Since the game is about singing to popular songs with your friends, does it have any positive messages?

Game details

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