With a dozen PS2 titles already released and several more in development, Sony’s SingStar is one franchise which hardly needs an introduction.

The karaoke-style party game has been consistently well-received (with perhaps the exception of the Anthems disc, with its stingy tracklist), and firmly ensconced in our homes since 2004. Chronologically, SingStar Amped is not actually the latest title; however regional release dates being what they are, amateur songsters in Aussie and NZ had to wait till mid August to test drive the latest tracklist.

Assuming most of you have either played – or at least watched someone playing – one of the SingStar titles, we’ll skip the boring bit which involves a detailed description of how the game is played, and move onto the nitty gritty. If you do happen to be one of the very few who is genuinely unfamiliar with SingStar, please check out one of our previous reviews, and rest assured that gameplay has remained unchanged since early on in the piece.

While there are no new features to write of, the format is at least familiar and all the regular in-game modes have returned for another performance - from the multiplayer options such as battle, duet and pass the mic; to single player performance mode for those who wish to sing solo; and freestyle mode, which enables you to sing without the pressure of scoring. As per usual you can swap out the master disc for earlier SingStar titles, and use your EyeToy camera to capture and playback your performance.

As far as difficulty is concerned, the tracks mostly cater to fairly competent singers, although there are a few less challenging songs included for gamers with a limited range of pitch or ability. There’s a good mix of artists and styles, from tame to edgy, emo to indie, modern alternative and post grunge to classic rock - with a far higher percentage of ‘older’ (i.e. pre-2000) songs than usual. Perhaps as a result of this, we saw an increased positive response from thirty and forty-somethings, who recognised more of the tracks than their kids. For its genre the tracklist for SingStar Amped is one of the better compilations we’ve seen, although it is likely to hold less overall appeal to the general gaming public. If you’re a fan of rock however, you will enjoy what SingStar Amped has to offer. Crank up the stereo and rock out!

Track list

[list]
[*]4 NON BLONDES - What's Up[/*]
[*]BLINK 182 - I Miss You[/*]
[*]BLUE OYSTER CULT - Don't Fear the Reaper[/*]
[*]CHEAP TRICK - I Want you to Want me[/*]
[*]CHOIRBOYS - Run to Paradise[/*]
[*]DAVID BOWIE – Changes[/*]
[*]DIVYNLS - Boys in Town[/*]
[*]FAITH NO MORE – Evidence[/*]
[*]FAKER - This Heart Attack[/*]
[*]FALLOUT BOY - This Ain't A Scene.. It's An Arms Race[/*]
[*]FREE - All Right Now[/*]
[*]GRINSPOON - Chemical Heart[/*]
[*]IGGY POP - Real Wild Child[/*]
[*]JUDAS PRIEST - Breaking the law[/*]
[*]JUDAS PRIEST - You've got another thing comin'[/*]
[*]KASABIAN - LSF[/*]
[*]MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES - The Impression That I Get[/*]

[*]QUIET RIOT - Cum On Feel The Noise[/*]
[*]REGURGITATOR - Black Bugs[/*]
[*]ROBERT PALMER - Addicted to love[/*]
[*]SILVERCHAIR - The Greatest View[/*]
[*]SKUNK ANANSIE - Weak as I am[/*]
[*]SOUL ASYLUM - Runaway Train[/*]
[*]SPIDERBAIT - BLACKBETTY[/*]
[*]THE CURE - Primary[/*]
[*]THE SAINTS - I'm Stranded[/*]
[*]THE SUBWAYS - Rock & Roll Queen[/*]
[*]TONIC - If You Could Only See[/*]
[*]T-REX - 20th Century Boy[/*]
[*]WARRANT - Cherry Pie[/*]
[/list]