You know the drill: you’re having a few drinks with your friends, when someone decides to liven up the party by firing up the PS2 and whipping out the red and blue mics. All it takes is for a couple of brave souls to break the ice, and soon everyone who’s not sober is releasing their inner diva, rock star or rap artist in the latest SingStar title.

SingStar Party Hits is the most recent addition to Sony’s ubiquitous and incredibly successful home karaoke franchise for PS2. While it doesn’t boast any new features, you have the option to swap discs in the main (carousel) screen, which will enable you to play older SingStar titles in the format of the most recent one. The ever-popular multiplayer modes, such as Battle, Duet and Pass-the-Mic are still very much the game’s major draw cards, as is the medley selection.

While it is pleasing to see such a diverse selection of tracks in the line-up, covering most genres and several decades’ worth of hits, a few of the songs had us scratching our heads as to why they were included (Peter Andre... unh?). Also, this time around the songs are generally more challenging than in previous titles. Be prepared for some vocal gymnastics – and brace your eardrums for many a bum note.

Sound quality is as good as your TV or stereo system can churn out, and as always the standard SingStar practice of playing the accompanying music video (in standard definition), or – for older songs from the pre MTV era, a pastiche of stills and/or cobbled-together graphics running in the background. You can use the EyeToy camera, if you have one, to project your image onto the TV screen instead of the music video, or to take snapshots of yourself gloating over your high scores.

As far as SingStar titles go, we’ve seen better; however as an eclectic collection of (mostly) well-known songs that are guaranteed to suit a multi-generation gathering, SingStar Party Hits would make a very good addition to your PS2 library.

Track list

  • Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry On Their Own
  • Ash - Girl From Mars
  • Blondie - The Tide Is High
  • Blur - Girls & Boys
  • David Bowie - Let's Dance
  • Diana Ross - I'm Coming Out
  • Elton John - I'm Still Standing
  • Evermore - Light Surrounding You
  • Girls Aloud - Call The Shots
  • Klaxons - It's Not Over Yet
  • KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See
  • Lou Bega - Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of...)
  • Madness - House Of Fun
  • Mel & Kim - Respectable
  • Mika - Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)
  • Operator Please - Get What You Want
  • Peter Andre - Mysterious Girl
  • Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah
  • Pulp - Disco 2000
  • Republica - Ready To Go
  • Ricki Lee - Can't Touch It
  • Rihanna - Umbrella
  • Shannon Noll - Loud
  • Sugababes - Red Dress
  • Texas - Summer Son
  • The Veronicas - Hook me up
  • Thirsty Merc - 20 Good Reasons
  • Toto - Hold The Line
  • Wham! - Club Tropicana
  • Yazz - The Only Way Is Up