Another year, another karaoke game. After a disappointing debut PlayStation 4 instalment, Sony’s London Studio is back with SingStar: Celebration, another title in the publisher’s new lineup of PlayLink games. Available to play with microphones, a PlayStation Camera (remember those?), or the Singstar Mic mobile app, this year's edition of the long-running singing series certainly is accessible – but its party game credentials are severely let down by the fact that only two people can play simultaneously.
That being said, aside from the usual two-player Battle and Duet modes, the game's Party mode is designed to mitigate the lack of simultaneous players. Up to eight players divide into two teams, a member of which is randomly selected in each round to perform a random song in a random gameplay style. These modes usually consist of either singing an entire song or being the first player to hit one million points, but there are also ones that utilise all eight players. Pass the Mic is about what you would expect, but there are also Medley and Micro-Medley modes, in which the players switch after singing each medley.
Party mode tries to mitigate the player problem, then, and while it is fun, it still doesn't compare to four players singing simultaneously. What is good about Party, though, is that it lasts for as many rounds as you want it to, allowing for huge marathon sessions if that's what you want.
You probably won't want to, though, because the tracklist is very limited. While there are exceptions – such as Oasis’ Wonderwall and Kings of Leon’s Lose Somebody – the overwhelming majority of the 30-something tracks are modern pop songs, which will be well-received by some but can turn a lot of people off. There is, of course, a store of over 600 songs to buy from, but it would've been nice to at least include a more varied tracklist, since not everyone will enjoy singing along to Ella Henderson, Meghan Trainor, or Zara Larsson once, let alone multiple times.
The Singstar PlayLink app is useful in some respects as it allows up to four players to choose the next song on the playlist, but it has no functionality outside of the game, and since only two players can sing at the same time, there's no point in having more than two people with the app installed.
London Studio's latest karaoke effort may have a decent Party mode and PlayLink functionality, but its one-note tracklist and lack of four-player functionality make it a poor choice for a party game. SingStar: Celebration certainly doesn't live up to its name, then – it's only marginally more fun than a Jehovah's Witness' birthday bash.