Starting up SingStar Vol.2 for the first time is a familiar experience; SCEE's London Studios has resisted any urge to overhaul the look of the game to retain accessibility and promote uniformity across the series and its incredibly popular community hubs, My SingStar Online and singstargame.com.
The main difference between Vol.2 and its predecessor is, of course, the track list. It's a credit to the SingStar team that after several collections on both PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3, they are still able to come up with such an excellent selection of music. There seems to be something to cater for all ages and all tastes in music; from Street Spirit by Radiohead to Spandau Ballet's True, to Eminem's Without Me.
As with the PlayStation 2 titles, you can press the SELECT button and change the disc, allowing access to all the tracks from the original SingStar on PlayStation 3 without having to restart the game.
The second noticeable difference to the previous game is the new Harmony Duet mode, which allows two players to sing different lines to the same song. This is an excellent new addition, thanks to the inclusion of songs that complement it brilliantly, such as California Dreamin' by the Mamas and the Papas. Each player's lyrics are colour coded and positioned at opposite ends of the screen to prevent confusion and the parts in which both voices come together for a harmony - which carries the incentive of bonus points - feel extremely satisfying if performed well.
The third major new feature is Remote Play for PSP, which allows you to access the SingStore and all of the community features at My SingStar Online while you're on the move. As long as you're within range of an Internet connection, you can download tracks ready for when you get home, create playlists, share performances with friends and view their videos using your PSP.
It all works smoothly and quickly, and it removes the inconvenience of having to wait for downloads and create playlists while you and your friends are itching to sing.
The game's community hubs, My SingStar Online and singstargame.com continue to go from strength to strength. Thousands of users have shared videos that are available for all to watch, rate and comment on, and uploading your own performances is easy using PlayStation Eye and following the simple in-game instructions.
Similarly, the SingStore is continually updated and now boasts hundreds of tracks across all territories.
SingStar Vol. 2 is more of a second album that a sequel, in that it adds to the SingStar experience without dramatically altering it. Harmony Duet mode and Remote Play are welcome additions to an already winning formula, and judging by the size of the game's community, one that has captured the imagination of PlayStation owners.
The 30 songs included on the disc alone make this title a worthwhile purchase, and the added features are the icing on the cake. With the SingStar team consistently coming up with excellent track lists and with SingStore, My SingStar Online and singstargame.com growing all the time, the future is looking bright for bedroom superstars.