Did you know that karaoke has been around since the seventies? At least, it was then that the first karaoke machine was invented. However, it wasn’t until the nineties that it was to grow in popularity, starting off in bars and clubs across the country before transitioning its singing ways onto home consoles and into our bedrooms and living rooms. Since the conception of Sony’s Singstar, ditching our beloved hairbrushes for USB microphones has been a long-favourite when it comes to party gaming, but since its demise, or downfall, there hasn’t been much else that matched its high notes, that is until now, as Let’s Sing 2019 charts a release upon the Nintendo Switch.
This new edition of the game continues its annual release, but instead of just releasing a re-hashed game with an updated playlist, Ravencourt has bolstered the game’s playing options, giving us wannabes more choice than ever before. Of course, the tracklist has been fully updated, boasting a roster of thirty songs that has a range from ABBA’s Mama Mia through to No Doubt’s Don’t Speak, Bananarama’s Cruel Summer and finishes bang-up-to-date with the likes of Rita Ora, Shawn Mendes, Dua Lipa and Lorde, plus much, much more. It brings a nice mix that can cater for all ages, plus all the songs are the original versions; all playing along in glorious technicolour with their video releases.
However, as well as the thirty songs bundled with the game, you can also download a variety of DLC packages from the eStore, at an extra cost of course, but these packs are very affordable, each one containing four or five new songs that includes the same eclectic mix that is found on the base game; you can also purchase a season pass style of content, allowing you to download all of the available packs at a cheaper price too. With so much on offer, with the potential to double or triple your original playlist, there’s more than enough evening’s entertainment here that will keep all members of your family, or friends, singing harmoniously with new or classic song choices.
Much like Singstar, Just Sing 2019 also supports USB microphones, as well as smartphones once you download the dedicated app to its system. This gives a good choice of freedom of how you can use the game, especially if you don’t own any microphones. The game also has a good support base for a number of USB styled microphones, I tested the game on our old We Sing mics and they worked perfectly. However, should you have two mics and two smartphones, then you can all play along as the game caters for parties of up to four players, which should please the neighbours. It also contains a drop-in, drop-out mechanic which is a nice touch; just in case the neighbours ring the bell to complain.
Like most games within its style, Just Sing 2019 features a classic mode where you simply pick a song and away you go; either alone or with friends. However, new to this year’s version, you can also take on the Mix Tape 2.0 mode, which is essentially of mash-up of five different songs that transition into each other. Each of these mixes are completely randomised, producing some surprising results in their execution. However, you also have the choice to produce a mash-up of your own by selecting your own five tracks from your playlist to sing along to. As well as these modes, there is also the option for some competitive play as you go head-to-head in a competition for the highest score or simply listen to the tracks with your own portable jukebox.
Although there’s no online competition to speak of here, the game does incorporate an online leaderboard, giving solo singers something to sing about. Each of the song’s title screens displays the highest scores from other warblers around the world, giving you a sense of competition as you try to reach the high notes of getting your own profile proudly displayed on the screen for the world to see. However, you can create ‘duels’ with online opponents as you battle it out to gain the high score whenever you’re available to sing; giving the game an online battle that can be played independently from each other. The feeling of accomplishment as you watch your name climb the leaderboards through personal improvement feels as if you’ve just sung your heart out in front of sold-out stadium.
As far as content is concerned, there’s plenty here to satisfy any karaoke game players; both in terms of solo and multiplaying. Everything is presented in an easy-to-use way, with lyrics that are guided to suit various styles and full-screened videos playing out as you join along with each song. It all adds to produce a well-thought out package that works well with both microphones and smartphones, as well as contain a playlist that should contain enough songs to satisfy most people. In terms of karaoke style gaming, this is definitely one the most-rounded packages of recent years, especially with its impressive choice list of included songs and available DLC.
Overall, Just Sing 2019 is a welcome return to form for the Karaoke genre. A good mix of songs and game styles, ensures that there is something here for everyone to enjoy; either for solo singers or a more party-styled atmosphere. Its classic and competitive modes provide excellent entertainment and its choice of peripheral freedoms gives it a good scope for potential singers. Allowing up to four players to perform at the same time is a nice touch here, bringing more people into the game, but if there’s one thing I really miss, it’s the ability of watching recorded highlights of your performances through a camera. For me, that would make Just Sing 2020 the complete package. However, if like me, you just like the sound of your own voice, then Just Sing 2019 is the perfect karaoke experience. Rest in peace hair brushes, your time has sadly come.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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