I was surprised when booting up Let’s Sing 2019 on my PS4 – not just to find myself booting it up, mind you. No, I was surprised because it prompted me to plug in decade old hardware (the Singstar microphones of yore) – and even more surprised to realize I still had one kicking around my miscellaneous cables bin. You can play with a mobile phone instead, but this felt like a good sign – and indeed, like the mics themselves, everything here felt familiar, fun and polished.
Karaoke games live and die by their setlist, and Just Sing 2019 provides a good one. Its mix of Top 40 tracks – from the likes of Rita Ora, Lorde and Bruno Mars – with some bangers that were more my tempo (and decade) in Queen, ABBA and Bon Jovi, will appeal to a lot of people. Some of these tracks feel a little too drum-and-bass-y – and autotuned – to have a genuine home on a Karaoke game, and indeed they asked a lot of me as an (amateur) crooner, but the wide array of genres will suit almost any party.
The thing with Karaoke games – and it’s been like this since my first ever Singstar on the PS2 – is that if you simply sing along, in-tune and in a satisfying manner, you’ll get sub-par points. The nature of Karaoke games (and their scoring systems) engender weird warbling, awkwardly elongated notes, straining dutifully (and potentially flat-ly) for sustained periods, and even belting out the tunes a little prematurely to account for the lag, will get you gold stars across the board – but not the appreciation of any audience you might have round for the party. Let’s Sing, like almost every Karaoke game before it, comes with no settings and no way to rectify these shortcomings.
Still, get your mates drunk enough not to care (or simply don’t care yourself and sing however you want) and you’ll have a whale of a time. The shop already has a decent selection of DLC to grab in fairly generous packs, too, and grabbing the lot diversified the already enticing playlist even further.
The music videos are sharp, the songs sound fantastic, and best of all you can mute your microphones. Can you really ask for much more from a Karaoke game? Maybe – but Let’s Sing 2019 sets a good standard regardless.
The menus are all nice and clean too, with snazzy designs and bold, striking graphics. It’s at times a little too simple – and occasionally I wasn’t entirely sure what part of the screen I was hovering over without much visual feedback – but these are small cracks in an otherwise fancy veneer. The avatars, however – distracting little blobs of personality that acted like annoying stereotypes whenever anyone was singing – I could do without.
‘Let’s Sing 2019‘ is exactly what you expect. A good Karaoke game with a great playlist. Your mileage will vary depending on how much you like the songs included, but if you’re gearing up for a party and you want something on in the background to distract from your sub-par hors d’oeuvres, you can’t go wrong with Karaoke.