The real initial rush and heyday of home karaoke on consoles was the PS2-era, when it seemed like a never-ending cascade of SingStar games were being released every few months to a public that seemed to practically inhale them. They were everywhere, catering to most popular genres from rock to Disney soundtracks. Of course, aside from the available song choices, the only other real limitation was the fact that the bundled, wired microphones weren’t the most robust of accessories.
Fast-forward to the Nintendo Switch and the Let’s Sing series is pretty much the only option available for the karaoke lovers out there that own Nintendo’s golden handheld. With thirty tracks at launch (but with extra, paid DLC packs in the pipeline such as ‘best of ’90s & ‘Party Classics’) is it worth picking up? The short answer is yes; it’s a solid release with enough modes to keep things fresh, but there are some seemingly odd song choices for those who aren’t enamoured with modern charts which do feel thrown-in for the old-timers, although hopefully this can be remedied with the future song packs – obviously at a cost.
The ability to download the Let’s Sing app and use your phone as a mic is a real boon, especially with the built-in support for up to four singers at once. Although usage of phones as mics has been utilised on previous, similar games, the app feels pretty sturdy and caused no issues during our time with the game (with the exception of a player sometimes hitting the ‘close screen’ button on the side of their phone during a particularly acrobatic vocal line, which pauses the game).
On a side note, Let’s Sing 2020 should really make you correct the micro-delay when you first boot it up as it makes such a difference to gameplay and is so easy to alter. Available in the Options menu, the game plays a ‘ping’ and you just move the bar to match the sound; this erases all echo and delay that can occur in-game if not set properly. We’d recommend you do this before even starting your session.
There are various modes on offer from a ‘classic’ mode which pits you against your friends and has you all singing the same track to see who can get the highest score, an online leader board for those singers that want to take on the entire world as well as a ‘Mixtape’ mode and also the ability to set up the tracklist as a jukebox to play in the background when you’ve all finished belting out some Imagine Dragons.
With this being an international release, the thirty song tracklist has a lot to cater for and does a great job of having songs that are accessible and can be picked up in just a couple of sing-throughs whilst obviously taking a long time to completely nail down. Even the songs we were unfamiliar with felt well-chosen in that they were catchy and fun to sing – the latter being a key consideration.
As mentioned above, there are a few odd choices, mainly in the older songs available in tracks such as Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’ and Robbie Williams’ ‘Angels’. The former is a strange choice from the band’s illustrious back-catalogue while the other feels like a tired addition which could have been replaced with something more interesting; Robbie fans may disagree, but it takes up precious real estate here. These songs do awkwardly contrast with the more energetic positivity of the newer tunes which, even to those unfamiliar with them, have a vibe of real energy about them.
Let’s Sing 2020 works as a karaoke video game and the point-focused levelling-up system and subsequent unlockables add a sense of satisfaction as you beat your score, unlock avatars and the use of songs in other play modes. Aside from all this, Let’s Sing 2020 has a real sense of fun. Mediocre singers aren’t punished by crowd boos or negative sound bites, the easy to follow on-screen prompts are vibrant and the colour schemes, as well as the full music videos playing behind each track, definitely give off a party vibe. Admittedly the game at release is clearly aimed towards teenagers with its dance-pop heavy tracklist, but some well-chosen DLC packs should allow players to tweak the game to their own preferred styles.