The sad truth is that party games aren’t as popular as the used to be. During the last console generation, game like Singstar, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, You Don’t Know Jack, and Dance Central with all the iterations have disappeared and have not been seen or heard that much until this season. Luckily, the karaoke games have not completely gone away as Let’s Sing 2016 has come to stage this holiday season.
The set up is pretty familiar to those who have enjoyed games like Lips or Singstar in the past; hit the notes dictated by lines that fill up on the screen as the music video for the song is playing in the background. With Let’s Sing 2016, you have a choice of up to 35 songs that range from Sia to Bastille to Sam Smith. You are ranked by stars with each performance that accumulates that allows you to unlock other modes within each song; By Heart, Duet, Expert, Pass the Mic, and Elimination to name them all. This gives the player, or singer, a reason to go back to the same song and perform better.
Having said that, this is a game that is better with other players. Of course there is the option of singing the songs by yourself, but that will probably become boring and tedious. In fact, much of the trophies in the PS4 version require you to dive into other modes with other players which can support up to seven of them and three on the Wii system. This will help rack up your points in a way that lets you have fun with it.
While fun can be had with the game, there were some hiccups in how that notes we had to perform broke down. There were a few cases where the screen line idicated to hold a note in Meghan Trainor ‘s, “All About That Bass” where you have to hold a note for a certain amount of time, but in the actual song, her voice goes higher where it tells us to keep it the same. This was concerning because when these popular songs are on the radio when we sing along, usually we try to sing like the artist signing it. This makes it hard to hit a perfect note when the note is not perfect in the game itself.
The downside of this game for older gamers or karaoke lovers is that the newer music outweighs the older. Essentially there are four songs from the 80’s and 90’s combined; Queen, Roxanne, TLC, and the Cure.
When you buy the game at retail, it comes with one microphone and the game disc. The one microphone is fine until you want to engage in the Duet Mode. Fortunately, you can use a headset with a microphone or earbuds with a microphone.
At the moment, there is no online store or ability to add to the track list which is a shame because Singstar for the PlayStation hasn’t necessarily been keeping their online selection up to date that well, and it would have been nice to have more of a choice at the very least. Unfortunately, this inhibits the replay value a bit as not all songs will be to everyone’s taste to perform over and over.
All in all, Let’s Sing 2016, is a good party game for those with families or a group that like to sing along with the video and lyrics. The lack of genre selection keeps the game from appealing to a wider audience, but the ability to unlock other modes keeps it interesting enough. This holiday could help dictate if party games are still relevant and if Maximum Games can stay proactive, especially with song downloads, the Let’s Sing franchise could stick around for a while.