Xbox One, Nintendo Switch,
October 2, 2020
Ever feel like It’s A Hard Life and you Want To Break Free? Wish you could just Tie Your Mother Down and go chase Fat Bottomed Girls in an epic Bicycle Race? Well, grab your Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy and belt out a Bohemian Rhapsody or two because these karaoke bangers Will Rock You. Let’s Sing, y’all.
In the great tradition of karaoke games, Let’s Sing Presents Queen delivers an experience firmly within the spirit of Singstar circa 2004. Singing along to classic tracks, players have to match the lead singer’s pitch and phrasings accurately in order to rack up points and multipliers. Back in the day you’d sing into these enormous omnidirectional microphone peripherals, but thankfully developers Voxler acknowledge that it’s 2020 and you can use your smartphone as a mic instead. So, is it worth it for you to Play The Game? Well, no.
Let’s start with everything Let’s Sing Presents Queen gets right. First of all, there are thirty Queen tracks and most of them are absolute bangers. It’s quite amazing just how many incredibly influential songs this band produced. Each track is accompanied by a music video, which shows off visionary queer icon Freddie Mercury at his fiercest – particularly in his excellent and iconic I Want To Break Free drag performance. Once you’ve performed a song you unlock it in Jukebox mode, which lets you watch the music videos to your heart’s content.
For those who haven’t played a karaoke game before, Let’s Sing Presents Queen’s Classic mode is a decent example of how they work. Players sing through the song, with the intended pitch of each phrase represented on screen by horizontal bars. Much like in rhythm games, singing with the correct pitch and timing fills up the bars and scores points. At the end of the song, the player with the most points wins the round. It’s a simple formula that adds some objectivity to any competitive karaoke night.
Unfortunately, the microphone functionality doesn’t work very well. It was very easy to set up the smartphone-as-mic connection via Voxler’s Let’s Sing app, and syncing to the game was fast and reliable. However, the microphones are so sensitive that they pick up absolutely everyone singing in the room. My partner and I tried singing quietly, singing far away from each other, and fiddling with the mic calibration – nothing worked. Researching this issue presented a host of players with a similar problem, as well as a heap of app sync problems I didn’t personally experience. It’s possible that different smartphone configurations might not present the same issues, but it did make any sort of competitive play into a bit of a joke when the game thought my partner and I were always singing with exactly the same pitch and timing.
There’s not really any satisfying progression to be found in Let’s Sing Presents Queen. Participating in each of the game’s modes earns experience points towards levelling up, which earns you new character avatars. They’re fine, if a little unexciting. Your high scores are also recorded, and you can participate in the World Contest mode which randomly matches you against another singer online so you can compete for leaderboard positions. That’s about it. I feel like a huge opportunity to distinguish this from other karaoke titles was missed – I had hoped for some kind of campaign or story mode, where singing all these bangers would have some kind of context. Imagine a band-management sim where you’re trying to be the best Queen tribute band, or some kind of Scott Pilgrim-style battle mode! As it stands, there’s a serious lack of creativity in the alternate game modes on offer.
Speaking of the alternate game modes, they’re not fun. The Feat. mode splits up each song into duet parts, awarding you score bonuses if you sing together with the correct timing. Mix Tape 2.0 creates a medley of songs, made incredibly awkward by placing a ~5 second gap of silence between each one. Let’s Party is intended as the main multiplayer mode, splitting up to eight players into teams and competing in a variety of challenges – for example, singing the correct lyrics with half the screen blurred out, or losing “health” every time you sing off-pitch. These are all way less enjoyable than just singing the songs.
I was looking forward to Let’s Sing Presents Queen so much that my disappointment with what’s on offer here is palpable. The songs and music videos are fantastic, but the enjoyment stops there. For a hefty $60 asking price, they could have at least included access to the Let’s Sing store for the ability to download more tracks. I’m left questioning what’s unique enough about this title to warrant a new release, and why it couldn’t have just been a DLC pack for the upcoming Let’s Sing 2020. Sadly, this does not fill the void left by Singstar.
- Thirty absolutely iconic songs and music videos to sing through
- Game modes beyond Classic mode are not fun
- Smartphone mic integration doesn't function properly
- Lack of unique content for the entry price & no access to Let's Sing store
I had hoped that Let’s Sing Presents Queen would feel like A Kind Of Magic, but unfortunately I needed someone to Save Me from its mediocre offerings. Sure, there are a lot of Killer Queen hits available and a diehard fan will probably find Some(thing) To Love here, but I’d suggest you’ll have more fun setting up a YouTube playlist of Queen music videos and belting out your favourite tracks without feeling Under Pressure to fiddle with this title’s uninspired game design. Another One Bites The Dust, sadly.