Review: Just Sing! Christmas Songs (DSiWare)

Not something you'd want to find in your stocking

Developers seem to be absolutely crazy about releasing smaller versions of DS games as DSiWare downloads - just look at Bookworm and Master of Illusion as it is once again the case here. Just Sing! Christmas Songs is a small sampler of the retail game Just Sing!, which is due out sometime in 2010. As you might've guessed, it includes Christmas-related songs only, not that that's a whole lot to brag about as it means there's only two songs.

After starting up the game you will be asked to remain completely quiet while it adjusts your DSi's microphone settings to the game volume (so that it does not catch any in-game music, messing up your performance). This takes about 20-30 seconds and will automatically be performed every time the game is started, unless you choose to skip it, which will cause it to reuse the calibration from the previous time. No wonder it's the system's only karaoke game!

After this annoying interlude, you will be taken to the main menu. From there you can already tell you'll be done with the title in five minutes, after which you'll never play it again; two of the five selections are the game's two songs, while the other buttons are taken up by Records, the Manual and Options (which consist of nothing more than volume settings).

When you're ready to feel embarassed you can select either of the two songs and get started. As with most modern karaoke games, the song will then play without any vocals as the lyrics are displayed at the bottom. Bars in the middle of the screen indicate how high or low the tone of your voice should be to get the highest score. After 90 seconds of singing the song ends and your points will be converted into a rank, the highest requiring about 90,000 points.

Despite never having played a karaoke game before, we were able to get over 85,000 on both songs on our first try. We're certainly not very good singers here at Nintendo Life, so that must mean the game is rather lenient! People who are good at singing and have played similar games will thus no doubt have an easy time getting close to a perfect score and the highest rank. After getting your score it will be entered on a highscore table. Wi-Fi leaderboards would've at least some replayability to the game, but sadly it was not meant to be - these records are for your eyes only.

The game's cheap, so you can expect the graphics and sound to be cheap too. The two songs sound like bland MIDIs anybody with minimal experience could recreate, while the visuals consist of nothing more than a girl dressed in a santa suit jumping around on a stage. This is displayed on the top screen, while the actual gameplay occurs on the bottom screen, meaning you're not likely to even glance at her.


After playing both songs and getting a top rank there's really nothing left to do, other than play both songs again and wonder why on Earth you paid 200 DSi Points for the game. It's definitely interesting that this is the system's first karaoke game, and we are very curious what the retail game will be like, but for the moment this is a waste of money and a waste of time.

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