Review: Just Sing! Christmas Vol. 2 (DSiWare)

Another lump of coal for this year's stockings

Last Christmas, the European DSiWare service received the karaoke title Just Sing! Christmas Songs. As you might expect, it featured a Christmas theme and asked you to sing along, but it only included two songs and proved itself as nothing more than a waste of time. Sadly, Just Sing! Christmas Vol. 2 is pretty much the same story.

Everything is almost identical to before. As you start up the game, you'll need to perform a voice calibration process, which requires you to remain quiet for nearly half a minute while it analyses the background noise so as to distinguish it from your voice. You can skip this if necessary, which will cause it to use the previous calibration settings from the last time you played the game.

Then it takes you to the main menu, where you'll come across the choice of the only two songs included in this edition, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” & “Deck the Halls.” The system is very similar to other karaoke titles – the songs play without any vocals while bars in the middle of the screen show you whether you're singing in the right pitch throughout that segment of a song. Once finished, the game will rank your performance and submit your score to the local boards.

However, it's just not fun to sing along as the game feels very generic and bland, a fact not helped by the inclusion of MIDI versions of the famous tunes that sound very cheap and poorly developed. The voice recognition is rather shoddy as well – you could basically blow any sort of noise into the DSi mic and it would recognise it as you singing to the lyrics.

The difficulty level is also very low as the game has a fairly big margin of error for your voice pitch, which makes racking up high scores rather easy. Just like last time, the boards are not Wi-Fi enabled, so you are limited to competing with high scores between friends and family.

The game is almost identical graphically to its predecessor as well, which basically comprises a girl dressed as Santa running around on the top screen while you sing along. The graphics are rather ugly, and the girl's character model has a rather low polygon count.

Conclusion

Overall, this is almost identical to what we saw last year, with very little having changed since then and no improvements made at all. This is not helped by the fact that karaoke has always been much more fun as a social experience among friends, something which simply doesn't translate well onto a handheld platform, especially with no multiplayer available. Even at 200 points, Just Sing! Christmas Vol. 2 is a waste of time and is definitely one game you'll want to avoid this Christmas.

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