Review: Just Sing! Christmas Vol. 3 (DSiWare)

Ho! Ho! Oh…

The festive season is almost upon us, so that means presents, sparkly lights, too much food to eat and another entry in the Just Sing! series. Just Sing! Christmas Vol. 3 has arrived, the third festive entry in DTP Entertainment’s karaoke franchise. As this particular set of games is now in its third year we can look forward to some much needed improvements and enhancements for a drunken holiday sing-along, right?

Actually, no. In fact this is a direct copy of the previous Christmas Just Sing titles, with just two new songs. This title may be available at a budget price, but this is still a severely limited amount of content. The issue with the lack of songs is exacerbated by those that are included, Joy to the World and Oh Christmas Tree. They may be faithful to the subject matter but are pretty bland choices for a karaoke game. Just Sing! 80s Collection demonstrated that well known songs could be used in these titles, and the even more old-fashioned tracks here might not please those after more upbeat contemporary Christmas songs.

The actual gameplay is as expected, with the simple task of singing along to rack up points. The microphone detection is decent, as trying to trick the game with random noises or blowing does yield lower scores. Singing in-tune is less relevant, so if your voice sounds like a shrieking cat or a disturbed bear, merely being in-time will still allow high scores.

Beyond singing the two songs, there’s nothing else to do. There are offline rankings for your scores, though we went to the top of the leaderboard at the first time of asking, stripping away any competitive motivation to sing again: slim pickings indeed.

The presentation of this title is lazy, and completely barmy to boot. When performing these two tracks there is the visual treat of a dancing avatar on stage, with fake snow and star props making an obligatory appearance. Strangely, she dances in the same way as in previous DTP Entertainment titles, therefore busting contemporary and supposedly funky dance moves throughout your performance. This performance is completely out of place with the two songs on offer, both of which are performed to unappealing, tinny MIDI compositions.

Conclusion

Just Sing! Christmas Vol. 3 continues the trend of its two predecessors, particularly disappointing after the thoroughly reasonable Just Sing! 80s Collection. The lack of content or effort to secure rights to well-known Christmas pop songs, along with the failure to revamp the presentation to suit the content provided, makes this a karaoke party to avoid at all costs.