Let’s Sing Queen | Review, extreme karaoke

Let’s Sing Queen | Review, extreme karaoke
"You can do whatever you want with my music, as long as you don't make me sound boring." To introduce Let’s Sing Queen it is worth recalling what was one of Freddie Mercury's last messages to manager Henry James Beach, talking about his musical legacy. And whether they like Queen or not, it is difficult to remain indifferent to the style of the English band that has made a trademark of unpredictability and eclecticism.

Inevitably, Let’s Sing Queen carries this distinctive trait with it and can count on thirty songs from the band's vast discography. A tribute edition, compared to the annual editions of the series dedicated to contemporary pop music, which not only inherits all the qualities of Queen's music but also shows some problematic aspects, not in itself but in having to translate the musical genius of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon.

Let’s Sing Queen: the single player mode

The formula of Let’s Sing Queen follows the one already seen in the 2020 edition. First of all, there is a Classic mode in which you can try your hand at every single song to try to get an increasingly higher score and the corresponding corresponding prize, going from bronze to platinum. This mode does not present any particular surprises, the goal is to be able to sing respecting the notes as much as possible, increasing the combos without making mistakes and possibly also performing the golden notes in the best possible way that allow you to multiply the points dramatically.

The lineup is extremely broad, including thirty tracks such as Killer Queen (1974), Bohemian Rahapsody (1975), Somebody to Love (1976), We Will Rock You (1977), Don't Stop Me Now (1978), Another One Bites the Dust (1980), It's a Hard Life (1984), A Kind of Magic (1986), I Want It All (1989) up to Innuendo (1991). The complete list can also be found on the official website of the publisher Koch Media.

Beyond being a collection of Queen's most famous songs, this lineup manages to offer a remarkable variety of genres that has characterized the evolution of the band over the decades. To use the words of drummer Roger Taylor: "Classical, operatic rock, gospel, funk, we really tried to do everything".

Along with this, it is certainly interesting to see reconstructed in a video game what, in fact, has been a decisive piece of music history including also the official videos of the songs in a quality certainly far from the current ones but that contributes greatly to the nostalgia factor. It would have been interesting to be able to play with the instrumental versions of the songs as happened in Let’s Sing 2020, but we realize the difficulties in finding them for this type of repertoire.

Even those unfamiliar with Queen are able to understand the complexity, both in terms of composition and vocals, of the music of the English band. And clearly there is a reason why Freddie Mercury is recognized as one of the greatest talents in music. That is why the performance of the songs of this Let’s Sing Queen is much more demanding than the other titles in the series that require you to perform pop songs.

The long notes, the various intervals, the changes of key make this version of Let’s Sing more challenging than usual. As long as you want to pay attention to the score and not to play like in a simple karaoke, of course. Some songs like Radio Ga Ga or I Want to Break Free can be relatively easier, while others like Under Pressure can prove really difficult to perform, even by the standards of a music video game.

Let’s Sing Queen signals the difficulty of the song with a variable number of stars. This is a good indicator of the general commitment required by the piece you are about to interpret, but it seems that the game sometimes requires you to follow the original performances too slavishly. This observation seems in some ways paradoxical, on the other hand isn't it what is normally required in a karaoke? Not really, since it is a video game.

The impression is that Let's Sing Queen sometimes requires mere mortals to respect the pitch changes of Mercury's voice or to perform passages that are only possible in a studio production, without attempting to make it more rewarding under the gameplay profile the most challenging passages, stopping to require a faithful and demanding execution faithful to the original. Obviously to have fun just ignore the score but if you want to get good results for every single song, the road is all uphill. In fact, Let's Sing Queen represents the extreme fashion of music-karaoke games.

Furthermore, the long instrumental passages that characterize many Queen songs (read: Brian May's guitar solos), very often cause the gameplay to lose some rhythm, forcing you to stare at the screen waiting to be able to play the role of Freddie Mercury. This slightly highlights a general limitation of the Let’s Sing series which in any case does not provide for possible freestyle or, better, scores other than those already encoded by the lyrics of the songs.

Let’s Sing Queen: the multiplayer mode

All these observations, however, mainly concern the single player mode in which the main aim is to obtain higher scores. In the case of the multiplayer mode, of course, the competitive aspect is significantly reduced in favor of that party game.

Also in this case Let's Sing Queen proposes the modalities that appeared in the 2020 edition. The Classic mode can see the participation of up to four players, Feat. proposes duets in double or single with the PC and the Let's Party is dedicated to minigames and can include up to eight participants divided into two teams.

As we had already noted in this year's edition, Let's Party represents a significant variation on the classic karaoke and one of the most successful aspects of Let's Sing. This version is based on multiple turns in which, with a random choice, you can try your hand in Classic and Mixtape modes or om a mini game. In TV Madness, for example, the visibility of the incoming words is pixelated more or less gradually to make the challenge more difficult (in this minigame we noticed some very annoying flashes that could pose a problem for those suffering from epilepsy), Speed ​​Jam in which you have to sing correctly to get to the finish first, Bomb Track in which the aim is to defuse bombs, Piggy Box in which you have to accumulate coins while singing, Vida Loca, or a sort of survival in which hearts are lost at every jarring and finally Mic Train and Hit the Mix where players are required to pass the microphone to each other.

The Mixtape mode is intended for both single player and multiplayer, which requires you to play verses and choruses of different songs in sequence. Some of these mini collections are already pre-compiled based on different criteria, such as songs from the 70s or 80s repertoire, but the game also allows users to compile their own virtual cassettes by adding their own songs as they wish. The idea is certainly interesting but, probably, a little too ambitious for today's standards.

In fact, the game needs a couple of seconds to load each segment and this makes it lose some of the idea of ​​an uninterrupted sequence that this mode should have. This is certainly a technical limitation that maybe with the PS5 SSD will be easy to overcome but in any case we come up with a couple of alternative solutions that could be found, such as that of creating the predefined mixes already mounted without interruptions or just loading the music track and without the video which inevitably takes some time.

Finally, Let’s Sing Queen re-proposes the World Contest mode: it is always an asynchronous mode, in which players are called to beat the records of other users around the world. As in the 2020 edition, unfortunately, there is no way to directly face individual players or perform duets. This is why it seems excessive to talk about online mode since it looks more like a simple single player variant.

Beyond the aspects we have pointed out, Let’s Sing 2020 remains a good title that is able to give its best especially when played with other people. In this regard, it is worth remembering that although the microphone is the ideal solution, Let’s Sing allows you to play using your smartphone as long as you have the dedicated app and have connected the devices to the same Wi-Fi network. Finally, we appreciated the choice of wanting to offer this title at a lower price than the average and this makes Let’s Sing Queen particularly interesting in terms of the quantity-price ratio.

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