Let’s Sing 2023 isn’t the first Let’s Sing to arrive in 2023. Let’s Sing Presents ABBA got there first, and we gave it a rather muted 3/5. One reason for that score – outside of some pretty shoddy footage of Scandinavians wandering about – was a lack of anything approaching an update to the formula. We’ll admit that we imagined Ravenscourt was saving that sort of thing for the mainline entry – the one we’re reviewing here.
Well, here we are. Let’s Sing 2023 arrives with another thirty tracks, just in time for some Christmas sing-a-longs to Old Town Road. It’s become a game that we measure the year by: when Let’s Sing arrives in the stores, we know that we should probably get on with some Christmas shopping.
So, what does Let’s Sing 2023 represent? Is it a completely new album, a mixtape of some old tracks, or a reissue? Well, drumroll, we can tell you that it is emphatically, one-hundred percent… a reissue.
Ravenscourt aren’t even hiding the fact. Check the Xbox Store page and there’s no mention of a single update to Let’s Sing 2023. We’ve played a game of spot-the-difference and come up short, too: there is not a single thing that looks or plays different. The minigames in the Let’s Party mode would have been the easiest things to supplement, but no – there are the same old Bomb Tracks and Piggy Banks. Even the challenges in Legend mode are the same, just with different songs shuffled in.
The real question is: do you care? Or, perhaps, should we care? If you consider Let’s Sing 2023 to be a glorified DLC pack, then perhaps not.
When you’re measuring a Let’s Sing by the songs it has to offer, things tend to get incredibly subjective. But this is a review, so subjective it is. To our tastes, Let’s Sing 2023 isn’t a patch on Let’s Sing 2022. It feels like the slider has moved way, way over to songs from the past couple of years, rather than a wider timeframe, and we like a broader mix than that.
But that’s not to say that there isn’t gold in them thar hills. And in genre terms, it’s certainly eclectic. We loved to slow-rap through Death Bed (Coffee For Your Head) by Powfu ft. Beabadoobee, before doing the ‘hoo-ha’s in Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas. Things get fabulous with Dragostea Din Tei, Blue (Da Ba Dee) and I Want to Break Free. Meanwhile, there are genuine bangers in the form of Glass Animals’ Heat Waves and Gotye and Kimbra’s Somebody That I Used To Know.
The absolute pinnacle, in our house at the very least, was Encanto’s We Don’t Talk About Bruno. It made us long for a Disney version of Let’s Sing, as we each tried to overlay our lyrics in the frantic madrigal at the end of the song, and it was an absolute delight to see it pop up early. Everybody now: “Thunder!”.
Encanto aside, it does feel like the barrel is being scraped. A little. Certainly in terms of the golden oldies for fuddy-duddies like us, it’s hard to point a finger at Kung Fu Fighting and Avril Lavigne’s Complicated and say that, that is the pinnacle of pre-2020’s music. They each have some fun vocal sections that you’re probably already singing, but we wouldn’t consider them greats.
So, a mixed bag. And when you consider that £32.99 lands you thirty songs that you had no control over their inclusion, it’s not necessarily a fantastic value proposition – at least, comparing to games like Just Dance and Rock Band. If you’ve got a Let’s Sing already, you will want to be scouring that tracklisting to determine whether the money is worth it.
Damaging that assessment is the way that Ravenscourt handle their DLC. Bundled up in a £74.99 Platinum Edition, as a £44.99 upgrade, or £3.99 song packs, the vast majority of the DLC was released previously for other Let’s Sings. But here, a ‘2023’ has been slapped onto their label, and you have to buy them all over again. You can’t – at least, as far as we were able to – transfer your songs over, so you’ll be buying Zombie by The Cranberries and How Bizarre by OMC all over again. It’s miserly, and we really wish Ravenscourt would do something about it in future years.
If you don’t have a Let’s Sing on the hard drive or on the shelves, though, then the review takes a markedly different tone. Because while Let’s Sing hasn’t received much of an upgrade, and the songs are shruggable, this is an extremely well presented and fully functioning piece of kit. There is even an ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ argument which holds some water.
First of all, this is a karaoke machine that can accommodate eight singers on any mix of smartphones or microphones. Having shopped around in Argos for Karaoke machines, we can say with confidence that, for £32.99, that’s an absolute bargain. Everything works perfectly, and the simplicity of everyone accessing a website, typing in a code, and immediately singing with mates cannot be underestimated.
Mode-wise, Let’s Sing 2023 is bursting at the seams. If you want to play Let’s Sing in a particular way, then it has you handled. If you’re a lonesome singer, then just boot up Classic, Jukebox or Mixtapes and work through the songs you love. If you’re a duetter then Feat has you sorted, swapping the song between you both in an orderly and minorly competitive manner. If you’re an aspiring pro, then competing on global leaderboards with World Contest is a must, and larger groups of players will want to try out the minigame-fuelled Let’s Party.
The presentation, too, is the bee’s knees. Everything schwips and swooshes with a slickness that belies how old it is. Some old issues persist – for whatever reason, we still get drilling noises as a song prepares to load, and some songs take a while for the microphone to register – but very generally this is an easy game to get to grips with, and no one will be left behind.
Your appreciation of Let’s Sing 2023 will depend on what you want from it. If you’re new to the franchise, the Let’s Sing 2023 knocks other karaoke machines and programs into a cocked hat. It’s good value and delivers frictionless partying for up to eight players. All you need is a smartphone or eight.
But if you’ve played your share of Let’s Sing games, then Let’s Sing 2023 represents a slight stumble. The songs – at least to our ears – err on the side of filler, and there’s no changes to the template, not a single one. The playlist is getting a little tired, Ravenscourt: time for some new tracks.
You can buy Let’s Sing 2023 from the Xbox Store
- Exquisitely presented, as usual
- Some cracking tracks
- Seamless and easy eight-player sessions
- Some duffer tracks in there too
- No changes to the formula
- DLC packs don’t carry over
- Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Ravenscourt
- Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch
- Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
- Release date - 15 November 2022
- Launch price from - £32.99