Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Familiar tunes make Family Hits a keeper
Disney Sing It: Family Hits
Developed and published by Disney Interactive Studios
Available now on Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3
Rated E for Everyone
Price: $39.99 (without microphone but you need one to play) and $49.99 (with microphone)
Hakuna Matata. What a wonderful phrase ...
If you are under 40, a Gen-Xer or a parent, you can probably tell me what movie that song was in.
That song and I have a deep history. I serenaded a cute Latin beauty with the song - sang into a Burger King microphone that's used to order meals with that song - and even got a free Whopper by singing that song - all within 10 minutes!
Disney has been pushing out Sing It games for a while. They have a definite following - granted, you really can't go wrong with a singing video game anyhow. What really, in my opinion, makes a song game a success is - offering familiar tunes that are so easy to sing that you don't even need to look at the lyrics on the screen.
My question is - what in the devil took you so long, Disney?!
Developed and published by Disney Interactive Studios, Disney Sing It: Family Hits gives gamers the chance to sing along with popular hits from some classic - and even new school - Disney movies.
There are 30 songs, all with official Disney videos, multiplayer modes and even training sessions with Princess Tiana herself, Anika Noni Rose. She gives virtual singing lessons for those in need - unless you are a self-made crooner like myself. Ha.
Back to the review. To play this game, you need a USB microphone. On the Wii, there are only two USB slots, so you are limited to two players. The PS3 has four USB slots - all you need are four standard USB mics. I was able to use mics from other video games with the game. Gamers can sing cooperatively or against each other in challenge mode. Bonus spoiler - if you sing very loudly, your voice can register on your opponent's game.
After finishing a song in single or multiplayer mode, if you did average or better, you can listen to an *encore* presentation of your performance. Playback sounds decent - don't expect to record one of your presentations and pass it off as a demo or risk getting laughed out of the studio. It uses the same video and can help you hear your vocal miscues.
Of course, the biggest draw is the songs. Gamers and nongamers of all ages will find a song they heard ages ago when they were in grade school.
Here's a list of songs - and movies - in the game:
1. 101 Dalmations - Cruella De Vil
2. A Bug's Life - The Time of Your Life
3. Aladdin - A Whole New World
4. Beauty And The Beast - Be Our Guest
5. Cars - Our Town
6. Cars - Real Gone
7. Cinderella - A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes
8. Cinderella - Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo (The Magic Song)
9. Cinderella - So This Is Love
10. Cinderella - The Work Song
11. The Jungle Book - I Wan'na Be Like You
12. The Jungle Book - The Bare Necessities
13. Lady And The Tramp - He's A Tramp
14. Lilo and Stitch 2 - Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride
15. The Lion King - Can You Feel The Love Tonight
16. The Lion King - Hakuna Matata
17. The Lion King - I Just Can't Wait To be King
18. The Little Mermaid - Under The Sea
19. Mary Poppins - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
20. Monsters, Inc. - If I Didn't Have You
21. Mulan - Reflection
22. The Princess And The Frog - Almost There
23. The Princess And The Frog - Dig A Little Deeper
24. Peter Pan - You Can Fly! You Can Fly!You Can Fly!
25. Sleeping Beauty - I Wonder
26. Sleeping Beauty - Once Upon A Dream
27. Toy Story - You've Got A Friend In Me
28. Toy Story 2 - Woody's Roundup
29. Toy Story 2 - When She Loved Me
30. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - Winnie The Pooh
The track selection is a great mix of songs - though a few songs are missing. For "Cars," the song was "Life is a Highway" by Rascal Flatts. The two tracks in this game weren't as memorable as "Life is a Highway." I have heard multiple children humming that tune after watching the movie which tells me something.
The easier modes of the game are forgiving, but you better eat your Wheaties for the more advanced modes. There is scoring on both versions of the game and the only difference between the PS3 and Wii versions are the HD graphics on the PS3 version. The standard def graphics looks pretty good, especially the live-action playback with some of the tracks.
What I also find rather odd is how the 360 has been left out of most of the Sing It games. This game would really thrive with the addition of a Disney theme music store to download more tracks. Especially on PSN and LIVE, Disney, think "revenue stream."
The only real drawback is how this game lack expansions. Yes, I love Disney - I've been to Disney World 11 times! - but without extra tracks, you can only sing 'You can fly' and 'Hakuna Matata' only so many times before you feel like you are with Alice in Wonderland - going crazy.
The verdict: 2.5 (out of 4 stars) This game will be a hit with children and Disney buffs and fans. As much fun as this game is, without DLC, it's limited. Plus, if you don't have a USB microphone, you can buy the version with the mic or add them. That's not very expensive, but the cost can add us fast if you don't have a lot of music games to start off with.
Yet, if you eat, drink and love Disney, you can't go wrong with this. And in my household, "Princess and the Frog" and "Cars" - as well as "Lion King" rule, so ...