With games developers falling over themselves to sign every latest boy toy and tweeny-bopper to front heir titles, Disney opt for a collection of their own home-grown Greatest Hits. Will it turn them into chart flops, or will they be King of the Swingers again? Lets check it out as we review Disney’s Sing It Family Hits.
For those parents out there who have tired of shaking their booty alongside their kid’s to Justin Beiber, or have had just about all the N-Dubz they can stand without wanting to set fire to the silly bobble hat, and possibly even the ‘Dappy one’ underneath it too? Then breath a collective sigh of relief as the family favourites of the Disney movies are back with a vengeance with the latest musical title from the highly acclaimed Disney Interactive Entertainment studio’s.
Arming themselves with a veritable arsenal of sing-a-long sizzler’s from The Lion King‘s ‘Hakuna Matata’ to James Taylors ‘Our Town’ from Cars, children and grown up’s alike will have fun together as they belt out their own rendition of the musical magic from some of Disney’s finest movies and cartoons.
The nostalgia that some of the titles may even bring more than a fond smile to the faces of some parents as there are a fine collection of songs on the game that cover quite a few generations gap’s. If anything the only complaint that we would have regarding this fine family orientated fare is that there could have been one or two more tunes included o the games playlist, but apart from that really minor issue the title stands up well in comparison to a whole host of similar games on the market that are full to the brim of non-entity ‘pop stars’ and instantly forgettable tunes. No such fate awaits the offerings on Disney’s karaoke style title as Mum’s and Dad’s will take it in turns with children as the sing along with classic track after classic track from, yep, you guessed it…classic Disney movies and musicals.
Gameplay is simple in its formatting but the game benefits from it in that the audience that Disney aimed their title for, that being family members young and old, will be able to grasp the pleasantly presented images of smooth side-scrolling lyrics rendered over the original video footage of the song in question. Being also that Disney have had the foresight to make the gameplay challenging enough for older members of your household, but not so difficult that it will see the little ones stomping off to their room in a bad-tempered hissy fit, we think that the developers have blessed the game with easy to operate controls and achievable in-game goals that are not out of reach for gamers from 6 to 60. This is best illustrated in the way that the player has not to produce the perfect note and hold it for such a time that would see Dame Kiri Te Kanawa passing out from asphyxiation, but that moreover it is the pitch that is the target of the game’s success, we commend Disney and the developers on this decision as it makes the title far more accessible to a greater and more varied audience. This means that you don’t have to be an X Factor finalist to take part in Sing It Family Hits, it is open to all comers and the fun offered by the game doesn’t stop there.
Even after offering players a cracking solo mode that can se the gamer enjoying a heart warming thirty great tunes that will span most players childhoods, the title then also manages to produce thoroughly enjoyable family affair with its multiplayer section. There are also the cracking co-operative modes and the competitive mode that will lengthen the lifespan of the title and have most of you out there with children wheeling this title out time and again long after other more ‘instrument based titles’ in the genre are onto their 350th DLC instalment.
Disney Sing It Family Hits has another nice trick up its sleeve hen it comes to getting the family involved also, and that is the fact whilst using the Playstation Eye Toy you are able to transport you dubious hip-swinging movements onto the screen as you warble along to Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo. The inclusion of the Eye Toy beg’s the question whether or not the title will feature the use of 3D technology and, maybe, if we are lucky, a Playstation Move patch in there also at some later stage? This wold be one of those titles that would benefit greatly from such an inclusion, and if truth be told is one of the reasons that the review for Disney is so happening so near to the launch of the Playstation Move ,as we were secretly hoping for a patch to be included in with this review. But let’s hope that the developers are hot on the trail of the patch very soon as kid’s will love it.
Another nice touch that see’s its debut in this version of the game, is the addition of the games voice training mode with none other than the talent behind the beautiful Princess Tiana in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, the one and only Anika Noni Rose. This offers the young and old the ability to practice their vocal range with one of the best voices in the business and even after just a few short lessons, if you pay attention and take in the advice, you can really begin to see the differences in your performance as you start to understand the basic singing necessities of pitch and breathing.
In summary then Disney Sing It Family Hits offers up a cracking experience for the audience it was designed to put a smile on the faces of, and those reviewers who think that this game deserves nothing higher than a token gesture are deluding themselves as the totally miss the point of the demographic that this game was developed for. Family’s want this type of title as it is good wholesome entertainment that is inoffensive and can be enjoyed regardless of age and ignoring all generation gaps. The emphasis here is not on shredding, dropping bombs or spitting lyrics, it’s about having the whole family gather round and have a good time, and with Disney’s Sing It Family Hits that is exactly what the developers have given us.
Graphics: Disney Interactive doing what they do best. Producing some of the most pleasing and highly detailed images that ever grace the small screen. There may be no HD imagery in there but who cares, just grab the microphones and get up there and show your stuff alongside the kids enjoy. 8
Gameplay: Thankfully for a game that was specifically designed to cover an audience from 4 to 84, Disney Sing It Family Hits manages to get the blend just right with it option of competitive scoring or co-op. The multiplayer will have the whole family singing like a Welsh choir and the solo campaign will keep kids entertained for many a day. Spot on in terms of difficulty. 8
RePlay Value: You would be forgiven for thinking that with only 30 tunes included in the game’s soundtrack that the replay value would be short-lived. But this is Disney we are talking about and we have all been singing along to the tunes that we learned way back in our own childhoods, let alone the more recent offerings from the award-winning musical directors and artists. 8
Presentation: It Disney, these are the guys that have made bringing the dreams of children to life for over 70 years and have always managed to transport that talent and add it to any format that they have cared to take on. The game looks fantastic and plays even better. With songs that span every generation in your household this is one game that we know will be getting brought out around every special occaasion and in particular the festive season for all the family to enjoy. 9