Hakuna Matata – that’s all I have to say on the matter.
With the huge catalogue of songs from their movies, it is surprising that there isn’t a whole fleet of Disney based karaoke games on the market. Thus far however, the Sing It franchise seems to have limited itself to the likes of Hannah Montana, Camp Rock and High School Musical. But change is coming, first with Sing It: Family Hits offering tunes straight from the classic Disney movies we all watch at Christmas. So those of you who have fans of these Disney movies in your family will now be able to enjoy listening to them singing along with the likes of -
Cruella De Ville â€“ 101 Dalmatians
A Whole New World â€“ Aladdin
The Bare Necessities â€“ The Jungle Book
Heâ€™s a Tramp â€“ Lady and the Tramp
Hakuna Matata â€“ The Lion King
Under the Sea â€“ The Little Mermaid
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious â€“ Mary Poppins
Youâ€™ve Got a Friend in Me â€“ Toy Story
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that only fans of the Disney movies will enjoy this game. Just take a look through the song list and I guarantee that you will find one that you uncontrollably start humming. That is the magic of Disney after all.
No, my issue is that I am a veteran of other Karaoke games such as Lips, Singstar, We Sing and even Boogie and Disney Sing It is aimed at either complete beginners or, as most Disney fans would be, youngsters.
So, challenging the game will not be for most gamers. But entertaining it most certainly is. Alongside the standard singing to score points, complete with different difficulty levels, players will have access to party play which offers a number of different ways to compete/play with friends, and the vocal coach.
The vocal coach is an interesting addition. Under the tuition of Anika Noni Rose from The Princess and the Frog, players will get to work their way through a number of lessons followed by challenges to use what they have learnt. There are also a selection of mini games that will also use what you have learnt and improve your skills.
The bonus area of the main menu will give access to the various awards that can be obtained throughout the game and the players highest scores on each of the songs. Also, within the options menu, the theme for the overall menu system can be chosen, with most of the options needing to be unlocked within the game. All of this offers the player plenty of reasons to come back.
But not encouraging this return to Family Hits are the songs themselves. There is no point in complaining about the choice of songs, as everyone has different tastes. But there are some well known songs that one would have thought would make an appearance. Either way, the real problem is not the choice of songs, but the number available. The game ships with only 30 songs. This in itself is not too bad, a bit on the low side perhaps. But the glaring omission of any form of DLC is where the problem really hits home. Wonderful songs may well be included, but there are only so many times a player can sing the same song. With the huge catalogue available at Disney, you would have thought that DLC would have been a no brainer.
It could well be that Disney have decided to take the We Sing approach and offer frequent new titles within the Sing It series with new songs. This approach works fine with the Wii version of Sing It, where DLC is not so easy to implement. But the PS3 version of the game really should have DLC.
Let’s move away from all of that negativity. This is a Disney title after all, it should be all about sunbeams and rainbows. The thing that hit me straight away when I first started the game on the PS3, was the presentation. Right from the start, the player is treated to clips from the movies in glorious HD and they look absolutely stunning. The songs can be accompanied by one of these HD clips when playing. I actually spent a good five minutes just watching these clips from the menu screen.
So there we have it. Disney Sing It: Family Hits is a relatively simple karaoke game with a limited number of songs. But the songs are great and the overall presentation is beautiful. I think the game will offer limited appeal for most hardened party singers, but the younger audience and Disney fans will be in there element.