Disney Sing It: Family HitsESRB:
Required HDD Space: 6 MB
HD Video Output: 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
SingStar Microphone Compatible
PlayStation Eye Compatible
Disney movies hold a special place in my heart with the first movie I ever saw being The Little Mermaid. I remember that even at such a young age it was the music more than the movie itself that captivated me and won me over. After watching The Little Mermaid I could not get enough Disney and quickly learned all the songs from my favourites and I even remember renting VHS sing-a-longs and would play them over and over until I had them all memorized. Of course, technology has improved over the years and now a new generation of Disney fans can play, party and earn points in addition to singing along to some of their favourite classic Disney tunes.
Disney Sing It titles have not changed dramatically over the past years in the graphics department with the menus and style of the game staying constant. The pitch board design and the graphical representation of you singing has remained the same. Certainly the main graphical feature in this series of games is still the video clips that accompany the songs. In Sing It: Family Hits these videos are taken directly from the movies from which the song originates, sometimes the actual scenes from the movie or in some cases created from various clips throughout the movie. As would be expected the picture quality of these videos is crisp, clear and true to its original format.
Tutorial mode is hosted by Anika Noni Rose who voiced Tiana in The Princess and the Frog. She will give your instructions in the form of a brief video clip before each exercise. Like the rest of the game, the video quality of these short segments is superb and with her warm and friendly smile you are instantly drawn into the lessons from a coach that is supportive as well as instructive.
As with previous Sing It titles, Sing It: Family Hits features a variety of unlockable themes that will change the appearance of the menu screens, icons and the results page at the end of each song. Some of the unlockable themes are The Princess and the Frog, The Little Mermaid and Toy Story that all add an element of customization to the game.
There are 30 available songs packaged into Disney Sing It: Family Hits from a selection of 16 Disney films such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and Toy Story. The sound is clear and does not appear to have been altered in any way from the audio right out of the movie clips. Overall, the song selection had a lot of the key favourites I was expecting and I am sure it was difficult for the creators to pick and choose from the vast repertoire of Disney music available to them. Disney fans will not be disappointed.
In the tutorial mode the voice quality of Anika Noni Rose is excellent and it is nice to hear her words of encouragement throughout the exercises. It is definitely a nice touch to have a voice actor from one of the latest Disney movies act as a vocal coach.
In addition to the audio from the songs there is also the Encore option at the end of each song that allows you to playback your rendition for your listening pleasure. There is also a fun feature in Encore that allows you to play around with vocal distortions. You can listen to yourself sing the song with squeaky (you sound like a mouse), lion and robot. This is an extremely comical experience and a fun little feature added into the game.
The game mechanics are very similar if not identical to previous Sing It titles where you are able to choose from the gameplay options of: Vocal Coach, Sing It, and Party.
Anika Noni Rose is your vocal coach in this edition of Sing It. The tutorial portion of the game is broken down into three categories: The Basics, Challenges and Games. In the Basics, Anika walks you through a series of exercises that not only teaches you the basic game mechanics but also allows you to practice valuable skills that will help you score big points in the game. Learn about singing high and low notes on the pitch board, singing up and down, adding flair (singing a note completely), “You're Awesome” bonuses in which you will earn bonuses for singing all the notes on a page (three great pages will earn you maximum points), and special bonuses (three special pages that if sung completely will earn you even more points).
Once you feel you have mastered the basics you can try out challenges including High and Higher, Low and Lower, Long and Longer, Fast and Faster and Slow and Slower. This time around there are also tutorial games including Sliding, Memory Master, Copy Cat, Silly Sounds and Rhythm. All of these lesson games and challenges are short and can be completed quickly or you can repeat them to earn an even better score or if you just want to practice. It is nice to see and it is a more enjoyable tutorial mode than in previous titles.
In Single Player or Sing It! mode you are able to select from two game modes: Solo (you sing the song with the lyrics and melody bar) and Performance (no lyrics and no pitch board). Pick your mode, your song and your difficulty (Easy, Normal or Hard) and away you go.
Throughout the gameplay there is the possibility of earning awards that in turn unlock themes and characters for you to use. Awards will be won by completing pre-determined skills/feats such as reaching high scores, completing “x” amount of songs, getting a certain percentage of accuracy etc. There are 48 awards in total to earn and you can see all the awards in the bonus section off the menu screen.
What kind of karaoke game would Sing It be if you could not play with other players, friends and family? The game can be played with 1-8 players in the Party mode. There are three categories: Together (you play with others), Showdown (compete head to head against the other player(s) for the best score on a song), and Solo (you play by yourself).
It is nice that you can share a microphone in Party mode since past editions required two microphones to play. Once you select your category you will need to select the number of players, whether you play solo or performance and how many times you will sing. In the multiplayer categories, there is an option depending on how many players you have of: Duet 1 Microphone, Duet 2 Microphones, Family (one line is sung then the microphone is passed on to the next player) and Team Play (two teams play against each other and the team with the highest score wins).
Disney Sing It: Family Hits plays as well as its predecessors with a few more features to round out the gameplay and add that extra bit of value. The bulk of the fun will be had in multiplayer with friends and family and the use of the Encore mode, which will help create some unique performances.
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