If there are two things I like way more than I should it’s Disney and karaoke videogames. Unfortunately, my love for Disney doesn’t extend to their cable network, so my enjoyment of the last three Disney Sing It games has been limited — I mean, there’s only so much Hannah Montana a grown man can handle. So I was more than reasonably excited to hear that Disney Sing It: Family Hits would feature songs from the studio’s huge catalog of animated films. This game has been a long time coming, and it could have been awesome if there weren’t some things holding it back.
Before I really get into this, we all know what a karaoke game is, right? You sing, you get points, it’s exactly what it sounds like and it’s been a genre for seven years now. Moving on.
Family Hits features 30 songs spanning 60 years of animated classics. The game is available for the PlayStation 3 and the Wii, and both versions are basically the same, except that the PS3 has HD footage and camera support. Normally developing a title for multiple platforms isn’t a big deal, but in this case it causes some of the game’s problems.
Thirty songs is not a lot, and a karaoke game is defined by its song selection. For the most part these are great songs, with the exception of some of the Pixar choices (Do you remember that classic Randy Newman song from A Bug’s Life? Yeah, me either). Still, this game really needed to have more tunes. I love that songs from Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and the Lion King are in here, but a lot of my favorite films only have one song, whereas Cinderella gets four, and the Toy Story series has three. Still, every song on here is better than most of the stuff they play on Radio Disney. These are Grammy and Oscar winning songs, sung by people who have the voices to carry the performance.
People can claim they don’t like Disney movies and music, but they’re usually full of it. I played this game like I play all singing games: I tricked friends into coming over, gave them wine, then busted it out. Sure, they all claimed they didn’t know the words, but then got a nearly perfect score in Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Unless you lived under a rock your whole life, these songs are ingrained into your psyche.
Every song includes footage of the film in great looking HD on the PlayStation 3, while the Wii is in standard definition. What is odd is that the music videos are montages of the film, and not just the scene the song is from. Certain movies, like the Pixar films, require this since the song wasn’t featured in full, but other times it just messes things up. For example, Almost There from Princess and the Frog has one of the most visually interesting scenes in the movie, but the music video has literally none of the cool stylized parts. What’s up with that?
They also missed a major opportunity by not having a DLC store. A music store would have made this game for me. It’s the biggest thing the Disney Sing It series is missing. The ability to expand my collection with downloadable tracks would ensure I’d be playing this game for months. So where the hell is it?
It seems like the fact that the game is for the Wii as well as the PS3 killed having more songs on the disc and a DLC store. Those features are just not as easily done on the Nintendo system. It’s either that or Disney is already gearing up for Family Hits Volume 2 (which the trophy whore side of me likes, but the consumer side of me hates).
The fact is that if the idea of singing Hakuna Matata in your living room appeals to you (as it does for me), then you’ll enjoy Disney Sing It: Family Hits, at least for a while. It’s definitely a game for the littlest of kids and the Disney fanatics, but these songs are way better than the pop stuff that has filled the previous games. If this game had an online store, or any community features, I could recommend it to everyone, but it really just doesn’t have enough to stay fun for more than a night or two.