A WiiNintendo game review by hattrick.
Game – Disney Sing It: Party Hits
Version – Wii
Obtained – Review copy from Disney Interactive Studios
In a world where many music games are going toward DLC for additional songs, Disney has chosen to continue releasing new retail releases for their Sing It karaoke games. In Party Hits, 30 songs are available for both solo and duet sing-along fun. The difference between this game and many others in this genre is the included music videos that play behind each song. Top that off with vocal coaching by Demi Lovato, and you have yourself Disney Sing It: Party Hits. However, will it be worth your purchase?
The menu system is simple and easy to read. In fact, the entire game is kept quite basic. The main thing to discuss when it comes to visuals is the music videos. While we know the Wii cannot output HD quality video, it can put out high quality 480p standard definition. Unfortunately, some of the music videos are fairly compressed. Although, you may not pay much attention to the video when you are playing along, because you will be reading the lyrics and trying to match the correct notes. Overall, they are all adequate, as most people will play Sing It for the music.
Speaking of music, that is what this genre is all about. In fact, without a solid lineup, a music game will fall flat. Regrettably, that is exactly what Party Hits does. Out of the 30 available songs, six are from Camp Rock 2, three are from Demi Lovato, and three are from Selena Gomez, three are from at least one of the Jonas Brothers. That only leaves 15 more songs that are split up between Allstar Weekend, Ashley Tisdale, Black Eyed Peas, Colbie Caillat, David Guetta, Iyaz, Jason Mraz, Jordan Sparks, Justin Bieber, Kelly Clarkson, One Republic, Owl City, and Paramore. At first glance, this does not look like a horrible lineup, but after playing through each song once or twice, you will begin to realize just how slim the pickings are. Even when play tested with a couple groups of teenage girls, they were bored within 30 minutes, as they had played through most of the songs they knew. Honestly, the game should have been called Disney Channel Hits instead of Party Hits. If you do not know much about Disney Channel shows, like Camp Rock, you will feel left out. On top of that, this game is marketed toward children and teens. Parents should be warned that songs like “I’m Yours” from Jason Mraz are not edited. While the focus seems to be on the Disney Channel artists, acts like Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) are strangely absent.
The gameplay is quite simple. Pick a song, and use the included microphone to sing the lyrics, trying to keep the right pitch the entire song. While the game does not have the ability to know if you are actually singing the right words, the microphone does a great job of hearing the notes. If you do not feel very confident, choose the easy difficulty, and the game will not judge you as harshly. There is also a “Party Play” mode, which is probably where most people will stay. Depending on how many players you have (1-8), you can sing duets, pass the mic, or compete in a sing-off. This is also the place to go if you want to create a playlist, preventing the need to go back to the menu between each song. One cool mode that was included is simply called Karaoke. Before you sing a song, you have the option of choosing Normal or Karaoke from the artist’s vocal. If you want them to sing along with you, choose Normal. However, if you want to go it alone, go for Karaoke mode. It is just you, the music, and the background vocals. At the end of each song, you have the option to hear and watch an encore of your performance. This includes the music video playing with a recording of your vocal. This is a nice addition, and it can be quite funny, especially when you use the special effects to change recorded voice.
The included vocal coaching from Demi Lovato is not bad, as she does teach you the basics of warming up your voice, breathing, harmonizing, and various musical terms. While it might not help you win American Idol or get a major record label to notice you, it is a welcome addition and a cool plug for Lovato, particularly since she has had her share of rough times lately.
Control is simple. Navigate the game menus with the Wii Remote. Use the pointer or the control pad, pick the song, and use the microphone to sing. The included microphone works well, and the game also accepts other microphones you may have from games like Guitar Hero or Rock Band. In fact, it is recommended you pick up a second microphone for duets.
Concluding Overall Impressions
Disney Sing It: Party Hits is not made for just any party. Nonetheless, if you have a group of kids who love the Disney Channel and all its musical stars, this could be fun for a few hours. The ability to play with 1-8 people, karaoke mode, vocal coaching, and some good songs are all positives. On the negative side, the lack of strong and well-known artists will prevent this from being a go-to game at any party, and the absence of downloadable songs will keep it on your shelf (or the used game bin) after the second or third time you play it. If only they had included more songs or the ability to download more, and this title could have been a great experience. Instead, this reviewer (and others) lost interest after about 45 minutes.
FINAL SCORE – 2 out of 5
For a fan of Camp Rock 2, this is a great game. For all others, it leaves much to be desired.