A long time ago in a generation far, far away, there were these certain individuals in the music industry that possessed a legendary, almost-magical ability: they could actually sing. In the ‘50s, crooners and rockers alike were wowing crowds everywhere. Twenty years later, the hippies and stoners were causing the former greasers and juvenile delinquents from two decades before to say, “What is this garbage?” Then, when the ‘90s rolled around, several other breeds of music — including rap and grunge — instigated violent tendencies in even the hippies and stoners. And then came the new millennium, wherein technology had become advanced enough to warrant the invention of such nefarious devices as Microsoft Music Maker and Auto-Tune: allowing even the most talent-less of dimwits to become recording artists.
As you may have guessed in that last sentence, most modern music really irks me. Naturally, you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I checked out Disney Sing It: Party Hits. Why? Because it truly supports its participants to use their god-given instruments.
Now, to begin with, I’m a karaoke nut: I positively love to sing. Whether I’m belting out the theme from Thunderball or doing my best David Bowie impersonation, I find the “art” of karaoke to be very therapeutic. So, when I had the opportunity to check out a karaoke video game, I jumped at it. As it turns out, I don’t know 99% of the songs that are included in this title, but that’s completely understandable when you take into consideration that I’m not only permanently stuck in the ‘80s, but also not part of the youthful teenage audience that the songs featured in Disney Sing It: Party Hits are aimed at (I only act like a child, you know).
As it stands, singing — especially karaoke — is a very intimidating act for many. Some people clam up like Christians at the Folsom Street Fair, while others shyly run away in fear like…well, Christians at the Folsom Street Fair. Most of this can be attributed to a general lack of vocal training, and one of the reasons Disney Sing It: Party Hits really hit the right note with me is thanks to its lengthy tutorials for those of you (young and old alike) who really don’t know how to sing. Said tutorials are hosted by actress/singer-songwriter Demi Lovato. Not only is the now-legal lass easy on the eyes for all of the boys and girls in the audience (not to mention dirty old men and women), but she’s also a skilled vocalist — and passes her knowledge along to her eager participants in an easy-to-understand manner.
Lovato covers many necessary techniques that generally improves one’s performance (we can’t all be as laxed as Perry Como, now can we?), such as breathing and posture. An onscreen thingamabob monitors your vocal execution (don’t ask me how these things work — I can’t even fathom how my TracFone works), plainly illustrating where you are in terms of pitch and timing and where you should be if you’re off. Fortunately, the pre-recorded voice of Lovato encourages any potential and/or would-be singers that they’re doing great and to keep up the good work (must be that “positive reinforcement” I’ve heard about).
Song-wise, Disney Sing It: Party Hits includes songs by Ms. Lovato, Paramore, the Jonas Brothers, Black Eyed Peas, Selena Gomez, Kelly Clarkson, as well as that Justin Bieber kid and a few tracks from Disney’s Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. The tracks present the original music videos for each song in the background (you can also watch the videos on their own, just to get a feel for the songs if you‘re unfamiliar with them), while the display thingy presents the lyrics and vocal range. On the whole, the selection of songs is not to my liking — but, as I stated before, this assortment is aimed at the younger, Disney-oriented audiences.
In short: Disney Sing It: Party Hits is a great title (and I never really thought I’d say that of any Disney game!) that pushes its players to not only learn how to sing, but to embrace it. It’s a wonderful gift for children and adults alike — even if they only know 1% (or less) of the songs featured.
Disney Sing It: Party Hits is available in either a standard, “game-only” release, or as a bundle, complete with microphone.
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Disney Sing It: Party Hits is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for Content Descriptors. This game can also be found on Wii.