It's time for yet another version of Disney Sing It: Pop Hits -- the House of Mouse's latest version of a karaoke game aimed at its super-dedicated fan base. Now, before you either roll your eyes or get really excited at the thought of singing more High School Musical songs, you should know that isn't what you're getting here.
Disney Sing It: Pop Hits takes 30 songs
from people who have hit it big on Radio Disney and kicks them into its singing game formula. Here, you'll get to croon to "Change" and "I'm Only Me When I'm With You" by Taylor Swift, "Violet Hill" by Coldplay, and a multitude of other Jonas Brothers hits and similar bubblegum pop. The lyrics pop up at the bottom of the screen while empty pitch/timing bars appear above them and you fill the blank bars in with your voice. Basically, it's like every other karaoke game you've seen in the past.
As you'd expect, you can sing alone, you can duet with a friend with one mic or two, and you can battle an in-house friend in a couple of game modes to make the fight a bit more interesting than just a straight sing-off, even though that is here. Run the Risk lets you wager how many points you'll score on a given song. Nail your number, and you'll get the tokens it was worth. Screw it up, and you better hope your friend fails, too. In the end, the person with the most tokens wins. You're On Your Own takes all of the pitch/timing bars off the screen and has you and a pal just sing. In the end, the game lets you know which player was better.
You can square off in these modes – as well as Team Play – with up to eight players, but that's not eight mics. It's just you guys passing them off when the screen lets you know which competitors (you can enter names or stick with Player X tags) are going at it. Awesomely, you can also build playlists so that you don't need to hop back to the main menu each time you want a new track. You can't save your playlists, but it's an easy tagging process, so it's not like it's a time-suck or anything.
One nice addition this time around is an enhanced version of Sing It Pro. This is the section where you're given tips on how to play the game more effectively. In the past, a video rolls and talks to you before kicking you out. This time, they give you the video tips while showing you how their tips work in the game and then let you try them out right there. Might not sound like much, but it's a nice touch for the singing noobs this game will be attracting.
Disney Sing It: Pop Hits is a fine little karaoke game for fans of these tunes, but it's missing a ton of the functionality that makes SingStar, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, Lips, and all the other singing games out there a better buy. One of the most basic options – the ability to adjust your mic's volume in-game – is nowhere to be found. You have to adjust it before starting a song and then just live with whatever the result is. There's no online matchmaking; no online leader boards; no store to buy new tracks from; and even though this is another Disney Sing It installment, there's no interplay between this and the previous games. That is, you can't swap discs mid-game to play a track on the original Sing It or vice versa.
All of that's pretty sad in this day and age. If Disney's going to keep pumping these guys out, it might as well start making the games feel like a connected franchise because 30-song discs for $40 ($50 with the microphone) don't come off as appealing offers on their own.
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