I wonder what I should be more embarrassed about...that I played Disney Sing It by myself or that I had a fantastic time doing so. In my defence, I didn’t have much of a choice – it turns out that the idea of this much sugar turns my friends into diabetics.
This disc boasts thirty-five songs of cheerful bubblegum fun, with the bonus that prior knowledge of the manufactured pop is completely unnecessary. These are not complicated songs, folks. By the second chorus you will know the words, have memorised the dance moves and picked your favourite Jonas Brother (my flatmates assure me that Joe is “the cute one”).
This is where this Singstar – sorry, Sing It – succeeds. The songs are all so damn catchy and easy to get the hang of that a novice can leap right in. Of course, the downside to the songs all being fairly similar is that after five or six you feel a bit sugared-out, and there is nothing savoury here to take the taste out of your mouth.
You’re using the red & blue mics but this isn’t quite Singstar. They’ve made changes that seem small but begin to grate after a song or two. Player 1 and 2 are not red & blue, they are green & purple. Sure, it looks prettier, but drunk people/children will be confused that the colour microphone they’re holding has no relation to the lines on the screen.
The scoring is confusing, too. You can score thousands of points in a single line, and then the game starts doubling and tripling your score without ever explaining why. Overall scores of 200,000 were earning me the title of ‘Keep Trying’ (the chipper Disney version of ‘Tone Deaf’), and I had to get a 1,250,000 to get the top title of ‘Sing It Superstar’. I don’t understand why they messed with this – 10,000 is such a nice round number to aim toward, and it makes it so much simpler to cast judgement on your friends.
Other Singstar titles employ the use of ‘freestyle’ – a handy feature where spoken lines are represented in italics and not scored, to save you the awkwardness of trying to match speech. Disney Sing It does away with this and makes you sing every little bit of every song. This has pros and cons – it’s harder, but hilarious.
The game has two other features that separate it from its Singstar siblings. Gig Mode lets you program in up to five songs so you can skip that pesky menu and sing a bunch back-to-back. The game also comes with themes, so you can change the wallpaper and menu music. Seven different options await, so as soon as one intro gets annoying you can move on.
Unfortunately these new features have pushed out some of the old ones. Do not attempt a team game. The only gameplay options are ‘versus’ or ‘duet’, you can’t enter in your own names, and undesirable songs can just be scrolled past. In Singstar-proper, shuffle tokens add an element of danger – the nail-biting tension over whether you might be forced into singing something terrible – and without them this mode is pointless.
If the game had kept all of Singstar’s features – especially the scoring system and Pass the Mic – it would be getting an enthusiastic endorsement. As it is, the question of whether or not you enjoy this game will come down to how much of a Pollyanna you are. If you are a fan of homogenous pop songs about how ‘you are your own shooting star’ then you may be able to look past the annoying gameplay changes. As for me, this game is set to become a regular in my Singstar rotation. Even if I have to get my sugar fix solo.
Aly and AJ: Like Whoa
Aly and AJ: Potential Breakup Song
Aly and AJ: Chemicals React
Miley Cyrus: G.N.O. (Girl’s Night Out)
Miley Cyrus: See You Again
Miley Cyrus: Start All Over
Hannah Montana: Best of Both Worlds
Hannah Montana: Life’s What You Make It
Hannah Montana: Nobody’s Perfect
Hannah Montana: Rock Star
Billy Ray Cyrus: Ready, Set, Don’t Go
Vanessa Hudgens - Say OK
Jump In: Push it to the Limit
Jesse McCartney: She’s No You
Jordan Pruitt: Jump to the Rhythm
Jordan Pruitt: Outside Looking In
Everlife: Find Yourself in You
Everlife: Real Wild Child
Cheetah Girls: One World
Cheetah Girls: Dance With Me
Cheetah Girls: The Party’s Just Begun
High School Musical: Breaking Free
High School Musical: Get’cha Head in the Game
High School Musical: Start of Something New
High School Musical 2: Bet On It
High School Musical 2: Fabulous
High School Musical 2: What Time is It
High School Musical 2: You are the Music in Me
Camp Rock: We Rock
Camp Rock: Start the Party
Camp Rock: This Is Me
Camp Rock: Gotta Find You
Camp Rock: Play My Music
Camp Rock: Hasta La Vista
Camp Rock: Here I Am
Written by Kate Arrowsmith