A Whole New World
Disney is without a question a force to be reckoned with. Gobbling up Marvel Comics and then Lucasfilm, Disney seemingly has its hand in everything nowadays. From its theme parks, to its animated and live action films, to its chain of international stores, Disney is a brand that knows no bounds. That stretches into the world of video games as well. Many of us older gamers will fondly remember a time in the late '80s and early '90s where Disney and Capcom was a dream team that was, for lack of a better word, magical.
These days the quality of Disney games has waxed and waned. While there have been some successes, notably the Kingdom Hearts and Disney Infinity games, the majority of titles were less than satisfactory. After releasing to great critical and consumer success in Japan, Namco Bandai has given the localization reins of the latest Disney title, Disney Magical World, to Nintendo. The end result may just be something that you get when you wish upon a star.
|Either that's my invitation, or I accidentally|
sent Mickey a love letter...
You're then whisked away into the city of Castleton, a magical place full of Disney all-stars. No, no, I'm not talking about crap like Hannah Montana and Cory from Cory in the House. I'm talking characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale, among many others. Though the ones listed are the only characters who have voice actors attached to them, for what little spoken dialogue there is in the game.
|Welcome to Castleton!|
Leave your luggage with the flight attendant, please.
|Aw, shucks. You're makin' me blush, guys...|
|Welcome to Cafe Le Phil.|
It looks like I'm wearing a grey-haired man's head.
|A Stripytail Leaf? Ain't nobody|
got time for that!
|Welcome to the world of Cinderella.|
The dungeons themselves feature simplistic action-RPG gameplay. Consider this somewhat like a "My First Dungeon Crawler" experience, which may turn off more experienced players. However, it is shockingly fun to run around the various dungeons, picking up the occasional rare material, showering enemies with magic to defeat them, beating down bosses, and doing so in style. There's a normal magic attack and a special magic attack that deals more damage and can only be used when there's some star power available. In addition to offense, a helpful evasion maneuver, performed with a tap of the R button, allows your character to gracefully get out of trouble. This is especially nice in harder dungeons where enemies are more aggressive and greater in numbers.
|Abra! Kadabra! Alakazam!|
Still, there's a definite sense of repetitiveness in Disney Magical World. Repeating dungeons, planting crops and waiting for them to grow, grinding for and gaining materials, restocking the cafe full of dishes, saving up money for that one piece of furniture you've had your heart set on for the longest time (and the one that is required to complete a task)-- these are all things that players will go through over and over again. While it didn't bother me so much, it most certainly will to a lot of less forgiving players.
|Going for a nice Sunday stroll|
in the 100 Acre Wood.... on a Tuesday.
On the presentation side, Disney Magical World is a mixed bag of sorts. The visuals don't astound, there's readily apparent pop-in of faraway characters, the frame-rate can be unstable at times, and the 3D effect seems like h.a.n.d., the developer, had the game nearly completed when it realized, "Oh, we need to implement 3D into this 3DS game somehow." That is to say that the 3D effect is totally unimpressive. The music is suitably cheerful for this title, though the short loops will eventually get to many listeners.
|It's only been five minutes,|
and we're already out of honey!!
[SPC Says: 8.5/10]