Disney Interactive Titles Preview
With so many years of experience producing magical family entertainment, it is only right that Disney’s E3 lineup is a range of titles designed to let parents and kids sit on the sofa and share passion for gaming and Disney characters.
Disneyland Adventure is the title announced at Microsoft press conference. A Kinect title designed by David Braben’s Frontier entertainment, Disneyland Adventure is what Kinect Adventures would have been if it had been dipped in a pot of Disney magic, fun and whimsy paint(TM). Aimed squarely at families, players are given the opportunity to explore aassive recreation of Disneyland, meeting and interacting with famous Disney characters that are located around the park.
The interaction is simple; players walk around the park by holding out their arm, straight out to move forward, and a sideways gesture of the arm to turn left or right, and by waving at the Disney favourites that they want to interact with. GodisaGeek were able to meet Pluto, waving at him to get his attention and then making a hugging gesture to give the silly mutt a big cuddle. Pluto then busily started licking the face of our avatar and signing his autograph, just one of the unique animations that each character has in the park world.
Once the playful girl-on-dog banter was finished it was time to try one of the attractions. The section of the game demonstrated was similar to the one shown at Microsoft’s press conference, and the sequences look like Kinect Adventures. Simple gestures saw the GodisaGeek avatar flying around a pre-scripted route, snagging coins and stars and mirroring famous rides and scenes from films. It is very cute and kids are bound to crazy for it but there is little to keep an adult entertained here. There is also no escaping the fact that this acts as a giant advertisement for the actual Disneyland parks, and people who are a little squeamish of these overt tie-ins might want to find their cutesy entertainment elsewhere. There was very little in this game that seemed to give a new Kinect experience, just a Disney one.
Cars 2 is a kart racer that ties into the forthcoming Pixar film which revisits Lightning McQueen and Mater. Early impressions of this title weren’t great however, with the game feeling slow and the handling inneffecive and unexciting. Mario Kart has proven time and again that karting games can be fast and crowded whilst still being accessible to everyone in the family. Without having seem the film it is impossible to tell how much of the Pixar quality has bled across into this game but early signs are that this isn’t going to visually interesting enough for children, nor challenging and pacy enough for adults.
Disney Universe is an isometric adventure game, and another game aimed at children and families. However, it is more involved than the more lightweight Disneyland Adventure. Featuring six areas based on Disney films, GodisaGeek got the chance to see the Monsters Inc. area, with each containing a number of levels. Competitive co-op was the name of the game here, with player characters able to grab each other and throw each other at enemies and the environment whilst regularly being whisked away to compete in mini-games and challenges. Another cute title that taps into the wealth of worlds available to Disney without ever delving beneath the surface.
Cars 2: The Videogame is due out on June 21st 2011 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, PC, MAC, and Nintendo DS.
Disney Universe is due out in Fall 2011, for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, PC and MAC.