Review: Disney Universe

Let us get one thing straight, I am a complete Disney whore. I grew up on Disney classics and I watch them today with as much enthusiasm as I was when I was ten. That being said there have been countless Disney themed games over the years which have been hit or miss. The most memorable, and most entertaining, being Kingdom Hearts. Jumping between my favorite Disney films and kicking some heartless ass square-enix style you say? Sign me up! It successfully incorporated challenging gameplay with a nostalgic feeling that made it the best Disney experience I ever had on a console. When Disney Interactive announced Disney Universe earlier this year, you may have seen me nod my head and say “cool”, but my inner child was foaming at the mouth and having spasm attacks in anticipation of playing this game. So does Disney Universe strike the right chords with me as Kingdom Hearts did? Or should this be locked in the Disney vault for the rest of eternity?

When you begin playing, it is clear this was made for children. The combat only requires one button while the puzzles are fairly un-challenging. You can play with up to four players but since this hardly qualifies as a “party game” it does not feel all that necessary. The enemies can be a little more difficult in large numbers. They can attack you, steal coins, and build numerous traps in the environment that will instantly kill you. They are the extent of this game’s challenges.

Each of the six provided worlds manage to encompass the Disney or Pixar movie it is based on perfectly. From “Pirates of the Caribbean” to “The Lion King”, it feels like I have stepped into a Disney film. Each world is divided in three sections, each of which is three levels long so you will be kept fairly busy. The graphics are nothing to write home about, but for a kid’s game they are very clean and smooth. This, unfortunately, is the only element that differentiates each three level long world.

With the exception of the obvious cosmetic differences, the gameplay is exactly the same and becomes repetitive really fast. What disappoints me the most is that the same can be said for the forty five unlock-able character costumes as well. Instead of each costume granting different powers and moves, they essentially all do the same thing. Each costume can be upgraded by finding secret keys in each level that unlocks a chest which grants you an upgrade star. So if you miss the key or forget to go back to unlock a chest, you are sh*t out of luck. The upgrade system is heavily flawed since I always imagine it is through experience and battle that a character gets upgraded, not by finding occasional objects.

Disney Universe is not a terrible game, but it is not a very good one either. Sure it might keep your eight year old entertained because he has the attention span of a gnat, but this could have been so much better and it is frustrating that it is nothing more than a pointless, repetitive, hack and slash. It is a missed opportunity Disney should have tried harder to develop, because even children have standards.

Final Score: 6/10

Facebook Comments