11th December 2011 - “Dad, can we go to Disneyland.” Pretty common question in a house with kid’s right? Actually, it’s a pretty common question I still hear from my mother and sisters as well. Thankfully the last time my son asked me I could respond with “Yeah alright mate” and just turned on the Xbox. Welcome to Disneyland Adventures on Kinect, the latest in a long line of Kinect games for the Xbox 360 released in 2011 and the second venture into motion for Frontier after their highly successful hit ‘Kinectimals.’ Walk on down Main Street USA, take a left at the castle and enjoy your stay... Just watch out for that Captain Hook.
Now let me shock you… Ready? This game is not on-rails!! Unreal, right? You can walk around the entire Disneyland and interact with all the loveable Disney characters you come across. All of this without a controller in your hands. You simply hold out your arm straight to walk forward, move it left to turn left or move it right to turn right. The movement isn’t without its faults, mind you, and for the kids it can get not only tiring holding out their arm, but it can also get confusing when they are trying to walk around Disneyland and they don’t move their arm quit right. For the adults however, this is just a look into how future games just might work.
The difficulty setting here adjust itself depending on how easy you can do each task or how much you struggle. Taking it too easy? The game will up the difficulty and give you a bit more of a challenge next time around; same as if you are struggling – the game drops it down to let you pass. Another nifty little feature is the ability to quickly jump right into one of the 20 rides across the park and participate in that rides mini-game right from the main menu, just simply use your voice to say “Quick play.” This reminds me, another notable feature is ‘Voice control’ – simply say a command and for the majority of the menu’s you can interact using just your voice. The downfall in that however is the fact your child may not be able to say those things clearly and may get a bit frustrated, and even once they manage to get into the rhythm of talking to the game, not every menu has a voice command feature.
The graphics say Disney all over, and they might not be Pixar quality yet but for a Kinect game that’s not on rails this is about as good as we might see this gen. You will notice a few glitches here and there and sometimes after loading back into the world from inside a shop, you might see a few weird colours, a few walls missing and possibly Captain hook forgetting to get back into character. This all does however fix itself pretty quickly and luckily the kids find it hilarious.
Mickey sounds like Mickey, Goofy sounds like Goofy and the sounds of laughter and adventure come through your speakers almost like you’re standing on Main Street USA right there in amongst the crowd. Sure some of the characters get a bit repetitive with their talking and the kids don’t mind it, but oh there are only so many times I can listen to Goofy give his silly laugh before saying “Give me a hug” so I suggest you don’t leave the volume up to high.
With 35 memorable Disney characters for you to laugh and play with, 100 quests for you to complete either alone or with a friend and just under 20 iconic Disneyland attractions to visit, Disneyland Adventures has hours of entertainment and replay value for not just the kids but any adults inner child that has just been itching to get out. Oh, but please don’t ask me how many hours. Someone kept getting distracted on his quest… What can I say; I always wanted to give Snow white a hug.
For all the perks of this game, it does have its numerous downfalls and personally, I find how a game handles its drop in/drop outs to be one of the most important things with a Kinect game. When my son is playing I want to be able to step up next to him and join in the fun as easy as possible. Unfortunately stepping up to the floor doesn’t mean you’re in the game and sometimes even while in the game it drops you out and makes you wave your arm again to get back in. But with the few movement issues aside, Disneyland Adventures is a journey to a faraway world that kids of all ages can enjoy, Be it alone or with a parent say G’day to Mickey for me.
+ Loveable, iconic characters for all ages
+ Even when struggling, it’s enjoyable to kids
+ Heaps of fun content for adults and kids
+ Great Co-op allowing you to play alongside your child…
- … too bad the Drop in/Drop Out has some issues.
- Voice control is tacked on and not always available.
Reviewed and Written By Will Muscat