A Game Review by Greg Dabkey
Game – Disney Universe
Version – Nintendo Wii
ESRB Rating: ‘E 10+’ – Everyone 10 and up
Obtained – Review copy from Disney
I’m a huge fan of Disney, starting with their NES games, SNES and now Wii. After playing Epic Mickey, it helped rekindle my love for Disney games and I was eager to check out this title. I have to say that I was very impressed with this Disney Universe and with it being such a fun multi-player game. This game was so much fun that I decided that I will attempt to finish it up with my friend.
Gameplay & Controls
The gameplay is quite simple, the players begin by each picking a costume and then a world. The world has 3 different levels, and each level consists of 3 different segments. Each segment is filled with enemies, puzzles and hidden items. The players must work together to solve the puzzles as some require 1 player to be moving or activating a switch while the other player crosses through. Each segment has 3 hidden objects that unlock pieces in the art or music galleries. At the end of each level, players unlock new costumes. It is possible to play this game going solo, but I found it to be much more enjoyable having at least 1 friend helping out.
Throughout each segment, players fight through enemies and also acquire gold. The gold is used to purchase new worlds and the costumes the players unlock. Each enemy will drop gold when defeated, and there is plenty of gold hidden, or just flat out in the open to be collected. Each players gold count is kept separate throughout the segments, and is added together at the end of the level. Also hidden in each segment are stars. These are always found in locked treasure chests where players must locate a key, then unlock the chest. The star levels up the player who collects it, and each costume maxes out at level 4. When the costume is leveled, that player gets a stronger weapon. Also within each segment are mini-games, where players take a break from the action and either work together to defeat enemies, dodge or avoid hazards or even straight up fight each other. The winner gets a gold trophy and bragging rights that they did better at the game than other players.
The controls were pretty basic with the Nunchuck and Wii remote setup. Players used the joystick to move around, Z button to interact or move things, A to jump and B to attack. I though t that the controls worked really well for this setup and did not have any issues. The game also reminded you of the controls when a player needed to perform a particular action.
While this game was pretty fun overall, I disliked the game putting an arrow over the object you needed to approach and where it needed to be moved to. Since the levels are pretty limited for exploration, the tasks asked did not need to be pointed out each and every time. I understand that players may lose focus, but I would have preferred for it to appear after the players did not advance after a period of time, or at least an option to turn it off. I did enjoy the unique items throughout the segments which interacted with the levels, and how if a player wanted one of the level’s secret items they would need to back track. I also enjoyed the fact that the game’s worlds can be completed in any order as the players have to buy the remaining worlds after the first Pirates one. Another nit-pick of mine is that the costumes do not offer any unique abilities and not offering any additional bonuses to the levels being played.
Visuals and Sound
The music and sounds were a little on the dull side with older video game style tones and combinations. The music was okay, but nothing to be a major selling point. It could have been much better to have tracks from the movies remixed into the levels or something more enjoyable to listen to while playing. The visuals were pretty solid, plenty of colors and made the game easy to see the helping hints, their own character and the items within the level to collect. The levels had plenty of good animations of the assisting objects, and the backgrounds fit very well with each level.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
Disney Universe is a really fun game to play both going solo and with friends/family. The unique game play combined with puzzles and full of action makes Disney Universe a very enjoyable game to play. This game is perfect for Disney fans of all ages and players will have fun working with and against each other while playing. I would recommend this game to anyone seeking a simple, fun, and competitive experience.