Are you suffering from a home way too quiet? Do you have a headache from your children getting along for an extended amount of time? I have the answer for you – Disney Universe for Xbox 360. In no time your house will fill the sounds of “Hey, those are my Mickey ears!”, “Let me level up!”, or “I am going to be Stitch!”
To start off the game you select which costume your character will wear for your current adventure, but you may switch costumes as you progress. Part of the fun of the game encompasses unlocking new costumes for each level you conquer, and you can even replay each level up to a certain amount of times to unlock more costumes. The Stitch costume causes the most noise (read as: fighting) in my home and they HAVE NOT EVEN UNLOCKED IT YET! Each costume comes accessorized with its own tool to ward off the baddies you may encounter. As you progress, you may purchase your unlocked uniforms with the Mickey Ears (coins) that you collect throughout your play.
The game is comprised of playing in 6 worlds made up of various levels, each level ending in a boss fight and the costume award. Inspired by the Disney/Pixar Universe, each world’s levels find you in a different Disney environment. We love playing in the various Disney locations, it gives you a feeling of actually being in a Disney film. One of the downloadable (must be purchased with Microsoft points) is Phineas And Ferb, my kids couldn’t wait to get the Phineas and Ferb costumes on and go pouncing around in their yard. I believe one drawback of the game lies in the fact you can only start off playing in one of the worlds, Pirates of the Caribbean. This world must be completed before moving on to whichever one is unlocked, unless, of course, you pay for one of the downloadable worlds; these you can immediately play.
Game play is rather chaotic but fun. Most levels provide a few puzzles for you to figure out while you are smashing various cartoon baddies in only mild childish violence. The most complicated move may consist of pushing a button twice, and the puzzles only give minor difficulty. My seven year old finds some puzzles fairly difficult, but she plays with her eleven year old brother (the perfect solution for a quiet household), and it makes for a great cooperative experience. I also play with the two of them, and I can fairly say this game is perfect for about 6 year olds to adult (given they lead a Disney neurotic life).
Most of the sounds consist of simulated sounds so this is a definite weakness, it would have been great to hear “Hey, where’s Perry?”, but it was not to be. The graphics are about what you expect for a children’s targeted game. All in all, both graphics and sound are acceptable for a purely recreational game.
On a final note, this is one of the better Disney titles I have ever played and both of my children can barely put it down. It provides plenty of giggling, playful arguing, and competitiveness (you receive scores after each level). For adults, the game may flash you back to some of the earlier fast -paced chaotic games of the SNES, plus, hey, it’s Disney! If one of your favorite things is seeing your children be loud and having fun together in a cooperative and competitive nature, then this game is for you.
Out of a possible 5 this game rates 4.8 Mickey ears. Give me your thoughts.
Riley McDaniel grew up in Corpus Christi, TX in a low-socioeconomic household and one of the favorite family activites was to watch The Wonderful World of Disney (along with it’s other reincarnations) on Sunday nights. Although the family couldn’t afford to take a trip to Disney World made it his dream to one day see that magical world. This dream served as one of the many aspirations to do well in school and attend college. Today, Riley has a masters degree in Library Science and serves as a librarian at Red Oak High School in Red Oak Texas where he continues to give Disney as a source of inspiration to students. His family, a lovely wife, eleven year old son and seven year old daughter, lovingly refer to themselves as Disney Geeks. They can regularly be found hosting Disney parties whether it’s for simply the premier of the Phineas and Ferb movie or a child’s birthday party. As members of the Disney Vacation club (Wilderness Lodge home resort) the family can be found at Disney World once a year and Riley gives mini-seminars on planning the perfect Disney vacation.