Skip to content

An Opportunity for Splendor: Disney Princess Enchanted Journey

2010/06/12
splendiferous effort

something is amiss!

 

‘Is he out of his mind!?’ Yes, move on. Historically, my tastes have a slightly more mature theme, and yet my 5-year-old daughter dictates my endurance of all things princess related. This includes role playing, but we’ll leave that alone. If you are a reasonable parent, said activities are shoved way up your pipe as well, so relax, lubricate, and I’ll explain what you should expect from the endless re-plays of this missed opportunity. 

Hmmm, What's for dinner?!

 

‘Disney, you cheap bastard! Really, there was some impetus of effort here, which then puddled out of your leaky sack.’ For starters, Where is Sleeping Beauty? Did she pop a few too many bon-bons and not fit on the disc? First disappointment, an incomplete cast. I had to explain the inundation on her daily schedule, and assure my child there would no doubt be a subsequent release staring none other. Let’s move on. 

Fidelity needs no explanation. Like most related Wii titles, the visuals and audio are acceptable; magic is well, magical, the character models and backgrounds are well realized animations are simple and the audio is acceptable, if forgettable.  The color pallet is less than expected, but hey, my daughter doesn’t mind. There is a HUD, (heads up display,)  established, although its more for aesthetic than anything tangible. There is also a gem-counter, which I will complain about later. 

The story involves a 3rd person perspective of our character; a young girl, who while frolicking with her new fairy friend discovers a run down castle, (which she managed to avoid during all previous frolics).  Here we discover the second missed opportunity. After a brief history of the castle, our pixie encourages us to remember who we are, (brilliant save mechanic,) and then proceeds to our wardrobe for dress up. Although Disney appears to persuade otherwise,  there are boys whom whilst discovering themselves enjoy the magic of princesses as well, (and maybe splintering their audience is telling,) alas you are only allowed to have an ‘innie,’ and adorn feminine wears. Anywho, Suck it! Tape your little rascal and get over it. 

Once resplendent, and this is EPIC, we receive our wand, learn our 3 redundant spells and the game begins. It turns out the bowels of this enchanted castle contain magical gateways to each of our protagonists’ respective worlds: Ariel, Jasmine, Cinderella, Snow White, and although behind bars until we’ve completed the story, Belle. Oh joy. Each of these ‘chapters,’ has 3 tasks which you must perform to restore the law and order to the land. You see, Zara, our antithesis, has decided to wreak a little havoc in princess town. Through no small feat of alchemy, she has managed to not turn baser metals into gold, but butterflies into Bogs, gremlin-like creatures whom mess with the space-time continuum. 

Although encouraged to traverse the locations in order, as we’re warned the difficulty ‘ramps up,’ you may proceed of your own accord. Each level is essentially a ‘rinse and repeat’ of the others, defeat the Bogs, and return the element to each Princess. Each sub-chapter rewards the player with a brief Fire-works display, then returns you to the castle, which affords time management, and therefore, sanity. Once you have completed the tasks for all 4 Damsels in distress, you must face Zara and the story closes, with an obvious conclusion. Belle’s area now becomes available, and offers the player a game of tag with the now cheerful bogs. That’s it, which brings me to the fourth and biggest, missed opportunity. Throughout the game, the character is encouraged to collect gems, which both litter every path you follow, and fill chests strewn about each territory. Your collection is finite, and ends at 999. To a lesser degree, players are cajoled to repair instances throughout each level. Although each provides some immediate satisfaction for the player, where is the incentive? At the very least, the gem collection begs for an obvious unlock system of at the very least new wardrobe items. ‘Too many art assets?’, then offer a badge system; trade in your gems and receive collectible stills from the Disney film repertoire; something. Unfortunately, children will still enjoy endless replays, but for the parents, really, is it asking that much? 

Before closing, I have to make light of the MOST ANNOYING distraction of the game, (and yeah, I have played the thing at least 8 times through). For each activity, you’re provided instructions. Makes sense. First, these instructions are not skippable. Unacceptable. Second, before control is returned to the player, the instructions are then paraphrased in case you misunderstood them the first time round. The repetition is obnoxious, more so, as Disney understands the iterative nature of their properties. This bit WILL drive you mad. 

So yeah, it’s a Princess game and my daughter loves it, which earns it a solid 5. I have to play it with her, (all the time,) which costs it 2 points for all the detritus described above. There will be a sequel, which could impact this review insofar as I reserve the right to further reduce the score if none of the issues are resolved. At this point then, the Wii version garners a 3. I can not vouch for the PS2 or PC versions, although I image that without the tactile ‘wave of your wand,’ there’s little point. Go. Play. 

Oh Oh Oh Its Magic!

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: