Visit the Magic Kingdom From Your Living Room with Kinect Disneyland Adventures

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by TRACY-MARK GORGAS / Special contributor to NWCN.com

NWCN.com

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 6:46 AM

Any time of the year is a great time to go to Disneyland.  How  would you like to go to Disneyland and not leave home?  Kinect Disneyland Adventures lets you do just that.  Come along, I can get us to the head of the line for the Matterhorn!

Story

You are visiting Disneyland in Kinect Disneyland Adventures.  As you arrive at the gate a magic ticket introduces itself to you as your guide.  He starts you on a series of mini quests that characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and more ask you to undertake.

You are not bound to these and can wander around the recreation of Disneyland on your own if you wish.

Controls and Gameplay

Kinect Disneyland Adventures uses the Kinect on the Xbox 360, so as they say, you are the controller.  Developers Frontier Developments seem to have taken what they learned from making Kinectimals and made a few notes of improvement on what other companies have done for Kinect games.  The control set up is pretty simple and in some cases obvious.  Moving around the park you put your left hand straight out to move forward, to your left side to turn left, to your right to turn right, and back down to your side to stand still.

To interact with the Disney characters like Mickey you move to them, once inside the sparkly circle on the ground you raise your right hand and wave until you have their attention.  Here's where the controls become obvious.  Want to high-five Mickey?  Make a high-five motion with your right hand.  Want to get Mickey's autograph? Hold out both hands like you are presenting your autograph book.  Dance? Bow to your partner. Get a hug?  Make a hug motion.  You get the picture.

The mini- games take on a similar ease.  For example the bobsled run on the Matterhorn you steer the sled by leaning your body left or right.  You can even throw snowballs at the yeti's by making throwing motion with your right arm.

The controls work pretty well, though I had instances where it took a bit of time for my wave to be recognized.  Wandering around the park with your left hand out does get a little tiring after a bit too, not to mention a couple spots where you can get caught in a corner.

In many cases the gestures are doubled with audio commands.  For instance instead of raising both hands above your head to open the park menu you can call out "Xbox" a command menu comes up and on there you can call out "Park Map" and it brings up the map. 

Graphics and Sound

Kinect Disneyland Adventures'  graphics are of the cartoon variety as expected for a Disney game.  The park itself is rendered in sort of a real but cartoon way.  The characters are done in a way that they would look if Pixar created them outside of their respective cartoons, instead of what the mascot suits would look like at the real park.  The mini-games on the other hand tend to take a cell-shaded look, especially if the game is base on a classic, like Alice in Wonderland.

Each character sounds just like their cartoon selves.  From Mickey's laugh to Donald's raspyness to Goofy's "Garsh" it's all there.  Sounds around the park are also how they should be.  As you get close to the "It's a Small World" ride, sure enough you start to hear the song in the air.  Frontier Developments went out of their way to make the park "alive."  The other families visiting the park have conversations of their own going on as they wander about.

Overall

It's been years since I've been to Disneyland, but from what I remember Frontier Developments seems to have gotten a lot of the details right in Kinect Disneyland Adventures.  I remember the arcade on Main Street USA, and there it is in the game.  They even included most of the "hidden Mickey" designs from around the real park as a photo hunt.

The interactivity with the characters I think will be the big draw for kids.  Who wouldn't want to hug and dance with favorite mouse, duck or dog.  Did I mention there are about forty characters?  Yes you can interact with them all.  Even the villain characters, like the Queen of Hearts, will give you a hug (of sorts), after a brief hesitation.

Tired arms after a while along with the aforementioned control hiccup are the most trouble I had with Kinect Disneyland Adventures.  I would say this would be a great gift for any Disney fan.  I give it a 4 out of 5.

Kinect Disneyland Adventures is rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older for Mild Cartoon Violence by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB).

Kinect Disneyland Adventures is available now for the Xbox 360 for use exclusively for the Kinect.  For more information see the Kinect Disneyland Adventures web site.

 

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