Disney Universe is a completely new game from Disney that is totally unique from its software library. This game offers a fresh and magical game experience for all players of all ages. In Disney Universe, up to four players have the ability to dress up as characters from various Disney animated (and a few live-action) films, and roam both the classic and modern Disney worlds. Along the way, players will have fun upgrading their costumes, completing puzzles, and defeating the various enemies.
Console: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC
Release Date: 10/25/11 (NA), 10/28/11 (EU)
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
ESRB Rating: E10+
In Disney Universe, players are welcomed to the Universe by a blue box. Soon, the blue box is overcome by an evil black and red box, and it is up to the players to restore order.
The characters that players control will constantly be wearing a costume based on classic and modern Disney characters. The costumes have a distinct power that differentiates them from one another. For example, Stitch from Lilo & Stitch has a guitar whereas when the Tron suit gives the character light disks to attack. There isn't a true difference in power among the costumes so players can feel free to dress up as their favorite character without it affecting gameplay.
New costumes can be unlocked throughout the course of the game. Additionally, each costume can be upgraded up to four times for increased firepower. There are over forty costumes in the game with more costumes and franchises available for the PS3/XBox 360 versions.
An in-battle assist is the ability to locate boxes scattered throughout each level. These boxes contain power-ups and bonus items that will help players during gameplay. It can be frustrating not knowing what is inside a box since it may not be worth the risk to seek it while there is a hoard of enemies.
Within Disney Universe, there are enemies that have to be defeated. The enemies are native to their own world and franchise so players won't find the Red Queen's card soldiers in the undersea world of the Little Mermaid. These enemies all share a common goal, and that is to ensure the players' failure. Unlike most games, the enemies here will cleverly set up traps to hinder the progress of players and hide crucial items that are required to complete tasks and goals such as a key needed to open a treasure chest.
There are six worlds total, and each world has three levels with three parts per level to complete. The objectives within each world correspond to specific storylines. The levels are a bit repetitive with the consistent goal of rescuing trapped Disney characters. Rescuing them results in new costumes which are available for purchase with coins.
Coins are collected throughout each level. They can be found laying about in the stages as well as earning them through mini-games. Each mini-game can be found within a level and are world-specific. Aside from using coins to purchase costumes, coins can also be used to purchase new worlds.
Up to four people can venture through all of the worlds locally. One of the burdens within multiplayer mode are the camera angles. The screen doesn’t move to show the locations of key items as well as enemies. This results in running in random directions that one player would guess to be the "correct" path only to be scorn by other players for the diversion. A single player moving too far off of the screen will also earn the wrath of other as well.
In each level, there is always the choice of either playing together as a team or playing competitively against each other. At the completion of a level in competitive mode, the player who has collected the most coins and items will be declared the winner, and thus earn bragging rights. This is similar to when you finish a level in Little Big Planet.
The graphics and sounds within this game are very fitting to the theme of the game’s overall purpose; to have fun. The characters and costumes are adorable and when you step into a new world, you find yourself immersed with magic and memories. The colorful sights are enhanced with the remixes of classic Disney songs looming in the background. Overall, the graphics and sounds will put all players in a brighter mood.
On the whole, Disney Universe is an enjoyable game. It is very whimsical and goofy, but it has great storylines. At times goals within each storyline can lead a player to boredom, but that usually doesn’t make the player stray from the fun they’re having while defeating enemies, switching suits, and laughing with friends. This game is a great choice for players of all ages, but you can tell that it was geared toward younger gamers. Don’t let that stop you from buying this game because despite the minor flops, you’ll definitely feel the magic while playing Disney Universe.
Disney Universe receives an 8.5 out of 10.