Nintendo

Disney Magical World Review

The world where dreams come true lands on the 3DS with enough sparkle and pizzazz to feed all ages with joy. And though it’s a life simulation game by genre, its irresistible charm and humour will keep you playing Disney Magical World for hours on end.

Developed by h.a.n.d and published by Bandai Namco, Mickey and friends welcome players into a magical kingdom full of quests, mischievous ghosts who are more than likely to give Nightmare Before Christmas’ characters a run for their money, and alluring outfits to please every eye. With four main areas to explore through magical portals including the 100 Acre Wood, Cinderella, Alice and Aladdin’s world, there’s plenty of variation when it comes to fetch quests, mini-games and dungeons. But it’s not all enemy tussles and item hunting, you’ll also have real work to do as the owner of a café.

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Time for some carrot cake and honey tea with Rabbit and Piglet at the Cafe!

Rather than owning your own house and paying off pseudo-mortgages Animal Crossing style, Disney Magical World allows players to pocket their earnings from the café’s food produce and purchase new decorations from Chip and Dale’s workshop or themed staff outfits from Daisy’s Boutique. The near two-hour prologue will introduce players to the basics and, while it’s a little cumbersome, children will love getting to grips with gathering materials to make new recipes, as well as the introduction of firm-favourite characters. But while the café is your main source of in-game currency, collecting stickers is just as vital for progression.

Like any other achievement ranking, collecting stickers will unlock new areas within the game’s main hub, Castleton, along with opening up quests, new outfits and decorations. Completing the prologue will award players with 16 stickers, but collecting 77 will conclude the main storyline. These stickers can then be collected throughout the game under seven different sections –  including fishing and farming – which vary in difficulty. Levelling up your café by fulfilling the manager’s requests can also lead to new stickers; unlocking recipes allows players to pick up rarer meals with themes such as Peter Pan, Aladdin, Western, amongst others. Plus, you can even host special-themed parties and invite guests from the Disney universe, taking photos to fill up your album.

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Having a ball with Beauty and the Beast; curtsies at the ready.

While cruising through Disney Magical World’s main hub and quest areas, loading screens can become irksome. Sometimes it can be a mere five seconds, other times you’ll fear the game’s coding has lost its way in the Queen of Hearts’ hedge maze. Also of minor consequence are occasional frame rate drops while running or dashing through Castleton, rather than the top-down view of the quest areas, causing lag or blips during gameplay. Yet it’s mainly the game’s penchant for crash glitches in Alice’s World which delivers an odd, unsettling feeling for players. Whether it’s haunted cruelly by the threats of cutting off one’s head or just bad luck, encountering enemy Boingo’s and warp panels may trigger crashes, forcing players to restart from their last auto-save point.

Generally the game’s best moments lie within the quest areas. Enemies and bosses are varied enough to avoid monotony, while layouts are simple and require classic switches and levers to open up sealed off areas. Drop rates for rare items are primarily based on luck, so players will often have to replay quests to obtain certain materials – no qualms for seasoned dungeon crawlers. The automated aiming system, however, may even have the troublesome Stitch raising an eyebrow. Your wand will target the closest enemy or object in range, which can be perilously awkward when facing bosses with rotating teacups and illuminated lamps, hitting everything but the main target. Here, camera angles also become the enemy with strange zooms that distort your field of vision.

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Dancing with the Stars? Strictly Come Dancing? Er, no.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Disney Magical World’s ballroom dancing sequences might just end your friendship with Cinderella all together. Aside from throwing a curveball into the game, the musical mini-game can have you bibbidi-bobbidi-booing in utter frustration. Touchscreen tapping will rarely follow the rhythm of the beat giving you a string of misses and, coupled with the distracting background on the top screen, players may end up seeing stars rather than dancing with the stars.

Despite the game’s blips and hang-ups, Disney Magical World blossoms with its amusing episodes, excellent outfit and decoration choice, and character interaction. As in the words of Eeyore, it might not be much of a tale, but you do get sort of attached to it.

7.5/10

30 comments

  1. I personally liked the game a whole lot, but this score isn’t bad either. It’s a game more for children or Disney Fans, but still fun and lengthy.

    1. Yeah. The Angry Video Game Nerd should find a bad Mickey Mouse game to review, so he can beat up Mickey Mouse like he did Bugs Bunny.

    1. Kingdom Hearts is a great concept for a game. Except I hate Sora and the Final Fantasy characters. If it was Nintendo characters mixed with Disney, THAT would be a true winner.

    1. We had the opportunity to do so on MNN with the release of the EU version, so I reviewed it. That’s it. Besides, I couldn’t resist writing some Disney puns. Even if you personally don’t find any joy in the game, there are countless readers on here that may do, including parents who may wish to purchase the game for their children. :)

  2. Last year, I took a stand against general intolerance and abuse within our own community. At the time, I didn’t feel it necessary to single out any particular group as being in need of special protection from insults or harassment. I feel now, as I did then, that a pervasive indifference of and hostility toward “the Other” is the foundation of our problems, at least when it comes to the disagreeable pattern of discourse on the internet. But lately, the unique symptom that is violent threats toward women deserves special mention, as it is massively undermining our medium’s growth.

    Plenty of other sites have already written at length about the timeline of the recent uproar in the gaming community. If you’re not up to date, it’s enough to say a female developer was suspected of exploiting personal relationships to ensure positive coverage of her game. Though the suspicion proved false, concerns about a general lack of standards in the games press nevertheless grew into a Movement, which was soon co-opted by multiple groups for seemingly conflicting agendas. The Movement became front page news in the mainstream press, not due to its claims of corruption in games media, but due to the harassment of female critics and developers by radicals associated with the Movement.

    The argument against covering harassment is that it plays into the hands of the aggressors, who measure their payoff by the disruptions they cause. I feel additional visibility only encourages those who want to use the Movement as a means to stop rather than start discussions.

    The argument for covering the harassment holds that video games deserve more thorough consideration as a social and cultural phenomenon that extends beyond the edges of our screens. As game players and game makers mature, the art and commerce of games requires the inclusion of more diverse points of view, some of which are being threatened into silence. People’s support could encourage those gamers and developers who want to ask challenging questions about games and games coverage.

    Don’t assume a motivation behind another person’s actions.
    Don’t attack a person’s character just because they disagree with you.
    Don’t intimidate a person just because their ideas are challenging.
    Don’t threaten anyone with violence.
    And finally, don’t use one person’s violation of any of these rules to justify your own.
    The good news is, if you are breaking these rules, you can stop and find that games will still be just as amazing as ever.

    Games are the dominant cultural expression of our age. They are vital and expansive enough to tolerate new and challenging perspectives; those challenges are, in fact, part of what gives games their strength. If you believe games are capital-A Art, you must also believe it’s profoundly inappropriate to say to anyone, even those you consider non-gamers, “You aren’t welcome here.” To say that is to deny the value of games altogether and undermine the entire idea that games are worth discussing seriously. We can’t argue that games matter, or that they deserve to be provocative, without engaging with and educating each other about the consequences of those provocations.

    Gamers are not a homogenous hive mind and, through respectful discussion and consideration of multiple points of view, the value of games is strengthened, not weakened. Ending harassment doesn’t mean silencing dissent, or rejecting calls for greater transparency and trust between publishers, the press, and the vast, varied population of gamers. Those discussions are essential to the evolution and expansion of video games, and we should be willing to listen to those who have questions about our assumptions, our values, and our practices.

    If we started doing that, it probably wouldn’t make front page of the New York Times, but that’s a trade-off we’re willing to make.

            1. Don’t forget about your hypocrisy, you replied…

              Very weak willed, must be feeling unimportant I guess…

              Too much, this community doesn’t want your speech; short, intense, honest comments reach hearts easier…

              The common “user” is easy to manipulate…

              “The Devil himself is stricken with fear…” (Rings of Saturn – Unsympathetic Intellect)

              1. Huh… I never said that I didn’t care about his comment, so what hypocrisy is there to be seen?

                If the community doesn’t want my speech, why do the replies get typed behind the screens and on the keyboards of those below?

                1. …Comment section meant for comments?…

                  Uncomprehendable by some, ones so eager to play “GOD”..

                  1. Then does that not how the demand for my comment? You seemed to have explained yyour own argument

    1. This is literally the best way to have handled the issue. Just go ahead, immediately say you are completely against Harassment, you will not condone it, and don’t point names.

    2. I’m getting sick and tired of being labeled a villain simply because I’m a “male gamer.” I’m tired of being suspected of hating women because my favorite hobby involves stacking virtual bricks, crafting stuff, or sometimes shooting virtual people in the face. I’m tired of being shamed by the media because overly defensive feminists have done their damned best to inform the public at large that every male gamer is out to get them. And lastly, I’m tired of being labeled a little boy by the ignorant CNN viewers and ignorant Rolling Stones readers who automatically believe the anti-gamer propaganda these hyper feminists spew, and truly believe every male gamer is an immature woman hater.

    3. I think it’s terrible that an outcry for better games journalism has led to a false narrative about gamers being horribly misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, racist terrorists. Now this image is being spread around mainstream media; the effects of which are scaring more women off from gaming than ever. All this to stir up controversy to get views and clicks.

      I’m not saying that there isn’t a problem in tech and gaming involving the treatment of women or the completely inappropriate response from trolls towards any individual they dislike in tech and gaming. As Erik Kane put it, these problems exist in society as a whole. What I’m saying is that so many news outlets are disinterested in actual discussion, or are engaging in actively shutting down discussion about harassment.

      No matter what side of Gamergate you fall upon, I hope we can all agree that harassment is an inappropriate reaction or behavior. It’s going to take everybody to clean up the Internet. We all need to call out harassment, though we need to be careful about not becoming the harassers ourselves.

      I really hope this is a turning point in Gamergate where we stop the smearing and we start discussing the future of the hobby we all genuinely love.

    4. I’m a huge gamer and love most of the articles and have a pretty thick skin. I don’t get offended that easily and my sense of humor tends to fall towards gallows humor.

      Having said that, I have never seen a community who are filled with so many mean spirited, haughty a**holes than gamers. I can’t put my finger on it, but there are so many egotistical bullies that run rampant in the gaming community. Having a difference of opinion really seems like some kind of imagined sleight against a lot of gamers. Not to say there aren’t TONS of awesome people in the community, but you find more than your normal share of jerks trolling the waters within the gaming community. No amount of moderation can fix that cancer unfortunately.

  3. Looks like a pretty cool game, I’ll get this eventually, but right now there’s too much to play :D thanks for the review!

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