STAFF REVIEW of Disneyland Adventures (Xbox One)

Friday, December 8, 2017.
by John Elliott

Disneyland Adventures Box art Disneyland, the happiest place on Earth, so they say, is on my bucket list of places that I have to see in my life, especially now as I am the proud father of three Disney loving children. This fact alone makes it even more of goal in the future. So, what does this have to do with a video game review you ask? Well, let me explain.

In 2011 a game was released that attempted to bring the Disneyland experience into your living room. Disneyland Adventures launched on the Xbox 360 for Kinect, and it was a game that was all about experiencing a virtual Disneyland Park. Hearing this I was of the opinion that it was more of a gimmick and something that I passed over because I thought "How could a game measure up to the real thing?". Not to mention, the motion controls for Kinect for Xbox 360 weren't the best to begin with. Many years later Disneyland Adventures has made its way to the Xbox One and I am taking the opportunity to check it out the second time around.

Diving into the game you do notice that this is definitely an upgraded game and not something built up brand new for the power that is in a Xbox One X. Although this is supposed to re-create what a Disneyland Experience may be like, you are left with a more of a cartoon like experience rather than a detailed and realistic visual presentation. Don't get me wrong, the game does look good and is obviously geared towards younger gamers who love Disney, not an adult like myself who is used to the best graphics he can get on console.

What is somewhat noticeable is that the dev-team didn't do much to make the game a next generation version of what it was, keeping it fairly close to the original, when it comes to the visual side of the game. With this in mind, you will notice that there are some frame stutters that do appear from time to time which you wouldn't really expect with an older-gen title with current-gen upgrades. It is more of an annoyance rather than something that completely messes up the overall gameplay though.

While wandering the park the characters you encounter, like Mickey and Goofy, all look like they are supposed to and sound pretty much like them too. The voice acting is most likely not the main voice actors who typically get the work for the television shows or movies, but whoever it is, they bang it out of the park and bring you into the World of Disney. Don't worry, you will encounter just about every Disney character you can think of like Cinderella, Stitch and Buzz Lightyear to name a few. Mind you, I've only seen and heard Disney via television as a young as a young boy but the sights and sounds are what I've pieced together of what Disneyland would actually sound like.

The gameplay element is quite simple – exploration and rides/games. Disneyland Adventures is really meant to be an interactive experience that takes you to Disneyland without all the fees for travel, accommodations and food. With this game now optimized for a controller experience it was a lot of fun just seeing everything throughout the park without using what I can only imagine would be awkward to use motion controls to navigate the virtual park in front of you.

Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Critter Country, Mickey's Toontown and many more well known Disney attractions are areas that you explore in Disneyland Adventures. While you are exploring don't forget to grab all the collectibles you encounter. Without some collectibles to find the exploration aspect would get boring quite quickly, so this is a welcomed addition to keep that part of the game quite alive.

Next are the rides, which are set up as mini games that allow you to explore worlds from Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan to name a few. As a former Kinect game it doesn't translate well into controller based gameplay, as it feels like you are playing Dance Dance Revolution or Rock Band on a controller. which isn't a whole lot of fun. As someone who no longer has a Kinect, I can see the appeal of the motion games for Disneyland Adventures, but not enough to invest in the hardware again. I almost wish I could have just picked a ride and went through it in an almost VR fashion, or first person view, to get a feel for what the rides would actually feel like.

Overall, it doesn't sound all that bad of title to play through, but what I've briefly described is the bulk of the content of the game, which is great for young toddlers to kids, who are maybe upwards to 7 years old, who would enjoy playing with their parents. Older kids and adults will quickly fly through the content though and will most likely find the price tag a bit too much for what you're getting, even though it's not a fully priced title.

Disneyland Adventure is a game, or should I say experience, that I would happily recommend for young kids and Disney Lovers. However, it is a short adventure and the conversion from a Kinect title to a controller based title for certain aspects of this updated title didn't translate well and makes it somewhat mundane at times. Disneyland Adventures is something you want to love, cherish and play over and over again, but unfortunately just doesn't have the staying power that the real Disneyland would obviously have.

Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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