Disney Universe ReviewTiffany Shafer
If you're looking for the next Kingdom Hearts, don't play Disney Universe; however, if you're looking for a birthday present for your seven year old nephew you may have found the answer. Disney Universe is unarguably geared towards a younger audience. The gameplay and storyline are ridiculously simplistic for advanced gamers. Yet, Disney Universe does offer lots a gameplay and character costume customization. Young gamers are likely to reap more enjoyment than older, more advanced audiences.
Disney Universe takes place in a digital reality where people come to visit their favorite Disney themed worlds. However, the worlds have been corrupted by a virus prompting your player to take action to save the Disney Universe. The introductory cinematic is fairly quick, allowing players to jump right into the platformer/puzzle-based gameplay. Six Disney films are represented in six different worlds. The Disney worlds can be unlocked in any order, but a player must pay to unlock each new world. Luckily, this makes an easy task since coins are readily abundant throughout the game.
Overall, the gameplay is plain boring. Disney Universe is all too easy for experienced gamers. Arrows (which can be turned off in the options menu) constantly show gamers what to do next. With a few exceptions, players can expect to repeat the exact same tasks in each level. The biggest downfall with this design is that those "exact same tasks" are enormously tiresome. No thinking or problem solving is required. Advanced gamers will likely find the Disney Universe gameplay a complete drab. In contrast, younger or less experienced gamers may gratefully welcome the in-game help and ease of gameplay. They may also relish in the fact that they cannot die in Disney Universe. If they fall off a cliff, they will immediately restart where they left off.
To counter the overall dullness of Disney Universe the game allows up to four players to work together in co-op. Yet, even co-op made has its downfalls. The amount of on-screen action renders it difficult to discern what's what. Left without an online multiplayer option, players must choose between lackluster solo mode and clustered confusion co-op.
The most enjoyable aspect of Disney Universe is undoubtedly its costume customization. Players can choose from over forty different Disney character costumes to wear. Each costume must be bought with collected currency, but currency is easy to come by in this game. Each Disney costume's attack and defense can be leveled up through extended use.
Visually, the costumes represent the most attractive element in Disney Universe. The costumes are cartoonish and fun. The levels, on the other hand, hardly mirror the films they represent; an extremely unfortunate event considering this should be a major selling point for a Disney themed game. The music is not memorable, and the sound effects, repetitive.
All in all, Disney Universe makes an exceptional entry level game. Young children should appreciate the ease of gameplay and the customization of character costumes. But, more experienced gamers will find Disney Universe a disappointing disaster. Advanced gamers will likely suffer mind-numbing boredom that can only be quelled by turning off the game. Indeed, Disney Universe accomplished its goal; create a game playable for only a younger audience.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.