I'm *Finally* Playing Disneyland Adventures!
Kinect Disneyland Adventures first came out in 2011, on the Xbox 360.
I owned a copy, briefly...for the same three days that I owned an original Kinect.
There wasn't enough room in my gaming space for the Kinect to work properly, and I've never been more bummed about something game-related.
"Wait Alex, you were bummed because you couldn't play Kinect Disneyland Adventures?"
Yes. The notion of playing an open world adventure set in a full recreation of Disneyland is very appealing to me.
I put the whole thing out of my mind and decided to be done with it.
But then last year, Microsoft hired Asobo studio to port Frontier's game to Xbox One and PC, and add controller support. It came out at a budget-friendly $30 price in October.
I was overjoyed. I bought the PC version. And...and it doesn't let you control the camera with a mouse and keyboard? And it has limited graphics options? And the whole thing feels like it's just lurching around?
Sigh. Back on the shelf it went.
Now though, thanks to the magic of the Play Anywhere program and my recent ridiculous purchase of an Xbox One X, I can finally play this game.
KIND OF LIKE REBEL ASSAULT?
Do you remember Rebel Assault? No?
It was an old Star Wars series consisting of two games, produced in the heyday of the FMV/CD-ROM era. The first game was on PC, Sega CD, and 3DO. The second game was much more complex, computationally, and much more of a real game. It came out on PC and PS One.
Rebel Assault was basically a collection of rail shooter stages loosely tied together by a full-motion video story set in the Star Wars universe. The first game relied on animated recreations of scenes from the original movie trilogy...but the second game had completely original movie sequences. It was a big deal at the time, because it was the first new Star Wars movie footage that had been shot inside Lucasfilm since Return of the Jedi.
The gameplay parts weren't that great...but the whole experience still came together into something fun thanks to the visuals and sound.
Just like Disneyland Adventures.
AN OPEN WORLD DISNEYLAND!
The big star of Disneyland Adventures is its full recreation of Disneyland...circa 2011. They didn't really update Disneyland at all since the original Xbox 360 release of this game, and that's going to probably bother park diehards. It also doesn't include the Lucas-licensed rides...even though Disney now owns Lucasfilm. This second thing is a little less forgivable because the buildings are already in the game, and I think it would have been easy to just add the logos for those rides to the buildings.
Still, this is a really amazing 3D world that recreates Disneyland more or less to scale. There's a shocking amount of detail to the buildings and pathways. If you can walk there in real Disneyland, odds are good you can walk there in this game.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GAMEPLAY?
Like Rebel Assault, the gameplay here is a little blah. There's 18 attractions rendered as mini game collections, and most of the action amounts to rail shooting, light gun targeting, or rhythm game dancing.
None of the gameplay is bad, but you'll probably have little desire to repeat an attraction once you've finished it.
The visual and audio trappings around all of this are exceptional, however.
Everything in Disneyland Adventures overwhelms the player with Disney nostalgia. The visuals, voice acting, sound design, and music are all perfect, and brilliantly replicate the experience of standing around in Disneyland.
Even though all you really do is run around talking to characters, collecting coins, and playing strange ride-themed mini games...the world and the sound design perfectly pull all of this together into something worthwhile.
And there's a lot of content here too. I was expecting this to be a short adventure...but it has a full gamut of open world content. I wouldn't be surprised if I spend over 30 hours on it.
That's completely insane for what was originally a Kinect game...but right in line with controller-based open world games.
The gameplay itself gets stale quickly, but as a fan of Disneyland the world is hilariously engaging to me so far. I'm about 14 percent done with the game now, and I'm hoping to plow through the rest of it soon!