Kinect: Disneyland Adventures Review
I love Disney. Living three hours away from Disney World and having a two and a half year old obsessed with Cars, Toy Story, and Mickey Mouse will do that to you. I grew up in a Disney household and have been to the Disney World for just about every holiday. However, I have never been to Disneyland. Thanks to Frontier Developments and Microsoft Studios, I can get that experience in the comfort of my living room.
I've been very cautious with my expectations of Disney-related video games. Before the Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 games for the 360, the last Disney game I enjoyed was Mickey Mania for the Sega Genesis. I am also less than enthusiastic by most of the games released for the Kinect. So the combination of the two had me worried. After about half an hour with Kinect: Disneyland Adventures, those worries were gone. This game jumped to the top of my "favorite games for the Kinect" list.
All of the Disney charm that you've come to expect covers every corner of this game. It is appropriate for all ages, parents and their children can enjoy it together, and even adults will enjoy it on their own.
The game has you create your avatar, either a boy or girl with a few customizable feature (I would have preferred to use my Xbox Live avatar, but no matter). The game has you taking your avatar around the amazingly recreated theme park, completing quests for Mickey and company, collecting coins for unlockables, and going on rides (mini games). While the quests that you get will guide you through the park to different mini games, you can skip that if you want to get straight to the games. You can access the entire park and its rides through the park map, which features rides like Space Mountain and the Matterhorn. Don't tell anyone, but I went to the princess section and did a dance mini game (in the form of dance games like Dance Central) that had me copying Ariel's dance moves. I like to think that somewhere in her heart, I replaced Prince Eric.
Each mini game feels different, from the dancing, to the flying with Peter Pan. From sledding and throwing snowballs at the Yeti of the Matterhorn to using jump gates and shooting lasers in Space Mountain. There are multiple levels to each mini game, with each increasing in difficulty. They also offer a star rating system, so you can try to top your friends' or your personal scores at later playthroughs.
Controls for the games are easy for young kids around the ages of four or five, but that didn't stop my two and a half year old (hereby known as Colton) from enjoying the sights. While the rides and mini games didn't interest him, exploring the park did. Exploration is a huge part of Kinect: Disneyland Adventures. Little details like Hidden Mickeys won't be lost on adults. You can go buy special souvenirs.
My favorite part of the game was watching Colton get excited and shout “Mickey!” whenever he saw said mouse. With some easy gestures, he was able to give Mickey Mouse a hug, take a picture with Captain Hook (hold out your hand like a camera), and high five Goofy. Walking around the park and seeing characters strewn about was so much fun. The detail that went into the game's environment is truly impressive.
Kinect: Disneyland Adventures is a game that will creative precious memories for the whole family. Just because it's geared towards kids doesn't mean that adults can't enjoy it too. If you love Disney, you will not be disappointed with this game. This is one of the best Kinect games on the market, so put on your mouse ears and experience the magic of Disney with your family, friends, and favorite characters.