Anyone that looks at this game’s boxart will instantly know what to expect – this is a game designed for young girls so it would be unfair to review it using standard terms. Let’s just be honest here; parents are going to buy this game for their young daughter(s) simply due to the fact that it revolves around the Disney Princesses, it is nonviolent, and will contain simple and non-frustrating gameplay even if reviews are not favorable. Oh yeah, and you know there is going to be a “let’s change outfits” mode. But to be fair, girls ages 5-9 will probably get some mild entertainment out of this title.
Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure puts the player in the shoes of the apprentice to the Fairy Godmother. During a training session, imps are accidentally released into the worlds of Ariel, Cinderella, Belle and other famous Disney Princesses. The player is then tasked with fixing the problem that you created using the patented magic wand. The story was purposely crafted to be lighthearted/not scary and to give the player an excuse to travel to well-known Disney kingdoms featuring recognizable Disney characters.
Gameplay is always simple and usually involves some mindless type of fetch quest; any mature gamer would instantly deem these as chore-like but younger gamers probably would not know any better. But light platforming, mini-games, and subtle puzzle solving should be enough to keep aged toddlers mildly entertained without getting frustrated. There is also no way to “die” or see a Game Over screen. The controls are easy and straightforward as well – the circle pad moves while the face buttons interact with the world and use the magic wand. Things are a little different in the Little Mermaid’s world because swimming mechanics take the forefront but navigation should still easy enough for younger gamers to understand. Strangely enough, the “confirm” and “go back” buttons are reversed and frustratingly confusing.
Giving the game some extra incentive and replay value is the gem collecting system. Gems are used as currency to buy new outfits and other customizable features like decorating your room. If your daughter likes tinkering around in the Mii Plaza or creating Xbox Live Avatars, then this mode could very well be the game’s highlighting feature.
The point of this handheld Disney title is exploring famous Disney worlds while interacting with Disney characters. Surprisingly, the game has been visually created with care as most of the game retains the colorful and well animated charm of the movies they represent. Nintendo recommends that no one under the age of 7 should use the 3D effect but that does not mean that it cannot be enjoyed in standard 2D. Unfortunately, there is a noticeable drop in frames when boosting the 3D slider and the camera isn’t exactly the most user friendly and is never zoomed out enough. Further, younger gamers are probably developing their reading skills but most of the game transitions through voice work so even the youngest of players should still be able to get a kick out of it even if the voice acting isn’t exactly what one might call “top tier”. Everything truly does look and feel very Disney-like though. However, there are some glaring problems that even younger gamers will probably not enjoy like having unskippable cutscenes and text boxes, load times are way too long, and the female narrator annoyingly congratulates the player with a “good job” each time a button is pressed.
Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure could probably be the best game choice for your young daughter or niece this holiday shopping season. Being a mature gamer, of course I would never play a game like this for my own personal enjoyment and would rate this game with a terribly low score. But it isn’t really going to matter what I say because parents are going to buy this game for their kids anyway despite the fact that this is a lesser quality Disney/Kids game.
Better Than: buying another Shrek game
Also Try: Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus (GBA) or any Kingdom Hearts title
Wait For It: Disney Meets Barbie
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