Disney Universe is simply a must have game for all Disney geeks and a perfect game for kids just starting out with games. The game will draw an immediate comparison to the Lego series of games and for good reason, there is a lot of borrowing. However, the differences that Disney Universe includes are almost always for the better.
The story is simple, Disney Universe is a new system that essentially allows people to live Disney movies. The places are occupied by bots which turn evil under the control of Hex, the game's villian.
To save the guests stuck in Disney Universe, your blue character dons the suit of a popular Disney hero and smashes their way through levels.
You start out in levels inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean with a limited number of suits. From my experience playing with about 10 different suits thus far, they all control basically the same, using a sort of slash attack to defend themselves (A sword for Jack Sparrow, a guitar for Stitch, a broom for Donald etc). This is a tad unfortunate as many of the Lego characters had different talents which made that game more strategic.
Each level has severla objectives before you can reach the end. Generally this involves building some objects, solving small puzzles and completing challenges. None are particularly difficult but it becomes insultingly easy with the inclusion of a big blue arrow guilding you from place to place. Thankfully more experienced games can turn this hint system off.
The puzzles are suprisingly fun, considering many puzzles in Lego games become tedious. One particularly amusing section involves turning into a zombie to walk underwater (I don't get the logic, but I go with it) and opening gates and moving mines. You then return to the surface to use a paddling duck with a cannon to move through the canals. It is bizarre and fun. Another fun level involves the Monsters Inc Doors.
Combat is frequent and also fun. Mostly it just involves smashing the B button until the enemy explodes, but for whatever reason it feels just right. You can also get occasional powerups to your normal attacks in the form of glowing blue cubes. Lazers, freeze guns, gold producing swords, all are there and useful. Boss encounters are also fun, especially several early encounters with a Pirate ship you must sink with a series of large cannons. There is no real downside to dying either, so it is hard to get frustrated, you just lose a bit of gold and respawn.
The main currency of the game is golden Mickey ears which can be used to buy new levels as well as the suits of guests you have saved. The gold is scattered throughout and can be gotten through a variety of ways, breaking boxes, defeating enemies, solving puzzles, etc.
Multiplayer is also a hoot, going up to four players that can work together or against each other in order to "win" the level with the highest score. It is frantic and enjoyable the more people you have.
Disney Universe is an unmitigated success, capitalizing on all that Lego great and adding in new and enjoyable elements. If you like Disney or the Lego games, you are going to eat this up.
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