Friday, May 4, 2012

A Family Review: Kinect Disneyland Adventures

Yep, a video game review.  From the non-gaming girl.  This review is from a family who maybe plays with their Xbox 360 Kinect once a week for some fun family game time.  We're not serious gamers, we just like to have fun.  You can find my review of the Xbox here.

Today we're reviewing our family favorite: Kinect Disneyland Adventures

If the word "favorite" doesn't give away the whole review, then I don't know what to tell you.  The kids picked this game out with a gift card they received for Christmas.  Mom and Dad highly approved with the stipulation that we got to play it first and check it out since it's rated E 10+ and our kiddos were 7 and 4 at the time we got the game.  This game is for all ages!  We even got it for a set of grandparents and they enjoy playing it. We're excited to show it to another set of grandparents that are coming to visit soon!  And when we visit the grandparents that own it...a certain aunt and uncle also visiting better be ready to team up with their niece and nephew for some Disney fun!

Princess Faire and Jungle Cruise....just 2 of our favorite games!
About the E10+ rating...we did check out the game first and deemed most of it playable for our children.  There are a few games we won't let them play and frankly, I don't think they would enjoy them either.  We mostly steer clear of the New Orleans Square games, otherwise we enjoy everything else with the kids.  The characters can get taken out when they run into things in a game, but they just reappear.  And there is sword fighting in the Peter Pan game, that may seem mature for some kids, but ours totally love it and don't take it out of context.  And there's no blood.  It's a Disneyland game after all. 

About the first game play...okay, the first time you put this in you'll want to get to playing, but hold your horses.  You have to go through getting a character if you have a Kinect profile.  Then the little golden man who leads you around the park will show you how to play the game.  Once you get past dressing and getting your character and figure out how to move you can either follow the little golden man around the park and complete tasks or you can just get to the games.  For an easier way to get to the games....talk to the Kinect.  Yes, you can use voice commands.  Say "XBOX" and then when the menu comes up say "FAST TRAVEL" and then choose a destination such as "FANTASYLAND" and then choose a game from that section such as "MATTERHORN."  That'll get you to a game without having to wander around the park. 

About the voice commands...they work pretty well.  Sometimes Biker Boy and I will have to say something twice for it to understand us.  Most of the time when it doesn't understand us the first time it's because someone else is saying something at the same time.  It does have a harder time understanding little kid voices, but Scooter is persistent and it will eventually understand his voice. There are also hand and arm commands you can use, plus putting your hand over things to get the Kinect to do what you want if the voice fails.  You can only use voice commands when you see a little microphone next to a word, otherwise you have to use your hand. 

About exploring the park...The kids and I have never been to Disneyland (Biker Boy has and I've been to Disney World), but with this game the kids actually think they've been to Disneyland.  My kids have told people they have been to Disneyland and I had to correct them that they've never been to the real place.  You can explore the park by using your hand to walk through it.  You can even get to games that way (though fast pass is quicker).  You can interact with the different characters that are standing out on the streets.  You wave to them and then you can get autographs, photographs, hug them and dance with them.  The characters will also have you do tasks for them and reward you with certain objects. You'll even have to go through some of the games to complete tasks.  To be honest....I've been doing this on my own some evenings since I find it so fun.  Now what does that say about me?  The kids love to play under my profile since I've earned a magic wand and a few other fun items.  Let me tell you....it's so fun to walk through the park and wave your magic wand at things!  This is a game that you won't get through quickly if you try and complete tasks for the characters. 

Scooter (using my profile game and playing as a guest), interacting with Aurora and completing a task for her.
About the minigames....This is what we do for family game night when we're not playing another Kinect game or some non-video game.  Disneyland Adventures is usually our most highly requested Kinect game.  As I mentioned you can access the minigames by saying "XBOX" and then doing the Fast Travel.  You can also access fast travel through arm motions.  Let me give you a quick run through of the areas and the games included.  Then I'll tell you about our favorites.  There are the areas you can visit with games:
  • Frontierland: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Critter Country: Winnie the Pooh and Splash Mountain
  • New Orleans Square: Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean (as I mentioned we don't play these as a family)
  • Adventureland: Jungle Cruise (a favorite) and Enchanted Tiki Room (okay, haven't tried that one)
  • Fantasyland: Pixie Hollow, Peter Pans' Flight, Alice in Wonderland, Matterhorn (another favorite), Princess Faire, It's a Small World
  • Tomorrowland: Space Mountain, Astro Blasters, Finding Nemo
I asked each family member to name their favorite game and Chewy immediately said "Princess Dancing."  If you go to Fantasyland and then to Princess Faire you get to dance with the Princesses.  At first you can only dance with Aurora, Ariel, or Tiana.  Belle and Cinderella have to be opened by doing tasks and I'm still working on that.  You just follow what the Princesses do to complete this game.  You can play with one player or two.  We have found that with two players the Kinect has a harder time seeing some of your motions, especially if you have to do a ballerina pose.  It's probably the close proximity of the players that maybe causes the game to not see you have your leg raised.  It's not a big deal for us.  Just remember if you don't have a profile set-up, you will play as a guest and then the game will pick a character for you.  It's random whether you end up as a boy or a girl.  Chewy always likes to be a girl in a Princess dress and since we got our Xbox back from warranty work...she still has to set up a profile and plays as a guest.  So when she shows up as a boy, she steps out of the game and comes back in until she's a girl. 

It's not Princess Faire, but it's another favorite of Chewy's...Pixie Hollow.  Here Chewy is playing with her Daddy.
Biker Boy loves the Jungle Cruise, which in in Adventureland.  That is a fun one that we all like.  It has three chapters to it.  In the first chapter you are on the jungle boat with spray hoses.  You spray boxes and vases to collect coins.  You have to spray hippos so they don't knock your boat and if they do knock your boat you have to jump so you don't fall down.  There's a part where piranhas come jumping out of the water and if you don't spray them they bite your arm and you have to shake your arm to get them off.  I've got a couple videos of this, which are posted at the bottom!  In the second chapter you have to copy poses of gorillas and then throw bananas at them.  As with the Princess game, sometimes the Kinect doesn't think you're doing the pose when you think you are. Sometimes you just need to try again, readjust a body part, move away from your playing partner, or just forget about it.  Throwing the bananas is a little learning curve, but totally fun.  Do it with a partner and you'll get more gorillas!  The third chapter has you in canoes going down a river.  You use a paddle to steer and you can also use the paddle to whop crocodiles.  Another hint...when gorillas throw fruit at you, whop that paddle at the fruit and it will lop that fruit back at the gorilla and knock it out.  (Maybe another reason it's a 10+ rating).

Scooter and Chewy playing Chapter 1 of the Jungle Cruise
Scooter loves a lot of the games.  But when he has a choice...he usually picks the Matterhorn and we all love that one too.  The Matterhorn is in Fantasyland.  This game has three chapters to it also and Goofy leads you around.  In the first chapter you ride bobsleds (which I have a video of too down below).  You can throw snowballs at the snow monsters, jump over obstacles, and try to collect coins.  In chapter 2 you throw snowballs at the snow monsters to try and save Goofy.  In the third chapter you are on skis and follow Goofy to get to the end.  You can jump, duck, and move your arms to go faster.  Ski through the snowmen too...you're suppose to.  Before each game starts and while it is loading the little gold man shows you how to move to control the actions for the game.  Pay attention to those if you've never played a game before. 

Scooter and Chewy playing Chapter 1 of the Matterhorn
My favorite?  Goodness, I'm like Scooter and it changes daily.  Peter Pan is a lot of fun.  You fly with Tinkerbell in the first chapter.  I tend to run into a lot of buildings, but oh the joys of video games...you reappear and don't die.  I love me a video game where I don't die!  In the second chapter you are trying to take out pirates by whacking back their bombs with some paddles.  (Okay, another reason for the 10+ rating).  This can be frustrating when you think you hit a bomb, but actually haven't.  It takes some getting use to.  In the third chapter you sword fight with Captain Hook.  Watch the directions in the beginning so you know what to do and jump or duck when the game tells you to.  In the fourth chapter you fly around Neverland with Peter Pan.  Whoa...that goes fast, but it's so fun!  Don't forget to wave to the mermaids! 

About other stuff...in two player mode, you're actually working with each other and not competing against each other.  That is great during family game night to encourage our kids to work with each other.  Some of the games are actually easier to score higher when you play with 2 people.  Another benefit of the game is that you don't die and have a game end before you actually reach the end.  Your character just magically reappears when it gets "taken out" by something.  The Kinect controls on this game are some of the best we've seen out of the other games we own.  The kids can easily get around themselves and control the menus (unlike our Sonic game and motion sports game).  We all love the voice commands.  The only downfall we've seen is that the Kinect sometimes doesn't get our matching poses in some of the games.  The attention to detail in the game is amazing and there is such a variety of things you can do that we haven't yet gotten bored of this game.  I've been playing myself doing the tasks and I'm not even 20% of the way through the game!  And what about the motion involved with the game?  Well, some games will have you jumping and ducking more than others.  You'll get your heart rate up in some and not in others.  But you won't be sitting on the couch at all (unless you're watching and cheering others along).  Kinect Adventures is better for getting your heart rate up, but Disneyland Adventures will get you moving and having fun while doing it. 

Disneyland Adventures is by far our most favorite game, with the Kinect Adventures (that comes standard with the Kinect) as our second most favorite. So in summary....LOVE IT!!  There is a new Disney Kinect game out that gets pretty good reviews for kids.  We're going to wait on getting that one till we've played this one more and until we have a reason to get it (Christmas or something like that). 

Anyone else out there have something to say about this Kinect game?  Do you have a favorite mini-game?

Here's the videos I said I would post.  They're not too long.  They'll give you a feel of what some of the games are like.  Or at least let you see my adorable children!  The grandparents will like that!




Disclaimer Stuff:  We bought this game all on our own. No one was paid or perked to write this review.  We just like to share stuff that we love.  The link to the game is an affiliate link.  I always encourage everyone to shop around for the best deal.  If you do so happen to purchase the game through that link....I thank you immensely with chocolate covered kisses for helping to support this blog and crazy mama!

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