Review: Disneyland Adventure Kinect

Banner for Disneyland Adventure review

Hello ladies and germs (deal with the puns, t’is flu season). I am here to sooth your runny nose and your call for death with something so overly cheerful that you’ll reconsider your entire life. I speak mostly to grouchy pants out there. While most of my online friends are enjoying the latest Halo’s and Battlefield’s, yours truly tried something else. So without any further delay, I’ll present to you my Disneyland Adventure!

Who didn’t dream of going to Disneyland as a child? If you were like me, you probably called around to order travel catalogues just so you could see pictures of the place! This was before the internet mind you. I grew up in a family of five, with a single mother, so you can imagine that all we could do is dream about the place.

Statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse
Statue of Walt Disney and his evil creation

Let’s continue this walk through my wondrous childhood by fast forwarding to my graduation ceremony. Where I made a decision that projected me to continue the same lifestyle of financially avoiding Disneyland, I became an artist. So, now in my 30’s I realize that affording a trip there with today’s job market is slim at best.  This injustice of depriving children of Disneyland has finally come to a stop! With the release of a game that actually has been called “An amazing replica of the park itself!”

Well, since I’ve played it let me tell you that you’ll need some imagination to pull that off.  I mean disregard the experience of actually “being” there, it’s actually quite pleasant. My husband started expressing his emotions to me more often after a mere hour spent in Disneyland adventures.

Map of the park
If you don’t like to “walk”, you can fast travel using the map, which in my mind makes your purchase of this game pretty pointless

You start at the entrance of the park where a flying ticket guy introduces you to the game. The controls are fairly simple, unless you suffer from involuntary twitches, you should be fine. The turning is still a hassle like it is in most Kinect games, so there was no surprise there. You’d figure that Disney, with now owning everything and being everywhere, would actually put some more money into developing a better way to look/turn left and right. The character creation is very limited. It doesn’t matter anyway, all brats look the same.

Conducting the band
All children know how to conduct a band right?

Anyway, so you’ve got your basic controls down, now you get to talk to Mickey Mouse himself! He gives you a quest to gather Donald Ducks and Goofys autograph! What is this?! My first visit to Disneyland and the prick of a mouse already wants me to work for him? What, is it not  enough that he gets the money I spent importing a used game?! I guess children should be conditioned to do as they are told and do the bidding of a giant mouse. I was all fine with that till he revealed to me that he is running for Mayor of Toon Town, that is why he cannot get the stinking autographs himself. Unbelievable! This giant mouse has a political agenda.  As if I wasn’t fed up with politics already.

Like a good little slave, I didn’t get Donalds autograph. However, I did give Donald a hug, because he is one of my favorite characters after all.

It doesn’t stop there! After an hour gameplay of running aimlessly (like children do) I find that my arms are starting to cramp up! I’ve been doing so much hugging of random Disney characters that I needed to take a break.

Hugging Snow white
This game should be used for hug theraphy

After my much needed break, the adventure continues. I decide now to take on a few mini games. One ride always wanted to try was Splash Mountain! Off we go pass the long line (this is without a doubt the best part, no lines) and onto the ride.

Once there you are intercepted by Brier Rabbit, where he takes you running….

…Yes, running. This saddened me gravely and I now had to run and jump, following him in hope that my reward will be to ride the splash mountain. No such luck! After running you come to the next part, to row downstream. I see what they are trying to do here. Make rides into small mini games, I get it. But there should’ve been a choice to just experience the darn ride!

Once I exited the ride/mini game, I noticed a bearded man in a wheelchair. I guess Disney cooperation really wanted to show that Disneyland is for everyone.  I have no particular opinion on that. It’s just funny how a game is trying to please everyone. The graphics are do able, not impressive to the point of breakdancing in awe. However, when you move around too quickly, the game does tend to lag up. It can be a bit annoying when you are out questing for different characters.

Dancing with Ariel
One and two and stretch and twirl and hop and twist and GUAAAH!!! EXERSIZE!

All in all I deem this a really great game.

The modeling of the park is without question, like the real thing. The attention to details makes the child in me chortle with glee and the adult in me feel embarrassed of my inner child. I really liked it, because as a fan of Disney, the game captures what I believe, is the spirit and imagination of its magic that we grew up loving. Everyone you love and remember is there, Baloo, Pooh, Aladdin, sleeping beauty, all very huggable. Sure, I might seem like a psychopath to hug imaginary friends, but I survived my childhood this way. Take pictures, discover secrets and just enjoy the sheer fun!  I cannot wait for my niece to visit me in a week so we can play this together.

I am glad that they make games like this, because it tailors really to everybody. Shooters, RPG’s and other popular genres are great for a more adult audience, but we cannot forget the little ones that are the future lil gamers.

Sword fight  Captain Hook
On guard monsieur Hook! Wooden sword against steel seems a bit unfair.

I am off, second start to the right, and straight till morning.

Originally posted on: gamertagradio.com

Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures Review

I have to admit, I’ve never been a big fan of Wallace and Gromit.

Not a fan as in, I’ve maybe caught the show a few times but nothing that I got hooked on watching.
What I do know about it, that it’s about a man and his loyal “very smart” dog. His master is a bit of a questionable in his intellect and relies very much on his dog.
They live in a British town where they do British things. Like Tea and Crumpets.

Xbox has however released a series of adventure games developed by Telltale games staring these two lovable characters created by Nick Park.

It is a simplistic adventure game based on the point and click function. Same function basically like Sam & Max and Axel & Pixel.
Have you noticed the trend yet? Two main characters, in pointy and clickedy based adventure games.

Don’t get me wrong, when GTR supplied me the game and I started playing it, it is surprisingly relaxing. There isn’t much to do in games such as these.
You just try various combinations with items you find to prompt an action/event in the story telling.

I would compare this to an interactive movie.

The graphics are pleasing and you appreciate the effort they put into the detailing of it. It is identical to the Tv version clay type style. A perfect mimic and mirror to the styles and patterns used by the original series.

When it comes to Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures, you are able to play through four “episodes”.
I refer to them as episodes since it is like watching an episode on TV, except that you have to pointy clicky to continue the show,
This is where the story is more important then the functionality itself.

Why I really enjoyed Sam & Max was because of the captivating storytelling and crazy characters within the tale. Maybe it’s my morbid humor that made me enjoy Sam & Max more then I did Wallace and Gromit. I feel that Wallace and Gromit was more tailored to a younger audience. Granted I am an adult and at times it’s hard for me to get into “younger” games. I do however watch a lot of cartoons, because let’s face it, news today are to damn depressing. Don’t get me wrong thou, there were times during the episode of Wallace and Gromit (The last Resort) that made me chuckle up a storm. It’s funny how a dog can be smarter then his master. They are manipulating us!

Anywho, the camera as always, get’s stuck sometimes and it tends to lag a bit. It might be cause my Xbox is the verge of a breakdown again, but I’d figure I mention this supposed flaw.
The game does entertain with some colorful characters. I am a big fan of the General, his paranoia can only be compared with a conspiracy theory geek. I’ve always had a soft spot for eccentric characters.
They make me feel better about myself since I feel less crazy then them.
I know, I know, it’s pretty sad where I compare my own psychosis with in game characters, I just can’t afford a visit to a therapist.

There isn’t really much to say about this particular game. Would I acquire it if It wasn’t sent to me? Probably not, simply since you have to enjoy the TV show to enjoy this game. It is what it is, four episodes that you can interact with by point n’ click. This would be a great game for a younger audience. Yes I admit it. I am to fricken old.
I see myself returning more to Sam & Max since it’s more my cup of tea.

Informative Wiki:

Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures is an episodic series of adventure games by Telltale Games based around the characters of Wallace and Gromit created by Nick Park and Aardman Animations. The first episode was released on March 24th 2009 for the PC. The Xbox Live Arcade version of the game was released on May 27, 2009 starting with Episode 1: Fright of the Bumblebees.
Episodes are developed by Telltale Games in collaboration with Aardman Animations to develop the story, characters, and setting. Players control both Wallace and Gromit at times through the gameplay. Ben Whitehead, Aardman’s official backup voice actor, portrays Wallace, instead of Peter Sallis, who has voiced the character in all screen appearances. A playable demo of the first episode was made available on March 16th 2009 and can be downloaded from the official site as well as Yahoo Games. It is also included on the Region 2 DVD and Blu-Ray releases of A Matter of Loaf and Death as DVD-ROM content
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Episode Release date

(Xbox Live Arcade)
1 “Fright of the Bumblebees” May 27, 2009
2 “The Last Resort” November 4, 2009
3 “Muzzled!” November 4, 2009
4 “The Bogey Man” November 4, 2009