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

Will playing games turn your child into a different person?

Let me start with saying that I am not a parent. I do hope to become one some day soon but it is still a working progress. I read an interesting article written by my blog buddy Yvie. She writes that when her son started playing the well known game “Angry Birds”, that her son turned into a different person. He would share stories and communicate as well as he usually does. That he even lost interest in his other toys.

While our technological advances give us new ways of communication and better source of entertainment we can only ask ourselves. Are things really better? I say yes and no to that. Yes because we are not more connected and even studies have shown that playing video games stimulates the brain and self esteem in many cases. Because solving puzzles and feeling good about “saving the world” makes a difference in our daily lives. A sense of accomplishment that is grandiose to say the least. The it comes to the negative part. Videogames, stimulating as they may be, they also isolate us from real achievements in life. Instead of saving the world digitally, how’s about saving the world in reality? Looking outside, I don’t see to many people. It is summer and I don’t see children running outside on the law or playing with friends. When I do, my heart melts because it reminds me of my own youth.

We often think the question “What did we ever do before tecnology?”

I don’t know about you, but I did quite a lot. I explored my surroundings and played outside with my friends. Our games were cowboys and indians, softball using a stick and a pinecone and even played Robin Hood using a home made bow out of stick and rubber. Now that I think about it, the stick was probably my very best friend growing up. I mean it is so simple and you could do anything with it.

I think there can be a happy balance. A great parent know their child and understand what they need. Some children have friends via video games and to those I say good for ya! However, just like we react differently to things, so do children. I believe that we cannot have the same set of rules for all children. My mom actually made that into a point several times that she cannot compare her children because they are all so vastly different. That is why she had to a just the rules to accommodate each child’s needs, which to me makes sense.

I know my children will grow up with video games, but I also know that I will be attentive enough to make sure to take them outside and show them that there is a world out there too, whether they like it or not. That is how I plan to raise mine, how everyone else raises theirs is up to them.

I just hope that my husband wont have them grow up with World of Warcraft. That will be a failure on my part for not supplying them with better options. 😉

One thing they will enjoy will be the motion controls. The luxury of today’s technology is that children do not have to sit still anymore. Imagine all the energy they will burn jumping around like mad! I’ve baby sat so many kids and burning off their energy is the tricky part. I hope that by the time my kid is old enough to join me and my husband in our gaming-ventures, that kinect and motion controls will remain an option. ( Yahtzee had his way, we wouldn’t have any at all). I hope they will not only remain an option, but perfected and made into an available option for all.

I also hope that my example will define what type of person my kid will be. (and maybe his dad if he is nice about it)

Continuous artistic development with a pinch of crotch grabbing

There is a lot going on lately. Esp since memorial day sales revealed great surprises. Amongst others a sweet selection of drawing books. I’ve felt my art has become somewhat repetitive and I haven’t really continued to grow much. So I bought four books which will benefit me well.

All the things I know that I lack and can become better at (everything!)

That and with some encouragement yielded a fairly decent digital portrait of my little niece Nelly.
Here is the artistic process that might be of some interest to you. Esp if you are going to attempt something like this yourself.

Today I also emptied my husbands photo album from his cellphone, he had some burried gold there from the aviator museum that me, him and a old friend attended!

They actually turned out really flippin sweet 😀

Never mind that crazed look of mine. For some reason I always look evil when I have my picture taken!

Today was also a very crazed day. Kim and I picked up a copy of Michael Jackson experience for the Kinect. Kim is usually not the type that gets up and dances. But even he couldn’t resist learning the awesome hip thrust and the nutgrabber. Rest to say we put on our cheap fedora imitation hats and went on to have a evening of sweaty hot dancin’! You never really appreciate all those moves that Michael did until you try them yourself. The man had moves within moves! How is this possible? Esp with a bloated pelvis and back aches, it is damn near impossible. I did manage to perform a perfect moonwalk in which unlocked me one achievement. One thing I kind of miss with this game is a story mode. I’d love to have a similar story mode to that of The Beatles Rock Band!

Once we’ve cooled down, we will probably go at it again!

Who’s BAD?!….We’re pretty bad