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Disney Universe. Playstation 3.
During my trip home over Christmas I found myself in Sutton Coldfield town centre shopping for a few last minute bits and pieces, during this shopping trip I ended up in Game where I managed to find the Disney Universe game for the Playstation 3 on offer at £13 which I thought was a bit of a bargain and so I purchased it as I have previously seen it on eBay selling for between £15 and £20.
The game comes in a normal PS3 game box, which contains the game disc along with an instruction manual for the game. The game instruction manual is written in English and is clear and simple to follow. There is also a little poster of the game included which I'm pretty sure will appeal to the younger players.
A Whole Universe of Disney!
When you first insert the game disc the PS3 will initially need to install the game to your system and possibly perform a system update for saving your progress, mine needed to do both of these things but it only took a moment to do so I had just enough time to get a drink while I waited. Once installed the title screen will appear along with some rather funky but cool music, you instantly get the "Disney" feeling when you hear it. From the initial title screen you will see a short video welcoming you to Disney Universe and inviting you to take a look around, it is during this introduction that something strange happens in the Disney Universe, evil robots and their minions are taking over the universe and changing it from Disney to Chaos, it is now up to you to "suit up" and save the various worlds which make up Disney Universe.
Disney Universe consists of 6 worlds, each world has 3 levels and each level is made up of 3 different areas. There are more worlds which can be downloaded but these are at a cost so as of yet I haven't bothered with the download content. The 6 worlds on the disc are, Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland, Monsters Inc., Aladdin, The Lion King and Wall-E.
When you first begin playing you will only have the option to play the Pirates of the Caribbean world but before you can play you must first "suit up". Suit Up is the expression used in the game when referring to which character you are going to dress up as and play, as with the worlds the costumes are also limited to begin with and the more you play the more you will be able to unlock. Every costume begins with a 1 star rating but as you progress through the game you can collect stars and these will upgrade your costume and the skills which come with the costume. There is a total of 45 costumes in the game, to unlock the costumes you need to collect gold while you work through the different worlds and then use this gold to purchase the costumes. The gold is also used for unlocking the new worlds too so I would advise you unlock the world you want to play before getting a new costume. Once you are suited up then you are ready to go and save Disney Universe from Evil!
Saving the Universe!
So, you're suited up and ready to go, let's save the universe! When you begin a new world you will hear a countdown of 3, 2, 1, GO! You are then in complete control of your character who you must move around using the left analogue stick combined with the 'x' button to jump. As I mentioned earlier you will begin with Pirates of the Caribbean world, however I have unlocked and played all of the worlds and they are pretty much the same other than the bad guys being themed to each world and the scenery too, but the main concept of the game and the way you fight remains the same throughout and in my opinion the game is very easy! I am 30 though so I think for a child this game will provide some challenges and last much longer in terms of playability!
Throughout each level there is a lot of gold to collect, some of this is simply lying in your pathway, while other pieces are hidden in crates, behind doors or barriers or simply stolen by the enemies. By pressing the square button you are able to smash crates and fight enemies to win the gold, most enemies are easy to defeat with a couple of hits but there are some which require a bit more work. If you die while defeating an enemy or for any other reason you will re-spawn, so far in my experience the number of re-spawns seems to be unlimited which is great for kids but kind of takes the challenge out of the game as you re-spawn in almost the same place which you died! As you move through each level you will need to complete various tasks to be able to progress further, completing these tasks is very easy as there is a large blue arrow on the screen directing you to where you need to go next, again this does take the challenge out of the game but this option can be changed so that you can play without the arrow. At the end of the 3rd part of each level you will need to defeat a boss who is holding another character hostage. Once the boss is defeated the character will be released and available for you to purchase with your collected gold and then play as the new characters. To unlock all of the characters you will need to play through the levels at least twice, I thought this might be a bit boring as I generally don't replay games, but in actual fact it was just as much fun the 2nd time around as you can take your time and make sure you collect things you may have missed the first time around and complete challenges you had previously missed or failed.
At various points in each level you will see an old style arcade machine pop up in the middle of a scene. If you press the triangle button while you are near it you will be able to take on a challenge. The challenges vary in both difficulty and sanity! For example there are some challenges where you have to defeat so many enemies in a certain amount of time, some where you have to avoid bombs or lasers for 30 seconds and then others where your character turns into a chicken or a big boot and you have to peck your enemies to defeat them of kick so many balls around the screen before the timer runs out. I personally like the challenges, some are a lot easier than others and some seem to be very hard so there is a nice variety here. If you complete a challenge you will receive some gold and if you fail then you will receive a 'looser' badge and you will be able to retry the challenge the next time you play the level.
It Wouldn't Be Disney Without Some Music!
In true Disney style the music in Disney Universe is very lively and catchy. The music in the levels vary depending on which world you are in but I find that I'm often sitting playing and 'Do-be-doing' along with the music, as a result of this I seem to get the music stuck in my head quite a lot! The music isn't irritating at all and all of the sound effects in the game are clear and relevant to whatever is happening at the time.
Multiplayer & Online
Disney Universe does have a multiplayer option, but as I only have one controller I have not played this. The online options are very limited and really only for purchasing add-ons and downloadable content. There is no option to play the game itself online as apparently (according to the man in the Game shop) they wanted to keep the game 100% safe for children.
Playstation Move Features
Disney Universe is not Playstation Move compatible, all controls in the game are made with a normal Playstation controller.
In my opinion, the controls of the game are very easy and I think most children and adults will be able to pick them up easily. I would say the harder part of this game for the children may be working out what to do next to progress through the level as even though there are arrows to help you, they are not always perfectly clear!
Playstation Network Trophies
Disney Universe is trophy compatible and there are 41 trophies which can be won in total as well as extra ones if you download the extra worlds at a cost of around £3.50ish each. Most of the trophies are Bronze, there is also a decent amount of silver and just a few gold. The platinum trophy is available for collecting all of the other trophies. Most of the trophies are gained by completing the levels and some are won by defeating enemies in various ways or having a certain amount of gold saved.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics in the game are great, they are typical Disney and full of colour. I find most of the levels are actually reasonably detailed but at the same time they are not over complicated and keep things simple which works really well. Everything in the game runs smoothly and in some places things move perfectly in time with the beat of the music which adds to the urge to dance!
Price and Availability
I bought my copy of Disney Universe in Game for £13, reduced from £17.99. I have also seen it on eBay for between £15 and £20. Personally I wouldn't pay more than £15 for this game because although I really enjoy playing it and I would definitely recommend it, it is rather short in terms of how many worlds and levels there are.
There is also an Xbox 360 and a Nintendo Wii version of the game available too.
Overall I love Disney Universe! It is fun, relatively easy and also quite an addictive game. I enjoy playing this game when I'm in the mood for something where I don't have to think too much and don't have to use a lot of buttons to control, so basically when I feel a bit tired or lazy this game is nice. Some parts of the game do make me think and I have recently turned off the help arrows to give myself more of a challenge and I find I like it a lot more now.
I am giving this game 4 out of 5 stars. I would love to give it 5 stars but I feel it could have done with a few more worlds included in the game.
Thanks for reading :)