Welcome to the magical world of Castleton! Where your neighbours feature the likes of Daisy and Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie and Mickey Mouse to name a few. A place where your dreams come true. However some mischievous ghosts are causing the Disney characters problems, and it’s your job to save the day.
As seen in the original Disney Magical World, the game starts with a respectable customisation screen where you can design your playable avatar. The amount of detail here puts the Mii Maker to shame. Talking of your Mii, you can choose to import your Mii from your Nintendo 3DS system. After playing through the prologue that teaches you the basics of the game, the world is yours to explore.
With loads of areas to explore and items to collect it’s hard to know where to start your adventure. While the game doesn’t strictly hold your hand, you are gently persuaded to complete objectives that can earn you stickers. Stickers unlock various things such as new clothes to make, furniture to build, theme worlds, and quests within the theme worlds.
Within the themed areas are quests to complete. These often see your character armed with a wand to defeat the ghosts that are causing trouble. Defeating ghosts is fairly straight forward by pointing your wand at it and pressing A to shoot. However the targeting can get frustrating as the ghosts are fast and the wand and special move animations are not smooth at times, and can see you casting your magic in an empty space.
You can also pick up items within these quests that can aid you in making new ones. A treasure chest at the end of the level is usually filled with some rarer and more useful materials for item making. As you progress through the game (the more stickers you have) the quests will get harder. Finishing a quest can sometimes reward you with a quest outfit or new wand recipe. Making this outfit or wand (should you have collected all the materials required) will give you increased health (outfit) and spell power (wand) in the themed area that they belong too.
If helping Disney citizens win the fight against naughty ghosts isn’t enough of a full-time job, you are also given the responsibility of running your own café. Here you can decorate the interior with the items that you have made, and feed the customers a variety of themed food. Fulfilling requests from the customers will sometimes increase your café level, which allows you to serve more food and earn more money. When you have enough theme points it’s a good idea to throw a party in the café that will persuade certain Disney characters to show up. For example, a café designed in Mickey Mouse-style with waiters wearing outfits and serving food inspired by the famous character, will likely see the Mouse himself show up to the party with a few friends.
The world of Castleton has undergone a facelift since the last game, giving you much more room to explore. For those of you that are new to the series, Castleton acts as the hub world for the adventure. This is where you access shops, your café, and themed areas. Themed areas in this game include Frozen, Lilo and Stitch, Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, and Winnie the Pooh.
Returning from the previous title is a redesigned Winnie the Pooh’s 100 Acre Wood. In this area you can use Rabbit’s garden to grow more crops to use for ingredients to use in your café. In the new Snow White themed area, you can help the dwarfs in the mine which will reward you in jewels. These can be exchanged for puzzle pieces for magical dreams. Both of these areas also have quests to be completed. The more you complete and the further along the game you get, you will have more room to grow crops and new mines to get jewels from.
You could say the ultimate goal of the game, after all the collecting, leads to the Magical Dreams. These are places that you go to in your dreams, where you can hang out with your favourite Disney characters and completing actions within the dream earn you Nice points, which can be exchanged for more items, recipes, and jewels.
The option to venture into a Magical Dream is obtained by collecting puzzle pieces and borders. Puzzle pieces vary in difficulty to collect. From just interacting with a character wandering around Castleton, to trading in hard-earned jewels from mining for a chance at a rarer piece. If collecting puzzle pieces were not enough, you then need the matching border to enter the dream. These are fairly tricky to get, often needing a café party to be held for the character to appear and reward you with the border when you take a souvenir picture.
So, this will require a fair bit of grinding for materials to get a good enough theme score to invite the characters you want to visit. But sadly the Magical Dreams are, after all that effort, are a bit boring. All you can do is take pictures of your character in the various dream like scenarios and earn Nice points. The effort to collect the puzzle pieces doesn’t really feel like it pays off. However you can be rewarded with exclusive dream items when you wake up from the dream, and it is a way to quickly earn Nice points while in the dream, that can be redeemed for more items.
Finally, Disney Magical World 2 takes advantage of great connectivity options. Players can use a variety of methods to obtain special gifts for the game. Over SpotPass, players can be notified of special items that can be downloaded. There is also the ability to scan special Disney Magical World AR cards as seen in the previous game. New to Disney Magical World 2 is the option to also enter a code or scan QR codes for items. Stay tuned to the official Disney Magical World 2 website to be sure to not miss a distribution.
Disney Magical World 2 oozes Disney’s magical charm from the second you boot up the game. The world and characters are visually pleasing with authentic voice acting at times throughout the adventure. While the game does require you to do a sizeable amount of grinding to complete collections – whether that be furniture, clothes, food, or dream puzzle – it’s not too painful as each collection task plays its part in the circle of the adventure. With hundreds of collectables (and more unlocked at various seasons of the year) and Disney characters to meet, Disney Magical World 2 has enough to keep you swimming along for a very long time.
Disney Magical World 2 continues the magic experienced in the original title, with hundreds of collectables available that keep you wanting to go back for more.
Version Tested: Nintendo 3DS
Review copy provided by Bandai Namco Entertainment