Disney Princess (GBA) Review
Best Game Ever?.. if you are a five year old little girl
Only very young fans of the Disney movies can appreciate this game. The only way to see this game as fun is as follows: you really love every single Disney movie that has a princess, or you have never played another video game in your life so you have nothing in which to compare it.
This game allows the player to take control of princesses that starred in many of the famous Walt Disney movies. Players will assume the role of Belle, Aurora, Cinderella, Ariel, and Jasmine. Each character will play out a role that resembles that of the movie they starred in. Most characters have three levels to venture through and each supports a different style of play. For instance, Belle walks left or right in a simple side scrolling manor. But Aerial’s level is more free roaming as you can not only travel left and right, but also up and down since she is swimming. One of Jasmine’s levels is also similar to this as she takes control of a magic carpet.
For the most part, each character has a button that jumps and another used for some sort of task. For example, Belle throws snowballs at incoming wolves, Aerial shoots sparks from her trident, and Jasmine will knock enemies out with a sword. Just when I thought that the attacks couldn’t get any worst, I played Snow White’s level. Only in a Disney game can you sing an enemy to death. If she stands within general proximity to an enemy, she can knock them out by way of singing an annoying tune. And Aurora can’t even jump. She just waves a wand in hope to transform butterflies into fairies. But, the very worst of them all has to be Cinderella’s level. It is the player’s job to clean up the house by sweeping and scrubbing the floors. I can’t believe this is in this game. It teaches little girls how to clean up. How sexist and immoral is that? In addition, how not fun is it to clean up your own house in real life? Then you must do it virtually in a game? I’m not sure I understand this concept completely. To add to this confusion, the enemies in the game made me laugh. I realized that Belle is trying to avoid getting mauled by rabid wolves and Jasmine is trying to dodge magically spinning swords that seem to be following her. I’m not sure if this makes complete sense.
In each level, players must collect coins spread throughout the level. Some are just floating while others are hiding in very non-inconspicuous, supposed to be camouflaged, treasures chests. Some level layouts simply play out as “run to the right of the screen” while others are more free roaming and some are more maze-like. Hidden within each level are items that were in the corresponding character’s movie (i.e. Cinderella’s Castle and Glass Slipper). Once these items have been found, they will be unlocked in a gallery to view at a later time and in greater detail. This small extra just seemed to be added in the last minute of development in hopes it will force the player to collect everything in the game and try to generate some replay value. Each time you play, you have five hits to take before you must start over. And notice that I use the term “start over” and not “die.” Dying wouldn’t be proper for a Disney game so it was left out. There isn’t even a dying animation when your character takes too many hits. Plus, the game won’t even save your game. You need to write down a rather lengthy password if you want to continue. Five year old kids are going to be playing this game and don’t think that their reading and writing skills will be enhanced enough to write down this long password. Battery back up is needed.
This game contains some of the chunkiest play control I have ever played in a video game. It rivals bad NES games. The way the character moves is so slow and painstaking that it almost makes the game unplayable. Plus, each time you jump, there is a pause when you take off and when you land. The game only makes use of the “A” and “B” buttons too. The makers of this game probably decided not to use the shoulder buttons because it would be to hard for all the young people to hold the GBA and hit the trigger buttons with their smaller hands. So basically, your character can jump and your character can attack; just not at the same time. Throwing a snowball or swinging your sword in the middle of your jump would have been nice. As I said before, the extremely slow pace of the game and the horrid play control nearly makes this game unplayable.
The game’s graphics generate a sort of storybook feel. However, the game isn’t terribly detailed. Every character in the game, the princesses and enemies, moves in a very simple fashion. Just small movements are used through the entire game. Plus, every princess has a very strange ducking animation. For some reason, they always look like they are doing something they are not supposed to be doing. To try and emulate that musical feel that is generated from every Disney movie, high-pitched singing is always present. This grows to be very annoying. However, anyone who played Belle’s first level will want to throw the game cartridge into the depths of the blackest ocean never to be found again due to the fact that there is a wolf howling sound byte that gets played over and over about ever four seconds. There is no doubt in my mind that this sound effect, played repeatedly as it does in this level, wins the gold medal for most annoying sound effect in the history of gaming. If you somehow absolutely must play this game, be sure the sound is turned off. In addition, Snow White’s singing maneuver probably takes the silver.
Even if you are a young kid, I still highly doubt that you will want to play this game. Beside from the fact that this game is somewhat offensive in the field of sexism, it is also in competition for worst play control and sound effects on GBA (or any other system for that matter). Despite the disaster that is game is, I won’t be surprised if it sells a few copies strictly due to the fact that parents will buy it for their daughters because of the Disney theme and non-violence. A restraining order should be made for this game; it must stay at least 300 yards from any GBA system. To find a better kid based movie-to-game, play Finding Nemo or Lilo and Stitch.