Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition
It's A Small World After All?
In 2013, Bandai Namco, in collaboration with h.a.n.d, released Disney Magical World for the 3DS. Players either imported their Miis or created an original character as they embarked to Castleton, the main hub-world. Meeting Micky Mouse and friends, the player is assigned tasks while completing objectives to move the story. The game saw success in and outside of Japan to warrant a sequel in 2015 aptly titled Magical World 2. Six years later, the game would be remastered on the Nintendo Switch as Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition.
The developers, h.a.n.d, are recently best known for their work behind NEO: The World Ends With You. Before then, they were known for their various Disney releases on mobile platforms as well as other licensed titles. With the surprise remaster of a six-year-old title, is it a good late stocking stuffer for young Disney fans? Or is it nothing more than a way for Disney to milk money out of an older title?
Magical World 2 Is Several Genres At Once
Following a rather amusingly bad performance from Mickey Mouse and friends, "dancing" to a pre-recorded song as they introduce the player to Castleton, the player has several liberties to themselves. In the beginning, the player can create their own character, which offers a lot of options that I wasn't expecting. Everything from face, hair, eyes, and skin tone can be changed and the designs aren't terrible. They fit the "children's Disney art style" that the game was going for. Everything is brightly colored and the graphics look better than they did on the 3DS. One can play the game and immediately figure out that it's an older title from a previous generation system. The game doesn't feel modern but it feels like a relic of the past.
Looking past the dated physics, the first 45 minutes of the game serve as a tutorial. Unfortunately, it's in the form of fetch quests as the main character has to enter the neighborhood with Mickey, go fishing with Donald, craft clothing with Daisy, and so on. The game is opened up slowly via obtaining "stickers," this game's version of "earning achievements." As they earn stickers, more facilities open up as well as plot details. Everything weaves into each other, including fishing for items that can be sold to Scrooge McDuck in exchange for money.
The Real Gameplay Takes Place Further In The Game
Money is then used to craft outfits, furniture, and buy accessories. It's not farfetched to think of it as an Animal Crossing-esque game. In some ways, this is true. The game follows a real-time system as the in-game time is tied to the Switch time. Events happen at certain parts of the day much like AC, although the neighbors are lacking. Aside from the Disney characters, the fellow NPC characters are only useful to comment on your outfit. Also, everything is given to you including a house and a fishing rod. Home development isn't the main focus of the game, instead, there's an action twist.
After a certain point, the player will meet Master Yen Sid who will give them a beginner magic rod. It is at this point that the player will be able to enter dungeons and do battle against aggressive ghosts. While it is a unique change of pace, giving the player a chance to fight enemies, it is still overly simplistic. All the player has to do is mash the "A" button and the wand will decimate the ghosts. Even pressing the "X" button will cast a super attack at the cost of MP. Considering its one MP per cast and players get an overabundance by defeating the enemies, the player should never be in a predicament where they are in danger.
The Challenges Of Porting A Mobile Game To Console
The setup of Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition is that it is a high definition port of a mobile title. That, alone, is a hit or miss as mobile games have similar liberties consoles don't have. This isn't a game to play in a full sitting but one to play in quick bursts. After a while, I found myself bored, but that was because all I'd done was walk, follow, and have a new facility open up. In quick 15 to 30 minute spurts, it would be enough to do what Magical World 2 offered me to do. Unfortunately, due to the slow pace of the game, I found myself having Castleton slowly open its doors.
After I did the first level of the ghosts mission, another crafting facility was open to me. As progression is tied to Stickers, the game forces you in a linear path that even if you wanted to branch out, you couldn't. I assume as places open up, so too would there be things to do, but I can only recommend this to the biggest Disney fan. It's not a terrible game, but it shows its age in many ways. The only thing "Enchanted" in this edition is the updated visuals.
Disney Magical World 2 is available on the 3DS and Switch.