E3 2014: Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved Preview
Posted by Liana Kerzner on 06.12.2014
Does the Last, Best Hope For the Kinect Measure Up? Liana Kerzner Finds out!
I'll admit that I was skeptical of Harmonix's latest Kinect offering, just because there are no other Kinect exclusive games anywhere at this year's E3. But Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved gives you something legitimate to do with the Kinect that doesn't involve turning on your Xbox One or opening the snap feature.
Fantasia has a definite musicality, and a good combination of skill-based gameplay and free-form musical creation to suck the player in. The game is extremely easy to learn, and the remix add-ons are clever ways to make very familiar songs seem fresh.
The basic gameplay involves the familiar mechanic of following direction prompts on the screen. Unlike other music games, Fantasia gives you plenty of time to prepare for the moves... most of the time. I cracked a score of over one million points and a 12X multiplier on my second attempt, so it's definitely accessible. The strengths of Fantasia are its eclectic track listings – everything from classical Fantasia standards to modern pop hits – and the ease of entry into the gameplay experience... don't make that dirty, you sick, twisted monkeys.
The Night on Bald Mountain remix was a good try, if strange, but the classical strings arrangement on Lorde's played-to-death hit Royals was inspired. The improved precision on the Xbox One Kinect definitely makes a difference, and the co-op mode adds a level of challenge because of the extra-variable of the color-coded prompts.
It's definitely not the cardio workout that Dance Central is but, conversely, it's accessible to less active types, including people in wheelchairs. It's an extension of Harmonix's wheelhouse instead of stepping completely outside it, but that's not a bad thing. If you like active music gaming and you're looking for a somewhat different experience, Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved seems to deliver on its promises... and apparently Mickey does make an appearance. The game releases October 21st for Kinect for Xbox One and Xbox 360. It's not worth buying a new system for, but if you have an Xbox One, enjoy the enhanced features!