It’s still 2016, so that means we’re going to review either a remaster or a sequel again. Seriously, I can count on one hand the number of reviews we’ve done for totally new IP, but a new release is a new release, so we’re going to go back…to the
future! Magic Kingdom for Disney Magical World 2! Not only do we get to play with Mickey and Donald and company like we did in 2014’s Disney Magical World (which we reviewed here), we also get a to enjoy a whole new bunch of Disney characters from Anna and Elsa to Lilo and Stitch to Snow White, as well as enjoy the company of some old ones from the last game. Magic wands at the ready?
I heartily recommend you read our review of the original Disney Magical World, because this game is almost exactly like it, just with some more stuff. In fact, regardless of whether you’re new to the game or a veteran of Castleton’s troubles, you’re treated exactly the same—like someone new to it all. I don’t know why but this bothered me. I’d gone to all the trouble of making friends and fulfilling requests and collecting all the things in the last game, and if I’d had such a great effect on them that they said they did, how come I was suddenly all forgotten about? Do the denizens of the Magic Kingdom have a weird kind of collective amnesia? I can certainly understand with the characters I’d not encountered before, but Mickey and Pooh Bear honestly should have known better. My in-game avatar did nothing to remedy the whole situation, so with a huge sigh I got on with it and pretended to have amnesia as well.
As before, there’s no one overarching story, just a collection of “episodes” in each world, loosely tied around the concept of mischievous ghosts. The levels are built in almost the exact same way as they were in Disney Magical World, just themed differently. Attacks work in precisely the same way, too, so expect to be upgrading your wand a lot. One massive difference between the two games is that Disney Magical World 2 does away with the collectible cards you got from greeting various personages, and instead has them handing out puzzle pieces that you use to create dreams featuring your favorite characters. These dreams give you those “nice” points that you can use to buy stuff from certain shops in the game. The rest of the collectibles, stickers, clothes, the cafe, the king, fishing, etc are all exactly the same. So it stands to reason that many of the criticisms levelled at the first game apply to this one in full force. I honestly really do recommend you read the first review.
I ran into a few issues with Disney Magical World 2 that I didn’t encounter in the first game. The biggest issue is that the game is sluggish, even on a New Nintendo 3DS. There are sections where the framerate drops drastically, especially in crowded spaces. The other issue I came across was an occasional bug that froze my 3DS completely. Not fun to have to restart an entire dungeon from scratch! The freeze can come at random times too, so be sure to save often.
By and large, Disney Magical World 2 is a fair upgrade from Disney Magical World, with different worlds to explore (although you still get to hit up the 100 Acre Wood for farming), although many of the core mechanics and motivations remain the same. If you thoroughly enjoyed the first game and want more of the exact same formula, then have I got a game for you! If you were hoping for huge differences in the way the game plays out, then you’ll probably be a bit disappointed. Personally, I was just annoyed with having to go through those initial steps of greeting everyone and going through the tutorials again. Nonetheless, there’s a great deal more content this time around, so you’ll have plenty to keep you busy and plenty to aim for. And since it’s aimed at a younger audience than us reviewers, I’ve no doubt that kids will love this game. Which kid (young or old) doesn’t want to appear in avatar form next to the likes of Mickey Mouse?