Disney's Enchanted
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2007-12-19 Nintendo DS Action/Adventure E (Everyone) Disney Interactive

After Magical Jewels and Enchanted Journey, it was time for me to spend some more time getting acquainted with another Disney Princess. A movie-based game usually doesn't have what it takes to stand out and serves the purpose of yet more advertising for a particular franchise. But Enchanted actually got me laughing since I saw the trailer on TV, so off I went, adventuring with Giselle, Pip and Prince Edward in what I hoped to be an entertaning adventure.

Based on the movie of the same name, Enchanted follows the movie's events, where a princess is banished to the real-life world. You play as Pip, Giselle and Prince Edward - one at a time - alternating between the beautiful kingdom of Andalasia and New York City.

The game offers a mix of 3D and 2D environments, and different styles of gameplay. As Giselle, you do some adventuring, item collecting, some platform jumping and even a little acrobatics. Giselle can also make pretty dresses for herself out of the items she collects. Items can be pretty much everywhere you can interact with the touch screen, for example, by sweeping a pile of leaves, cleaning a spider web. Giselle can also ask her little animal friends for help and have them collect some things she can't reach. Her special power is singing. By stepping up onto special platforms, you begin a tracing mini-game that if successful, plays a special song that has a special temporary effect (such as keeping the evil mushrooms at bay or opening a new passage). A pretty resourceful princess, if you ask me!

As Pip you play through 2D platform levels, jumping over obstacles and crawling on the walls and ceiling, using the D-pad and buttons. There are also items to be collected by tapping them on the touch screen. They're short adventures, and are mostly used to tie in the story together.

As Edward, you have plenty of swordfighting, occasional horseback riding and quite a few hilarious heroic outbursts of speech! Horseback riding is done in a 2D side-scrolling fashion, where you tap the horse to jump, tap Edward to duck below branches, and draw circles to gallop faster. Swordfighting is where it gets complicated for the little ones. To enter a fight, you must first tap whatever you want to attack. You then enter a mini-game where you must do a series of taps on the circles, sliding the arrows in the right direction, or catch moving stars on the screen. As you do the right movements on the touch screen, Edward will slash at the enemy on the top screen. Edward also can get help from animals at times.

There are plenty of save points, so progression won't be too big of an issue for younger gamers.

Graphically, Enchanted isn't too shabby. The characters animate well, though there are some glitches when Edward kills a monster (it sort of shakes around then stops just before dying, and it didn't seem normal to me) and the NPCs don't vary in appearance much. The two worlds have very distinct looks and the scenery is obviously very different, although Giselle still manages to find some flowers, acorns and other things while roaming the streets of New York City. The characters' portraits also change from cartoon characters to real photos, and the cutscenes in the real world are presented by stills from the movie. No actual video or voice acting, which is a shame.

The sound is fairly good, though in some areas there seem to be no background noises at all.

Wireless features also come into play by letting you exchange dresses you have created with other users.

In sum, Enchanted makes great use of pretty much all the DS features and ended being a lot better than I expected. It's way better than Disney Princess too! The controls are a bit awkward on the horseback riding, and sometimes seem to allow no margin of error during swordfighting. But the game flows nicely, the gameplay is varied, the story is well written, humor is a constant, and the presentation is quite nice.

I can safely classify Enchanted into that rare category that is "movie games done right".


Special thanks to Kate Pagliara and Disney Interactive for providing a copy of this title.