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Meteos: Disney Magic review

AT A GLANCE
  • Gameplay's still addictive
  • Vibrant animated backgrounds
  • Disney characters add charm
  • New changes affect core gameplay
  • Music is awful and repetitive
  • Holding the DS sideways

How much you love Disney will likely dictate your enjoyment of Meteos: Disney Magic, the sequel/follow-up/money grab to the original space-themed puzzler which is as close to videogame crack as you can get. Slimmed down for kiddies - we assume - this version is essentially the original Meteos, but Disney-fied.

For you Meteos-virgins; different colored blocks fall from the sky and it’s your job to match at least three either horizontally or vertically to blast them and any blocks you’ve stacked off the screen. Sometimes that pesky gravity won’t let your blocks launch so easily, meaning you gotta match more blocks in mid-air, which rockets them off screen much faster.



This version brings with it some questionable changes that alter the overall core gameplay. For one, you hold the DS sideways now, which doesn’t seem to serve any purpose. Two, you can now move blocks horizontally, unlike the original where blocks only moved vertically. We assume this was done to prevent "scratching" - randomly moving the stylus up and down to launch blocks - because it sure didn’t make the game easier. The bead of sweat forming on our brow tells us there's much more to keep track of now.

The story mode has been re-worked as well: rather than just launching blocks at your CPU opponent or planet, each level comes with a pre-determined objective; stay alive for a couple minutes or launch 400 blocks for example. At first this change seems welcome, until you realize that you have no way of ever knowing your progress outside of time elapsed. It just seems unfair after playing a level for six minutes and not knowing when or if you’ll win.

Each background is movie-themed and animates slightly along with your progress, like how the original Meteos changed tempo for launching blocks. For example: Winnie the Pooh has nightmares of his honey in peril. Make good progress and he dreams of his friends. Therein lays the problem: the game’s charm rests completely in its backgrounds.



Whereas the original had you collecting different elements to fuse together planets that extended the replay value, this version relies solely on your love of Disney to exist. The only unlockables are the backgrounds for multiplayer use or just to look at. Not to mention the soulless music which only mimics each film’s theme; i.e. generic Hawaiian music for Lilo & Stitch and African chanting for The Lion King.

Meteos: Disney Magic will only sell because of the Disney name. Yes, it’s still Meteos, but the experience is shallow because of the diluted gameplay. Instead of being simplified, the difficulty is spiked and like most crack that's peddled, the Disney high wears off quickly.

More Info

Release date: Feb 27 2007 - DS (US)
Jun 01 2007 - DS (UK)
Available Platforms: DS
Genre: Family
Published by: Disney Interactive Studios
Developed by: Q Entertainment
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Mild Violence
PEGI Rating:
12+

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