If you've been missing that Disney theme park magic as of late, and still aren't comfortable going around large crowds, never fear, Disney can still take your hard-earned cash and give you that warm fuzzy feeling! Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition ports the Nintendo 3DS game to the Switch, like putting a fresh coat of paint on a fading park ride.
The plot of the game is pretty simple, you’re a person who moves to Castleton, where all the Disney characters live and or visit, along with some other regular people, and you can then do 8 million things, instantly winning over the hearts and minds of everyone from the King (who looks like the guy on the Pringles can, if I’m being honest) to Mickey Mouse to Scrooge McDuck.
Each of the six Disney Worlds you get to visit have their own plotlines that you play through, like saving Sebastian’s concert in Atlantica or helping Lilo and Stitch prepare for a Hula contest. While none of these stories are going to be winning any Pulitzer prizes any time soon, they’re all a lot of fun and stay true to the characterizations in the original movies. Besides, who doesn’t want to Hula with Lilo and Stitch or go mining with the Seven Dwarfs? Though I did like them better before they tried to nickname me "Burpy."
Magical World 2 is chock full of mini-games and things to do, even as a grown adult I could spend over fifty hours trying to fully complete the activities and get all the outfits and furniture. You can run a café, surf, help Ariel add to her collection, attend a ball, go fishing or fight ghosts in dungeons across the Disney Worlds, to name a few. Most are pretty easy once you get the hang of them, and none are unduly challenging as the game is meant to be kid-friendly after all. Each of the activities is also different, with no re-skins of the same game peppered throughout the world. Attending a ball is different from fighting ghosts in a dungeon or farming, and each of the systems is well-designed.
The game's progression system is also well designed. Instead of levels, you collect stickers by doing certain activities, and the more stickers you have, the more things you can craft and the more levels you unlock in each of the worlds. You do have a sticker book available from the menu at all times that tells you exactly what you need to get stickers and you can tackle them in whichever order you like. There are also certain things that unlock once you've collected all the stickers but probably still have quite a ways to go in completing your collections.
The best part of the game is just the fun, immersive Disney magic. It’s akin to a Disney version of Animal Crossing but with more things to do, and less creepy NPC designs. Are you a fan of Disney? You’ll probably enjoy running around doing fetch quests, fighting ghosts, and attending the balls. If you’re not a Disney fan, well, this game isn’t going to be the thing to change your mind. But if you are a Disney fan, running around and getting to meet all the characters and dress up like them is a great time.
The worst part of Disney Magical World 2 is the lack of options. Literally, there isn’t an options menu. Subtitles, mini-game difficulties, text speed, everything is already set for you, which gets annoying at times. For things like assistance with mini-games, there are built-in “good luck charms” that you can use to make them easier, but the lack of an option to use auto-skip on repetitive cutscenes gets real annoying real fast.
As far as how child-friendly the game is, the different parts of it are on a sliding scale. While most kids over the age of seven or eight can probably make their way through most of the game just fine, there are parts that might require some parental assistance for young Mouseketeers. For example, some items are difficult to find without a guide and that affects crafting items and outfits, and the fishing requires a fairly quick trigger finger. Setting up a café and choosing decorations, however, and exploring the worlds is perfect for any age level. The game also does provide tutorials for all activities, which are all accessible at any time from the pause menu and walk players through all aspects step by step.
Originally released for Nintendo 3DS, the Switch port of Disney Magical World 2 is almost perfect. If I hadn’t known it wasn’t developed as a Switch game initially, I wouldn’t have been able to tell. The only times that it’s really noticeable are when you join characters for treasure hunts and the framing of the scene is wildly off-center, often cutting off dialogue bubbles in the process as well as looking just plain weird. Other than that, the mechanics and gameplay setup all translated over wonderfully.
Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition is a must-buy for Disney fans and still has some merit for those less enthusiastic. It’s a great family game that you can play with kids or spend several days binging on if you like. Full of mini-games and things to do, you won’t get bored easily whether you're a child or an adult. While this is slightly balanced out by the lack of an options menu and some minor video wonks in the port process, Disney Magical World 2 is still an instant classic.
TechRaptor reviewed Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition on Nintendo Switch using a copy provided by the publisher.
- Plenty of Mini-games and Activities For All Ages
- Classic Disney Charm
- Fun Stories and Lots of Characters To Meet
- Lack of Options Menu