Monday, June 6, 2011

Getting on the Game Grid...Tentatively

I am not a big gamer. I have a Wii. I can barely use it, and am not terribly serious about it when I do. I get confused easily by video games. It's part of the reason why Tron eludes me. I enjoyed the first one more than the second one, which wavered between 3D sensory assault and tedium. The original at least had a cute, young, non-computer-generated Jeff Bridges. The last game system I had before the Wii was the old grey Nintendo where you blew in the bottom of the game to try to get it to work again.

My fiance, on the other hand is a gaming nut. He has a 360 Box and an X Cube and other such gizmos and whatsits. That's on top of being able to whoop my behind at anything Wii related. It's infuriating and charming. It all balances. I will let him play "just a few more cases" of L.A. Noire today, so he doesn't judge the fact that I'll be plastered to the new season of True Blood in a few scant weeks.

I do own a few Disney related Wii games. Disney Sing-It is cute. It's full on karaoke. You sing along with the words superimposed over scenes from Disney films. Simple enough. The song choice is weird. There aren't enough belty princess numbers and too many iffy inclusions. Seriously. If I can't make it through "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" without slipping into incoherent gibberish, what are the 10 year old girls who are supposed to play this games supposed to do with it? The best part is have Ti Ti (Princess Tiana) herself, Dreamgirl and Tony award winner for my favorite musical, Caroline, or Change, Anika Noni Rose, coach you to sing. I have learned that it's OK if people think I look silly when I warm up and that I am "Tuneful!" Why bother paying for expensive classes when training like that is waiting on my Wii? Lil' Miss Emi (toddler sans tiara) took copious notes and check her out!

I also got Epic Mickey. It is fascinating. It takes place in a dark, twisted version of the Magic Kingdom where Oswald the Lucky Rabbit rules and Gremlins run free. You explore run down versions of places in the park, like the castle and It's a Small World. For a Disney junkie like me, who prides himself on harboring obscure Disney facts, the references are a feast. But I kept getting stuck. My brain doesn't function like the games wants it to. I am an old man when it comes to certain technology. When it all came down to it, I really just wanted to watch someone else play while I jabber on about the cool thingamajob from that early Silly Symphony lurking in the corner. But by then, the fiance had moved on to the next game on his list. He doesn't know this yet, but he's obligated to play the rest so I can see what else happens. Sorry 'bout it.

But over the past week or so, two new games have been announced that make me want to dance a little jig on the table. The first is Disney Universe, which will be on Wii and some other systems that I know little to nothing about. Comparisons to similar games that keep being made are lost on me. I haven't played them. All I know is this. You get to be a cute little blue dude, you get to dress him up in a Disney character costume, and then you get to play cooperatively in levels based on Disney movies. I also know that this trailer makes me giggle and want to go to there.

Next is Disneyland Adventures. It's for the XBox, which I'm pretty sure we have around here somewhere, and Microsoft Kinect, which I'm pretty sure we don't. I'm a little wary of the whole Kinect phenomenon. It seems a bit creepy that it knows everything that my body is doing. I feel like it's going to either start keeping notes so it can criticize me at a later date or just sit silently in judgement of me forever and I don't know which would be worse. However, if this is what I can do with the thing, then I may have to invest. Be aware that this video is not in English. I think it's in French, but despite studying it for five years, I couldn't tell you what they're saying for the life of me, aside from the charming pronunciations of things like "attraction", "Peter Pan", and "Pirates of the Caribbean". The Disneyland Adventures part starts at about the 2:24 mark.

Dude! You get to go to Disneyland whenever you want! You get to go on the uh-track-see-ons! You can hug Mickey! Why is this not in my life yet?!?

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