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Joseph Rositano
26 Jan, 2008

Enchanted Review

DS Review | Not so enchanting...
Enchanted is based on the film of the same name, which follows the story of Giselle, a young maiden who lives in the fantasy world of Andalasia. One day, Giselle is rescued from an ogre by Prince Edward, and it is arranged that the two would marry each other. Unwilling to let Giselle marry Prince Edward however, the Queen of Andalasia warped her into the real world. Confused on the whereabouts of their true love, both Prince Edward and Giselle explore the real world to be reunited.

In the game, players take control of Giselle, Prince Edward and Pip, a talking chipmunk. Each character has their own gameplay mode, and as you progress through the story you’ll alternate between each one. Giselle’s mode is focused on exploration. During her levels, you’ll simply have to make your way to a certain place or obtain specific items. To help you do this, you’ll need to utilise the special abilities of animals. A bird for example, can collect objects which are stuck in trees or in the middle of rivers, while a mouse can bite through vines and unblock pathways. Occasionally, you’ll also need to make dresses by using the materials you’ve collected. During these sections, players are treated to a short mini-game, which involves placing the items in a barrel and spinning them in the direction that’s displayed. Although fun at first, the exploration segments start becoming bland as you progress through the game. Levels feel very linear, you’re given multiple fetch quests and in the end, there just isn’t a lot of variety in the sort of tasks you undertake.

  
I think I'll go for a fitness run before making my dress.

I think I'll go for a fitness run before making my dress.
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Edward’s levels mainly consist of turn-based combat, and are completely controlled via the touch screen. During battle, the touch screen displays circles that you have to tap and drag across the screen before time runs out. On the top screen, this translates to Edward guarding and striking at enemies with his sword. Unfortunately, over time this becomes very repetitive as every couple of steps you take, an enemy will appear. To be fair, you can skip most of the enemies you encounter, however, you will still be halted by barriers that require you to defeat nearby monsters. To make things worse, you’ll spend a large amount of time fighting blobs and trolls; again there’s a lack of variety to keep things interesting. Even boss battles become tedious due to the fact they play out exactly the same as previous encounters. They also tend to be drawn out for a longer period of time, making them feel like a chore. Additionally, you will sometimes ride on Edward's horse, using the touch screen to duck under, and jump over obstacles. Unfortunately, this only happens twice in the game, which is shame considering it could have been used to break up the combat.

Pip’s levels only last a few minutes, and are reminiscent of the classic side-scrolling platform games. Essentially, you have to get from Point A to Point B; jumping over any obstacles you come across and collecting items which go towards the materials for Giselle’s dresses. There are also a few boss battles to extend the levels a bit, but they’re pretty uninspiring as they usually require you to dodge attacks which then backfire on the enemy. For example, one boss is a pizza maker who will try to squash Pip. Providing you dodge his attacks at the right time however, he’ll instead launch pizza dough into his face.

Alone, each gameplay mode has its individual weaknesses. Exploration is a little plain, the combat gets repetitive quite quickly and the platforming segments are far too short. As a whole however, there is balance between how much time you’ll spend with each character, and this makes the game more tolerable and even adds a certain degree of charm. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make up for the average gameplay and there will be times when you’ll get bored with Enchanted.

  
Should I travel by foot or horse?

Should I travel by foot or horse?
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Similar to the film, the game adapts a cartoon visualisation for Andalasia and a more realistic look for the real world. To add to the effect, each character’s appearance will change depending on which world they’re in, and while the character models aren’t visually stunning when compared to other games, they’re well animated and distinguishable. Likewise, the music isn’t the sort of thing you want to be listing to on the radio, but it maintains a suitable tone for the situations you’re in.

Overall, Enchanted is an average experience. Although there are three distinctively different gameplay modes, they each lack diversity which makes them dull and repetitive over a short period of time. If you’re a fan of the film, you’ll still probably enjoy this title, but everyone else should stay clear.
The Score
Although the three different characters give Enchanted a little charm and balance, its hampered by repetitive and generic gameplay. 5
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  29/11/2007 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $49.95 AU
Publisher:
  Disney Interactive Studios
Genre:
  Adventure
Year Made:
  2007

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