SAN DIEGO, BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and BURBANK, Calif., Oct. 7 — From CTIA WIRELESS I.T. & Entertainment 2009® in San Diego, Verizon Wireless, builder and operator of the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, and Disney Interactive Studios today announced that “Disneyland Kart Racer” is available on Verizon Wireless phones.
BURBANK, Calif. — Disney Interactive Studios today announced the availability of Disney Sing It: Pop Hits, its hit-heavy multi-platform karaoke-style video game. A perfect convergence of pop culture, Disney Sing It: Pop Hits features some of the biggest names and chart-topping songs in pop music to create the ultimate video game singing experience, complete with singing tips and vocal lessons with singer and actress Tiffany Thornton, from the Disney Channel Original Series “Sonny With A Chance.”
“Disney Sing It: Pop Hits offers a great collection of hit songs that today’s teens will instantly recognize and players of all ages will come to love,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “Players can also improve their skills with vocal lessons and breathing exercises in the game, helping them to become superstar performers in their own living room.”
In Disney Sing It: Pop Hits for Wii™, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, players can match their talent with some of today’s best known performers, including master recordings and popular music videos from global fan favorites. Among the notable acts in this third iteration of the franchise are Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Colbie Caillat, Demi Lovato, Hannah Montana, Jesse McCartney, Coldplay and One Republic.
Featuring a variety of ways to play, Disney Sing It: Pop Hits lets players grab the microphone and take center stage in a single player mode, harmonize with friends and family in duet mode to earn higher scores, or compete with them head-to-head in multi-player modes. Players can also get tips in a newly expanded “Sing It Pro” mode led by Tiffany Thornton. Tiffany shows players how professional singers improve their vocals, from breathing and pitch exercises to the techniques involved with harmonizing in a duet and riffing. In addition to the vocal rewards that come with practice, the game also provides players with special pins, background themes and other prizes.
Title: Disney’s Magic Mirror (link)
Publisher: Walt Disney
Released: October 5, 2009
iTouch?: Yes, limited functionality
Pros: Sort-of cute app for the Snow White-diehard to share with friends
Cons: More ad than content, not much of either for the price
Review: This is a Snow White-ized version of the classic Magic 8-Ball App. Ask it a yes/no question and it does its best to reply. So I simply asked it whether or not people should buy it and this was its actual response:
alone in the dark
the world is still
despite my best efforts
I do not know its will
Game Informer has announced that its November 2009 issue which is currently being mailed to subscribers features a story on the all-but-confirmed Epic Mickey title from Junction Point studios, a Nintendo-Wii exclusive steampunk drawing-based gaming adventure in which lesser known Disney characters are rumored to be seeking vengeance from Mickey himself in what can only be described as post-apocalyptic Walt Disney World (although the attractions in the artwork featured on the issue’s [back] cover appear to be more home at Disneyland).
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29 — Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix® interactive entertainment products in North America, and Disney Interactive Studios announced today that KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 Days is now available at retail stores across North America.
Uncover the mysteries surrounding the story of Roxas, the “other hero,” with the latest entry in a series that has shipped over 12 million copies worldwide. The first KINGDOM HEARTS title developed for Nintendo DS(TM), KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 Days is also the first in the series to feature multiplayer capabilities. Fans can now explore the enchanted Disney worlds alongside friends, choosing to play as any member of Organization XIII, each with their own unique personality and abilities.
Portable and interactive, KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 Days offers a brand-new KINGDOM HEARTS experience that retains the same enduring charm, storytelling depth and action-packed battle system embraced by gamers across the globe. Experience KINGDOM HEARTS like never before as the action-RPG series is re-imagined for an exciting new adventure!
In KINGDOM HEARTS, Sora turned the Keyblade on himself in order to release Kairi’s heart, but his own heart was also released in the process. This brought about the creation of Roxas, Sora’s Nobody. Unlike most Nobodies, however, Roxas has no memories of his past. He joins Organization XIII and slowly begins to discover the truth behind his existence and the Organization itself. He meets and befriends the fourteenth member of the Organization, who also has no recollection of her past. What will Roxas see during his time in the Organization? What is the connection between him, Sora and the fourteenth member? And what becomes of them? Dive into the heart of the KINGDOM HEARTS storyline’s biggest secrets.
Title: Disney Fireworks (link)
Publisher: Walt Disney
Released: September 11, 2009
Pros: Based off popular game genre, familiar images/music
Review: This is Disney’s iPhone version of the arcade/video game smash hit Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) with a couple of twists. Choosing from one of four environments, each with its own instrumental music: Peter Pan’s Neverland with ‘Second Star to the Right;’ Mulan’s Emperor’s Castle with ‘Reflection;’ Lilo and Stitch’s Hawaii with ‘He Mele No Lilo;’ and Mickey in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the premise is to press the appropriate color as the fireworks shell crosses the line at the top. Press the shell on target and it explodes into one of varying colors of fireworks, even the occasional Hidden Mickey firework. The line is often not straight across either so it provides a larger challenge when you have competing shells being fired upwards. Complete a level and you can save it as a video to watch later (why, I haven’t quite figured out yet).
Title: Toy Story Photo Hunt (link)
Publisher: Walt Disney
Released: September 15, 2009
Pros: Free, addictive, simple play
Review: The type of video game commonly found in bars, Toy Story Photo Hunt brings all the fun home to the kids and is surprisingly just as challenging when sober. Billed primarily as a promotional free app for the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 re-release, this app also includes a countdown to October 2 (when the films are re-released in theaters in 3D) and the TS/TS2 trailer along with some promotional information for the Toy Story Mania! game for the Wii.
The concept itself is quite simple: identify all of the differences between two of the otherwise-same image from one of the Toy Story films. In Normal mode, you have to find the differences before the clock runs out. You start out with having to locate 2 differences and, as you progress, so does the number of differences you need to find, up to nine per image. A wrong answer penalizes you on time, but you start with and earn additional bonuses that will instantly offer you more time or even find the differences for you. In Free mode, there is no clock ticking so you can guess for the differences as much as you’d like without the fear of running out of time. In Challenge mode, you need to find only one difference between each set of photos, but the clock burns much faster, so you only have time for one bad guess (assuming you guess quickly enough). Normal mode lets you run out of time without solving all of the differences 3 times, but Challenge is far less forgiving and one mess-up ends it all. Both the Normal and Challenge modes even have a public scoreboard available so you can submit your level and see how you rank up against others.
Being one of those who are easily confused by video games whose controls consist of more than a single button, I was pretty relieved when I had the chance to play Toy Story Mania! last week. Now for those in the Europe market, gameplay has gotten a lot more fun, if not simpler. The new Ray Gun Toy Story Mania! accessory by Thrustmaster is inspired in part by both the attraction and Space Command weaponry.
The accessory is essentially a glorified case for the Wii remote. With no batteries required to use it, it’s just a matter of plugging the Wii remote directly into it.
Just a few days ago, Walt Disney Animation Studios Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter found some time to squeeze in a game of The Princess and the Frog for the Nintendo Wii while at Odeon Leicester Square in London. Due out in November, the game will also be available on the Nintendo DS. See here for more details on the upcoming release.
Thanks to Disney Interactive Studios for the photo.
BURBANK, Calif. — Disney Interactive Studios announced today it has agreed to acquire Wideload Games Inc., a Chicago-based producer and developer of original interactive entertainment. As part of the agreement, industry veteran and creative visionary Alexander Seropian, Wideload Games founder and CEO, will join Disney Interactive Studios in the newly created role of vice president of creative, leading the company’s global creative efforts. Seropian, who is relocating to Glendale, Calif., is renowned as the founder of Bungie Software and was among the creators of the highly successful Halo® series – one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. Seropian will report directly to Global Product Development Senior Vice President Jean-Marcel Nicolai, and be tasked with overseeing creative development across Disney Interactive Studios’ portfolio of video games.
“Wideload Games is among the premier small creative game development studios in the world. Wideload Games will be a great fit for our portfolio of internal studios, and Alex joining the global product development team provides the entire Disney game portfolio with a strong creative influence,” said Graham Hopper, executive vice president and general manager, Disney Interactive Studios. “Alex has built his reputation around the power of original thinking. In leading the studio that created Halo, he helped turn great storytelling, exceptional design and polished gameplay into the ‘killer app’ for Xbox. Alex’s leadership of our creative community will enhance our ability to be a magnet for the best talent in the industry and enable the company to take an even more significant role in developing industry leading products.”