Where Epic Mickey 2 failed financially and critically – resulting in the closure of developer Junction Point – Disney Interactive saw success in Kinect’s Disneyland Adventures which shifted a more than 1.5 million units on the Xbox 360 camera peripheral. With rhythm games like Just Dance breaking sales records, in an effort to combine both motion-based cash cows, Disney Interactive has unveiled Harmonix’s new game ‘Fantasia: Music Evolved’.
Inspired by the animated classic of the same name, Fantasia: Music Evolved features an intriguing rhythm-based element, one that appears to reward physical flicks and flops with tempo changes, key shifts and more. Centered on 25 musical numbers, (each of which appears alongside two remixes) Fantasia eschews button-bashing clangor for gesture-based conducting.
Recruited by the powerful sorcerer Yen Sid, players take on the role of an on-screen “muse,” interacting with a stunning array of exotic locales, from an “enchanted printing press” to the sub-aquatic “Shoal.” Local multiplayer is on offer for up to two ‘mouseketeers’, whilst online play remains, as of yet, unconfirmed.
Developed by Harmonix Music Systems, granddaddies of the once prominent music-mime genre, Fantasia: Music Evolved could hardly be said to have found a more perfect fit. Creators of the cult hits Frequency & Amplitude back in the early part of the 2000s, the studio went on enjoy unparalleled success with both its Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises later that same decade. As the plastic-peripheral business ran dry, Harmonix moved into gesture-based Kinect titles, producing the wildly successful Dance Central as well as its two direct sequels. Check out our Dance Central 3 review.
Featured songs included in Fantasia: Music Evolved:
- AVICII — “Levels”
- Bruno Mars — “Locked Out of Heaven”
- Fun. — “Some Nights”
- Kimbra — “Settle”
- Queen — “Bohemian Rhapsody”
As commercially savvy as the decision to cater to modern pop tastes is, (ongoing DLC is likely a prime motivator) it’s still somewhat dispiriting to find Disney abandoning their musical legacy in favor of chasing lucrative chart music. Would a Fantasia game featuring the actual soundtrack from Fantasia, or any other animated feature for that matter, have proven so very unappealing to kids?
Whilst Fantasia’s press release makes no mention of PlayStation compatibility, (only the Xbox 360 & upcoming Xbox One consoles have been confirmed) recent news regarding Sony’s eye-toy update would allow for a potential PS4 port.
Will Fantasia: Music Evolved prove equal parts Wii Music, Dance Dance Revolution and DJ Hero, or perhaps something else entirely? We won’t know for sure until the game is demoed at E3 on June 11th.