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'Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved' is original, fun, and deep

E3 2014 hands-on preview
Photo courtesy of Disney, used with permission

There is one exclusive for the Xbox One that is not getting a lot of attention. Even more, it is one of the few games that are fully implementing the Kinect 2.0 in the future. Developed by Harmonix (Rock Band), Disney is releasing a music game based on the famous movie from way back. Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved is releasing exclusively for the Xbox One. Honestly, with the wide variety of songs, and the unique and addictive gameplay, Fantasia was arguably one of the most fun games at E3 2014. This author spent some time with the game, well actually multiple times, as the game was set up in Disney’s booth and Microsoft’s area.

Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved is not a dance game, nor does it require any physical instruments to play. With the success of Rock Band, it safe to say that even with a different concept like this, one should trust Harmonix. The way Fantasia is played is like conducting an orchestra, much like Mickey Mouse did in the movie. You wave your hands in accordance to the location and direction that is prompted on the screen. There are also spots to push out and hold your hand completely and also times where you slowly drag your finger along to notes. The Kinect 2.0 does an excellent job of tracking your move, but at times this author found himself going too fast and just got too into it.

Now you are probably thinking with what I just mentioned above that this is nothing special. Well, Fantasia goes deeper than this. Beginning with the song selection, there is a wide variety, and it isn’t just modern pop or dance music (actually next to none of that). Songs from Queen, The Who, Jack White, and even Depeche Mode offer any song to support someone’s favorite genre. There are up to four remixes of each song in the game. During play, there will be a prompt to focus on a certain instrument to change the remix. These will add to multipliers which give more points. The game has the same scoring system as Rock Band.

Possibly the most amazing part of Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved is the custom mixing within the song. Each song has a different instrument to focus on. The two personal experiences were with Jack White and Depeche Mode. With Jack White, you are given a guitar and you perform notes with your fingers. Once done, you put your hands down to your side and the game records what you did. Then, it actually inputs what you did into the song and you play along with the parts. Depeche Mode had this sphere that added different beats.

There is a lot of playing around and fun to be had with Fantasia. This game doesn’t get enough credit for what it offered at E3 2014. The game is also available on Xbox 360, and will release on October 21. With the great variety of song selection on the game, you can bet Harmonix will deliver on DLC in the future. Stay tuned for more information involving Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved.

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