Forget Twisted Wonderland, Forget Kingdom Hearts

My PS1 collection has been crammed with Disney mount game. Hercules, Tarzan and A Bug’s Life are an essential part of my library. They weren’t great games, but they came before a massive drop in moviegoers and managed to perform quite well. Then Disney games included games like Bolt and Up, the latter of which “worst speed running game ever”. The problem is that games take longer to develop these days, so combo games need much earlier warning if they’re about to hit theaters by the time the movie hits theaters. In the end, the declining quality and increasing difficulty led to forced becoming a thing of the past, and now Disney doesn’t seem to know how to make a video game.

There are many things to consider here. Firstly, linked sections are now associated with properties rather than specific movies – Guardians of the Galaxyfor example, obviously shuffling MCU but tell a completely different story. In addition, even if the draw is not good, some have fought against the present – I will defend Brave’s honor until my last breath. Or at least until I finish this article, anyway. In the end, though, there’s a huge elephant in the room – Disney has been consistently making Kingdom Hearts games in that time, and has just launched a new title, Twisted Wonderland. Here’s the problem, though: these are all terrible Disney games.

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Heart Kingdom fans, I don’t want to go to war with you guys again. I wrote about my frustration with the series, and while I understand it means a lot to many of you, it’s not a Disney game. It may be as fun as it is, but it’s not Mickey Mouse. That’s not Donald Duck. It’s not Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh, or any of them.

Woody In Kingdom Hearts 3 pushes Sora aside to talk to Young Xehanort

I’ve watched every movie from Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and believe me when I say that’s not a brag. I like Disney. Damn, I love and cherish Disney, loving as much as possible a soulless capitalist corporation, will never love you back. Kingdom Hearts isn’t really trying to be Disney. It’s a completely unrelated JRPG except that Buzz Lightyear shows up from time to time. Now, Disney has a new game: Twisted Wonderland. Like Kingdom Hearts, it’s not really a Disney game.

Twisted Wonderland is produced by Disney, but it does not contain Disney characters. Instead, it’s a bunch of male boarding schools dressed as Disney characters, because that’s almost as good, right? It’s like the scene in Hercules where Phil wears the Scar mat like a cape – except every character wears some kind of skin, there’s no soul underneath it.

disney twisted wonderland malleus draconia cape

Twisted Wonderland is a popular Disney gacha game, but I’m not even sure it does that well. If it allows me to try my gacha RNG luck in getting Elsa, just to get to Henry J. Waternoose III, I’ll be up for it. Or at least, I would be more inclined to defend it. Instead, it was just weird school girls dressed like them. And why there aren’t any female characters when the Disney Princess series is likely to market more than any Disney movie owns, I can’t even begin to guess.

Just… make a good Disney game. It could be a movie that, like The Guardian, cuts through the movies but tells a fresh story, or a more collaborative IP festival in which the movies are combined and matched. You would think an open platform would be suitable, but like Marvel or Star Wars (two things Disney owns, remember), Disney has enough original characters and storytelling potential for a variety of genres. Kingdom Hearts proved that a JRPG can work, it just completely forgot to use Disney in any meaningful way. If a new game can really use Disney magic, we’ll eventually have an alternative to the Tarzan game on PS1.

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