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Gamer Tuesday

July 2, 2013

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Adventure of Tokyo DisneySea

Developed by: Konami

System: PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance

It is a Disney Parks tradition to open a second, third, and even a fourth park alongside the main Disney park. The first, main park is often referred to as the Magic Kingdom, which takes its design inspiration from Disneyland (Main Street serving as the gate towards a hub that has the castle in the center, surrounded by various lands). Additional parks are often inspired by other areas and beliefs of the Disney Company. As an example, EPCOT Center was based off of Walt Disney's own vision of the future and the celebration of the cultures of the world, and at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure celebrated all things California. Disney's first international park, Tokyo Disneyland, is no exception.

Disney Tokyo Sea game

In 2001, the Tokyo Disney Resort opened Tokyo DisneySea, a park dedicated to the concept of nautical adventures around the world. Based on a rejected theme park idea for Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea takes guests around seven International and fantastical lands. Much like at EPCOT's World Showcase, these lands highlight a different culture, from the American Waterfront, to the Arabian Coast. In between are lands of fantasy, such as Mermaid Lagoon (inspired by The Little Mermaid) and Mysterious Island, based on the stories by Jules Vernes (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the latter which inspired a classic Disney film as well as attractions at the American Disney theme parks).

The theme park has been praised for its intricate theme and innovative attractions, while still retaining the timeless Disney magic that has made the parks such a staple of the theme park industry. Such is the success of this park that in 2009, it was ranked as the fifth most visited park around the world! With a very popular park that hosts a very fascinating Disney theme, video game company Konami set out to bring us the world of Tokyo DisneySea in digital form. The end result is the Japan only Adventure of Tokyo DisneySea, released for the PlayStation 2 in 2002.

Adventure of Tokyo DisneySea footage

In past Gamer Tuesday articles, we have talked about various Disney theme park based games, such as Kinect Disneyland Adventure, Adventures in the Magic Kingdom, and even Tokyo Disneyland. A common theme in all of these games is taking the famous theme park attractions and turning them into mini-games. Adventure of Tokyo DisneySea is a slight exception to the rule. When the game is loaded up, you are received by none other than the Genie from Aladdin! Genie will serve as both the host and tutor of the game. Once the player has inputted his or her name, Genie takes him/her to Tokyo DisneySea, where players can explore each of the lands as feature in the real theme park.

Gameplay consists of players exploring the areas and solving missions within them in a third person adventure perspective a-la Nintendo's Zelda series. In these lands you will also meet with various Disney characters, such as Scuttle from The Little Mermaid, that also serve as guides to their individual worlds. This makes for an interesting change of pace for Disney theme park based games. While missions based on the attractions are seen, the focus lies in the exploration of DisneySea, hence why the title 'Adventure' graces the title. It also pays tribute to the concept behind DisneySea, and that is of high adventure across the international seas.

This being an early PlayStation 2 title, its graphical presentation is not on the same level as, say, Kinect Disneyland Adventure. It does employ simple cel shading that gives the game a cartoony look reminiscent of a Disney animated feature. The worlds are quite detailed and their individual themes shine through. Sadly, I can't comment much on the audio features as the spoken dialogue is in Japanese, and the music is a mix of standard level tunes, and don't know if any of these were pulled from the actual theme park.

Tokyo Disney Sea

The game also saw release on Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. While still retaining the basic concept of its home console counterpart, Adventure of Tokyo DisneySea presents its gameplay in a classic 2D platformer manner. Despite the change of perspectives, players still get to explore the various lands DisneySea has to offer.

Unfortunately, the game being based on a Japanese theme park has made it a Japan exclusive title that has become at this point an obscure rarity of Disney gaming. I didn't even know that the game existed until a friend brought it up to me a while ago. This fact makes the game just as desirable to a North American Disney gamer as a visit to Tokyo DisneySea is to a Disney theme park fan. Regardless of its availability, Adventure of Tokyo DisneySea is a fascinating take on the exotic Disney theme park. It deviates slightly from the idea of turning attractions into mini-games, and does it well enough that it looks to be a fun game.

 

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