Developer: Page 44 Studios
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Release Date: October 26th, 2010
ESRB Rating: E
Every fan of the Disney Channel’s dream is to be with the characters that they are watching, and this game helps their dreams come true. Disney has taken a swing at the fanbase with Disney Channel: All Star Party, and manages to hit a home run. This Wii title features many of the areas that Disney Channel fans will be familiar with, taking from the sitcoms/cartoons in the station (including Sonny With A Chance, Wizards of Waverly Place, Phineas And Ferb, Hannah Montana, The Suite Life On Deck, Jonas L.A., and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam)…which seems like a decent choice for a game that begs a full price of 49.99USD.
Right off the bat, you can see one of the problems with this game; it seems like a watered down version of Mario Party and Wii Sports. It’s a competitive collection of minigames that doesn’t have enough substance to support itself. Also, there’s no real storyline for this game, so I really don’t think it’s necessary to comment on one.
The game has an intro where all of the stars are called to go to the games, and it’s a visually stimulating introduction. While playing this game, I made sure to have plenty of people with me (seeing as it is a party game), and they all enjoyed it. Mind you, they’re all huge fans of the Disney Channel, and fit the demographic almost perfectly, and the ages ranged from 8-17. After the intro, you’re greeted by a rather bland title screen, which has the options of “Play” (which later is broken down to “All Star” and “Free Play”, which are competitive/let’s you choose what you want to do), “Closet”, which lets you change clothing on the characters (provided you unlock more clothing), and settings (which should be self explanatory).
The two game modes are centered around mini-game worlds that are based on the shows mentioned above, and in each area there are a few mini-games in the fashion of Wii Sports/Mario Party. Players are required to choose a profile and a Disney Channel character, and then are sent to the game.
To choose which area you go to per round, each player chooses an area and a small task is given such as “press B” or “Wave the remote up”. The first person who does this specific action gets to go to their place and then choose a minigame. At first, you only have a few minigames to play, but as you play the game more the rest unlock. The minigames are generally fun (and especially exciting in a group of people), having players run from rabid fans, pour water out of boats, and even take personality tests.
This works generally well, but it needs more content; more minigames would make it just dandy, but I could live without the “dream expansion”. There are also some minigames that make little to no sense, such as the personality tests; they aren’t fun, and depend on chance. The same goes for the soccer minigame, where the player relies on chance to get the most points. There were also some games where the controls were unresponsive, which made it frustrating to play, but not completely “unplayable”.
The multiplayer is the same as the single-player, just more competitive. It works, and provides some fun times, so it’s a good experience for all ages, but I will admit that you have to have some liking for the Disney Channel to fully enjoy it due to the simplicity/presentation. Did I also mention it’s hilarious watching your Miis run around as the supporting cast while you play?
As for the graphics, the characters are represented with cartoon counterparts, as opposed to the live-action versions. However, some of these characters are spot on caricatures (for example, Alex Russo looks like she would if she was a cartoon), while others don’t resemble the character too much (Hannah Montana, for instance).
The presentation of the audio is good as well, presenting well-done imitations of some of the characters (provided, the original actors weren’t the actual voices). The music from the TV Shows also make appearances, which provides an upbeat, clean atmosphere. I’ll admit, the songs got stuck in my head as I listened to them due to their earworm quality, which I’ll admit is always something to admire in a soundtrack.
Overall, Disney Channel All Stars provides a decent package, putting in some fun minigames and mixing them with your favorite Disney Channel characters for a quality experience…but I wouldn’t recommend you take a look unless A) You like the Disney Channel, or B) You have friends to play it with.
Thanks to Disney Interactive Studios for the review copy!