Fantasia: Music Evolved Announced for Xbox One
by Michael Truskowski
Technology is a funny thing. A new iPhone comes out every year, and your new computer is replaced the day after you buy it, but the video game consoles are now closing in on a decade on the market. The 7th generation consoles (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii) landed in 2005/2006. After years of speculation, the 8th generation is upon us. The Nintendo Wii U hit store shelves at the end of last year (and unfortunately for Nintendo has largely stayed there), Sony “showed off” the PS4 in February (and by “showed off” I mean they talked about the console for an entire press conference without ever showing it), and just a few weeks ago, Microsoft announced the Xbox One (proving that yet again, they are incapable of numbering systems that make sense). One of the major features of the Xbox One is that the Kinect sensor, which allows for controller free game play, will go from being a mere accessory to being a standard, fully integrated part of the experience. It was Kinect Disneyland that finally persuaded me to go out and get a Kinect for my Xbox 360, a game which I reviewed for this magazine. I think I know what will be the first Kinect game I play on the One.
On June 4th, Disney announced Fantasia: Music Evolved, and upcoming game for the Xbox One (a version for the Xbox 360 will also be released).The name itself is a not so subtle nod to Halo: Combat Evolved, the game which helped define the Xbox platform (though I suspect Fantasia will involve fewer machine guns). Unlike the button mashing of Halo, this game will be all movement.
The storyline puts you in the role of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Mickey apparently having been furloughed due to the sequester). If you ever wished you can step into Mickey’s role, controlling your surroundings with a mere wave of your hands, then this looks to be the game for you. Under Yin Sid’s direction, you will go forth into a world that, at least in a few of the screen shots released, bear a striking resemblance to the levels from Epic Mickey. Your interactions to the music will bring the areas to life, rewarding you with increasingly complex and interesting harmonies. There is no winning or losing in this game. It’s all about creativity.
In terms of the music, this is not your grandfather’s Fantasia. In addition to classics from the film such as “Night on Bald Mountain,” Fantasia: Music Evolved will also feature the music from contemporary (or close to it) artists. Announced so far are Avicii, Bruno Mars, Fun, Kimbra (is it a sign that I am officially old that I had to look this one up?) and Queen (every music game is now contractually required to have Bohemian Rhapsody). Disney has promised music from over 25 artists, so I suspect we will learn about more of the options as the release date gets closer. The focus on more modern pop tracks has me slightly worried. Yes, it will be more appealing for the younger crowd, but I do hope that we do not lose the Fantasia feel. I will reserve judgement of course, but I secretly hope that there will be a “classic” mode somewhere in there that will give you the option to command a real symphony.
Still, the Disneyland game for Kinect was enjoyable, if flawed. This will not appeal to the hardcore gamers, but it is not meant to. I am glad to see Disney continuing to look for ways to innovate in the video game space. We have come a long way since Mickey Mousecapade. For those of you attending this week’s E3 conference, be sure to stop by the Disney Interactive booth for a hands on demo. The game is set to be released some time in 2014. Look for a detailed review here once it is.
Fantasia: Music Evolved Official Fact Sheet
“Fantasia: Music Evolved” is a breakthrough musical motion video game inspired by Disney’s classic animated film “Fantasia.” In the game, players enter the magical realms of Fantasia, selected by the legendary sorcerer Yen Sid, to hone their musical and magical prowess as his new apprentice. “Fantasia: Music Evolved” takes players on an interactive and immersive motion-controlled journey through worlds of music and magic.
Players will control music spanning all genres and eras, including classics from the original film such as “Night on Bald Mountain” to over 25 hit artist selections ranging from chart-topper Bruno Mars to rock royalty Queen and electronic DJ and producer AVICII. Using Kinect motion control technology and natural, controller-free gameplay, players will control the musical flow of these hits, unlocking the power to transform the music and living world.
Designed by Harmonix, critically acclaimed creators of Rock Band and Dance Central and the world’s leading music and motion gaming studio, players become the sorcerer’s newest apprentice, exploring remarkable worlds and unlocking the magic within the music, with Disney Interactive’s “Fantasia: Music Evolved.”
- Perform your favorite songs from Bruno Mars, Queen, Fun., Kimbra, AVICII, as well as other world renowned artists and classical masters – using natural, gesture-based movements that put you in complete control of your own musical journey. Experience a full range of genres and style unique to each performance.
- Transform and remix music via magical manipulators in real-time like never before, changing music in intuitive and surprising new ways.
- Explore breathtaking environments with your motion controlled “muse” including the mysterious subaquatic world of “The Shoal,” an enchanted printing press, and more;
- Discover worlds filled with hidden musical interactions designed to engage players, encouraging them to unleash their creativity.
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Developer: Harmonix Music Systems
Platforms: Xbox One® & Kinect™ for Xbox 360®
Genre: Musical Adventure
Players: Compete and collaborate with friends in multiplayer for up to two local players
ESRB Rating: “RP” – Rating Pending
Official Trailer: Fantasia: Music Evolved Trailer