Excerpt: After playing Disney Universe for a few days I realized that it reminded me of something. Another franchise out there. The Lego video game franchise. Players in Disney Universe can wear different costumes. These costumes (or skins) are like dressing up as Disney characters. Players collect coins in the levels from breaking things and defeating enemies. These coins are used to purchase additional levels.
Excerpt: If you're looking for the next Kingdom Hearts, don't play Disney Universe; however, if you're looking for a birthday present for your seven year old nephew you may have found the answer. Disney Universe is unarguably geared towards a younger audience. The gameplay and storyline are ridiculously simplistic for advanced gamers. Yet, Disney Universe does offer lots a gameplay and character costume customization.
Good multiplayer co-op has a surprising amount of violence.
Common Sense Media
22 November 2011
Summary: Parents need to know that Disney Universe is a frenetic beat-em-up game that can feel surprisingly harsh as a Disney property. The majority of the gameplay consists of chaotic battles, with loads of smacking, shooting, throwing, and exploding going on all around. There are puzzle elements, as well, and a decent amount of exploration needed in order to find hidden bonus items. The game works best with a multiplayer team of 2 to 4 players.
Excerpt: "Thank you for my birthday money. I spent it on two very good Harry Potter games." I received this message from my 11-year-old cousin recently. It was painstakingly typed out at home and printed in some godawful font over clipart of a wrapped present. It broke my heart. Poor boy, I thought, he's played so many shoddy cash-ins and dodgy mini-game collections that he doesn't even know what a good game is. When I was 11, Sonic came out.
Conclusion: It’s hard to completely mess up a Disney-based children’s game. If kids like it, then you’ve reached your intended goal and all is good...right? Well, yes, but there is always more to it than that. What some developers fail to realize is that putting an effort in the most mindless of things actually does make a difference. A child’s mind is still a mind, and will give credit where credit is due, even if they don’t realize it.
Summary: Disney Universe plays it safe in nearly every way, and that's a problem. Choosing any character and running amok through the expansive worlds of various films should have been a recipe for perfection — or at least variety — but it's all in service of a mindless beat-em-up that's both too dull and too easy.