Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition – Review
Follow Genre: Simulation game
Developer: Bandai Namco, h.a.n.d. Inc.
Publisher: Nintendo, Bandai Namco, Disney
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition – Review

Site Score
Good: Large amount of fanservice
Bad: Ear-grating soundscape
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 2.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Just in time for Christmas, Bandai Namco and Disney are teaming up to bring Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition to the Switch. The Magical World games are life sims set in the world of Disney, and this new Enchanted Edition is an enhanced port of a game that originally debuted on the 3DS back in 2016. It’s a sure seller for the holidays, being a Disney game aimed at a younger demographic, but how does it hold up?


If you’ve ever dreamt of living in the world of Disney, then Magical World 2 allows you to live out that fantasy, at least in virtual form. In Magical World 2, you’re moving to Castleton, a small town next to the royal castle, which happens to be the homestead of a certain mr. Mickey Mouse and his friends. However, this isn’t a game about Mickey and his pals, but about you! You’re front and center in this fantasy world, where everyone and their mother relies on you to deal with the obstacles they face in their everyday lives. It’s the ultimate self-indulgent fantasy for diehard Disney fans, and it’s filled with familiar faces, as Castleton is home to a variety of portals that lead into other Disney worlds, such as Arendelle, the Hundred Acre Woods and even Hawaii (which, thanks to Lilo & Stitch has been annexed into the Disney universe).

There isn’t a whole lot in the way of an actual story arc in Magical World 2 -it’s a life sim after all, and most of the narrative experience is derived from recognizing the various characters that make appearances in the game and seeing their simple stories play out. To Magical World 2’s credit, there is plenty of variety to be found here. While the Marvel and Star Wars universes were seemingly off limits, you’ll encounter not just classic characters like Alice or Ariel but also fan favourites from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.


Magical World 2 originally debuted on the 3DS way back in 2016 -which is ages in video game time- and this ‘Enchanted Edition’ provides the exact same game except with remastered visuals. What this means in practice is that the resolution of the game has been upscaled, but it was seemingly left untouched otherwise. It still uses the same simplistic character models and janky looking animation. Non-Disney characters are represented by Miis, whereas they could’ve been easily replaced by more advanced character models. The strange thing is that there are a handful of original characters that still deviate from this too: the king himself, who looks suspiciously similar to the Pringles mascot, and the wizard Yen Sid (get it?), so we don’t quite get why the game didn’t choose to be consistent with its own character designs. The colors are oversaturated and feel unnatural. During certain parts of the game, such as the dream sequence (pictured above) we felt like Walt himself personally vomited on our TV screen.


With a media behemoth like Disney behind this game, it’s baffling just how terrible Magical World 2’s soundscape is. You’d expect the game to be filled to the brim with iconic Disney music, but instead, the tunes featured in the game are forgettable and generic. There is voice acting present, but only short snippets and not even for every character. To make matters worse, some of the game’s sound effects are grating and incredibly annoying. At this point, we’d like to remind you that despite the bland and generic OST, this is still a world where everyone breaks into song and dance numbers every few minutes.


It’s difficult to fully explain the scope of Magical World 2’s gameplay as there is a sheer endless amount of things to do here, in theory at least. This is a life simulation game after all. However, despite the huge variety of things to do in the game, it’s obvious that Bandai Namco went for quantity rather than quality. The game casts a wide net and lets players interact with townsfolk and run errands for them, gather materials to craft furniture and clothing, run a cafe, decorate their own house and their cafe, hunt ghosts, and a lot more. On paper, Magical World 2 rivals Animal Crossing when it comes to activities. In practice, however, Disney’s offering falls way behind Nintendo’s life sim.

The biggest issue is simply how shallow the gameplay is. Yes, there is a lot to do, but if most of it boils down to tedious and repetitive tasks, then what’s left isn’t all that fun. A good example is running the café, one of the game’s core tasks that is unlocked quite early on. This boils down to making sure you have the right amount of ingredients, and then simply checking in every day to make sure that you have enough stock left for your customers. If you run out of food or drinks, simply restock them and collect your coins. There’s no strategy behind this, nor is there any satisfying or meaningful gameplay. We understand that this game is aimed at the six to nine-year-old demographic, but even so, this feels like an insultingly oversimplified concept.

The same applies to what is in theory the most challenging part of Magical World 2: dealing with ghosts. The various Disney worlds are all plagued by ghosts, but luckily, you are able to wield a magic wand and take them down. This is done by taking on short dungeon-like areas where you’ll face off against hordes of ghosts using increasingly efficient magical wands. Of course, it’s incredibly easy to do so simply by mindlessly spamming your basic wand attack. It was a feature that left us wondering why a game that has access to such a wide variety of iconic villains resorted to using generic ghost designs, instead of recognizable minions. Why not have King Louie’s monkey minions from The Jungle Book as enemies in the jungle world, for example?

Progress is locked behind collecting stickers. Performing tasks rewards you with these, and in order to enter specific buildings, you’ll need to have collected the right amount. It’s an egregious way to hide the game’s linearity. One of the key features of a life sim game is that it’s supposed to provide the player with a sense of freedom, but instead, Magical World 2 insists on deciding how you play the game for you, at least during the early stages. You’ll notice that doing whatever the game tells you to do happens to unlock the exact amount of stickers you need to progress onto the next step.

Of course, the game pretends not to treat things like that. Although it’s extremely eager to hold your hand and tell you where to go, it also constantly applauds you for doing the most basic of tasks. We didn’t keep count of how many times the Disney characters broke out into a song and dance number about how great we were because we did exactly what the game told us to do, but it was a lot. It’s all supposed to be part of the ‘Disney magic’ of course, but if the game goes out of its way to tell you just how special you are every step of the way, at a certain point you don’t feel special anymore.

The worst part is that it didn’t even have to be like this. The Kingdom Hearts series proves that the worlds of Disney can provide a fantastic setting for video games, and titles like the surprisingly great DC Superhero Girls: Teen Power are evidence that licensed video games aimed at a young demographic can still be good. The final nail in Magical World 2’s coffin is something that showcases how little effort was put into porting this game from the 3DS to the Switch: a key feature in the game is the ability to take screenshots. This is done by holding the L-button and then pressing the R-button, exactly like it was done on the 3DS…. Except the Switch has a dedicated screenshot button on the joy-cons. The fact that Magical World 2 wasn’t adjusted to mention this, is a testament to how lazy of a port this game actually is.


Everything about Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition makes us feel like this was a hastily slapped-together cash grab, from the lack of effort put into porting a five-year-old 3DS title to the Switch, to the game releasing right before the holiday season. Even if you’re a diehard Disney fan, there is very little here that is worth your time and money. If you’re a parent looking for a game to give your little one for Christmas, then there are far better options out there this holiday season.

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Rating: 2.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition - Review, 2.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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