Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse
Review by Jen
I don't know why I bought this game. In my experience, Disney-licensed
games have always been terrible. But Magical Mirror turned
out to be good, clean fun, maybe because it isn't based on a movie.
Magical Mirror is a kids' game but its relaxed pace makes
it a good choice for the adventure-gaming adult Gamecube owner.
You play as none other than Mickey Mouse, world's most famous
rodent. You are asleep in your bed, and your dream self is enticed
into your bedroom mirror by a mischievous ghost. As soon as you're
on the other side of the mirror, the ghost shatters it into 12
pieces and scatters them around Mickey's dream world. You must
find the pieces to rebuild the mirror and go back "home."
Magical Mirror is a third-person, "point-and-click"
game. You use the controller's thumbstick to move the smart cursor
over items and click the A button to interact with the item. Besides
mirror pieces, you collect "souvenir" items and star
containers. Often you must spend the stars (inexplicably called
"tricks" in the game; a failed translation?) in your
star containers to accomplish actions, and if you don't have enough
stars Mickey can't perform the action. Star containers are easily
refilled, although sometimes it's tricky to figure out what item
needs to be clicked when you get the "trick" screens
and you wind up wasting stars in the figuring process. There are
12 of these star containers in the game, but the most stars you'll
ever need to spend on a single puzzle is six.
The souvenirs have no bearing on the game proper. If you complete
the game with all 12 mirror pieces and wait through the ending
credits, you will get a "game clear" bonus that allows
you to look around Mickey's bedroom and pick up and play with
whatever souvenirs you found. I suppose this adds a level of replayability;
you could play through the game again with the goal of collecting
all of the souvenirs. But I played through the game twice, once
for fun and once to write a walkthrough, and both times I only
got around 50% of the souvenirs. Did I care? Nope. Will I ever
play it again? Nope.
There are six or eight inventory items that Mickey will need
to find and use appropriately, but most of the puzzles consist
of environmental manipulation. Also, Mickey will need to obtain
keys to unlock certain doors; once unlocked, though, the doors
stay that way.
There are several minigames that become available as you progress
through the house. None are essential to completing the adventure
part of the game, although you will be forced to try a couple
of them. It does not matter, however, if you win or lose. Some
of these result in star container refills; the better you do the
more stars you get. Others yield souvenirs on successful completion.
These minigames run the gamut from downhill snowboarding to flying
an airplane around obstacles in a race to the finish, to breaking
barrels with a magic blast before they hit you.
Also, back to the adventuring part of the game, you must do some
button-mashing from time to time to make Mickey, for example,
jump over a hole in the floor, run quickly enough to reach the
top of a steep staircase, or do a spiffy Ninja move to scare away
the ghost. The required action is always clearly indicated on
the screen. None of these are at all difficult and if you don't
make it you get an immediate do-over. I never once failed at these
(except for the couple times I did it on purpose just to see what
would happen), and I am exceedingly feeble when it comes to speedy
There are two levels of play, "Kid" and "Normal."
The "Kid" level, according to the documentation, is
simplified for the very youngyou don't need any stars to
solve puzzles, there are fewer rooms in the mansion, game progress
cannot be saved, and the game finishes one hour after starting.
Also according to the game's manual, you can use a special linking
cable to hook up a Gameboy Advance with the game Magical Quest
to make the Magical Mirror game world a little different.
In a departure from the usual console mindset, you can save almost
anywhere in Magical Mirror. You only get one save file
and must continually overwrite it, but you can have three separate
games going at once. And since there are no dead ends or fatal
errors, and you can move about the mansion freely and return to
locations and puzzles already completed, the single save is sufficient.
Graphics are pleasingly bright and colorful. Capcom has done
a good job of giving 3D Mickey the same flavor as 2D classic-Disney-cartoon
Mickey. The rooms all have their own distinct character, and the
pointing gloved-Mickey-hand cursor takes on a life of its own
from time to time.
Music is light and lively and fairly unobtrusive, that's if you
keep the volume turned low. There's not much in the way of voice
actingMickey speaks a couple of phrases but does no oratory.
And the ghost just cackles evilly from time to time. Being able
to hear the sounds is not a requirement, so this game could be
enjoyed by the deaf or the easily audio-annoyed even though there
are no subtitles.
Magical Mirror is light and lively fare for those Gamecube
owners tired of hacking and slashing through piles of demons but
wanting to have a gaming good time while relaxing on their sofas
in front of their TV sets. I give it a thumb up.