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  1. #1

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    1/31: In the Cards

    Kevin takes a closer look at DisneyWorld's latest offering, the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game.

    Discuss it here... DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: In the Cards - MiceAge.com
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    Kevin, I am really surprised how you just give this a pass, considering you've shown your Disney purist colors before. I believe this is THE worst thing to happen to the MK EVER. WDI and TDO are essentially saying that the ENTIRE 56yp concept of the MK-style park is irrelevant, that everything from the WDW Railroad to Space Mt. is passe, and the ONLY way to make the MK "relevant" and "modern" is to have ADHD childern spend 3hrs looking at TV screens playing an RPG game.

    Not to mention there are screens, yes TV SCREENS and misplaced audio in highly themed, period specific lands. Now we have Merlin and other assorted characters blabbering right there on Main Street and Frontierland and Liberty Square. The time and place of MKs lands were diluted enough. Now this will enshrine WDI-FLs concept and thinking that the MK is one, big, giant, Toontown. Where nothing has ryhyme or reason. Merlin on a TV screen in front of Pirates? SURE! MK and DL style parks have ALWAYS been timless because the themes chosen for the lands never went out of style. Now WDI-FL is saying that the MK-style attractions are for "fuddy duddys" and RPG games all over the park is the next MK experience.

    This is a sad day. There is NO Main Street now. It's GONE. No Firehouse, Cinema, Arcade, etc etc. 3TV screems in the once peaceful Castle Courtyard. Merlin and magic spell sounds IN FRONT of Pirates. Merlin and magic spell sounds in a land desinged to reperesent the 13 Colonies. Sorry, but SoTMK is beyond the pale.

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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    JCSkipr, I think you're completely wrong as usual.

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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    I think it's a good question why I don't object more to SotMK. I really am a purist on several topics.

    I guess I have a few different answers: first, the proof is always in the pudding, and when I played it (mostly watched my kids play), it was simply fun. It would be disingenuous to construct an argument about purity if the actual experience was an OK one.

    Secondly, and I didn't consider this until your post, so thank you for that, but I guess I sort of internally believe that the Magic Kingdom is *already* past the point of cartoonization. Main Street already has no cinema, no arcade... so it's just a continuation of what's already occurring. At least this time it's not a shop we get in return, but an actual themed experience. Is there theme collision? There is, and that's a good point. Why didn't it bother me overly? I'm still not sure. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Magic Kingdom has never been as fully immersive to me as Disneyland. I'd probably object to this game at Disneyland more than I object to it at the Magic Kingdom.
    Kevin Yee
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    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    I think it's a good question why I don't object more to SotMK. I really am a purist on several topics.

    I guess I have a few different answers: first, the proof is always in the pudding, and when I played it (mostly watched my kids play), it was simply fun. It would be disingenuous to construct an argument about purity if the actual experience was an OK one.

    Secondly, and I didn't consider this until your post, so thank you for that, but I guess I sort of internally believe that the Magic Kingdom is *already* past the point of cartoonization. Main Street already has no cinema, no arcade... so it's just a continuation of what's already occurring. At least this time it's not a shop we get in return, but an actual themed experience. Is there theme collision? There is, and that's a good point. Why didn't it bother me overly? I'm still not sure. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Magic Kingdom has never been as fully immersive to me as Disneyland. I'd probably object to this game at Disneyland more than I object to it at the Magic Kingdom.
    Don't let another person's opinion or post affect your own opinion.

    You seem to change your opinions every time someone shares an opposing view with you. Please, Mr. Yee, make up your mind and learn to think for yourself.

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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    BearFan, Kevin agreeing with me on Disney Purist ideals is not him NOT thinking for himself. I simply brought out a point that he agreed with.

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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    It has *always* been my style on online boards since I started posting to alt.disney.disneyland in 1995, to seek dialogue and opinions that differ from my own. How boring would the place be if we all had the exact same reaction?

    I don't participate in discussion forums to shout louder than others and hear my own voice; I do so because good ideas erupt from dialogue. In this case, I hadn't fully realized before JCSkipr's post that internally I treated MK as less immersive than Disneyland, but I think I do. I'm not sure that counts as changing my opinion on anything. I kind of think the opposite; most of my post was explanation to him about why I reacted the way I did, not a change in my reaction.

    I'd rather we discuss SotMK directly, instead of parsing each other's posts!
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    I wasn't able to discern what was happening in the screens. Perhaps you need to video tape it or describe it better. How do you battle? It is probably a Kinect style video game. A few waves with the card and then you're done. How do you keep score?

    The major setback I think is that it doesn't sound fun. I'm sure you said it was, but I'm not convinced. The description is anything but. It sounds like a more modern scavenger hunt type game with little payoff. Actually, the payoff was from the cards. You have them. Why go further? A few waves and then you're done. That was fast. Do it 10 times. Yawn.

    They could have done it better. I suppose this is the second generation of new technology entertainment after Kim Possible. At first, I thought it was another answer to Harry Potter with the sorcery connection. But I was wrong. It is mainly another way for Disney to provide value to the Annual Passholders who evidently went on more than enough rides to last a lifetime. That want more repeat visitation by providing more entertainment. I think this will fail.

    My own experience with video games is rather lackluster. I start a game and easily pass the easy and medium levels. The difficult levels are much too hard to continue so I'll stop. I never get to the end. Only a small minority finish a game all the way through. Disney will attempt to keep people interested if only for a while. I wish it sounded more exciting.
    Last edited by StevenW; 01-31-2012 at 10:34 AM.

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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    I'd probably object to this game at Disneyland more than I object to it at the Magic Kingdom.
    THIS.

    And while Sorcerers is distracting to the actual theming, it's a lot less irritating than those KP phones beeping at you. You can't go to any of the movies in World Showcase without hearing one and it's awful.

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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    It will be interesting to see where this goes if it does indeed generate a following. Would it be too difficult for them to add that certain merchandise triggers special events (Vinylmation, Mickey ear hats, etc.)? Perhaps you get special cards when staying at different resorts? For the high-rollers, personalized interaction is easy to see as a feature. The potential for additional revenue streams looks limitless...if it becomes a hit.

    As far as theme being broken, someone posted on Facebook about the portal being in the lands, but the characters are operating within the portal. So, technically, they can be anywhere in time or location. The portal is the only thing that is actually "in the land". And if we're going to allow for the fantasy of the game, the portals can easily be justified by assuming they were placed there by other "sorcerers" moving through time and space so that we could communicate with the other realm.

    Personally, I don't think I would spend the time to play it. I have only been to WDW twice and would rather see the really-for-real attractions. If this was installed at Disneyland or DCA, I might play (I'm an annual passholder). As long as I don't have to invest much time (or money) trying to locate those last two cards that will let me finish a level.

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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    Purity aside, I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME playing Kingdom Hearts back in the day... I suspect there are a lot of kids (and some adults) who did, as well. My dream? A premium priced experience where a few hundred folks get to go into MK at night and play a massive game like this with full on special effects (and maybe some rides sporting alternate effects tied to the story). Have the lighting change across the park... have some Heartless characters wandering the park and participating in the game. BAM! Disney gets its "Premium" fifth gate for an exclusive audience. I get to live my dreams of fighting the Heartless with Sora in an alternate Magic Kingdom. All done with minimal financial risk by Disney. I know I am not alone on this one... the Kingdom Hearts idea might be a tad too specific (maybe it works better in Tokyo?), but the premise I just outlined seems like a logical extension of this idea...

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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    Why are you assuming the cards will continue to be free once the game exits the test phase? The idea of rare, uncommon and common cards comes from other card-based RPGs such as Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering. Those games are based on purchasing packs of cards, hoping for the right ones to add to your deck. I imagine Disney will sell these cards in packs of five for some ridiculous amount of money. Want to do better in the game? Buy more cards.

    The real question I have is will there be a version of the game you can take home with you and play away from the Magic Kingdom? I imagine using the stats on the cards you could create rules yourself to play a game even if Disney does not go through that trouble.
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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    When this game goes "live", how do you think guest reaction would be to it? Would it be really popular and cause stations to be over-crowded? How do they plan on addressing this issue?


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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    When this game goes "live", how do you think guest reaction would be to it? Would it be really popular and cause stations to be over-crowded? How do they plan on addressing this issue?
    I can tell you from my experience with the Kim Possible experience at EPCOT, it can be distracting. We were there in the off season in January and even then some of the stations had a few families waiting to activate the effects.
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    Re: 1/31: In the Cards

    Thanks for covering this new offering at the park, Kevin. I've no interest in playing the games when I visit, but to their credit I'll say the art direction on the project is rather impressive. A set of the framed maps could fetch a pretty penny in the Art of Disney store, lol. Biggest question: when they redid the firehouse, did they finally add a/c? It was miserably hot in there when it was a shop.
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