Disney Mirrorverse first impressions: Standard gacha with a Disney skin

Kabam /

Disney Mirrorverse is a strange bird. We all know that once every few months, Disney gets this idea to throw all their beloved characters in a shared universe “where the adventure begins.” They ultimately forget about it months later and move on to the same idea but in a new format. Disney Mirrorverse, from Kabam, is the odd one out.

See, well before this game even came out, for almost a year now, you’ve been able to buy merchandise for this game — game that came out today (at the time of this writing). Sully, from Monsters Inc., is a heavily armored warrior. Merida, from Brave, is a ranger class warrior. And Mickey…well, yeah, he’s a wizard, Harry.

But nothing was really explained other than the fact that they’re from a “Mirrorverse”. The game itself had a description in which there was a dimension where all Disney characters grew up in a more sword and sorcery type realm. In fact, here. Here’s the reveal trailer.

So now that the game is officially out, how is it?

To put it simply, it’s alright. It’s definitely not the trailer though. The intro cut scene is actually static images with text over it. Even the characters are not voiced. Not even noises when hurt. It doesn’t help that none of the characters are written like the actual characters we’ve seen on screen in movies and shows. Merida speaks to Jack Sparrow but she has no hint of an accent. And Jack talks like a standard office worker might. It’s really unfortunate how little love went into the dialogue.

I was equally disappointed in the character models. While the trailer shows high def character models with lots of emotion, the second you’re given your first character, Rapunzel, you see how different the game is. Her character model is very basic and her facial expression rarely ever changes. And she NEVER blinks. It’s as if a plastic model of her came to life.

When you get to pick your second character — Ariel, Mulan, or Hercules — you can kind of see how this art style doesn’t work for everyone. While Ariel is over there looking good, Mulan’s eyes went up about a full foot and Hercules looks like a plastic surgery mishap.

For the record, while Mulan is the way cooler character, you should go with Ariel. She hits everyone and removes harmful debuffs. The other two just benefit themselves with their moves. Ariel will help you scoot forward.

There are four types of characters in this game: Melee, Tank, Ranged, and Support. Most of these are pretty obvious. If they have a sword, they’re melee. If they use their fists, they’re a tank. If they use spells or a bow, they’re ranged. Support characters vary pretty wildly and there are a few exceptions but it’s pretty cut and dry.

It’s basically their way of making you not just want a good character but four good characters to make up a well-rounded squad.

The characters are the biggest pull though. And, like most gacha games, the characters you can collect are why I see a lot of people downloading this game. Some of the concepts are dope despite making zero sense. Every character has a bio but it’s a vague background about how the character has pluck and spirit but never tells their Mirrorverse life. So we never really find out why in a world like this, Rapunzel is a trained warrior who… still fights with a frying pan.

Some of the character glow-ups are absolutely amazing though. Tinker Bell controls a massive fiery avatar of herself. Tiana has a dope adventuring scientist look, which matches her role as an alchemist. Jack Sparrow is an undead wizard in control of curses. But one of my absolute favorites is Baloo. Not Jungle Book Baloo, TAILSPIN Baloo.

Mirrorverse-Baloo /

Dude’s rocking a harder version of his Tailspin attire while using pieces of his damn plane as a sword and shield. I LOVE IT.

The game play itself is a bit different than I expected. As opposed to a turn-based battle, you’re fighting in real-time, albeit with a single attack button and skill buttons that take several seconds to refresh. You’re also fighting only one or two enemies at a time before moving on to the next portion of the level so you’re not actually moving around the map.

Dungeons are a little different as there actually is a mini-map you explore. However, the battles are still fought in this same portioned map.

Despite all the different looks and features the game has on the surface, it’s the same tired mobile game underneath. Playing stages costs stamina. You need to earn gems for a gacha portal to try to collect the characters you want. You earn items that you can use to level a character up, and at certain points you need to spend coins to rank them up.

And the gacha is QUITE expensive. It takes 260 of a particular crystal to pull ONE character from the portal. Luckily the game starts you with, let me check…10. You can also pull five characters at a time for 1000-some and lucky you can buy about 7,000 for only…let me double-check…$99.99.

Ultimately, I should have seen this coming a mile away. With the fact they couldn’t wait to sell merch before the game was even out, it’s a bit disappointing. But what can we expect any more from mobile games. When even the Ni No Kuni game became a Studio Ghibli cash grab, nothing is sacred and every mobile game, eventually, becomes a whale trap.