I'm a big Disney fan, so I consider myself incredibly lucky to live so close to Disneyland. I live and breath Disney in all forms, so I get super excited whenever there's some new entertainment from Disney, especially for my iPhone.
Disney Heroes Battle Mode just launched globally this week. It's the first game published under their new license with developer PerBlue after shuttering other games like Marvel Heroes. it's an action RPG starring a wide variety of iconic Disney and Pixar characters.
Story & Setting
Disney Heroes Battle Mode takes place in a video game (literally) and the first characters you'll encounter are Ralph and Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph. The pair end up battling some creepy goonies, including a corrupted Mr. Incredible, and then Mrs. Incredible from The Incredibles pops in to help.
Turns out that an evil virus has infected the digital world, turning good characters against their own friends and families. If you watched Wreck-It Ralph, then the whole plot of a virus hidden in plain sight will be familiar.
Once things start coming together, you'll discover more Disney friends that team up with you to save your fellow heroes. Overall, it's a bit cliché, but still entertaining.
While the gameplay is pretty fun, it's still a bit of a letdown.
Each level features three waves of enemies. You'll assemble your team of up to five characters beforehand, and the game lets you see your "team power" beforehand. Heroes earn experience points after each successful battle (even if they die), but you may also power them up with boost items and equip badges for added benefits. You earn badges as reward items for completing levels.
Eventually, you'll unlock arenas and tournaments, which are mainly competitive PvP battles. Joining guilds may net you extra rewards too.
Battles themselves are a bit monotonous and repetitive, without much input from players. Your team rushes in and attacks the corrupted Creeps automatically, and occasionally throws in a special ability (unlocks as your team levels up). Each attack fills up a gauge on their portrait, and when it's full, you're able to tap their icon to unleash an ultimate move. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
I'm a bit disappointed by this system for a few reasons. First, I can't target specific enemies I know are troublesome. I also have no control over what attacks they throw out, unless it's their ultimate move. And once you unlock the "auto battle" function, the game just feels like a big grind fest.
Getting New Heroes and Powering Up
Disney Heroes Battle Mode uses the same setup as other popular free games, such as Cartoon Network: Match Land. To get new heroes from the roster of 25, you must collect enough chips of that particular character. The better the hero, the more chips you need.
I mentioned earlier how you earn badges from battles to equip on heroes. These give bonuses, such as "+100 health" or "Base damage +10." You're able to see what badges a hero can use when you look at their detail screen.
Once a hero has all available badges equipped, you may promote them to their next form. This means they become stronger in stats and more potent in battle. This new form requires new badges, of course, which you get as you progress in the game. Some badges need to get crafted first, using lower-tier ones, which the game informs you of.
Each hero has a set of skills that get used in battle as well, which get unlocked as you promote them. You can spend gold coins to upgrade each skill, making them dish out more damage.
Visual and Audio Design
My favorite part about Disney Heroes Battle Mode is the visual style. Since it's pulling in a huge variety of different Disney and Pixar characters, I love seeing them all rendered together in this psuedo-3D environment. Every hero model packs in incredible amounts of detail, and my favorite, Vanellope, has a unique, battle-ready style costume that we haven't seen before.
Disney Heroes Battle Mode features buttery smooth animations and transitions. The frame rate during battles is impressive, as it seems to be about 60fps.
The music is nice mix of quirky and glitchy tunes. It amps me up each time I go into battle because it's futuristic and fun. And the delightful sound effects during combat make me smile.
Pros: - Gorgeous visuals and great sound - Simple controls - High replay value
Cons: - Gameplay can feel repetitive and monotonous - Takes a while to get new heroes - Energy system
Even though the gameplay is a bit routine since most of it's done automatically, I'm enjoying Disney Heroes Battle Mode a lot.
It's entertaining, to say the least, and full of iconic Disney characters from some of my favorite movies of all time. How can I say no to a game that brings in The Incredibles, Wall-E, Wreck-It Ralph, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and Zootopia?
Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.