Disney Dreamlight Valley: The Remembering: Review
This game was reviewed on the Xbox Series X.
Reviewed by: Meg Richards
The biggest plot update to Disney Dreamlight Valley was released last month, and with it came the grand finale to Act 1 of Disney Dreamlight Valley: The Forgotten Storyline, aptly called The Remembering. The premise is that when the last ruler of Dreamlight Valley left, a curse called the Forgetting befell the land causing characters to forget their families and friends. In addition, the player character continually catches glimpses of a shadowy doppelganger wandering the valley.
Before I review this update, I should warn you that this review will discuss Spoilers for the latest update of Disney Dreamlight Valley and ergo the ending.
The Forgotten plotline starts with finally introducing you to the mysterious character inside the Pumpkin House in The Forgotten Lands. It's the Fairy Godmother, who has been in her house speculating how to fix the Forgetting this entire time. She will tell you that The Forgotten, your shadowy doppelganger you have seen throughout the game, has taken the Orb of Remembrance from The Forgotten Lands to the Dreamscape. She then sets you some tasks to unlock the Dreamscape.
In the dreamscape, the player plays through several of The Forgotten's memories. We learn that they suffered from poor mental health and became disillusioned with the Valley after being manipulated and tricked by several local villains. In addition, we see that the Forgotten is partly responsible for spreading the forgetting curse across the valley. After seeing these memories, the Forgotten steals the Orb again and reveals themselves to be part of the player that split off after they left Dreamlight Valley the first time. They then tell the Player that they are going to break down the barrier between Dreamlight Valley and the other in-game worlds and the real world. The player returns to Valley only to find huge rifts in the sky as the world starts to collapse into others.
The next day, Merlin sends The Player to four locations seriously affected by the tears to collect four items that belonged to The Forgotten. Additionally, the player must talk to four characters associated with the locations the items are found in to get their memories of The Forgotten or rather their memories of The Player. Merlin then opens a portal to the Dark Castle. The Player then works their way through the labyrinth that the Forgotten has made using Night Thorns and the castle doors. Upon reaching the Forgotten, they and The Player blast magic at each other. This results in them being transported to the Here and There, an endless black void where there is only darkness and water. Whilst in the Here and There, we are shown memories belonging to The Player character and the Forgotten. After the duo reconnect, they work together to heal the rifts and save the Valley.
After the credits, by looking at some drawings in the Dark Castle, you can finally heal the last Valley pillar on the Beach next to Skull Rock. Skull Rock shakes and it's implied something inside has opened, hinting at more to come to the Valley.
The finale of The Forgetting Storyline is incredibly well done. The scale and tone are both grand and apocalyptic, as the valley is being torn apart by the Forgotten's plan. However, simultaneously it is personal, relying on the nostalgia that many of the older players would have for Disney. The game calls the Forgotten the part of the player that was left behind as they grew up. This update gives players the backstory they've wanted on The player character (known in-game as The Ruler) and The Forgotten. This part of the player then became incredibly depressed and fell prey to manipulation. The game's depiction of mental health is very poignant and moving, without romanticising it. The game shows how poor mental health can affect judgement or make us less likely to reach out to people. This is hammered home by the fact they live in a ruined Dark Castle covered in forgetting curse vines which is cluttered and corrupted. The game gives The Forgotten a motivation which makes sense, and while the characters forgive them for their actions, it leaves an amount of time unaccounted for during which The Forgotten could have done other dark deeds.
The only part of this update I did not enjoy was during one of The Forgotten's flashbacks. The player, as the Forgotten, serves Goofy rotten food. Luckily, Goofy doesn't eat it. It very clearly shows how apathetic The Forgotten has become to their situation and their neighbours. However, as a player it made me feel queasy and uncomfortable.
Both new characters are incredibly interesting additions to the cast. The Fairy Godmother from Cinderella is a very comforting presence during this darker story update. She brings warmth and wholesome energy, which can be very comforting to players who are disturbed by parts of the update. In addition, with her, she brings pumpkin-themed furniture which is an exciting addition. The only downside is paired with The Remembering update her character missions can seem a little repetitive after a while.
However, the far more interesting character of the update is The Forgotten. They are at the time of writing the game's only original character aside from the player character. Not only does the player get to explore their psychology and eventually get through to them, but the player gets small lines of audio showing glimpses of their more amicable personality. The lines of dialogue hint that in the future they and the player character will develop a sibling-like relationship, with the player character as the older sibling and The Forgotten as the younger. Despite this, we can't unlock them as a companion as we can every other character in the game, yet. However, additions such as the lines of spoken dialogue and their presence in the valley and a Dreamlight category in our friend list in the Collection imply they will be joining us soon.
Other future additions hinted at in-game are three new biomes, one possibly containing Jafar, and further exploration of what's happening with Skull Rock.
As well as new storylines and characters, the latest update has some new mechanics. The Touch of Magic tool which previously was used to customise clothes has been expanded so that The Player can customise and design their furniture. This is a welcome logical extension to the Touch of Magic Tool. Additionally, outfits the player makes, whether made with Touch of Magic or with pre-existing clothing items can now be displayed on mannequins in the player's house, including the hairstyles, which makes keeping track of your favourite outfits far easier. It also allows the player to experiment more with their outfits and hairstyles without worrying that they will lose that outfit if they forget which shade of blue, they dyed their hair.
Another quality-of-life improvement is that when shopping in Scrooge's shop, or making items at the crafting table, there are red dots on the items which you do not own yet, allowing you to complete your furniture collection without the worry of purchasing duplicates or having to check if you have the item in your collection, then purchasing.
Finally, the last part of the update worth discussing is the Star Path. The Star Path is when the player completes tasks to earn a currency that can exist for a limited time and rewards the players with stickers, clothes, character outfits and furniture. This Star Path was called Wonder of Pixar. Despite the name, most of the items were from Elemental, Turning Red or Lightyear, with the majority being from Elemental. Thus, the name felt a little misleading. Despite this, there were some rather cool items in this Star Path such as a fire raven pet which invokes the look of a phoenix, four hairstyles from Elemental looking like the four elements and a statue of Mei in her Panda form. The only other issue I had with this Star Path was that certain tasks the player must complete take three days to complete, which slows completing the Star Path down considerably. Especially as these tasks are often only worth 20 points, whereas other comparable tasks would have gained more points in less time.
The real star of this update was the story update, bringing closure and backstory to plotlines which have been ongoing since the start of the game. Additionally, it has properly introduced The Forgotten as a character and it is exciting to anticipate how they will affect the game moving forward. Other positive additions to this game were Cinderella's Fairy Godmother who brought a wholesome warmth to the game and quality of life additions such as the red dot marker in Scrooge's shop. The only part of the update which was lackluster was the Star Path, which while it did have a few cool items, was artificially dragged out and focused only on new or the most popular IPs. Some more diversity in IPs could have drastically improved this Star Path and made it have value for more players.
Reviewed by: Meg Richards