|System: DS, PS3, X360, PC, Wii, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Avalanche Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Disney Interactive Studios||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 15, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Though these side portions of the game are far from perfect, theyre fun, little missions that play to the strengths of the DS. When controlling Buzz in on-rails segments, youll use the stylus to aim and either the D-pad or face buttons to move. The controls feel good, though targeting was somewhat dubious. Woodys side adventures are admittedly less interesting and tend to overstay their welcome as a result.
Lastly, there is Playtime, which consists of a simplified, albeit enjoyable, form of Tower Defense. The action plays out in real-time, with Woody collecting blocks to purchase and upgrade towers. Its a very straightforward approach with little challenge, but for younger gamers, Playtime is definitely a decent introduction to the genre. My main complaint with Playtime is that its used maybe one time too many in the story mode.
Both the Quick Play and Playtime options make it easy to go back and play through your favorite portions of the game, and with tons of unlockables, theres definitely incentive to do so. Its a decent package with extra stuff to discover after youve completed the story, but the adventure is over before you know it.
As you play through the story mode, youll unlock achievements and gameplay modes, as well as trinkets to toy around with in DGamer. Like all of Disneys other current DS offerings, DGamer is a prominent part of the package; its still one of the few viable options on the handheld for social gaming. Alone, however, DGamer is hardly worth the price of admission.
Visually, Toy Story 3: The Video Game looks good on DS. Theres nothing particularly impressive about the game, and the actual story presentation comes across as an afterthought. The 3D visuals, though, are mostly clean and attractive, and the framerate was smooth throughout.
The background music is fitting, but the optimization of the audio as a whole can be jarring at times. During character interactions, the music will hiccup constantly. The sound effects are a bit hit-and-miss as well. Elements of Buzzs adventure can be completely satisfying, while sounds associated with Woodys gameplay sound like noisy clinks and clacks. The voice work doesnt help much, either. The actors spout out cliché lines from the franchise with awkward intonation more proof that the presentation was likely given little consideration.
Though my affair with the handheld version of Toy Story 3: The Video Game was brief and I do mean brief, clocking in at roughly three hours I had a fair bit of fun with the game. There are some moments throughout the adventure that made me stop and wonder, Why is no one else doing this on DS? There are some surprisingly cool ideas tossed into the mix, and theyre sewn together in a playful and seamless fashion.
In execution, however, the game is far from perfect. Disney Interactive Studios has treated the DS version of Toy Story 3: The Video Game much like the toys in the actual story, mistaking it for trash. Inspirational gameplay is marred by a lack of polish, and the characters and story deserve much more than whats offered in the games presentation. Theres some incentive to replay levels, and the DGamer elements add value to the package; theres also plenty wasted potential here.
CCC Freelance Writer