Traveller's Tales



Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command Review

By: John Doe

Not every game will appeal to every gamer. The chasms are growing wider, giving gamers an unbelievable selection of designer games. So we must remember that the games being produced today are as diverse as the people playing them. That is to say that if you are a big fan of Perfect Dark you will probably be violently opposed to playing Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.


You already know which demographic Buzz is aimed at. The question is: does it do its job? Well you can pretty much count on Disney these days to target their market porperly but that's about it. Disney knows how to make money but it's not an innovator anymore. It just continues to mine from the vein that Walt tapped. Sure the mine is deep, but its full of the same old stuff. Shareholders are influencing Disney and it's beginning to show. As for this video game, they think that licensing Toy Story characters to Activision lets them off the hook as far as quality control goes.

Buzz is a completely safe, harmless and mediocre game that will keep kids amused for a while but not for very long. There is nothing wrong with lighthearted material geared for kids, but when it's so predictable and obviously a money grab from a popular franchise I just have to shake my head. They don't even use Tim Allen or Tom Hank's voices on this game. You mean to tell me that Disney didn't care that the originals weren't in the video game? I don't recall Bug's Bunny's voice being trusted to anyone else as long as Mel Blanc was alive. That's because integrity was involved back then. Today the corporations figure the kids are too stupid to know the difference and it's only a video game anyway. Well, how much are they charging for this game? I want the real characters for that kind of cash you thieving, condescending money grubbers.

Then again some kids may be so anxious to have anything associated with Buzz that they're willing to overlook anything and fork over their parent's hard-earned money for a few cheap thrills. In which case you get what you deserve.

Based on the series as well as the direct-to-video feature length production, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command will have you chasing bad guys to the end of each level in a timed event. It's essentially a race where you attempt to gather as many coins along the way to purchase extra lives, power ups and an assortment of weapons and vehicles including a hoverboard and a jet pack which will get you to the end faster than walking. You have about 15 seconds to reach the end from the moment your adversary gets there, otherwise you will have to go back and do it all over again.

Taken for what it is, this game moves along at a good pace and will certainly generate some excitement among the age-challenged members of our society. Getting the hang of the controls is as easy as reading the packaging. The graphics maintain the American Disney cartoon style which can be a welcome change in itself from the saturated Japanamation. You will be treated to an animated sequence at the beginning of each new level.

My biggest complaint with Buzz, is that he (you) must purchase everything in this game if you want to mix it up a tad. Want a new weapon? Buy it. Want a jetpack or hoverboard so that you can take an alternate path to the end of a level? Buy it. The coins needed to make this purchases are scattered throughout the games levels, which helps in diversifying the objectives a little, but at the same time will drive you nuts. Well, at least it drove me nuts. You know me and collecting things... Remember you only have 15 seconds to reach the end of the level where your enemy is waiting, otherwise it's back to the start of the level for you!

If you're under 10, or looking for a gift for someone around that age group you probably couldn't go wrong with this game as long as the kids aren't into dressing Goth or listening to Offspring. As far as kid games go, it's pretty good. Not too easy and not to hard. It ends up in the middle somwehere. I bet you if I was ten or under, I would LOVE this game.






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