SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$39.99

DEVELOPER
Disney/Pixar

PUBLISHER
Activision

RELEASE
12/99

Toy Story 2 Review

By: Dave Mitchell


Movie licenses in games often come off as kind of iffy: Many times the license just seems like a cheap marketing gimmick to hide a substandard game behind, and in many cases it is. But there are games, (for example Goldeneye for the N64) which could be great games in their own right, even if you took away the license. But which category does Toy Story 2 fall under? Read on!


Highs:
Lows:

First off, the graphics in this game are amazing. They capture the spirit of the Toy Story franchise perfectly. Their colourful, bright, cartoony, and just like the computer-animated graphics of the movies. And the full motion video clips in between levels lifted right from the movie are just astounding. You really couldn't ask for better graphics.

The sound in the game follows the same high standards set by the graphics. The music is borrowed a lot from the movies, and naturally works great. I've always loved the music in Disney movies, so I love the music in this game. The voices of the characters in the game are great too. Their clear, crisp, and best of all, are used quite sparingly. There are so many games which overuse voices to the point of making them irritating, but this most definitely isn't one of them.

In Toy Story 2, there really isn't anything to complain about in the control department. The control is very precise, especially with the analog stick, and jumping around and landing exactly where you want is easy.

The first thing you'll probably notice when you start the game is that its quite generic. It doesn't have much to discern itself from the "3-D Platformer" pack. This trend has been quite hot on the Playstation and N64 since Mario 64, and has produced many, many copycats. The game consists of you playing as Buzz Lightyear, going through levels collecting objects and achieving objectives to earn tokens, which allow you to proceed to the last level. Most of the levels have similar ways of getting the tokens: Races, finding special items, etc. The levels of the game would be quite simple to get through for a teenager or adult, but personally I don't think this game was really designed to appeal to people older than 12. Keeping this in mind, I think kids would find this game quite challenging, possibly overly challenging. I think the developers should have either decided to make this game's challenge level more suitable for younger children considering that's who it's primarily intended for.

The game unfortunately does not include a two player mode. It is never a good idea to do this, because it definitely reduces the replay value of the game. A multiplayer mode could have definitely worked for this type of game, so why there is no two-player mode is beyond me. Speaking of replay value, there really isn't a whole lot. I see absolutely no reason at all to finish a level again after you've beat it in this game. This game is fun for a 2-3 day rental, but it really isn't worth buying. In the end, it falls somewhere between a clever marketing gimmick and a legitimate, worthwhile game.

OVERALL
7.0

GRAPHICS
9.5

CONTROL
8.0

MUSIC/FX
9.0

FRUSTRATION
5.0


Second Opinion

By: John Doe

You know me; I'm hesitant at the best of times to play games based on TV shows or movies. However, Toy Story 2 won me over pretty quickly with it's excellent graphics, tight control and interesting level design. For a game based on a movie, I'd have to say that this one succeeds with flying colors.

The levels are very big and will have you using your thinking cap to figure out some of the puzzles whether you are a kid or an adult. As I went further into the game (which is based on the movie in which you have to rescue Woody from Al the toy collector) I realized that the challenge level was pretty high for younger children.

Aside from the audio and visual which are top-notch, I was very impressed with the fact that every level featured a shortcut or gaming safety net, in that if you were to fall from a far height (the game features a lot of jumping and platforming) inevitably there was always a ladder, rope or elevator that you could activate (hopefully before you fell!) which you could then use to reach your former spot! What a life saver! Without these in place, Toy Story 2 would have definitely been much too frustrating.

Although Buzz has to collect things throughout the game (coins, sheep, pieces of Mr. Potato head, ducks, etc.) to earn 5 Pizza Planet tokens per level, I never found this activity to be boring, and I HATE collecting! That's got to tell you something there. It's all thanks to the great level design which will always challenge you and keep you entertained.

I agree with Dave that the replayability factor isn't that high, but it is at least interesting that you'll have to earn some abilities on later levels so that you can go back to earlier levels to complete them.

If you've seen the movie and want a challenge (I don't think this game will be that easy to complete for most) I recommend Toy Story 2 for young (not too young though) and old players. Due to the difficulty of the game, you'll probably spend more on late charges in the long run if you rent it. The kids in my music studio who play tested it out over the last few weeks give it a HUGE thumbs up! With high production values, great control (annoying camera at times, of course) and excellent playability, you can't beat what Toy Story 2 is cooking. Don't let the fact that it's based on a movie throw you. It's much better than you think; now go and try it out for yourself.

OVERALL
8.0

GRAPHICS
9.0

CONTROL
8.0

MUSIC/FX
9.0

FRUSTRATION
7.0

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