|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|
by Tony Capri
After quite a few years collecting dust, Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the Toy Story gang are hitting the big screen once again. Disney Interactive Studios also brings the experience to the Nintendo DS, but does this portable romp take gamers to infinity and beyond?
With so much time out of the Pixar limelight, many folks might be wondering what Andy and his collection of playthings have been up to. While readying himself for the big move to college, Andys toys get mistaken as trash and, thus, our adventure begins. Woody and Buzz must reunite with their lifeless friends and make their way back to Andys room in time for one last farewell.
The story is told through in-game pantomime, text, and scrolling still images. Though many emotional elements manage to come across surprisingly well on the tiny DS screens, its disappointing to see Disney offer such a barebones and cobbled presentation for fans. The story takes huge leaps from one major plot point to another, with only storyboards to vaguely fill in the gaps.
In spite of disappointment with the presentation, the game has a playful cohesiveness fans of the movies should appreciate. The adventure touches on a wide variety of gameplay types, and the premise is undeniably endearing.
Toy Story 3: The Video Game is broken up into two main activities: adventure and mini-games. In adventure mode, youll take control of either Woody or Buzz, navigating environments in real-time. Control for both characters is mapped to the D-pad and face buttons, and though Woody feels floaty and less agile, the handling for each character is well-suited to their design as toys. Woody uses his pull string to swing across platforms, and Buzz can glide using his rocket wings. A lot of the actions are scripted, and some elements of the platforming feel clumsy, but there is, indeed, some good stuff here any gamer can enjoy.
The camera during adventure mode does a decent job of helping the player along, though certain angles can make it difficult at times to know exactly where to go next. Nevertheless, youre led by the nose pretty much throughout the entirety of the game, with the top screen offering step-by-step instruction on how to proceed.
Whats really nice about the adventure mode is how it seamlessly integrates various gameplay elements into the overall experience. Youll be doing some light platforming one minute and a short bit of stealth action the next. Theres nothing really new here, but Toy Story 3: The Video Game does a good job implementing pretty much every facet of the DS hardware. Youll use the microphone to blow bubbles in order to distract children, as well as tap on the touch screen to remove debris from buried toys. Rather than trying to milk each bit of gameplay dry, the mechanics are worked into the adventure in a meaningful and mostly enjoyable way.
In addition to the adventure mode and mini-games, the story in Toy Story 3: The Video Game plays out through Make Believe and Playtime events. The Make Believe portions of the game are especially interesting because of the notion that the toys (Woody or Buzz) are using their imagination in order to make navigating simple spaces more fun. For instance, Woody using magnets to climb up a chalk board becomes a game in which hes scaling the side of a canyon. Conversely, Buzz will imagine himself flying through space, shooting enemy robots, or taking cover and shooting in the first person, á la Time Crisis.