|System: PC, PS3, X360||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 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Most of the other levels are as mundane as the sandbox game, though. Sunnyside Daycare is just a collection of minigames. In Andys House, you can switch between the three controllable characters (Woody, Buzz, and Jessie, each of whom has special abilities) to solve environmental puzzles. These puzzles are mind-numbingly easy, however, and the game gives you far too many hints about how to solve them. It reminded us a bit of Lego Batman for the DS, in which you spend hours maneuvering Batman and Robin into various positions without feeling particularly challenged.
Its tempting to excuse the lack of difficulty on the grounds that Toy Story 3 is just a kids game, but if thats the way the developers were treating it, why did they make the introductory scene and the Buzz Video Game considerably tougher? On the one hand, you have unlimited lives, the checkpoints are distributed quite liberally, and most of the game is so easy its ridiculous, but on the other hand, there are some adult-friendly hard parts. Its not clear what they were going for with the difficulty.
The controls here are a mixed bag. Most of the game is played in the third-person, with a basic setup that allows you to run around, adjust the camera (sometimes), jump, sprint, throw projectiles, and use items. However, the vehicles can be hard to steer sometimes, and some sequences feature a fixed camera that can make it hard to see where youre going. Trying to steer a car as Buzz Lightyear -- whos much larger than the car and sitting on top of it -- was one of the most obnoxious things weve ever had to do in a video game. Trying to navigate Woody from one ledge to another over a room filled with coffee that could kill him in one hit, as the camera changed views erratically, was another.
To be fair, whatever problems the gameplay has, the presentation is top-notch. The graphics, both in the cutscenes and during gameplay, look drawn straight from the Pixar movie, and we noticed very few visual glitches. The voice acting is superb, featuring some of the original actors (not, unfortunately, Tim Allen or Tom Hanks, though Joan Cusack plays Jessie). Many of the featured songs are immediately recognizable to fans of the films (Youve Got a Friend in Me, etc.), and the music always fits the mood of the gameplay. The whole experience captures the feel of the movies. It is clear throughout the game that the developers paid close attention to every detail of the way Toy Story 3 looks and sounds, and for that they deserve a lot of credit.
For parents with smaller children, this is a good investment, and even adults will find a lot to enjoy in Toy Story 3. However, this game is a lot more boring and repetitive than its been hyped up to be. Except for Toy Story fanatics, this is merely a decent kids game, not a must-buy for the whole family.
CCC Freelance Writer