Reviews

Toy Story 3 – Review

 

Release Date: Out now!
Developer:
Publisher: Disney
Singleplayer: Yes
Splitscreen: yes
Multiplayer: No
PEGI: 7

You can be forgiven for being apprehensive about yet another movie tie-in game, especially one that deals with the such a beloved series as Toy Story with which many people have grown up with.

But have no such fear because Toy Story 3 has manage to buck the movie-tie in trend of being horrible and has instead provided an entertaining game that is perfect for kids and even fun for adults.

It’s in fine Toy Story tradition then that the games story mode kicks off with you taking control of Woody and Bullseye whilst charging down a valley with the evil Dr. Porkchop blowing up the place around, and frequently under, you.

This along with the rest of the level gets you set up for the rest of the games story which takes the form of a fun, if basic platformer interspersed with on-rails sections and even a bit of blasting evil robots and things as well for good measure.
Progress through the story is all done via a Gameboard where many of the characters from the film are recounting their adventures that lead them to their current place of residence (Note the avoidance of Spoilers people) and the entire thing only lightly touches upon the films events, choosing more to allow you to view it all through the toys eyes which leads to some daft levels as you avoid a rising lake of coffee and battle through space.

You’ll be playing as 3 main characters, Woody, Buzz and Jessie whom you can all swap between at will as they each have different abilities and levels need you to make use of all of them to progress.
Each is voiced by the films actors with the exception of Woody who’s voice actor, while doing a good job, does feel a bit odd in Tom Hanks place.
This applies to the entire games cast, each are voiced by their original actors and it add’s an air of polish to the game. Oddly considering the inclusion of most of the characters Mr. Potato Head is missing.

Using the basic jumping skills of each character the levels are all basic and simple but provide a decent amount of entertainment.
Buzz can throw other characters, Woody can swing on things with his string and Jessie can balance on thin objects.
Simplistic yet addictive and the Buzz Lightyear computer game level is a standout part of the story offering some fun flying and blasting.

But while story mode is a solid platformer that is over very quickly, it’s the games second mode that really lets the game shine.
Woody’s Round-up is a free-roaming Western town of which you become Sheriff.
This Toybox can be customised to your hearts content, whether you’re giving the Town Hall a new lick of paint (Finding Nemo stripes, anyone?) you can add decorations and change the doors.
You can also buy new toys and buildings to add to your town using gold, earned through mining and taking on the many missions given to you by the towns population.

These can be new buildings right up to entire new area’s such as Zurgs Spaceport which takes you on a mini-mission that see’s you getting a shiny new toy to play with!
It’s a constant reward system that keeps you coming back as gold is always in plentiful supply meaning it’s never too long until you can buy that new toy.
Maybe it will be a sports car to blast around in along with a stunt park for it?

The missions that you can take part in are all simplistic tasks such as rescuing a donkey that somehow got up a cliff or even just changing the look of one of the townspeople so they look like a Zombie.
yes, even the townsfolk can be customised with new hairdo’s, duds and more lending even more of a unique feel to each town.
These bite-sized missions usually last only a few minutes and this gives them a certain addictive quality that keeps you coming back.
However after a while you do begin to tire of their simplicity.

In many respects it feels like they should have left the story mode and simply concentrated on Woody’s Round-up as it is great fun to play as you happily buy buildings to build your town or just a Cow Cannon to unleash mayhem.

All of this combines with beautiful graphics and cut-scenes that could be from the film itself along with the movie’s soundtrack which is spot on throughout and is combined with the occasional more rock based tune as you blast around Stunt Parks.

It’s not all fun and games as you may expect, Story mode can be completed far too quickly and platforming, while fun, is basic in implementation however this is a game aimed at  kids  so nothing more should be expected.
Camera control is taken away quite often leading to some frustrating moments, happily these are few and far between.
Vehicles handle like they’re on ice with some odd collision detection that can see you bounced around in unusual ways.

It’s a small shame that buildings cannot be moved around as most have just one or two slots that you can place them in meaning that while your building may look different the general layout will remain the same.

And oddly, while the stroy mode can be played in a split-screen co-op mode there is no Live co-op which feels like a waster opportunity.
Especially when inviting a friend to your Round-up would have been great to show off your awesome toys!

Ultimately though Toy Story 3 is charming and fun to play, it provides simple platforming and a great free-roam mode that will keep kids thrilled and adults smiling.

The Good:
+ It’s Toy Story!
+ Woody’s Round-up is addictive.
+ Seeing that Buzz game from Toy Story 2 come to life!

the Bad:
– It lacks depth
– It doesn’t have the Pixar humour

Scores:

graphics: 8.5
In-game the graphics are sharp and colorful. Get to the cut scenes and it can rival the film. It’s a shame there are not more of them.

Sound: 8.5
Almost all of the film cast are here and the music is spot on.

Story: 6
It only briefly touches upon the films events leading to a fairly light version of it.

Gameplay: 8
Simple platforming and some on-rail stuff may not be the greatest but it’s solid to play. Woody’s Round-up is where the real stuff is though and it excels.

Lifespan: 7.5
Story mode can be done in just a few hours, but finishing absolutely everything in Woody’s Round-up and getting all the collectibles can take a fair chunk of time.

Overall: 8
The perfect game for Toy Story fanatics and a solid and enjoyable game for the gamers out there.
Fun, charming and addictive this is one game that breaks the film tie-in tradition of being terrible

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