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Toy Story 3 review

Solid
AT A GLANCE
  • Confident platforming
  • Pixar eye-candy
  • Toy Box mode is really fun
  • Weak combat
  • Repetitive collect 'em all missions
  • Checkpoints can throw you back a long way

Toy Story 3 doesn’t introduce you to the characters, or catch you up to speed. Instead of starting the game in a tutorial, you assume Woody’s position jumping from train car to train car, while fighting off Evil Dr. Porkchop’s alien henchmen. Controls are simple enough, with buttons allotted to jump, dash, throw, and the all encompassing “action” button. Besides that, the only help you’ll get are hints scattered around the level in little toy machine capsules. You don’t have to pick them up or ever see what they have to say. It’s a breath of fresh air in the three-hour tutorial kind of world we live in.

Once the first level is completed, players are teleported to a gameboard where missions are selected. From there, you can select the central campaign, the Toy Shop (where you spend coins found around the levels), or the Toy Box.

The Toy Box introduces a sandbox environment where players can enjoy less linear gameplay than the campaign offers. You can build up a town and fill it with residents and items, and apply custom paint schemes. Each new addition to your town adds new quests and each new quest unlocks new objects. The Toy Box truly is the heart of the game, but it won’t last long, especially without the unlockable objects you can only find within the campaign.

The campaign offers a haphazard take on the movie; it’s barely cohesive if you’ve seen the movie and completely disorienting if you haven’t. Certain sections that have been added to the original movie, like playtime at the imaginative Bonnie’s house, represent opportunities to inject crazy action levels not offered by the third film’s plot. In Bonnie’s house, Woody grinds rails in outer space a la Jet Set Radio Future while a wild witch shoots Poison magic at him. It’s actually quite fun.

Combat in the game is so simple and easy that many adult players will be wildly underwhelmed. However, platforming is so difficult that children will either be completely frustrated by it or simply unable to complete the game. This poses one of the greatest problems of Toy Story 3: it’s never quite sure who its target demographic is.

When puzzles get too difficult, hitting the right shoulder button displays a hint. If you fall from a cliff too many times, the game might provide you with a different, sturdier ledge. Unfortunately, it’s not enough help to guide younger kids through the often brutal platforming sections. It makes for good controller passing, though it might be unnecessary; certain levels allow two players to work cooperatively through the campaign.

Graphics are distinctly Pixar-esque (an older adult walked in and thought we were watching the movie), and all the colors are vibrant and extraordinarily varied from level to level.

Toy Story isn’t just a game for kids; fans of the trilogy should have no reservations about picking this one up.

Jun 24, 2010

More Info

Release date: Jun 15 2010 - Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC, PSP, DS (US)
Jun 16 2010 - PS3, Wii, PC, PSP, DS (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC, PSP, DS
Genre: Children's
Published by: Disney Interactive Studios
Developed by: Disney Interactive Studios
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief

18 comments

  • luisito12 - August 19, 2010 3:36 a.m.

    i like the game nd the movie
  • Willis916 - June 30, 2010 3:17 a.m.

    aww dammit i wanted Chris to do a SuperReview =[ reCAPTCHA: Backhand He (he most certainly better)
  • Biopiate - June 28, 2010 10:04 p.m.

    I'm 21 years old, and currently my favorite games are Red Dead, Modern Warfare 2, and this. I had a blast playing through the short-lived story mode, and the Toy Box mode. Highly recommended for all ages, especially Toy Story fans.
  • VideoGames4Life - June 28, 2010 12:57 a.m.

    Most video games that are based off of video games are bad. Hopefully this one will stand apart. The screenshots look cool.
  • jmroundtree - June 25, 2010 11:05 p.m.

    This review got me interested. Went searching for the lowest price and found a bargain. Check out bestsku.com to get it for $34.99
  • Evilsafetyboy - June 25, 2010 9:21 p.m.

    @ZenRobot Yeah, both my daughters love video games (but they're pretty well-rounded too with regular toys, skateboarding, etc.) They also love the old Gamecube Simpsons Hit and Run game. I think quality games that enable some creative control or robust reward system is the way to go for introducing kids. They know when a game is being patronizing and lose interest right away (to play one of daddy's games!) :)
  • nighthawk205 - June 25, 2010 12:18 p.m.

    @Ashkael Actually, it was pretty much all Pixar fanboy Chris Antista hyping this one. He's obviously a huge Pixar fan and got to visit their HQ to preview the game. Why would he not hype it? The rest of the team just talked about how the Toy Box mode looks great, just like every other video game media writer did.
  • Ashkael - June 25, 2010 5:28 a.m.

    GamesRader hyped this one out the ass. Why am I not surprised that it didn't turn out that great?
  • bloodyshadow - June 25, 2010 4:25 a.m.

    Hay un amigo en mi.
  • ZenRobot - June 25, 2010 4:10 a.m.

    @Evilsafetyboy for some reason, that warms my heart to hear that your kids like playing this 3d toy story game. When i have kids, i cant wait to get them into gaming. Finding the right "gateway" games is very important though, to build up their gaming confidence
  • michaelmcc827 - June 25, 2010 2:33 a.m.

    NEXT GRAND THEFT AUTO YYYEEEEAAAAAAAAAHAAHHH
  • nuno004 - June 25, 2010 12:11 a.m.

    looks alright but not really a must have, great review though.
  • Evilsafetyboy - June 24, 2010 11:43 p.m.

    You know what? Both my 5 and 10 year old daughters love this game. They played co-op on everything and had a blast in the toybox mode for hours (controlled hours of course!)
  • CH3BURASHKA - June 24, 2010 11:31 p.m.

    Watch out, Nic - Chris is going to kill you for stealing his review from him. Still have to see the movie...
  • D0CCON - June 24, 2010 11:29 p.m.

    @Conman93 That article said that even if Toy Story 3 beat out Shrek, Dreamworks would still win by one (although I don't agree with all of the winners in that article, most, but not all)
  • Conman93 - June 24, 2010 11:25 p.m.

    Would this score make pixar games better than dreamworks games on average. I'll let Mr. Antista handle that. He'll probably have it checked
  • Cyberninja - June 24, 2010 10:50 p.m.

    a decent movie game thats always good.
  • Caio - June 24, 2010 10:46 p.m.

    Well, the movie was great, at least.

Showing 1-18 of 18 comments

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