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Toy Story Mania! review

AT A GLANCE
  • Great visuals and voices
  • Quick pacing
  • Decent minigame variety
  • Can't save your progress
  • Some confusing objectives
  • Controls aren't always tight

Everybody loves the Toy Story movies, and we’re no exception. Woody, Buzz and the gang bring smiles to our faces just by showing up, and the first few minutes of Toy Story Mania did nothing to change that. A lovely opening cinema and a bright, bubbly menu screen based around Andy’s room had us feeling happy and hoping we’d stay that way.

Then the game started.

Without going overboard – to be fair, it’s not as if Mania is an utter abomination – let’s just say problems abound. The story, such as it is, centers around a carnival that all of the toys set up, featuring typical festival fare like shooting galleries, skee ball, ring toss, and so on. All promising enough, until we realized that every time you save the game and come back later, you have to start back at the beginning, no matter how far you’ve advanced. Really?

Putting the neverending story issue aside, how good are the minigames themselves? The answer is a resounding “meh.” Some are perfectly fine – particularly the smaller-sized ones – while others suffer from a combination of frustrating controls and confounding objectives. On more than one occasion, we were 100% positive we did exactly what we were told (such as hitting a certain number of items in a row) but never got credit for it.  Other times, we furiously flicked the Wiimote to and fro while only occasionally having it recognize our actions. Frustrating, indeed.

Let’s be honest, though - most youngsters won’t voice these same complaints. They’ll simply enjoy the gorgeous cartoony landscape, spot-on voice impersonations, and quick pacing as they move from one game to another. They’ll also get a kick out of cashing in virtual tickets for prizes, and may even be able to see a difference in the handful of 3D games (2 sets of glasses are included) versus the normal ones – even if we barely could.  They’ll leave the complaining for their grumpy Dad.

Ultimately, if your kids are in the 7-10 year old range, Toy Story Mania is in their wheelhouse. Savvier gamers will cringe, and the younger set will have too much difficulty with the controls and the objectives. It’s too bad, because with a few adjustments, it could’ve been something much better – and more appealing to everyone in the family.

Sep 30, 2009

More Info

Release date: Oct 30 2012 - Xbox 360
Sep 15 2009 - Wii (US)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
Genre: Other Games/Compilations
Published by: Disney Interactive Studios
Developed by: Papaya Studios
ESRB Rating:
Everyone

5 comments

  • legory - October 27, 2009 4:45 a.m.

    @brickman That's why you get a pass, my friend. ;)
  • brickman409 - October 18, 2009 9:28 p.m.

    well at least you dont have to pay $70 to get into disnelyand then wait 3 hours just to play once
  • NotBraze - October 1, 2009 5:44 p.m.

    I thought it was a mistake adapting this from the theme park attraction in the first place. Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney's California Adventure and Disney's Hollywood Studios is brilliant fun, and it's a shame that it couldn't transfer over properly to the Wii.
  • John-117 - October 1, 2009 1:56 a.m.

    I will, and say I'm excited to see what Pixar will do with Toy Story 3.
  • husk94 - October 1, 2009 1:30 a.m.

    I WONDER IF ANYONE WILL COMENT ON THIS REVIEW

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