Most people know that Toy Story 3 was recently in the theaters and it concluded the adventures of Andy’s toys. Now when new movies come out they generally release a game as well, trying to milk this thing for all the money they can from as many mediums as they can. The only down side is that the games are generally terrible, not a lot of thought or care is put into making sure a fun game is made. They are just given the only run, jump and collect formula without trying to add anything new, different or unique to the mix. Now like most movies Toy Story 3 had a video game made for it, but unlike most movies this one is pretty good. Both its Story mode and its unique Toy Box mode are amazing and very fun to play. Check out this trailer for more.
First here are the basics, the game looks pretty good. On the Xbox 360 players can definitely tell that the people making the game were using the 360 well, its not making insane details like in Gears of War but it does look good. All the levels and characters are very well designed with characters looking like they should. Rooms and environments have a realness kind of feel to them, there are just things scattered across desks or floors that you can push around. Sometimes you need to move these items to progress other times its just for kicks. The whole game can be played with two players and the designers seemed to have cooperation heavily in mind when they designed it. If one player isn’t very good at jumping, that’s ok have the other player pick him up and throw him to the next ledge. The controls feel good, except that the combat portion of the controls just feels wrong. The fact that characters need to use a shoulder charge and are unable to just perform a punch or kick can make trying to defeat some enemies kind of awkward at times but its not a major problem.
Onto Story mode, the story actually takes place after the movie and Andy’s toys are telling Bonnie’s toys about what happened to them. Starting from the Train rescue then all the way to the twisted daycare and ending with the Haunted Bakery(One crazy boss fight!!). As you go through the game you play as Woody, Buzz and Jessie to complete all your tasks and solve puzzles. Each character can do the same basic things(double jump, climb, shoulder charge) but each one also has a specific skill. Buzz is the strongest which means you can use him to throw Woody and Jessie onto far away ledges. Woody can use his pull string to grapple onto certain hanging ledges or activate certain switches. Jessie is very nimble and can land on very small platforms that Buzz and Woody are too big to land on. These differences in their abilities means players will be switching constantly between the three characters to solve the assortment of puzzles in the game. There are a few things to collect that are hidden across each level, and some of them are hidden pretty well but a decent amount of exploration and thought will reward players well. If players find all the collectibles they earn extras for Toy Box mode and all the coins they find in the levels can be exchanged at Al’s Toy Barn for more goodies. One of the most interesting things about this game is that the game is played through the toys perspective. Now this doesn’t just mean being really short it a big world it also means that when a kid is playing with them and imagining they don’t see a kid making a few toys fly around they see the world as if whatever they are imagining is actually happening. This can be best demonstrated in the Train Rescue, Bonnie’s House and Haunted Bakery levels. Really the only down sides to the Story mode is that it’s kind of short, and some of the levels can be insanely frustrating. Wanna see the Bonnie’s house level? Check this video.
Now for Toy Box mode. This is truly the major draw and saving grace of this game. Without it Toy Story 3 would’ve just been another generic and forgettable movie game. Toy Box mode almost feels like it is the game and Story mode was an afterthought. In this part of the game you roam around and open world, you play as either Buzz, Woody or Jessie and you become the new Sheriff of a little run down western town. You run around completing tasks the villagers give you and soon enough your town is big and bustling with people. In this mode you can customize pretty much everything after you have unlocked the tools to do so. You can paint your buildings any color, dress the townsfolk however you want to, you can even make them bigger or smaller. There are tons of random mission and challenges to complete or if you just want to goof off and run around throwing villagers or just explore you can do that too. Each time you complete a mission you get gold which you spend at the Al’s Toy Barn booth for new toys, like Bullseye the horse so you can get around faster. When played with two people is when this mode truly shines, the imagination of both players in the game will combine as each of you is just running around doing whatever. You can even start a game of tag by pelting your buddy with the bouncy balls you get in the game. What makes Toy Box mode so great is that they give you the tools to have fun and you are left to make it the way you want. Wanna see more? Check out this demo video.
Toy Story 3 proved to make itself a movie game above the rest despite its few flaws which earns it an awesome 8 out of 10.