I took the time to check out a game I normally would have just walked right by at E3 2010 because I wanted to see the state of casual movie-related games after the more core attempts like Iron Man 2 failed to impress. Toy Story 3 is definitely something that well rounded gamers might consider playing, especially those with young children. While many will definitely ignore this game as I considered doing, I invite you to take a quick glimpse into what this title is all about courtesy of the E3 show floor.
What we typically call “shovel-ware” in this day and age are video games that have no inspiration behind them. Put together with very little passion and creativity, these games tend to feel pretty obvious and usually boring. I half expected Toy Story 3 to be one of these titles, and was pleasantly surprised that it was not. I normally enjoy war games and role playing, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t played my fair share of platforms both 2D and 3D as well as action games. After all, I grew up playing Super Mario Bros. on Nintendo Entertainment System.
Toy Story 3 actually does a great job of combining 3D platform movements with the action genre by keeping the excitement high with stages like running through a moving train on a rescue mission while being attacked via ground and air by everything from robots to aliens and more. The controls feel pretty solid for what they are meant to achieve and give a great sense of immersion because of the overall action-themed tone. You do actually feel like you are in the adventure taking place before your eyes.
The Toy Box mode however, which had received a lot of critical acclaim and had me interested, seemed to be a little un-inviting for newcomers to Toy Story 3 the game. Toy Box mode is an open world featuring mini-games like racing through checkpoints and while it is fun you are often left wondering what you should do next and end up walking around for miles uncertain of where you are. The story mode, thankfully, has well placed checkpoints to help avoid this and seasoned gamers from the story-mode may better recognize the terrain. Overall Toy Box mode is like one big side-quest land though, and is definitely not as much immersion as playing through story mode.
This is a family-friendly game, so the excitement is mild and tame but nonetheless the developers did a great job of providing that sense of thrill and danger to the atmosphere through music, visual cues, and character dialog. You play through Woody in the train rescue mission I demoed and the cinematic cut-scenes do a good job of introducing the encounter as well as serving to progress the story once you complete it. Overall I feel like this is a decent piece of entertainment for fans of the Toy Story franchise.
- Title: Toy Story 3
- Developer / Publisher: Avalanche Software, Disney Interactive Studios
- Platform: Xbox 360
- Release: Out Now — Released June 15th, 2010