Review: Disney Infinity (PS3)

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Title: Disney Infinity
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Release Date: Aug 18, 2013
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Developer: Avalanche Software
Original MSRP: $74.99 (US), €74.99 (EU), £51.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 7
Disney Infinity is also available for Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U & Nintendo 3DS.
The PlayStation 3 version was used for this review.

A waste of money and time I thought to myself as I first found out about this game. A short time later I found out Avalanche Software were making this game, who made the surprisingly enjoyable Toy Story 3. I played that game for quite a few days with my Toy Story obsessed little girl, so I decided I’d look into this more.

Before I write about the game, I should really mention the figures. They are all uncomplicated and pleasing to look at, charming and yet cute at the same time, I wouldn’t mind displaying them on my desk. While some are quite delicate and in the wrong hands I could see a limb breaking, they are child friendly. For instance, Jack Sparrow’s sword is slightly softer and flexible compared to the rest of the figure.

Gameplay:
Well the developers didn’t stray too far away from the Toy Story 3 formula, even using the same engine by the looks of it. There are two modes in both games, story and the Toy Box. The first mode follows a story which progresses by involvement with other characters in the themed world, from simple things like asking you to change the look of a building, or to get rid of some enemies that have just appeared in the area. It starts slow and easy, having you do more and more quests, which in turn unlocks more things and opens up other areas.

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I found it quite easy to lose track of time doing these quests. They were fun and playing with my daughter in split screen I found it nice to be able complete missions with or without her help, she always assumed it was all her excellent gaming skills. Who am I to argue?

That is one of the best things about Disney Infinity, it knows that it has to be playable by little kids and grown-ups alike. When either of you accomplish something, both of the characters jump around with confetti exploding behind them and you both get the rewards and unlocks. All the worlds seem to follow roughly the same template, which helps with the continuity and feel of the game, much of the variety comes in the form of the characters themselves, for example Violet from The Incredibles has her plasma shield and invisibility which is perfect for the younger player wanting to stroll by avoiding any trouble.

Unlockables and collectibles are abundant in this game, you can see them everywhere and I’ve lost countless hours Joshing it. I’d say to myself just one more and then I’ll do this mission, twenty minutes and about nineteen collectibles later the mission still wasn’t done.

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A total of twenty hours into playing The Incredibles pack, twelve hours on Cars and no more than two on Pirates – only because my girls won’t let me play. I also got the Lone Ranger pack which is now everyone’s favorite. The girls enjoy playing and messing around without the fear of losing lives or having to start again. If your character loses all their health, they instantly reform and continue. So that’s a massive amount of time in the story modes.

In the starter pack you get the Sulley, Mr. Incredible and Captain Jack Sparrow figures and a Playset piece which unlocks the respective worlds of each of the characters. You can only play in those worlds using the correct figures but can mix and match if you play in the Toy Box (more on that later). When I first set it all up, taking care to do it as instructed I might add, things didn’t go so well. The game would get stuck every time when it was apparently ‘Establishing Network’. I checked many different sites and eventually the official Disney Infinity Twitter account suggested I sign out of the PlayStation Network before starting the game. It worked but it isn’t a fix so at least I can play the game now and hopefully it’ll get patched. I did some checking and it’s not a common bug, I must be special?

Visuals:
Everything you’d expect a Disney game to be, with all the Story themed worlds looking just right. When you’re running round as Mike or Sulley on the grounds of Monsters University it looks brilliant, and there is a nice amount of detail from the NPC’s wandering around to the trees and bushes, it all fits. Then the Pirates of the Caribbean story which allows you to control ships navigating the seas surrounding various locations from the films.

As you complete the missions you are able to buy things for the world you’re playing in, from buildings to bridges and most of it can be changed aesthetically. Then there are the Power Disks of which some change the theme of the Toy Box world you’re building. They range from a night time Tangled background to a Sugar Rush inspired theme from Wreck it Ralph, which looks great, especially if you built a race track.

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Audio:
There is a respectable amount of voice work in this game and it’s spot on, the same goes for the audio. It all fits with each world and is pleasing to the ears. Understandably many of the original voice actors couldn’t be used but considering the amount of them, I found every single one to be good.

I did have to manually adjust the levels as the speech was being drowned out by the music and audio FX during gameplay.

Online/Multiplayer:
It was all going so well wasn’t it, we had fun in the gameplay section, the audio was a treat, and now here we are in the Online section.  Now as I mentioned earlier, the ‘Establishing Network’ problem which prevented me from playing meant I had to be signed out of the PlayStation Network, which means zero online play. After a further email discussion with Disney, no practical solution could be found other than to try another PlayStation Account. I was unwilling to do so as I had taken ownership of all the characters on my account and most importantly, I shouldn’t have to.

Conclusion:
An expensive delight to gamers young and old with a veritable treasure trove of characters, stories and worlds to play in, with more to come. Very good quality figures stand on a sleek base which easily trumps the competition and deserves a place next to your console. The Starter pack is worth the money and you can easily get many, many hours of it.

To date, the online play was nonexistent but it didn’t matter to my girls anyway as according to them, this game is best played together in the same room. But it annoyed me enough that I had to sign out of the PlayStation Network every time a world or Toy Box was loaded.

I have to warn you, this game is like crack for kids and they’ll want more. What makes it worse is you’ll probably find yourself pushing it on your kids like a two bit dealer. Just remember, Disney Infinity can be a costly yet fun habit.

Score: 
8.0

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  • Nice review! Think this may make an excellent xmas present for the little peoples in the family, though not sure their parents will be best pleased if it’s as you say like crack for kids – especially as the Toy Story figures are out very soon. I guess with the massive back catalogue of Disney films, this could be a huge hit for years to come. Even I kind of want to collect them! Though the fact they’re a) expensive and b) could count into the hundreds very soon, is off-putting.

    • ChazzH69

      Well I would suggest just the Starter Pack and Lone Ranger set is more than enough to keep anyone going for ages.

      Oh and online worked for me for the first time about twenty minutes ago!

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