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Toy story 3
on 30 August 2010
Toy story had a nice return in the summer with the eagerly anticipated 3rd film, but as with any kids film there must be the range of merchandise to go with it.
One of the most common types these days in the big money making scheme is, the movie game, there usually poor and have no real sense of hard work put into them and are a obvious cash cow,but could Toy story 3 be different.
Released in June , the title returned to its home in Disney interactive studios. With all previous pixar titles since "a bugs life" on the ps2 being handed over to Activision and THQ, it meant the game would have a refreshing style as well as a better design with the models and creative team being so close.
The game is of course based on the film and takes you through 9 levels, as well as a great prolouge-esque section where you play through the video game section of Toy story 2. For those who have seen the film you will know the games storyline, but for those that haven't heres the outline.
Andy is growing up and heading off to college with the only problem being what happens to his toys, do they go in the attic or go in the bin, or do they go to Sunnyside day care and get the playtime they deserve. Buzz, Woody and Jessie, along with the rest of the gang go on an adventure of realisation, that not everyone can be trusted and that not everything that glitters is gold.
The story is well written and keeps your attention enough to play through, and if it keeps my attention im sure kids playing it will be fine. But the writing doesn't have to stray far from the path and the game does just give the ability to play out multiple sections of the film.
For the main mode there are 10 levels total of solo or co-op fun. These stick to simplicity and action to keep young audiences entertained and I found the difficulty was pleasent but challenging for my young cousing, although I'm a horrible backseat gamer and would happily jump in any time she failed a jump or started a new level.
The game revovles around 3rd person adventuring, as well as some racing sections and time crisis style shooting chucked in for variety. Throughout the levels there are numerous checkpoints and collectables, meaning the chance of a disgruntled player is kept to a minimum.
During the game you control Buzz, Woody and Jessie as well as the evil emperor Zurg (Ps3 exclusive), in order to complete many of the levels you will need to switch between the characters ala Lego indiana style.
Each character has their own style, strengths and weaknesses, which combined will let you defeat any obstacle. Buzz is able to throw the other characters over a fair distance to reach a new section, Woody uses the string on his back to swing across gaps, and Jessie is just generally agile and has better balance.
The co-op multiplayer is nice to see and the "drop in-drop out" variety better still, it means if one the people playing gets bored then the other can continue unhindered.
The AI is ok and can sometimes replicate a small child on the game, it wont always help you as sometimes it just wants to wander off and see what the wall looks like close up.
The other option apart from the story mode is the toy box. This is the plastic jewel in the toy crown, close your eyes and imagine red dead redemption with plastic toys and a lot less glitches and this is what you have. A fully open world environment is yours to create and add hours of fun, mission types resemble Woody's round up , so plenty of riding on bullseye and returning cattle is on the menu.
The ability to customise the area, townspeople and missions are a great treat for the player. You don't always want to be constricted to a linear storyline so the chance to let your imagination run free and become a kid again is something many can't resist.
As you adventure through both modes you can find collectables which include costumes and additions to the toy-box, this means it's always worth investigating that hidden corner of the level just incased you missed something.
Graphically the game is pleasent, it's not ugly but it feels as though it could have had a little more polish. That's not to say the models are unrecognisable as all the environments are bright, colourful and engaging, as well as this the characters look great and are fun to watch.
My personal problem with most games is the camera, I'm happy to say the game copes well with issues only occuring in tight spaces and this happens very little througout the title.
The games voice actors are all the same except for Woody and Buzz, but don't fret as the replacements are pretty much identical and many can't tell the difference between the two.
Overall it's a nice game, its not terrible but it's not spectacular. Considering what film franchises usualy do with games this is a good effort and one for the kids. 4 hours for the story mode and possible unlimited for the toy box, there is a nice amount of game value in it for young gamers.