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Toy Story 3
PC, XBox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii

Reviewed on: PC

Avalanche Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Rated: "E" for Everyone

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

No one is too cool for Toy Story. I don’t care who you are, or how tough you are, Pixar’s adventures of Buzz, Woody, Ham and Rex are just too heartwarming and original to pass up no matter who you are. The games based on the movies though haven’t been so lucky – often feeling uninspired and cookie cutter, they just seemed to lack the ingenuity and spirit of their source material.

With all of its promises, can Toy Story 3’s game adaptation buck this trend? Well, yes but no. The game is filled with great ideas and concepts that younger fans will absolutely love, but there’s not much else. While the Toy Story movies appealed to a wide variety of people, the game and its designers know who their audience is, and targets them very well – and only them.

Much like a good portion of this generation’s licensed games, Toy Story 3 does not follow the plot of this summer’s movie; it rather serves as a guideline for the world you’ll encounter. Instead, you’ll be exploring the locations from the movie to greater depth. You’ll explore the cosmos with Buzz, ride the open range with Woody, and what’s best about this mechanic is that you truly get the feeling that you’re exploring new worlds. In fact, I found myself enjoying these worlds a lot more than those based off the movie’s actual plot.

"...some of the controls aren’t as reliable as they should be."


This same mechanic, while adding a lot to the game, also leads to one of the game’s biggest downfalls. The core gameplay of Toy Story 3 is platforming, but from racing, to shooting and fighting, there’s a lot to do here; unfortunately though, none of them feel truly developed. The biggest problem is the fact that some of the controls aren’t as reliable as they should be. There were countless times that I would have to start a section over just because the controls didn’t work the way they should. Take for instance a section where I had to jump a series of canyons as Buzz, there was a definite delay between pressing the button to jump and the on screen actions. As a result, I spent a lot of time retrying sections I shouldn’t have had to.

Another issue is that the game doesn’t always seem to follow to a single set of rules. When platforming, if you can’t make a jump, the characters are able to grab ledges and pull themselves up. For some reason, it doesn’t always work. You can imagine how frustrating it would be to not be able to count on such a simple gameplay mechanic. Adding to this is the fact that the camera system is almost as unreliable. It may not be as bad as some other licensed titles, but it’s hard to platform when the camera wildly swings behind objects and zooms out for no apparent reason.

"...there are enough secrets hidden about to encourage replay value."


While the majority of the game takes place in the main campaign, you (or your kids) are probably going to have the most fun with the game’s Toy Box mode. The easiest way to think of the new mode is Toy Story meets Grand Theft Auto meets Little Big Planet. Okay, let me clarify that a bit – you’re not going to be jacking cars and dispensing ladies of the night as Buzz, but rather you’ll have an open world setting from the movie, where you’re able to shape it to just how you want. Essentially, you go perform missions for other toys – none of which are all too deep – and then you unlock other toys, buildings and items to use in your world. The goal of this mode is to give players the feeling of having the freedom of playing with a bunch of toys and just being able to do what you want. For the most part, that works, and since there’s not a ton of depth here, it’s easy to drop in and drop out but at the same time, there are enough secrets hidden about to encourage replay value.

The visuals in Toy Story 3 may not live up to its theatrical brother in terms of animation, but it’s no slouch either. The characters animate superbly and the game looks far better than most licensed titles. The best part about the game’s visuals is the fact that since most of the game is a newly imagined take on the franchise, the developers had the freedom to create new worlds and environments for this already established universe, and they’ve done a magnificent job doing so. Everything fits in just like it should, and the developer created worlds are some of the most imaginative in the game.

Toy Story 3: The Video Game doesn’t exactly channel the spirit of the famed movie franchise, but it does go beyond what most licensed games offer. Kids will have tons of fun both recreating their favorite scenes from the movie and crafting their own – just be ready to experience a ton of frustration in some broken mechanics. 



CHEATS USED: Add Imagination Points, Unlimited Health, Gold

Much like Buzz and Woody, the trainer may be small, but it's also full of badassery. The biggest thing is that you'll be able to add imagination points at any time, giving you more freedom in the game's toy box mode. You'll also the ability to have unlimited health and gold too, so besides those pesky moments when the platforming doesn't work, you've got all your bases covered. Oh wait, you also have the teleport option.

And they said video games ruin your imagination.



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