Toy Story 3 (PC) Review
Toy Story 3 is an odd game. While it does have many a situation where in it finds itself falling into the traps that most movie tie in games do, it has a certain something that seems to move it a notch above your average movie game tie in. As we all know, most movie tie in games are made for the sole reason of a company wanting to make a quick buck on a new movies release. However Toy Story 3 looks as if it had a developer who really loved the series and wanted to make sure the game wasn’t just a generic game with the movies licence thrown on its box to sell more copies, but a game that could stand on its own merits and not the name attached to it. Which it does. Kind of.
The game starts out very strongly with a short opening cut scene where you are introduced to Woody, the toy cloth cowboy, trying to stop a runaway train filled with orphans from derailing. However he soon finds that he must fight off a one eyed Evil Doctor Porkchop, that’s Mr Evil Doctor Porkchop to you, that’s flying around on a giant pig shaped fortress trying to stop you at the same time. After this short cutscene you find yourself in one of the many different game modes that you will be introduced to over the course of this game with a speedy race down a narrow path on your toy horse while trying to avoid obstacles. It’s not long before you find yourself in the meat of the game when it opens up to a board game style over world where you can choose to ether play around in the Toy box, more on that later, or start to work your way through the games story.
Where most games are content with being a third person shooter, platformer or a racer, this game is designed with the kitchen sink mentality in full effect. Rarely will you ever play the same game type more than once as the game is broken up into eight different missions that encompass a large variety of game types. One second your platforming from train car to train car trying to avoid hot coals while landing on conveniently placed planks of wood, to flying through an asteroid trench shooting mini-asteroids like a Buzz Lightyear skinned Space Harrier game, to skating on rails in space while a witch tries to stop you from launching a space ship. The variety of each levels artistic design is very much one of the games strongest parts, with no two levels that look like another.
While the eight levels that take you through what I can only assume to be the plot of the movie are interesting set pieces, the main draw of the game, and where you will probably spend most of your time, is the Toy Box mode. This part of the game is a fairly simple open world area where you can choose to take on missions just like an MMO, they even go so far as to even have a ! and a ? over the heads of quest givers, to earn costumes and paint themes to customize the inhabitants and the town itself. Many of these are taken from the wheel house of popular Pixar franchises like “Finding Nemo”, “The Incredibles” and “Wall-E”. Sadly most of the Toy box mode is simply set pieces designed for puzzling, platforming, and racing for the goal of collecting coins and little plastic toy containers to unlock items and not much else. Unless you’re one of those types that enjoys collecting and unlocking every little hidden item a game has stashed away around it’s world this mode will get rather old after playing around in it for a few hours. None the less, it’s an interesting concept for a game of this type and it does offer a nice diversion from time to time if you find you want a break from the games main story progression, or a place to play around in for ten to fifteen minutes at a time when you find yourself on your desktop looking to waste some time.
While a large majority of this game is pretty kid friendly, one level in particular nearly drove me nuts as I found myself constantly missing jumps, having my character not grabbing onto ledges when any other time he would have. Not to mention a level that was designed to be beaten by trial and error instead of skill. To make it even more fun that same level was broken up into very long chunks with no save points in between each of these sections that you where supposed to guess your way through. This of course is what caused my frustration with the game as I would find myself replaying the same section about ten to fifteen times before I made it past it, only to find myself in the next equally frustrating point doing it all over again. As well, there was a couple spots where the game would take control of the camera away from me when I needed it the most, and the sudden loose of control caused me to miss simple jumps that I shouldn’t have had a problem with only to instead be greeted with needing to restart a long sequence of jumps all over again.
As much love that appears to have gone into so many parts of this game it sadly falls flat after the new game shine wears off a few hours in and you start to realize that this is more of a game for the younger audience. That’s not to say that the older crowd cannot find fun in many parts of this game, but don’t go in expecting this to be a game of the same quality of a Ratchet and Clank or a Mario game, but with a Toy Story theme, because you will be let down.
Never the less, it’s a fun little game to play with for a weekend or if you have a younger child who just watched the Toy Story movie and wants some more. However don’t be surprised if you find them coming to ask mommy or daddy for help getting past a few rough spots in the game as the platforming can get rough in a few places. Just do your best not to swear too much at the screen when they ask you for help and you find yourself dying over and over again in the same spot until you figure out the pattern.