The Toy Story franchise has long been a success, so it comes as no surprise that a Toy Story 3 game was introduced along-side the Toy Story 3 movie. I remember playing the original Toy Story game on my Nintendo, so I was excited to give a more modern Toy Story game a spin.
Toy Story 3 is a family friendly game with a few different ways to play. Check out story mode for a great way to play in between clips from the movie. Toybox mode puts you into a sandbox environment with missions, mini-games and the ability to make your own town. Is Toy Story 3 great for a family game or a trip down memory lane? Read on to find out!
The game first opens with a scene from the story mode, specifically the scene where Woody must defeat the Evil Dr. Porkchop in order to rescue the orphans. This scene is simple and straightforward, basically a way to teach you the basic controls and give you a chance to try the game right away.
After beating that first level you are taken to the board where the various levels of play are available. Story mode levels appear one at a time, filling in the spaces on the board as you beat various levels. From this screen you can also check how well you did at collecting tokens and cards to build up your collections.
There are a number of different levels and playing types in the story mode. Some levels, like the one at Andy’s house, involve Woody, Jessie and Buzz all at once. You can switch characters or use one character to aid another. Other levels, like the Runaway Train level and Buzz’s Videogame focus on one specific character and the others aren’t available. Also, for some added excitement you can always add another player to the story mode and both play at once.
If a freer style of play is more up your alley, then the toybox mode is for you. Toybox is a sandbox style of play. There are a couple of different things to do. The first is to complete missions. Missions earn you gold and items to use later. The missions almost always involve going around and finding a certain amount of a certain item, whether this is cowbells or barbershop quartet outfits.
A number of toys are available for purchase in toybox mode using the coins earned from completing missions and digging up gold. These toys come with mini-games and missions of their own which helps to greatly liven up the toybox mode. You can race while riding Bullseye the Horse or help the Paratroopers to fly onto a number of targets around the game.
Finally, you are able to customize the world in toybox mode. You can customize paint and texture, add new buildings and even dress the citizens of the town in different outfits you find throughout the game.
Part of the story mode levels includes collecting various items. First, you collect cards that comprise a set for each level. Additionally, you must collect tokens. The tokens and cards are redeemed at Al’s Toybarn for collections and little toys. Finally, check out the Toy Story Theatre for fun clips from the movie and more.
How the Game Stacks Up
I really wanted this game to be awesome, but sadly it was not. First and foremost, it is painfully slow. I have a very nice computer and still the game takes five minutes to get started. The cut scenes take a few minutes to load as does every scene change in both story and toybox mode. Expect to spend a lot of time staring at this screen:
Furthermore, if it takes that long to load I would expect the game to look and play incredibly well. Sadly, this is not the case. While the graphics get the point across, compared to the movie graphics and what we have come to expect in most expensive video games, they aren’t so great. The sound is glitchy and freezes all the time, making it an unpleasant listening experience. There are many games out there that look and sound better while loading faster, making this game drop a ways down on my list.
Glitchiness and slowness aside, let’s talk about the actual gameplay. Of course the game is family friendly, and if your child (or adult) has the patience to deal with the loading screens, it can be very fun at times. Story mode is definitely the best way to play, providing the most variety and exciting action. Toybox mode is very lacking, particularly in the variety of missions available. It gets tiresome very quickly when you are simply wandering around looking for random items. The additional toys for purchase are more fun, providing some decent quality mini-games for the story mode.
All in all, my purchase of this game was definitely not worth it in my book. While there are decently amusing parts of the game, particularly story mode, the time spent waiting around for things to load and then not always work correctly is not worthwhile. There are many better games out there that offer the same fun and family-friendly gameplay but in a game that works well and provides an enjoyable experience.
Even if you’re a die-hard Toy Story fan, I would think twice before buying this game. If this price-tag were a bit lower I might think differently, but for the time being I can’t recommend it. As always, however, I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Feel free to chime in below!