Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Preview
On Friday we received a final build of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, a game based on the VHS/DVD-only cartoon, and a game that Activision hasn't been too talkative about. Toy Story 2 was released on Playstation last year in November along with the movie around the same time. I enjoyed the game and recommended it as a purchase for a household with kids, I also thought that the game was a very good adventure game, one that even a hardcore gamer would enjoy. Traveler's Tales was behind the project with Disney Interactive's assistance, Toy Story 2 brought out the animated movie marvelously, by blending the excellent visuals with the true to the movie experience such as including many of the movie's clips. With the recent release of Buzz Lighyear of Star Command, Activision decided to grace the cartoon with a game of its own, read full hands-on impressions followed by a review in the later weeks.
Toy Story 2 was a computer animated cartoon, using gut wrenchingly powerful computers, so in order to re-create the movie feel, Traveler's Tales had to build a free-roaming 3D engine which made the gamer almost feel as if he was Buzz Lightyear himself. The story with Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is different, the cartoon is hand-drawn instead of computer animated, Star Command isn't a sequel to Toy Story 2 merely a side-story, but I will get into that later on. Since Star Command is a hand-drawn film, Traveler's Tales had to change the game engine by making all the characters cel-shaded instead of polygonal. Cel-shading is a visual style that shows black outlining on the characters and makes them sort of look 2D dimensional. The environments are based on the cartoon of the same name, you have areas such as Jo-Ad, Trade World, Karn, Gargantua, Canis Lunis and many more. Every location is filled with wonderful colors, that re-erect the same locales from the animated film. Honestly exploration isn't the biggest necessity here, the stages are limited compared to those in Toy Story 2, but all of the stages require you to chase down a prime enemy fight him face to face then arrest him. The stages do have a few different paths to take but basically this game is a linear-run experience. Just like Toy Story 2, there are movie clips taken straight from the cartoon, they are far more limited that the clips found in Toy Story 2, but they still do the job.
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is a game with a great amount of charm, the Toy Story license seems to be getting better and better, and thankfully a big name like Activision has the holds on it. The game stars none-other than Buzz Lightyear (sorry Woody fans), and you are in control of him throughout his cartoon. Now you see this isn't a sequel but more of a side-story because in the Toy Story world Buzz Lighyear has his very own show, and it is released in their world. So the video finally arrives and the Toy Story gang pops in the VCR, this is where the game begins. You are Buzz Lightyear, you have to arrest the villains of Star Command by following them to their hideouts, then engaging into a one on one battle with him or her. But once you complete a stage it doesn't mean that you finished it, you may have beaten the boss of the stage but you still have things like Time Trial and Find X.R.'s Gadgets which both award you with medals. During your journey you will have to pick up the Little Green Men, and if you rescue all of them in a level you will be granted a medal. Power-ups can be collected by picking up Star Command triangle coins, when accumulated you can pick up power ups such as invincibility, shields, weapons, hover boards, jet pack and more. For instance if you have collected 25 or more coins, you see a bubble with a gun in it and it displays the number 25 next to it, you can pick up that object and spend 25 coins on it. The game will feature 14 levels all based on the cartoon, so Toy Story fans may seriously want to consider purchasing this game, for its charm and great presentation. I will uncover everything that needs to be uncovered when the game ships later this month or the beginning of November, but for now you can check out the screenshots that we took.