PS3 Reviews: Toy Story 3 Review

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Toy Story 3 Review

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Graphics:

 

7.9

Gameplay:

 

8.3

Sound:

 

8.2

Control:

 

7.7

Replay Value:

 

8.0

Overall Rating:       8.0

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

At this rate, we’re going to have to stop making predictions that games based on movies will be miserable. Even though it didn’t focus on any of the films and boasted an original storyline, we all know Transformers: War for Cybertron was inspired by the theatrical releases, and other titles like The Bourne Conspiracy, Shrek: Forever After and Kung Fu Panda have been decent. Now, we get yet another fun, solid game based on a recent movie: Toy Story 3. The main adventure is definitely worth playing and although short, you can spend a great deal of time in the Toy Box, learning all sorts of interesting new mechanics and in general, “toying” about for ages. The graphics are nice, the sound benefits from great voice acting (as you might expect), the controls are a tad loose but still reliable, and overall, fans of the movies will find themselves right at home. Colorful and entertaining variety sits at the core of the game, and it can be quite satisfying for the right person.

They really are starting to put a lot more effort into the visual presentations of these film-based interactive experience. They used to be pathetic but I think publishers have realized that gamers don’t buy crap, and when a game looks and plays bad, it won’t sell. Hence, the graphical appeal of Toy Story 3 is an important step in the right direction. We’ve got the familiar design and sharpness associated with the animated franchise, super fluid movements, a bunch of pleasant effects, and the frame rate usually doesn’t suffer. I saw some brief hitches during cut-scenes and when things got really wacky on the screen but beyond that, it’s a pretty consistent production. Certain levels and areas do seem to look significantly better than others; even various aspects of the environment can range greatly in terms of polish and detail, but the target audience isn’t likely to notice. It looks a lot like “Toy Story” and that’s what matters.

Although we don’t have all the same professional actors always heard in the movies, we still have enjoyable and effective voices to accompany our lovable toys. The effects, much like the visual effects, are crisp and clear and the soundtrack is also quite helpful. Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” goes along with the game board (aka, the world map) and although I don’t think there are enough licensed tracks from the films, the music is always fitting. The balancing is also good and there are typically quite a few humorous voices and effects, like when you toss little aliens from a train or you throw Woody with Buzz’s extra strength. In other words, both the graphics and sound work together to present the biggest, most believable “Toy Story” world yet, so the fans should be happy. Remember when we were promised “Toy Story graphics” on the PS2? Yeah, well, we didn’t get it then but we’re much closer now.

The game starts with Woody and his noble steed attempting to save orphans on a runaway train, all the while avoiding the attacks of that evil pink pig. Obviously, you can tell the toys are simply playing a game but it’s still a great way to start, and you quickly learn the basic mechanics. You can jump and double jump with the X button, fire a projectile (in Woody’s case, a ball) by aiming with L2 and firing with R2, pick up just about anything with Square, shoulder charge with the Triangle button, and quickly switch between various pieces of equipment with the directional pad. It all works very well; the controls are responsive and accurate, the camera is actually quite good (if a bit slow at times), and the only real issue is a small lack of solidity. The control does feel a little loose at times and it’s a little too easy to fall off edges. You can actually cling to ledges ala Uncharted so it’s a little irritating when one falls and the character doesn’t automatically turn to grab the edge, you know?

I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the flight mechanics when controlling Buzz through one of his special arcade-like flying levels; even with a quick burst to the left or right, he just never seemed quite fast enough to deal with the speed of the “game.” But just about everything else, special character moves included, is just about right. Buzz can boost and toss other characters, Jessie can land nimbly on narrow landing areas, and Woody can use his lasso to throw himself about. Another cool aspect is that because all three characters often have to work together, it really promotes cooperative play. If you don’t have anyone to play with, you can switch between each character with a quick press of the L1 button, provided they’re available. You will follow a fairly standard storyline while seeing a diverse set of landscapes and environments, and developer Avalanche continually switches things up and keeps you interested.

And outside of the main quest is the aforementioned Toy Box, which is a large, sprawling corral that Woody can call his own; he acts as the sheriff of the area and he can accept dozens of different quests from characters wandering about the area. The more coins and special item pick-ups you receive, the more characters you can unlock and ultimately, you will get more and more missions to try. There’s always plenty to do and you will even come across various gameplay aspects you may not find in the main adventure. You can paint and customize the houses within town, search for hidden items, and gather up plenty of coin, which of course is used as currency. But remember, you have to collect whole sets of certain items and many are scattered throughout the main adventure levels, so it’s not a good idea to get too attached to either the plot or the Toy Box. But it’s hard not to get hooked on the latter; it sort of reminded me of the Item World in Disgaea…just couldn’t wrench myself away.

The game isn’t perfect and there are noticeable flaws concerning the control, technical aspects, and the camera (occasionally), but none of these flaws are serious enough to significantly hinder your enjoyment. I sometimes thought the challenge level might be a touch high for the intended audience but it’s a bad idea to underestimate the ability of younger gamers nowadays. The bottom line is that if you’re a fan of the movies, or you know someone who is, you probably wouldn’t regret a Toy Story 3 purchase. You can spend plenty of time doing a variety of things, and Avalanche does a good job of capturing the colorful hilarity of the film series. It feels like “Toy Story” and that’s really all we require.

7/8/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (25 posts)

frylock25
Thursday, July 08, 2010 @ 9:50:54 PM
Reply

this sounds like a perfect game to play with my kid at somepoint. im glad decent license games are comin out lately. the toy box part sounds really cool. i will check this out, 8 is a good score

Agree with this comment 7 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

webberfan
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 7:27:25 AM

Definitely. The one for genesis was awesome too. By the way, has anyone been enjoying those psp mini's that are free to ps plus members as much as i have? I never really considered even giving them a shot, but now i've been playing them both so much that i just may.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Alienange
Thursday, July 08, 2010 @ 10:02:07 PM
Reply

The Toy Box mode sounds fantastic. If I had a young son begging me to get this ... well... I'd get it for him!

Then, of course, I'd put him to bed early and play it myself.

Agree with this comment 10 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

tes37
Thursday, July 08, 2010 @ 10:15:29 PM
Reply

I'm happy to see a score like this one. I bought this game for my daughter but she doesn't know it yet. I was wondering if it was any good and now I know. Thanks for the review.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

sawao_yamanaka
Thursday, July 08, 2010 @ 10:15:34 PM
Reply

Oh wow! That's a good score. I tend to stay away from game films but this one seems good. Will have to check it out sometime. Thanks Ben.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, July 08, 2010 @ 10:25:44 PM
Reply

no

Agree with this comment 2 up, 10 down Disagree with this comment

Qubex
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 1:00:00 AM

World, don't know if you will agree with this; I think media companies and development houses don't have much choice but to start putting some "real" effort into these titles... and here are my reasons;

*With Hollywood continually failing to produce decent films each year, people who are into playing games are turning to gaming for the majority of their entertainment fix... therefore, if people are playing more games they are also buying more games.

The industry is therefore generating more income and is more "profitable" than movie making business. It "pays" for movie studios now to extend film I.P's across to interactive game experiences simply due to the huge potential revenue streams that can come from a "good" game... this brings me to my next point...

*Movie companies now realise that to actually lend credibility to the film other versions of that I.P. - in this case a game - actually needs to be good, at least much the integral quality of the film release, especially if the I.P. is well known and has made loads of cash in the past. So I think movie studios in general, who are developing interactive versions of the same I.P, need to invest and create a game of equal standard in quality, otherwise their franchises are doomed... medium to long term anyway...

*With the idea that the gaming industry itself is actually evolving, and, with the next hardware platform upgrade, we will essentially be playing games that are like movies - and even now, better than movies - similar standards in "product development" and "quality assurance" are being adhered to.

This lends credibility to the product, assures as many potential sales as possible, and continues to grow the I.P's following, and its franchise, in a positive way.

Therefore, if developers do not make quality product, either game or film, their I.P. life span and franchises are doomed. One bad game, and that is it... there is to much other good product out there to chose from...

Opinions in Cyber Space can destroy a product pretty quickly...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

*Back in SinCity, Singapore

Last edited by Qubex on 7/9/2010 1:05:49 AM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Qubex
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 1:06:44 AM

I still won't buy this game though...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

*Back in SinCity, Singapore

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

kraygen
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 4:37:51 AM

I think its amazing how many thumbs down you can get for being honest about not having any interest in a game.

Do people honestly think toy story is for everyone?

Agree with this comment 1 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 4:54:28 PM

yes, they do... and they are VERY sensitive about it.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

JakMan1997
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 12:01:11 AM
Reply

No?
Really, world....no?
lol

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 12:56:41 AM

Yup. no.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 5 down Disagree with this comment

FxTales
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 1:16:00 AM
Reply

"There's a snake in my boot!"

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

TEG3SH
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 11:51:02 AM

is it solid, liquid or naked ????

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

LegendaryWolfeh
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 3:56:27 PM

what about solidus? ;D

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

TEG3SH
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 4:26:42 PM

forgot about that guy....

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

sonic1899
Sunday, July 11, 2010 @ 9:28:54 AM

Did you say a snake!!? Snake!!! Snaaaaaaaaake!!!!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ultimate_Balla
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 1:55:54 AM
Reply

So was last year. Anyway, right about how long would it take to completely finish the game?

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mid10smaradoarg
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 2:50:21 AM
Reply

anybody knows when activision is going to fix the god damn BLUR online servers??????

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kraygen
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 4:38:25 AM

well its activision so probably never, they already got your money, what else do they need.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

tridon
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 4:37:00 AM
Reply

I definitely plan to buy this game for a few reasons:

1) I love Toy Story and the last Toy Story game I played, Toy Story 2 on the N64, was also an excellent game.

2) The multiplayer mode in Toy Box mode sounds fun and sounds like a game both my girlfriend and I would enjoy to play together.

3) Developer Avalanche Studios gave us Just Cause 2 earlier this year which I personally thought was a blast.

4) Exclusive Zurg. That's just awesome.

Really, when I look at this game, I see zero negatives on why I shouldn't get it. Can't wait! :)

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

kraygen
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 4:40:18 AM
Reply

I like toy story movies, haven't seen 3 yet, but like the first 2. I have enjoyed previous toy story games, but I know my gameplay style and at best I'll get it for $10, most likely tho it'll pass me by while I get better games.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 4:53:20 AM
Reply

the only reason these current movie games are decent is because there not on a movie license.
that allows the developers to do whatever they want, they dont have to obide by licence restrictions, and it gives them a much longer development cycle because if they were tied to the movie the game would have to release around the same time.

i really did not enjoy this though, its just too repetitive and boring!
and the toy box mode is ridiculously boring!
i mean who wants to spend their free time dressing up aliens, and transporting cattle?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Robochic
Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 10:09:25 PM
Reply

I bought it for my 5 year old who just loves it, then I put him to bed one night and was curious about it and MAN I'm seriously addicted to this game so much fun with it, honestly I was suprised by it and I think an 8 is a perfect score for it. was it worth 49.99 CDN I think so.

What can i say I'm a kid at heart

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 10, 2010 @ 12:00:42 AM

We all are. Or at least, we all should be. ;)

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