Disney Infinity Review – To Infinity and Beyond
Release Date: August 18th, 2013
Developer: Avalanche Software
Publisher: Disney Inreractive Studios
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], PlayStation 3, Wii U, Wii
Genre: Action Adventure
Rated: E for Everyone 10+
“If you can dream it you do it.”
Disney has taken a page from Activisions book and created its own game, Disney Infinity. A lot like Skylanders, Disney Infinity brings to life all your favorite Disney characters in a whole new world where you will be able to explore their own individual stories as well as bring your dreams to life in the toy box. Disney Infinity is bound to be the greatest marketing ploy of all time.
To play Disiney Infinity you will need to purchase the starter kit. Now for most of you this may be an obvious statement but to others it’s not. You can not simply go out and get a copy of the game and play it. It requires you have the Disney Inifinity base and at least one character to play, so your only option is to purchase the starter kit. You can however purchase additional characters, power discs and accessories separately.
The starter kit comes with the game, 3 Figurines (for the 3 main story lines; Captain Jack Sparrow, Sulley and Mr. Incredible), the base (with USB connection, no batteries needed), 1 Power Disc, the starter pack play set piece and 1 web code.
Now that you have your starter kit the real fun begins. But first you have the difficult choice of picking which character you want to play. Once you pick your character everything else is pretty simple. Take your Disney Infinity base and plug that handy USB connection into your system and put the character of your choice on there along with their play set piece. Unlike the Skylanders base which utilizes batteries, the Disney Infinity plugs right into your system doing away with that extra unneeded cost that batteries can run you.
The reason I stated you need to place your character along with their specific play set piece is because once you start expanding your Disney Inifnity collection you will likely end up purchasing other “play sets”. These other play sets come with their own play set piece which are really important as it allows you to access that specific story. Currently there are two other playsets available for purchase; The Cars and The Lone Ranger play sets, and sell separately for $39.99 each (USD). Your starter kit does come with one play set peice as mentioned earlier but it only works with the three play sets it comes with; Monsters, The Incredibles and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Now that you are set up and ready to go you can launch your game. The intro begins with a glowing yellow curser on the screen and some blue glowing specs that are floating around. I guess the idea is that you start as a “Spark” of imagination running around collecting the blue specs which are “other ideas”. Collecting these ideas makes your dot grow and grow until you become your own little person. This little person changes to many of the different available Disney characters as you are introduced to the game and environments.
Once you finally get in game you will be introduced to a world unique to your character play set. Each character also has his/her own fight style that is exactly what you would expect having had watched all the corresponding Disney movies. For example when you play the Pirates of the Caribbean play set you will have a lot of sword fighting along with riding on ships.
The game itself is very simple; it is quest based with marked locations to receive missions. Most times upon completion you are immediately rewarded. Other times you need to go back and talk to someone in-game. If you have younger players in the house or get lost easily there is an option when accepting the quest to have it guide you where to go. When you choose this option you will be guided by a green arrow on screen, making it much easier for those younger players who may have no idea what is going on.
The only down side to the story mode that I found was that each character can only play and enter into their own story. What that means is you can’t play as Sulley in the Pirates of the Caribbean story or the Incredibles story. He can only play in his own world, the Monsters World. So if you plan on playing co-op you will have to head out and buy a couple extra characters, at least one per story. But when looking at the big picture, each story is like its own unique game. It has its own missions and rewards and gives you at least 6 hours of gameplay. And if you are really set on playing as Captain Jack Sparrow and Sulley at the same time you always have the Toy Box.
The Toy Box is just what you would expect, a giant toy box. It offers you all kinds of free play, pairing up any 2 Disney characters to simply run around destroying enemies or use your rewards from the story mode to unlock items to customize your own map and share them with others. You can also access other people’s maps to explore yourself.
The Toy box is also where you get to experience the fun and obsession that is the Power Discs.
Power Discs, a new unique twist that Disney has added to their game that Skylanders doesn’t have, add new perks in game and in the Toy Box. These little discs just may become the thorn in your side. Power discs are sold separately in “blind” packs of two. Which means you never know what you are getting and likely going to get doubles. Just like with trading cards; Pokemon, Magic, Sports cards and even pogs, there is going to be a little obsession with trying to obtain all the discs in the set. This has sprung all kinds of sales of individual discs on amazon for crazy prices as well as trading forum groups so people can complete their sets.
What you need to know: Power Discs come in 3 different series. But only series 1 is currently available for purchase. Series one comes with 20 different discs that unlock either abilities, toys, customizations, along with a few RARE ones as well. Ability discs are red with a star giving your character a cool “IN-Game” boost. These are the only ones that work in game. All the rest are exclusively for the Toy Box. The Toy discs are either yellow or purple. The yllow ones have a ball on it and unlock cool vehicles or gadgets. The purple ones have a little paint brush on it and unlock themes or terrain for you to customize your Toy Box maps with. Lastly there’s a few rare gems that you will have to discover on your own.
Don’t forget about the accessories. You know all those little power discs you are collecting? Because you have to have ALL 20 and you have to have them all now… well there are a few different cases on the market you can purchase to ensure you don’t loose those discs. Or maybe you just want to obsessively sort and display them? Either way there are a couple different options out there for you. You will also be able to find yourself a few different Infinity base protectors as well as character display cases.
Despite all the dollar signs parents and fans may be seeing right now, there are options for trading. Since the characters and power discs are Universal I can trade my characters and discs with someone who is playing on any console. Yup that is right. You can have Disney Infinity for your PS3 and I can have it for my Xbox 360 and still trade characters and power discs. That means you can avoid spending some money by borrowing or trading with them, but obviously using a character or power disc doesn’t unlock it perminately in-game. They can only be used while on your base. So if you are going to want to play with certain ones all the time I strongly suggest you go out and buy the items that you really really really want, while you still can.
Overall Disney Infinity is amazing. It has everything! You can collect and play as all your favorite characters. The graphics and characters both look great and are awesome. Even though they are very cartoony versions I absolutely love them. And once you are finished with all your play set stories, you have hours and hours of free and imaginative play time with the Toy Box. Like Walt Disney says, “If you can dream it you can do it”.
Hardcore obsessed Disney Infinity fans will be happy to know you can now pre-order Jack Skellington, Woody and the Toy Story Playset at your local Gamestop.
Overall Rating: 5/5