Disney Infinity

Posted On: 8/27/2013  Publisher: Disney Interactive

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I have loved the Wonderful World of Disney since I was a child watching the prime-time movies every Sunday night growing up. To this day I still adore anything and everything Disney as I believe it instills values and good ole fashioned family fun. When it comes to video games Iíll be the first to say that I definitely love light-hearted games and games that are aimed at the casual crowd as well as kids. Disney infinity is a game aimed directly at Disney Fans and kids. Young or old, you are going to enjoy this game as I believe everyone can take something from it. There is so much to discuss and Iíll just try to hit on the main points and leave the rest to you for your own discovery and enjoyment.

Disney Infinity is a game similar to Skylanders only in regards to having a full line of figurines that can be dropped into the game. When it comes to gameplay though, Disney Infinity is a whole new game that offers a much different experience. Just the Toy Box mode alone allows Disney fans to be creative and enjoy making worlds that can be played or shared with friends and the entire world. Stack on top of that single missions and play sets that give you mini story-based campaigns that contain multiple quests and you have a recipe for hours upon hours of fun. Oh, and stack on top of that the ability to drop any characters you want into the game when in Toy Box mode is awesome. You can have Johnny Depp as Captain Jack and as Tonto playing alongside each other. The name Infinity makes so much sense because this game really has no end to it.

So if you are unfamiliar with the Skylander games let me explain to you how Disney Infinity works. When you purchase the starter pack youíll get the game, 3 figurines (Sully, Mr. Incredible, Jack Sparrow), the Infinity Base and of course the game itself. Each character has a RFID chip inside that acts as a memory stick of sorts and saves the data for that character as you use it in the game. That way if you ever want to take the character to a friendís house you can and itíll bring all your character progress along. The figurines are compatible with every system the game is published on regardless of which starter pack you purchase.

At launch there are 18 different figures available for purchase with plenty more on the way. Some lucky folks were able to obtain a Sorcerer Mickey from an event at Disneyland but no worries as heíll be available to everyone at a later date. As with Skylanders, some retailers have exclusive figures available like Toys R Us and thee Infinite Crystal series. That is where I picked up a Crystal Lightning McQueen variant. All the store also sell blind packs of the power discs so itís a bit of a craps shoot when making these purchases.

 
 

Leveling up these characters is a ton of fun and will take a little bit of grinding too. Each character starts at zero and can be leveled up to 15. You level your character up by collecting sparks, completing missions and tasks. There is no real benefit I see to leveling the characters up other than bragging rights really from what I saw, but itís still a ton of fun. And you do get achievements for leveling one, two and three characters so not all your time is wasted. What does happen as you level up is that the characters appear in the Hall of Heroes and theyíll transform into grander statues in the Hall the higher their level. At the time I wrote this my Jack Sparrow statue was a beautiful gold while all my other characters were still in a bronze state.

The Infinity Base has 3 spots for placing items. The front 2 circles are for figurines and round power discs and the back position is for play sets as well as hexagonal power discs. The round power discs are character buffs while the hexagonal discs are for vehicles and textures. Whatís cool is that you can stack more than one disc on a spot to garner extra benefits. All of the items placed on the base will show up in game until you switch them out. Very cool huh?

Ok, so now you know how the game works physically. Letís talk about what the game itself offers up. When you fire up Infinity for the first time youíll be treated to theatrics and music that only Disney can pull off. If you are older like myself then youíll quickly be whisked back to your childhood and youíll have that giddy feeling you get when you walk into a Disney theme park. There is nothing like it. Youíll run through a quick little interactive introduction to the game and youíll finally land in the Toy Box. This is your central hub of sorts where you can access other play sets, the Hall of Heroes, unlock Toy pieces and visuals as well as other things. You can choose to just defeat enemies and collect glowing orbs if you like to level up your characters or perhaps travel onto another, play a character mission or venture into creating your own worlds with the editor.

The game does a very good job walking you through the various options available at your fingertips. Early in the game and even as you progress which makes it easy for kids to really get involved and get creative. There are also Mastery Tutorials that will help you learn the ways of the game from basic combat to creating your own worlds and games. Think of Disney Infinity as a very complex Minecraft on steroids when playing in the Toy Box mode. There are tools, toys and terrain parts that allow you to create just about everything and if you take the time to play the tutorials then youíll quickly be on your way.

 
 

There are 2 main modes to the game. You have the Toy Box mode and the Play Set Mode. In Toy Box mode the entire world is at your disposal to change, add, edit as you like. You can start a world from scratch or perhaps download a Toy Box world using the Disney share function. Here you will use your magic wand to add pieces from your collection such as different terrains, characters, game pieces and more. You can build a race track or perhaps a giant pinball game. The choice is completely up to you and how you theme that world is your choice as well. You can theme it to use certain characters or allow for a potpourri of characters than can be used. Obviously some worlds just wonít work with a vehicle character.

Speaking of vehicles, there are vehicles galore than can be unlocked and used by characters that are not vehicles. Actually the Cars characters can tow these vehicles around if they like. Scattered around the world and for finishing missions you will get rewarded with Spin Tokens that allow you win prizes such as vehicles and items for use in the Toy box. Be sure to continually spin for new items that can be used in the Toy box mode.

The Play Set mode is a campaign based story mode that uses a specific set of characters such as the Cars, The Incredibles, Monster University and more. You can only use these characters in the Play Set and in order to initiate the Play Set you will need the Play Set piece which comes packaged with 2 characters. Available in store right now is the Lone Ranger set and the Cars set. As I mentioned earlier you get three play sets with the Starter Kit. Any extra characters youíll have to buy separately or in character packs. The Pirates Play Set was awesome and I loved the ability to take the Black Pearl out to see and have actual ship to ship cannon battles. But watch out for that Kraken!

 
 

The game as a whole is fantastic and I actually canít wait to see where they go with Disney infinity 2. I will say that the game can get a little complex despite great tutorials which can make it a little difficult for the younger ones to create things. But almost any age can just sit down and play in a Toy Box setting. The fact that the game is multiplayer functional is a huge bonus. You can compete with up to four other friends in any of them modes or create and play in Toy Box settings. Itís one thing that I wish the Skylander franchise would include.

When it comes to issues, I would say the learning curve can be a bit steep for younger players. At times the aiming of weapons such as bombs can be a little clunky and frustrating. And there are a few missions that while simple concepts it had me to a control throwing frenzy at some points so I can only imagine a little one trying to complete some of the story missions. Mainly in some of the platformer aspects of the game but also there were some moments when I really wasnít sure what to do and the lack of direction given wasnít real good. The accessibility to Toy Boxes and Play Sets seems like it could be a little better. It really took me a while to finally be able to navigate easily between Play Sets and various Toy Boxes.

Disney Infinity is phenomenal and it's extremely addicting. Before you know it several hours pass buy while playing the game. I can see many hours in the future playing this and being creative much like Minecraft sucked away hours of my life. The possibilities are endless with Disney full line of assets from Star Wars to Marvel to its own Disney characters and movie arsenal. Which comes to another point that this can get pretty expensive quickly. The figures are very well made and have a collectability aspect to them much like the Skylanders. I have to suggest this to pretty much any gamer as there is something in this game for everyone. Sure it looks like itís aimed at children but it honestly reaches much further than that and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with it and will spend so much more time enjoying it.

I think I have written enough and honestly havenít even scratched the surface of what is available and can be done in this game. This game is all about exploring and creativity. And thatís where you come in. Donít hesitate to make this a Christmas gift for that gamer in your family this year. Itís well worth every penny.

 
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