Review: Spark your imagination with Disney Infinity
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If the Playsets are Infinity's structured take on gameplay, the Toy Box is the complete opposite, letting your imagination go unfettered. It's a mode where you can have a race between Sulley on Mulan's horse Kahn and Mr. Incredible in Cinderella's carriage. Or perhaps you want to have a free-for-all shooting match on a square platform where your only weapon of choice is Stitch's blaster. There are literally thousands of possibilities available with Toy Box, but it all starts with your imagination.
If it were only that easy, though. Toy Box controls are quite terrible, and not at all intuitive. One of the biggest problems is that there is no snap-to mode, where objects easily tile to one another. Laying down multiple tiles of ground, what should be one of the easiest things to do, is tedious thanks to the fact that you have to constantly move each square to its next location and be pin-point accurate as to make sure you're connecting the right way.
The other big problem with Toy Box is that there really is no guidance. Want to make a side-scrolling platformer? Good luck on figuring out how to place a side-view camera. How about making a soccer match in a stadium? There are no tutorials that actually teach you how to do any of these things. There are a few Mastery Tutorials which go over very basic things like using the magic wand to connect a boom box with some party streamers, but outside of that, you're left to fend on your own. Thankfully, Infinity's YouTube channel has more than enough tutorials.
The biggest offense, however, is the complete lack of an Undo button. For a game that relies on very precise building mechanics, it's absolutely baffling why this feature wasn't included. Instead, you have to enter Spark mode, then go over said highlighted object, and only then can you delete it or move it where you need it.
Now that I got the negatives out of the way, I can still say that, despite those annoyances, Toy Box is an amazing mode. Right now, I've only been able to dabble into a few Disney-made levels, like a recreation of Disney World or even a Medieval Jousting Arena, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. You can also play with up to four players at once online in Toy Box mode, which makes creating levels and messing around way more fun.
The problem is, you can't really unleash this creativity all at once. Much like LBP, where you had to play the main campaign to find objects and tools to use within the editor, Infinity essentially requires you to play through the Playsets in order to unlock those specific themed items for Toy Box. Even worse are the nearly thousand unlocks, which are obtained through a random slot-machine using Infinity coins (obtained through completing missions). At the very least, Infinity should have all the Creativi-Toys (toys with logic) unlocked right away, allowing you to create those cool retro 2D levels, for instance, right from the get-go.
If you're a collector, then Infinity provides a perfect platform to showcase your collection. The Hall of Heroes will showcase statues of all your figures and will change their finish (bronze, silver, gold) depending on their level. The ground of the Hall of Heroes is lined with slots to showcase your Power Disc collection as well. It's a neat and gorgeous way to display your collection in game.
Sadly, throughout my playthrough, I did encounter numerous bugs. Audio cut out on occasion. Collectibles required to complete a mission weren't able to be picked up. The Infinity base sometimes didn't read a figure, despite being placed directly on it. Textures on the environment would jitter sporadically. The list just goes on, which is a shame considering it's a Disney product.
Disney Infinity is certainly game-changer. The licensed Playsets like Monsters University and Pirates of the Caribbean are superior examples of how to do a movie-based game right while not charging a premium price of entry per game. The Toy Box mode is extremely innovative and has an immense amount of potential, but as it is right now, it's just a little too rough around the edges. The starter pack alone is worth the price of entry, considering the massive amount of gameplay hours you'll get out of it. However, if you plan on getting the full experience, you'll need to fork over some extra cash for the figures.
[Reviewed on Xbox 360]