DISNEY INFINITY – Great if you’ve ever wanted to be Lightening McQueen but bad if you don’t like being fleeced!
With over a million copies of the starter pack sold worldwide, Disney Infinity is Disney-Pixar’s new and innovative gaming platform that is really getting kids and parents both entertained and angry. Think Skylanders but with a Disney twist. It is a really imaginative way of being allowed to explore the worlds of Disney movies in detail. For example, have you ever wanted to scare people with the duo from Monsters Inc? Do you want to ward off evil villains from The Incredibles, whilst wearing spandex? What about finding out where all those hidden rum depositories are in Pirates of the Caribbean? Lets rate Disney Infinity Starter Pack for Xbox 360 using the “all-new” Ultimate Gaming Paradise Ozone review system.
The storyline is a new(ish) take on the platform game by integrating multimedia with collectible toys. These plastic toys ‘unlock’ characters/abilities that allow you to experience more and more. Now here is the downside. If you want to be ‘Wreck it Ralph’, then you need to spend £ 9.99 for the toy. There are lots of these toys. The starter pack comes with Jack Sparrow, Sully and Mr Incredible. However, if you want Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Vanellope, Davy Jones, Else, The Sorcerers Apprentice, Rapunzel, Cars (from Lightning McQueen to Doc Hudson) to the characters from Frozen you are going to have to spend £9.99 on each and EVERY one!
The upside is that when you place, say Buzz Lightyear, on your Infinity Base (a wicked piece of tech that uses Near Field Technology (NFT) to help you unlock your character as each figure has a microchip that can, contactlessly, engage with the NFT base), you unlock the entire Toy Story saga. This means you say hello to the aliens, to Mr Potato Head, Slinky and of course Woody. It’s great – whatever you want to do, be it free play or adventures (from racing against each other to more) you are free to explore the world of Toy Story. So whatever your (or your kids) favourite Disney Pixar movie is, there is a world of fun awaiting you. It should be noted that there is a lack of ‘legacy’ characters. You won’t find Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Raffiki from The Lion King or even Merlin from The Sword in the Stone. It’s pretty much (apart from The Sorcerers Apprentice) all post Pixar movies. This is a big downside.
It must be noted that this is a kids’ game, that said it is a rather challenging, and in parts, difficult game to play. Disney Infinity has elements of conformity and of creativity. For example, the “Toy Box” setting (nothing to do with Toy Story per se) allows you to mix and match and create whatever universe of fun you deem suitable. Therefore, you can play and interact with characters from the entire universe – so for example you could be Jack Sparrow playing with Buzz Lightyear in the world of Cars. This means you can build castles, islands, boats, buildings or anything you can imagine. This element of the game allows for the full creativity of you (or your child’s) imagination to be unleashed.
“Power Discs” are another addition, our starter pack had Rapunzel which meant you got to interact with the world of Rapunzel – which was somewhat wonderful as you got to really explore the entirety of the world from the comfort of your seat. Another additional perk of these discs is that they offer three types of qualities. They include toys, customisation and abilities. For example, toys can give you new objects or vehicles that you can use whilst an ability gives you new additions to your characters from health boosts to loot collection skills. Finally, customisation allows you to add themes to your “Toy Box” – this is far and away the best perk of the discs. It should be noted that these “Power Discs” also cost money. You are looking at £ 3.49 for a two pack of “Power Discs” – this is another drawback of the game!
The Fun Factor
You can be Buzz Lightyear or Sully, or even Lightning McQueen, how fun is that. It cannot be stated enough that Disney Infinity is the definition of fun, whilst Call of Duty: Ghosts or FIFA has an edge, if you want a laugh out loud game that’s simple, unobtrusive and unrestricted you can do no wrong getting this game. I spent time with my niece playing this game and she loved every minute of it. She found the “Toy Box” mode enthralling – really I could have left the house, caught a plane to Tokyo, flown there and back again and she wouldn’t have even noticed I’d gone! It’s a deeply enthralling game for the little ones and for any big kids out there it is also hugely entertaining.
It’s fun… I cannot praise it enough. I was Jack Sparrow for a day! I was Syndrome from The Incredibles and I could be Mickey Mouse or any other character, I can explore, imagine and create Disney worlds and mix and match until my hearts content. It’s also very challenging – the creativity is what makes this title so challenging. The “Power Discs” add to the complexity of the game as much as the game modes themselves. The storyline is unique as it is not set. Other game titles have a pre-defined story (even free-play titles have a certain element of conformity). However, this is not the case in Disney Infinity, you can place whatever character you want on your “Infinity Portal” and you’re good to go! That said, as with all reviews, there is always a flaw. The Skylanders issue, of creating a game and having additional figures as additional game add-ons created a new genre. However, Disney seems to have taken the commercialized route a bit further. The Xbox 360 Disney Infinity Starter Pack with the game, the “Infinity Portal”, three figures and a “Power Disc” costs £ 41.99. Each figure thereafter costs £9.99 whilst every two-pack of “Power Discs” costs £ 3.49. It would cost, if you are that way financially inclined to buy for yourself or your (wealthy) little ones a grand total of £ 366.60 for the entire collection. That’s a lot of money and I think this is the biggest issue with the game. We cannot fault how clever, challenging and fun the game is. However, the cost associated with the game really undermines the experience. Pester power, something kids are really good at, will cause parents a lot of anxiety and I don’t think Disney should have put parents under such pressure. So, due to the product pricing of the game, I have to give it a lowly seven out of ten.