Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Disney Infinity

Let's explain the concept before reviewing the figures.

So some store I visited was throwing this sign away. Right place, right time.
Disney Infinity, the video game that is pretty much seen as a knock-off of Spyro the Dragon: Skylanders. Basically you buy the game and the only way to unlock the content on the disc is to buy figurines that you place on a reader. Then you can play as the character depicted on the figurine! Of course each figurine only works in the level (or as they call them: playsets) that is associated with the figure's movie property (So Pirates of the Caribean figures won't work in the Monsters University game) or the Toy Box, which is essentially Little Big Planet using Disney themes. The Toy Box is surprisingly well done, with the ability to use elements to make sports games, side scrollers, and racing games. Disney is even releasing pre-made Toy Box levels, like an ESPN themed race track or a simulation of Columbia from Bioshock Infinite.

I was going to ignore this game at first, but then I found out that the Incredibles level was basically GTA: Incredibles and that some of the original voice cast appeared. Hearing Sarah Vowell talk as I beat people up as Violet makes me happy. I played a little, got obsessed, and ended up buying every figure from the first wave. Fortunately, if you were willing to shop around you could get some good deals. For example, Wal-Mart had all the multi-packs of figures for half-off.

I'm slowly opening the figures. There's about 4 hours of gameplay per figure, more if you want to level them up (which doesn't improve their plat stats, but does earn you currency to unlock more Toy Box items and pretties up the character's display in the virtual exhibition hall of collected figures.) The starter pack (video game, figure reader, 3 figures) comes with the figures for Mr. Incredible, Jack Sparrow, and Sully and the figure that unlocks their respective levels/games. So far I've been playing through the Incredibles and Monster University playsets. (And yes, it IS like GTA: Incredibles. I've drop kicked the mayor more times than I can remember. Monsters University is more of a... stealth collection puzzle game?) The games are fun, and what I've done with the Toy Box so far shows some promise. I'm hoping to figure out a way to make the side-scrolling work in a way that I can create a good brawler or 2D fighting game.

And yes, the blind packed Power Discs which either add a bonus to your character during gameplay (like a shield or extra currency rewards) or add new elements to the Toy Box such as exclusive vehicles or background paint, those are a pain in the butt. Especially since some of them are "rare" and so now you get a collectible aspect into this. $5 for a two-pack of accessories that unlock something already on the disc you had to pay $75 for. But I still want some of them, because the unlocked skies include new background music, so the Alice in Wonderland background has a creepy old school song loop that implies a threatening psychedelic environment.

How bad is the power disc thing? Last Saturday Toys R Us had a event where people could trade their discs and get an exclusive disc. End result: they sold out of the exclusives in less than an hour and the store was fricking packed, or so I'm told by employees since I had to work and wouldn't have participated anyway because I don't want to be the creepy adult trying to trade toys with children. Which is a shame because I wanted the exclusive Tron disc... (Which is actually going to be included in the wave 2 blind packed power discs coming out sometime before December.)


  1. This series seems to be the in thing right now much like Skylanders was not too long ago.

  2. I was just wondering what exactly Infinity is over the weekend. Thanks for doing the review, it made things much clearer! And actually, makes it sound pretty fun and interesting.