Disney Infinity Preview
I’ve watched a whole bunch of Disney films in my time; growing up with the likes of Peter Pan, Robin Hood (the one with the best soundtrack of all time), and Sleeping Beauty to name a few. Although I didn’t really enjoy the ‘girlier’ additions to the Disney catalogue too much, I definitely watched the majority of them at least a couple of times over. It’s something pretty much everyone I know did – they sculpted our childhoods.
Even after growing several feet taller, learning some life lessons, and generally aging somewhat, the nostalgia of Disney films when they come on TV, or when you show them to a child, is overwhelming. I still know quotes, lyrics to songs… to the older films at least. The newer titles aren’t engrained into my very being (maybe I’m being over-dramatic) like the others, but they are still adored by children and adults the world over. I know the majority of the characters from the latest Disney Pixar films though… that counts, right?
Saying all of this, I’ve never really owned any Disney memorabilia. I don’t adorn my bed with Eeyore plushies, or have a Tinkerbell tattoo, so maybe this is a hole that Disney Infinity can fill? You don’t just get a game; you create a collection.
I was sceptical when Disney Infinity was announced. After the impact Skylanders has had on children (and some adults), as well as the bank balances of the masses, it seemed like Disney were simply stepping on toes. Rehashing characters of movies past, I just couldn’t see it being the amazing game everyone was raving about.
How wrong I was.
Jumping straight into the Toy Box, the creative landscape of Disney Infinity, you immediately realise how much scope this element of the game has. Every Disney world has their own style of environment; the buildings, the sky, the trees – any of these can be mixed and matched with others to create your perfect arena. I decided to take some aspects of Candy Crush from Wreck it Ralph, while using the ‘sky’ from Finding Nemo. By sky, I mean it looked as though you were gazing up to the surface of the sea – beautiful.
Every element can be unlocked while playing through levels, or by collecting ‘Power Discs’ – Pog-sized chips that can be placed on your Disney Infinity base. They are then transferred into your game, but can include abilities, vehicles, gadgets etc. Power Discs are bought in blind packs, and its easy to see how much fun kids will have trading them with their friends. Some are rarer than others –expect to be paying a small fortune for those on eBay in the coming months.
It’s the same deal for characters – simply place them on the base and they enter the world seamlessly. While the starter pack contains Jack Sparrow, Sulley, and that guy from the Impossibles (see, I don’t know them all), there’s a whole load of others to collect. The quality of the figures is second to none, and would look beautiful displayed in your house for all to see. Obviously trying to purchase them all will lighten your wallet, but amassing a set of characters from one film unlocks extra areas and presents for your Toy Box, so that might be the way to go.
Playing Disney Infinity on your own is fun; don’t get me wrong, but playing with a friend is just ridiculous. I had to actually sit down (as we were standing) to stop myself from wetting my pants. I can’t say I’ve laughed that much from playing any game… ever. Just running around as Mike from Monsters University, while being shot at with a shrink-ray, while you’re riding an alien horse on the Candy Crush rainbow track… it’s just insane. Being tiny, climbing to the top of a building, only for your friend to delete the building from the map, then picking you up and throwing you off the edge of the world, just because they can; there are no words.
Aside from messing around, the creative side of the Toy Box is wonderful. With a flip of a switch, single elements or the whole theme can be transformed to look how you deem fit. With so many items to add, ranging from stadiums, tracks, buildings, trees, spawners; it’s limited only by your imagination and the items in your Toy Box (which fills up quickly). Make a stadium go crazy when you score a goal with your over-inflated football as you push it around in a car – set fireworks off at the same time if you want. Add timers to your race-track, with random spawners to drop things in your way as you drive around – linking one item with another is very simple, yet so rewarding.
Once you’ve created your map, you can upload it to the Disney servers. If it’s deemed good enough, it’s unleashed unto the world on any platform, for all to download and try out – a similar idea to LittleBigPlanet. User created content is going to be a big deal for Infinity, especially for those who aren’t quite as creative as others but want something new to try.
I haven’t even began to talk about levels. You can purchase different crystal-like level sculptures that, when added to your base, take you to a whole different location to your Toy Box, depending on what you’ve bought. Your starter pack includes the Monsters University, as well as others, and within it you have tasks, platforming areas, things to interact with, coins to collect, items to find to add to your Toy Box… the list goes on. Level locations are wonderful, and in keeping with the films – again, playing these with a friend is very rewarding, although playing solo can be just as enjoyable.
As you can probably tell – I’m smitten. Children (and adults) of all ages are going to love Disney Infinity. It has the potential to be here for years to come, with additions to the game via characters, levels, add-ons – there’s so much to collect, even at launch, that you’re spoilt for choice of where to begin. Nostalgia takes over, and I’m just worried that my bank will hate me. Picking your purchases wisely, however, could bring with it a rewarding outcome. With the option of trading with friends on any console, this is a sure-fire way of being entertained for a very long time… just make sure you have a change of underwear handy.