Today I played a Toy Story game where you never play as any Toy Story character.
That was the first and many let downs about Toy Story Mania, a “better with Kinect” game port of a previously released Wii title. Two players can make their way through a variety of shooting galleries in an attempt to get high scores and well that’s about it. Really, saying the word variety is giving it more credit than it deserves.
I played the game exclusively with the Kinect as it was slightly more entertaining to do so but even still the game comprises of basically one main game mode and a few extra variants. Anyone over six will find it incredibly repetitive and anyone under five will likely find it to boring to play; as was the experience when I attempted to play with my four year old nephew who was clearly disappointed by the game.
First, you don’t play as any of the iconic characters. Basically, they just sort of host this shooting gallery. There are three main modes to play, “adventure,” “party” and “free mode.” Free mode lets you pick the levels you play, party just picks a random assortment and adventure takes you through a series of the game’s galleries in order based on different themes (wild west, space, etc.). Playing through any adventure mode has you doing roughly six or so shooting galleries and two other game types (though the same game type appears both times in each adventure).
Said shooting galleries consist of basically holding your hands out like you were clutching an invisible steering wheel and moving them to “aim” your shooting recital on screen. Different targets have different point values assigned to them, and on occasion shooting certain targets does trigger an event in the gallery. Each gallery has some additional task to complete, but you only find this out once you pause the game mid-level, and are largely pointless other than some achievements. Each game, each mode really only amounts to playing the same game over and over to get a high score/beat your opponent.
Between the horribly repetitive nature of the horribly boring game(s) and the fact that the Toy Story characters barely do more than provide voice overs (most of the cast appears to have reprised their roles as the voice talent accept Tom Hanks making for a slightly off sounding Woody). Just about everything involved in Toy Story Mania is a let down and should be an 800 point downloadable Xbox Live Arcade game at most, not a $29.99 disc game. The only real good bit about Toy Story Mania is that I bought it for $10 at Best Buy with a coupon and will trade it back in for $14.
Tomorrow corporate espionage reigns supreme in Syndicate.
Final Rating: 3.5/10
CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: 360
Time to completion: ~ 1.5 hours
Gamer Score Earned: 380/1000
Price Bought at: $10
Current Price: $21.99 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: Lower than the trade in price at your preferred store.
Why you should buy it: Shooting galleries are cute, kids of the right age may get some mileage from it.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: Repetitive, boring, short, over priced and it probably said something negative about your mother as well.