The reviews for Disney Infinity are all over the place. You’ve got everything from 2 out of 5 to nine out of ten. Even Ben over at the Penny Arcade Report gave a pretty mixed review of it. I think it’s a strange sort of video game and it’s not for everyone. Personally I’m really enjoying it and I’ll tell you why.
First of all I understand that the PS3 and Wii U versions have some technical bugs but I grabbed the 360 version so I’m not seeing anything too bad. I get some frame rate drops but nothing game breaking.
So my family loves Disney. My wife just ordered a bunch of makeup from Sephora because it’s Little Mermaid branded. I have a porcelain Donald Duck on my end table in the living room. My son has a binder full of Disney pins. Our three year old is obsessed with “Mater”. We love this shit. I feel like that’s important information. As a family we had a blast with Disney Infinity.
The toys themselves are beautiful. They are worthy of being called a collectable rather than just a toy but that doesn’t keep our three year old from wanting to play with them. They are pretty tough but I still get a little nervous when he smashes Mr. Incredible into a wall of blocks. “these are daddy’s special toys, please be careful.” The starter box comes with Sully, Mr. Incredible and captain Jack Sparrow. You also get a playset representing each of their worlds. The trick here is that you cannot play co-op in these play sets right out of the box. They are themed environments giving you somewhere around 6 hours of play but you can only take toys that “fit” in that world into the play set. So I can’t play as Sully in the Incredibles play set. This, I have to agree is stupid. I ended up grabbing a pack of heroes that gives you a second character for each of those worlds. This let us play co-op but I still don’t understand the decision to limit figures to their own Playsets. Except to sell more figures obviously.
My wife and I played about four hours of the Monsters U playset yesterday and had a really good time. Over on the PAR Ben says he found the playsets boring but that was not our experience. I’d say they land somewhere around the level of a Lego game in terms of difficulty. This isn’t Bioshock it’s a game designed to be played and enjoyed by kids and adults together. Still as two grown ups running around the Monsters U campus we had a really good time. My older son is about to turn 9 and he and I played the Lone Ranger playset together. This was a stand alone pack that comes with two characters and the playset. So a set like this is ready for co-op play right out of the box.
One thing I really like is that the game splits your screen when playing co-op. In Skylanders with same screen co-op I spent a lot of time asking him to come my direction so I could jump up to a ledge or begging him to follow me because we had to go a certain direction. In the Lone Ranger play set he wanted to ride his horse around and search for collectibles. Cool, have fun kid I’m going to do these quests. We teamed up for a few missions but for the most part we like to play these games differently and split screen let us do that. It might not seem like a big deal but it means I actually enjoy playing this with him much more than Skylanders.
Then you have the Toy Box mode. This is the build whatever you want and have fun mode. You unlock pieces for this mode in playsets or by earning “spins” by leveling up your figures. It’s all pretty random and I can understand how that would be frustrating for some people. Ben says it’s absurd and maybe he’s right but honestly the entire game system is absurd. You are buying little plastic toys to unlock characters in a game you already purchased. I’m buying blind bags to collect power ups and new toys for the Toy Box mode. It’s all 100% a bullshit mechanism to get more money out of people. The trick is if they are giving you enough fun to make it worth it. In my opinion they are. I want to get more figures. I want to collect more discs, God help me I even want to buy the special binder to store all the discs I collect.
A game like this either gets its hooks in you or it doesn’t. Honestly if it doesn’t you’re probably better off for it. Me? I have to stop at the store on the way home and pick up a Power Disc capsule.