Review by ZaleIsBackAgain

Reviewed: 07/10/04

Toy Story 2 is surprisingly a really fun game to play through with a lot of value

Can you believe that I got this game over Quake III Arena? I wasn't sure what I was thinking, though after playing through Toy Story 2, it isn't such a bad purchase after all (Though Quake III Arena would of been the better purchase). The game is an action adventure game, where you control Buzz Lightyear in his attempt to rescue Woody. If you didn't see the movie, or even heard of this famous series, then let me fill you in with a description about it. This is a world where (It's the same one as Earth, just with more fantasy) Toys are alive, and they interact with each other. Woody, a favourable toy to his owner Andy was kidnapped. His best friend Buzz Lightyear journeys out to rescue Woody, which is the purpose of the game (In the game, it's Buzz Lightyear going solo, in the movie, familiar toy products join him like a plastic Dinosaur, Mr. Potato Head and a slingy type of dog toy).

One flaw that is quickly noticeable is found within the main menu screen. Usually games have a "Press Start to continue", well here it's "Press Jump to continue"! Well, I haven't played the game yet, so how the hell am I gonna know what button is the jump button? It doesn't take long to figure it out at least. Later on, the game brings you to the world map, and the graphical style use to illustrate the world map was very unique. The sketching toy with two knobs that creates various lines throughout the sketch is used.

When starting on my first level, I've noticed the graphics were definitely more than I've expected. They weren't good and not bad either, more in the middle of the bar governing the quality of graphics. Everything was vivid, and the enemies look great with the theme of the game. Most of these opponents are toys, which is easily defeatable for our hero Buzz Lightyear. These enemy toys come in a variety of different shapes, like you'll find yourself up against racing cars or even flying toys.

Now Buzz has a variety of different attacks that will eliminate these enemies. He has a ranged attack which is a simple laser shot which can also be charged up to create a stronger attack. Another way of attacking is resorting to his wings. Buzz can use his wings as weapons by spinning his upper body. Buzz can charge this attack, which will create a tornado type of attack where he constantly spins like a twister. The downside of this is that after the tornado attack, Buzz will get dizzy and cease to even move for a few seconds. His final attack is a stomp attack, where when you jumps in the air, you stomp harshly into the ground.

When exploring this level of the game which appears to be in Andy's house, I was ordered with a variety of tasks to accomplish. These missions are assigned to me by the game's characters that will need my help in what I'm about to do. For example, Mr. Potato head has lost one of his ear, and I have to find his ear to get a Pizza token. Now, Pizza Token's gets you access further into the game, because some levels can't be unlocked unless I have the appropriate number of pizza tokens. Think of it this way, it's Grand Theft Auto, except without the blood and gore. The missions you have to complete in order to gain pizza tokens are quite unique, like for the Piggy bank character, you're required to gain 50 coins for him while for the Sheep herder lady, you have to locate and deliver her sheep. A racing toy will challenge you to a race around a van, which will get you a pizza token upon his defeat. Another way of collecting a pizza token is acquiring enough coins in the environment. Some treasure hunting missions are more challenging than the rest by adding a time limit to it. These missions are quite enjoyable to do and are fairly entertaining.

Another way of gaining Pizza tokens is to defeat bosses. As you'd expect, like the standard enemies, these bosses are basically toys. In some occasions, bosses may be in the form of super natural creatures. A lot of these bosses are quite easy to defeat, though still fun and still require the same offensive skill used on default enemies on these bosses. One particular boss had me pulling my hair out, because he was that hard! You wouldn't expect anything more from a Disney game that is aimed towards their children.

A lot of the game's 15 levels follow the same locations that are found in the movie, while the rest are just miscellaneous ones. The levels have some puzzles to solve that had me for some time. After playing through the first couple levels, I'm starting to think this game was aimed towards a wider audience, not just kids. If you've already collected 1 Pizza Token, you have the option of moving towards the next level. Though like mentioned before, levels require a certain amount of Pizza tokens in order to play them. This gives a bit more freedom to the gamer, and these environments are quite far from being linear levels.

The camera system used here is quite bad. When jumping around from platform to platform, the camera will sometimes be in positions that you won't like, or the camera will constantly change angles. A skilled gamer will actually find skill in improvising to this flaw, though a normal one will get annoyed with this. The manual way of changing the camera angle can be found in the options menu, though sometimes your hands can't be there to change the angle at necessary times. This may become a problem for gamers.

Inbetween the game's levels, you'll get treated to short clips from the movie Toy Story 2. These cutscenes look exactly what they would of looked like if you've watched it on TV, and they help progress the story a little bit. The cutscenes feature full voice acting, and wonderful graphics! In the game itself, the only voices you'll hear is when a character asks you to come over to initiate a mission and one liner phrases. You'll sometimes get annoyed to hear a character say "Buzz, come here" when you don't intend to start a mission with them.

In the end, Toy Story 2: Action game is surprisingly a really fun game to play through, one that has quite the value. Those who can't move on to a different game without beating it 100% will find their time consumed by completing every mission and getting all coins. The different missions vary in activities and continues to vary throughout the rest of the game, and with clips from the actual movie, Toy Story 2 is a worthy purchase for any gamer.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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