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Toy Story 3

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Game Reviewed: Toy Story 3
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Developer: Avalanche
Reviewer: Matt Lewis
Platform: Wii (also on PS3, Xbox360 and PC)
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: E10+
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Game Description:

A cowboy and a space ranger took the world by storm in the year 1995 when the movie “Toy Story” was released. Woody and Buzz became household names after the blockbuster hit. Fifteen years later, they are still remembered fondly as the final film in the trilogy is released. Never one to miss out on an opportunity, Disney Interactive Studios has released a video game tie-in for the movie.

I have often failed to be impressed by movie tie-in games. If history held true, would this beloved series find its single flaw in this video game? After some research and playing, however, I began to believe that this would most certainly not be the case.

Toy Story 3 the video game follows the movie, but does a good job of not spoiling too many details. You start off in the world of Andy's imagination as Woody and Buzz save the day yet again. The game mechanics are reminiscent of platforming games much larger in scale, and this is not a bad thing. For a children's game, the developers did a good job of finding what works in a game of this sort without copying those before them or making it too difficult for its target audience. You jump, climb, shoot, and fly your way out of various perils throughout the game.

What Parents Need to Know

Violence

The violence is very cartoonish, and is actually milder than the violence depicted in the movies. You throw playground balls at mischievous green aliens who fall off of the screen. You can shoot various toys with Buzz's laser, which explode and disappear in a puff of smoke. You can pick up and throw the small townspeople, but there is no damage done. This is as violent as it gets.

Language

There is not any foul language in this game.

Sexual Content

There is not any inappropriate sexual content.

Spiritual Content

There is an area named “Sid's haunted house,” which contains ghouls, ghosts, and gargoyles. A skeleton is depicted in a picture on the wall. This area might also be considered somewhat creepy for younger children.

One of the levels requires that you defeat a toy “witch,” who will use various spells and magic to hinder you from reaching your destination.

Reviewer's Thoughts

I must admit I was fighting off a slight prejudice as I started playing Toy Story 3. I had played far too many movie tie-in games that were, to put it bluntly, not much more than a cheap marketing technique. This little game, however, is certainly the exception to the rule, and I give my compliments to the developers. They knew their audience, and, quite frankly, they knew how to make a very decent platformer. This game will certainly not appeal to hardcore fans of gaming. But if you claim any sense of nostalgia for the series, you probably will not be disappointed. My younger brother of 8 was, at times, enamored by the game as he defeated the evil Emperor Zurg and saved the orphans from doom. My only complaints are that the controls for the Wii were a tad flaky at times, camera angles could be frustrating, and it was not particularly aesthetically pleasing. While those looking for a challenging platformer should probably look elsewhere, parents wanting to find a fun game for their children to play should feel right at home as their children play with the (virtual) characters of Toy Story.



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