Well, Christmas has come and gone and I’ve got a few new games to talk about. First up is the Disney infinity, Disney’s answer to Skylanders. That’s not an accusation of Disney ripping off someone else’s idea by the way. The idea of taking a physical toy and making it interact with a virtual game world is long overdue. Skylanders just got there first, and as a result, they are what the rest are judged against.
The sculpts on the figures are wonderful. Fun, and detailed, they may actually be superior to Skylanders in that respect. The fact that you get to play with familiar characters like Captian Jack or the Monster’s Inc guys is a HUGE plus. The game doesn’t have to create it’s own world from scratch. Then again, toys are something Disney does well.
The infinity worlds feel cheap. Slapped together. It’s a failing I’m more prone to assign to Disney than to Nintendo too. I’ve see namazing worlds on the Wii – Metroid immediately comes to mind. I have on the other hand, seen Disney put out truckloads of poorly coded games and sell them at a premium because they are Disney. We specifically got the Vanellope character from Wreck-it Ralph because I desperately want a good version of the Sugar Rush racing game. The racer that came with Vanellope was awful. Slow speeds, uninspired cars, blocky characters….and don’t tell me that’s a limitation of the console. Play Mario Kart just ONCE and you’ll see how great this console can handle racers.
The real tragedy of this game however is the VERY limited co-op, available only in the mini-games in the “Toybox” environment, not in the adventure track. This is unforgivable, especially since the packaging proudly proclaims two player gaming. Again, I’m told this is a limitation of the console, but again, it doesn’t seem to bother Skylanders any. Seems more like a limitation of the Disney Developers instead. I was hellbent on getting the Lone Ranger set (and by the way, after the rather poor performance of the film, how on earth can they justify that $35.00 price tag???) but with such limited co-op functionality…I’m just going to get the Lone Ranger. I’m sorry if this offends, but really, what’s the point of playing Tonto solo?
Speaking of characters, I’m appalled at the limited releases. There seems to be a focus on male gamers – but that’s not Disney’s core market. Where are the princesses? Rapunzel was on the shelf for about five minuets six months ago, sold out and never restocked. The Frozen girls are out, and that’s it. Where are the girl warriors like Pocohontas and Mulan and Meridia? Here’s a radical thought. Put out a princess edition of the infinity with three (perhaps limited edition sculpts) classic and neo classic princesses? Ariel, Cinderella and Snow White perhaps. Aladdan and Jasmine sets, Belle and Beast sets (oh look! Target boys and girls at the same time!)…where are these??? This stuff should have been first wave and then shortpacked every wave after!
Perhaps they will come if the system lasts long enough, but I’m not sure I’d be taking bets on that. With such a poor reception, the infinity is likely going to die, but seeing as it’s Disney, the existing parts will linger, making it a slow death.
Go buy a Skylanders Swap force instead.