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Toy Story

Genre: Platformer Developer: Traveler’s Tales Publisher: Disney Interactive Players: 1 Released: 1996

Toy Story, released in 1995, was a movie done by Pixar, in full 3D animation. The movie became quite popular, and did well in the box office. The game came the following year, 1996, for the SNES, Sega Genesis, PC, and Gameboy. But does the game live up to the standards set by how well the movie did? Let’s take a look.

The plot for the game is pretty much the same as the movie, and you have the option to turn off story if you just want some quick gaming. Anyways:

Andy’s toys live a life. A secret life, whenever Andy is out of his room. However, on Andy’s birthday, things change in Andy’s bedroom. Woody, the toy cowboy, who also happens to be Andy’s favourite, gets “replaced” by the latest and greatest toy: Buzz Lightyear, a toy “space ranger”. After Woody tries to get revenge on Buzz, he goes to far and must venture out of Andy’s bedroom to save Buzz before Andy’s family moves away!

You play as Woody, a toy cowboy, who can run, jump, climb, and swing through the levels of Toy Story. Woody uses his pull string as a lasso to grasp onto hooks, defeat enemies, knock away blocks, and other various things. The game combines a few genres of game play, something I think is quite innovative, and at the same time well done. For the most part though, the game is a platformer, spanning eighteen levels, with each level having a different objective or objectives. For example, in one level, you must use your pull string to knock off the lid to a bucket of toy green army men, and then knock down a baby monitor from a shelf so that the green army men can transmit data to you while they spy on Andy’s birthday. After the presents have been opened, though, Andy and his friends start to head upstairs! The toys can’t be caught moving or out-of-place, so Woody must help the toys get back to their spots by knocking away the blocks that have them imprisoned on top of a desk, or on a shelf so that they can get back in time.

When you need to use your pull string to get across a gap, it is hard to get it attached, and takes much practice to get used to. The jumping, however, is quite responsive and easy to control. Some of the other areas of the game, such as the part where you must take control of a remote control car, can be very difficult due to the bad controls, and the fact that if you hit a wall, at any speed, you spin around like crazy. Woody has five hit points to start out with, and if you get hit five times, then you lose one life. Gameplay isn’t too difficult, but you can adjust the amount of lives you start with, to make it a little more challenging.

The visuals in Toy Story are quite well done. The characters look like their movie counterparts, and the details, textures, and colours all go well together. The backgrounds accurately depict the setting of the level, and there are even some 3D elements to the game. All of Woody’s movements are very smooth, and same with all of the other characters.

The music in Toy Story is cheerful at first, but as the story moves to gloomier and sadder places, the music changes with it. The sound effects are quite good; such as Woody’s pull string, toy trains, toy planes, and the sound of you knocking things away (such as blocks). There are even voice clips taken from the movie that sound nice.

Once you beat Toy Story, you may go back to it, but there won’t be much of a difference besides the amount of lives you could choose to start with. Although it might take a while to beat it the first time, as the levels later on in the game get tough. However, it’s is still worth a purchase. It won’t set you back that much, and seeing as how you most likely couldn’t rent it nowadays, I would recommend making the purchase.

Toy Story is quite a good game, which is surprising for a movie-based game, especially since it did quite well and tried to be a good game, not just make sales based on the license. All in all, if you see Toy Story, pick it up. You’re in for an innovative gaming experience.

SCORE: 8 out of 10

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