You guys. I was at a Toys R’ Us today (I’ll go every few months on a whim) when I came face to face with my wallet’s worst nightmare. The WALL that was dedicated to Disney Infinity intimidated me beyond words.
When Disney initially announced their new video game Disney Infinity, I was non-plussed. “Oh, so you’re ripping off that Skylanders thing.” Skylanders is a video game for which you buy physical toys that double as an unlock for the same digital in-game character/element. You then get to use these characters in battles, missions, or whatever creative elements the game allows. Disney has wisely borrowed this idea and launched a $100 million game using its principles.
Disney Infinity has two game modes, in essence. One features the various campaign missions or “Play Sets.” So by buying the starter set, you’re unlocking content / game modes for Jack Sparrow, for example. His game mode is all about stopping Davy Jones from collecting pieces of Kraken dung (or something). He snags quests from NPC’s and runs around buckling swashes and collecting items. Other Play Sets involve different settings/gameplay (the Cars set obviously has a lot of racing), but they all feature some collection mechanic. You’re always going after content.
The other mode is dubbed the “Toy Box” and is really a Minecraft-ian creation system that lets you build and design worlds/game areas that use nearly endless amounts of Disney-specific content. Build a race track for your Cars pieces that swirls around the cave from Aladdin and over an ocean with The Black Pearl setting sail. But why read me when I can show you this crazy awesome trailer?
Yeah. I want all that.
We have a small sample of what Disney Infinity has to offer thanks to the sets they’ve released at launch. The starter pack includes Jack Sparrow, Mr. Incredible, and that blue thing from Monsters Inc. (No I’m not Googling it. I don’t care.) Other add-on figures include the rest of the Incredibles, a Lone Ranger Play Set (including Tonto and a “Power Disc” which unlocks more in-game content), Barbossa and Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean, and loads more. One can only imagine the characters that are to come. Wave 2 (starting to release in October) will feature characters from Toy Story, Tangled, and Wreck-It-Ralph, as well as standalone pieces like Jack Skellington and Sorcerer Mickey.
And that’s where the difference really lies between DI and Skylanders. The characters. It’s FREAKING DISNEY. THEY OWN EVERYTHING. Instead of generic robots without the years of history a Transformers game would have (hold on, my mind just fucking exploded at that concept), Disney has a stable of cartoon, CGI, and live-action characters with rich histories to pull from.
Now licenses and rights could come into play, because Marvel’s properties may be assigned to one developer or a separate Star Wars agreement may have to be put in place before Disney Interactive Studios can place them into the game. Still, it’s not entirely unlikely that it could happen. Disney’s not that dumb.
Consider that we already saw a glimpse of Alice in Wonderland with the momentary view of the playing card knight and the possibilities begin to reveal themselves. Once Sleeping Beauty content becomes available, I’m instantly designing an open world RPG-like adventure based around all of those characters. I’m talking big-boss Malificent and dragons flying through the sky as I storm the Cinderella castle and crash through an army of Heart-emblazoned cards carrying spears (or lightsabers!). Doesn’t that sound like THE BEST?
I know I’ve given a lot of information to you. But I want you to be informed before I plead with you for guidance. I’ve checked a lot of reviews at this point, which are slightly mixed. Most point out the Toy Box mode as crazy deep, but with a load of obstacles (money/figures/randomization of rewards) being the issue towards getting in-depth with it. Then the Play Sets are sometimes okay, sometimes buggy, but sound hit-or-miss. Who has actually played it? Do you think my imagined RPG adventure would be possible? Or would the time needed to unlock everything I wanted to use actually wear me down to the point where I never completed the design?
I know I won’t buy everything this game comes out with. I barely care about Cars. I don’t need display cases for my figures or multiple options for storing Power Discs. (Yeah, I know. There’s more than one. Assholes.) This game is obviously a money grab, but I’m not the type to just buy anything and everything. I pick and choose what I want. It’s been years since I’ve had a plastic crack addiction (Heroclix was my bag) and I’m very cautious about picking up another money suck like this.
Do I want Disney Infinity? And do I want it enough to grab it before the PS4 launches in November? (Which I’ll likely pre-order this week.) SOMEONE BE AN ADULT FOR ME!