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Column: Aaron's Backstage Pass: Disney Infinity Wii U Review

Updated: 08/20/2013 3:39 PM
Created: 08/20/2013 3:25 PM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

I really don’t know who was more excited, my five-year-old daughter or me when I received a review copy of Disney Interactive’s “Disney Infinity” for the Wii U.

I have been following “Disney Infinity” ever since it was announced and a few weeks ago I got the opportunity to interview Matthew Solie who was the producer for “Disney Infinity.”  After talking with him about the game, my excitement grew even more. (You can listen to my interview here.

All I can say after playing “Disney Infinity” is that this game is absolutely amazing. There is so much content packed into it that you won’t have to buy another game for a very long time.

“Disney Infinity” gives players the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild. You can create and build just about anything you can think of to play with.

In “Disney Infinity” you are the artist and your canvas is called the “Toy Box.” Here you can design it to look however you like. You can add hills, racetracks, trees, caves, etc.

There is a “Toy Box” editor, and you just bring up a menu and select the item you want from the menu.  You can move the item up or down and rotate it. A grid will also pop up and will show you where you can put the item.

You can also easily remove items. If you added something to your “Toy Box” by mistake or want to change things up, you can use your magic wand to get rid of it. 

The magic wand is pretty cool. You can use it to remove items, move toys and items around, and even chain things together. For example, in one of the tutorials, you have to make a grand entrance into a stadium. You use your magic wand to link a ground switch to a boom box then you link the boom box to cannons that shoot confetti. Once you step on the switch the music starts playing and the cannons shoot tons of confetti. It looks really cool.

“Disney Infinity” comes with an Infinity base. There are three spots that figures and power discs can be placed on. 

The starter pack comes with three figures “Captain Jack Sparrow,” “Sully” and “Mr. Incredible.”  You can buy different packs and play sets such as “The Villains” or “The Lone Ranger.”  The figures are also sold individually.  Right now there is a great selection of characters from “The Incredibles,” “Monsters Inc.,” “Cars,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and “The Lone Ranger.”

The figures are very detailed and look great. 

While you are playing “Disney Infinity” you can switch your character at any time, by taking it off of the base and replacing it with a new character. 

The characters can gain levels by collecting sparks in the game. Players gain sparks by completing certain tasks or by destroying crates and barrels. As your level goes up, more things unlock in the game.

You can play multiplayer, and one nice thing is that if you want to bring your level 10 “Jack Sparrow” character to your friend’s house, he will be level 10 when you start playing with him. Plus if you have a Wii  U and your friend has a PS3 version of “Disney Infinity” you can still use the characters. They can be used on all of the different infinity bases. I think that is awesome.

Another thing that comes in the “Disney Infinity” starter pack is a play set piece. This allows you to play different adventures. With the starter you can play either a “Monster Inc.,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” or “Incredibles” themed game. They all have a story and you must complete several tasks in each adventure. The adventures are very complex and are a lot of fun to play. As you are playing, you can find hidden items that can be used in the “Toy Box.”

The Infinity power discs are really cool. These are sold in packs of two and you really don’t know which ones you are going to get. There are two different types. There are round ones that can be placed underneath your character and they will give them different powers and abilities. Then there are hexagonal shaped ones. These can be used to change the appearance of your “Toy Box.” 

The graphics in “Disney Infinity” are amazing. Everything is so colorful and detailed. The characters in the game look just like they do in the Disney films. The backgrounds are spectacular, and all of the items that can be used in the “Toy Box” have their own unique look.

The controls are extremely simple to learn. There are lots of in-game tutorials that will tell you and also show you what buttons you need to push to do certain things. I thought that this was very helpful. 

At first I was overwhelmed by the “Toy Box” because there is so much to take in. After going through some of the tutorials and just playing with things, I was able to get the hang of using the editor to create what I wanted to.

There are little capsules in the game that have question marks. If you touch one of these capsules it will tell you a tip on how to play the game. I also thought this was very useful.

One very helpful tool is a game mode called “Mastery Adventure,” and this explains in great detail how to do different things in the “Toy Box.” It shows you how to build things and also how to use your Toy Box editor. I suggest that this is the first thing you do when you start “Disney Infinity.” It will make things a lot easier.

At the middle of your “Toy Box” there is a platform that you can step on to access many different things. You can go to a “Hall of Heroes” where you can look at and watch videos of your characters and also see what power discs you have.

You can load prebuilt “Toy Boxes” from Disney.com and play around in them.

There is the option to go online and play multiplayer with your friends. 

There are Disney Infinity coins hidden in the game and you can also earn them by playing and completing different adventures. The coins can be used in the “Disney Infinity Vault.”  This is where you can get a lot of items for your “Toy Box.” You can see a bunch of items in the vault menu, and you use your coins to spin a cursor.  The cursor will go around the menu of items and it will randomly select an item for your “Toy Box.”  I thought that this was a great idea, and it made me want to play more adventures so I could get more coins.

Another thing that you can do is play adventures. Each character has their own unique adventure and then there are a bunch of adventures that all of the characters can play. You earn medals (bronze, silver, and gold) and infinity coins by completing each adventure. As you complete adventures, more will unlock. There are many different types of adventures.  There is one that’s called “sumo.” 

You must try to stay on a platform as long as you can while fighting aliens and robots. Plus, the whole time, sections of the platform are disappearing. I thought that the adventures were very challenging and a lot of fun to play.

Overall, I thought that Disney Interactive’s “Disney Infinity” for the Wii U was amazing. The whole idea of the “Toy Box” was unique and very fascinating. The possibilities and things you can create are endless, and that’s what makes “Disney Infinity” so great in my opinion.  It is extremely fun to play, and the controls are easy to learn. 

Kids will love taking control of their favorite Disney character and having the ability to create different items and things for them to interact with. 

I think this is also a great game that the whole family can play. I would highly recommend this game to everyone.

Aaron Chalich is a blogger with KSTP.com writing about the latest entertainment news.


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