Who doesn't love Toy Story? Especially when there's a Toy Box mode!

User Rating: 8 | Toy Story 3 PS3
Yes, I do admit, I love Toy Story. And who wouldn't? If you grew up during the 90s, you undoubtedly must have seen the first TS movie and instantly became a fan. Well, fast forward 15 years and PIXAR makes the third Toy Story movie, complete with movie-tie-in game. The movie, TS3, is great. The game, well it depends on which version you're talking about. The PS3/360 versions are exactly the same (except the PS3 version has Zurg as a playable character), the Wii and PC versions have the downgraded graphics and Toy Box modes, and the DS and PSP versions are completely different altogether. I've played the PSP version and even though I liked the Story Mode in that version better than the one in the PS3, it lacked any Toy Box mode that can be found in it's console counterpart.

So in this PS3 version of TS3, you have basically two modes - Story and Toy Box. Story mode is, not gonna lie, a bore. Sure it has three characters you can switch between any time (Woody, Buzz, and Jessie), but the overall levels are just not that interesting - I thought the levels in the PSP version had more character. See, the PSP levels are more of a 'follow this path' whereas the PS3 levels are 'explore the area and do stuff'. I think if both the PSP and PS3 levels had come together, the Story mode would have been better than it already is. Example, in the PS3 version, there are only two areas in Andy's house you can explore - the bedroom and basement. In the PSP version, there are 6-7 areas you can explore in Andy's house (bedroom, foyer, living room, dining room, a brief outdoors segment, the garage, and kitchen) including platforming parts that take place within the house walls. Different developers for different platforms I guess :/

Moving on - so, Story mode loosely follows the events that happened in the movie. Heck, the PSP version was much truer to the movie than the PS3 version! But, the PS3 version has it's strong points as well. The train level, for instance. It is WAY more fun than the PSP version - you get to throw rubber balls at aliens who shoot ray guns at you after riding on Bullseye in a daring chase to catch up with the runaway train. Not to mention the graphics are better, which means Buzz and Woody look nearly as good as they do on the movie screen (okay, maybe not THAT good, but they do look good nonetheless).

But the main thing that I believe makes Toy Story 3 worth purchasing (namely for the PS3) is the Toy Box mode - an open world sandbox that really could have been a game in itself. Here, you take control of either Woody, Buzz, Jessie, or Zurg (after unlocking him) in the realm of Andy's imagination that takes place in a western mountainous area called Woody's Roundup. You're the Sheriff of a budding town and it's your job to take on a seemingly endless amount of missions to earn gold so you can buy more buildings which brings in more citizens which unlocks more stuff for you to do! It's easy to get overwhelmed at the amount of content this mode has to offer. You can ride in cars, shoot a laser gun at bandits, ride a nauseatingly cutesy dragon that breaths fire, mine for gold, throw rubber balls at civilians, customize your town's look, and on and on. The more missions you complete, the more stuff you can purchase and order from Al's Toy Barn - stuff like buildings, civilians, new locations, rides, etc. It's a total guilty pleasure because if you like Toy Story and always wanted to play with those toys in an open world environment, then this is the game for you. You could literally spend hours just doing random crap and having a blast in Woody's Roundup.

The only negatives that I've experienced are the pop-in textures when starting Woody's Roundup and navigating the Game Board. It takes a while for the textures to load, which is the developer's fault :/ Also, when playing 2 player, there can be quite a bit of lagging, especially in Toy Box mode - and if both players stray too far from each other, there will be constant loading icons popping up, thus pausing your gameplay every few seconds. And the last negative I have is the difficulty; yeah it's a kid's game geared towards little tykes, but I feel like this game could have let go of your hand for longer time spans than it did. But still, Toy Box mode is really fun, despite the missions being super easy to complete; there are numerous missions that will make you want to 'just do one more'.

I highly recommend this game - Toy Box mode won't disappoint. Story mode, maybe a little, but it is worth getting all the same. One nicely done movie-game that's sure to bring the little kid out of you.

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