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Gamer Tuesday

June 28, 2011

Pap the Disney Gamer’s Highlights: Toy Story
Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis
Developed by:
Traveller’s Tales

A few weekends ago I attended my first ever Disney on Ice show, Toy Story 3! It was all so magical! The show was so amazing that it had me looking back at all the Toy Story related things I’ve experienced throughout my life: the movies (of course), the Buzz Lightyear TV show and direct to video movie, old making-of documentaries, and yes, even the video games.

There have been many Toy Story video games released since the first movie broke box office records and changed the world of animation forever in 1995, but my favorite of them all is the classic 16-bit game based on the first movie.

Toy Story: the Video Game is a 2D platformer where players take control of Woody, Andy’s favorite toy and star of all the movies. For those uninitiated in the Toy Story saga, the first film tells the tale of Woody and how the arrival of Buzz Lightyear, a modern, cooler toy, makes him realize the meaning of friendship thanks to the hardships they were forced to face. The video game is a very loyal adaptation of the film, following the movie’s major events very closely from the toy’s first meeting till the reunion with Andy at the car.

Gameplay wise, it is a very solid effort. Woody can use his string to reach new areas as well as attack enemies. It doesn’t go beyond the basics of the platformer genre, and Woody himself can be a little hard to control sometimes, but considering how awful licensed platformers could be back in the day, Toy Story stood out as one of the best, and the hype surrounding the movie helped it become a beloved childhood classic for many.

The levels are very challenging, but injected with a lot of personality and creativity. The aforementioned claw machine level takes place in a first person perspective, for example, creating a very cool graphical effect in the process. In another level, you and Buzz must sneak past the patrons of Pizza Planet. There is even a cool boss level where you fight a giant, nightmare version of Buzz!

Speaking of which, Toy Story the movie broke new ground as the first ever animated movie done completely in CG. The game borrows the look on the movie and it is great. Granted, the game’s graphics weren’t anything new as one of the first video games to use pre-rendered CG sprites, Donkey Kong Country, was released a year prior to both the movie and the game. But it was, and still is, a visual delight. The characters greatly resemble their film counterparts, and the level of detail presented in each level is stunning. In terms of music and sound design, Toy Story is also a winner. It features songs such as “Strange things” and “You got a friend in me,” along with original compositions that capture the whimsy of the film very well.

On a completely random note, in Toy Story 2 Rex is obsessed with beating a Buzz Lightyear video game. The system and the controller in the movie are modeled after the Super Nintendo console, one of the systems that hosted the first Toy Story game. Kind of funny since the video game adaptation of Toy Story 2 was released on the PlayStation and Nintendo 64, and by the time 16 systems had gone the way of the Dodo.

Overall, Toy Story the video game is a classic game that does justice to the influential animated film that inspired it. It is worth hunting down for both Disney and Pixar fans as well as Toy Story fans.

Now, stay tuned for this week’s Thursday Treasures as I talk about the event that inspired this whole walk down Toy Story lane.  



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