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Joseph Rositano
05 Nov, 2009

Toy Story Mania Review

Wii Review | It's time to chuck the toys into the fireplace.
Toy Story is one of the most popular franchises to come from Pixar Animation Studios. The series marked the first feature-length film to come from the studio, spawned a spin-off TV series and more recently, has its own attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World called Toy Story Midway Mania. Disney Interactive Studios decided the latter would make a great a video game, and while at first glance it appears like a competent home version of the ride it’s actually nothing more than another shallow mini-game compilation for the Wii.

The premise of Toy Story Mania is Andy’s toys have set up a carnival and challenge each other to a host of mini-games. The story doesn’t really go anywhere and is composed entirely of a brief introduction video and a few of the toys making comments before and after completing each round.

To infinity, and beyond!

To infinity, and beyond!
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Those that have been lucky enough to experience the Disneyland attraction will know it’s quite a dazzling display of technology. The ride has visitors wear a pair of 3D glasses and sit in a cart that takes you through multiple shooting galleries which are displayed on giant screens. Your goal is to use the laser gun attached to the cart and rank in the highest score by shooting targets. For the most part the game competently recreates this – galleries are almost exact replicas of those featured in the ride, and the game even comes packaged with a set of 3D glasses to make the experience that little bit more authentic. Each shooting gallery also features a number of objectives to complete which range from shooting down a specific target a certain amount of times, to making an event occur such unmasking a hidden bunker during one of the Army Men levels. It never takes itself too seriously and is just plain good fun.

To mix things up a little the developers have incorporated dozens of mini-games that are designed to compliment the shooting galleries. These range from guiding a ball through a maze by tilting the Wii remote, playing a game of Pick-A-Cup and wildly mimicking a break-dancing Hamm. All these examples have been done hundreds of times before, which ultimately make Toy Story Mania feel dull and unimaginative. So really, the main attraction here are the shooting galleries, but even they have their faults. Firstly, there are times where your crosshair disappears when you move it over backgrounds. This can get particularly frustrating when you’re trying to shoot specific targets and complete objectives. Secondly, there are moments where you can activate events and rank in bonus points but rotating the Wii remote. Again, it’s unimaginative and feels like an excuse just to tack on half-arsed waggle controls.

Another element that’s poorly integrated is the game’s multiplayer support. Supposedly you’re able to play with up to four players, however, this isn’t simultaneously. The shooting galleries only allow two players to compete per round, so if you have more than two people playing it means you’ll have to take turns sitting out. To make matters worse, most of the non-shooting mini-games can only be played by one person at a time, which is just pathetic. There are dozens of other party titles available on the Wii that integrate multiplayer efficiently, so you really have to question the design decisions the developers made considering how packed out the market already is.

Shoot them between the eyes and be done with it

Shoot them between the eyes and be done with it
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It’s a shame the gameplay is lacklustre because Toy Story Mania has really high production values. The quality of character animations is almost flawless, with each toy closely resembling their movie counterpart. In fact, we’d go as far to say there will be times where you will have to do a double take to know if you were actually watching one of the films or playing the game. The sound is also top notch – despite having to recast several characters there is not a single moment where you’ll go “Hey, that doesn’t sound like the Woody I know”. The music is also very inspiring and fits in well with the franchise.

Despite having high production values and being a competent home version of the ride, Toy Story Mania is ultimately just another shallow mini-game compilation for the Wii. The only real attraction here are the shooting galleries, everything else has been done at least a hundred times before which makes the experience feel dull and unimaginative. To top it off, multiplayer support is poorly integrated which is disappointing given there are dozens of better party games available.
The Score
Toy Story Mania is a decent home version of the popular Disneyland and Walt Disney World attraction, but ultimately it’s just another lacklustre mini-game compilation for the Wii. 5
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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2 Comments
4 years ago
I've experienced the Walt Disney World ride and it was soo much fun, through reading this review I agree with the points you've brought up, but because I have experienced the ride the review score (for me) goes up another 2 maybe 3 points

Great review though Joseph
4 years ago
If you have experianced the ride then yes, there is more value to this package as it does a competent job of being a home version. However, most people wouldn't have experianced the ride so it's a little tricky to score and word the review for both markets. But yeah, I can understand that some people would think a little more highly of Toy Story Mania than others.
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| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  1/10/2009 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Madman Interactive (Funtastic)
Genre:
  Family
Year Made:
  2009

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