On Launch Day (Sept. 23rd in the U.S.), I managed to devote my day to Disney Infinity 2.0….playing the game myself, but also getting the chance to see my kids (10-year old son and 8-year old daughter) get their hands on it as well. Below are my lengthy thoughts and feelings from Day 1 of play:
Playsets — At this point, I have played in Avengers for 1 hour and Spider-Man for 30 minutes (watched my kids play Spider-Man more than I actually got to). I’m obviously not very far into the game yet…but here goes: If I had not read any reviews about the playsets, my Day 1 commentary would be completely positive. At this point, I have had a blast in the playsets. I have played a lot of LEGO games (which I enjoy) and noticed I quickly went into destroy-everything mode as I charged through Avengers Tower, picking up blue sparks everywhere I could. JARVIS quipping in my ear was really cool and the music was well done. The ENTIRE time I was playing through the Tower mission, I felt this sense of urgency — between the music and the alarms going off, I really felt like I’ve got to stay focused…bad things are going to happen if I don’t get the job done (and yet I still destroyed everything in sight to get my sparks).
Once I got outside, I had fun out in the open world where I could breathe, ride a motorcycle and chop down some more baddies.
I have acquired probably 75% of the crossover coins at this point…they are not hard to come across, but still got me very excited every time I found one (love the dialogue that comes with them).
Found a couple bonus boxes (can’t believe there are 100 of these guys floating around!). At this point, I don’t know what they do, but I want them all!!!
I have played one challenge (a motorcycle race) and really like the new style — more like 1.0 Adventures than 1.0 Challenges. Instead of making me do the Challenge 3+ times to get my Easy, Medium, and Hard completions…you can earn Bronze, Silver, or Gold anytime you play as long as you hit the appropriate goals. I generally enjoyed playset challenges in 1.0; so I believe that enjoyment will carry-forward in 2.0 [I am definitely going to need to learn the cityscape better so I can maximize my efficiency]
While playing with my daughter, we discovered a Vs. Mode at the top of Avengers Tower. You may not ‘get’ anything out of performing this, but it sure was a ton of fun getting to have a PvP moment in the midst of a well-designed playset. [For the record, my 8-year old daughter and I ended up in a tie…I’m already plotting my vengeance]
So, that’s basically my playset time — I ‘may’ eventually be disappointed in the total story time (as I have read many complaints about so far)…but simply based on what I have done so far and where I am currently at in the game, I am Loving it!
The skill trees are really exciting as well. I love that at least one of the special moves can be purchased pretty quickly. I am loving these special moves. They have turned me into a game-player who is obsessed with 2 things — Purple sparks (I feel like I’m constantly needing to get my figure juiced back up again) and Hordes of Enemies — so I can watch the Beauty That Is a special move taking out multiple enemies in one fell-swoop and then rejoicing in the barrage of multi-colored sparks that are all mine to collect, afterwards.
The variability of character skills already has me thinking about how/when I want to use certain characters. I watched my kids play some of the Spider-Man playset before I got a chance…when it came my turn, I decided to start with Nick Fury — seemed to me that Spidey’s web-slinging and Nova’s flying were more of a hindrance inside of a building — I’ll focus on those two characters more when I get into the wide-open New York landscape.
So…I am a big fan of the additions that have been made to 2.0 figures. I’ve always enjoyed leveling up figures, but it really has a purpose now and truly makes the process enjoyable and desirable [I can see that next special move in the horizon and I really want the points to go get it!] :geek out:
Toy Box Game Discs
I have had an opportunity to play the training session and the first level of both the Assault on Asgard and Escape from the Kyln game discs. During the first level of the Asgard ‘tower defense’, I made it to Wave 4 — allowed myself to get distracted — and lost. Maybe that’s a good thing. My respect for the Frost Giants has gone up (I had too much Thor-like self-confidence apparently) and will make sure I do a better job of using my turrets and other weapons in the future. With that said, the gameplay was very fun and I look forward to tackling these levels more in the future.
More importantly, I had the opportunity to watch my son play through the first level later on in the day. And this hurts me to say it…but he totally made me look like an amateur. Only once (at the beginning when he was still figuring things out) was his precious Asgardian item ever in danger. He had his weapons lined up in a way to maximize Frost Giant annihilation and just mowed through each Wave with ease. The best part was the little clap he would give as each wave completed — I could tell he was enjoying the game and really getting a sense of accomplishment out of his success.
Escape from the Kyln – My expectations were high for this game disc…ever since the April 30th announcement, this has looked like a blast. With one level down, I still believe this assessment to be true. I played with Rocket Raccoon [and his key-finding sidekick]. I was very impressed with the length of this one level and that you really have to keep track of where you are, what you need to acquire next, and oh yeah…avoid the barrage of baddies that are waiting everywhere. With the variety of skills between figures (as previously stated), I really enjoy the combat side of 2.0 and this game disc is a perfect place to vent your toy-power aggression.
I do still need to get a better handle on how reviving works. My sidekick was defeated toward the end of the level and I attempted to revive him. The process took long enough that I ended up dying in the process [really hacked me off, too…but at least it gave me a chance to put Groot on the portal and have fun with his crazy, cool maneuvers].
These two game discs look to be a blast and I’m excited that I have many more levels on each one to progress through, let alone testing the variability of gameplay through multiple plays with different figures. [Later on in the life-cycle of 2.0, I have a feeling I will be running through these levels with different figures to track their scores – create my own little game disc tournaments, I’m thinking]
The Toy Box
I actually spent more Day 1 time in the Toy Box than I initially planned. Some of that time was spent on a quick session of adding all my 1.0 figures and playsets to 2.0. I was rushing through this process, but stopped on two figures – Wreck-It Ralph and Holley (wanted to check out a Cars figure) – to see their skill trees. I’ll start with Holley, where I was curious what kind of “new skills” they could actually come up with for the vehicle figures. For the most part, you are adding value (I suppose) to their weapons, health, boost ability, and jump ability. I picked some skills for Holley but have yet to test them. It will be interesting to see whether these are just skills in name or if they come across as true upgrades to the Cars characters. For Ralph, I was pleased with the new items they were able to give the old 1.0 figures – things like power slams, super jumps, increased damage… These may not be huge additions, but it is still great to see your old figure do something new AND I feel like this is a good step in making sure 1.0 figures can try to compete at the level of 2.0 figures.
After some Marvel gameplay and getting 1.0 figures added, I made sure to check out the ‘updated’ Hall of Heroes and the new Hall of Super Heroes. For me, this was the main area of 2.0 where I came away feeling disappointed. While the new Hall of Heroes is expanded, it somehow feels smaller and less grand in the process. I am hoping that more quality time to roam around will change these feelings. For the Marvel side, though, the area of disappointment is just a MISS to me. I do NOT like the holograms: a) the holograms do a poor job of displaying the likeness of the character…statues look much better and b) the bronze, silver, gold lights at the bottom are a very weak reward for leveling your character to certain points. In 1.0, there was a sense of enjoyment in watching your Bronze statue turn Silver and then returning to the Hall again to watch him/her turn Gold. Now…I get a new light at the bottom of a poorly-displayed hologram. ::shrug::
Introduction to the Toy Box – This was another enjoyable aspect for me. First off, as a big Disney fan, it was very enjoyable to get to interact with various Disney townspeople…and they did a great job of picking which characters would be your Hosts for certain areas of the Toy Box. What did this introduction section accomplish? At a very basic level, it did a good job of introducing players to new aspects of 2.0 and for a brand new player to even more basic aspects of the game that as old-timers take for granted. The reward of unlocking new toys helped keep a “completionist” like myself excited about moving forward through the tutorials to see what prize I would get next (hint: the 2nd prize and the last prize were the really exciting ones for this guy). Beyond the basics, this Introduction does a great job of showing you little tidbits of what is possible in Toy Box 2.0 – things like a beautiful Agrabah scene, luscious jungle environment, a playful cityscape, the new treehouse, and even the new upgrades to rail slides and track pieces. On top of all that, there was even the opportunity to keep fighting bad guys and continue earning My Precious colorful sparks.
As part of this introduction, you get a chance to follow Cogsworth into the MyINterior portion of the new Toy Box 2.0. This was my least favorite part of the day to be stuck with being the tag-along 2nd player…but when it was my turn to go through the Interiors tutorial, I had a blast. There are so many awesome Disney townspeople running around and so many wonderful unlocks that could potentially send a Disney fanatic into Excitement Overload. I predict MANY-an-hour in the future in which my 10-year old and 8-year old will spend building INteriors toy boxes, creating houses of varied levels of imagination. It’s going to be great! Personally, I did not finish this section of the tutorials, so look forward to progressing further and unlocking more awesome toys.
Speaking of awesome toys, I am really pleased with the new Toy Store system that has been implemented. Instead of random vault spins, I can gather sparks during gameplay (thank you LEGO games for teaching me to bash everything) and surf through the numerous pages of toys in the store to start collecting the toys I want the most – and right now, I really want BUILDERS! Toward the end of the day, I thought I had a lot of spark currency (approximately 13,000). I wiped that all out quickly during a shopping binge to buy some Race Track builders and the ‘monkey’ Rails helper. It pleases me to know that there are still a whole lot more toys that I can strive to purchase as I gather more blue sparks in the days ahead.
As for the Toy Box itself – the Toy Box as we 1.0ers generally think about it – starting with a blank landscape and building our own worlds… I honestly did spend much time in this section of the game → my focus being on structured gameplay, tutorials, and unlocking more Toy Box items. I’ve seen enough, though, to feel confident in saying that Toy Box 2.0 is going to be awesome…potentially even EPIC. I was initially concerned about the inability to use the wonderful builders that were shown to us back at the big 2.0 reveal; later discovering that you unlock/purchase these builders as you progress through the game (whew!)
What I have seen in just a few minutes that made me/my family excited = a) the enemy generator seems to have been beefed up a little better AND with these new Marvel figures/skill trees, I could have hours of fun just battling a constant barrage of baddies (you may have noticed a theme with me…) and b) the first time my son discovered a 1.0 building set that had been upgraded was quite a joy – he had placed down Doof’s Evil Inc. building and noticed an INfinity button at the bottom. He eagerly ran over to press it and was quite pleased to sit that the top of Doof’s building can now open and close. It may not be much, but it is a simple upgrade that helps bring the Toy Box to life that much more.
I did try to take a little time on Day 1 to venture into some of the Downloadable Content. My first attempt was ‘Fight Fighters’. You had me at Gravity Falls, Community Team…well-played. While neatly-designed, the downfall of this toy box is that it is almost unplayable as 2-person co-op on the same TV. Absolutely no viewing space to see what you are doing…hopefully it plays much better in online co-op. I also played the MightyGitis ‘I.Am.Groot.’ toy box. I recall seeing this one from Toy Box Summit so was happy to get to play it for myself. Flying around in the Milano was a blast…plus this is such a beautifully designed toy box. There are currently 8 more available and am looking forward to playing the rest, including the new ones that will come out weekly…AND I HAVEN’T EVEN CHECKED OUT ANY OF MY FRIENDS’ SHARED TOY BOXES YET! So much content in 2.0 – not sure how I’m going to handle it.
Lastly, I would like to discuss power discs. My family opened 13 power disc packs on Launch Day. To start, I am really pleased with the distribution I am seeing so far. The likelihood coming across duplicates (especially within a single box) seem to be much lower. Out of 26 discs, we got 22 unique power discs…so only 4 duplicates…and 2 of those 22 were rares (Yondu and Ghost Rider). Beyond that, though, I feel that the DI team has stepped up the value of power discs for 2.0
In 1.0, I was excited about power discs, but ended up using them less often than I expected. Powers ended up being ignorable. I picked two that gave me the alchemy combo I desired and just always used those same two round discs. The toys were cool, but most of the weapons ended up being beaten out by toys I unlocked in the game. My favorite toys were horses and vehicles – but overall, my favorite 1.0 power discs were Customization pieces; the ability to change the appearance of a toybox with new terrains and skydomes.
In 2.0, we are still getting great customization discs, but the value of the circular discs has definitely increased. Costume discs are a blast – I get to see some of my characters in a different look without having to go out and buy a variant figure. Team-ups are a ton of fun and will quickly become go-to power discs for my everyday gameplay. Why in the world would I ‘not’ play with a team-up player warming-up to come assist me at some point. White Tiger is cool; Yondu takes care of business; but watching Ant Man shrink, grow, and pummel is the Real Deal. On top of that, we now have event discs that you can put under your character as well. Instead of bland powers, these are discs that provide tangible (and cool!) assistance when you need it the most.
Geek-tastic moment: Upgrading your figure to have a special move…having a team-up disc under you…and an event disc as well – the opportunities for Epic Enemy Evisceration are so awesome.
In conclusion, I spent a full day either playing or getting to see my kids play 2.0 and we barely scratched the surface…but what I scratched has me itching to spend countless hours in the days, weeks, months ahead playing this New and Improved version of Disney Infinity.
Playsets look beautiful and are fun so far – I’m exciting about hunting down the hundreds of collectibles and trying to perfect my skills in the various challenges.
Toy Box Game Discs are a blast. Gameplay is fun and challenging – plus this area really convinces me that I need to get better at my gameplay and increase my character skills so I can prove my worthiness on the field.
Toy Box 2.0 is mammoth – so many awesome new toys; excellent new logic pieces and templates; great additions to old pieces – plus, INteriors, Door Linking, and Builders!! And now I can get a hold of even more community content than before!
Power Discs – yes, they still take up space and they are still in blind packs; but I believe they carry more value and are actually exciting to use now.
Hall of Heroes – well, I guess I had to have something negative to say. Please take away my Marvel holograms.