Let’s get this over with right away: Disney Infinity is dead. It’s been cancelled. It’s over. My fucking heart is broken.
When the first Disney Infinity game came out, I tried to resist it. I really did. But I am such an easy mark for Disney-related shit that the siren song of collectible figurines which work in conjunction with an open-ended crossover-heavy video game eventually got me. I think I held off for like a week past its release date. Now, just a couple of years later, I’ve got this going on:
If you’re keeping track, as of this writing, I own every single Disney Infinity figure except one. I’m missing Fear. I’ll get him eventually.
If you’re not familiar with how Disney Infinity works (sigh… worked), well it’s kind of difficult to explain. The marketing pegged it as a “platform” rather than a singular “game” and while there are a few flaws in that description, it’s more or less true. The best way to sum it up is to say that Disney Infinity is composed of two major concepts: Playsets (stand-alone traditional video game campaigns, which are released with corresponding toys) and The Toy Box (a construction/game-building tool similar to Minecraft or LittleBigPlanet). Disney Infinity 3.0 is the third game in the series, and while it features elements from several different Disney-owned franchises, it is primarily Star Wars themed.
Since The Nintendo Resolution is focused on “beating” games, I wasn’t quite sure how something like Disney Infinity, with all its different modes and experiences, would fit into that. At what point could I truly say I had “beaten” the game? The honest answer is “never” but since I’ve finished all the major playsets – and the game has been goddamn cancelled, ensuring that there will be no more content added in the future – I consider it beaten. Here’s what I’ve done:
INSIDE OUT PLAYSET
For whatever reason, the Inside Out playset was the first one I grabbed after purchasing the game. While every prior Disney Infinity playset has had a sort of open-world GTA-Lite structure, Inside Out is a traditional “get from Point A to Point B” platformer, with a bunch of puzzly shit along the way. It actually reminded me a lot of the great old Disney platformers from the 16-bit era, like Aladdin or The Lion King. I talked in my Manos write-up about how much I enjoy the goofy tropes of licensed platform games, and I was delighted to see most of those tropes show up in Inside Out. “The character in the movie makes a joke about not liking broccoli? Okay, fuck it, all the enemies are walking broccoli monsters!”
The Inside Out playset is also unique in the way the gameplay is built around the abilities of the individual characters. In all previous playsets, the characters were pretty much interchangeable. You could choose to fly to a rooftop with Iron Man or scale the walls with Spider-Man, but the game was built to accommodate every character equally. Here, each of the five Inside Out characters have unique abilities, which levels and puzzles are built around. It’s definitely possible to beat the game with just one character (I know because I did just that), but it’s a hell of a lot more difficult, especially if you’re trying to 100% it.
STAR WARS PLAYSETS
Star Wars is the main attraction in Disney Infinity 3.0, and as such there are three playsets dedicated to it. Rise Against the Empire is based on the original trilogy, Twilight of the Republic focuses on the prequels and the Clone Wars TV show, and you can probably guess what The Force Awakens is all about.
The Star Wars playsets follow the same open-world formula as past Disney Infinity content, and they’re by far the best things in this game (Rise Against the Empire being the best of the best). Exploring these familiar settings in this format is delightful, even when the game makes some egregious changes to Star Wars lore. Like, remember when Luke first met Ben Kenobi, accompanied by Han and Chewie??
This one is barely worth mentioning. It’s a lame, half-assed fighting game in the style of Super Smash Bros, except in 3D arenas. It’s fun for ten minutes, but it takes, like, fifteen minutes to beat it.
The final playset released was another platformer, this one adding a swimming mechanic to the mix. I usually despise underwater segments in platformers, but this one worked surprisingly well and I ended up loving it. It doesn’t hurt that the graphics are breathtakingly beautiful.
TOY BOX GAMES
In addition to the traditional playsets, Disney Infinity 3.0 introduced a concept called “Toy Box Games.” There were two of these smaller games, a dungeon-crawler called Toy Box Takeover and a Mario Kart clone called Toy Box Speedway. While most playsets only allow you to use characters from the franchise they’re based upon (Star Wars characters only in the Star Wars playsets, for instance), the Toy Box Games are franchise mash-ups which allow you to use any characters.
The first of these, Toy Box Takeover, is a dungeon crawler which ended up being one of my favorite elements of Disney Infinity 3.0. The second, Toy Box Speedway, is a Mario Kart clone with confounding controls that I never really got the hang of. It’s sad because I’ve wanted an awesome new Disney racing game ever since playing Magical Racing Tour on the PS1, but this one just didn’t do it for me. I never imagined racing around Agrabah and Halloween Town could be boring and annoying, but it turns out I was wrong.
So that covers all the playsets, but as I said earlier, those are only half of the Disney Infinity experience.
THE TOY BOX
The Toy Box is where you can use all the resources and building blocks you’ve unlocked to create sprawling worlds and games of your own design. I didn’t bother much with this feature in the first two Infinity games, but for some reason I went absolutely nuts with it this time. I spent hours and days meticulously crafting elaborate set pieces, both exterior and interior. Because I’ll probably never get another chance to show these creations off, here are some of them:
New Derkins City, my bustling hub world, to which all my other creations are linked:
A dope-ass video arcade:
Avengers HQ, where I caught Venom and Beta Ray Bill making out with each other:
The Haunted Mansion:
The Forest Moon of Endor:
The Jungle Cruise:
An unfinished Camp Crystal Lake:
I obsessed over these creations – it was all I did for weeks. They are all much larger and more detailed than these pictures show, and they are all connected via my hub world. I am pretty goddamned proud of them, so thank you for indulging me.
But anyway, it was all for nothing, right? Disney Infinity is no more. The toys on my shelf will never make any more new friends. There is very little meaning left in my life. Just vantablack emptiness where my soul used to be. Have a magical day!
The Last Door