Disney Infinity 2.0: Post-Script.
While the second iteration of Disney Infinity came out during the Fall of last year, it takes a few months for all of the content and figurines to roll out, meaning that it’s not quite a “complete” experience for a while. And while the final two figures made their reveal a few months back, and talk of the third iteration (Star Wars) is already well underway, I wanted to be sure that I had as “complete” an experience that I could in order to properly review this game.
The focus on 2.0 is the Marvel Super Hero Universe. Everything Marvel (save for two very notable franchises) are present in some form or fashion of the game, now alongside the previous Disney content. Ever wanted to have an adventure with Captain America and Buzz Lightyear? Spider-Man and Stitch? Hulk and Donald Duck? Well, now the option is available, and it’s as goofy and brilliant as you hoped it would be.
Disney Infinity 2.0 is less a sequel, and more an expansion. Everything you liked about the first game (save for playset access) now acts as the foundation for a slew of new content. The Avengers, Spider-Msn and Guardians of the Galaxy now all have their own playsets, and as one would hope all the new characters play true to form and act as they should. The “clone” aspect of the first game that plagued sets like Cars, Pirates, Monsters University, and most notably Toy Story isn’t here. Characters now do what you would expect them to do, and with the leveling system being upgraded, it actually does something more than add a number. Players can now customize their characters attacks, speed, special moves. and more. 1.0 characters get some minor attention, but the focus is on the new characters.
The new Disney characters, introduced a few months later, have these enhancements, and are true to personality. The introductory movie and character intros when you place a figure on the base is still as charming as it was before, and while the Disney side is sparse in terms of available characters (9 total), each one of them are solid fan favorites.
There are new options, two of the biggest being INteriors, and Toy Box Games. INteriors are basically creating a house that you can place in a Toy Box, and acts as your base or home. Rooms can be built, stacked, and decorated with a variety of Marvel and Disney items, and what franchises were lacking in the first game, are better represented here. Toy Box games add more game elements past the playsets for those who don’t want to build their own playsets.
Speaking of playsets, the three chosen are a mixed bag. Avengers and Ultimate Spider-Man are both set in New York City, so the elements are a little too similar for their own good. The most unique one falls to Guardians of the Galaxy, which was done by Studio Gobo (they did the Pirates set, as well as the upcoming Star Wars Classic Trilogy set). What sets lack in diversity, they do provide some good Toy Box pieces.
There are, however, a few problems with Marvel’s content. It simply doesn’t have the creative flair of the Disney themes. 2.0 focuses on just three aspects of the Marvel Universe, with two of the sets being too similar to each other. Due to Fox having the movie rights for X-Men and Fantastic Four, Disney, regardless of having the comic and animation rights refuses to acknowledge the two series’ existence in any way, which hurts the content, as a lot of the more unique items stem from these more fantastical scenarios. This means no mutants like Deadpool, and no Doctor Doom. Until the film rights revert back to Disney, I don’t see either of these series getting acknowledgement in the near future (for that matter, the two teams have all but been axed from the new comic continuity).
That’s not to say that the Marvel content is completely lacking. It provides more “real world” elements that can be used for building Toy Boxes, and even with the legal limitations, there is a lot to work with. The Disney side of the content expands previous content for series like Tron, Beauty and the Beast, Nightmare Before Christmas, and some theme park content. It’s A Small World is now disc-based skies and terrain, and the Space Mountain piece is one of the most enjoyable examples of the new toys.
There are problems with 2.0, ranging from gift item boxes getting permanently stuck in floors a weaker selection of music (Darkwing Duck’s Ratcatcher bike should play the show’s theme song, and it’s fairly inexcusable that the Electrical Main Street Parade vehicle lacks its ultra peppy music). Unfortunately, music as a whole is weaker in this version, and less memorable than the first iteration (exceptions being Lion King and Small World sky discs) Some items to purchase require too much of the in-game currency (called “Sparks”) Want the Hitchhiking Ghosts in front of your Haunted Mansion? The first two are cheap. The third one to complete the set costs a whopping 100,000 Sparks. And of course, when marketing gets involved, “brilliant” ideas like making Tron figures digital only for the iOS/PC versions backfired into an event the community referred to as “Trongate”. To their credit, the powers that be worked quickly to correct this issue, so now Sam Flynn and Quorra will be physical figures in 3.0.
The community really stands out for this game, and as I said before, the ones who run this digital show do listen to the fans, and provide regular streams of content. Everything from Toy Box Tales (episodic, character-driven adventures), or the “Disneyland Project”, which invited the community to create rides to place within a digital recreation of the theme park. These pieces of distributed content really do help to extend the life of the game as the countdown for 3.0 continues.
Overall, the improvements are good additions, and while the Marvel side is hampered by some legal bickering, the characters themselves are great choices and are fun to play. The Disney side cuts loose a little more in terms of content with some obscure additions like Gus the football kicking mule, and a V.I.N.C.E.N.T. townsperson from The Black Hole.
Disney Infinity 2.0 adds some much needed additions, but ultimately feels like a small part of the greater whole. I think the content and characters will fully hit their stride with all the new additions that 3.0 is promising, so while this expansion is already making room for its successor, what it brought to the table is still worth picking up.
Just make sure you have lots of shelves to display your figures. My collection has grown exponentially from the original game.
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