Hello, Disney Infinity. Goodbye, money, shelf space and kid's boredom.
Look, I've talked about how much I adore the Skylanders franchise and everything about it, from the games themselves to the collecting of the figures, and everything in between. How much money I invested into that franchise for youngest boy, and also myself, is ridiculous when you put it into context, but that's not to say it wasn't worth every penny. The amount of joy and fun we both got out of it, from playing the games, to talking about the universe and hunting down the newest figures is something you couldn't put a price tag on. All that, from a franchise with no history or backstory to support any sort true love for the characters. No nostalgia, no memories, nothing.
That's where Disney stepped in and said, "Hey, there is a market for video games with NFC (Near Field Connection) collectible figurines, and if people are willing to go this crazy over characters they have never heard of, imagine what we could do with our Disney characters!"
And thus, Disney Infinity was created. When it was announced, people automatically jumped to the assertion that they were just trying to capitalize on the Skylanders success. Well, duh! Of course they were. That's called business. They saw a growing market and wanted to join in on it, knowing that they could not only add something different to it, but maybe something even better. Can you really blame them for liking money?
When assessing my love for Skylanders with the addition for my deep-seeded affinity for everything Disney, deciding to jump into this game wasn't much of a question at all. Only question was how I was going to jump into the pool. Was I going to slowly ease myself in from the shallow in, allowing my body to adjust to the change in temperature, or would I jump into the deep end, all at once? Well, after 235 days here at TheNoyse.com, you should know me pretty well by now.
I executed a perfect cannonball.
I got the starter pack, first of all. I had a tough decision on whether to get it for my Wii U or the PS3, but ultimately I think I made the right choice. At first I thought about the easy trophies I could compile on the PS3 version, but because I hope to keep my Wii U around and plugged in longer than my PS3, I went with the future in mind for which platform to get the game for. Plus, the GamePad is used as a second screen for inventory and menus and such, so I'm fairly happy with which direction I went.
On top of that, I also got the Sidekicks and Villains packs, which have three figures each in them, along with the Cars play pack and the Lone Ranger play pack. Also, I got the remaining singles characters that I was missing from my collection, meaning I got every single character available at launch. Remembering how hard it was sometimes to get Skylanders after they were released, I didn't want to take the chance of this happening with Infinity. As much as like the thrill of going out and hunting down the figures at various stores, almost daily, I decided to go the easier route. Plus, with the launch-week sales of the figures, it was too hard to pass up.
Also, one thing Infinity is doing that Skylanders hasn't attempted, is the concept of blind booster packs. While you know every character you are buying (thankfully, considering how expensive they are), they have power discs for the game that add special abilities or power-ups to characters, or even toys, gadget, vehicles and creation objects for the sandbox part of the game. These discs come two-to-a-pack, in what looks like trading card packaging. You can't see which discs you are getting, which is a bummer, because after a few packs you start to compile a collection of duplicate discs that really serve no purpose. I can't wait for a solution to this problem to come about, hopefully in the way of a trading site or even a trade-in programs at stores. That would be awesome, but also maybe just a pipe-dream.
With so many figures and discs to collect, it's already troublesome trying to keep up with them all when trying to fulfill your collection. With that being said, a freelance game journalist that I know through Twitter took it upon himself to create a handy website to keep track of your collection. His name is Alex Rubens, and you can find his handy-dandy checklist website over at: DisneyInfinityChecklist.com.
Anyway, I haven't gotten super-deep into the game itself yet, but from what I have played so far, between the story/adventure part of the game and the toybox creation mode, I can say without hesitation that I am glad I invested into this game, and franchise, already. Now I can't wait to have my kids over so they can enjoy the game with me. It's easier to justify then.
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