By Leo Stevenson
If you've played Disney Infinity you know what to expect from "Toy Story in Space." Whether that's a good or bad thing depends on how you felt about the main package. If you weren't really a fan then this new Play Set is going to do nothing to change your mind. If you're like me however and absolutely adore Disney Infinity, you're going to have a lot of fun with this new pack.
Taking a different route than the tired and true Toy Story universe, "Toy Story in Space" is set within the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger world. Those cute little Pizza Planet aliens are in danger from a violent space volcano and it's up to Buzz, Woody, Jessie and Bullseye to help them out. The Play Set includes Jesse and Buzz, but Woody is sold separately. Cheeky Disney. Tapping right into my collector's sensibility. Also featuring in the Play Set are Rex and Hamm, voiced by both Wallace Shawn and John Ratzenberger respectively. While stand-ins did a fairly great job in past Play Sets and do so for other characters in "Toy Story in Space", having the actual voice actors for these two characters adds a certain sense of authenticity that simply can't be beaten.
Gameplay is what you've come to expect from an Infinity Play Set. There's capsules to collect, Toy Box toys to unlock, items to be fetched, walls to be scaled and platforms to be...er...platformed. It doesn't do anything new or introduce any new and shiny mechanics and that's ok. The core of the Infinity experience is represented and it's still a whole lot of fun. This Play Set is a very close contender for the best in game to be honest. It takes elements from each of the preceding Play Sets and mixes them into a seamless whole. About the only thing it doesn't tackle is the sailing from Pirates of the Caribbean, but that would just be silly now wouldn't it.
One minor new addition to the Play Set are the goo pits which shrink or grow your character depending on which colour goo you stand in. In certain sections you'll need to shrink or grow your character to access certain otherwise inaccessible areas, but there's no real puzzle or trick to them. It's simply a case of standing in the correct colour goo, becoming the appropriate size and proceeding forwards. The goo wears off after a few seconds, but not so quickly that you need to rush. It's fun to see your characters change size at first, but it doesn't fundamentally change the way you play. The goo blaster does become available in the Toy Box, so it will be interesting to see what the community can come up with.
The most fun to be had is with the jet and rocket packs which allow you zoom around the world. Once I had these I barely went back to walking unless it was absolutely necessary. There are even some challenges based around the packs. While the challenges have been fairly easy in the past, it was nice to see that the difficulty of some of them in this Play Set were amped up. Just a little. As you progress though the story you gain access to new buildings -- like in Cars and The Incredibles -- with the power to build them when and in any combination you want. These provide a few handy benefits. Nothing which impacts the gameplay in a major way, but they do provide some fun distractions. Rounding up injured aliens and hurling them into the hospital is always good for a laugh.
"Toy Story in Space" is actually quite funny and I even found myself laughing our loud a few times. This is mostly due to the excellent voice work from Rex and Hamm, but also simply because Toy Story holds a place in my heart. If you have Disney Infinity I'd recommend picking up "Toy Story in Space." It's fun, funny and another great addition. The toys themselves look great and really walk that line between collectible and toy. Adding new items and toys to the Toy Box is always a bonus and with the new toys unlocked through this playset I daresay there'll be some awesome new Toy Boxes on the way very soon.