…on the topic of “Christmas Games”, Disney Infinity was something I bought myself last Fall.
Well, technically, I’d bought an Elsa several months prior, and she was cheerily holding down a spot on a shelf largely covered with plastic maids, but the Marvel set was the impetus to go all-in with the franchise, to the tune of the Avengers set, the Guardians of the Galaxy expansion set, and Hawkeye and Rocket figures just because I hadn’t spent enough money on plastic crap yet.
By “all-in”, of course I mean that I let everything sit, untouched, in its packaging for a couple of months, then hooked it up in late December and played the introductory mission to the point where I got out of Avengers Tower and suddenly had the entirety of Virtual New York to mess around in…
…problem was, it just wasn’t grabbing me, and I wasn’t really sure at any point what I was supposed to be doing.
I downloaded a couple of user-made toy boxes, and had a great time running around those as Elsa, freezing Chetauri and blowing up space bugs from Wreck-It Ralph, but I couldn’t get the enthusiasm up for going back to the Avengers playset – particularly as I’d completely forgotten all of the game tutorials and felt that I should REALLY start over from scratch.
I bought a Tinker Bell, too, somewhere in here.
Then, I had the sudden realization that I’d bought the Guardians of the Galaxy playset at the same time, and it would probably have more or less the same tutorials, and I should maybe give it a go.
That turned out to be the secret. Guardians doesn’t have a Virtual New York, and it doesn’t have Nick Fury yelling at you to do things… but it DOES have a telepathic cosmonaut dog, and it DOES have Rocket Raccoon, and it held my attention a heck of a lot better than the Avengers playset did.
Part of it, I think, is that it’s a lot easier to balance a playset around the Guardians, because none of them have power levels that are THAT crazy compared to the others. Technically, I think you CAN play through the entire Avengers set as Black Widow, but I don’t think I’d recommend it when you have Iron Man and Thor RIGHT THERE.
Anyway, playing the Guardians set helped me get the basic structure down. The playset has a main story quest and several side quests that you can take for extra experience, and you run around the map looking for quest givers and then follow quest markets to blow up things that need blowing up or protecting things that need protecting. It’s very like an MMO, come to think of it.
It took me a little over two hours to blow through the Guardians story, and having gotten the hang of things, it didn’t take too terribly long to finish up the Avengers set.
I did have to drop out of the story mode, go back to toy box, and download an arena sort of thing where I could grind up some levels on Iron Man, but that wasn’t too bad of a side trip. It IS a little weird getting used to the idea that the figures themselves hold the levels & skills.
Anyway, I’m tempted to try some of the Star Wars-themed Disney Infinity 3.0 playsets now. I can reuse the 2.0 base, and the software costs next-to-nothing on PSN, so I think it’s just going to be a matter of waiting for post-Christmas sales to pick up the Luke & Leia set.