It is really clear from the announcement of Disney Infinity 3.0 that the team behind the game wanted to take what they did from 2.0 and improve upon almost everything, one such area were the Toy Box games. In 2.0 there were two games, Escape from the Kyln and Brave Forest Siege, which presented players with an isometric view point and had them explore vast locations, taking a fair bit of inspiration from Diablo and other games of that genre, in 3.0 they wanted to take that initial concept and expand it out even further.
The story is simple, Mickey Mouse has discovered a magic wand and made a special place, he then adds all his friends to the world, but then Syndrome shows up and is promptly assaulted with frying pans, fish and even a pineapple. After Syndrome proclaims he feels left out, because is the only bad guy, he takes the wand for himself and sets about having his own version of fun. The story is pretty light-hearted and does not attempt to take itself too seriously and that is a good thing, Syndrome is the right bad guy for the role and the others that do appear also fit into the story really well.
The big change up here from the 2.0 games is that the worlds are much more varied and offer a lot of places to explore, the first world is pirate themed, with Davy Jones the final boss, other worlds include the Old West, Death Star and New York City, each of the locations is different enough that they don’t feel like re-skins of the other and they all offer up fun things to do. The Death Star level has you piloting a AT-ST around for a bit, which you can then use to blow up some Tie Fighters, it’s quite the fun experience and helps break up the combat that is pretty common up to that point.
Another aspect of the game that I liked was that hidden throughout each of the worlds are three coins, that when you collect them, you unlock a special toy for your own use in the Toy Box, the first coins are usually easy to find, but then it became a nice challenge trying to locate the others as you move around the level. Speaking of challenge, as someone who has played a lot of Disney Infinity before, I put the difficulty on the first world to hard, lost a few characters but still had a great time, for world two I upped it to extreme and the name tells the truth, in total I went through 12 characters, twice, meaning they died twice each, the level of challenge I got from that was so great, which is something I did not expect.
Most of my characters are level 20, so I assumed it would be a nice cake walk, nothing too hard, unless there were a lot of enemies on screen at once, but it turns out I was wrong, I learnt the hard way that extreme is for those who want to test their combat prowess and while for the remaining worlds I dropped back to hard, I am going to complete it on extreme in the future. I keep talking about worlds, but there is more to the game than just moving through the four worlds, as you defeat each boss and return to the main world, Syndrome wisks you away to unknown locations and has you complete a series of tasks, some of them are just as straight forward as defeating a number of enemies, others will impose restrictions on you, like using Mabel’s kitten gloves or not being able to leave a vehicle.
Now sadly we must talk about the issues with Toybox Takeover, the biggest is the camera, due to the isometric view point, you will always have to adjust the camera to make sure you can see where you are going. When you do this, any object, wall or such in the way of the camera’s view of your character will go transparent, but it’s not a good type of transparent, if there is enough space between the two points the objects are still made visible, but when the camera gets closer they disappear completely. The problem I had with this is while you can still see through it, it leaves edges and other elements in place, which gives it a glitched out feeling.
The other problem with the camera is that when you move downscreen, unless you turn the camera you will eventually not be able to see anything and during combat this can be quite the frustrating experience when enemies are attacking you and you can see them, attempting to deal with fighting and the camera is something that we should not have to deal with. The final issue that I have with Toybox Takeover is the length, it falls into only a few hours of gameplay and while repeat visits are likely to happen, it feels like there could have been more done to expand the length. One slight problem is that every single character is promised for use in the mode, except the Cars characters are not compatible, as they themselves don’t have weapons they are unable to attack and thus not compatible.
Toybox Takeover is a fun game, it offers up quite a lot of challenge, both fun and frustrating kinds, but the length of the game and awkward camera controls stop it from being greater than it is, though anyone who gets it will find enjoyment.