A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
As in the Toy Story films, the main messages here are about friendship, cameraderie, cooperation, and helping out folks in need.
Positive Role Models
Woody, Buzz, and Jessie -- the three main protagonists -- are paragons of friendship, always ready to help one another out, always wanting everybody they care about to be safe and happy. Woody has a moment of selfishness, but overcomes it by the end.
Ease of Play
There is so much to do here that it's actually difficult to rate the overall ease of play. Some missions are simple enough for almost anyone to handle with ease. Others require the hands (or fingers) of a more experienced, skilled gamer. The game does try to level the playing field for newbies, though, sometimes adjusting its difficulty on the fly. For instance, on one particularly difficult jumping sequence, if you fail three or four times, the game will say, "Having trouble? Try it now." and actually provide you with extra platforms to land on, making the jumps much easier.
Violence & Scariness
There is a lot of cartoony fighting in the Toy Story 3, including multiple instances in which laser guns (or similar fantasy weapons) are used. Some sequences are rife with earth-shaking explosions. Old West bandits fire pistols into the air (never at anybody). Players will destroy robots with blasters, shatter wind-up gargoyles with lightning bolts, fire cannons at flying plush toys, and hurl plastic balls at just about everybody. Players can also shoulder bump, drop-kick, or pick and and throw random toy characters whenever they want. In the Buzz Lightyear video game (within the game), Buzz can be blown to pieces (and immediately regenerated). All of this is mitigated by the characters being toys.
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No bad language, but it's possible in one scene to make Stinky Pete the prospector live up to his name with a whoopie-cushion-esque sound.
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Products & Purchases
Obviously, this game is tied in to the Toy Story 3 feature film -- which is a heavily merchandized movies.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Toy Story 3 video game will certainly appeal to younger kids that fall outside the age recommendation of the ESRB's E10+ rating. Whether or not younger kids can handle the laser fire, explosions, and drop-kicks they'll find in the game is questionable. There's nothing too graphic here, but the action can be loud and frenetic, there are several spooky parts involving a haunted mansion, and seeing Buzz Lightyear get his head blown off -- even if he is a toy, and even if it's only for a nanosecond -- could certainly scare little kids. It's important to know what you're kids would be experiencing before you decide to let them play.
Is It Any Good?
Toy Story 3 is astonishingly good, and undoubtedly one of the best movie-based games ever. The open world Toy Box mode can be a completley different experience for everybody who plays, and offers so much to do and see that kids can expect to be entertained for a good, long while. The story scenes that retell the plot of the film are crafted in a spectacular, non-linear fashion that reward roaming and exploration almost as much as the Toy Box mode. And, wow, is that Toy Box mode good. It contains a seemingly endless list of missions that will have you scaling mountains, tossing bandits in jail, driving a stunt track, costuming a mariachi band, or performing any number of other crazy tasks. The amount of variety is simply stunning; Toy Story 3 features enough game styles to fill a full library -- racing, platform jumping, first-person shooting, third-person shooting, character customization, world building, puzzles, stealth, strategy, and on and on. All that, and the game looks and sounds terrific, with many of the original actors providing voices for the game. This is an absolute winner.
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Our Editors Recommend
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