First off I just want to state that I have a certain problem with OCD. Even though I told myself that I wouldn’t pick up Disney Infinity 2.0, that I would at least wait until I got a PS4, all of that recently went out the window. With the latest version of the game hitting shelves based on the world of Marvel Super Heroes, it was MORE than difficult not to. Especially when Toys R Us was running a great deal that fateful day.
It’s time to open up The Toy Chest!
Warning: Minor Spoilage Ahead
I picked up the Avengers Starter Set which includes Iron Man, Black Widow, and Thor. I couldn’t deny getting my favorite Avenger, Captain America, so I nabbed him along with my wife’s favorite, Hawkeye. Both of these guys came in single packs. The only character that was left to complete the full Avengers set was The Hulk, he wasn’t available at the time, so I preordered him. How could I not have the whole team, OCD remember? The figure just arrived yesterday, so I had a late session last night trying out the green behemoth. He’s a lot of fun and is only available recently on his own this past week. He originally, exclusively came with the Collector’s Edition from the initial release of Infinity 2.0. After that, the company stated that Hulk would be released post-product release. Here’s the good thing about my OCD, I almost made the mistake of picking up Iron Fist the day I bought the starter set. I’m glad I didn’t, which I will explain in a little bit. Thankfully I opted for the Avengers.
I never had the chance to play the first edition of this game, though I had interest in it. The premise was not enough for me to hand over my hard earned cash to the House of Mouse. Adding the Marvel characters did me in, and I can only imagine what will happen if they do a Star Wars one. I should address the fact that I have played these types of games before, but I’ve never invested in one. I have dibbled and dabbled with Skylanders and I found that game to be a lot of fun and entertaining, as long as I didn’t own it. But with Infinity 2.0, suddenly things made me change my toon. I have always loved action figures and collectibles from my favorite franchises. Marvel is no stranger to my shelves. Infinity has something really special going here as each of these (expensive) figures would look wonderful in a display case.
But there are some things that I have complaints about. One of the great things about Skylanders is that you can use ALL of your figures, mostly anywhere in the game. Unfortunately, this is something that this Marvel version has a hard time doing, or even explaining at first. You kind of have to do some research to understand how the game functions and which character work with what Playsets. For example, all of those 1.0 figures you may have sitting around from the initial release will not work within the world of the Avengers Playset, which is one of the crystal play pieces that you get by buying the starter set or character two packs. This goes back to why I am really glad I initially opted not to pick up Iron Fist. HE DOESN’T WORK WITH THE AVENGERS ONE! Does this surprise you? Even figures within the same release are not compatible across the board.
Now let me explain to you how it works. There are three playsets in total that are currently available, with more on the way I am sure. I mentioned the Avengers one, second is Spider-Man, and the third is the Guardians of the Galaxy. Each Playset is opened up in your game by adding the special crystal play-piece, which you can get by buying the figure two-packs of Spider-Man and Nova and Star Lord and Gamora. Certain figures are cross-compatible with the other Playsets as you can see with this handy-dandy chart:
But in order for you to use this crossover characters, you have to collect character coins that are strewn all over the Playsets. There are 10 in total for each, and they aren’t that hard to find. But this is where my frustrations set in. While I love the fact that you can cross these characters over, why the heck isn’t each and every character able to play in the other worlds? Why am I forced to spend more money to open up these worlds? While the pricing isn’t that vastly different than you would pay for a single figure, these special two-packs are the only way to open up the extra worlds. If I am paying this much money to complete my full set, then why can’t I put Captain America into the world of GOTG, why can’t Star Lord hang with the Avengers? These questions and more hang heavy over my head while I play the game. I made the “mistake” of buying Venom, he’s one of my favorite Marvel characters. This was before I realized that he wouldn’t work with The Avengers. So I ended up buying the Spider-Man two-pack, also giving me a chance to go on another adventure, and totally opening the floodgates of OCD. All of the figures work within the Toybox, including all of the figures from 1.0. Just don’t get your hopes up that Mr. Incredible will be running around NY fighting Frost Giants with Cap. At least not yet. Maybe Disney will fix this eventually. Maybe.
While there are some cool cameos from Wasp, Sif, and Captain Marvel, I still feel that this makes the game seem a little male heavy. When you look at the Marvel figures released so far, we get two females: Black Widow and Gamora. This doesn’t make much sense for a game that should be marketing itself to a wide audience.
But just like the movies based on the same characters, the game is no different. At least we are going to be seeing a Captain Marvel movie, finally a female-led superhero story. Finally. Maybe we’ll get a figure for her then.
The constant split screen during co-op play is very annoying. I really don’t understand why this always has to be the case, especially when your characters are together on the board. This is something that games like the LEGO, and Skylanders do so well. The game is best enjoyed full screen and single player, as I found that with two players attached, the game can get a little buggy at times. I did buy the PS3 version, but in my opinion, this is something that shouldn’t be a factor. Then again, maybe the engine is just a little to heavy for the past-gen consoles.
Is the game fun? Yes, yes it is. The skill tree is very well built and leveling up your characters is one of the best aspects of the game. Especially as you get higher in the levels and you start to see some of the cool super powers each one has. While the game is a little repetitive when it comes to its game play, at least using a new character keeps it mostly fresh; especially when your Hulk starts climbing buildings. I really feel that the game does an excellent job when it comes to giving each character a wide range of character specific powers and abilities.
Marvel superstar scribe Brian Michael Bendis writes the story for all of the Playsets, and will be writing future ones as well. Game play is pretty decent, with three different levels difficulty that you can amp up so that you aren’t just flying through the boards all day. Trust me, this is a major plus; especially since you have to play the game over and over again to build up you characters. There are even times when I will reset the game before I’ve reached the end of the Playset. Infinity only allows for one save slot. This is also something that doesn’t make much sense to me. Maybe it has something to do with the way the data is saved within the figures, I don’t know. But in order for you to take on the final boards you are going to need a few of your characters built up, so just a heads up.
Something that I have not had enough time to truly explore is the Toy Box 2.0. This new version allows for ultimate customization and is where the game really shines. The biggest difference between the two versions is the ability to customize the inside of buildings, called INterior. With an approach similar to The Sims, you can place furniture, plants, and more throughout your property(s). There are model worlds that you can quickly create, featuring templates of a city, castle, a race track, and the woods. Infinity 2.0 hit a home run with this game, and the open world creator speaks to the Minecrafter, in all of us. In this imaginative world(s), you can use ALL of your figures and create the team-ups you’ve been itching for. Venom and Spidey have to save the city, TOGETHER Lethal Protector style! Nova and Rocket Raccoon go to the home world of the Flora Colossus to defend them from a Sakarran attack!
I picked up the three figures from the 1.0 starter set on EBAY at a good price. The set included: Mr. Incredible, Jack Sparrow, and Sully. I wanted to test out how these would work in the new game. Like their Marvel siblings, the 1.0 figures are given skill trees. This adds a nice element of continuing the adventures of classics like Jack Skeleton, Jack Sparrow, annnnd I can’t think of another Jack…..so Wreck it Ralph it is. I probably won’t pick up many of the original figures as their adventures will not work with this new version. But if you were expecting to put all of your figures together and play them WITHOUT LIMITS, then you might want to skip this one until they decide to do an update.
To make up for the complaints that I have about Marvel Infinity 2.0, the game does deliver a satisfying experience. You just have to have the understanding with your wallet, that there will be some cash dropped on it. The beat’em up, button smashing style of game play speaks to the classic arcade gamer in all of us. Disney gives us their take on the Action Figure/Accessory marketing monster, which makes you want to collect every figure; GOTTA HAVE EM ALL! The Power Discs could be an article on their own. I believe there are about 60 add-ons for Marvel alone, so just imagine the customizing options that could be! I have a Side-Kick token on the way that will open up a Winter Soldier team-up! There’s even one that gives you Ghost Rider’s chain. Yeah, that’s what I said! Just think, sidekicks, costumes, weapons, and more. Stack them up to add more bonuses. Disney knows how to make money, so keep your eyes peeled for sales opportunities, such as Black Friday next month! Save yourself a buck or two, because once you start you won’t stop. If you have kids, it makes owning this game even better, and more justifiable.