E3: Toy Story Mania (Wii) Preview
Posted by Mark Salmela on 06.04.2009
Hands-On: 411's Mark Salmela tries out the first Toy Story game for the Wii
In anticipation of Toy Story 3, which will be released in June 2010, Disney is developing a Toy Story Wii title. Toy Story Mania is a multiplayer party game which will feature a variety of mini-games based off of actual rides and games at Disney Land. The first game shown for the Wii was a ring toss mini-game which involved pointing the Wiimote at the screen to aim and pushing the A button to shoot rings at objects. Objects were plentiful as there were aliens, planets, bowling pins, and a whole lot of other things to toss rings at to gain points. Occasionally one of the planets would spin around revealing a super bonus point area.
While the graphics are pretty far along I must say the motion controls were having some problems. It could have been interference or a poor Wiimote but the game had a lot of trouble picking up my motions and movements across the screen. It wasn't a huge problem but only due to the fact that there were dozens of objects on screen at all times to toss rings on, so it wasn't as if I was failing anyways. As I said this isn't necessarily a problem with the game itself, but from personal experience the motion controller just wasn't properly picking up my motions and always stayed in the top half of the screen.
The second mini-game shown was a puzzle game in Boom-Blox style that involved throwing a ball at the screen to knock down rotating platforms with various Toy Story objects standing on them. In traditional fashion the game is best played by aiming the ball at the bottom of the pillar of standing objects so when you throw the ball everything will come crashing down. In this sense the physics worked great and everything was fine.
But on the other hand deciding where you wanted to aim the ball to be thrown and locking it into position was not as easy. In theory a simple press of the A button on the Wiimote will pick the ball up and a press of the B trigger will lock your aiming position after moving it around with the Wiimote motion sensor. But something just didn't work as everyone who was playing the demo including myself had trouble getting the locked position to stay in tact and not reset itself when we went to throw the ball, which is completed by a hard flick of the wrist towards the screen. It seems over 1/2 the time the locked aiming position would re-set itself and force the player to reset where they want to place the ball.
The game is still early in development and most likely won't be released until next year. While the mini-games have potential to be a fun tie-in to the amusement park rides and the 3rd movie there are currently some issues with the controls.