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The first Toy Story was an instant classic which changed animation forever. However, its sequel, Toy Story 2, is so utterly exceptional in so many ways that it deserves nothing less than to be referred to as absolute, solid-gold perfection. To me, this is it. The greatest movie in the history of cinema.
Toy Story 2 is a tale unlike any other, a story overflowing with excellent moments and surprises of every kind. Every single character is funny, wonderfully witty and fits into the story perfectly, with their every line of dialogue memorable. Every single scene, from the explosive opening to the thrilling, heartfelt climax, is an utter delight and absolutely essential to the movie's rich and beautiful tapestry. There's not a single moment that feels out of place. The adventure to find Woody is so incredibly fun, hilarious and gloriously detailed that it's impossible for me to criticise any facet of it. It's just so monumentally likable, involving and varied that it never runs out of steam. Every character gets their chance to shine, every one of its themes are universally identifiable, and its messages are unforgettably poignant and never cease to inspire me.
While the first Toy Story's animation looks ever so slightly dated now, Toy Story 2's is nowhere near dated. It's remarkable, being constantly colourful, realistic, artful and always appropriate. As for the soundtrack? Once again, it's perfect, and Jessie's song, "When She Loved Me" may be the greatest song ever written for a film; a magnificently touching and deep song about the heartbreak of being abandoned, briefly reunited and then abandoned once more. The film's ending is also, in my opinion, the greatest ending any film can have, wrapping up everything in exactly the right way. I can honestly not find a single solitary flaw in this film, and it's the only film I've ever seen that I can truly say is 100% flawless.
Toy Story 2 isn't just a masterpiece, it actually goes beyond that. It's an astronomically tall peak in the history of entertainment, the kind of movie that comes around just once and is never, ever seen again. It's such an immense cinematic achievement that I am completely certain that no film ever released in the future will ever top it, no matter how big or ambitious it is. Toy Story 2 is the magnum opus of magnum opuses, a diamond that will shimmer eternally.
I took the time today to revisit something I haven't played since my childhood: the Toy Story 2 licensed game. While I had fond memories of it, unfortunately I can now see that this game doesn't quite live up to them.
There are four major problems that considerably drag this game down:
- The enemies respawn VERY quickly, and are a massive pain in the ass, taking several hits to die and being way too good at hitting you.
- The level design isn't great, often relying on you having to climb something and having to painstakingly re-climb it if you make a mistake and fall down. Worse still, the later levels are often excessively spacious, and you spend most of the time just running around, trying to find the one thing needed to complete a puzzle.
- The camera very often works against you, either not turning behind you quickly enough, or not showing an enemy until they're right next to you.
- As a game promoting the movie, it's not great. Your interaction with the characters is limited only to them giving you tasks, and their dialogue is extremely generic, devoid of any personality whatsoever.
That being said, the game does have its strong suits as well:
- The music. While I feel mixed about the tracks from the last two levels, overall the music is very catchy and upbeat, providing a nice atmosphere.
- The variety of power-ups that Buzz can use. They certainly spice up the game nicely, although they unfortunately feel a little underused.
- The various tasks to do on each level. They provide a good motivation to continue playing and going for a 100% Completion.
- The fact that you can use Buzz's laser as a weapon, and charge it up for massive damage. Awesome! (It's just too bad that the camera makes it so difficult to actually hit the enemies...)
- The enemies are nicely varied, and I'm particularly impressed by the wide selection of Zurg-based enemies. Creative!
Overall, the game comes off as mediocre, with the level design, the camera, and the enemy respawn taking away much of the fun, to the point where I was swearing like a sailor during the last level and was just happy that it's over when I got to the end. And it's a shame, too, because without these issues, this game could be a lot more fun, I just know it.
Toy Story 2 is my favourite film of all time, and in my opinion the video game made for it is a platformer classic and one of the best licensed games ever. This was one of the most important games of my childhood, and also the first game to truly scare me.
In the game, you play as Buzz Lightyear, through fifteen levels. Each level has five tasks to complete: 1. Collect 50 coins. 2. Locate 5 of a certain item. 3. A time trial. 4. Locate and solve an unknown puzzle. 5. Defeat a boss. For completing these tasks, you receive Pizza Planet tokens. Buzz can attack with his laser and with a spin attack. Along the way, you can unlock five fun gadgets to use by locating Mr. Potato head's lost body parts, and pick up a hidden power-up in each level called Green Laser which makes Buzz's laser much stronger.
The best thing about the Toy Story 2 game is its personality. As a kid, every level felt huge and intimidating. Even the first level, "Andy's House", features unsettling music and a big, grimy basement to explore. And when you step into the fourth level, "Construction Yard", the game really starts to show its creepy atmosphere; it's a dark level full of dangers. But that level is nothing compared to the tenth level, "Elevator Hop", which may be one of the most complex levels of any game aimed at kids, featuring frightening music and a menacing tarantula boss that can only be reached by climbing to the top of the level, and it's both tough and rewarding.
In my opinion though, the difficulty is perfect. It's always challenging but never too much so, and this makes every objective really fun to conquer. There's a great range of tasks throughout it; every level is something different. There are also five levels dedicated to nothing but boss fights, and each of them are a lot of fun. The game just has so many adventurous and creative moments that stand out. Graphically, it's a very colourful game with plenty of variety, and the soundtrack is top-notch, with every level being assigned appropriate music. The music for the level, "Alleys and Gullies" is remarkably catchy, and the music for "Tarmac Trouble" is a synthesizer-driven song that sounds purely awesome. There's virtually nothing bad about this game.
The Toy Story 2 game for the PlayStation is totally recommended for Toy Story fans and platformer fans in general.
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