* This is a quick and dirty take on our first day and a half with Disney Infinity 2.0, Marvel Superheros for the Xbox 360. This is not a game review or level-by-level run down *
My son and I picked up Disney Infinity 2.0, the Marvel Superheros starter edition for the Xbox 360 this weekend. The characters included are Black Widow, Iron Man and Thor. The set also comes with the Disney Infinity 2.0 game disc and a character base as well as 2 power discs. The discs we received (I’m not sure if they’re the same from box to box) were Assault on Asgard, and The Kiln. As a preorder bonus from our local Gamestop, we also got to select a free character, Venom in this case, and my wife picked up two additional characters – Groot and Rocket Raccoon. My son also picked up a couple of power discs and received The Infinity Gauntlet and World War Hulk Sky.
Right off the bat, I think the execution is epic. Skill trees for the superheros, flying abilities, voice work, animation – it’s all beautiful to behold. But all of that seems to come at a price, for the Xbox 360 version, anyways. That price to be paid is in the execution of the gameplay. As soon as you put a figure on the base and attempt to load into a world, there is a long and drawn out wait. Gold flashing, rotating light fills the screen and you’re left just sitting there, staring and waiting. At least one other person online has said it takes at least 30 seconds, whereas the old game the characters were good to go within 3 seconds. This is an eternity when you’re waiting to play the game. During this time you can’t move, push buttons – anything at all. You’re at the mercy of the character loading.
We didn’t get to play individually, but as for split screen co-op mode, it was like playing a high-end PC game on a low-end PC. There were glitches, lagging gameplay, moments when we thought for sure the game would freeze up because there was so much going on on screen. I’m not sure if other consoles are having this problem – especially new generation consoles, but our old 360 seemed to be pushed to its limits, and was struggling to keep up. Hopefully this is just poor planning – or perhaps from the console trying to load all the data stored on each individual character. After all, those skill trees are carried with the character if you go to another console to play, so that’s stored on the base. I’m guessing there’s some load time issues there. As for the jerky, lagging video experience, I have no idea what is causing that except for possibly the pure processing power.
There is also the issue of not being able to cross over characters. For example, in the Avengers playset, you can only play as an Avenger. Rocket or Groot or Venom can’t come play the adventure. I honestly can’t recall if this is the same in 1.0 version games or not. It’s been awhile since we played, to be honest. There IS one method of allowing certain characters, and that is to collect 10 of their tokens within the game. This will allow you to bring that character into a different playset. So far we’ve found 6 Rocket Raccoon coins and 3 of another superhero I’m not familiar with from the Spider-Man playset.
On a bright spot, you can use Disney 1.0 characters in the Toybox and in the challenge mini games, however you can not use their playsets while the Infinity 2.0 disc is in the system. You actually have to start up a 1.0 game to use your old playsets. This is another disappointment. And, of course, 2.0 characters can not be used at all with the 1.0 game.
While I want to like Disney Infinity 2.0 Marvel Superheros, I also find myself forced to hate it. Too many bugs and play issues not to mention backward compatibility issues as far as playsets go. There are hopefully some patches coming down the line that will take care of the majority of these. I doubt any of them will include backward compatibility, but I can always hope.
Now if I can just decide what to do with all those Skylanders characters that are just sitting around collecting dust …