Note: This review is of Disney Infinity 2.0. If you would like to learn more about the original Disney Infinity and also the basics of the Disney Infinity universe, check out my review of Disney Infinity.
With the success of Disney Infinity, a sequel was almost inevitable, and with the great success of the Marvel properties since Disney’s acquisition, incorporating those characters into Infinity makes perfect sense.
Disney Infinity 2.0 was released in the fall of 2014 for Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U and Playstation Vita. There are also free companion games for Microsoft Windows and iOS.
Like with Disney Infinity, you can buy a starter pack for 2.0, and now there are actually two different starter packs available, one for the Avengers and one for “Disney Originals.”
An important note: I personally have played the Xbox 360 version of this game, although the information in this review will be applicable across all of the console platforms.
Play Set Mode
Play set mode is what you would traditionally think of as a “video game.” Each set has a story, challenges along the way, and a pre-set world to explore. For Disney Infinity 2.0, three play sets were made:
-Guardians of the Galaxy
Within each of these sets, you can generally only use the characters from that set itself. However, you can switch between the characters at any time. This is useful because you will find character specific challenges and ability specific Bonus Boxes along the way, so either adding a second character or switching out one for another can allow you to get those special bonuses.
Within each play set, you are confronted with a series of missions. You can scroll through them and have a pointer guide you in the direction you are supposed to go for help either finding a mission or completing it. Some of these missions advance the storyline, others are just side missions to get experience or other rewards. You will also discover special challenge areas throughout each play set. These have you complete progressively more difficult challenges in a variety of areas, including target practice, racing, collecting coins, and more.
Each play set story mode takes around 4-6 hours of game play, depending on your skill level, but you can spend much more time in each beating challenges and exploring new areas.
While you are playing in the play set, there are several other things to specifically look for. The first are blue sparks – you can get sparks from defeating enemies, breaking things, and spark capsules. These sparks are used to purchase toys in the Toy Box (see below). There are also green sparks, which restore your health, purple sparks, which fill your special move meter, and orange sparks, which level up your character.
Unlike the original Disney Infinity, you cannot directly find and unlock Toy Box toys in capsules in version 2.0. However, there are still plenty of things to search for.
First of these are “Bonus Boxes.” In each Play Set there are twenty Bonus Boxes for five different skill types. These types are:
-Tech (only available in The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy Play Sets)
-Web Swing (only available in the Spider-Man Play Set)
Some of these attributes are pretty obvious. For example, Hulk has Maximum Strength while Iron Man has Flight and Tech. Some characters have up to three Skills while others might only have one. If you encounter a Bonus Box that the character you are using cannot collect, it will still be visible but translucent. You can then trade out your current character for one that has the right skill to collect the box.
What do you get for collecting all of these boxes? Concept art. While collecting all of a certain variety can unlock feats and help you level up your character, you do not directly unlock any playable items through Bonus Boxes.
The other Play Set collectibles that do have an impact on game play are “Crossover Coins.” In each of the Play Sets there are ten coins each for two different characters that do not normally exist in that set. Once you have collected all ten coins, you can play an extra mission as that crossover character.
The specific character combinations are:
Guardians of the Galaxy:
An overall note for all of the Play Sets: by the nature of the characters involved, the play style in these stories is much more universally action and combat based than the original Disney Infinity. While some of the Play Sets, such as The Incredibles, were similarly constructed in that game, there were others, like Toy Story and Cars, that allowed for different focuses in play. I don’t point this out as a negative, however I think it’s important for people to know so if they do not like or get frustrated by the more high-paced combat game play they might consider just getting the Toy Box starter set and making your own fun.
Toy Box mode
Perhaps even more so than the original, the focus of Disney Infinity 2.0 is on the Toy Box. There is a dedicated Toy Box starter set, pre-programmed Toy Box games, and much more.
The Toy Box is also where the most changes between 1.0 and 2.0 happened, and many of my concerns with the original Toy Box have been addressed in this version.
While I will go through the basics here, I would highly recommend using the Toy Box Introduction as it will walk you through every aspect of the Toy Box.
Toy Box Games
One of the major additions to Disney Infinity 2.0 is the set of Toy Box Games. There are two types of games and a variant themed to the Disney Originals and another toward the Marvel characters. These games are activated by a special power disc that either comes with your starter pack or can be purchased separately.
The first type of game is a “dungeon crawl.” This essentially means you have to fight your way through a series of rooms. The Marvel version of this is called “Escape from the Kyln,” which is the ship from Guardians of the Galaxy, while the Disney Originals version is the “Brave Forest Siege.” Each of these versions has 8 different levels that are randomly generated when you begin.
The other game type is “tower defense,” where you are protecting something from oncoming enemies. The Marvel version of this is “Attack on Asgard,” and the Disney version is “Stitch’s Tropical Rescue.” There are 10 different levels in each of these.
The main portion of these Toy Box games can only be played by either Disney Original or Marvel characters based on which version you have. However, you can unlock a “Exploration Survival Mode” in the dungeon crawl games and a “Defense Survival Mode” in the tower defense games. You need one of the associated characters to open that mode, but once there you can use any characters you have.
In Disney Infinity, you unlocked new toys by using a spinner and randomly earning them. In version 2.0, you now can purchase toys directly using the blue sparks you have collected. If you save up enough you can get all of the hitchhiking Ghosts.
Toys in the store are broken down into categories, from Disney Characters to Terrain. Also, if you had items from Disney Infinity 1.0 they will be available in this Toy Box.
Also, as was the case in version 1.0, you can unlock something special with your MagicBand. This time, it is the façade to It’s a Small World.
Prebuilt and Downloadable Toy Box Worlds
One great addition to this version of Disney Infinity is the ease of starting in the Toy Box. Besides the standard Empty Toy Box, you can select a few different options to get started, including a City, a Race, a Mountain, and a Tree house. You can load a new toy box in one of these modes and instead of having to start completely from scratch, the system will generate a basic starting point that you can then customize.
More than that, through the Toy Store you can purchase builders and creators and unlock templates. Each of these components helps you make a larger and more intricate Toy Box.
As with the original game, Disney Infinity 2.0 is still great at utilizing the skills and passions of the fan community to produce and distribute new content. Through weekly themed contests, the creators of Infinity have collected and made available for distribution many user generated worlds that you can download for free.
One recent contest was recreating favorite Disney Parks rides, and some of the winning Toy Boxes included Peter Pan, the Matterhorn, and It’s a Small World. Check these out for inspiration or just to mix things up.
As I wrote about the original Disney Infinity, the magic of Disney Infinity is that you can go into the Toy Box, start with an empty slate, and just build. The best thing about version 2.0 is that many of the roadblocks or frustrating aspects from linking toys together or trying to create complex systems have been made much simpler and easier to understand in this version. This allows you to spend more time being creative and playing rather than working through tedious tasks.
In addition to all of the 29 characters released in the original Disney Infinity, Disney Infinity 2.0 has released an additional 30 characters, in two categories: Marvel Super Heroes (21 characters) and Disney Originals (9 characters). Thus far, the characters that are included in the playset packs are not available as individual characters. Including their franchises, they are:
From The Avengers:
-Iron Man (available in the Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack and Avengers Playset)
-Black Widow (available in the Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack and Avengers Playset)
-Thor (available in the Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack and Avengers Playset)
-Falcon (releases today)
-Loki (releases today)
-Spider-Man (available in the Spider-Man Playset)
-Nova (available in the Spider-Man Playset)
From Guardians of the Galaxy:
-Star-Lord (available in the Guardians of the Galaxy Playset)
-Gamora (available in the Guardians of the Galaxy Playset)
-Drax the Destroyer
-Ronan the Accuser
-Merida (available in the Disney Originals Toy Box Starter Pack and as a single character)
From Lilo & Stitch:
-Stitch (available in the Disney Originals Toy Box Starter Pack and as a single character)
From Big Hero 6:
From Peter Pan:
From Sleeping Beauty/Maleficent:
From just about everything:
In addition to the new characters, there are a few special edition ones to mention. First, there is a new Crystal Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey just for 2.0. Also, there are special variants of the characters, including a black suited Spider-Man for the PS Vita starter pack.
To enhance the digital products, Disney also released two characters as digital exclusives, as in you can use them in the iOS and Windows versions but there are not physical figurines or a way to play them on the consoles. The two characters released this way were Sam Flynn and Quorra from Tron.
A few notes on character game play:
As you play with characters and collect orange sparks you will level up. After each level you will get a notification to go to your “Skill Tree.” Here you will have a certain number of points to apply towards different skills, whether that is unlocking your special move, upgrading attack damage, giving you more health, or many other options.
Those special moves are unique to each character and range from Black Widow turning invisible for a short amount of time to Iron Man pulling out the big guns. Nova, seen here, lifts nearby enemies in the air and then destroys them.
Besides the Toy Box game discs mentioned above, Power Discs function just about the same as they did in 1.0. There are three types of power discs in Disney Infinity: toys, abilities, and customization. To use power discs, you place them on the base either under a character or on the play set spot and then they will activate on the screen.
Some of the rare Power Discs in this version include the Infinity Gauntlet (an ability that uses a force field of cosmic explosions), Marvel Team-Up Yondu (add this powerful ally to your fight), Spider-Cycle, and Ghost Rider’s Chain Whip.
With Disney Infinity 2.0, the game designers kept all of the things that made Disney Infinity great, and address most of the minor shortcomings from the first game. Some of the biggest improvements include:
-Toy Store allowing direct purchase of toys instead of random chance
-Starter Toy Box sets
-Templates for complex toys and game types
-Toy Box games for continued game play
They also continue to create cool game pieces and have started selecting more diverse options from the Disney catalog. Additionally, the commitment to use the character pieces and power discs across systems and games is a great bonus.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy from the first game that is still a little awkward is vehicle handling, especially flying vehicles. While it is improved, and the inclusion of flying characters helps getting around without the vehicles, they are still a little sensitive and hard to use.
Like its predecessor, Disney Infinity 2.0 is a great game, and can be a great value for the amount of time you could possibly spend enjoying it. With this continued success, I am even more excited about the all but confirmed version 3.0, which is rumored to feature the Star Wars universe.
So if you enjoy video games, building things, fun, or happiness, I would highly recommend that you give this game a chance.
Do you have a copy of Disney Infinity 2.0? What’s your favorite part about the game?