Note: I completed all of the story missions in the Finding Dory Play Set. I also played a few side missions and completed all of the challenges. In the end, I played roughly seven hours. The following review reflects only my time spent during this play through.
It pains me to admit it, but the final piece of content for Disney Infinity is officially here. This marks the end of the line for Avalanche Software’s fantastic toys-to-life Disney game. With that said, the Finding Dory Play Set was created during a time when the team thought the franchise still had a long and bright future ahead. This Play Set was not designed to be a farewell to fans, it was supposed to be the next Play Set of many. The Finding Dory Play Set feels like an odd send-off for the series, though it clearly was never intended to be the last piece of content.
Alright, all despondent fanboy feeling aside, let’s get into the review. The game’s story centers around Dory and friends returning to the MLI after a flooding takes place. Playing as either Dory or Nemo, your objective is to rescue all the fish you can. Once a level is complete, you return to the ocean with your new fish friends in a community that Dory and Marlin have constructed for the transient fish.
Dory and Nemo can attack with their tail’s and trap enemies in bubbles. Although adding fish characters to the Disney Infinity roster sounds like a challenge, the final product results in some of the game’s most interesting characters. The majority of the gameplay is 2D side scrolling adventure-esque, while the hub world, side missions, and challenges are all in third-person. The camera is a bit weird while swimming in third-person but not enough to really hinder gameplay. Much like the Inside Out Play Set, I found myself wishing more of the game was third-person. Still, the 2D play style is fun and unlike Inside Out, I found myself more engaged throughout missions.
The game’s 13 story missions consist of making it from point A to point B, while trying to find all the stray fish you can. The levels offer small puzzles that never progressed enough to really challenge me, though I would not hold that against the game seeing as Disney Infinity is an all-ages game.
Surprisingly, the levels do change enough in variety that I was always entertained. Some levels have you jumping from fish tank to fish tank while defeating enemies, and other levels have you avoiding kids grabbing at you as you try and make your way through the touch pool.
Another fun element to the gameplay is the addition of tools, or in this case, assistants. Throughout the game you unlock a shrimp, a cuttlefish, and a crab that all possess different abilities that help you to solve puzzles and unlock new areas. While their contributions are simple, it sure adds some variety to the gameplay and prevents the player from completing a level simply by pushing the analog stick in the right direction.
Once the story is complete, you can return to previous levels to gain access to new areas and collectibles. You can also play around in the hub world, continue to customize the community you’ve built, and beat your previous records on challenges. Overall, the Play Set offers a lot for the $30 asking price.
Speaking of which, this is the second time a Play Set has only included one figure (the first being Marvel Battlegrounds). The box includes the Finding Dory Play Set piece and the Dory figure. Nemo is available for purchase separately and includes two Power Discs. The decision to include the power discs with Nemo rather than selling a separate Power Disc pack leads me to wonder if this was Disney’s response to try and move the remainder of their inventory. Of course we will probably never know but it does make one wonder…
Presentation wise the game looks and sounds as good as ever. The Disney Infinity art style looks fantastic across all Disney owned properties and Finding Dory is no exception. Everything from the figures (especially the figures) to the art style is a visual treat! My only gripe is the game’s voice acting. While most characters in the Play Set sound great, Marlin is painfully bad. The voice actor that plays him tried so desperately to capture the voice of Albert Brooks, but ultimately just created painful dissonance.
Overall I think fans of Disney Infinity will be quite pleased with the Finding Dory Play Set. I had a lot of fun plying it, and while it is certainly not the best Play Set, it is a really good one. The gameplay, while not reinventing the wheel, is engaging throughout, and the world is unlike anything seen before in Disney Infinity.
Finding Dory is yet another reflection of the love and hard work that has been poured into the Disney Infinity series. While it is not a proper send-off, it has been a gift for me to have one last go at a new adventure set in the Disney Infinity universe.
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