‘DISNEY INFINITY’ (E10+)
Disney Interactive Studios
Hand a child a toy, and he’ll bring it to life with his imagination. “Disney Infinity” is a simulation of this concept that does the imagining for you. Set a Disney character figurine on the Infinity Base (a physical pedestal that connects to your game console) and watch a fully interactive version of that character appear on your TV. The starter kit comes with stylized figurines of Captain Jack Sparrow, Mr. Incredible and Sully, and each toy comes with its corresponding virtual playset (i.e. brief single-player campaigns set in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Incredibles” and “Monsters University”). There’s also a customizable Toy Box Mode, where you can mix and match unlockable assets from your various playsets in a single open world. So whereas watching a movie instead of reading a book takes all of the imagination out of the experience, “Disney Infinity” still grants the participant a certain amount of personal creativity.
The individual games that come with the figurines aren’t much better than the simplistic movie tie-in games that usually accompany Disney’s theatrical releases, but at least you’re getting three at once. The “Pirates” game is your basic action-platformer, the “Incredibles” game provides a sandbox city for superpowered mischief, and the “Monsters University” game is a surprisingly entertaining stealth shooter. But it’s the combining of these worlds that yields the most potential for wacky fun. The level-building tools aren’t quite as user-friendly as those of “LittleBigPlanet,” but even if you can’t be bothered to assemble worlds of your own, virtual craftsmen are sure to be sharing their own creations online for you to download. Figurines from “Cars,” “Toy Story,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Lone Ranger” and several other Disney properties come tethered to even more game content (and, of course, are sold separately). Leave it to Disney to come up with yet another way to sell us toys.
‘TALES OF XILLIA’ (T)
Namco Bandai Games
In a first for the “Tales” series, “Tales of Xillia” provides players a good excuse to play through its lengthy story twice. “Xillia” offers two protagonists — a young doctor and a supernatural being — each with his own abilities, character-specific side-quests, and wildly different perspectives on the game’s over-arching mission to reclaim the Lance of Kresnik — a doomsday weapon that has upset the already delicate balance of power in the vibrant world of Rieze Maxia. It’ll take a lot of strategic character-building and deft real-time combat to set things right.
THE WALKING DEAD: 400 DAYS (M)
Xbox Live Arcade
Fans of Telltale Games’ brilliant point-‘n-click adventure series set in the zombie apocalypse will have to wait a bit longer to see what’s become of Lee and Clementine. But until the series resumes, fans can satiate themselves with these five vignettes, which introduce more fodder for the undead. Though these mini-episodes are a bit too brief to get us too invested in the new characters, the stories still offer a feast of grisly plot twists with a healthy helping of moral dilemmas that’ll have you hitting pause to ponder your next move. CV