Disney Infinity NEXT: News & Thoughts for 2016

     Disney Infinity is such a great idea, it's finally good to see the developers beginning to listen to the fans.  The new Disney Infinity NEXT show they started on March 1st proves they are at least attempting to listen to us avid fans and supporters.

No 4.0 Edition, Four New Playets, and a Problem

     Right away we know the first 3 playsets will be Marvel Battlegrounds, Finding Dory, and Alice: Through the Looking Glass.  The last set is a guaranteed Star Wars set- maybe Rogue One, perhaps a even a Clone Wars or Rebels set.  We aren't sure.  Although a Rebels set with Hera and Chopper would be cool to go with all the other figures already out.


     The first news I would like to really touch on is the big change of their choice not to release a 4.0 this year, but instead build upon version 3.0's foundation.  This is a grand choice, but I fear their decision to do so may be driven more by preventing data-miners from showing that the games are so damn short because they cram all the material onto the disc in advance and then release the keys (toys and playset pieces) to unlock the stuff later, rather than by generating a larger quantity of material.

     Honestly, every single person I talk to that plays this game absolutely hates the fact every playset is so short.  Ridiculously short.  They can be beaten within a few hours without a struggle.  Granted, they have added some replayability to the sets by allowing for missions to be played over and over- but...
  ...personally, I believe a much better remedy to the issue would be to follow LEGO Dimensions' suit (like all the non-Dimensions games even) and make one huge open world hub filled with randomly generating quests and occurrences.  Seriously, Infinity has nothing even remotely as fun and well created as LEGO Marvel Super Heroes' open New York City area.  If Disney Infinity is truly listening to us like they say they are, this is a necessity to keep the competing toys-to-life games on the ropes.  The content needs to be there- much bigger areas with far more stuff in them.  The playsets feel really small and empty.

     Isn't Disney the place where imagination is supposed to thrive?  Where's the genius level design? Where's our secret levels (I'm thinking something as wonderful as Dark Souls' Painted World of Ariamis)?  We want a game that is fun with actual depth and plenty of room for exploration, not one sixth of a playset because 6 separate games needed to be smooshed onto a single disc with 30 figures.

Marvel Battlegrounds

     Most of my interest in the game is with the Marvel material.  It has a fair amount of issues, such as Green Goblin being shipped without the advertised glider in game, but it also has a lot of opportunity.  That opportunity should rightfully start with its 4 player addition.  Battlegrounds is set to be the first Infinity game with a 4 player option... BUT... it's 4 player co-op on a single screen and not online match making as pretty much every other game made is.
     Sorry Disney Infinity, but making Infinity an online match making game is going to be a must if you want to continue being the "number 1 toys-to-life game."  It's absurd this hasn't happened yet.  Nearly all games have this feature and by not having it, you are losing serious ground.  Not everyone has a pile of controllers, not everyone is able to play with a group and so on.  I read somewhere that the reason they haven't made Battlegrounds online is because then people would expect that to happen in the other toyboxes.  OBVIOUSLY!
     Dear Disney Infinity team, we aren't playing games from a decade ago, nowadays people expect online as a standard feature, especially as the playsets are so sparse to begin with.  Disney is a multi-billion dollar a year company, there should be plenty of budget to fix this (and all the other complaints we are all grumbling about).

     Another issue they have is the figures- Battlegrounds is getting not one, but TWO figures we already have.  To be fair, the Captain America has gotten some new moves and skin, but do we really need another Spider-Man?  No.  I'm genuinely upset that this may become a problem, where instead of new ones we'll get more copies and the like.
     On the bright side of that, "Even more new Marvel characters will be released this year."  (Video @ 9:41)  There's a really good chance we'll finally get a Scarlet Witch (although how that'll work with the Marvel v Fox disputes is beyond me, I mean I want some X-Men characters for sure, but Marvel seems like they are strangling them out of the market in every avenue they can.  Doctor Strange is highly likely as well with a film releasing this fall with possibly a couple toys from the movie.  I wouldn't doubt a Squirrel Girl at some point.  Marvel's been pushing the change of her "not being a mutant" pretty damn hard in the comics, so I'm thinking they've got some things in the works to cash in on (a cartoon?).
     I would like a Darkhawk or Ghost Rider figure myself.  Both of them have multiple in game extras, but no playable characters.  What a tease.  At least I'll be able to play as Ant-Man finally.

The Future

     In an interview with Venture Beat, Disney Infinity VP of Production John Vignocchi said, "At the end of the Battlegrounds section we'll drop an Easter Egg."  The whole article is worth a read, but I just wanted that snippet.  The hint is likely something being prepared for more Marvel related Infinity coming later in the year- Dr. Strange??? - but we'll have to wait until the end of Battlegrounds to see for sure.

     In the end, I hope over the next year the developers learn they definitely need to up their game in terms of content and so on.  Disney Infinity has all the foundations to be something so much more amazing than it is, but that's about all it has, the foundations.  We want and need to see that Disney does indeed have the imagination they claim and put it to use for all of us supporters.

     Sources [ Disney Infinity NEXT Ep. 1 ] [ Infinity Inquirer ]

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