Who needs Tim Allen anyway?
Plays excellently, good graphics, superb cutscenes
Music gets annoying after a while
The Bottom Line:
Overall, Developer Traveler';s Tales has done an excellent job for this game, which will appeal to young and old.
To infinity... and beyond! I know, a lame way to start the review, but I couldn't think of anything better.
Buzz Lightyear ditched Woody, Rex and the rest of his friends and went back to his old job, being a Space Ranger. The Galaxy's most wanted criminals are on the loose, and it's up to Buzz to stop them.
Before each mission, Commander Nebula gives you a briefing telling you who you're up against. Before you start, you see an Full Motion Video cutscene relating to that enemy then it takes a few seconds to load. Then you get to the planet...
The gameplay is a most fascinating blend of genres. You have to chase the boss through an enemy-infested level to a "getaway spot". Buzz starts out with only his standard-issue laser and can only walk. During the level, when enemies are destroyed, they leave Galactic Credits (or Unibucks) behind. Picking these up will allow you to collect all kinds of power-ups such as machine lasers, mine throwers, bazookas and more. It will also let you use teleporters and pick up rockets and rocketboards, which enable you to fly through a level. You can also pick up stranded LGMs (Little Green Men) while traversing a level for an extra medal. At the end, if you beat the boss to the getaway spot, fellow Space Ranger Mira Nova will zap the bosses' shield and health down by half for you. If the boss beats you to the end, you have 15 seconds to reach the getaway spot or the level ends.
After defeating the boss, another cutscene will play and you will earn medals depending on your performance in the level. Half-medals are awarded for collecting all the LGMs and whole medals are awarded for defeating the boss, collecting a certain large amount of galactic credits (and keeping them till the end of the level), and the time it took you. After beating a boss, you can replay a level in Time Trial mode, where you fly though a level before time runs out, or XR Mode, where you fly through the level in an allotted time while searching for and collecting the robots' scattered parts. Medals are earned for beating those, and the medals are used for unlocking later levels.
The graphics in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command may not be top-of-the line Sony Playstation graphics, but they are excellent nonetheless. Buzz himself is outlined in black lines, similar to the "cell shading" method found on such Dreamcast games as Sonic Shuffle or Jet Grind Radio - it reminds me a little of Manga cartoons. Some enemies, from Zurg?s Hornets to the bosses such as NOS-4-A2 do not have the shading, but look great nonetheless. The backgrounds are simple, but are colorful and serve their purpose. Also impressive are the laser blasts, explosions and shields, which look great. As a whole, the game as a whole runs at a very smooth framerate and is almost entirely based on polygons.
Full Motion Video is used greatly here. While the cutscenes don?t reach the length as the super-awesome ones found in the Toy Story 2 Playstation game, they look much better. The intro from the cartoon series is intact here and never ceases to be cool. Most scenes are amusing and they all seem to be from episodes from the series.
Some say that having no multiplayer would sink an action-adventure title, but I disagree. The levels in this game are fun to replay, especially with the FMV cutscenes.
Developed by Traveler?s Tales and published by Activision, this title features an excellent license to use and the game lives up to the license. The gameplay is solid with plenty of levels and fun, the graphics are great for the Sony Playstation, the FMV cutscenes are excellent and the sound is top-notch. Where the strange myth that all licensed games stink came from is beyond me. I have yet to play one that stank.
In order to play this game, I've literally had to pry my son (age 7) away from his Playstation, because he absolutely loved it. And I can't blame him.