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Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue – Nintendo 64

Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue – Nintendo 64

box artPlatform: Nintendo 64

Developer: Traveller’s Tales

Publisher: Activision

Release Date (NA): November 30th, 1999

Genre: Action/Adventure

Nerd Rating: 7.5/10

Reviewed by Steroid Gamer

Toy Story 2 is a movie that was loved by many and warmed the hearts of people all over the world for its unique take on what toys do when humans aren’t looking.  Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue may not be quite as endearing, but it does a great job of capturing some of that charming creativity from its source material. It’s also the second video game adapted off the movie franchise.  Developer Traveller’s Tales has previous experience with the previous Toy Story game.

Taking in the view....Pretty clean room if you ask me.

Taking in the view….Pretty clean room if you ask me.

First off, let’s get one thing straight.  As the title suggests this is BUZZ LIGHTYEAR to the rescue.  Not Woody, Hamm, Slinky, or any of the other characters from the franchise.  You play as Buzz and only Buzz throughout the entire game, in fact a lot of the other characters are missing from the game entirely.   Don’t let that throw you off though.  Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue brings plenty of fun, laughter, goofiness, and smiles to keep you interested.

Toy Story 2 can be categorized as an adventure game, and you (or Mr. Lightyear that you play as) are going to have a great one.  You see, Woody has been kidnapped by a fat hairy man named Al and it’s up to Buzz to go after Woody and rescue him.  There really isn’t any plot to the game nor is there any story.  The only “story” you get is title cards in between levels that try to explain and rationalize where Buzz is in relation to the movie’s plot.   Sometimes it’s obvious.  Like the first level taking place in Andy’s house, others like a construction yard, not so much.  The game makes a very heavy assumption that if you’re playing the game, you’ve seen the movie.

Get your mind out of the gutter!!! NO, Buzz is NOT pole dancing.

Get your mind out of the gutter!!! NO, Buzz is NOT pole dancing.

The levels in Toy Story 2 are what make the game such a joy to play.  They are all extremely unique and creative, taking on everyday places such as backyards, toy stores, and airports and exploring them from a perspective of an action figure.  For example, ask yourself the following questions; have you ever climbed an extension cord?  Used a soda cup as a ladder or means of reaching newer heights?  Or maybe you’ve flooded a bathroom so you could reach the doorknob?  You’ll be partaking in these sorts of crazy actions and much more.  Toy Story 2 (the movie) did a great job in exploring what life is like for a toy and how perspective changes.  I can happily say here that developer Traveller’s Tales brings that same awesome perspective to Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue.

The levels aren’t just unique for their perspective but also in how much variety they have.  While there are only two types of levels (Boss fights, or the open-ended objective type) the vast color palette, and locations never make the game boring.  Some locations may not be canon to the movie and may leave you scratching your head as to why Buzz’s adventure would take him to a space land or construction yard, but these levels are fun enough to easily overlook this disconnect between the movie and the game.

Seems like that robot needs some repairs.

Seems like that robot needs some repairs.

Outside of the boss levels, which are self explanatory, all of the other 10 levels are open ended and objective based.  In order to progress further and unlock more levels you have to collect Pizza Planet tokens.  There are five in every level with each one usually being tied to the same objective.  Collect 50 coins for Hamm (the piggy bank character in case you’ve forgotten),  defeating a mini-boss, finding 5 hidden objects, finding a hidden token, which is usually found by solving some sort of puzzle, and finally a race against RC or Slinky (the remote control car and slinky dog characters respectively).  It might sound repetitive and sometimes it does feel that way.  But the big key here isn’t so much as to WHAT the objective is as to how it’s USED.  Take the “hidden” Pizza Planet token for example.  In some levels it’s in plain sight it’s just a question of “how do I get over there?”.  In other instances, that thing is damn near hidden in the most convoluted place you can think of and probably the last place you’ll look. The same can be said for “finding 5 items” (unique to each level) where some are a hard challenge to find and others are not.  It depends on how you want to look at it. You aren’t required to earn all five tokens in a level to advance, so you can pick and choose for a while until you come across the later levels that require more tokens, at which point you’ll have to go back and beat the objectives you originally passed over.

Don't miss your flight.

Don’t miss your flight.

Going on such rigorous adventures would require a lot from one person let alone a toy space ranger.   Fortunately, enough for Buzz he has more than enough tools at his disposal to get him along his way.  He can shoot foes with his laser, which has three power charge varieties, or he can whip out his wings and spin around like a tornado stunning foes along the way.  Buzz is also extremely durable and in some cases he’s almost too durable.  If you want to “die” or lose a level you’re going to have to try very hard to do so.  The game is very forgivable, as to when you do fail it just respawns you somewhere close to the vicinity where you previously were.  You don’t lose “lives” or your tokens so the game is on the easy side of things.  That being said there are two important exceptions to this rule.  The first being the boss fights.  These fights prove to be quite a challenge if you don’t approach them properly.  Like any good boss fight you’re strategy is key to success.  The second exception is the platforming.  There is a ton of it in the game, and it won’t always play out this way, but I came across several areas where you have to be so precise it’s damn near impossible and feels very cheap.  Add in that if you fall you’re going to have to climb, jump, or hop all the way back up, adding a lot of unnecessary frustration to the game.  If the rest of the game is so forgiving, why make these select few so difficult?

andys basementToy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue is one of the few games that takes its source material and expands on it in a positive way.  Running around exploring the levels is exciting and puts a smile on your face to see the interesting ways everyday items may be used in the life of a toy.  It can be repetitive at times and cause frustration at points, but for the most part it’s one charming adventure from beginning to end.   It’s not very difficult but it captures some of that same magic that made the movie so special.  Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue is a true delight for fans of the movie and adventure games everywhere.  So as Buzz would say….“To Infinity and BEYOND!!!”

Looking for more?

If you’re really into Toy Story be sure to check out our two reviews for the first Toy Story game. Click here for the SNES version or here for the Sega Genesis version.


Written by Sean Collins

Sean Collins

Sean Collins (aka Steroid Gamer) started playing video games when he was 8 years old. His first console was a Nintendo 64 and his first game was Mario Kart 64. He fell in love immediately and has been playing games ever since.

My current systems include; N64, Gameboy Color, Gamecube, Wii, 3DS, PS3, Vita, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Member BioArticles by MemberMember Blog


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