Traditionally, games that are tied to movies are mostly terrible affairs. Toy Story 3 happily manages to avoid this cliché and is quite enjoyable.
The controls are solid and responsive, which is a MUST for a platformer, the graphics are very good and the sounds/soundtrack spot on for the most part.
As for the game in itself, it is essentially split into two distinct sections. The 'story mode' and then Toybox Mode which is something of a free roam affair around Woody's Roundup as you complete many side missions and tasks.
The story mode is fairly succinct and brings together the key events of the final movie with some leeway and revisions brought in to adapt the scenes so that they are better suited to a gaming environment. You expect this, but the essence is still there and it doesn't feel isolated or detached from the film, so those playing on the back of the film won't be too disappointed.
In addition to the key scenes we have certain levels which are quite clever in that we take control of Woody and co. and see the fantasies the children enact brought to life from the toys point of view. Think of the opening of the Toy Story 3 film and you've got it. A nice change of pace and it helps pad the fairly low level of levels.
The biggest problem with the story mode is the jumpy nature of the levels. You go from Andy's house and a Buzz Lightyear mini game to breaking out of Lotso's imprisonment agenda in just three levels. If you haven't seen the film, you won't be following what on earth is happening as there's very little narration too. Perhaps some cut scenes lifted from the film could have helped serve a purpose between levels? I suspect this wasn't an option though because the level of polish and clear effort that has been put in to the title would likely mean that the game was in development in tandem with the film to make the release date.
The secondary, or arguably larger, section of the game will provide you the most hours of gameplay time. Woody's Roundup puts you as the Sheriff of Woody's Roundup and sees you taking on side missions, dressing up your town, opening new buildings, purchasing extras bits and pieces and hunting down the hundreds of prize capsules scattered around the world to provide yourself with the tools needed to complete some missions.
The gameplay works very well here. It doesn't get boring easily and it is cleverly designed in such a way that you are bombarded with tasks to complete and paths littered with rewards to explore. As a result it's a 'kid in a candy shop' situation as you move swiftly from one task to another with a fair amount of free roam dropped in to the mix. That's not to say the environment is huge but there's enough to keep you occupied, and enough to warrant a fast travel system that you will feel better for utilising.
As you play, you unlock additional areas, such as Zurg's spaceport, Sid's Haunted House, Lotso's Enchanted Glen and a Dam which can be destroyed to provide you with some extra real estate. Toss into that many Bullseye (horse) races, Dragon races, and a Toy Car Stunt Track and you've plenty to do. This is before you attack the Picto-Matic missions which requires you to recreate given scenes by dressing up townspeople or buildings or aim for the full 103 Gold Stars obtained for completing all missions in a certain area, and random tasks such as flushing a toilet three times.
If you're buying for children this game will suck them in and hold them there exceptionally easily. It's a great buy and a solid title with hours of gaming tucked away behind a neat and overtly childlike exterior.
If you're an adult who wants to try it out, by all means go for it. There's more than enough here for your average gamer looking for a 'breather' title to enjoy and snag some achievements from. It's good clean fun and absolutely does justice to the Toy Story name.