Though it may be tough to see, Toys for Bob has finally come up with a deadly combination for parents all over the world. Skylanders combines video games and action figures, while using a staple household gaming icon to carry a new series. Is that enough for Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures to be a great game? Or will the game be just another dust collector with a pointless plastic peripheral?
Before we touch up on story, characters, graphics and everything else that makes up the core gaming experience, let’s look at the premise of the game itself. Skylanders comes with three action figures, a “portal” that hooks up to any USB port, cards, and stickers. The concept and story go hand-in-hand. The Skylanders, which are mythical creatures that lived in Skylands, were sent to Earth by the evil Portal Master Kaos and his mythical beast the Hydra. It’s up to the player to bring Skylanders back to life to save Skylands from the evil minions and Kaos. Now with this in mind you have a portal which you put action figures on to bring these creatures to life, the stickers are to keep track of which figures you own, and the cards are for card battling both on and offline. Now that is a recipe for both success and disaster.
There have been numerous attempts of bringing things to life in a video game, but none have been as successful as this game. Don’t believe me; look at the prices of the action figures on Amazon.com right now. These figures cost a fortune, due to the high demand of this game. When retailers get these figures, they don’t stay on the shelves very long. As stated before, disastrous and successful; so successful that Toys for Bob is making around $ 60 off of $ 10 action figures, and disastrous because those who actually want to invest in this game due to lack of figures. Now one maybe thinking, are getting all the figures really necessary for a game that probably was made for children?
Here is where game play comes in; each character from Skylanders has a specific element and the player cannot go to certain areas because these areas require certain elemental Skylanders. Though obtaining more figures does stunt the player from getting any further from the game, while waiting for that chance of finding the figures at retail price you can level up all your characters. Now here’s the neat thing about the game the experienced gained, including what is equipped is saved onto the action figures. You then take your action figures anywhere and place them on anyone’s portal on any system. The controls are easy to pick up and play, but the mechanics of the game differs from if you’re playing it on consoles and handheld. The consoles play like a low quality hack and slash game, where you just hit one button and it does attacks. There are a few other varied attacks for each character mapped out to the other buttons on the controller, but the player doesn’t need to use them if they don’t need to. Sadly though the limited button mashing is what gives the game play of Skylanders its appeal. Though there are a lot of nuisances to the game that a player can run into due to the mechanics being too simplified.
First off there isn’t a lot of verity between missions, and enemies. It’s either wipeout everyone till the next area is revealed, destroy the objects that are in your way, or go to certain area in order to unlock whatever it is blocking your way. You can play up to two players co-op and battle. The over world or hub they give the players to choose which areas they want to go to is vibrant with extra missions but not necessary. Lastly there is not a lot of replay value, unless you want to pay extra for expansion packs or redeem codes online and only play mini-games. Now if you’re older than 8, the lack of difficulty and voice overs might not be appealing; so if you’re not willing to put up with that then this game isn’t for you. Though, as soon as you hit the last boss you wonder how children are suppose to beat the game, with lasers and other objects constantly thrown at you at every direction.
The game also tends to freeze if you have an older console, so that is also something to consider. Lastly the game might be a nice diversion from the ordinary, but a game’s play-ability is also link to how beautiful it looks.
The graphics are mediocre, at best. The vibrant lands are colorful, and they do look different from one another as do the characters. What ruins the experience though is something previously stated. One really can tell that this game is not meant for adults with the dialog and the bad details in cut scenes, though should be expected for a kids game.
Lastly the flaw that has been overlooked till now is the lack of Spyro. Now this may seem like a little problem, but Spyro’s name is in the game. A long time fan of Spyro can clearly see they used his name to market Skylander’s easier. Throughout the whole game, a player who has been a Spryo will ask themselves, “Why not remove Spyro? He doesn’t add anything to the plot.” Overall though Skylanders is a worthy experience to look into as long as you have the time and the money to send, so the game gets a 2.9.