As promised here is my second installment to the Second Chance Series and this time I have chosen to review a very fun and amusing game known as Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure. The Skylanders craze has gotten ridiculous lately with their franchise sales of both games reaching an incredible $1 billion, it was the must have toy for kid’s this Christmas with a brand new wave of figures being released just before Christmas, coincidence? I think not. I was late to get on to the craze but after seeing a few adverts on the television and many advertisements on the internet I decided it was about time I tried the game out to see what the fuss is about. I decided to play through the game with my girlfriend so we could try out the multiplayer aspects of the game and we enjoyed playing through the game a lot.
For those of you that are not familiar with Skylanders it is a game which involves using a port known as a “Portal of Power” which allows you to insert figures of each character into the game as playable characters. It is quite a clever idea both through gameplay purposes and a financial purpose of the developers side. It provides the novelty of using figurines and a shiny portal in order to attract a younger audience as well as allowing the developers to rake in a huge amount of money in the sales of said figurines. Each figure will set you back around $15 which will grant you the use of another playable character, much like downloadable content for a game but in the form of a material object instead. With the Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure Starter Pack you will receive everything you will need to set up and play the game, included in the box are; the game disk, the Portal of Power, three Skylanders figurines and their character sheets and stickers. This is probably the best way to get into the game and probably the least expensive as well as you get everything you need in one package.
I’ll start by talking about the figurines first seeing as this is where the real money is made and is obviously the selling point for the game, as I presume it would be a lot less popular if it didn’t contain this fun port element to the game. With over 35 figures to collect you would have to spend a small fortune to ass all of them to your collection. The figures are great quality with a fair amount of detailing added to them, after you’ve completed the game they would make great ornaments for your shelf or mantle piece. Now for the technical bit (sort of), each figure has a RFID chip in its base which contains its data which is synchronized into the game via the Portal of Power, allowing you to play as them in the game.
The game is clever as it is easily completable with the three characters which are provided with the Starter Pack. However you will not be able to complete the game 100% without buying more figurines of each elements. There are eight elements in the game which include; Water, Tech, Magic, Air, Life, Earth, Undead and Fire. With the Starter Pack you will get Spyro (Magic Element), Gill Grunt (Water Element) and Trigger Happy (Tech Element) who you will use to finish the story part of the game, however as I mentioned earlier you will have to purchase the other elements in order to collect all the treasure and solve all the puzzles to achieve 100% completion.
The gameplay itself is very straightforward and easy to pick up on, I would assume this is because the main target audience for the game is that of younger adults and children. It utilizes the basic controls on your game controller allowing you to easily play the game only using the thumb sticks and buttons. I played the Xbox 360 version which used the A and X buttons to perform your attacking moves which later on are upgraded in the game but still use the same button layout with a different attacking effect. I enjoyed the simplicity of the controls as it made it nice and easy to explore and fight your way through the different levels of the game. I also liked the fact that the game is an effective way of introducing children to video games with a nice, easy and quirky game that they can enjoy without too much difficulty.
The levels are very linear making it easy to navigate your way through each level to your goal or objective at the end, with waves of enemies to battle along the way. There are hidden treasure chests and legendary treasures throughout each level with either a puzzle or a bit of exploring needed to acquire them. The levels all look really nice and I really enjoyed the art style of the game, it is bright and cartoony to appeal to children and I think it does this well, I appreciated this art style and even though they are not the most impressive graphics on the market they serve their purpose well. As I mentioned earlier I played the game through with my girlfriend to try out the multiplayer on the game, this is where I came across my first problem with the game. Some of the puzzles needed to progress through the levels became difficult when attempted by two people, several puzzles caused either me or my girlfriend to become caught or dead because the puzzles aren’t optimized for two people to solve them. My main example of this was a maze which required us to click certain switches to clear a path, as two people we kept accidentally clicking the switch twice resetting the maze or causing us to completely restart it, which after a few attempts caused us to give up and did it single player instead.
Here is the Skylander’s we choose to use throughout the game. We wanted to clear some of the other content of the game apart from the main story line and as such we had to purchase some other figures in order to do so:
Overall I really enjoyed the game, it was a lot of fun and was nice and easy to play. I appreciate it is designed for kids but I believe that adults could enjoy it as well, ignoring the cartoony part of the game and looking at the sleek, fun gameplay instead. If you are willing to spend a bit of money to get the game and some figures you will have a great game to play that will give you hours of enjoyment. As I said though you will have to spend a bit of money to do so.