Around Christmas time I took my two little dudes to the local Target to get some ideas what they wanted to put on their Christmas lists. As we made our way past the toys to the video game section, there stood this intriguing looking display. There were these figures that you could place on some kind of pad, which were then instantly usable in the game.
Now, how cool is that?!
Suffice to say my kids were hooked, and Santa was hitting up his elves to make Skylanders: Spyro Adventure for seventy bucks.
Might sound like a lot of money, but it comes with the game, three of the Skylander figures, and the Portal upon which the figs are placed. Actually, you could have scored this around Black Friday for $50.00 or so. I think the Wii version can still be found for that as well.
I'm not a "gamer," so Spyro is new to me, but the game is made up of a world filled with all kinds of different animal and monster based characters: Dragons, Trolls, Sharks, Undead things, etc. Each of the Skylanders can be leveled up, and with that acquire new powers. In addition to discovering treasure chests filled with new add-ons, there are many missions and side quests to keep you busy for sometime. There are even Skylander packs that you can purchase at the store that come with more adventures and power-ups as well.
Regarding the game, it's is one heck of a fun time! And it's easy to play to boot! My almost 4 year old has no trouble at all; likewise, my 7 year old finds it entertaining just the same. And with dear old Dad onboard, we'll take Kaos and his evil minions down in no time!
The game is simple to play, there is no need for jumping so the youngsters won't have trouble coordinating the buttons. Speaking of, the attack system is super easy, as you just need to press a button or two. As the story and your character progresses you are offered more advanced attacks, but again, it's just so darn easy. And if your character loses its life, you just need to replace it with another Skylander. It's so simple and genius at the same time, I can't believe no one thought of this before.
The Portal is connected wirelessly to the PS3 via a USB chip. It's really neat and resembles a castle tower. You press a button, it lights up, and you place a couple Skylanders on top. The screen then shows an animated feature announcing that your Skylander has arrived! I'm assuming there is some chip or code embedded in each of the Skylander figures that the portal reads. Another great feature is that the Skylander figures retain the information from the game, so if you take a figure to a friend's house, it's at the same level.
I do have a few issues with the game, but only things that can make this even the better. For one, it would have been nice if the Portal came with an option to plug in! The portal seems to run out of batteries pretty quickly. Then again, when you play it 24-7... Anyway, my next nitpick would be the ability to skip the dialogue. One of my sons started a new game and saved over the old, so everything has to be repeated. That means listening to all the characters talking and giving directions all over again. At times you can skip certain animations, but having the ability to bypass the dialogue would be great! Especially for the parents out there accompanying their youngsters on the journey! Finally, it would have been great to have more than two playable characters at the same time.
The game animation is superb, resembling a Saturday morning cartoon. The worlds and lands of the Skylanders are very detailed, the sound effects and voices of the characters are spot on. The game is a sure hit as every store in my area is sold out of the 32 figures and adventure packs.
I can't recommend this game enough.