Skylanders reinvents Spyro for a new generation with its innovative tie-in toys, but it needs more content to offer true value.
At times, the requirement to buy more figures feels a little heavy-handed. In particular, collecting soul gems triggers a thinly veiled advert for a new character that you can only access by shelling out for the related action figure. While younger players may enjoy saving up money for such a purchase, parents should know that the game regularly encourages the purchase of new characters. And older players who are used to earning characters with skill rather than money may balk at the proposition.
Another incentive for owning more toys is that each one functions as an additional life in the game. When one of your characters dies, you simply place another one on the Portal to continue (restarting or completing a level restores all your characters to full health). While this impacts the difficulty according to how money you spend on toys, it also creates some interesting tactics where favoured characters are removed from play until a health-replenishing snack is found, whereupon they are reintroduced. It also means that you need to have a broad range of levelled-up characters rather than a focus on just one favourite.
Skylanders boasts some nice graphical touches. Each time you hit an enemy or take a hit yourself, a small red splash indicates how much damage has been inflicted or taken. And the hub world's sheep can be soaked, flamed or otherwise abused with visually amusing results. This charm extends to the characters themselves, each of which is well realized. This makes levelling up and purchasing extra attacks a big part of the fun. Each addition to your arsenal is satisfying and coherent with the theme of the character. The sound effects are top-notch, with an orchestral soundtrack from Hans Zimmer that adds a greater sense of importance to the derivative storyline.
Elsewhere, Skylanders can't compete with the quality that has evolved over the years with the Lego video game franchise. Cooperative play is a welcome addition to the campaign, but without split-screen or an online option, you have to carefully coordinate the direction in which you want to go. The quality of the writing does lift individual scenes, but it's a shame you can't accelerate or skip these spoken sections, particularly when some will be heard multiple times. Nevertheless, they are all acted with considerable flourish; the character of Flynn the Balloonist a particular standout thanks to humorous voice work by Patrick Warburton.
Beyond replaying levels, options to extend Skylanders are available in the form of two Adventure expansion packs. These come with additional objects that unlock new adventures when placed on the Portal. The Pirate Adventure pack comes with a pirate ship and exclusive Terrafin character while the Dark Light Crypt pack comes with a crypt and exclusive Ghost Roaster character. Coming in at about one-third the price of the starter pack, it remains to be seen just how much value and additional content these packs provide.
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is a good concept that has been well executed. The Portal does get a little confused at times, the cooperative mode lacks split-screen, and the risk of losing the figures will be the bane of many parent's lives, but the attraction of toys with brains is compelling enough to outweigh these shortcomings. It's a little too easy and a little too short to interest seasoned players for long enough to justify the price of entry, but young children are likely to enjoy taming this dragon.
I kind of feel like this game is raping my childhood - this isn't what Spyro is about and I feel kind of cheated that he's been turned into THIS. Now, take away Spyro, put him back in his own original style of game (aka, like Ripto's Rage) and keep Skylanders a seperate entity? Yeah, I'd be game for that! I'm sure this game is awesome and it looks pretty fun but aaaaghhhh what have they done to Spyro's design? He's not cool OR cute any more. He's a weird little ugly gremlin-dragon looking thing. Not cool! Spyro deserves to be in his own game, the way LeahMyles said.
I finally got around to getting this. It really is a ton of fun. It doesn't take it's self too seriously. Dam figures are going to put me in the poorhouse.
What can i say... My Name isnt SPYRON for nothing... Love the Game! Cool locking PLAYBLE caracters? LOVE IT!
It looks like fun, and I recognize (and have enjoyed) some of the voice talent, but I'm completely put off by the need to continue to purchase items in order to unlock what sounds like significant content. Now, if one could unlock all the areas and characters in the game, but, say, could only access an "extreme" move with the figure, I'd find this a lot less objectionable.
Very popular in my house. All the kids and the wife love it and we have loads of extra figures now :lol:
try actually playing the game for a few hours before you judge, The game is actually really fun, and anyone who didnt realise the game was not really like old school spyro before buying it is a complete moron, I didnt research it at all and knew that much just from looking at the box in the store. Is a perfect game for parents to buy for their younger kids. can actually offer a little challenge in the later levels as well.
They stopped making megaman and did this to spyro. 2 of the greatest game characters ever, gone. At least sonic seems to be making a recovery.
You have got to be kidding me. This has nothing to do with spyro. I really hope that they make an actual spyro game after this. They really should have just improved the spyro that can use different elements, fury attacks, claws, and can fly but they did this..... maybe they'll get enough money for a real spyro game with this. To put it simply, spyro is an epic dragon not a dragon toy.