Can be great for adults... if you're an adult thinking about getting this game... you should read this review.

User Rating: 8.5 | Skylanders Giants (Starter Pack) WIIU
OK.... I've tried over and over to find a review for this game that was oriented more towards adults (I'm 32). Everything I've read says "yeah, my little kid loves it... and I think it's fun, too". It always implies that it's mostly for their kid. I haven't been able to find any reviews that actually talk about HOW the game plays. WHY it's fun. I wanted to do a review from the perspective of an adult. So here it is...

The voice acting in Skylander giants is pretty darn good. There are some pretty high profile names in this game. There's something so very amusing in hearing Invader Zim talk to a robotic George Takei. While it can be a little bland at times, there are some laugh out loud moments here and there. The story is cute, and in caparison to many other games out there, it's not half bad. Not great, but not garbage.

So as far as the game play goes... let me first explain how the "toys" work. All character data and money is saved to memory on the figurine itself. Level progress as well as hats (which include a wide variety of stat bonus') are stored locally on the system. Being that the character saves to the figurine, there's a certain connection to the toy itself, and not just a save file on your system.

I have only played the game on hard... and I have to admit... it's pretty damn hard. The characters each have their own relatively small number of attacks. Each attack can be leveled up to be more powerful, and there are some extras that can be unlocked once you level up your character (and saved up enough in game money). The abilities are very unique and give each character a very specific feel and play style. This allows each to feel very different from the next. You will have specific characters that you switch to for specific fights. The levels can be pretty time consuming, especially when you're trying to complete all of the objectives (which is a very long list).

When one of your characters is defeated, they need to "rest". resting means that they're out for the rest of the level, basically meaning that you've lost not just one life, but all of the unique abilities that went along with it. While your skylander is still alive, you can simply remove them from the portal, and place another. This will allow you to keep your other skylander alive to fight later on and get some much needed healing. I've found my self, in the middle of battle, frantically hitting the figure off the portal to try and save my skylander before he dies. There are many different items you can buy that will help to regenerate your skylander health over time, but the guy that sells them is usually hidden in the middle of each level, and such items can be costly (especially when being bought with the individual skylander's money... which they might have recently spent on new abilities or a hat you just HAD to buy).

As far as the enemies go, you start off (even on hard) thinking that this game is in no way challenging. The first level is so very simple. The next is a little better. they throw an enemy that has some unique attacks that you have to learn to evade and attack at specific times from specific angles. Nothing too complicated. Each enemy has a specific strategy to defeat them. As you progress, the strategy to kill new enemies becomes more and more complicated. health pickups (in the form of food) will occasionally drop from eneimes. The difficulty is when they throw many enemies at you at the same time, and then combine different ones that make you really have to make quick decisions. There are even enemies that will come out and EAT the food themselves if you don't get to it in time. When you're in the middle of a fight and about to die, seeing those little bastards eat the food you're trying so hard to get to can be devistating. You will often decide to swap out your skylander for another that might be better suited for a particular fight. Hopefully, that better suited one doesn't get killed. In some cases, not paying enough attention to an enemy's attack can get you killed with a single hit (again... this is on hard). In some cases, losing one or two of your lesser favorite (or lower level) skylanders might be worth if it means your favorite survives to fight later on in that level.

Losing half of your skylanders means losing half of your abilities, as well as half of your potential level access. If you've only got one or two giants, and they both die, you've lost access to some of the objectives in the level. The same goes for skylanders of each element. This also means that the number of skylanders you own is a direct correlation to how many lives you get in a level.

based on how difficult the game is getting on hard, I'm very curious to see just how hard it is on "nightmare".

The game also unlocks many different types of side challenges and minigames along the way when playing the campaign. each skylander comes with their own unique Heroic Challenge... which can be played by any of your skylanders. the more skylanders you have, the more challenges you unlock. Perhaps they're easier on easy or normal, but I've found them to be nearly impossible on hard. Perhaps I need to level up my skylanders more... or maybe I just need to get maps of the levels for each challenge.

Additionally, there are a variety of different tournaments that you can play in. These increase in difficulty as you play them, and can become quite challenging. The objectives vary... such as trying to keep enemies from entering the circle in the center of the arena. Choosing the best skylander for the job will make all the difference in whether or not you can complete them.

There's also a PVP mode where you and a friend can battle in an arena, but I haven't tried it yet.

I'm finding the game to be quite a blast and I'm finding it more and more of a challenge the more I play it. The only downside I really see (other than the cost of the toys... but it is what it is) is that the multiplayer makes both players stay on the same screen. I would have hoped they'd let the second player have their own screen and free roaming capabilities... but I guess it might complicated the relatively linear nature of the level design.