You might remember how I raved about the Skylander preview/launch event we attended back in October?
I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of the game to review, making me “the best mum ever!”. Since it arrived, the boys have barely played another game. Although, they did have to cool their heels for a few days, before I allowed them to open the box and play, as it arrived the same day they broke my TV.
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure is a spin-off from Spyro the Dragon, but has lots and lots more characters. Over forty, in fact!
The game starter pack includes the game disk, the Portal, three character figurines, three trading cards, character stickers and a character poster. Other characters can be purchased separately.
The Portal provides the connection between each character and the game, while the character information, such as items found, abilities, health, etc, are stored in each separate figurine. This means that not only can you switch between characters depending on what challenges the game brings up, you can also switch characters when one of them “dies”. (Their “health” gets restored after a while.)
|Please don’t ask me to name them all, even though my kids can, but the one on the Portal is Spyro.|
It doesn’t matter which game console you have. Skylanders is available for the Wii, Playstation and X-box. And, wait for it……. the character figurines are transferable between the different systems! So if your child has a Wii console, they can take their characters to a friend’s house, who has a Playstation and use them there, without having to start a new profile.
The game can be played with one, or two players; either in adventure or battle mode. Battle mode is still too hard for my five year old to master, unless his brother is feeling generous and lets him win.
My eight year old has managed to get through all the adventure levels, but he tells me that there are still hidden things he “needs” to get in the game and new characters that I “need” to buy, so that he can play with their unique abilities. I hope Santa is listening…
I am really pleased that the five year old enjoys the game, too, as it is not too difficult for him to play. Sure, he is not as agile in controlling the characters, but he still can progress through the levels, especially when his older brother, or mum, help.
This is a big plus for me as all the other console games we have are just too hard for him to play and he gets incredibly frustrated (often resulting in damaged Wii-motes). Frankly, so do I. (Obviously I don’t practice enough.)
So my verdict?
- Yes, it is violent – there is no blood spilled, but there are lots of explosions, lots of shooting, fire bombing and other forms of destruction. It is probably no more violent that most cartoons on TV. If this is an issue for you, then this is probably not a game you’d buy for your kids.
- It has a complex and quite involving story line, with lots of animated sequences, which my boys actually want to watch to follow the story. (And no wonder, it was written by the people behind Toy Story.)
- The dialogue between in-game characters is quite witty (if you’re a parent) and one the characters, Flynn, is voiced by John Warburton who voiced Kronk in Emperor’s New Groove. I love Kronk, so, for me, this is a BIG plus….
- It has long playability (is that a word?), due to the different characters and lots of hidden extras in all the levels. The game involves exploring all the levels, finding treasure and solving puzzles, all in order to save the Skylands. There are also mini-games within the levels.
- It is suitable for kids from six years old, in terms of ability to control the characters and get through the levels. Which, ahem…, means the parents can get in on the action, too. Oh, and it has spoken in-game instructions, which really helps when the child can’t yet read.
- It is addictive. When we first received it, my 8yo could not be pried away from it. He wanted to play it all day, every day (which, of course, didn’t happen). Game time is limited to one hour a day in our house, unless I’m feeling very slack and/or need some quiet.
- Just quietly, shooting and destroying “the baddies” in all their forms is quite satisfying, as is getting through the “boss” levels. If I had time, I’d happily play it myself (and have played with the boys), because, well, it’s just fun….
|Just one example of the superb graphics in Skylanders.|
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