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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game of the Year!
I am 32 years old and consider myself a huge fan of the first two Skylander games and now the 3rd release "Swap Force".
I enjoy the playing the games with my kids, they also love it and it has been enjoyable to do something together as a family.

I will gear my review toward veteran players of the Skylander series.

So far so good, at first I was...
Published 15 months ago by J. Dog

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another entry in the Skylanders universe
Growing up back east I used to get with my friends after school to play with action figures. The battles we had ranged from Star Wars to GI Joe and beyond. When video games started to get popular I was wondering when someone was going to fuse the two together. Activision saw the potential and released the first Skylanders game back in 2011. Now in 2013 they are releasing...
Published 15 months ago by Thomas Riccardi


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game of the Year!, October 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I am 32 years old and consider myself a huge fan of the first two Skylander games and now the 3rd release "Swap Force".
I enjoy the playing the games with my kids, they also love it and it has been enjoyable to do something together as a family.

I will gear my review toward veteran players of the Skylander series.

So far so good, at first I was slightly disapointed because I put Flameslinger (series 2) on the portal and the Xbox controller buttons are different from Giants. Now that there is the ability to Jump (A), they reconfigured all the buttons. Instead they could have just just utilized (Y) for jump since it was not used in Giants. My gripe is that Flameslinger's Wow Pow speed boost has to be used by pressing my index (X) and middle finger (B), hardly manageable. On Giants I could just use my thumb (X,A) for speed boost. I imagine this same issue will reoccur with older figures, especially ones with abilities that require multiple button pressing. It is a minor quibble but slightly frusrating since Flameslinger is my character of choice.
**update**Problem somewhat solved: The right upper trigger button will work for speed, then I hold (X) for super speed.

There are a few other disapointments and I'll get those out of the way.
- No more Heroic Challenges. But this is also kind of good considering I don't have to go through 32 heroic challenges to ugrade my character's stats any more. Which makes resetting my character to change alternate "paths" easier, or less painful.
**update** There are similar challenges to Heroic Challenges called "bonus missions" which are fun and very challenging. The main difference is you do not have to purchase more characters to unlock these, you only have to earn them in the game by completing "Swap Zone" challenges and other side missions.
- No areas for swimming for water element characters or fire areas that require a fire element character (lava world), like we saw on a few levels in Spyro's Adventure (as I have played so far). I was hoping Swap Force would return to and expand upon this!
- Old Adventure Packs (Dragon's Peak, Empire of Ice etc.) will not give you an extra level like they did before, only can be used as a majic item. I am not sure yet if they will give you an extra battle arena or not either, I don't think they do.
- Graphics/ resolution seemed fuzzy at first. So I purchased a 6$ HDMI cable from Amazon, problem solved.

Now for the positives-
- Excellent resolution, lighting, graphics with my new HDMI cable.
-Tons of variety and new gamplay. Every level so far there has been a "WOW" moment. The levels are a lot longer than Giants, like at least twice as long.
-Multiple difficulty levels and some more challenging content for older gamers.
- New stuff includes: fishing; new mini games, river rafting, really cool side-scrolling bonus areas.
-Tons of elemental zones, brand new Swap Zones for Swap Force characters only- such as climbing, flying, and racing, and secret areas a plenty.
- New survival mode battles - they are kind of like the arena battles in "Giants" but longer and more challenging.
- The new characters are AWESOME! In particular LightCore Smolderdash- She looks great as a figure, you set her on the portal and her eyes and fire hair glow red. In the game she's even more awesome, she powers up by catching on fire which then makes all of her other attacks more devastaing (whip attack, firey explosions etc.). She has short downtime after powering up, where she then "Smolders", in which the flame dims and smoke rolls off her dark figure, very cool. My kids also love the new ability to swap halves to make new characters.

In Summary: It's hard to imagine that Activision can continually come up with new and unique characters that differ from the many others already made but they continually do just that, it's amazing. Overall, Swap Force is a beautifully mastered work of art with stunning visuals, breathtaking landscapes, a great soundtrack bending from new age classical to a bit darker edgey electronica. It's gameplay is witty, challenging and addictive, which makes me conclude it should be the Game of the Year if not Game of the Century!

Enjoy, Portal Masters!
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3rd time is the charm!, October 14, 2013
By 
This review is from: Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Another year and another holiday release for Activision's Skylanders series. I'll be focusing on the Xbox 360 version (which is what I purchased for my 8 year old son). We have been on board with the series since day 1 and have an extensive collection of basically every game, figure and battle pack out there.

To start with, the gameplay is basically the same this time around. The "swap" style gameplay adds another element to things, but basically it is no different than the different "elemental" affinities from the past games. Yes, it is cool to swap parts and make interesting and funny combos (my son and his friends had a blast doing this). The swap in swapforce really boils down to the legs though. Each swap force toy has a specific base element (climbing, jumping, rockets, etc..) and based upon that determines which mini games they can play. Sound familiar? So now instead of having to worry about having a life Skylander to open a certain area, you also have to make sure you have a swap character with the correct base to complete other challenges. Thankfully the starter pack takes pretty good care of gamers.

As side note, we opted for the Gamestop exclusive Dark Pack which came with 2 "dark" swap force skylanders and 3 non-swap ones. My son slightly put off that 3 of the 5 characters were basically repaints/poses of previous characters. While they appeal to that "gotta catch em' all" attitude, I wish there had been something more, well exclusive about them.

The big change this go around is the portal of power, which receives a need re-design. No more raised edges, which makes it a lot easier to fit on even 2 of the giant Skylanders with ease. I know people will be up in arms about this, but the refresh is nice, and after playing all day yesterday not once did we have any errors where the new portal did not read that a new skylander was placed upon it. In the end, this is very much a continuation of the Skylanders series. The core gameplay elements have been tweaked slightly, but you can certainly tell it's the same brand. Activision is really bringing on the assault for this holiday season with new Swap Force toys, new regular Skylanders, new giants, repaints/reposes and exclusives. Certainly some toys will travel further than others (in terms of cool-ness and likeability). And I still love the fact that we get an actual toy instead of just DLC.

Swap force is a worth edition to the Skylanders line. Some really cool new toys (and the swap feature is really fun), an improved portal of power and a new adventure is well worth you're investment. Expect this one to be on the kid's Christmas list.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in the series!, October 31, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
This is absolutely the best game in the series so far! There is way more to do in the game outside of the story mode, so it gives you more involvement and adds incredibly to replay value. It finally added a jump feature so now it has more of a platforming/adventure feel to it. It makes it feel less linear.

Also, and this is a small but nice thing, the various lands you go to are inhabited by different races, some of them similar to the Skylanders themselves, so it makes it look more like the Skylanders are just the best of the existing races, and not some strange mysterious mystical god-like creatures that appeared from nowhere.

The new characters also don't seem too forced or dumb: they are just as creative and original as the first and second series (something that can't be said for a lot of games, e.g., Pokemon) and you can still use all your old Skylanders as well.

One downside; you do have to buy a pack with the new Portal as the old one won't read the Swapables, but the new portal should work with your old games so you shouldn't have to worry about switching between hardware all the time (I haven't tried that myself yet, but I've read multiple times that it is the case and if it's on the internet it must be true! Right?)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for old and young alike., October 13, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
We bought this game (though technically it was the "dark" edition) for my 5 and 7 year old girls on release day. It's been just as great as the previous games in the series. It is a little more cartoonish than previous games(which actually I like because my girls don't get "scared" as easily that way) but still a great game. The new portal is needed though so disconnect the old one for this game. My girls happily share "responsibilities" of swapping skylanders and playing alternately. The only thing I see as a downside is you only get 2 split characters in the game originally and have to buy more separately. It's a good marketing strategy for the company and I'll happily play along if they keep making such great games.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another entry in the Skylanders universe, October 30, 2013
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Growing up back east I used to get with my friends after school to play with action figures. The battles we had ranged from Star Wars to GI Joe and beyond. When video games started to get popular I was wondering when someone was going to fuse the two together. Activision saw the potential and released the first Skylanders game back in 2011. Now in 2013 they are releasing Skylanders Swap Force but is this a game you'll want to pick up?

Along with the previous Skylanders game there are a variety of figures you can collect and trade. There are over 70 figures in this base set but there's something that sets these apart from the previous sets. You can mix and match the top and bottom parts of these figures to create new creatures. The top part of the figure affects how you will fight and what attacks you will use while the bottom controls how you will move in the game. There are over 250 possible combinations that you can come up with and each sport their own unique abilities and powers.

The single player campaign has you fighting against the forces of chaos and his mom. It is up to you to put a stop to it in various levels where you run, fight and shoot your way through. However this game is pretty much designed for kids so if you're a veteran gamer looking for a challenge you might want to look elsewhere. The graphics in the game however look amazing as it really brings the characters to life on the screen. Also mixing and matching powers is fun as you can experiment with what works for your playstyle.

If you are worried about the old figures not working with this new set you need not fear. Activision has stated that all the older figures will work with this new set. Also if you haven't purchased any of the previous games getting in on this is pretty steep. At $75 to get in on this with 3 figures and each of the figures costing between $10-14 each it can get pretty expensive quickly.

So if you're either new to Skylanders or a veteran you will want to pick up this new set. With tons of customizable characters, a new adventure and more figures to collect this will be on every kids wish list for Christmas.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun addition to the Skylander series, October 22, 2013
By 
April Ann (Lakewood, WA) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
We have been playing the game for about a week now and my whole family is enjoying it. I have two six year olds who live and breath Skylanders and have beat both Spyro's Adventure and Giants.

My only advise would be if you are just starting on your adventure into Skylanders, beware it is a money suck. To fully complete the game (access all areas, etc) you must have numerous different Skylanders and it is an investment. The great thing that the developer has done is allow all the characters from earlier games to play in the newer games which cuts down on necessary purchases for future games. However, with each new game comes a new type of character necessary to beat the game, for Giants it was the Giant Skylanders and for Swap Force it is the Swap Skylanders. I have 2 Swap characters that came with my starter pack, I purchased two for $15 each on sale and I STILL can't access everything without buying four more.

Happy Gaming!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puts the Awesome in Awesomeness!, November 25, 2013
This review is from: Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
So far, Skylanders Swap Force is my Favorite video game! The boss fights are much better than they were in the other skylander games. Even though the Giants aren't in it, you can still use them to open treasures. I personally prefer the Swap Force characters more than I like the Giants. If you like the series 3 skylanders, but already have the series ones or twos, then let me tell you, that getting the series threes is worth it. The new Wow-Pows are much better than the series 2 Wow-Pows. If you want to find all of the treasures in the game, you must have 1 Giant, all 8 elemental types, and all 8 movement types. If you want to save money, have all 8 elemental types, and all 8 movement types, you'd have to buy Group 1: Blast Zone, Rattle Shake, Stink Bomb, Free Ranger, Hoot Loop, and Rubble Rouser, or buy Group 2: Fire Kracken, Night Shift, Grilla Drilla, Boom Jet, Trap Shadow, and Doom Stone. You'd also need Pair 1: Wash Buckler and Magna Charge, or Pair 2: Freeze Blade and Spy Rise. Group 1 along with Pair 1 would be cheaper, because Wash Buckler and Blast Zone are in the starter pack. I hope this review helps. I am the son of Rhymoceros!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 3rd release, October 14, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Seems great so far. My son played a long time yesterday and there still seems like there is much to do. he said the second was too short. I do like how their are more levels to unlike ones more characters come out. it is a gimick of course to get you to buy more but also nice to more there are more challenges ahead that can not be a beat in a couple of days. There are too many violent gory games outthere. I am glad something like this can hold my tweens attention even if it is pricey to collect the figures but he loves them
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!, October 17, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
This game worth every penny that you will spend for buying it... This swappable technology is awesome, the graphs are much better than previous version and you can use giants or old figures for playing the game (as the Skylanders Giants). Another interesting feature is the upgrade of different parts of the figure body: you can upgrade the torso or the bottom part independently. So, if you combine an upgraded torso from one figure with bottom from another one, you will create a "new" character with different upgrades based on what you did previously. It was a smart idea from the creators of this version!!! Once again, you can upgrade all characters, making them stronger (and upgrades are recorded into the figure). In addition, there are some closed gates that you need to mix 2 elements together (eg. magic+water) for opening them. You can do it by swapping figures. Flaw points: 1) Our skylanders characters are very small in size when on screen; 2) You cannot rotate the camera to look around (I think that developers must fix these both problems on the next game).

My final verdict: Excellent game and, definitely, this new version of Skylanders throws Disney infinity in the garbage can.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Skylanders game for parents playing with their kids, January 27, 2014
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This review is from: Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Got this half off MSRP on Black Friday, which I considered a bargain as it comes with 3 of the very pricey figures, two of which are swap-able.

If you've played Skylanders you already know what you're getting into. If you have not, let me say that the changes they've added for Swap Force actually make the game enjoyable to play co-op with your kids. There are far more platforming and adventuring elements and the fact that all loot and XP are shared means nobody gets left behind.

Don't get me wrong this is still a pre-teen game, but adults and teens may actually enjoy playing it with the kiddies now! That was the biggest surprise as I did not enjoy playing Giants with my son at all (he's an 8yo treasure hoarder).
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Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - Xbox 360
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