280 of 291 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2013
I'm going to preface this review by saying, I'm a mom. I'm not a gamer. I got the game for my 6 year old son. He has the Skylanders Giants and all but a couple of the characters for that and has loved the game. Now that Swap Force is out, it's all I've heard about for weeks (even before the actual release). So, my review is not super technical. It's from the point of view of a mother, not a game.
1. The game comes with two swappable characters. I figured when I got the starter kit, I'd immediately have to go spend another $15 on another swappable character since that's the fun of the game, but nope, it comes with Wash Buckler and Blast Zone, both of which are swappable.
2. The game is long (at least for a 6 year old) which means he feels like he can keep playing and playing. Also, as we add new characters, it's kind of like a new game for him. He may go a few weeks and not play a lot (based on our experience with Giants), but as soon as a new character is added to the collection, there is a renewed interest.
3. The old characters work with the new game. This is big for us because we have so many Giants characters. At least I don't feel like I'm starting over completely.
4. The swappable characters are pretty fun. There will eventually be 16 swappable ones and swapping allows the player to merge abilities and elements. I also like how they use magnets to hold them together so there are no pieces to break off.
5. The characters are pretty durable. In the past year, we've only had one character lose his head! Haha! A little super glue and he was as good as new and, I'll admit, my kids aren't easy on them. We also have the Disney Infinity game and the characters with that one are much less durable due to the design of them (ex. lots of long skinny pieces that easily snap off).
1. It's a money pit. I found this out with the Giants game. You pay $75 for the starter kit and then are constantly buying characters. There's a marketing genius behind this somewhere! Usually, you spend $30-$50 for a game and you're done. Not here!
2. I really hate that they duplicate the characters in lightcore and non-lightcore versions. I didn't realize this when we started buying the Giants and bought ones that we later re-bought in the lightcore variation. I won't make that mistake again. How hard would it be to create another character instead?
3. This game has many new characters, but again, there are a lot of recycled ones too. I'm sure it's cheaper to modify old characters than to create new ones, but for the price, I'd like to see all new ones.
Overall, it is a game I would recommend to parents. Yeah, it's a money pit, but my son has been regularly playing the Giants game for about a year now. There aren't many games that get that much regular play. Plus, you don't need every character to play the game. It's my own fault for buying as many as we have.
131 of 140 people found the following review helpful
Swap Force is quite refreshing!!!! It has just enough "old" to make it familiar and lots of new to make it exciting again! It doesn't matter if you are new to the franchise or an old fan, a young child or a parent playing along, you will enjoy SWAP FORCE!! I LOVE THE WAY THEY HAVE THEIR CAMERAS ANGLED FOR BATTLES, ESPECIALLY IN 2 PLAYER STORY MODE(THIS GAME IS A MAX OF 2 PLAYERS). You can see the "big" picture (it's not a split screen view) and so you don't hurt your partners in battle because you can see where they are.. Divide and Conquer!;)
OLD vs NEW:
The graphics are more colorful and some of the characters do have a little bit of a "cartoonish" appearance and the lip syncing to words is off(not a deal breaker, read the words you won't notice). For instance, the Chompies are back but their eyes are longer which makes them a little more silly looking. Don't let that deceive you into thinking that this game is a breeze. It has the ability to adjust the level of difficulty like it did in GIANTS. From Easy, to Nightmare Mode it has something to offer everyone. It still has hats, treasure chests, puzzles, Kaos and Glumshanks, Flynn, ability to buy upgrades, quests, battles, two players in story mode, and the same camera angles to attack from. You can use ALL of your older Skylander figures and in fact, if you are new to the franchise, make sure to buy a Giant if you enjoy being able to complete everything. I am early into the game and the first and second levels have an area where you need a giant to unlock a treasure chest worth coins. So it is not mandatory to have a giant, but don't put them away if you already have them. The narrator reads the words on the screen, so a younger child could play it alone or you can play with the sound down.
Ability to Swap the top/bottom half of the figures among the "swap-able" figures. The swap-able figures are well made with 2 little strong magnets that hold them together. Easy to swap, but don't fall apart in storage. It's the perfect balance of strength and function. The actual size of the swap-able figures is about the size of some of the Giants(Eye-Brawl), but in game they are not giant. All figures can jump now, even the older ones! This gives it a totally different feel. Now you can jump over enemies that are charging to attack you and get them from behind. There are tree slides that are a lot of fun to zip along and the movable stones have faces and groan when you jump on them..LOL The main community you are saving are fox people now and Flynn's ship has wrecked near their home so the basic home base is different.
HOW MANY ARE OUT AND WHAT DO YOU NEED?
There are 16 of the swap-able figures available(eventually), two within each of the 8 elements and two each within the eight that have different abilities. The abilities are listed within the gold symbols at the base of the characters. These include; Bounce, Climb, Dig, Rocket, Sneak, Speed, Spin, and Teleport. There are two different types of ways the Swap-able figures complete the game. There are gates that require two elements to unlock so you would need a water top half with a fire bottom half to open it, for example or in two player mode you would just need both elements. Then there are specific ability challenges for each of the eight abilities that only the swap-able figures can do. The nice thing about this game is when you buy an upgrade, each half is bought separately. It's like there are two "brains" in each swap-able figure. So,when you mix the legs of one figure with another all the upgrades bought for those legs go with it to the next creation. It is the same for the top halves too. The Starter pack comes with Wash Buckler(Water Element, Climb Ability) and Blast Zone(Fire Element, Rocket Ability) that are swap-able and Ninja Stealth Elf(Life Element, Series 3). There are 19 reposes from either of the older versions of the franchise to buy and 21 new characters, but five of the 21 are duplicated in a Lightcore version too. The minimum requirement to complete the game would be the other 5 elements (new or old) and a Giant. That is.. unless you feel the need to include the SWAP FORCE ONLY CHALLENGES which would mean the other SIX ABILITIES(BOUNCE, DIG, SPEED, SNEAK, SPIN, AND TELEPORT)OF THE SWAP FORCE CHARACTERS A FIGURE WITH AT LEAST ONE OF EACH OF THE EIGHT ELEMENTS (ROCK, ETC)AND A GIANT. THEIR ABILITIES ARE THE GOLD SYMBOLS ON THEIR BASES AND ARE UNRELATED TO THEIR ELEMENT! ROCKET AND CLIMB ABILITIES CAME WITH ALL STARTER PACKS(EXCEPT NINTENDO 3DS) WITH BLAST ZONE AND WASH BUCKLER. Don't write off some of the new characters. I am really impressed with the battle action and creativity of the newer figures that aren't swap-able. Don't forget your friends can come over with their characters and unlock a challenge for you or you can try before you buy in a sense. If you purchase all 16 of the Swap-able figures there are over 250 "new" Skylanders to play with, so you are only limited by your imagination and your pocket book. The figure numbers above are not including the Legendary and Variant/Alt Deco color schemes. This info is for the basic game systems, any brand, EXCEPT THE 3DS Version(it has Free Ranger(Magic Element, Spin Ability) and Rattle Shake(Undead Element, Bounce Ability) that are swap-able and Volcanic Eruptor(Series 3, Fire Element)!!!
SOME GAME DETAILS:
There are 17 Levels with this game to complete along with Battle Arenas that can be played in Solo, Team, and Battles against your friend next to you. If your game system has the ability to connect online there is a bonus upgrade every day, like 5+ Speed for the day, for instance. Every day from 3-6 PM a Rainbow Bridge appears in the "Yard" that will have a Story Scroll, Enchanted Pool and a Treasure Chest at the top. The scenery will also go from night to day based on the time on your machine. If you have friends data put into the Wii U it will compare your scores to your friends. You now have to pay for all the increases from your Legendary Treasures, you only unlock them by finding them. So make sure you acquire all the money you can from barrels etc. There is an easier way to gain money.. TRY PUTTING THE SKY GEM(FROM THE ADVENTURE PACK)IN THE AREA WITH THE PRACTICE BATTLE DUMMIES(THE YARD) AND ATTACK AWAY!!! WOW, WHAT A TRICK!!
SWAP ZONE GATES AND ABILITY CHALLENGES:
There are 8 Swap Zone Element Challenges that can be done. They can only be completed by someone(or half of someone with that Element) and in two player mode the other element can be completed with a the other element in a second figure. There are also the 8 Ability Challenges for the swap force figures that have a bouncing symbols(for example) on their plate at the bottom of their feet. Only 2 SWAP ZONE figures will be able to do each of these(bounce, for instance). See above for more detail. You can put a non-bouncing figures head on top of bouncing legs and still do the challenges, but that would be the only way for that figure to complete it.
BONUS MISSIONS LINKED TO DIFFICULTY:
There are 20 bonus missions now that are quite hard and can be done once your figures are well upgraded. These increase time fighting based on your chosen difficulty level. In the first bonus mission named "Treble Theft" the fighting would last for: Easy & Medium 6 min., Hard 8:05 min., and Nightmare Mode would last for 15:00 min!
You can adjust the volume of each component of the game with this one! I can't believe it, but it is a very handy feature. Go to Pause, Options, Audio and you can adjust the Music, Voice, Effects and Cut Scene Volume individually! It came in quite handy for a few of the sounds.
INFO REGARDING PORTAL:
The portal is totally different, which is why there are only Starter packs with this game. It lights up and it plugs into the actual game system(not a wall adapter). (FYI..I was able to use my other game's portal extension cable with it to add on length. Evidently Amazon makes one too for less.) The Swap Force cable is MUCH LONGER anyway (Thank You!!) than the other cable. Swap Force's cable is over 6 1/2 feet long (I am guessing 7 ft. My tape measure ran out.)!!!!
NOTE TO ACTIVISON> Please make a portal that is Bluetooth so I don't have a 7 seven ft cable across my floor for others to trip over. One where either rechargeable batteries can be used or where it would have it's own AC plug in (not into the machine) with Bluetooth so it won't have to drape across the floor. This would make everyone happy. THANKS!
ADDITIONAL PURCHASE ADDS AN ADDITIONAL LEVEL TO THE GAME..
These increase the number of levels within a game available to play and the "Tower of Time" Adventure Pack that is available for purchase at the launch of Swap Force. It comes with the Tower (which adds the playable level), a battle hammer that assists you in "smashing" the bad guys and a Sky Diamond that gives you 20 coins along with Pop Thorn (which isn't swap-able, but is a new figure and is awesome and funny by the way)who belongs to the air element. The Sky Diamond gives you 20 coins for every enemy that falls for a short period of time(maybe a min.) Be sure to put the Sky Diamond in the "YARD" by the practice dummies for an extra bonus. IT BLEW OUR SOCKS OFF! There will be a total of two of these packs released.."Sheep Wreck Islands" is the name of the next.
ADDITIONAL PURCHASE ADDS AN ADDITIONAL BATTLE ARENA TO THE GAME...
FIERY FORGE (available at launch) This gives an additional battle arena to play in against your friends. It includes the figures Bumble Blast(life element) and Knockout Terrafin(earth element) along with the fiery forge which is a magic item that pours hot molten lava on your foes(similar to a volcanic eruption by Eruptor). The next pack will be called "Arkeyan Crossbow."
You can use your Pro Controller, Old Wii Classic with Nunchuck, or Wii remotes with Nunchucks(with or without Motion)Style.
DEBATING ON AN UPGRADE TO A WII U?
The Classic Wii version has some differences that the other game systems won't have like the quality of the graphics has been disappointing for some. Evidently the file was really big and they had to change two of the levels within the game. I haven't figured out all of the differences yet, but the Brady Games Guide makes reference to the Treasure Chest being on the left of the screen instead of the right sometimes etc. If you are debating about whether to upgrade to the Wii U or not.. UPGRADE NOW! GameStop has a picture in their Black Friday ad that will be a special edition(THE WHITE WII U) that will have what appears to be a "Stone" variant of Wash Buckler along with the SWAP FORCE STARTER PACK INCLUDED FOR $299 and a $25 GIFT CARD TO GAMESTOP ALSO. I imagine that this starter pack will NOT be exclusive to them since it doesn't seem to say it is(unlike the Dark Version Starter of Swap Force). I bet Amazon will be a great place to find one of these too! Since it isn't a Launch year these will probably be readily available compared to the others and the cost of this starter pack alone knocks quite a bit of the cost off. It is an amazing machine and the Gamepad is a really nice option to use without the TV necessarily for gameplay. You get to use ALL the old Very Reasonably priced Classic Wii games on it UNLIKE the competition. You can buy used remotes and used balance boards for a great price if you need to. It's here to stay for a while any way and won't break the bank as much either.
WALMART STARTER COUPONS:
Includes coupons for $10.00 off a $20 Mega Bloks Giants purchase, $5.00 off an $8 dollar Mega Bloks Giants purchase, $3.00 off a Skylanders Game called Island Quest and $5.00 off a Swap Force Accessory priced $14.96 or more. All Expire 2/28/14
ON A BUDGET:
Buy a Swap Force Figure in Each Ability and the newer figures. I find myself really liking the new figures this time! Use your Series 2, or 1, versions of Figures to complete your force. The best Lightcore as far as actually lighting up is Smolderdash(at least at Launch, and she's still pretty dark), but there isn't really improvement in this area. They still have the initial ability to wipe out your foes when they are initially placed on the portal, but this is a one time event. Try them out on the portal in the store before you buy so you can save a few bucks. If you aren't worried about completing all the specific Swap force challenges just buy a couple of Swap-able figures(with some the other 6 Abilities you don't have) and some of the new regular one's. You will have just enough new and be effectively recycling your older ones. ;)
DARK STARTER PACK:
Available now at a common gaming store for $99.00. There will be a sale on Black Friday there too for $25.00 off that price if you are willing to wait. It will ONLY be for the Classic Wii version, NONE OF OTHER GAMING SYSTEMS(including the Wii U) will be on sale. It comes with two additional figures that the basic Starter Pack Doesn't have:Dark Mega Ram Spyro(Magic Element) and Dark Slobber Tooth(Earth Element)the other characters it comes with are the same as the basic starter but they are colored black and silver both on the figure and within the game. They are unable to be purchased otherwise(at least this year).
ALT DECO FIGURES:
Enchanted Hoot Loop(Walmart Exclusive) and Enchanted Star Strike Lightcore, possibly Walmart(both change color in daylight), Nitro Magna Charge(Yellow Target Exclusive) and Nitro Freeze Blade, possibly Target Exclusive, and Dark Blast Zone, Dark Ninja Stealth Elf, Dark Slobber Tooth, Dark Mega Ram Spyro, and Dark Wash Buckler Exclusive to Gamestop Starter Pack. I have seen the name of a "Jade Figure(Fire Kracken?" and a "Jolly Figure(Bumble Blast?)" but don't know any details at this point.
BUYING A GIFT:
The good news is the any of the figures, even the old ones will still be playable with the new game! If you want to get them something newer look for "Swap Force" under the Skylanders title. If you don't know the difference in the swap-able figures look for the spin wheel at the top left corner of the box. If you see one of those, it is a swap-able figure. They also cost more. Try to buy a swap-able element other than fire and water when in doubt of what they have.
97 of 107 people found the following review helpful
We got a full year of play out of each of the previous Skylanders games, which is great compared to other games where we can zip through it in one or two months max. We are Skylanders veterans in our family, but you don't need to have played any other Skylanders games to jump in and enjoy the heck out of this newest offering from Activision, Skylanders Swap Force. It's called "Swap Force" because the "swappers" (not all characters are swappable, as there are regular characters and lightcore character that light up on the portal and in the game). But the "swappers" are characters where the top and bottom are connected by magnets, giving you the ability to make new combinations by taking any top and putting it on any bottom, for a new character! This aspect is SUPER-thrilling to the kids, and they have been counting down the days since last year when it was announced.
The game itself, if you have not played it, involves chapters (levels) which are in different areas of Skylands, a magical realm full of exciting characters, presents, magical keys, hats that give your character special abilities, amusing but tough enemies and bosses, puzzles and mini-games along the way, secret areas and beautiful scenery. In Swap Force, which is the third in the series of Skylanders games (Skylanders Spyro's Adventure was the first, and then Skylanders Giants was the second), the Swap Force characters were tasked with protecting the magic in Skylands. Well, technically they protected the volcano that supplies the magic in Skylands, but one day a huge eruption from the volcano blasted them into two pieces! Now, as in all Skylanders games, you get to be the "Portal Master" and choose which Skylanders to put on the magical portal (that comes with the game and plugs into your game console) to save Skylands.
There are 16 swappers, giving you a total of 256 different combinations. But, at about 15 bucks each, you don't have to worry about getting all 16. The starter kit comes with two swappers, Blast Zone and Wash Buckler (plus a new version of the character Stealth Elf, which is way cool too). We decided to buy only two more swappers, at least for now, and that gives us 4 swappers with a total of 16 combos. You can ignore the marketing and, well, call me frugal, but after going through two previous years of spending a small fortune trying to collect all of the Skylanders, we made a budget and decided we would get the starter kit and two additional swappers, plus one light core character. Everything else they want can go on Christmas wish lists. It is somewhat of a parental mini-game to track down highly sought-after and rare characters that are released in very limited edition, and even in limited stores (the big stores that carry the Skylanders characters have their own "exclusive" characters that are only available in their particular stores).
One thing that is really important to know for choosing which additional characters to get is that there are eight different "elements" in Skylands. An element is basically the area of specialty for that particular character, or for that particular geographical area of Skylands. The elements are: Fire, Water, Earth, Life, Air, Tech, Magic, and Undead. If you have a character for each of the 8 elements, then you can access special sections within the game that need that elemental character to enter.
A HUGE bonus to the Skylander line of games is that you can use any of your characters from the two previous Skylanders games and play them in the current Skylanders game, Swap Force. So if you've played Spyro's Adventure or Giants, hang onto those characters because you can use them in this one, which helps with having the different elemental characters to access the special sections in the game.
Portal of Power? It's a round pedestal connected by USB to your console. It lights up and looks really cool, and you can put your Skylanders on it to send them into Skylands to play. (ahem, I mean, to SAVE SKYLANDS!!) You can put up to 3 items (2 characters and a magical item) on the portal at a time, and it's a lot of fun to watch them join the game, with their own amusing catchphrases. The Stink Bomb swapper says, "Clear the Air!" The swapper Grilla Drilla says, "If there's a drill, there's a way!"
We love to play it in two-player mode, it's cooperative play, and a lot of fun. Adults and kids alike in our family enjoy it.
Difficulty setting: You can choose between Easy, Medium, Hard, and Nightmare levels of difficulty, which makes it adaptable to all ages. My youngest likes to go all the way through on Easy, then try the other difficulty levels for sections of the game. The Hard and Nightmare levels make it fun for the older kids and adults.
Experience: I can't believe I didn't mention this earlier, but one of the biggest perks of playing Skylanders games is that each character stores its experience, upgrades, power-ups, gold, and other data right in a chip in the base of the Skylander! So you don't have to rely on your game system to hold all of that, because each character stores its own data. Guess what? This means that when my son went over to his friend's house to play the Skylanders games, he could take his characters over, and still have all of his upgrades, etc. on them. They have had a blast bringing their boxes of characters back and forth to each other's houses to play...and it doesn't matter what gaming system they have, either. We played on our Wii, but his friend had the Skylanders games on his Xbox. How amazing is Activision to have all this worked out? And Vicarious Visions is the inventive developer.
New to the Swap Force game is that the characters have the ability to jump, which really opens up all kinds of new possibilities. Jumping isn't just for the new Swap Force characters, but somehow the game developers made it that all of the previous Skylanders from the previous two games now have the new ability to jump as well
The graphics are gorgeous, the cut scenes are beautiful and fun to watch, and it doesn't take long to get the hang of playing this very very fun game.
I highly recommend it, and my only caveat is you may want to budget from the beginning. I helped my kids figure out which swappers to buy so that they would have one from each element. Of course, we have our last two years of Skylanders to use as well, so if you are new to Skylanders, I definitely recommend a budget. It's important to mention that these games are very kid-friendly, and you won't find anything disturbing or violent in them that would scare a child. That's one of the reasons we love it.
But honestly, my friends, this game will provide tons and tons of enjoyment....in addition to the gameplay on your console, there are also online games that go along with it, as well as apps that are part of the franchise. I mean it when I say we got an entire year of game play out of each of the previous two Skylanders games. We are a gaming family, and Skylanders is absolutely our favorite game of all time. Get one and jump in! You won't regret it.
40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2013
The Wii version of the game has inferior graphics compared to the other version and has more glitches - freezes and sometimes items that should be there aren't. Sometimes the entrances to the cave or special areas don't work. If you reset the game, those items will be there or start working. The game is fun but the software problems make it frustrating. The controls have changed from the other two games. In the other games, Attack 1 was the A button, Attack 2 was the B button, Attack 3 was the Z button (on the nunchuck). C was for communicating. In this game, a jump action is now the A button - Attack 1 is the B button, Attack 2 is the C button, and Attack 3 is still the Z button. Communicating is now the "-" sign. It made it frustrating for a six year old...and me, too! There's more to do and one more level of difficulty. The buttons for pausing the game and checking your Skylander's info have changed also.
I just wish that Activision had spent more time on quality control on this game for Wii. I also wish that they had kept the control buttons the same for ease for little ones.
I have seen and played the PS3 version - much better graphics and not glitchy (at least through the first 8 chapters).
UPDATE: Based on others' comments and Activision's troubleshooting advice regarding internet connections, I deleted my wireless settings and reset the wireless connection. That action resulted in another Wii update and the graphics are now much better. Hasn't solved the freezing problems and some of the other issues.
UPDATE: We are NOT getting rewards for finishing a gate or other mission. Latest example: Life Gate in Iron Jaw Gulch, finished the gate but the reward wan't visible (no box to shake). In other areas, the game character will say "here's you reward/hat" but nothing is there.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Skylanders SWAP Force is a fun RPG-type game for younger children that doesn't have any blood or gore or inappropriate themes. The story line is pretty basic - a bad guy is going to destroy the magical world of Skyland and your child, along with the SWAP Force, is the only one who can stop him and save the world.
What makes this game special is that it utilizes figurines that each have unique skills and powers. Their stats are stored inside the figure itself. Your child can use each figure's special power by simply placing it on the USB portal, which is included in this game. Swapping out different figures during the game is seamless and instantaneous. As your child plays and his characters level up, that info is stored inside the figure. And because the stats are stored in the figure, your child can take them to play at a friend's home with all of his characters' achievements - even if they have a different game platform!
This starter set comes with the game, the portal and 3 figures. Two of the figures are swap-able - which means they are separated into two parts and each half of a figure can be placed on any other half of a another figure, giving the resulting figure the powers of two characters. However, if you have figures from previous Skylander games, they also work with this version.
The graphics are very bright and colorful and cartoon like. The game has 3 memory slots so up to 3 players can save their game progress.
Even though Nintendo rates this game for ages 10 and up, I really think children 6 and up will love playing this game! For young ones who can't read yet, most all of the quests and challenges are spoken by the narrator. The only thing that mom and dad will have to read for them is what the character's new powers are when they level up. And because there are 4 levels of difficulty, it's flexible enough that even a 6 year old can play successfully. My adult developmentally disabled daughter loves this game and plays every day in easy mode.
I've discovered that it's hit or miss with older children. My 11 year old son has no real interest in this game but his 12 year old friend loves it as do several of his other 11 year old friends. Because it's not an inexpensive game, I would advise having an older child play it at GameStop, if possible, just to be sure it's something he/she will enjoy. Of course, you can count on having to buy more figures if your kids like it as much as most kids do so be prepared to spend even more money on this already expensive game.
I am going to buy the previous Skylander Giants game for my daughter for Christmas since she enjoys it so much.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2013
Swap Force takes Skylanders to the next level and then some. The story is easily as good or better than the previous games, and the animation is absolutely top notch... That is, as long as you don't have the Wii version of the game.
I've had a Wii for several years, and wasn't really concerned with playing in HD, so I bought the Wii version of the game. I played it all the way through, struggling past the freeze-ups others have reported, and I noticed odd jumps in story or dialog that looked like something had been removed.
Something WAS removed. A Wii game disk can't hold as much as the other systems' disks, so entire sections of gameplay were removed and some levels were reworked to cover the gaps.
The most obvious one is this: In the Tower of Time level, about half-way through, a character said "that was close" just after NOTHING happened. Turns out an entire boss fight was cut from the Wii version of the game.
I went ahead and upgraded to a Wii U, since it can play all my Wii games, and I bought the Wii U version of Swap Force. To put it simply: It's like I'm playing a completely different game! Everything's moved around, and the levels go on longer and have much more detail. My roommate (who isn't a gamer) commented that the cut scenes look like they were done by Pixar.
This is a wonderful game, just make sure you get it for a console that can support the whole thing.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I loved the concept of the original Skylanders, even when people were all over internet message boards decrying what Activision had done to Spyro the Dragon. When the game came out, it turned out to be an exceptionally well done button masher with a clever little gimmick to convince gamers of all age to purchase figures for it. I ended up purchasing at least one of each figure type and the entire Undead set. Then came Skylanders Giants. It was more of the same, but now with a few new figures and larger figures. I enjoyed Giants, but not as much and I didn't feel the need to purchase figures from the Giants line except Flashwing and Fright Rider.
Now here we are with Swap Force. The gameplay for Swap Force is very similar to the previous games. You put a figure on the Portal of Power and use them to bust heads, gaining experience and new powers (or strengthening old ones) along the way. The new gimmick involved figures that can be bisected with other swappable characters, giving you a new combination of type and power. There are a lot of neat new figures for the game and I myself ended up getting Grim Creeper, Night Shift, Smolderdash and Star Strike. I enjoyed the new characters and swap power more than the Giants, but I'm starting to notice that the games are becoming little more than a yearly face lift, with some new gimmick designed to make you not only purchase a 50-80 dollar game but spend at least that in figures as well. it's a great money making scheme Activision has got going and it's made them a crap load of money, but at some point the concept and the extra monetary expenditures are going to blow up in their face the same way Guitar Hero died a terrible death. At this point I'd like to see more of a DLC focus than a yearly game release.
As well, Skylanders Swap Force is noticeably buggy with many people mentioning ways the game stalls or outright crashes on them. This is true regardless of system format, but the Wii version seems to be especially bad at this. Of course this being a game for the Wii, it probably won't seem a patch, whereas the Sony and Microsoft versions (and even possibly the Wii U version) will. It's a shame because I have Skylanders for both the Wii (provided by Amazon's Vine program for review purposes) and the PS3 (provided directly by Activision for review purposes) and although I prefer playing the games on the Wii, the PS3 version does run better and has less bugs.
In all, I'd give this a thumbs in the middle. The games are fun, but the cost to play them adds up quickly. I like the new characters, but after three games in as many years, I'm dreading this becoming a yearly face lift title in the same way I don't really get as enthused about sports titles anymore. The Wii version is the worst of bunch this year due to all the issues the game seems to suffer from bug-wise, but it's fun enough that it's still worth a purchase for bigtime fans of the game. Just be prepared for some frustrating freezes and knowing that there are better versions of the same game out there.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2013
My family owns both of the other Skylander games & love them. The controls for Swap Force are very different & the game freezes often. The game will stop in the middle of an action scene as well as cut scenes. very annoying for an expensive game.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2013
I ordered the Wii version of this game for a Wii-U console (oops) so this review is specific to that experience.
In may ways SWAP Force is a huge improvement on Skylanders Giants. In one big way, it's not. The interruption of game time for various loading screens is pretty inexcusable. Game time is repeatedly bogged down as the disc catches up to the player. I was tired of the loading screen by the second day and that kept me from fully recommending the game. As for what they got right - there are less commercials! While you still need certain power ups and the game gives you bonuses you can't use without having a certain toy, it no longer nags you to buy upgraded figures. (If you played Skylanders Giants you know what I mean - sure you can use this figure but the new Giants version has a higher hit point, are you sure you want to continue? Yes, yes I am because mom is not made of money!) SWAP Force continues on with whatever figure you place on the portal without begging you to buy a repaint. I loved that. They also eliminated the unnecessary screen asking you to confirm every Skylander swap. Graphics are nice, even on this Wii version, and new gameplay elements have been added. (You can jump!) It's got a higher degree of difficulty with more puzzles than previous Skylanders offering more playability. New characters add interest and levels are not as predictable in their path. I was going to skip this title as more of the same but I'm really glad I didn't. Best Skylander game by far. As a bonus, the SWAP Force characters are supported in the iPad apps, so if you (or your child) has the mobile version they can add these characters to that game. (Saving wasn't intuitive - hard to look up a help site to discover proper save procedures) Get rid of the load screens and SWAP Force would be a five star holiday game for me.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2013
Wish there was a way to give zero stars. Even at the new reduced price the Wii version of this game should be avoided.
Some background. I have the Spyro's Adventure and Giants Wii versions of Sklyanders and have enjoyed them.. .
I am extremely disappointed with Swap Force for the Wii. It is clear that this version of the game is second rate. I have seen play on the X-Box 360 and the WiiUt. I understand that the Wii platform is not able to fully support the game because of its older technology. I would much rather Activision had *not* created the Wii version at all than to put out this inferior product. It was only after my purchase that I found out the Wii version had to be "dumbed" down so to speak to be used on the Wii. I found this out because I had to research the many, many issues I've had with this game. I have tried to reach out to Activision to complain about the lack of quality but to date they have not responded nor have they provided any information on how to deal with the many glitches in this game.
1. The game will completely freeze making a loud squealing noise. The Wii motes and console power and reset buttons are unresponsive. The only option is to unplug the console from the power source which of course means you lose your game progress.
2. The game will freeze in mid play. This without the noise. The console still responds to Wii mote commands.. The option is to return to Will menu and lose game progress.
3. Multiple glitches in game play. While playing the Treble Theft bonus mission, third instrument, the rocket launching foe on the right platform was placed behind the building. No possible angle or weapon would allow the foe to be attacked. Thus the mission failed.
4. Every Teleport Swap Force Challenge will at some point get a double layer of discs and the Swap Force Character will be unable to change locations. The discs keep appearing as do the hazards and awards, but no movement can take place. The only option is to access the menu by selecting + on the Wii mote and either restarting the level all over, returning to Woodborrow, etc. Meaning game progress is lost again.
5. Also on the Teleport Swap Force Challenges the graphic stating the goal and time covers any where from 1 - 3 discs depending on if it is displaying the full banner or the smaller one. So at best there is on disc that cannot be seen during every challenge. This is really unacceptable game play. This is a clue that the Wii version of Swap Force was not fully play tested as this happens *every time* and would have been an obvious item to correct.
6. In the Windianapolis challenge in the Tower of Time chapter characters can get trapped inside the blocks. They are unable to get out or move past the confines of the block. This happened with multiple characters including PopThorn and Free Ranger two blue base characters.
7. General - There are many places in the chapters where the camera angle prevents you from seeing the full play area. Foreground images overlay the area where the Skylander must move. In some cases this results in defeat by unseen enemies, in others trial and error blind navigation to find the path or door way needed. Again this is more evidence of the lack of pre-market game testing.
8. Missing game components in Woodburrow. The Wii version does not display which Legendary item is on which pedestal making changing objects a tedious guessing game. There is not a spark lock chest in the Great Hollow. The Epic launch pad( and consequently the the hidden area it leads to) is not available on Treetrunk Peak
These are just some of the examples that show what a disappointing product the Wii version of Swap Force is. I am advising everyone I know not to purchase this version.