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89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic platforming meets nostalgic toy-collecting
I was initially hesitant to buy this game because of the steep price and mixed reviews. I knew the 3DS version was different, but there was a distinct lack of reviews on that version. So, a month later, I see the starter bundle is $20 dollars off at most places and I decide to try it. Let me first find a way of describing just how fun it is. I got The Legend of Zelda:...
Published on November 21, 2011 by Wolfmaster

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3DS version NOT THE SAME as the Wii version
My son wanted this so he could "take it along with him." Well, he was thoroughly disappointed and wants to sell it because it is SIGNIFICANTLY different than the full blown Wii version. I don't know all the details, but it sounded like they removed things and dumbed it down a bit--even changed who the main bad guy is. The game itself is fine, but these changes are...
Published 16 months ago by Mom, homeschooler, small busin...


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89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic platforming meets nostalgic toy-collecting, November 21, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
I was initially hesitant to buy this game because of the steep price and mixed reviews. I knew the 3DS version was different, but there was a distinct lack of reviews on that version. So, a month later, I see the starter bundle is $20 dollars off at most places and I decide to try it. Let me first find a way of describing just how fun it is. I got The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword with Music CD the same day, a game I have been waiting for eagerly for years, and I am choosing Skylanders over Zelda!

This game is setup like classic PS1/N64 era platformers, as an overworld with many play worlds, and each world has 5 levels/stages, each with 5 unique objectives. Most of the objectives can be completed with any two characters of your choice. The characters are scanned in through the "Portal of Power". Talk to someone in the overworld, press down on the portal, and go. There are minor annoyances with this, however:

1. Initially you will need to unscrew the battery cover on the bottom. Why can't they have used a snap-cover?
2. The IR port is not near the bottom, but rather near the TOP. You cannot place the 3DS next to it while it syncs your character, you must hold your 3DS about 3 inches in the air. Thankfully this only takes about one second (Though the first time I did it, it took about 3 minutes, which I assume was a glitch).
3. You are locked into those two characters while away from your portal, unless you take all your peripherals with you on-the-go, which is unrealistic (but possible). However, you receive bonuses for using only a certain two types of characters each day, presumably chosen at random by the game. This allows you to level up those two characters more quickly.

Once you're past the initial complications, it's easy enough to switch your character.

I mentioned that MOST (4 out of 5 gems per stage) challenges can be done with any character. One gem per level can only be completed by having the correct character class. It can either be simply taking it into the battle stages, or completing one or two platforming side-levels in the platforming stages. So with the 3 characters included in the starter pack, you will not be able to get about 1/3 of these gems. So you will not be able to get approximately 1/15th (One-fifth times one-third) of the gems in the game, unless you buy at least 5 more Skylanders (more on this later).

Now to discuss the gameplay itself. You are not even able to jump in the console versions, it's just hack-and-slash, developed by Toys for Bob who I have never heard of. In the 3DS version, you can not only jump, but also double-jump and glide (if your character has wings). It was developed by Vicarious Visions, who is known for many great games, most recently the Guitar Hero series.

The stages and worlds are completely unique to this version. They are linear but often have branching paths- one path is best for platforming, the other is best for hacking at enemies. These alternate paths can get complicated, and the platforming can get very hard (falling platforms, etc). Certain objectives are only on one of the two paths so you must either guess, or memorize where they are. The enemies also show a dramatic increase in strength as you progress through levels, which is good if you're upgrading all your skylanders equally.

As with many games in recent memory, you have NO camera control. Super Mario 3D Land is one such game, and it bothers me in that game because the camera angle will switch wildly at random, sometimes in the middle of a jump! In skylanders, it is okay, because the camera is always behind the character and the levels are always oriented into the screen.

The 3D is some of the best I've seen on the console but by no means is it required. But it helps with depth perception. The controls are tight, and the analog stick is truly analog, unlike SM3DL. It is a laid-back game, but does get difficult. You can blow through each level one time, or come back many times, buy 5+ more skylanders (one of each from 8 character classes), and 100% each world before moving onto the next.

There are brilliant marketing schemes hidden behind this game. Legendary skylanders are exclusive to Toys R Us, Whirlwind is exclusive to Target, and Drill Sgt is exclusive to Walmart. There are 4 possible "Adventure Packs" similar to "Downloadable Content/DLC" in many games today, only you get a physical figurine for the level. And each one has a Skylander that you can only buy within that pack.

What I like most about this design is the dissonance between freedom and constantly being pursued by this game's villan: Hectore. You can go through the level as fast or slow as you want. You can do whatever objective you want first; Collect all the radiance, or avoid it completely and destroy all the chests, pop all the balloons, burn all the snowmen. In any case, once you complete one of the objectives and get a gem, you must get to the end of the level. That would be easy, but Hectore notices you have a gem and wants to steal it from you. So a timer starts which can be extended by killing enemies and grabbing clocks. Once you get down to 30 seconds, Hectore is close enough to actually shoot at you which makes it even harder to finish. So, there's a balance here. If possible, you want to be as close to the end of the level as you can before completing the objective and getting the gem, or you will have a mad rush to the finish line.

I don't think I've seen any in-depth reviews like this, so that's why I did it. This is a game that is easy to pick up and hard to master. It would be easy enough for a child to play, but adults (I'm 23) will still enjoy the increasing difficulty, the leveling up, battle strategies, and collection aspects. Looking for these figurines takes me back to the days when I was around 9 years old, dragging my mom to stores looking for pokemon cards, pogs, and all those other great late 90's fads. Well here we have a new fad and it's a great one at that!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative game, will cost a fortune, October 23, 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
This is a great little game. The Skylanders' use of physical mineatures at the 'portal' is quite cool. They're going to make a fortune selling this stuff.

One thing to be aware of that isn't explained in the description is that the 3DS game is not the same game as the other platforms. I suspect that they did this intentionally, as many gamers have both a portable and console/PC/Mac, and this way they get to sell them two copies of the game.

3DS Skylanders is a "platformer" where you run, jump and explore, going through a fairly small number of single-path levels repeatedly in order to be awarded all of the crystals, in a manner that reminds me of other "linear" adventure games on the 3DS, such as the Lego games. You get crystals for collecting points, or by making it through a level in a special way (e.g. don't use the "clocks" that add time on timed levels, don't fall into the lava). You need to use different characters with different abilities in order to fully explore the levels. I haven't beaten the game yet, so I can't say what the crystals do.

You can play with two characters in your party at a time, one of which is active. Once you have two characters activated (using the Portal) you don't need the portal except to change characters, so you can just take the 3DS without the portal, and play as long as you want with the two characters that are loaded. To swap to different characters you'll need the Portal. The 3DS portal is different from the Portal on the consoles/PC/Mac - it is smaller, battery powered, and has an IR port. This allows you to use it with the 3DS (which does not have a USB port), and when traveling (since it's battery powered).

I haven't played the other version, but from the reviews it seems more like a traditional, free-form adventure, where multiple players can play at once. The larger Portal allows you to play with multiple chacters, adventure areas, weapons, etc. So I can see people who are really into Skylanders buying both the 3DS version and the console/PC/Mac version.

One other nice touch is that the three characters that you get with the 3DS version are different from the charcters that come with the other versions, so if you buy both a console/PC/Mac version and the 3DS version you end up with six different characters (though two are Spyro - normal and "dark").

In summary, I'm quite happy that I bought the 3DS Skylanders, and I plan on buying the PC/Mac version Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack (Mac and Windows versions are in the same box) to explore the world and characters more fully. Since the characters are portable between all platforms, including the Web-based game on [...], that lets you get more value out of all of the figures that I'll end up buying.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but amazing, November 9, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
Console reviewed: 3DS
Also on: Wii, PC, XBox 360, PS3, iOS
Notes: I had the following figurines in use throughout the game- Spyro, Dark Spyro, Terrafin, Zap, Gill Grunt, Ignitor, Trigger Happy, Sonic Boom and Stealth Elf. I also used Pirate Seas, Hidden Treasure and Ghost Swords.

Graphics: 9.5/10
They look amazing and on-par with many console games. 3D effects are great, especially with beautiful cherry blossoms, jungles and frozen tundras.
Sounds: 9.0/10
Music is mostly from the console version, but actually fits in better here. Chimes fit well with each theme and sound very calm.
Story: 9.0/10
Nice and simple story. Hektore makes for an intriguing and awesomely subtle villain, and you can truly feel Wendel trying his hardest.
Value: 8.0/10
A bit short, but getting every Radiance Shard can be challenging.
Gameplay: 9.5/10
A joy throughout, and reminiscent of older platformers. Keeping two Skylanders with you on the go is a great mechanic, and levels come in perfect bursts.

Overall(Average): 9.0/10
Wonderful to play, beautiful to look at and filled with surprises throughout.

This is... A wonder. Brilliant. A fantastic Adventure not to be missed. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure on 3DS is... A joy. Not enough just to get a 3DS for- but if you have one- you must get this fantastically, purely fun, beautiful addition to gaming. It's not an instant classic, but should stand higher than it does. It's a sorely overlooked game, getting the treatment the Wii version should also have gotten.

The game starts with Eon telling you of Hektore, the malicious wizard, who forced the Seekers to build the Dark Mirror to hide the Radiant Isles from the rest of Skylands. Enter the Isles. The last free Seekers- Fargus, and his son, Wendel, stand waiting for you. Fargus sees you- as he begins to explain your task, the scream of Hektore is heard. Enraged at Fargus, Hektore attacks, and kills him. The job of guiding you- the Portal Master- is passed to Wendel. It's a well-done tale. While the story is not anything new, the world in the game is deep and entertaining enough to keep you wanting more. The Seekers add a very philosophical, yet humourous side to the game, and there are fun gags in the overworld- a statue can turn you into a recurring pest, for instance. There are lots of little touches like this in the game, without being annoying or forced, and fun quotes load whenever you're waiting for a level. My favorites are easily the Sheep ones.

Hektore is a very simple, and not particularly threatening, but awesome villain. I think how he chases you down every level shows how he's really going to get you. The screen when he gets you is even fun to look at- Hektore is a great boss, and you can tell he doesn't want to mess about. He's also the reason for the fantastic "Hektore's Challenge" tasks- Where you only have a few minutes to finish a level. Laughably easy in the first area, but a great addition nonetheless and a good challenge especially in the last few worlds. It's fun trying to beat your records in these ones. I have a record of over three minutes left in one level and it was an amazing romp to get it. It doesn't unlock anything new in the game, but it adds to the replay factor in a good way.

Anyway, that's enough about Hektore. You're instructed on how to put a Skylander into your game. This can be a bit fiddly at times but it's great keeping Skylanders with you. I personally keep Dark Spyro and Sonic Boom with me. It's fun experementing with combos, though, and the game encourages you to with two Elemental Challenges- specific to certain Skylanders- in every platforming level. While you'll probably pick two favorites and switch back to them after Challenges, it's not distracting, and it works. The data you get in-game gets saved to your figurine once you connect to it again- the Hat it's wearing and the experience it gets from Radiance collected while with you.

Onto levelling structure. Each world contains five levels. The first and third are plain platforming levels. The second is a challenge level with three rounds. The fourth is a Radiance Fountain you need to defend. The last one is another platforming level, but you need to rescue a Seeker in this level. This is the same in every world, which is a tiny bit disappointing, but each version throws new challenges which keeps each experience fresh and distinct. One of the three-round levels takes place atop a frozen, hazardous pond, and another on platforms that will fall and rotate. I thought it was simple, but clever. Each of the levels contains five challenges. There are two initial challenges(all four, in some levels), from which you can unlock two more, and when you finish them all, you get the previously spoken about Hektore's Challenges. By completing challenges, you get Radiance Crystals, which unlock new worlds, which unlock new challenges. Over the many levels are more than one hundred challenges to keep you playing. The challenges are all optional once you have enough Crystals for each level, but it would be a shame not to complete them all and explore the worlds.

The sound is great in every level. I don't think any soundtrack was repeated in any level- except maybe one or two- and they all sound wonderful. Upon completion of each level is a lovely, relaxing chime which never gets sickening and is a great relief when you've just had a close run with Hektore. The overworld music is perfect for it, and makes it feel like there are great places to explore. The graphics are fantastic- level designs and art are brilliant, and everything looks clean and sharp. Despite this, it never gets jerky or gets a slow framerate- even with many enemies on the screen and with the fantastic 3D fully on.

I have absolutely no things to say I'm hugely disappointed with in this fantastic Adventure, despite some very small issues. A fresh coat of paint over the tired, crawling dungeon the Wii version turned out to be. Any 3DS owner that does not have this is missing out on something grand, which not only is much better than its console counterpart and should be one of the greatest 3DS titles to come about- but is also a fantastic game all-around.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portable Platforming Bliss, November 29, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
Skylanders is definitely a game that has caused a stir among gamers. Some are completely put off by Spyro's new look and the fact that he isn't the main star anymore, while others think that purchasing characters for real money is disgraceful and a crime against humanity. Prior to playing the game, I could sort of see how those arguments could be valid (key word, sort of). However, after playing the game I will admit that I am completely in love with it.

First off, no, Spyro is not the primary protagonist, though his presence in the game is justified and more prevalent than you would have thought. The main website has a bio on Spyro that explains exactly how the Skylanders were blessed and lucky to have the legendary purple dragon on their side. This is a completely acceptable and satisfying reason for why he makes an appearance in the game, in my opinion.

Now, you probably want to know what you're going to be getting yourself into before you drop $69.99 on this game (which for some reason is the same price as the console counterparts). The 3DS version of Skylanders is a platforming game that plays not all too different from some of the earlier Spyro games, and unlike the console version, you can perform jumps to leap from platform to platform. There are 5 levels each with 5 sub-levels, three of which are traditional platforming segments, with the other two as a three-round brawl fest. Each main level has a different theme with levels that are vibrant and detailed, and is fun to play from start to finish.

As the Portal Master, you control the Skylanders that you received in the starter pack or from a character pack you bought in a retail store. Surprisingly, each Skylander is diverse and comes with his/her own unique playstyle and abilities. I was honestly expecting them to be nothing more than reskins. Also, despite what others may lead you to believe you do not need every single Skylander, nor do you need each element. You can still play and finish the game just fine with your starter characters.

Some people are complaining that the 3DS version is too short, but every game doesn't have to have an engrossing 35+ hour story mode with dozens of side quests. I would say I have completed about 50% of the objectives in the game so far (after I beat the final boss), and my 3DS's activity log clocked my total playtime at just under 6 hours. That's pretty impressive for a *platforming* game with a relatively simple story. Of course, additional Skylanders and level packs will no doubt keep me occupied for at least triple my current playtime. It's that fun.

I feel as though I've only scratched the surface of the game, but in an effort to keep this somewhat brief, I'll leave the review off here. I hope I've convinced you guys that Skylanders isn't the money-sucking game naysayers claim it to be.

Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3DS version NOT THE SAME as the Wii version, August 20, 2013
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This review is from: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
My son wanted this so he could "take it along with him." Well, he was thoroughly disappointed and wants to sell it because it is SIGNIFICANTLY different than the full blown Wii version. I don't know all the details, but it sounded like they removed things and dumbed it down a bit--even changed who the main bad guy is. The game itself is fine, but these changes are a deal breaker for my son. If we had known, we would NOT have purchased it. Shame on Activision for not making this clear. Most games are nearly the same from one platform to another, but not this one. So, now YOU can make an informed decision on buying this game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice toy, December 25, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
My son loves this game. It was a very good price and purchase. quick ship and will definitely purchase again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Skylanders Spyro's Adventure, September 22, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
Overall Gameplay:
This game is probably the most fun I have had in a long time. Being a teenager, I don't have high expectations, but if I did, my standards would be exceeded! This game is based around a fun little place called the Radiant Isles. Here, you explore worlds, challenges, and quests, all while trying to save the Isles. You don't have a main protagonist, but your antagonist is Hektore. He is so hard to get away from, so it will keep you and/or your kids challenged. This game, however, is a little short, but is much longer if you buy more Skylanders, (about 4-8 dollars on Amazon). I would rate the overall gameplay a 9.5/10.

2D/3D Graphics:
This game's display is truly stunning. The 2D display is bright, crisp, and the colors are vibrant. This proves that you don't need 3D for good graphics. The 3D display is truly amazing, and has the most crazy-cool depth of perception I have ever seen with any game before. The 3D display DOES have some drawbacks, though. The main reason is that the colors aren't as sharp, and the display isn't as bright. On the other hand, the 3D has great depth, and is a great way to make you feel like you are in the game. I would rate the graphics a 10/10.

Cost:
This is the only subject I don't like to cover. Mainly because the price isn't so wallet-friendly. In stores, this starter pack will run you about $70.00 MSRP. (retail price) However, this may sound expensive, but it is WAY cheaper on Amazon. I got my starter kit from Amazon for $49.99 from another offer listed under new. Before you drop the money bomb in-store, reconsider buying online. The figurines aren't so cheap either in-store, (usually $8.99 for a single pack, and $20.00 for a 3-pack). But if you buy on Amazon, they can be as low as $4.99 for a single, and $14.99 for a 3-pack, saving you about $5.00 either way. Saving $5.00 doesn't sound like much, but it adds up in the long run. I would rate cost a 8.5/10 ONLINE, but a 7/10 IN-STORE.

Overall Satisfaction:
I am very satisfied, considering how many quests, levels, and characters there are. I also love how you use the "Portal" to bring them to life. This is a very thought-out feature of this game. I also love how you can fight, explore, and beat a villain, all while feeling like you are in the game! If you feel confused on whether to get the game or not, please do. You will not regret the look of happy on you or your kids face/s when s/he play it for the first time. Please don't second-guess yourself, just get it! I'm glad I got it, and you will be too! Thanks for reading! :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Concept in Video Gaming ! (n_n), March 18, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
I heard about the Skylanders game when it first landed in stores and though it's a very interesting concept to have toy figurines come to life inside a video game. But it never really hit me to actually buy the game til I bought one for my Nephew's birthday and watched him play it on his Wii. The Graphics are very impressive and gameplay is intriguing. Although I do have a Wii ... I decided to buy the 3DS version and again I must say that game developers can't seem to come out with a 3DS game that really wows you as Skylanders 3DS like every other 3DS game looks alot better in 2D than in 3D. The colors are more vibrant with 3D setting off. Overall I find this game entertaining not just for boys but girls as well. I do have to admit that Skylanders does seem to be a little more aimed towards boys than girls but I'm sure in the future they will create skylander creatures for girls but I still find them entertaining. I recommend this as a gift to any young child or even a grown up who's a kid @ heart. Oh and I also love the fact that you can play online through a computer as well. That's like getting two(2) games in one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very difficult..., August 3, 2013
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This review is from: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
My son loves Skylanders I wanted to buy a version for me. So I bought this version, it is very difficult to control kinda awkward on this device. Not great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skylanders 3DS, January 9, 2013
By 
D. Schwemmer (Elkton, Md United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
Excellent game - lots of fun for all ages, my grandchildren enjoy the game as much as I do. Item arrived promptly as described
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Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Nintendo 3DS
Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Nintendo 3DS by Activision Publishing (Nintendo 3DS)
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