91 of 97 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Well as I write this my kids (boys, ages 6 & 4) have been playing the game co-op for the last two hours, switching out their Skylanders a lot to try them all. It's an amazing concept and unbelievably fun. They had been saving their money and bought two of the 3 character packs to go with the starter; a great investment. Can't wait to get the rest, seriously, they are really cool.
Some people will look at the cost of the figures and scoff at it as a cash grab. Is it really any different than any of the Collector's Editions you can buy for Gears, Skyrim, etc etc? It is any different than buying a Star Wars figure at the same cost? As a mini alone the cost is reasonable; the fact that you put them in game and they save that data on them makes it an even better deal. So before getting all bent out of shape over the cost, try to put it into context. Plus they made a great decoration in a kids room.
As I was hooking the portal up to the Xbox the kids were playing with the figures on the coffee table and my oldest said "wow these are even fun to play with without the game". The quality of the figures is top notch, very well detailed and all are very sturdily attached to the bases; I have no fear of the figures breaking off at any point. As someone who has dabbled in collectible gaming like Mage Knight, D&D minis and WoW minis I will say they are probably better quality of even the D&D and WoW minis. Each figure comes with a card and a code to play it online. The starter also contains a poster that shows all 32 of the Skylanders and their element.
The portal glows different colors as you play, it switches like some kind of mood lamp. A nice touch that makes the portal seem truly magical to kids. When you add a new Skylander to the portal it takes about one second to recognize it and it makes a dramatic entrance. The kids go crazy for that.
All dialogue in the game is spoken but is accompanied by text as well. Nice so my 4 year old can follow along with the story and also my 6 year old can read along too. Our kids love to play co-op battle games but the problem is that a lot of them are just too violent for them at their age. This is perfect, with enemies exploding into coins and gems when they are defeated. Characters level up and the max level is 10, though I don't think you need to worry about the game being short. My kids have finished two stages and my oldest stuck almost exclusively with Drobot and only has his exp bar about 3/4 filled and hasn't hit level 2. It seems like there will be a lot of replay to this one. The difficulty seems just right and the puzzles so far are pretty logical.
More than anything, the kids are just really engrossed in the world of the Skylanders. In a very "are you kidding me?" moment I caught my kids actually talking back to the tv when the characters were asking for help. "Don't worry we'll help you" and "yeah, the Skylanders are here!" ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME!!!!
So, great job Activision taking your Scrooge McDuck vault of Call of Duty money and throwing it into something as innovative as this. Pretty sure this will be one hell of a hot commodity this Christmas. The fact that you can take your characters cross platform to the Wii, 3DS, PS3 and the PC is amazing even if we likely won't be using that feature much. Looking forward to a lot of time with the Skylanders and can't wait for the rest to come out later (this year?).
Edit 1: Oh I did want to mention two things. First is that when your characters level up and complete events you can assign skill points to them which make them stronger. The second is that you can reset the figures back to level one if you decide you want to go a different route with the leveling.
Edit 2: Gameplay is easy for little kids. If one of your Skylanders takes too much damage (dies) the game says "this skylander needs to rest" and it prompts you to put a new one on the portal or you can restart the level and your Skylander is healed. When you finish the level and go back to your "base" (think Lego Star Wars) then that Skylander is available again.
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Initial post: Dec 22, 2011 7:14:24 AM PST
Ryan DeJonghe says:
Excellent review; thanks for all the detail. You answered several questions I had, including age range, co-op ability, and difficulty level.
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