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About the product
- Starter Pack includes: 1-Video Game, 1-Portal of Power, 3-Skylanders Figures, 1-Character Collector Poster, 3-Sticker Sheets with Secret Codes and 3-Trading Cards
- Warning: Choking Hazard - Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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Embark on an exciting new adventure with the Skylanders and the SWAP Force. For generations, the SWAP Force protected the volcano that replenishes Skylands’ magic. That is until an epic battle caught them in an eruption that blasted them apart, sent them to Earth and gave them the ability swap powers. Only you can mix and match their tops and bottoms, put them on the new Portal of Power and help save Skylands.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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?)
My final verdict: Excellent game and, definitely, this new version of Skylanders throws Disney infinity in the garbage can.
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!