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Customer Review

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swapforce: Bigger, Better, Best, October 19, 2013
This review is from: Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - PlayStation 3 (Video Game)
Quick Overview
[01] GRAPHICS: 9/10
[02] GAMEPLAY: 9/10
[03] REPLAY VALUE: 10/10
[04] AUDIO: 10/10
[05] COLLECTION: 9/10

Overall: 9.5/10

(use ctrl+f to see specific review components, using the numbers in the brackets)
Okay, round 3. This time, Activision has released the Swap Force which come apart and recombine for 256 unique characters. These new Swapforce characters have charm, and the ability to customize you character to your liking from 256 choices guarantees that there is a Skylander for everyone to like. There are some additional new "regular" characters as well that are unique and well developed additions to the Skylander family. CHARACTER DESIGN: 10/10
The graphics have got an update as well. The graphics also have a new level of detail that the previous games didn't have. The resulting game looks more polished, and the level design feels more like a set of individual levels (with a boss at the end) as opposed to a "series" of levels with a boss at the end of the "series" (as in the first and second game). In fact, each level feels like one of the Adventure pack levels in the sense that there a clear level goal and a boss. I personally like this type of gameplay, and find this to be an upgrade. GRAPHICS: 9/10
The little things are also important. Of course there are new character abilities, and new characters, but there are some new in game features that play off of the old ones. For example, there are now "upgrade pods" mid-level, so you can upgrade halfway though a level should you choose (without having to purchase an item as was the case with Giants). Jumping is HUGE! The ability to jump is not only fun, but adds some depth to the game and makes the game feel more like a throw-back side-scroller (only in 3-D instead of 2-D). On the slight downside, it is the "same old, same old" style of gameplay where you shoot, get treasure, upgrade and repeat, but that's expected and part of what makes this game what it is. GAMEPLAY: 9/10
**Possible Spoiler**
The new "Heroic Challenges" are more like mini-games than bonus levels, and you don't get upgraded stats for completing them. After unlocking the "Bonus Level" menu from regular gameplay, you can play a series of "Swapforce ability type specific" challenges for "Portal Master" stars. Long story short, you unlock a challenge for a rocket boost ability skylander that is a different minigame than a bounce type. The "Portal Master" stars unlock certain in game abilities (like using your legendary treasure for stat boosts!). The only downside is that these challenges can get tricky, and some abilities are only unlocked after reaching a certain Portal Master level. Some of the stars are achieved through "collecting accolades" so you may yet get stuck collecting the majority of the new characters. Replaying challenges and levels will keep you busy for many hours. REPLAY VALUE: 10/10
The audio is the same, but the music is an updated version of some of the same songs from the first two games. This is neither here not there, and to me, isn't much of an issue. The same key cast voice acting is the same and the new voices are well cast. AUDIO: 10/10
Activision is re-releasing some of the series 1 and 2 characters. This will be a negative for some collectors. Some may think that Activision is just "milking folks" for more money. I'm not here to judge Activision for their decision on this, and no one that reviews this game should do so also. But I will say this: you don't have to collect ALL of the different versions and variants to upgrade characters this time around (like the old Heroic Challenges for the first and second game). The only reason to "collect em all" is if you are a die hard fan and want to get all the Accolades. For those members that want to "platinum the game" for the PS3 version, you don't need to re-buy all the Skylanders you already have. Additionally, if you already have a series 1 or 2 Skylander, adding it to your collection will in essence "substitute" it for the series 3 one. You get an Elemental Boost for each Skylander you have regardless of the series, so it isn't essential to recollect the ones you already have. COLLECTION: 9/10
Additional: The 2 player co-op is still GREAT! But I would have preferred to have an online play mode as well. The lack of online play is somewhat disappointing. On the PS3 version, you can see your friends' progress and level scores, but that's it. This feature is "neat" but pretty worthless. I want to be able to PLAY with my online friends, not brag. You can get trophies with this game (although getting them is time consuming, it isn't too tough to get most of them) which I like. I feel that the trophies add some additional replay value.
PROS: Great level design, Better graphics, Refreshed gameplay, Well designed new characters, New in-game abilities, New game modes

CONS: Collecting is still a "soft-requirement", *Third round characters re-release, No Heroic Challenges to upgrade stats, No online play
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 20, 2013, 5:27:27 PM PDT
Can you comment on the new portal design being wireless or wired? And unfortunately if it is wired, how long is the cable?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2013, 5:13:14 PM PDT
Mannjon says:
The PS3 Portal IS wired. This is both a good and bad thing. The cord is pretty long (longer than the longest of the 2 PS3 Sony brand factory controller cables). It doesn't really get in the way much, and we use can easily use it from the coffee table without having to stretch. It is a little bit of a hassle and trip hazard, but not any more of a hazard than any other wired controller/device. The good news is that you don't have to rely on batteries to be charged to play. In my opinion, this is a step in the right direction. I don't know if the Portal is wireless on other systems. I would have liked to have the option to charge it like a regular controller and use it wirelessly via a USB hub, but you also have to consider that the small USB device for the Wii version of the previous Portal of Power was easy to loose if it didn't stay plugged into the Wii.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2013, 5:05:44 AM PDT
It is wired on all systems, not just the PS3.
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