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Customer Review

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great next version with some nice visual enhancements, October 13, 2013
This review is from: Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack - Nintendo Wii U (Video Game)
My son, who just turned 10 this month, LOVES Skylanders. We got the first one, Spyro's Adventure, only a month or so before Giants was released, so we got it cheap, and played the heck out of it. Bought a lot of figures, really had fun playing two player together in it. When Giants came out, we got more figures, all the giants, and had even more fun. He likes both versions, so we didn't suddenly not use the first game after Giants was released.

I got the wireless version for the iPads, and another wireless version for his 3DS, and he enjoys all of them.

We just picked up this new version today on the release day, and spent the last few hours playing, and so far I can't come up with a single complaint about it, other than the graphics for swapping characters on the portal seem a little slower than previous versions, so it feels like it's a longer pause when swapping figures here.

Figures work from previous games of course. And it's pretty slick swapping the figures around, getting a bottom that you like and a top that you like, and customizing a character. It works well. The magnets are strong, so there's no feeling of looseness or flimsiness in them - you can lift them from the top half and the bottoms stay.

But it's the graphics that really flesh this out, compared to the other versions. Granted, this isn't the photo realistic type of game environment. But the difference between the original and then the Giants version is just stunning. Even the blocks that you push to allow you to get to another area look better. And the areas that require a specific element of Skylander, are rendered very nicely now as well - and since you can swap tops and bottoms, some of them now require TWO elements to open, so either you can have 2 people playing and each has one element, or a single player can manage it by swapping a top and bottom of the requisite type.

The Wii U gamepad has some useful information on it, such as your character stats, what the objectives are, and there's a spot to have friends stats or scores show up as well to see how you measure up. You can also play this in gamepad only mode. Although so far the only way I've seen to get at that is to have it on the TV then go to options. Sonic's All Star Racing Transformed lets you swipe down on the pad to change to pad only mode so you don't even need to turn on the TV at all, but I've not found a way to do that with this yet. If I do, I'll update my review with the information.

Upgrades are slick - there's upgrades you can do to top and bottom halves, which is nice since they get swapped around. And when you upgrade, there's a training field nearby with training dummies there that actually show you exactly how much damage you're doing with different attacks. That's a VERY nice new feature!

The goals are much the same as you'd expect. Flynn's ship crashes somewhere new, and you're trying to find some of his equipment, help the locals, while fighting all the monsters. And here, too, the graphics are nicely improved. Even Chompies are a lot more pretty to look at. Fighting is the same, with various attacks and purchasable upgrades. But beware, if this is the first Skylanders game you purchased, there are things you won't be able to do without things that the rest of us would have on hand, such as giants.

Another nice change - if you're swapping characters, it tells you specifically who is changing - i.e. "Game pad player - put another figure on the portal" or "Pro Controller Player - put another figure on the portal." Nice that they specify which character they're looking for. I've had instances in the past where my son got over zealous, kicked both off, and we ended up getting the wrong ones when he put them back.

All in all, this is an outstanding next version for any Skylanders fan, and it's nice that our existing collections can still be used. If you have a Skylanders fan, this is definitely worth getting.
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