A Saturday Morning Cartoon –
Building off the success of last year’s Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure, Skylanders Giants uses the same model of gameplay and even the same toys to give youngsters an approachable dungeon crawling romp.
The Skylanders series is unlike anything else out there because the game uses physical toys digitally. From the USB powered Portal of Power, players place these non-articulate statues on this glowing pedestal to hot-swap playable characters on the fly. Need to move that large boulder? Then pick it up with a giant character. Want to find the secret in the fire stage? Then switch to the fire Skylander. Instead of purchasing additional DLC, players can go to their local retailer and buy this physical form of DLC. It is a novel concept that is bound to make collecting and gameplay a little more addicting. It is possible to finish the entire game with the three included characters that are bundled with the disc but purchasing extra characters is required to get the most out of the game. To be honest, Pokemon should have use this toy collecting approach years ago.
Like its predecessor, Giants is a simple game at its core. If you mixed the dungeon crawling of Balder’s Gate with the co-op and lighthearted gameplay of the Lego series, then you will probably have a good idea of Skylander’s style of play. In fact, the game is basically a Saturday morning cartoon in video game format thanks to goofy characters and gummy bear visuals. Gameplay has also been simplified as there is no jump button, two-player local only co-op, hidden collectable hats are generic at best, and level progression yields a straightforward power-up system. As a sequel, it is disappointing not having online support, leaderboards or 4-player Power Stone-like battle mode. Characters also move at a slow pace and the story, although narrated by a couple well-known actors, also drags with the speed of a snail. But despite the obvious flaws, Skylanders will surely spark interest in the targeted younger audience.
Not As Good As: articulated toys with optional accessories
On Par With: the original Skylanders
Wait For It: Disney Universe