Last year Activision released Skylanders Spyro's Adventure for the Wii, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 to cater to younder audiences. It was a big hit because of its great gameplay and the interchangeable characters that could be purchased to expand your game. This month they have released Skylanders Giants, a game which they are anticipating to be a hot seller this holiday season.
In Skylanders Giants, players assume the role of the portal master as they utilize their skylanders in order to battle the evil Portal Master Kaos and his many minions. This time around Activision has added 16 new characters, new LightCore technology and new worlds to explore. This begs the question, is it fun to play?
The game is compatible with last year's game, but if you haven't played before, you will need to pick up a starter kit, which features a portal (a shown above), the game and three characters. The portal is your method of transporting characters into the game world. It is interesting to see it glow with "power" as it is plugged in to your gaming system. When you begin the game you are instructed to pick one of your Skylanders and place them on the portal. Upon doing so, they are scanned into the game world and you are ready to play.
The figures themselves all hold the information about their in-game progress. This is intriguing as you can level your characters up and take them to another place where the game is and all of your character information will be accessible, this includes leveling information as well as gold supply. These figures are a fun form of collectible that is not only fun to look at but useful in game as well. The figures are detailed and you can tell care was put into their design. But this means nothing if the gameplay is not up to par.
The controls in Skylanders Giants are simplified to accomidate younger players. The face buttons are responsible for the various attacks and the control stick moves your character around. This is not a game of platforming prowess, but more-so one of strategy and proper character utilization. In each level, you have objectives, not only for level completion, but for item collection and overall efficiency. There are certain areas that can only be accessed by certain Skylanders, so this can cause some problems if you don't have certain characters. There are eight different character types and unfortunately in the starter pack you only get three, so there will be areas of the game world that you cannot access.
Skylanders is a game not only of action, but of good puzzle solving skills. There are a number of areas where you must unlock doors that are locked with puzzles or create paths to get through the level and these offer a good challenge while not turning away any specific player groups. The atmosphere is kid friendly as their are many bright shiney color and the dialogue, while sometimes repetitive, is enjoyable by younger audiences. I found myself having a lot of fun with this game despite it being for younger audiences.
If you have children and want a game that isn't overly violent for them, get this game. It will give them something fun to play while you are erradicating zombies in Call of Duty. Skylanders is available now from Activision on the Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS and Playstation 3. It will also be available for the Wii U system in the future. It may not have zombies (although it does have an undead class), but it is still a fun diversion for kids and adults alike.