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Skylanders: Giants Wii

Skylanders: Giants Website

Game Capture of Skylanders: Giants

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Continuing with the same pedestal standing statues Skylanders: Giants adds a new campaign and some new characters to the platform action game that pits your Spyro heroes against the worst that Kaos can throw at them.

Graphics & Audio: 18/25,
Gameplay: 20/25, 
Creativity 16/25,
Fun 20/25 

Total: 74/100

Skylanders: Giants Wii

The story may be the same with a familiar game style but the fun is limitless as well as costly if you want to collect even more of those plastic statues to use in Skylanders: Giants. Like the predecessor Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure you get a Portal of Power that connects to the Wii and you set your character statues on to activate them in game.

The hero of course is Spyro which comes in the Portal Owners Pack along with the Wii game, a Giant and regular sized figure for the first set with additional sets and individual statues for sale. If you already have the previous Skylanders game with figures you’re at least partly set with new in game characters and you can continue to buy new ones if you want.

You cannot use the Giants of the new game in the first Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure game but you can use any of the first games statues in the Skylanders: Giants game. The nice thing about this game is you have at least a few characters to start with and don’t need to buy more but there are all those areas and objects that only specific characters and statues can get at.

This in one way seems pretty greedy on the part of the game maker as you need to spend a lot of money to play all the areas of the game but it is also a way for them to cash in on their genius to come up with this feature. They also throw in game ads for more of the statues by collecting gems that pop up a quick in game movie to show what that statue can do in the game if you did buy it.

Gameplay and general use of the statues works very well and the same type of platforming adventure confronts gamers in Skylanders: Giants using Spyro and other characters to defeat Kaos as he tries to find the Iron Fist of Arkus. Kaos is the main bad guy and in the end your final boss fight but you do get the chance to battle plenty of other characters throughout the 16 levels.

The characters each come with different abilities but you also have leveling up for each character so every time you use the same character it will get slightly more powerful until it tops out at its highest level. In the first game the levels topped off at 10 but in Giants it tops out at 15 so having the variety of characters is not your only option for more powerful fighters on your side.

The Giants are not all that powerful and you will at times have to choose other, shall we say shorter characters but even different abilities will be needed for specific tasks. The developers at Toys for Bob have done an excellent job of balancing the characters with gameplay so you don’t use just one Giant or all powerful character to plow through the levels.

Skylanders: Giants does take a bit of the comic approach to gaming as in many previous releases of Spyro but the game is still suitable to both adults and kids. Swapping out charters only pauses the gameplay for a few seconds while the onscreen character vanishes in a blaze of light and the new one appears but other helpful techniques make gameplay both challenging and safe for kids.

On screen your character cannot simply fall off platforms or islands so there is no recurring threat of having to restart areas simply by wandering too far from where you’re supposed to be. I really like this in a platform game because too often just stepping too far to an edge but looking like your not is often a problem in itself.

Kids should have no problem following the simple story line but even if you ignore it you do get help along the way to get where you’re going with arrows and other onscreen hints. They do a lot to help younger and more uninitiated gamers to solve puzzles like the obvious arrows on blocks and the turtles that block your path that are moved to both free your way and to use as stepping stones.

Skylanders does not break the mold much in gameplay or design as it follows closely with the previous Skylanders game but it does continue a winning formula. I do have to say that Activision and Toys for Boys have done a great job of thinking outside the box, with Skylanders but I think it is now time to continue toward an even more unique approach or game style.

Skylanders: Giants is well worth a purchase and to continue to fun gameplay introduced in the first game but you don’t necessarily need any more than the Portal Owners Pack to finish the single player campaign and story. The two player limit and not being able to use the new giants in the first game does hamper the broader use of the statues but maybe Activision can add something to create even more use out of the portal system.

Skylanders: Giants Website

Game Capture of Skylanders: Giants