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Haven Review: Skylanders: SuperChargers

First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Skylanders_SuperChargers_Logo_PNG_1433160566 Alright, before I get into this one I want to say that I’ve played it and the main story is completely playable with just the starting kit and beginner toys. That being said, let’s jump right in!

Skylanders are little figures of plastic amiibos that would easily devour parents’ wallets without a second thought. These toys are used to bring to forth characters in the game Skylanders or Skylanders: Super Chargers, and boy are they expensive. Now I’ve taken the time to play through the game, and apart from enjoying myself I felt the game was way too easy; even on “Nightmare Mode”. The game itself is marketed to kids, so that’s probably why there’s a cap on the difficulty.

What stood out most for me is the game’s voice actors. We have Richard Horvitz (better known as Zim from Invader Zim) playing the villain known as Chaos. We also have the voice actor for Buzz Light year of Star Command, Patrick Warburton playing a support role to the protagonist, which is you, the Skylander. Being completely honest I felt like Patrick Warburton was a wasted talent in the game. His character’s dialog was good but its overall design didn’t seem perfect for his voice. I just couldn’t grow attached to the character; it did Warburton no justice.wp3

Now on to game-play. A lot of times the game goes into a “fourth person” view, showing an entire area and forcing the player to drive around with a fixed camera angle. The controls are set those of a racing game. Needless to say, it made playing certain stages incredibly difficult. It’s extremely challenging for a “kid’s game”. Other game play sequences however brought the player to race track areas, where they would have to collect whatever the game’s currency is called and avoiding enemies. You must also fight them using supercharged vehicles, which in my case are a small fire-like car, a weird sun shaped figure and a boat that doubles as a sub.

Afterwards, you are forced out of it to fight enemies in a more natural state with special moves and basic attacks. However I should note that in this state you move at a snail’s pace and there is no run button. I kept looking only to find nothing. The only upside to this game though, is that almost all the stages…even the race tracks…are really small, and take only a minute or two to actually complete.

However I will say I did find the cut-scenes rather nice; they remain probably the best things of the game. The overall animation quality is great. I also really love how for each figure and character, you can buy upgrades. SSA_ScreenShot1_SpyroYou can even upgrade the original Skylander toys, since they are compatible with Skylanders: Super Chargers. Hell, I could play as Spyro the Dragon, if I wanted!

Despite the good and the bad, I still cannot overlook the obvious; that being how much money you have to unlock every feature in the game. To play the game and the story all you need is the starting figures. In each stage there are three missions in total. One you do in an aerial vehicle, another in a water based vehicle and the third is in a land based vehicle.

By default the game only comes with two heroes and one land vehicle, which means to unlock the other missions you must purchase more toys. The toys are setup in packages consisting of one hero and one vehicle, or as standalone characters and vehicles. You therefore need to buy two sets of toys to unlock the other missions. But wait! It also has optional missions where you can play through special stages. But to do so you need a vehicle of every elemental type! Well to cut straight to the point, my math and IGN’s math are fairly similair in regards to how much it would cost to play every single aspect of the game. It’s a hefty chunk; upwards of $540 (USD), and that’s not counting special editions and other smaller things. Also, to unlock various other races in the game you must buy special trophies, as well as unlock them during game-play.spit-fire

Now I’m not saying the game isn’t worth it if you have the money. You could easily pawn it off as a monthly chore reward for your kids. But that still doesn’t take away from how much it would cost and how much kids would probably yell “Mom, I need this. You don’t understand, I need it to play the game!” and throw a tantrum in a store somewhere.

For what it’s worth, the voice acting made up for the game’s faults, and seeing as how the game wasn’t designed for someone like me I would say it is a win. I’m not saying you should buy it, I am also not saying you should not buy it. What I am saying is that it’s a fairly good game. Do what you want with your money.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
Skylanders

 

Haven Review: Rodea The Sky Soldier

First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Rodea the Sky Soldier is a flying robot with a heart. The game gives off a serious but also comedic story vibe, and features great cut-scenes…possibly some of the best I have ever seen on a Nintendo 3DS. However despite the cut-scenes being amazing, it fails a lot in its play mechanics.   rodea-3ds

On the Nintendo Wii U it might be easier to play, considering how its camera generally works. But on the Nintendo 3DS it’s possibly the worst experience I’ve ever had.
However I will say this before I continue on: the more you play and repeat stages, the more you learn and get better with the flying mechanic.

During the first few chapters of the game you are taught the mechanics; how to attack, fly, and how to use side weapons, such as a machine gun. All of these are good, but a few of them make the character feel weighed down in its design. The flying mechanic is possibly the greatest and worst thing about this game. It is great to be able to fly around and explore the various land masses floating in the sky, but at the same time the camera angles make it almost unplayable.maxresdefaultsdgf

In most games the camera tilts with you. But since you’ve got to fly and navigate you need to be able to move the camera around to see where you are going. This game does not do it well enough to make getting around the stages easy at all. If you press the left or right trigger on the 3DS, it moves the camera too much and there is no “light touch” to help you view the correct angle you need. This leads to some serious problems in boss fights as well as just navigation in general, to the point where you are pressing the joypad so hard you fear it might break off at any minute. However despite this major issue, adapting and overcoming is in the nature of gamers…unless they have a short fuse.

The atmosphere of the game is set up very well. The music and the story have their comedic points, such as when you fight your first boss in the game. A lot of the battles are also quite fun once you get the hang of the combat system. The simplest way to describe it is Sonic the Hedgehog homing attack from Sonic Adventure. I know some people won’t understand that point but a good portion of you will…so there you go.

Another thing I want to note about the story is that it covers a thousand-year time span and that Rodea is an android. I doubt he’s made out of any high-grade materials, considering he hits a pile of sand early on in the game and his entire arm shatters! So for the record he should probably be a pile of rusty bolts, but he isn’t. Even Mega Man didn’t last that long. The original was long-since deceased when Mega Man X was created. So it has that notorious plot hole in its story.asdfgsdaffgsdafg

Overall though, apart from the initial plot hole and its camera angle issue on the Nintendo 3DS, the game is really remarkable. When I am not raging I am really enjoying exploring the floating islands in each chapter and the unique characters you meet in the story. I actually recommend you pick this game up when you get a chance, albeit on the Nintendo Wii U it will probably be better.

Hopefully down the road I can afford a Wii U and will let you all know. So in conclusion let me just say this: you’re a robot like Mega Man and you’ve got a combat/health system like Sonic Adventure (except you don’t drop rings). It’s three hits and you’re dead…and among the clouds like in Skies of Arcadia, on a tiny airship fighting freaking giants!

-Daniel Clatworthy-
Rodea