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.
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.
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. You 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.
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.