Gaming as a Dad

25 years of gaming now with son and daughter in tow.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The First 15 minutes of Skylanders: Giants

Brought to you by Geo Trax  

Well Activision has gotten in to my wallet once again, this time with Skylanders: Giants.  We picked up the game today as soon as our local Game Stop opened up. Wanting to make sure Yankee Candle Kid and Cordy had a good start, and I'm a sucker for cool toys, so I got the battle pack and three giants: Crusher, Tree Rex and Bouncer.  The game came with Tree Rex so you can start with a giant, but having played before I know that the characters play best in their respective realms.  Fortunately, for my wallet, the characters from the original game work on Giants.  So at least you can get into all of the worlds and little off shoots with out a major purchase, excluding the small fortune on the first game's 30 plus Skylanders.  It did only take about three seconds of playing the game to learn why you need to have the giants to play; big rocks need to be moved you know. Oh and the giants are freakin' cool. 

      The cut scene to start the game the best.  Kaos was sent to a toy store on Earth at the end of the last game and uses a portal from the toy store to send himself back to the Sky Lands to do what he does best   - cause chaos.  Funny how honest the game is with itself here; the Skylanders were even in a display case looking just like the toys.  Honestly it looks as if Activision did with Skylanders as they have done with Call of Duty time and time againsame game with better graphics, more polished menus and added some game play.  Don't get me wrong as a parent I appreciate the fact that I don't have to help YCK through the game because he has it down already, but variety is the spice of life.  Even though the game plays very similar to the first, adding three difficulty settings making the game more fun for a hardcore gamer, even including a nightmare level when completing the game.  The controls are the same and still very responsive with a quick tutorial at the beginning for new players. This version has expanded the game play in battle mode, much larger Elemental Zones and new Heroic Challenges keeping parents and kids interested and it adds a lot to the replay value. Did I forget the characters? Of course there are new characters 8 giants, 8 lightcore, 8 regular and series 2 on many fan favorites bringing the total cost of the game to larger then the current national debt. One very positive change is Flynn's ship is the central hub of the game eliminating lengthy back tracking to purchase upgrades with Persephone, store purchases, etc; they are now in one place.  The look of the game is way better and the enemies,  environment, and even the animation is far better. 
The on screen displays are easier to read but basically the same, adding player numbers under their character is nice so you know which kid is not helping the cause. The story is good but doesn't have the same noble cause behind the game play as the first Skylanders, but still has a very clear cut good guys and bad guys making the story easy for kids to understand and interesting enough to carry the game along for parents.

   Just barely two hours into playing the game and feel that its a win for the family and any fan of the SkyLanders Series. I would recommend this to any family gamer looking to kill a rain afternoon.

Brought to you by Geo Trax

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