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Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure Wii Review

The action-adventure game where you gotta buy 'em all

Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Wii review Come on now, Activision. We're not stupid. Gimmick aside, Skylanders is indeed a strong action-adventure game with great co-op and an infectious personality. But it's the game's Portal Of Power accessory that is both its unique selling point and the worst thing about it.

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Skylanders sees you play as Spyro The Dragon along with up to 31 other characters as they battle to save the world from evil Portal Master Kaos.

It's a top-down affair, as you wander through each stage attacking enemies, finding collectibles and levelling up with new abilities and special hats.

It comes with the aforementioned Portal Of Power, a small plastic pedestal that connects wirelessly to the Wii via a USB adaptor and glows as you play. It comes with three Skylanders figurines - when you place one on the portal, that character then appears in the game. Want to change characters? Simply take your Skylander off the portal and pop another one on.

It's a fun idea and one kids will love, especially since a character's abilities, unlockables and current level are saved in the toy itself and can then be used with other versions of the game.

Figure This Out

Where it all starts to get a bit sinister is just how many of these toys there are, and the way the game pesters you to buy more of them. There are 32 to collect and the game comes with three, each representing a different element. Many areas can only be accessed with Skylanders of that element - the water-based Gill Grunt can cross rivers and walk through water-only doors, but the tech-based Trigger Happy can't.

It's possible to play through the story with the three starter characters, but to see the other sizeable chunk of the game you need to buy at least another five figures - and to fully complete it you'll need to buy the other 28 figures, at a hefty price.

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As good as Skylanders is, it ends up feeling a little cynical. It takes the character-swapping mechanic from the LEGO games and locks it so you have to pay extra money to use it fully, but dresses it up in a way that appeals to children. A fun game, but be prepared to fork out for much more than the game itself if you want the full experience.


11 comments so far...
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  1. jimbob555 Thursday 27th Oct 2011 at 13:47

    Very little info on the gameplay. I know the gimmick is it's main selling point but the reviews of this are very mixed. If the statues were not part of the game and it came with all the characters from the start, where would you rate it?

  2. keero16 Thursday 27th Oct 2011 at 14:07

    I want to know WHAT'S UP WITH SPYRO'S HEAD

  3. ChrisONM Thursday 27th Oct 2011 at 14:14

    Very little info on the gameplay. I know the gimmick is it's main selling point but the reviews of this are very mixed. If the statues were not part of the game and it came with all the characters from the start, where would you rate it?

    I'd probably have added another 10% to the score. The actual game itself is a strong top-down action-adventure game similar to the Gauntlet games. It's got an entertaining script, the graphics are detailed, combat is satisfying and levelling up your characters is worthwhile. There are a few annoying moments (needless motion controls to open doors and activate switches) and some sections (like the shooting ones where you jump on a turret and fire at enemies) are a bit dull but for the most part it's a fun little game.

    If it had all 32 characters available from the start there would have been many more hours of gameplay because each character needs to be levelled up and the like. As it is you're only levelling up three characters and there's little more to do than simply finish the main adventure.

    If I was to compare it to another game I'd say it was like playing through a LEGO game once and then being locked out of Free Play mode until you forked out more cash.

    There'll be a longer review in the next issue of ONM, which covers the gameplay in more depth.

    Hope that helps a bit mate!


  4. jimbob555 Thursday 27th Oct 2011 at 14:44

    Thanks for the reply Chris. The reviews are just crazy for this game so it's hard to pin point it.

    It's still so tempting to buy though as you enter a store and see all the pretty statues...

  5. imbusydoctorwho Thursday 27th Oct 2011 at 21:31

    I think Skylanders deserves between 80%-82%,it has to be one of the most surprising games of the year so far.
    But I do agree,that the cost is over the top.

  6. nostal Friday 28th Oct 2011 at 11:45

    i think this was given a bad rating because nintendo can't be bothered to buy a minimum of 8 characters because u only need 8 figures one for every type to complete the game 100% and u have not gone into enough debt to give a poor rating of 72% i was considering a 82% rating

  7. DanielSan Tuesday 1st Nov 2011 at 16:32

    I think he makes a fair point reviewing the game as it comes (only 3 figures). Doing otherwise would be like reviewing a PS3 game with the addition of DLC that you have to pay seperate for.

  8. pokemanD Thursday 3rd Nov 2011 at 19:58

    About how much of the game are you missing out on without paying extra?

  9. George12130 Sunday 13th Nov 2011 at 13:06

    So want this game, but can't buy it

  10. zapper01 Friday 25th Nov 2011 at 20:01

    This is a terrible review. I'd like to know about the game please!

    About how much of the game are you missing out on without paying extra?

    Very little. About as much as you'd miss out on a lego game if it only had three characters.

  11. James Brooke Tuesday 1st Jan 2013 at 19:47

    Hi I have been playing on my sons skylander on the wii and I can not seem to get it to save anywhere is this a glitch or me being stupid!!! Any help please.

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