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Skylanders Giants interview - Spyro still has a role to play

Toys For Bob producer tells us more about the Giants, the new Battle modes and more

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure was one of the surprise Wii hits of last year. Spyro hadn't been in action since 2008's The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon but he returned in an innovative game that was accompanied by a toy range. By placing your Skylanders toy on the Portal Of Power, you could play as it in the game which saw you battling to save the world from evil Portal Master Kaos.

The idea took off and soon Activision were planning a sequel - Skylanders Giants - which is set for release on Wii later this year. Spyro's name isn't on the box any more but as Toys For Bob producer Alex Ness tells us, the little purple dragon still has a role to play in the game but he'll be joined by some bigger Skylanders called the Giants.

Were you pleased with the reception from the fans for Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure? Did you think it would be so popular?

Alex Ness:

Yes, we were pleased! We were also in a bit of disbelief. Of course, all of us at Toys for Bob hoped it would prove to be this popular, and we worked harder and longer than we ever had before, but it's still one of those things that just seems so surreal when it actually happens. We also feel lucky and honoured to know that we've got a lot of Skylanders fans out there and we hope they continue to enjoy the franchise.

What would you say is the main appeal of Skylanders? The adventure itself or collecting all the toys?

Alex Ness:

I'd say the answer is actually both - I think it's the connection between the collection of toys and the adventure that makes Skylanders Spyro's Adventure so appealing. It's about bringing toys to life in a video game adventure.

That said, we also wanted to make great toys and a great game that could both stand alone if they needed to. We didn't sacrifice quality on either end (the toys or the game itself) just because the connection was our main hook. In fact, I would say that, if anything, we increased quality on both ends for that reason.

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure focused on the Spyro character. Seeing as the next saga is called Skylanders Giants, are you confident that you can now sell the game under the Skylanders name rather than the Spyro name?

Alex Ness:

I am not sure that I would say that Skylanders Spyro's Adventure focused on the Spyro character. Spyro is a character that we all liked and that fans would recognise from previous Spyro videogames, but Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure was not necessarily tailored towards any particular skylander. Our goal was always to make this fun to play with every character and hopefully even more fun when you switch among them.

When naming Skylanders Giants, we wanted the title to focus on the new big thing - the giants.

Click to view larger image

There are lots of Spyro fans out there. How much of a role does he play in Skylanders Giants?

Alex Ness:

Spyro will definitely have a role in Skylanders Giants. And you'll be able to use your original Spyro toy in the Giants game as well.

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Comments

18 comments so far...
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  1. PokeMarti Tuesday 17th Apr 2012 at 19:38

    I can't wait!

    It's a shame there will be no online multiplayer :( Would be great to see it on Wii U this year.

  2. Tazer_Silverscar Tuesday 17th Apr 2012 at 20:19

    I find Skylanders to be a collosal waste of money. Having to buy an individual figure each time you want to play a new character eats a lot of money, and the game itself is expensive too.

    ...I personally wish they'd just release a real Spyro game for once.

  3. imbusydoctorwho Tuesday 17th Apr 2012 at 21:08

    As much as Skylanders is quite expensive if you want to get everything,there's no denying it's a brilliantly fun game that is worth buying more characters,but the extra levels less-so.
    It's a shame Giants won't have online multi-player,but I bet the sequel to Giants(com'on it'll happen) will probably will,if the game proves more popular.

    It would be awesome to have Crash in a Skylanders game.

  4. NessPSI Wednesday 18th Apr 2012 at 10:57

    Terrible game, terrible EVERYTHING, Skylanders is the second to worst game EVER, with only Ocarina of Time surpassing it.
    No thank you!

  5. imbusydoctorwho Wednesday 18th Apr 2012 at 11:26

    Terrible game, terrible EVERYTHING, Skylanders is the second to worst game EVER, with only Ocarina of Time surpassing it.
    No thank you!

    If you look past the money making scheme of buying new toys and areas,and the use of the Spyro franchise to boost sales.
    You'd find a very original and very good game,you should try it out.

  6. PokeMarti Wednesday 18th Apr 2012 at 12:12

    Terrible game, terrible EVERYTHING, Skylanders is the second to worst game EVER, with only Ocarina of Time surpassing it.
    No thank you!

    If you look past the money making scheme of buying new toys and areas,and the use of the Spyro franchise to boost sales.
    You'd find a very original and very good game,you should try it out.

    Woah..woah woah.........Ocarina of Time worst game ever? Cant tell if serious or trolling.......

    Skylanders is a great game. Most the time I reckon people bad mouthing it have never even played it or have just heard the 'you have to buy all the figures' and based judgement on that. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY ALL THE FIGURES TO 100%.

  7. NintyHippo Wednesday 18th Apr 2012 at 12:25

    Terrible game, terrible EVERYTHING, Skylanders is the second to worst game EVER, with only Ocarina of Time surpassing it.
    No thank you!

    What about Flashlight and Discolight and My Fireplace and Mother 3?

    Skylanders looks interesting but it's just so expensive!

  8. Tailsdreggman Wednesday 18th Apr 2012 at 15:55

    I'm sorry, Mr. or Mrs. Whoever's-in-charge-of-Spyro-games-now, but, in my eyes , this new, mutated, ...creepy version of Sypro will never be as good as the original Insomniac trilogy (which are still my favourite games of all time.)

    It's not your fault. The series has been going sour since after 'Year of the Dragon', each rebirth getting further and further away from what made the series fun; Simple, solid, character-full platforming.
    There's no need for all these extra characters, all these pointless redesigns, all this superficial garbage... just give us back the dragon we fell in love with back in the late nineties, not this soulless creature!

    I'm not saying your little game was poor, quite the opposite. As a standalone, it would have been a charming little endeavor, and a chance to give a character of your own design some much-needed publicity. But it wasn't a Spyro game. I mean, you kept Cynder/Flame/whatever the other little bugger's called, but threw Sparx out? Are you mad?!

    Insomniac say they dropped Sypro becuase they felt they had done all they could with a character who couldn't pick things up. I say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Nintendo's managed to coax a fat Italian bloke through nearly two hundred games!

    I'll keep a conclusion brief. Spyro alone. Fine. Skylanders alone. Fine. Spyro + Skylanders. Nuh-uh, not interested.

    ...
    VOTE BLUE

  9. ganonkilla Wednesday 18th Apr 2012 at 16:53

    this looks good, I wanted to get spyro's adventure - I love him, even though last I played him was The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning on PS2. this looks good, and personally, I'd like fusion abilities - Spyrgrunt? purple gill grunt with harpoon-flamethrower and horns and wings - Trigger Cynder? purple hornless dragon, huge ears, long tongue dual pistols, etc.
    just a suggestion

  10. thenintendoer Wednesday 18th Apr 2012 at 17:49

    truth be told id rather just have a platformer like the playstation games

  11. Zenuous Wednesday 18th Apr 2012 at 18:49

    Terrible game, terrible EVERYTHING, Skylanders is the second to worst game EVER, with only Ocarina of Time surpassing it.
    No thank you!

    Oh you crazy Earthbound fans!

    But hum, Skylanders did seem like a alright game to me, but I really disliked the toy gimmick it had. I like toys that you can actually play with, such as moveable arms/legs and everything, not just statues. Basically they're like overglorified memory cards.

  12. NintyHippo Wednesday 18th Apr 2012 at 19:00

    But there's lots of ways to play with statues, like...

    1. Sit on them
    2. Kick them
    3. Thump them
    4. Punch them
    5. Lick them
    6. Kiss them
    7. Pour liquid over them
    8. Pour stuff over them
    9. Watch as they beat Man Utd in a football match
    10. Vomit on them
    11. Dip them in sauce
    12. Chew them
    13. Use them to play Skylanders
    14. Throw them
    15. Cuddle them
    16. Throw them at teachers
    17. Make a list about all of the different things you can do with them
    18. Crush Mother 3 cartridges with them
    19. Bring them to the cinema
    20. Climb them
    21. Use them as baseball bats
    22. Use them as tennis raquets
    23. Clean them
    24. Search them for dirt
    25. Search them for money
    26. Do their make up
    27. Drag them along the floor
    28. Chop them up
    29. Rub carrots over them
    30. Set them on stuff
    31. Take photos of them
    32. Draw them
    33. Use them to type instead of fingers
    34. Use them as chopsticks
    35. Sweat over them and then lick them clean
    36. Burn them
    37. Put them in the freezer

    I could go on and on, but I'll stop with this one:

    38. Tickle them

    See? Hours, no wait, days, no wait, decades of fun!

  13. NessPSI Wednesday 18th Apr 2012 at 21:01

    Well excuse me!
    SHOCK HORROR! - its my opinion!
    I hate OoT (seriously) and Skylanders.
    As I said, it's my opinion.
    Also, to NintyHippo:
    When you said Mother 3 was the worst game ever, either:
    A) you were trying to get on my nerves
    B) It might be your opinion, so I won't argue (even though it was probably the first one)
    C)

    Crush Mother 3 cartridges with them


    What about Flashlight and Discolight and My Fireplace and Mother 3?

    ^2 pieces of proof that you are trying to get on my nerves.^
    Also, I have played Skylanders and hated every aspect of it.
    Good day to you.

  14. galaxydragon Thursday 19th Apr 2012 at 11:36

    Seriously, I would have bought Skylanders as soon as it came out, as Spyro is the greatest thing on this earth for me, but when I saw the price of the game I thought 'ok, that seems alright' but when I saw the rest of the figures individually priced at Ł7.99 each, I had a double take and decided not to buy it, as well as the fact that spyro is being over run by ugly mug giants. I want an original Spyro game where Spyro is the only main character, and it's not all serious like the most recent trio of games (new beginning, eternal night and dawn of the dragon, although I do like Cynder). I want it to be back as a game where Spryro barely speaks, you can roam wherever you feel at your own pace, kill sheep and lizards for butterflies, be friends with kangaroos, monkeys, moles, penguins and yetis. I'd love it if they just released the original 3 on 3DS, I would most certainly buy those.

  15. NintyHippo Thursday 19th Apr 2012 at 14:50

    Well excuse me!
    SHOCK HORROR! - its my opinion!
    I hate OoT (seriously) and Skylanders.
    As I said, it's my opinion.
    Also, to NintyHippo:
    When you said Mother 3 was the worst game ever, either:
    A) you were trying to get on my nerves
    B) It might be your opinion, so I won't argue (even though it was probably the first one)
    C)

    Crush Mother 3 cartridges with them


    What about Flashlight and Discolight and My Fireplace and Mother 3?

    ^2 pieces of proof that you are trying to get on my nerves.^
    Also, I have played Skylanders and hated every aspect of it.
    Good day to you.

    Sorry, I didn't mean it. It was a joke.

  16. spacemen13 Thursday 3rd May 2012 at 15:24

    It looks like a giant game though I am not going to waste all my money on it.

  17. Diddy ZX Thursday 3rd May 2012 at 17:19

    It's good to know that Spyro still has a part in the Skylanders universe for the sequel. I did like how they used Skylanders to tie together both of the previous continuities that he's starred in, thus making them both "valid" in a sense, which in my opinion is a better way to view it than as a trio of unrelated reboots. As for the design-change, it's little different to how much Mickey Mouse, Mario and other famous characters' looks have changed over the years to suit the times, so it doesn't bother me too much (I do still prefer Spyro's original look, because it was cuter, but I'm also fully aware that I'm not part of the main chunk of the target audience, and do still find the new one endearing in its own way).

    I really hope that the 3DS version of Skylanders: Giants improves upon the 3DS version of the original, too - after all, the 3DS version of the first game is the first Spyro platformer that I've enjoyed since... the first Spyro platformer on the PSX. Though the DS version of The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon was a solid-enough sidescroller, I never truly liked any of the Spyro games that came after the very first one, until the first Skylanders game.

    I also hope that there's a Wii U version of Giants, since the near-field technology in the controller could make things a bit less cluttersome. :P (I think I'll stick with my existing portal, though, since it looks so damn cool.)

    Can't wait to hear more - I'm really looking forward to this one!

  18. Hisoka Monday 25th Jun 2012 at 22:12

    Skylanders is actually a great game, especially the 3DS version. Having more than the 3 characters supplied is completely optional, you can complete the game with just those characters. To do all elemental challenges, you need just one of each element:- 8 skylanders. You do not need all 37 characters and I doubt anyone but the most serious would want all of them anyway.
    I know a lot of people are concerned with cost (especially for parents) but most children seem content to play with their favourites, and you can play with your friend's Skylanders as well, so I don't think kids will ask their parents for absolutely all of the Skylanders anyway.
    As for the redesign of Spyro, I myself was skeptical at first until I played the game and tried to look at it without my nostalgia tinted glasses on. Having Spyro in the game actually felt like a nice touch to me, and the gameplay with Spyro was enjoyable and on the 3DS was very reminiscent of the original Spyro games anyway. If you still miss the original Spyro games, you can still play them- or you could even try Insomniac's spiritual successor Ratchet and Clank (which now has an HD re-release).

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