REVIEW – Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure

A NintendoFuse Game Review by Jeremy Hardin (JHardin1112)

Game – Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
Version – 3DS
Obtained – Review Copy courtesy of Activision

Story

In Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, players take on the role of a powerful Portal Master who can control over 32 different characters, including the fire-breathing dragon, Spyro. The adventure is set in a realm of Skylands, called Radiant Aisles home to the peaceful Seekers. Meanwhile, Hektore an evil invader from the Outlands, has used the power of darkness to enslave the Seekers in order to construct the Dark Mirror. Hektore used the power of the Dark Mirror to shroud the Radiant Aisles from the rest of Skylands, thus keeping the Seekers power all for himself. Players must lead their Skylanders in battle against Hektore and the forces of Darkness to destory the Dark Mirror and free the enslaved Seekers along the way.

Gameplay and Controls

Plaforming baby, that’s what it’s all about! From beginning to end you will be platforming your way from level to level, destroying hordes of enemies, gaining experience and leveling up your Skylanders all in eye popping 3D! Using the included Portal of Power, players can call upon 2 Skylanders (by placing the toy on the Portal) and Wendel, the last free Seeker will call them into the game using the magic of IR! Throughout the game you can switch on the fly between the two Skylanders you have chosen, even in the middle of a jump. This is done simply by tapping your touchscreen on either of the 2 very large icons. You can also switch out your Skylanders by speaking with Wendel at any time. This allows you to purchase additional Skylander toys and swap them out at any time. Another great perk of these toys are their cross platform compatibility. Your characters stats can be saved to the toy directly so you can bring it to a friends house, or even play on another system entirely.

You start off in the Radiant Aisles which acts as your hub. From here, you can walk to other portals nearby which grant you access to new areas. However, these portals are locked at the start, requiring a certain number of Crystals to unlock them. Crystals can be obtained by beating a level and also by completing various challenges. Each are has 5 levels, each level has a total of 5 challenges. Each of these levels and challenges afford you the chance to collect more crystals. This may sound a little daunting, but I assure you it’s not. The challenges are structured so that you can complete them with just a little effort as you traverse each level. For instance, each level has a challenge where you must collect “x” amount of radiance. More on radiance in just a moment. The levels themselves are never too terribly difficult, but the difficulty does increase once you complete a challenge, as Hektor senses it and begins to chase you down through the level. By chase you down, I mean a timer pops up on the screen and you have to make it to the end before time runs out. To make things even more difficult, Hektor shoots lighting bolts at you. You can usually evade these as they are telegraphed, but sometimes if you slow down you’ll get hit. Thankfully, certain enemies will drop time bonuses to take the pressure off. Just try and make sure you don’t get too arrogant with your ample time. I died 2 or 3 times because I let time run out.

Previously, I mentioned something about experience, leveling up, stats and then I mentioned something about Radiance. Now is the time to discuss these items. Your Skylander earns experience for every enemy they kill. In addition, you can earn experience for all the radiance you collect which is scattered across every level, in generous amounts might I add. Plus, if you collect 5 radiance in a row within a short amount of time, all radiance containers change to a purple/red color and are then worth 2x the amount as normal. This effect last only for a few seconds and it is a great help. The experience you earn from killing enemies is applied immediately in level, whereas the experience you earn from collected radiance is applied after you complete a level. Upgrades are done automatically, you do not choose them. I believe your character maxes out at level 10, but if anyone knows otherwise, please correct me.

Controlling your Skylanders is very simple to do as you use the Circle pad and the A, B, X, Y buttons. The only time the touchscreen is used really is to switch out your characters. You are able to double jump, perform two different attacks, and dash. The controls are fast and responsive and work quite well.

Visuals and Sound

The visuals truly are great looking. The 3D is very nice and adds so much depth. There were a few times I had to adjust my slider down due to the 3D, but that was a handful of times at best. Each area has a unique theme and design and looks great. The only area where I felt the visuals were lacking were the cutscenes. There were only a handful of these so it’s no big deal. The audio is fairly decent, nothing too memorable but I enjoyed listening to the sounds as I played the game.

Concluding Overall Impressions

Skylanders is an incredibly fun filled game offering moderately challenging platforming, excellent 3D visuals, diverse levels and a wide selection characters, each with their own unique set of abilities. With more than 30 characters to purchase and unlock, plus bonus levels Skylanders has set itself up to be a holiday contender and then some. Hey Activision, do you smell that? Yeah, it’s money!

Final Score: 5 out of 5

 

About the author:

Jeremy’s love of gaming, especially Nintendo started in the late 80′s when his parents bought him and his older brother an NES. Many hours were spent playing Mario and Duck Hunt. Eventually Jeremy graduated to bigger and better games and systems, like the SNES, GC, Wii, 3DS, and finally to the Wii U. Ask him what the defining moment of his childhood gaming was and he’ll answer, “the day I beat Zelda 2.” To this day that game holds a special place in his heart. His favorite types of games are platformers.

Jeremy started blogging for NintendoFuse in October 2010. He started off as a lurker on the forums who won a free copy of And Yet It Moves on WiiWare. From there he realized he liked the forums and the site and wanted to remain a part of it. He was brought on board shortly thereafter and has helped post news and reviews for the past couple of years. Currently Jeremy has taken a step back to focus on family and school. He assists in minor back-end site maintenance from time to time.

Jeremy – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.