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My 6 year old son received the Skylanders starter pack for our Nintendo Wii for Christmas, and apparently it's the best present he's ever had! He has previously been obsessed with the Lego Star Wars game, and in some ways this is very similar - it involves fighting and shooting and weopens! The player takes the role of 'portal master' and has the task of choosing characters (skylanders) to save the land they live in by destroying evil creatures, unlocking gates and partaking in various puzzles and games to progress through the game. Tge characters also collect vartious treasures en route which give extras life and extra powers which are retained throughout the game. The game is organised into chapters which is great as it means if one chapter/level is not completed successfully and all the players' characters hve died, you can go back to the beginning of that chapter with all lives fully restored. This is not as devastating to the player as having to go right back to the beginning! The starter pack includes 3 sklylanders to play with and the portal to stand them on. The portal is simply switched on and wireless usb inserted into the back of the Wii base unit. The portal is then working, and whichever skylander the player wants to use is placed on the portal and thgen appears on the screen. This is a great feature and for the kids it really makes them feel like they are interacting more with the game. Not only is this great interaction for the kids, but a very clever idea by the makers of the game! There are 30 Sklylander characters that can be collected, all grouped separately - there may be 4 in a 'fire' group, 4 in a 'water' group, 4 'undead' etc etc all of which are better at doing certain tasks throughout the game. The day after Christmas I already had my son saying he NEEDED an undead figure and a figure from the fire element, but guess what? They aren't sold as a nice mixture, they are sold in a way that ensures you need to buy something else. It's veryt clever and a great way for money to be made! It's my son's birthday soon though so at lewast I know what to get him! The graphics and picture are fabulous. It's really interesting just to watch and bright and simple enough to hold attention. Even my 10 year old daughter has got into it. I must admit I rather enjoy it musel! Hugely recommended, I think Skylanders is going to be massive!
I bought this game for my two boys aged 4 and 7 after much pleading and begging, mostly from the 7 year old. Several of his friends already had it and they loved the idea that they could port their characters to each others houses and continue their game with their friends. Initially I was dubious as the thought of purchasing endless new characters for them to play the game effectively made my purse panic! I eventually backed down and the boys used birthday vouchers to buy the starter pack at a great price. The starter pack contained 3 "Skylanders" which is plenty for the kids to get going with. The characters are very cleverly ported into the game via the wireless portal device. As the game progresses the characters gain experience and items that are stored on the chip within the character and these upgrades stay with that character where ever it is played, giving each childs figure its own identity. The instructions are spoken throughout the game so my pre-school 4 year old can understand what he needs to do. When the boys are playing together their characters are tied together which also stops one of them from running off (usually the 4 year old) whilst the other is attemping a task or is mid-battle. We have since bought them another character each (a treat for a good report and the other for staying dry at night), but even better my eldest son won one in a cereal packet competition so the collection has started. One drawback is that to unlock the game fully characters from every "element" will be necessary (at £7.99 each this could be pricey). I may live to regret it but the kids love this game, play it beautifully together and it is simple yet cleverly put together. A great buy!
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure brings a whole new gaming genre to the forefront of the gaming market. It combines video gaming with toys, and also the collectability of each of the individual Skylander characters. Well, where do I start? There is so much going on with this game that it's difficult trying to get everything down! The Story: The game is about a world called Skylands. Taken over by Chaos, he has frozen the Skylanders, the protectors of the lands, and banished them to earth. That's where you come in. You are the Portal master, controller of the Portal of Power, recruited to un-freeze Spyro and his friends and rescue the world of Skylands from Chaos' destruction.... Place the Skylander on the Portal of Power, and it comes alive on the screen. Ready for action, ready to defeat Chaos and free the Skylands. In the starter pack you will receive the game, the Portal of Power and three Skylanders, Trigger Happy, Spyro and Gill Grunt. There are eight different types of Skylander, and 32 Skylanders to collect altogether. You will see that the base of each Skylander is a different style or "Element", for example, Trigger Happy has a gold base with cogs on it, this means he is a Tech Skylander. In certain areas of the game, a different type of Skylander will be stronger, and will also be needed to unlock "Elemental Gates" to obtain specific collectables, of which there are many. The different Elements are as follows: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Life, Undead, Tech and Magic. I won't list the individual Skylanders as there are so many I'm afraid I will miss some! But if you are interested in collecting the entire set, there are many lists about on the internet. Individual packs will set you back about £7 each, or a triple pack will be around £20. I will add that some can be very difficult to find now, and you could end up having to fork out £20 or £30 for just one figure (!!!!!!) just to complete your collection. You do only need one of each element to complete the Adventure part of the game, but to unlock all of the Heroic Challenges (which aren't an important part of the game) you will need all of them, or at least to have used all of them. As you start the game you will see the surroundings are bright and colourful, much like the rest of the Spyro games that have previously been released. You will be taken to the first level of the Skylands, the Shattered Island following a cut-scene explaining why the Skylands are in such need of a Hero! You will learn that to save Skylands, you will need to collect each Element that has been lost or stolen by Chaos and his evil counterparts. I won't go too deep into the gameplay, as like I said previously, there is so much to talk about I feel I could go on for hours. The great thing about this game is that the upgrade progress of each Skylander is magically saved to the actual figure rather than to your own game. For example, if a friend of yours has unlocked an upgrade to its figure, they can then use this figure to play co-op or battle mode on your console, using the upgrades that have beed obtained in their own game. The actual progress of the levels is still saved on your console, but any upgrades or special abilities will be saved to each figure. The battle mode is a good way to show off your Skylanders new abilities and upgrades, battling against your friends in various different surroundings. There is also a co-op mode, in which you can play the adventure with a friend; all you need to do is add another Skylander to the Portal and link up another controller. If there is a part you are finding difficult, ask a friend over to help you get through it! Although the actual adventure part of the game is quite short, having only 22 levels, if you are one of those people (as I am!) that feels the game is not over until 100% has been achieved, then this will open it up to numerous Hero challenges, time achievements, and so many things to collect and also the Adventure packs, of which there are 4, that hold in themselves a new level of their own. Only three of the four have been released so far, but they come as a pack together with a figure. They are usually around £20 There is so much room for this game to grow into something huge. A new adventure, new figures, special edition figures, the potential is immense. I am impressed by this game, and I really have enjoyed playing it so far, and I do hope that there are many sequels to come. But just a warning, you could end up paying out hundreds of pounds to complete your collection!