So it’s been out for almost a week, and I have to say: I am LOVING Skylanders Giants! Now before I get started, this is going to be a bit of a weird review. Giants, as you know is the sequel to Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, and not much as changed in sense of gameplay. Put figure A on portal B and play game C. Complete actions A and B as often as you like. Still fun. No sense in reinventing the wheel here. Solid gameplay in a solid game. But what I am going to do is cover what has changed or been added to the game, and you can decide if it’s right for you. Then in the weeks following, I will cover the new figures and some old favorites!
- The game is now in HD!
Noticeably upgraded graphics and cut scenes provide better eye candy for furthering the story as well as textures throughout the game, although the grass texture/render they used is completely ugly. Literal eye vomit here. Everything else, awesome. Which is a sweet improvement from the first game being in standard definition.
- Arena Mode
After beating Brock, you gain access to the arena, which provides challenges outside the heroic ones, in 21 flavors to grant you an extra way of earning money, xp and the newly created charms! These challenges are increasingly tough but still fun and you do get a lot of extra money, so once you have completed the game, and there are no more treasure chests to find, you still have a way to increase funds!
- The Dread-Yacht
The whole story hub is based off Flynn’s flying boat which you can customize with different items. These items come in the form of the Legendary Treasures which now actually serve a purpose. Not only do they grand you money, they also make your boat look pretty freaking sweet! You have 4 different slots to customize from the engine to the figurehead on the bow of the boat to paint, you get to make the Dread-Yacht specific to your game file!
A new mini-game, much like Pirate cards, except actually fun. Skystones is basically Othello for children. You have a 9 section board, and the CPU-player goes first placing a tile. Your job is to convert and hold as many tile slots as possible when the last tile is played. You can gain access to new tiles through purchase or beating Skystone players through the story mode.
- Auric’s Store
In the first game, all you could purchase were upgrades to your player. Now that Auric actually has a function other than telling you that the “black pearl” is actually a bomb, he can sell you charms, single use items, Skystones and luck-o-tron lights!
- The Luck-o-Tron
Adding more to the micromanagement of the game, Cali’s room houses the Luck-o-Tron. This machine has 4 slots which can be equipped with multiple wheels allowing for “mods” to be placed in action during your gameplay. The wheels grant increased XP, health from food items, money, and attack power!
There is really so much going on in this game, and as an added bonus all of your old figures still work (though they don’t have access to the new abilities the orange base figures will have) AND all 4 of the original extra levels work with Giants! Judging from the level layout, given that the 4 original extra levels are listed as 21 to 25, I think we have 4 more bonus levels headed our way through the year!
You can find most of your Giants games and accessories at Toys r Us, given they have a 30 day exclusive on any of the special figures, but other retailers such as Target, Walmart and Gamestop have their own respective specials going on for the time being.
Stay tuned for more Skylanders Giants goodness to come!
back to the farm!
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