There are 2 viewpoints we would like to focus on with this latest installment in the Spyro Series by Activision. On one hand we have the target audience, the younger children that will ultimately fall in love with Characters/figurines, on the other we have the parents that will either cave in to their offspring’s demands or hear about it at every turn.
Typically when a series is developed, there is a certain level of consistency that one would come to expect after X amount of titles are released. In Spyro’s case there’s sparks (Spyro’s loyal dragonfly health meter), and the sheep we love to head-butt and roast to regain health. The sheep are here in this game, sans the health restoration properties. Alas, Sparks is also absent from this title. The sheep are still roastable, but there’s really no satisfaction in it. In truth, we feel that even though Spyro is in the game, this really shouldn’t be labeled as “Spyro’s Adventure.” That would be like calling SoulCalibur IV “Vader’s Adventure.” The game isn’t about the individual character.
Let us explain from the child’s perspective:
Drew: “Mommy, why are there sheep in this game?”
Me: “Because, honey, the sheep are there to legitimize the use of Spyro’s name in the title”
Drew: “Who’s Spyro?”
Me: **Sigh** “Exactly”
Any kid that plays this as an introduction to the Spyro series is not going to get the same sense of the character as in previous Spyro titles. However, that may not matter to a younger gamer. If this is the first adventure for a young sprout, he or she will marvel at the different levels and the age appropriate challenges that are presented. The most fascinating part of the game is the ability to switch characters at will and the silly character phrases each character uses when you place them on the “PORTAL OF POWER!!!!” (Trigger Happy is a favorite in this household.) An adult supervising said sprout my get a little dizzy due to the manic ferocity in which ‘lil sprout changes the Skylanders. (We at GamesEyeView recommend a strong headache medicine be on hand at all times).
A really nice feature to this game is that players can exchange Skylander figurines and not lose any level progress and will actually have the character accumulate coin and experience when crossing over to other save data. So for example, if a parent wanted to try the game out to see if it really is as appropriate for kids as they/we say, (good job parent!!), any progress made will carry over when the next player/child starts their own game. In the game, players can safely transfer ownership without any nasty side effects or levels lost. There is also a reset option. Beware the reset option! Younger gamers may not understand the reset option which will lead to questions such as “How come my Skylander doesn’t have his cool power anymore?” or “Why does my Skylander need to rest so much?”
**Attention Readers, this is a Public Service announcement from GamesEyeView**
Do not let your child reset the Skylanders. This will undo any leveling up and powers purchased. Repeat: DO NOT let your child reset the Skylanders! You will thank us later!
**This has been a public service announcement from GamesEyeView.**
In this particular title, Skylander: Spyro’s Adventure, Spyro isn’t really the main protagonist. There are over 30 characters to choose from. So in the grand scheme of things, Spyro is just another purple dragon. There are some pretty great characters that are introduced in the game, too bad most of you (and us) will never meet them or use them in the game. That’s right, we can see the amazing cut scenes and trailers for new characters when a soul gem is collected but why bother watching the scenes since you cannot get your hands on any other characters without shelling out some mad cash. All the stores are sold out. Upon speaking to the sales associates in said store, they haven’t had a shipment in for weeks. So what this means, loyal readers, is that you cannot unlock the full potential of the game that you spent $50-$70 dollars on. Even if you could find the figures it would be another $45-50 more to obtain all the character classes to unlock all the areas of the game. So gentle reader, be prepared to shell out $95-$120 to fully play the game as intended.
The game mechanics differ enough to disappoint loyal fans to this series. In previous Spyro game, the player was able to jump, double jump and take their chances with gravity. In this version, there is a safety net where not only can you not jump unless there is a jump pad for the area, but you cannot fall helplessly in the void off of the side of the world. You’re safe. Great for kids, but for adults, isn’t that where the challenge lies for a plaforming game? Yes we moan and groan about the difficult maneuvers required to make it through countless sections of platforming games but once that section is passed, players are left with a sense of accomplishment. So from a child’s perspective, this is awesome, I can’t fall and get hurt, yay!! But for adults, it’s too safe and not challenging enough to keep playing.
Overall, this is a great kid’s game – which it seems that was the intended audience. For adults and parents, it’s not such a great deal. The endless possibility of new characters is exciting but the lack of available characters in stores and the underlying costs to bring out the true potential of the game is a disappointment.
So we grant two scores:
For kids we give it an 8/10, for adults we give it a 3/10.
Overall score: 5.5/10
A review copy of Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure was provided to GamesEyeView by Activion.