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Skylander: Spyro’s Adventures: The Must Have Game of the Year!

Company: Activision

When I was a child, I loved collections of toys. Let's face it, we all did, and still do. You know you've got a collection of some kind of toy in your house right now, along with your collection of videogames. Now imagine that you can integrate the two so that your toys are literally a part of your videogames. Amazing concept, huh? Well, the guys over at Toys for Bob had that brilliant idea about 3 years ago and have now made it a reality for all of us in the new Skylanders: Spyro's Adventures.

There's one thing that I need to mention from the start. Skylanders is a brand new game with its own world and own characters. Spyro (and Cynder) are simply characters that are a part of the Skylanders world, so please don't start with the naysaying that this isn't a "true Spyro game." Treat Skylanders as a new game that stands on its own. The Skylanders world does feel like the original Spyro games in its look and characters. They have gone back to a less dark feeling than the latest Spyro games have. You can even flame sheep again! All of the characters that you control are monsters, but they are the good guys and you can tell it in their look and actions. Granted, they might not be the most mentally stable as some just like to blow things up or shoot things, but they are the good guys of the story.

You can go through the entire game with only one character, but if you're like me and like to get 100% complete, you will need at least one character from each class: Water (Zap, Wham-Shell, Gill Grunt, Slam-Bam), Magic (Spyro, Double Trouble, Voodood, Wrecking Ball), Tech (Drill Sergeant, Boomer, Drobot, Trigger Happy), Air (Sonic Boom, Whirlwind, Lighting Rod, Warnado), Life (Camo, Stump Smash, Zook, Stealth Elf), Undead (Cynder, Chop Chop, Hex, Ghost Roaster), Earth (Bash, Dino-Rang, Prism Break, Terrafin), and Fire (Ignitor, Sunburn, Eruptor, Flameslinger). I included which characters are which class just so you can go ahead and make sure you've pre-ordered one of each. I've already pre-ordered at least that many myself, so that I am 100% prepared just because I like to be able to access everything. To truly get everything, you will need to collect every character as each character has their own content. There are 32 characters at launch and quite a few more items like the pirate pack that add more adventures. Also worth noting is that they have done a great job making sure that you have both ranged and melee characters available for every class.

When you sit down to play the game, you can play alone just fine but you also have the option of playing with a friend. The beauty of Skylanders is that all of your character data is stored on the toy and you can pick it up at any time, without having to hit save, and go over to your friend's house. With normal games today, if you've got a PS3 and your friend has a Wii, well your data is useless at their house and vice-versa. Skylanders has magically solved that problem. Technically it's not magic, but it works like magic. When you buy the game, you will get a portal as well. These portals are specific to the systems and are where the magic happens. They are only about six inches in diameter, so don't worry that they will take up a lot of space. To bring your toys to life, simply place the figure on the portal and it will appear on the screen. You can only have two characters on the portal at once. Your toy will work on any system that the game is available for, even including the PC. When you are playing with two players, you can continue the Story Mode of the person whose system you're playing on or you can battle against each other in three different battle options. There's a really nice feature in these battles that you can turn on called "fair play" which basically levels the playing field so that my level 1 character can play against your level 10 player without being killed instantly because of the stat differences. This should end all arguments of "you only won because your character is higher level than mine."

If you can't tell by this article, I am already addicted to Skylanders: Spyro's Adventures after only a few hours of playing it. I love the world that it is set in, the storyline, and the characters. The fact that I have 32 characters that I can level up and take to anyone's house to play with is simply fascinating to me. I am very impatiently wanting out the time left until I have my own copy of Skylanders and my own toys to collect. I highly recommend everyone prepare for Skylanders to be the number one toy and game of this year!

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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