Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure Review (Wii)


               Spyro’s continuity has been reset, again. And the game is a different genre from the previous continuity, again. And with the toy feature which is clearly made to make money, people are expecting a horrible game made to promote toys. Surprisingly, this game is good.


               Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (which, for the sake of time, will be shortened to Skylanders) is a unique game. Each copy of the game comes with a Portal of Power and three figures, so you can play the game upon purchase. The toy mechanic is surprisingly well done, the figures ‘remember’ what they do in the game even if the game doesn’t. If after reaching level 10 I turn off the power, I only lose the progress in whatever I was doing, the character is still level 10 despite the events not being saved to the system. Additionally you can put Friends Skylander’s on your portal of power, so versus mode and co-op are even more fun if you have a friend who brought their Skylander’s. You can actually beat the game and collect enough items with the starter pack Skylander’s that you could just buy the starter pack and have a lot of fun.


               The gameplay in Skylanders isn’t the same as the original games or the legend trilogy, but it’s still fun. You control the Skylander on the Portal of Power as you go through the level. Each Skylander has its own hp and can be switched out for another one quickly, if a Skylander’s hp reaches zero you can’t use it for the rest of the level. The gameplay is best described as a “platformer/beat’em up with some puzzle sections.” Collectibles are spread throughout each level and all end to the experience beyond just being collected, story scrolls have entertaining lore, hats boost stats, legendary treasures give you more money and Soul Gems let you buy an extra attack for the Skylander it’s for. Between levels there’s a hub called the ruins, where you can buy upgrades/new attacks, do heroic challenges, explore and go the next level. The heroic challenges give the Skylander who beats them a permanent stat boost.


               The versus mode is surprisingly fun for a mostly drop in drop out co-op game. You place Two Skylander’s on the Portal of Power and fight in an arena. In addition to the expected “Beat the other person up” mode there’s Skyball, where you grab a ball and try to throw it into a goal post and gem collection, where you try to collect gems. In both cases the important object can be dropped by getting your hp knocked down to zero by the other player. Each arena has items to pick up and use in addition to hazards unique to each arena. Combined with the Toy mechanic the versus mode seems perfect for tournament play.

               If you’re willing to look past the blatant toy selling scheme and have enough self restraint to not buy every figure you see, I highly recommend this game.