Have you heard all the hype about Skylanders Giants Starter pack? I’ve seen it around and didn’t pay it much mind because I thought it was only available for the xbox 360. Since we didn’t have an xbox; why bother getting to know the games right? Well; a few months ago I learned that Skylanders Giants is built not only for the xbox 360 but also the Playstation3, 3DS, WiiU and the Wii! How exciting! Since my boys have been begging for the game for the last year, I figured I should start to take note. Wouldn’t you know it! It truly is the top video game for the family this holiday season! Let me tell you why!
An Introduction to Skylanders Giants
Skylanders Giants is a new video game from Activision. It is built upon the breakthrough success of its predecessor, Sklyanders Spyro’s Adventure. It offers new adventures, new quests, and 16 new characters plus 8 giant Skylanders! Before I get ahead of myself; I should probably tell you what Skylanders are to begin with! It’s a video game that is unlike any we have experienced before. You have a portal that plugs into your game system. It also features Skylanders toy characters. These characters are like a game piece in a board game. You place them onto the portal and it loads the character into the game!
These characters are more than just a fun figurine toy! They contain advanced gaming technology in the base of the toy. As your character advances in the game, the updates to the character are stored in the figurine itself. So you can take your character with you and play with your friends and you don’t have to start over at square one!
Your Skylanders toy will still have all the levels, powers, and special abilities that you have spent all that time building. There are lots of different characters from the original Syro’s Adventure game and now Skylanders Giants adds even more! All the old characters are 100% compatible with the new Giants game; so you don’t have to worry about collecting characters from scratch either if you’ve already been playing the original game!
And the original characters also have a new WOW POW upgrade power in the new games as well as the choice of more than 1 upgrade path. Quite exciting for those that have been playing the original game. In order to play the game and access all areas of the game, you will need at least one character from each of the elements such as
The Starter pack comes with three characters, one being a Giant, to get you started. As you play the game you will come to know the characters and game layout. You will know which new characters you will want to add to your collection.
Experiencing Skylanders Giants Starter Pack
I enlisted the Husband to help me test out the Skylanders Giants starter pack. We haven’t told the kids about it yet. We like to try out games before we let the kids play them. This is to make sure they are appropriate for them. But more than that; we like to make sure the game play is easy enough for them so we don’t have to listen to the constant bickering, whining and crying that they can’t figure it out.
The first thing we noticed is that the graphics are brilliant colors and enjoyable. The artist’s work is fantastic and definitely will draw in a younger audience. It’s not a realistic graphic meant to make you think it is a real world. Definitely more cartoon approach. But it fits with the entire concept of the game. And even the Husband and I enjoyed the artwork, graphics and animation for the game. It was fun and engaging.
The first few chapters of the game were simple enough. Basically they are giving you simple tasks to complete so you can get used to the game play. They help you get to know the storyline, the abilities of your character and different things you will encounter in the game as it advances.
We were able to advance through the first few chapters with great ease. Then about three fourths of the way into Chapter 3 we ran into a little trouble and my Character actually died! Bonus, since we had three Skylanders Characters, I just took my character off and put the next one on and we continued playing. And then we both died. I started thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be a good game for the kids. Then the Husband decided to tell me that we were playing on Heroic difficulty! Oh Good Grief!
So, here is the good news. There are different levels of difficulty so you can make it easier for younger audiences and harder for older more advanced game players. Even Heroic will be simple for the most part; but it will still have a few spots that will make you work for it. It provided a great balance of easy and hard. It keeps the game interesting.
There are also different aspects in the game such as mini puzzles you have to solve in order to access extra areas or rewards. Basically a game inside the game. And best of all; you have the option for co-op playing! You can have two players at a time! Simply put two Skylanders on the portal of power and they will be loaded into the game and then you and a companion can play together.
It was a lot of fun playing with the Husband. Working together to reveal more of the storyline. That was half the fun! And it’s also very important when you have more than one kid that they can both play at the same time! Have you ever experienced the whining “I want to play now! When is it my turn?” yeah, Co-op is very important in this house!
Skylanders Giants also offers Battle play outside of the story line. Where your character and your opponent’s character are placed in an arena. Then you can battle each other. It helps your Skylanders characters gain experience and XP and frankly sometimes it is just fun to battle! We learned very quickly that the Giants totally dominates the battle ground. Probably because they also are more powerful and are harder to kill. But it doesn’t mean they can’t be beat. We spent a good 30 minutes letting the Husband try over and over again to win. I used the Giant and he used a regular character. He finally won. But it took quite a bit of strategy. But it was a lot of fun.
They also got a great cast to do the voices. Flynn is one of the lead NPCs in the game and much to my delight is voiced by Patrick Warburton. You may commonly know him as Kronk from Emperor’s New Groove, or The Tick, or the Wolf from Hoodwinked 1 & 2. My favorite is from Men in Black II! Seriously this guy is awesome and he does the voice over amazingly well! He brings humor and life to the character and makes even the cut scenes a lot of fun.
Skylanders Giants in a nutshell
Overall, the Husband and I have had a lot of fun playing Skylanders Giants together. And it is the exact type of game that our boys will love. It has been so much fun that we have actually gone a little crazy gathering up new Characters for Christmas.
The Husband has been researching each character and finding videos of them on Youtube to see their special abilities and we have collected quite a collection already. I just can’t wait to get them all out and try them out on Christmas! Yeah, we will probably be playing Skylanders most of that day!
Skylanders is amazing for younger kids, perfect for preteens and teenagers! And yet still provides quite a bit of entertainment for adults too! And this is why in my opinion it is the Top video game for the family this Holiday season. It is one the entire family can enjoy! It is rated E10+ by the ESRB.
For more information you can visit the official game website Skylanders.com. Also be sure to visit and follow Skylanders on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube Channel. You will find some really great short videos about the game play, characters, abilities and more on Youtube.
You can purchase Skylanders Giants Starter pack, portal owner packs and individual characters at many retail stores nationwide as well as on Amazon.
Also be sure to visit our Skylanders Giants Starter Pack Giveaway from 12/14/12 until 12/21/12 to win your own Starter pack Game (on the console of your choice)! The giveaway will be open to US and Canada residents! And a quick hint; the first entry is to comment on this post, so be sure to leave a comment before heading over there so you don’t have to return. (Saying, “thanks for the giveaway is not a valid comment entry for the giveaway)
Who is your favorite Skylanders Character?
Who on your Christmas List would love Skylanders Giants starter pack the most?
Would you (the adult) be caught playing Skylanders Gianters?