Skylanders: SWAP Force continues the fantastic adventures and statue character swapping for the Skylanders universe which is a great game on the Wii and a more than worthy purchase.
Graphics & Audio: 20/25,
Simple but diverse platforming forms the basis for Skylanders along with the feature of using toy figures to allow for easy swapping of characters in game. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure started the craze of using small toy figures on a USB platform that changes characters in the game.
Aside from the great adventuring using the figures to swap out characters in game has to be the best feature of Skylanders because of the ease and time. It literally takes about ten seconds to swap a character and there is no clicking through menus or clicking on icons on screen.
Spyro’s Adventure started using the small statues used to swap out your in game character while Skylanders: Giants continued the adventure with larger characters both on screen and in game. In the original Spyro’s Adventures there were 32 figures while the Skylanders Giants sequel added another 8 Giant figures and 16 new Skylander figures.
The SWAP Force game has added 16 figures that can be swapped out with each other to make 256 combinations from the sixteen figures. While not all of the newer figures can be used in the previous games any of the older figures can be used in the newer games for additional characters in game and unlocking new areas.
They have also released some previous figures again that include new abilities that the original figures did not have and are usable on those older games as well as the new ones. It may be a bit confusing about which figures are usable in which game but you can check out the Skylanders website for specifics.
Skylanders: SWAP Force introduces the two part Skylanders that allows you to combine different tops and bottoms of figures for even more in game characters. This allows you to combine the foot work of one character while using the upper body strength and attacks of the top half of the character for an additional mix of characters.
SWAP Force adds quite a few new characters where you get the variety of combining different parts but the main platforming is where Skylanders starts. These new abilities can make for some interesting gameplay but to actually finish the story of SWAP Force you can use just the figures in the Starter Pack.
You may not get to go in every area but you can finish the game and find out the full story of Skylanders SWAP Force only using three characters. The Starter Pack costs about $75 and comes with three characters while figures cost about $9 to $15 but are also available in packs of two and three figures.
Skylanders: SWAP Force like the other Skylanders games is a platforming adventure that has your character running around trying to complete the tasks given like defeating the bad guys or finding a special item. You run around beating foes and getting treasure using the figures to change characters in the game but you also add abilities in game for each character.
The levels are well laid out and only a few areas have the risk of falling off the ledges your running along so the game is pretty good for young kids. I really like the well done platforming that does not require such accurate jumping so you don’t have to spend lots of time repeating simple leaps or other moves.
Foes are not all that difficult to defeat while the first levels are as you would expect much easier then ones further on but even they are not all that difficult. The in game puzzles and simple puzzles that you have to solve along the way to move further in each level are also not that difficult.
Skylanders continues the excellent gaming experience with fun platforming that includes plenty of mini games and puzzles that add to the difficulty and adventure. Each level includes some mini games like the lock game where you need to puzzle through getting two in game characters together.
These mini games do have instructions so you have a chance at solving them but they do have a bit of thought to puzzle through before accomplishing them. Solving them for younger players may need a bit of help from someone older or wiser but the game does include a good variety of difficulty for all.
I keep referring back to younger players because this game does have the wide variety of age groups that it will appeal to mainly due to the cute figures used in the game. The games difficulty does not make it so hard for younger kids to play but it also has enough variety and adventuring to keep the game playable for more than just a few days for adults.
Levels are not just small areas either, you get to unlock more areas with more of the figures but even without them you can spend a good deal of time exploring and getting more loot. Activision sent me a couple extra characters and using them I did have some fun swapping out parts of figures which really adds to the fun and abilities.
One feature that was added in SWAP Force that really adds to your fighting and dodging is the ability for the characters to jump to avoid being hit. In a platformer this may seem odd but in the past you did not have the ability to jump but in the newest release your characters can bound around as well as run and fight.
You can also play with a friend being tethered to each other on screen but at least this allows for two to beat the stuffing out of the enemies. You can also go head to head in player versus player and arena modes where you fight against hordes of enemies to win the levels together or for high score.
The arena and player versus modes add a lot to the game and really make the game worthwhile for even more gameplay but you do have to find a friend. The multiplayer gaming is only local so your friend needs to be one sitting by you and not online but this adds even more to the Skylanders SWAP Force fun.
Skylanders: SWAP Force for the Wii has excellent video for the system with some really great looking cutscenes that really stand out. Video is top of the line for the system with bright colors and really well done effects that never had problems but the main look of the game is fantastic.
Audio is also excellent with great voice acting from prominent series actors Patrick Warburton and Kevin Sorbo while effects and music sound great. The game does well all around and is definitely a top rated release that is fun and has plenty of content.
While the game can cost a lot the Starter Pack is all that is required to successfully complete the story mode but you can find plenty of fun in player on player fights as well. You can fight one on one against others using the variety of figure characters they collect.
The Player VS Player uses any of the characters you have collected but also the in game abilities they have worked through. With the variety of collectible figures and the instant switching in game you have a game worthy of a purchase and even collecting those figures.
While you can spend quite a bit on new figures having a small variety would be easy and make for a fun time without costing too much. Activision has also required game developers to make current figures compatible with the new games so buying a couple figures now will allow their use in future games which Activision is working on for their Fall 2014 release.
I really enjoyed Skylanders: SWAP Force and highly recommend the game for adventurers wanting a fully-fledged game that has plenty for everyone.
Skylanders: SWAP Force Website
Swapping in game characters takes seconds
Game can be played with only a few figures
New areas and abilities added with new figures
Fun platforming adventure
Kids may get addicted and require figure collecting