Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Skylanders Giants Review & Interview

Recently, my husband purchased Skylanders Giants for the Wii. My kids have been enjoying the game together and just yesterday, Daddy bought our girly-bug two new figures; he couldn't wait until Christmas to give them to her. I sat down with my daughter to interview her about the similarities and differences between this sequel game and its predecessor, the reason she chooses to collect only certain figures, and other relevant Skylanders questions.

Mom: So, how have you enjoyed Skylanders Giants so far?

Daughter: I've enjoyed the game quite a lot, nearly as much as the original.

Mom: How is this game similar to the previous Skylanders game? How is it different?

Daughter: It's fairly similar to the original. The story is roughly the same, with Kaos hatching some evil plan to take over Skylands. The gameplay is also the same, but with the very important addition of the 'Skystones' mini-game. In this game, you and an opponent have five stones each. The way to win is to have the most stones on the board, but this is difficult, because there are only nine spaces. This is where the concept of 'stealing' Skystones comes in. Each stone has little prongs on the side. If two sides touch each other and one side has more spikes than another, the person with more spikes takes the other stone. 
One of the few differences is that it's a lot shorter than the original. It only has sixteen chapters, as opposed to twenty-two. I would have preferred the game to be a bit longer.

Mom: What Skylanders did Dad just buy for you?

Daughter: The new Skylanders that dad bought for me were Sprocket, of the Tech Element, and Flashwing, who is an Earth Type Skylander. Flashwing is a crystal dragon who uses light-based attacks, while Sprocket, a golding (a fictional race of gold skinned humanoids), fights using mines, turrets and a giant wrench. I like them both a lot.

Mom: I know that you aren't buying all the new Skylanders figures. Can you explain why?

Daughter: I'm not buying all the new figures because some aren't exactly 'new', if you understand me. As I said above, there are some new additions to the cast, the eight giants and their smaller counterparts, but the rest of the bunch are just revamped versions of the old characters. They just polished them up a bit, put the figures in new poses and gave them one ability that the old ones don't have. Though this may sound cool, I'm not really interested in them, considering we've collected all of the 'wave ones.'

Mom: What are your favourite figures? What about your brother's favourites?

Daughter: I have a number of favourite characters. I like most of the female characters, of which there are only a few. This group includes Stealth Elf, a ninja elf, Whirlwind, a unicorn-dragon hybrid, Sonicboom, a griffin, Hex, a ghost witch, and Cynder, a purple dragon. In the new versions, they add a few more girls, such as Sprocket and Flashwing. There is also Chill, an ice-based valkyrie-esque woman warrior, and Ninjini, a ninja genie (hence the name). Still, there's a large number to choose from. So I narrowed it down to two. For the originals, Stealth Elf took the cake, no contest. She was fun to play, with her fast-paced attacks, which did massive amounts of damage. Plus, she's an elf, a race which I'm obsessed with, so I loved her. As for the second batch, I've gotta say that I liked Sprocket best. Sure, at first I was stuck on Chill, with her magical narwhal steed and icicle sword, but in the end I liked Sprocket's character better - not just her moves (though I can't get over how amazing her tank is), but just the way she looks, how her voice sounds, her whole esthetic. I may relate to her better than Chill because she depends move heavily on her brains and technology than her strength and courage. Or it could just be that I like her goggles. In any case, those two are my tops.
As for Peter, his tastes are simple. A cute, kind of annoying and crazily powerful Skylander, preferrably of the Magic element, is good enough to satisfy him. You can find these characteristics in Pop Fizz, the potion-guzzling gremlin, and Wrecking Ball, the enemy-slurping grub-worm. But if none of these are available, he'll take a different character, and enjoy it just as much. For example, whenever the former are unable to battle, his next choice would be Ignitor, an honourable, chivalrous knight in flaming armour. I've also seen him use the likes of Ghost Roaster, Gil Grunt and Tree Rex. He's cool with almost anyone, but the first two are his favourites.

Mom: One of the things you've told me in the past is how much you love the voices. Care to elaborate?

Daughter: Well, in the original Skylanders, the only dialogue came from the Non-Player Characters, such as the obnoxious and egostical Flynn and the tough-as-nails Cali. This was fine; there were some very cute and memorable lines, but it felt a bit incomplete without the player's characters speaking. This wish was granted in the sequel, where the figures deliver their catchphrases, along with some other clever puns and quips. In addition, your character can also sing along to the radio on Flynn's ship; that was a nice touch.

Mom: Thanks for consenting to and participating in this long interview. You're the best!

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