Skylanders: Giants Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii
Skylanders: Giants Box Art
System: Xbox 360, PS3*, Wii, 3DS, Wii U, PC
Dev: Toys for Bob
Pub: Activision
Release: October 21, 2012
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Cartoon Violence

The way it works is each player has a set of stones. On the sides of these stones there are arrows, and the more arrows you have on that side the better their defense is and the greater their attack is. You lay down a stone in turns and the person that has the most stones in the end wins. Even though the tutorial holds your hand as it walks you through, the gloves truly come off after you clear the tutorial area. Admittedly, the first Skylanders' memory-based game was a bit too easy, no matter the age demographic, but it seems the advancement was a bit harsher than it needed to be.

Thankfully, you don't get that feeling in any other aspect of the game. There are feats of strength for the Giants characters with simple button-pressing controls and several new puzzles that never reach past the age bracket Skylanders is intended for. Once again, these are just natural advancements to the franchise that make it a smoother and more enjoyable experience.

Skylanders: Giants Screenshot

This is immediately present in the graphics. Right from the beginning of the game, you will notice how much sharper, crisper, and more detailed everything is. Skyland flows with wonderful textures and vivid colors. The cinematics have also received a huge upgrade. Looking more like a Pixar movie than several other games on the market today, and packing in such a skilled and wondrous voice cast, Skylanders: Giants has all the trappings of getting both kids and adults to want to see a complete visual tale about their world.

I really cannot praise Skylanders: Giants enough. Last year's beginnings were just that, a launch pad for what was to become one of the most sought after collectibles of the 2011 holiday season. With tons of new and exciting things to do, new figures to collect, and the ability to use your previous Skylanders, it feels like someone finally got everything right when creating a sequel. Now excuse me, I need to make sure my wallet is where I left it.

Matt Walker
Date: October 18, 2012

This is an advancement - plain and simple. If you thought the first game looked good, this will blow you away.
Refined controls from the previous installment are apparent right from the get-go.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
While the voice acting and catch phrases are more or less for a younger audience, the skill is undeniable.
Play Value
Much like last year, Skylanders: Giants packs the content in for hours upon hours of gameplay.
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Going Big: Skylanders: Giants introduces eight new highly collectible figures that are more than twice the size of the main Skylanders cast in both physical and virtual form. Their in-game powers and abilities reflect their colossal scale.
  • Bright Lights: Helping to further the real world magic of bringing toys to life, Skylanders: Giants includes a set of characters that feature spectacular new light technology integrated into the toys, allowing the figure to light up when near or on the Portal of Power™. These characters have additional in-game benefits as well. Batteries are not required.
  • Brand New Skylanders: Eight new regular sized Skylanders, each with their own unique powers, abilities, and personality, join the adventure alongside the Giants.
  • Forward Compatibility: Every beloved character from Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is 100% compatible with Skylanders: Giants, leveled-up stats and customizations intact.
  • Wider Worlds: Portal Masters will see all new arenas and more gameplay options in Battle Mode for exciting head-to-head play, as well as enhanced Elemental Zones, new Hero Challenges, and other features that encourage players to collect and level up every character.

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