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Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure - 3DS Review

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Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure

3DS | Activision / Vicarious Visions | 1 Player | Out Now
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9th January 2012; By Patrick

When I originally heard
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure would be coming to 3DS as well as the consoles, I started to fear. Activision has such a great track record with handheld versions of console games. I then heard Vicarious Visions was creating the 3DS version, and all my fears were instantly resolved.

    The 3DS Starter Pack of Skylanders comes with the game, a Portal of Power, and three toys: Dark Spyro, Stealth Elf, and Flameslinger. The Portal of Power connects via the 3DS' built-in IR connector, yet takes significantly longer to recognize Skylanders than the Wii version, requiring you to point the system at the portal for several seconds and keep it steady.

    The main difference in terms of the Portal between the 3DS and Wii versions of the game is that, due to the 3DS version's portable nature, not only is it smaller than the Wii version's Portal, but you also do not need to keep the Skylanders on the portal at all times; only when they are being scanned in or saved to. This allows you to have up to two Skylanders scanned into the game at once, allowing you to switch on the fly on the Touch Screen. You are only allowed to switch which Skylanders are scanned in at the main hub however, so there is still a fair amount of strategy necessary.

The 3DS version of the game incorporates so many styles of gameplay that it is hard to pick out a single genre to classify it as. Some levels are akin to 3D platformers, others are simply levels where you go around attacking a centralized boss of smaller enemies, and still others have you running around collecting gems.

    Gameplay is broken up into small level segments with a world hub that connects all of them. Jumping between areas is easy and you unlock level segments by completing specific goals in previous levels. The entire gameplay system is very simple to understand without ever becoming simplistic, and the level lengths are well-suited for the system's portable nature. The game hosts a great amount of content -- enough that it took me over 10 hours to complete.

    The musical score is almost identical to the console version, however the quality is slightly rougher due to the built-in speakers on the 3DS. The graphics are obviously different, yet they do retain the beautiful, almost water-colour painting style of the console version. The 3D is done incredibly well, giving each character a well-rounded, tangible feel as well as giving the feel that the environments you are in never end.

Some of the content in this game -- specifically some of the challenges later in the game -- is clearly not meant for an older audience, causing me to wonder what exactly the target audience behind this game is. The game is fine and polished, but the difficulty seems completely off compared to the challenge found in the console version.

    Overall, even though it shares much in common with the console version, the thing you must keep in mind is that this is a completely different game. That's not to say it's a bad thing, as this game is still enjoyable in its own right. But it is much harder to recommend to any one specific group.

24/30 - Very Good

Gameplay 8/10 - Wide variety of gameplay styles, ability to swap Skylanders is a welcome inclusion, plays uniquely and differently to the console version
Presentation 9/10 - Environments gorgeous, excellent use of 3D on both characters and environment, music the same as Wii version but with less fidelity
Enjoyment 3/5 - Hard to recommend to any one age group, still a great game, gameplay variations keep things fresh and fun, difficulty high later on
Extra Content 4/5 - Full range of Skylanders toys functional, tons of missions, over 10 hours of gameplay, extra challenges to shoot for

Equivalent to a score of 80% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System

Review by Patrick

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure 
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