"Skylanders SWAP Force"
Microsoft Xbox 360 (PS3)
$74.99 for Starter Pack
ESRB rating: E10
Review rating: 4.0 stars
Activision bridged the gap between cyberspace and the real world by letting players "send" plastic figures into their virtual realm while playing "Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure." Now the third installment, titled "Skylanders SWAP Force," has been unleashed, and several improvements have transformed the series into more than just a novelty.
Kaos has once again returned to the Skylands, but this time the dastardly villain wields a destructive new weapon called the Evilizer! It's up to the players to stop him from stealing powerful magic that spews from a sacred volcano that erupts every 100 years.
The "Skylanders" starter pack includes the game, three figures and the Portal of Power. This is basically a small stand on which a figure can be placed, and that figure appears in the game ready to be controlled by players. It's both a wonderful concept and also a means to sell extra figures.
Fortunately, every figure can be used on any console, and figures from previous games can be used with the latest incarnation. Another great aspect is that each figure retains the experience and skills that players have earned, meaning players can take figures to a friend's house for cooperative play.
In addition to providing new zones to explore and the ability to jump, "Skylanders SWAP Force" lets players physically split the upper and lower portion of 16 new figures apart and swap them with others to create new virtual creatures. This lets players experiment with different abilities and create their own custom figures. More than 230 combinations are possible, but it can get rather pricey to buy both the game and all the figures.
Despite the simplistic combat, "Skylanders SWAP Force" is a beautiful-looking game that's sure to make children of all ages smile."Sid Meier's Ace Patrol"