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Found 6 results

  1. So, as most of you have probably heard by now, Disney Infinity is being discontinued as Disney shutters its publishing arm (it'll still license its properties to other publishers though) and Avalanche, the developers, close their doors. It's pretty sad news all in all, and a bit surprising considering Disney had the likes of Marvel and Star Wars to get people interested in the games. Knowing that something with that kind of power behind it could fail, do you think this could be the beginning of the end for the toys-to-life genre? Could Lego Dimensions, Skylanders, and, dare I say it, amiibo be next? To be honest, I'm surprised Infinity was the one that went down first. Of all of them, Skylanders would have been my guess as the first to fall simply due to the fact that it's the only one without recognizable branding behind it (unless you count Spyro as a recognizable brand, but they basically distanced themselves from that after the first one anyway) and there was already a precedent with Activision and plastic peripherals after Guitar Hero. I haven't paid attention to reviews or sales numbers or anything relating to these types of games, but I'm still pretty sure that other publishers are going to see what happened and start to consider whether it's worth carrying on with any plans they might have had for the genre. Nintendo might be able to keep amiibo profitable a while longer as long as they stick to the most popular series and spread the releases out a bit, but I'm expecting Lego Dimensions and Skylanders to follow suit any day now. How do you all feel about it? Worried? Happy that the obvious cash grab of selling toys that work with games might be ending? Don't care either way? Sound off with your thoughts!
  2. Marcus Estrada

    Pokemon Rumble U to Use Skylanders-Like Toys?

    Chances are, if you're a Pokemon fan then you're at least aware of the Pokemon Rumble franchise. If not, then let's get you quickly up to speed. Pokemon Rumble originally came as a WiiWare exclusive. Next was Pokemon Rumble Blast which was actually a retail game for 3DS. Next up is Pokemon Rumble U which is heading to WiiU. Information from the Japanese magazine CoroCoro has been reported on by Serebii.net. For one, the game is set to use NFC (which stands for Near Field Communication). What does this mean? In the case of Pokemon Rumble U, NFC means that the GamePad will be able to react to officially purchased Pokemon toys. Yep, if you buy a physical toy from a Pokemon Center store, you will then be able to use it with your game. Aside from only being available at a specific retailer it sounds very much like what Skylanders has succeeded with. Only this time around it's Pokemon getting the treatment. Unfortunately, the Pokemon Rumble series is far form the most loved of franchises so it may not have quite the same appeal in America if the toys are produced for our market as well.
  3. It was around this time last year that the last Skylanders game was announced, so it's not too surprising that Activision has announced an all-new Skylanders game for this year today. Dubbed Skylanders Swap Force, this entry expands on the collectible figurine frenzy by allowing you to swap interconnecting body parts from 16 all-new Skylanders. In this sense, you can be more creative with how you want your Skylanders to look and what abilities they'll have to play with. And like last year's Skylanders Giants, figurines from the previous games will be compatible with this title as well. Interestingly enough, Joystiq reports that Toys for Bob is passing on the development of this title to Vicarious Visions, giving the former more time to prepare their next thing. Luckily, Vicarious Visions already has a good amount of experience with the Skylanders franchise, having developed the 3DS version of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, the Wii U port of Skylanders Giants, and three variations of Skylanders for iOS. Skylanders Swap Force will be available on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, Wii, and 3DS at the end of the year.
  4. Dominic Dimanche

    Review: Skylanders Giants

    Developer: Toys for Bob, n-Space (3DS), Vicarious Visions (Wii U) Publisher: Activision Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, 3DS Release Date: October 21, 2012, November 18, 2012 (Wii U) ESRB: E10+ This review and its score are based on a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of the game provided by Activision for review. Wii and 3DS versions are also discussed below. When the first release of Skylanders came to me in the mail for review last year, my adult mind was frothing at the mouth to write it off as some kids“ game and nothing more. After a couple hours of switching my characters in and out, leveling them up, and laughing at the dialogue, I came to realize how much potential this game had. Now, with Activision“s follow-up Skylanders Giants, I approached the game with a tad more open-mindedness. And for what it is, it definitely does not disappoint. The story this time around introduces an ancient race of tyrannical robots called Arkeyans who once enslaved the lands thousands years ago but were defeated and laid dormant all these centuries. That is, until they are reawakened once more, wreaking havoc. And the only thing that can stop them are two things: the original Skylander guardians from 1000 years ago, and of course, the portal master who brings them into the world (i.e. the player). Much of what made the game enjoyable the first time around is back in this game. The funny dialogue, the secret and alternate routes through the levels, special loot and items, and above all – the Skylander figures themselves all make a return in Giants, but they all come with some welcomed additions. The first major new facet is the inclusion of the aforementioned giants. Each giant is a huge, super powered Skylander that can use their size to turn the tides of an outnumbered battle as well as destroy walls and obstacles that their smaller companions could never overcome. They also have special light-up parts that glow when they are placed on the portal base to transport them into the game. Along with the giants, there are new Skylander figures and special “Series 2” edition of past characters replete with new powers and unique skills to upgrade. Also, some of the series 2 figures have special “light core” editions that light up when placed on the base and have a special power not available in their original counterparts. Speaking of upgrades, Skylanders Giants provides some further perks to tweak and build your miniature warrior. As you go through the levels, opening up chests, beating bosses and foes alike – you acquire loot that you can use on purchasing new skills or boosting the skills you already have. For example, Spyro can unlock the ability to fly and rain fire from above. Along with skills, you will also come across several hats which add stat bonuses like speed boosts, strength augments, or increase in critical hit damage. The main draw with Skylanders Giants is the ability to drop characters in and out via placing them on the base, which the game calls a “portal of power.” Being able to use your character and all their skills and powers on any major system is a huge boon to the game. Also, the game encourages the player to swap characters. For instance, some areas will themed after a certain characters“ elemental affinity, so if you use a fire-type Skylander in a fire-themed area of the level, they will get a boost in stats. In other situations, some areas are completely blocked off unless you use the right elemental creature. When it comes to combat, the system is relatively straightforward with an overhead view and simple two button attack layout: one button to attack, the other for a character specific special skill. The game plays like a very "lite" version of Diablo – lots of exploration, loot to find, swarms of enemies to wipe out, and pooling resources to boost skills and stats. There are also many puzzles in the game used to break up the action and give some moments of respite. However, since this is a game geared towards kids in mind, the puzzles are never too challenging. And even if you are stuck on something, the game lays some pretty heavy-handed hints that all but point to where you are to go and what you are supposed to do at any given moment. The level of hand-holding is a little annoying, but to people half or even a quarter my age, it could be seen as a welcome asset. While the game is fun to play, especially with other people around, it is not without its shortcomings - the main problem being the insane level of advertisement in the game which constantly tries to sell on the idea of buying the whole set. Some other examples are the various unique special moves for other Skylanders you find in the game accompanied by a teaser reel of the character. The game does a good job of setting you up with a solid experience, but it still cannot escape the ever-present sense of marketing. Overall, Skylanders Giants is a fun and great edition to the series adding enough perks and tweaks to make it an excellent choice to dive into with some of your younger buds. Just make sure you have the cash to go the distance. Wii Version by Chris Haygood After reviewing the Wii version of Skylanders last year, I can say that Skylanders Giants is more of the same, which is by no means a bad thing: solid, Gauntlet-style gameplay and a large cast of fun characters make Giants a joy for younger gamers, with enough depth to keep older ones entertained as well - great news for gamer parents. Little has changed in the way of controls, which are simple and easy to master with the Wii controller, and although one can expect a slight graphics discrepancy between the Wii version and the other consoles, the colorful backdrops look great on the system, and seeing the Skylanders and their moves in action is a visual treat. Overall, Skylanders Giants is everything Spyro's Adventure was, only with a larger cast of characters (larger, ha ha, I'm so funny). There isn't really anything that makes the Wii incarnation the definitive version of Giants, but I personally enjoy the feeling of the Wii controller when playing this game, and if you have a younger gamer in your household, chances are you own a Wii anyway. 3DS Version by Jason Clement Much like last year's game, Skylanders Giants on 3DS is actually a different game from its console counterparts (this time developed by n-Space). The core theme of using different Skylanders remains the same, as does the setting of Skylands, but this version has an entirely new story. Instead of Kaos, the enemy here is Frightbeard, an evil giant Skylander who has escaped from an object known as the Book of Exile, and his goal is to restore his army of pirates from the book as well. Of course, the Skylanders are alerted to this and intend to put a stop to Frightbeard's plans before they come to fruition. One new addition to this version is the inclusion of some minor voice-acting during a few cutscenes, which is nice to hear. Otherwise, it remains much of the same type of game as last year's. In some ways, the 3DS version seems closer to how Skylander's ideal gameplay should be, since this version actually includes jumping and platforming elements missing in the console versions. That said, the game is still relatively linear and repetitive at times, though there are definitely some exciting level designs. It also looks fairly solid as far as visuals go, though the framerate does dip well below 30 frames a second at different points throughout each level, but it's only a minor annoyance. If you're looking for a more platformer-oriented experience, definitely check out the 3DS version of the game. Pros: + New Skylanders and Giants are fun to play + Writing is clever and funny + Lots to do and discover Cons: - Having to buy more figures - Lacking an online feature Overall Score: 7 (out of 10) Good Skylanders Giants isn't radically different from last year's entry, but it adds just enough to stay interesting and entertaining, especially for kids.
  5. You knew it was only a matter of time until something like this happened. According to an informant on Disney fansite Stitch Kingdom who has allegedly seen an educational video produced for retailers, Disney is looking to copy Activision's Skylanders model with a game called Disney Infinity that draws from the wealth of their own IP and characters (note: the source article looks to have been removed as the link redirects to the site's main page now as noted by Forbes). Both Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and its recently released sequel, Skylanders Giants have met with immense success for Activision, so it only makes sense that someone else would attempt to emulate that format sooner or later. Skylanders was not only the best-selling Activision title of 2011 (even above Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3), but the best-selling video game of 2011, bar none. The video supposedly describes the use of plastic tokens to be used with Disney Infinity in order to teleport iconic Disney characters like Sully (from Monsters Inc.), Captain Jack Sparrow, and Mr. Incredible to virtual worlds via an infrared or USB device. And like Skylanders, Disney's game is said to ship with a starter pack and then expand with individual character and landmark token releases later on. Adding some weight to this rumor is the fact that Disney CEO Bob Iger mentioned that an “ambitious and unannounced gaming initiative code-named Toy Box” was underway (via New York Times). Toy Box certainly does sound like it would be an appropriate code-name for a Skylanders-like game, so we'll see what happens. Disney Infinity is said to release on PS3, 360, Wii U, and 3DS, but no release date was given as of yet. Would you be interested in a Disney game that emulated Skylanders?
  6. Marcus Estrada

    Wii U Release Date and Launch Window Games

    One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when making a console or handheld is making people want it enough to justify a purchase early on. This is generally handled by trying to come up with the best list of launch day and release window games possible. Although Nintendo has not announced the entire launch day lineup, they have at least given us some information. In regards to confirmed day one releases we have: NintendoLand, New Super Mario Bros. Wii U, and Lego City Undercover. NintendoLand also comes as a pack in game with the $350 Deluxe Set Wii U bundle. It was also announced that Lego City Undercover will come with a minifigure of lead character Chase McCain with pre-order. For now this is all we know about day one Wii U games. Now let's move on to the much larger list of "launch window" games. There are over 50 games coming for the system in this time frame and here's a list of many of them: 007 Legends Aliens: Colonial Marines Assassin“s Creed 3 Avengers: Battle for Earth Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition Ben 10: Omniverse Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013 Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Darksiders II* Disney's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Family Party: 30 Great Games FIFA Soccer 13 Funky Barn Game Party Champions Jeopardy Jet Tailfin Just Dance 4 Lego City Undercover Madden NFL 13 Mass Effect 3 Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Nano Assasult Neo NBA 2513 Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge Pikmin 3 Rabbids Land Rapala Pro Bass Fishing Rayman Legends Rise of the Guardian the Video Game Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien Scribblenauts Unlimited* Sing Party Skylanders Giants Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed Sports Connection Tank! Tank! Tank! Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii Edition The Wonderful 101 Toki Tori 2* Transformers Prime The Game Trine 2 Director“s Cut Game & Wario Wheel of Fortune Wii Fit U Wipeout 3 Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 ZombiU Zumba Fitness Beyond that, Bayonetta 2 was announced as being a Wii U exclusive. Unfortunately this title wasn't announced as being a part of the launch window. Regardless this is quite a lot of games set to arrive for Nintendo's system. Some games are old, some are new, but it looks like there will be a fairly good amount of choices. Update: Darksiders II, Scribblenauts Unlimited, and Toki Tori 2 have been announced as being release day titles by their respective companies. Do you want any of these games on Wii U? What titles do you want to see on the system?