So this last weekend I made a deal with my son. If he slept through the night we would celebrate his birthday on Sunday as opposed to later this Wednesday. He hadn't slept through the night in about 5 days. On tuesday he got up at 3:30am and on Saturday he got up at 4:30. I had to pick him up early from school twice because he had fallen asleep. I'm telling you, desperate time and desperate measures.
Long story shortish, he slept through the night so we went to Toys R Us Sunday morning to pick up the newest Skylanders game, Skylanders Imaginators. It is a very fun game, one of my favorite in the series. Every year Activision rolls out a new Skylanders game with a different gimmick and this might be my favorite so far. The "Imaginator" crystals you can buy (because of course you have to buy everything) allow you to create your own custom character, a pretty big departure for one of these "toys to life" games.
The custom character elements transform the game into a sort of Skyrim-light. You're able to create your own character, decide his fighting class and outfit him with a bunch of unlockable items. As you play the game and level up you get access to new items and abilities depending on your fighting class, there's even special armor sets you can find like Diablo. Sure there are still character you can buy, Sensei's that power up certain fighting classes but overall I feel like you get a lot of value with just the toys included in the box. Just to be on the safe side I bought an extra creator crystal so my son and I could each have our own custom character.
None of the puzzles are too difficult and most of the boss battles just involve avoiding a telegraphed attack and then mashing your buttons but considering this is a kids game I'm impressed with the amount of depth to the story and the amount of customization. It helps that you're rewarded with loot multiple times throughout a level, I'm a sucker for any sort of game that rewards you the more you play.
I used to feel like these Toys to Life games were a huge rip-off. Most starter packs for a new game are right around $75.00 but with most AAA titles costing $59.99 when they launch you're only talking about a $15.00 difference. In that context I'd say the Skylander games offer pretty good value. There's a lot of replay and if you really want to go whole hog and buy a boat load of toys you could put 100 hours into a single game no problem. I wasn't a huge fan of the last Skylanders game (it had a really poor racing gimmick) but heck, I'm already thinking of ways I can make my custom guy better and which new battle classes I want to try out. I swear if my kid beats this one without me I'm going to be torqued.