Tryouts were on tonight at the Hilton Singapore for a media showcase of Activision’s newest cross platform action-fantasy adventure game- Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure. As with all adventure games, gameplay involves controlling your character through a full 3D universe, with various baddies to beat and areas to explore. The game takes a different path of the Spyro franchise and somewhat into as a spin-off series into the first of the Skylanders series.
You assume the role as the portal master, being in control of 32 different characters, including our beloved and favorite fire-breathing dragon, Spyro. You choose your in-game character through placing highly-collectible action figures, (which are too, the focal point of the game) onto a portal device connected to your console, PC or handheld. It literally adds a whole dimension to choosing your character and beats having a generic character selection screen seen on most games in this genre, not to mention scoring many points with kids alike. The portal base device itself is a battery operated peripheral which comes with the game on all platforms and dependent on your setup will be recognized as an additional wireless controller or USB interface device.
The action figures themselves appear to be rather well crafted and painted, which interfaces with the portal base via Near field communication (like RFIDs). Besides doubling up as a rather nice desk figure, it also stores all saved games, level-ups, equipment loadouts and stats of your character in the figurine itself, allowing you to deploy your character on your friend’s consoles too. Storage is non-volatile so no power is required on it to retain any data. This hardware platform is somewhat proprietary and is required by all players to access the Skylanders universe.
The game and toys were developed by Toys for Bob. With your character chosen, it sits on the portal all lit with a nice glowing effect, courtesy of RGB LEDs in the device itself. Players here can embark on a fantastical journey into an amazing world, where you can explore mysterious, mythical lands, unlocked by the unique abilities of your elemental characters themselves. Need to swim through a water course? Switch to a water element character. Need to thread fire? Select a fire elemental character instead. The seamless switching of characters allow you to choose on-the-go the right characters to solve puzzles, battle menacing outlandish creatures or employing their unique abilities to explore the far reaches of the game collecting gold, treasures or just for that 100% completion.
The game itself is playable in campaign and battle (PvP0 modes, with the first offering both single-player and cooperative multi-player, bringing you through this segment of the Skylanders storyline on a quest to save their world from Kaos, an evil Portal Master.
Playable characters become unlocked upon purchasing their corresponding action figures, which can be customised with an array of equipment, gear and hats, which seemed to spark an uncanny obsession of hats, which we can evidently see too in Valve’s Team Fortress 2. The role-playing aspect of the game allows you to gain experience points by defeating monsters and leveling up for upgrades. Next comes the competitive player versus player mode which is standalone and separate form the campaign. Here, you can pit your campaign characters through arena-style fight it out slug-fests, complete with cage-style jump pads, death spikes and traps. All characters in the Skylanders series are balanced, so expect all the other characters to stand a fair fighting chance even against the favorite Spyro, all to balance out the PvP gameplay.
Impressively, the game comes with a rather star studded production cast as well, with game’s character design by Tom Hester (who did Shrek) a storyline script penned by the writers of Disney-Pixar’s original Toy Story film (Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow), sound effects by Skywalker sound and a music score composed by the all popular Hans Zimmer.
Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure is published by Activision worldwide and by Square Enix in Japan. It was originally revealed to be exclusive for the Nintendo Wii and 3DS, with the support for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows announced only early this year. Is expected to be released on October 12-13rd 2011 in Asia, 14th Oct in Europe and 16th Oct in North America. The starter pack itself retails at about $70 USD for all 4 console platforms including PC and comes bundled with the portal base and 3 actions figures (Spyro, Gill Grunt and Trigger Happy), with all the remaining 29 characters available by year end.
Many thanks to Activision for the presentation and happy3media for the media invite.
Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) has announced the debut of Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure, an entertainment breakthrough for the toy and video game industries. Through an innovative use of technology, the game allows players to transport real-world toys into virtual worlds of adventure through the “Portal of Power™.” These “toys with brains” can come to life inside the game in connection with multiple gaming platforms, as well as on handheld gaming devices, mobile devices and on the web, remembering achievements and level-ups wherever they go. This marks a wholesale change in the interaction between toys and video games, opening up new possibilities and revenue streams for both industries.
“These are more than action figures. They are inter-action figures,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “By pairing world class character design, world class video game design and world class story telling into one entertainment experience, we’ve given players a whole new genre that bridges the gap between the real and virtual worlds. From the first time a kid picked up a stick and pretended it was a sword, toys have unlocked kids’ imaginations. And how often have you wanted to bring those toys to life, to see them become animated and take them on an adventure? Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure does just that.”
Activision brought its gaming expertise together with top Hollywood creative talent to bring Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure to life. The game and technology was developed by Activision’s Novato, California studio, Toys for Bob, led by creative director and studio head, Paul Reiche. The adventure driven story was penned by two of the Academy Award nominated writers of the original Toy Story movie, Alek Sokolow and Joel Cohen. The result is a line of highly collectible characters, an engaging story, and an immersive interactive entertainment experience.
There are many unique and innovative elements to this experience, including:
- Each Character Has its Own Unique Powers – In addition to the highly collectible design and personalities of the toys themselves, each character has different powers and abilities, opening different experiences inside the game. Players can drop in and out of each level with as many different characters as they like, making each players experience unique.
- Toys With Brains – Each toy/character remembers the player’s shared experiences. Achievements and leveled up capabilities earned in the game are embedded inside the toy and travel with the toy. Wherever the toy goes, its experiences go with it.
- Portal of Power – The Portal of Power serves as the gateway between our world and the amazing world of the characters in Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure.
- Play With Friends – By placing two characters on the Portal of Power at once, players can team up together for cooperative play, or face off in player versus player battle arenas utilizing their leveled up characters.
- Diverse Experiences on Diverse Devices – While the toys can be used with gaming consoles to play the disc based game, completely different gaming experiences await them on the mobile app and inside the Web World, each of which were designed specifically for those platforms. The result is a remarkable number of different gaming experiences in one game.
Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure lets kids take on the role of a powerful Portal Master, who can control over 30 different characters, including the beloved purple dragon Spyro. Each of these heroes is a protector of an amazing, mysterious world, but they have been ejected from their world by the sinister Portal Master known as Kaos and now they are frozen in our world as toys. Only the players of Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure can get them back into their world, by embarking on a fantastical journey where they will explore mythical lands, battle menacing, outlandish creatures, collect treasures, and solve challenging puzzles as a part of the quest to save their world.
Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure is developed by Toys For Bob, an Activision studio located in Novato, California. The game is not yet rated by the Classification Board. For more information, visit www.skylandersgame.com
About Activision Publishing, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.
Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website.