Review of Skylanders Giants for Xbox 360

My kids have been a bit Skylanders-obsessed ever since we reviewed the original Skylanders game for the Xbox 360.  They have since purchased many of the figures with their own money, asked for some for special occasions, and have come to love the iPad version, as well.  Even though they have beat the game, they still like the challenges and even my toddler can spend hours gazing at the collection of figures when the console isn't turned on.

This is why it came as no surprise that the business gurus behind the game have come back with another BIGGER version of the game, complete with larger figures equipped with super powers and, yes, a slightly higher price tag.  Skylanders Giants for the Xbox, when purchased without the Portal of Power, is priced competitively with other top games.  Buying with the portal (which is required for game play) makes it $20 more.  We originally thought we would opt for the basic game kit (not the "Starter" which comes with the wired portal), because, it is cheaper.  Then, we saw that the Starter Kit not only came with the portal (which we figured would make a nice spare), it came with TWO additional figurines.  Since figures cost $9-14, we reasoned that this was the better deal and bought the Starter Kit.

My boys tore into the box when it arrived.  They played all day.  I heard "COOL!" and "WOW!" several times a minute, as the guys challenged bad guys and solved problem after problem.  It was nice seeing them work together again -- something I admired about the play that the Skylanders games encouraged.

Is the Giants series as good as the original?  I would venture to say "yes."  The GIANTS characters are pricier, as well as some of the special "light up figures."  Because the older characters from the first series can be played on the new game, however, there is a value that I appreciate.  (Note: You can NOT use the new characters on the old game.)  While my boys will likely have this game licked in no time, it's less about the actual game than the Skylanders "experience."  We never went through the Pokemon' phase, so I figure this is me getting what I deserve.

The game, which is significantly less violent than most, still has all the excitement boys crave.  My 5, 7, and 9-year-old boys play this together for as long as I allow, (which has been hard to deny, since it is such a "teamwork-oriented" experience.)

Find it anywhere games are sold, including Amazon and Walmart.

*My boys saved their hard earned cash to buy this game, only to find that a sample arrived just days later.  Opinions of the game (while 100% honest) may be skewed by the fact that they earned it themselves and appreciate it more.  The sample was donated to charity.