Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Skylanders: Battlegrounds
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: Skylanders: Battlegrounds

5:00 PM on 12.12.2012 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

They might not be giants

Toys For Bob sought to make a quality product that both kids and adults could enjoy in tandem. They greatly succeed with Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and Skylanders Giants.

But as is the case with any runaway IP, one developer can't possibly be ready to have their hand in every creation, and eventually, projects start to trickle down to studios like Vicarious Visions -- a developer known for working on ports and spinoffs.

Sadly, one such mobile spinoff, Skylanders: Battlegrounds, hasn't been made with nearly as much care, and the IP suffers a bit for it.

Skylanders: Battlegrounds (iOS [reviewed on an iPhone 4], Android)
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Released: November 21, 2012
MSRP: $6.99 (App) / $49.99 (Starter Pack)

To clear things up, this isn't truly a $50 iOS game. The standalone app is $6.99, and the starter pack, which is $49.99, comes with a bluetooth portal of power, three figures (which usually retail for around $10 each), a special item figure, and a redemption code for the game.

Pricing it all out (and discounting the fact that the Double Trouble figure is unique to this bundle), you're essentially paying an extra $13 for the convenience of a portal, and an item.

Basically, the portal is not needed, since you can activate your Skylanders through the code that came packaged with them. Sadly, this has a drawback, as data is conversely not written to the figure itself -- which is half the fun of owning your own characters.

When you use the portal, all you do is ignore a coin fee (in-game currency) for switching out individual Skylanders -- but since the game is fairly easy, you won't need it (outside of potentially using it for the other mobile Skylanders games, Cloud Patrol and Lost Islands).

With that out of the way, you still probably won't want to spend any money on Battlegrounds regardless. It's not the same action-oriented game as past Skylanders -- it's more of a simplistic RTS -- which would be fine, if it were done well.

You start with up to two skylanders on a hexagonal world map, engaging in rogue-like movement until you land on the same space as an enemy -- in which case, a battle sequence will initiate.

Once you're in battle, you can send your squadmates to a location or into an attack formation by swiping a line pattern. It's all pretty easy, but once you have to start tapping the screen constantly to pick up gold, you realize that there had to be an easier way to allow for less tapping. This is only exacerbated by a complete lack of a defensive auto-attack.

For whatever reason, your skylanders only attack enemies if you specifically order them to -- meaning there is no idle auto-attack function. This lackluster design choice can get extremely annoying, as you'll constantly find enemies beating on your character for a few seconds only for them to do nothing about it.

After repeating this same battle process around twenty times, I started to feel the burn, and a bit of a paywall. At some point you'll probably get bored of fighting the same enemies over and over, and be tempted to spend some extra real-life scratch for in-game help.

Honestly? That's about it. You walk over tiles, sometimes get into battles, and fight waves of enemies over and over. There's no real exploration element to be had, something the core Skylanders games do extremely well.

The entire premise is also markedly less interesting this time around: you find yourself locked in combat with Kao's Evil Generals -- one of which is a reskin of a regular enemy in the Skylanders console games -- and not Kaos himself. There's no real big bad or interesting villain this time around, which makes it hard to stay motivated.

But that one boss reskin isn't the sole culprit, since nearly every enemy in the game is borrowed from the series. Combat in general also gets old as you constantly fight the same small stable of foes over and over, due to the low variety. To add insult to injury, you can't access everything at launch, leaving you at the mercy of updates to access the entire game (at the time of this writing, only 20 of 40 levels are unlocked).

If you're interested in the IP, stick to the core Skylanders series and avoid Battlegrounds. Toys for Bob did a great job synthesizing quality figures with quality games: Vicarious Visions, not so much.

I don't understand why Activision couldn't just have Giants ported, but until they decide to get serious about a full mobile version of the game, stick to trying out the modest spinoffs Cloud Patrol and Lost Islands.



THE VERDICT

5

Skylanders: Battlegrounds - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director, Co-EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Skylanders: Battlegrounds


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Video Resumes - Get Noticed

Wanna Bet? Fall 2015 Finale

Conquest of Elysium 4 - Review

The PlayStation Vita: Twice as Bright

Video Gaming Bits -- Magical Date: Doki Doki Kokuhaku Daisakusen

Cheat Codes Ep. 83: Shut Up

Comments of the Week - Love Love Love

Sonic Generations Mod Retrospective 2 - COLORS

The meaning of The Witness (Part 2 of 3)

Venture into the Borderlands - Epilogue

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
El Dango avatarEl Dango
What if the 'OOSE' thing in the new Bourne poster is deliberate? What if it's like the bad guy or something?
drmcscott avatardrmcscott
No more night Xcom. Cant sleep. No more night Xcom. Cant sleep. WOrk perofmence bad. No moe night Xconm. Nad. Cmat sleep. Hep me! HJkelp me!
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
SMT demons, huh? There's really only one choice.
Malthor avatarMalthor
One of my favourite demons from SMT is Samael, his death magic and Megido spell are always a great help( Megido especially made him the bane of golden hands in my last P4 playthrough). Plus he looks pretty badass.
FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Favorite demon in Shin Megami Tensei, eh? Oh, I got many but so I'll just pick one for now whom is a beast in the Persona series. Yoshitsune--Hassou Tobi, Heat Riser = Don't fear the REAPER!
Flegma avatarFlegma
Played half an hour of Last Story. Yay, British voices! But the absence of colours makes me want to play other games instead, especially in this greyscale season.
HeyItsDad avatarHeyItsDad
There's not even enough reviews out to give Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth a rating on Metacritic...what's up with this?
ooktar avatarooktar
Dat Booty.
ooktar avatarooktar
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Just came across someone who tried to debate that people don't hate change - They hate BAD change - Ahahahahahahah!
Agent9 avatarAgent9
I miss Crash and Spyro. They had a fantastic trilogy on the ps1 and I loved every minute of it. Here's one of my favorite Spyro tracks, why not post one of your favorite tracks from wither of these great games.
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Many thanks to a pal from time immemorial for his sneaky late birthday present to me of a digital Amazon gift card, which I promptly redeemed for this alluring beaut. Cheers! Viva la PS Vita~ [img]http://i.imgur.com/Cx3fPPb.png[/img]
Parismio avatarParismio
So I played xcom eu last night to get that xcom hype back. Half hour ago I already lost my brother, my best friends and my dog. Its been a stressful evening.
Nick R P Green avatarNick R P Green
Asides from a last proof read and any final edits, the script for my final 2015 reflection video is now complete. I will see this through to its conclusion. There'll be a blog version as always and once it's done and over with, I'll finally update my bio!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Gore Magala set complete! That only took like 15 or 16 tries!
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
AT LAST, THE FOUL SEEDS OF RAGE BORN FROM THE WITHERED PLANT OF LOVE BREAK THROUGH THE EARTHS CRUST TO GIVE RISE TO A HARVEST OF RAGE. A NEW BLOG WILL BE THE GRAIN AND THE BREAD, TO FEED THE GNAWING HUNGER OF HATRED ALL VITA LOVERS HARBOR.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I'm glad that the Amiibo stock situation got much better. Because Hasbro sure as hell didn't get the memo with their Marvel Legends figures. These two seem more elusive than a western Lucina Amiibo!
taterchimp avatartaterchimp
Yay, finally beat the Necrodancer!
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
The next time you're getting riled up about game news, politics, drama, etc. just step back and be like The Dude.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -