Rob Harvey

Skylanders swap out the Giants in favor of a new Force

, | Features

(Contributor Rob Harvey visited Vicarious Visions to take a look at their upcoming Skylanders release, Swap Force. This is his report.)

Quarter to Three’s official Skylander trio of Mommy, Kiddo, and Rob sat awaiting our meal in the local Dairy Queen. Kiddo knew I had a secret. He had been bombarding me with breathless guesses for what my watch informed me was an hour, but what my ears insisted was longer than it takes for a planet to form.

Rob: “Guy, I have to take a trip for the next few days. I will be out of town–”

His smile evaporated and his head bowed as tears started to form. I knew I had seconds to act before SWAT styled troopers with “CPS” velcro identifiers on their backs repelled down from the ceiling to confiscate the ice cream and declare me unfit for parenting. Probably in that order. Those Blizzard’s are tasty.

Rob: “But Kiddo, Activision has asked if I want to fly out to New York to see Skylanders Swap Force.”

Tears froze pre-formed and his head snapped up with eyes so large you would think Santa Claus was sitting in the booth behind me. Then, he started to vibrate. Not jump or wiggle, but vibrate, as if the molecular bonds of his excited seven-year-old body were doing what normally required miles of atom smashers.

Kiddo: “Skky-yyy-lannd-der-der-sss SSuss-saah-wapp-force!?!?!?” Some other incoherent and excited syllables continued to shake out of the vibrating testament of how advertising still works.

But, after the jump, how will Skylanders Swap Force look to the molecularly stable adult? Continue reading →

Skylanders Giants is a giant hit with the kids and a giant hit on the wallet

, | Game reviews

Just before Halloween 2011, Activision unleashed their toy/game hybrid Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure onto the marketplace. This Frankenstein experiment probably slipped under the holiday radar of most Gamers, a group so hardcore they get a capitalized category. It most likely drove parents batty as they competed with scalpers for limited product. And it definitely turned out to be a gold mine. Now Skylanders is back and “boomier” than ever as Skylanders Giants.

Was the lightning rod struck again to bring life to these plastic creatures? How does Giants work for Gamers, parents, and gaming parents? Let’s cast the bat signal towards the sky over Forced Metaphore Castle and assemble the elite Skylanders team of Kiddo, Mommy and Rob to find out why a seven-year-old is roaring around the house while making slow motion stomping noises, why it’s a great time to be a Gaming Dad, and why Mommy fears going to birthday parties (hint: it’s not keriophobia).

After the jump, abandon all fiscal hope, ye who enter here Continue reading →