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Skylanders

Discussion in 'Games' started by Rikilamaro, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Rikilamaro

    Rikilamaro Inkling

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    Can someone explain the purpose of this game to me? My son has been playing it at his dad's house and wants me to buy it for home. I looked into it and all I can see are the dollar signs. The game is $60, with a pedestal and a character. Then you have to BUY the other characters to play them in the game? And their anywhere from $5-$20 from what I've seen - per character. What a load of bull honky. Plus, my son says they're going to come out with new Skylanders soon so he wants to start collecting the old ones now for home.

    I told him no. I am now a mean mom, and proud of it. Am I wrong in thinking this is a waste of time and money? (Mind you, my son is 6.)
     
  2. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

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    My little brother (8) loves that game. Yeah you buy the game which comes with this Portal thing. You buy different characters and place them on the portal and they get put in the game and you can play as them. They all have different stats and powers. I have to admit when my brother asks me to play with him its a lot of fun. So yeah it is kind of pricey but I'm not going to judge you and say if your being a mean mother. My brother wanted to collect all of them and I showed him how much money that would have been. So I told him to pick out his top three favorite and then I went out and bought them for him. So he saves up his own money and if he wants to buy anymore then he can pay for it. It teaches him the value of money.
     
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  3. We got this for our 8-year-old for his birthday a few weeks ago. He loves it.

    The game itself is a typical RPG, but squarely aimed at the 8-10 age range in terms of complexity and tone. The game comes with three playable characters (Spyro, Gill Grunt, and Trigger Happy), who are actual physical little toys. Each one has an RFID tag in its base. You put the toy on top of the Portal of Power, which also comes with the game. The Portal is a wireless device; there's a wireless USB thing that plugs into the console -- a Wii, in our case. The game detects which character is sitting on the Portal, and that's the one that then appears on-screen in the game for you to play. It's pretty fun. Each character has its own set of abilities and upgrade paths (some characters are melee damage, some are ranged damage, some are tanks, some are hybrids...) The more characters you have, the easier the game is, because you can switch characters when one gets low on health. Certain areas of the game are restricted to characters of certain types (e.g. water, air, fire) but you can beat the main game without having to have all the types available.

    The gimmick is that individual characters level up, and it stores that character's stats on the RFID chip. So if you take your high-level Skylander characters over to your friend's house, and put them on top of his Portal, you can play with them just as they were when you left off at your house. Pretty neat.

    The money-making aspect is that there are (so far) 32 unique Skylander toys, divided into 8 elements (water, fire, air, earth, magic, tech, life, undead). The game itself ("Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure") comes with three of them (magic, water, tech) and the rest you have to buy. At Toys 'R' Us, the Skylanders are $10 each or they come in 3-packs for $25. (And then there's "legendary" versions of some of the Skylanders, who are more powerful and look different. I forget how much they cost, but I think it's still $10.)

    So if you wanted to own all 32 (you don't need all 32 -- in fact if you're skilled, you don't need more than 1 in order to beat the game) it would cost you $60 (game + 3 toys) plus $290 (for the other 29 Skylanders), or plus $250 if you buy them all in three-packs.

    If you've got a kid who's obsessive about collecting them all, that can be expensive. Our son gets a $5/week allowance, and if he wants more Skylanders, he'll have to save up to buy them himself. He got a $25 T'R'U gift card for his birthday, and bought one three-pack with it. (He also had some other cash from earlier gifts and bought another three pack, and then ANOTHER gift he got for his birthday, he didn't want, so he returned it to T'R'U for store credit and bought... another three pack!) The upshot is he's got 12 of the 32. He hasn't said he wants to collect them all, though; in fact he has a very non-acquisitive nature, which we put down to the fact that we don't have commercial TV so he isn't constantly bombarded with ads telling him to buy stuff.

    In all likelihood, he'll lose interest in the game in a couple of weeks and move on to something else. (Though there's a sequel coming out in a few months, so if he gets that, that may re-kindle things.)
     
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  4. Mark Stanley

    Mark Stanley Acolyte

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    I completed this with my girlfriend and her younger brother and yes I will admit it's a load of fun! It's a really clever marketing ploy seeing as it's aimed at children and obviously any child would want all the characters! Her brother just borrowed them off his friends though so I think it was an ok way of going about it :)
     
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  5. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    Ordinarily I would say use the Skylanders format (or any collectable card game/sticker album for that matter) to teach the kid the value of money, and that if he wants more he'll need to earn the money to pay for it. Even if you don't give pocket money at that age I still think it could be a good teaching point.

    HOWEVER, in your case your child needs to know that your word as parent is unbendable law. Since you have already given a strong no then it's probably better to stick to that and teach that lesson instead. Once you start giving in, children start playing up to your weaknesses, which, in theory, fosters the wrong kind of attitudes in later life, eg, keep pushing it and I can get what I want when I want.

    I was never allowed toy guns, fair enough, my parents stuck to that.

    I'm currently living next door to a household with two rather violent kids (6 and 9 perhaps) who swear, threaten... Well, let just say I've chatted to these two in passing (they think they're funny when starting conversations with random people) and it turns out they're allowed to play things like call of duty, grand theft auto, and gears of war. I don't want to weigh in on that video game violence debate, it's not worth it (nor am I scare mongering but their mother is constantly screaming at the top of her lungs, fighting with her partner...), but what I'm trying to say is that I guarantee they've learned that if they push it they get the games they want (aka the game they shouldnt have at that age).

    What ever your philosophy is on life, whatever you believe towards any of these debates re: games, to me the most important thing for a parent to do in the early years is to make sure they know who's boss (but not to stress the point, perhaps).


    EDIT: All I'll say is, I should have been a student of psychology. I hope none of my post offended you..
     
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  6. I think there's a (fairly well-hidden) false dichotomy in your post here: namely, that parents are either pushovers or martinets. The problem with the "know who's boss" approach is that sometimes, as a parent, you are wrong and your kid is right. Failing to acknowledge that can lead to your kid resisting your authority for no good reason, because you've shown them that you will act arbitrarily just to preserve your position of power.

    When you are right, sticking to your guns is the right thing to do; but there's a lot of things you can do to make it easier. I've mentioned before that we don't have commercial TV in our house; no cable, no antenna. Just DVDs. Yeah, some of the DVDs have ads, but they're always for... more DVDs. (I'm of the general opinion that advertising for movies/DVDs is significantly less harmful than it is for other products).

    The upshot is that our kids don't ask for things, beacuse they're not constantly being exposed to a barrage of ads aimed at their tiny little minds. My elder son got the Skylanders game for his birthday a month ago. He'd asked about it once before that, several months earlier. We said, "Maybe for your birthday." He shrugged and didn't ask about it again, and was actually surprised when he received it, because he'd forgotten that he'd asked for it. Now that he has it, he doesn't ask us for money for more Skylanders. He knows that if he wants more he'll have to save up his allowance. (Which he's doing.)

    When they do ask for stuff, if we say no, they don't ask again (...much), because they know we have a reason for it (which is usually "We just had sushi last night" or "We don't have the money for that right now").

    When it comes to the gun/violence stuff, it's pretty evident to me that the material you're exposed to doesn't have much of an effect as long as you have someone telling you what's what. I played with toy guns my whole childhood, I played violent video games (well, as violent as were available in the late '80s and early '90s), I watched R-rated movies since before I can even remember. But the constant factor was my parents explaining to me afterward why the violent acts were bad, why fighting was a bad idea, why it didn't reflect reality.

    The neighbor kids you describe, I'll wager, aren't getting that kind of support.
     
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  7. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    Resisting authority is the problem with my previous post you're quite right. I didn't in all honestly believe I needed to mention "when its appropriate". Then again I forgot to take into account that none of you know the personality behind the words you see in my posts haha.

    I'm very much a "if the kid is doing nothing wrong then nothing needs to be done" kind of person. I suppose what that really translates to is wanting to foster an attitude in the family environment where everyone respects everyone else, children respecting the ruling of parents because there has to be a decent (and obvious) reason, parents respecting children (because hey, they're just kids. They're learning), etc., etc.

    I'm not a father at the moment by the way, but I'm pretty sure, as is, that I've got a good handle on how I would like (to believe) a future family of mine should work.

    That's precisely the point I was failing to drive at ;) Thank you for clarifying me. (Lord knows someone needs to every once in a while...)


    Anyway this conversation is starting to drift. My fault entirely.
     
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  8. Rikilamaro

    Rikilamaro Inkling

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    JC - It was an interesting drift though. Thanks for your advice, that's pretty much what I've stuck with. I did tell him he can ask his father to borrow the game and bring it home with a few characters and the portal if he wished and then he could play it at home. His father said no, wanting to keep that a father-son bonding thing. Don't get me started on my opinion there. :) So, I suppose he'll just have to play it at his dad's house and dad can spend the extra bucks to buy all the characters.

    I appreciate everyone's replies. Sorry it took me a bit to respond - I should upgrade to the non-free Forum Runner so I can reply on my phone. I'd get back to ya'll a lot sooner.
     
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  9. morfiction

    morfiction Troubadour

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    WOW! It's stored on the chip, the character's level???

    Lot more useful than those darn Pokemon toys and trading cards that have nothing to do with the game directly...

    But anyway, do they battle? Like in Pokemon Stadium?

    When I was a kid or teenager, Barcode Battler came out... you cut out barcodes and played on a handheld device with shoddy looking graphics. I only saw the ad on TV though...
     
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  10. You can fight in a PvP arena in the game, yeah. It's essentially just deathmatch, although there's other modes too (I'm not entirely clear on how they work).
     
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  11. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    Not an RPG. Not even close.
     
  12. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    It's more a level-based adventure game, but there is an arena
     
  13. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Maester

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    $60 for a new-ish game from a bigger publisher is fairly standard, and it has been for a long time. So that in itself isn't too surprising (Skyrim is 10 years old and still sells for €25+). And these days most games come either with in-game purchases or with payable downloadable content, which is indeed a money-grab. This game opted for the pay for more content option, though at least you get a plastic toy to show for it. So if you want to get your kid video games these are likely to be the amounts you're looking at, regardless of the game.

    Having said that, you could consider checking out ebay (or your local equivalent). Though I'm not sure you'll find the game on there (second hand games are becoming less common I feel), I wouldn't be surprised if you can find the figures on there. I'm sure there's plenty of kids around who played the game for a year, bought all the figures they could find and now never look at the game again and figured they could sell everything and get a new game.
     
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  14. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    I love Skylanders! I'll definitely NEVER give away my toys for the Portal of Power!
     
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