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New Skylanders photo
New Skylanders

Skylanders Battlecast is a brand new game in the Skylanders franchise


Free-to-play mobile 'adventure'
Aug 18
// Chris Carter
Activision has announced a new Skylanders game called Battlecast, and it's a free-to-play mobile card game. I'm guessing they want to get in on that sweet Hearthstone money (which funnily enough, is part of the sam...
Skylanders photo
Skylanders

Activision exec talks Skylanders SuperChargers for Wii, amiibo strategy


The Wii version is now a side experience
Jul 17
// Chris Carter
FamilyGamerTV channel had a chance to catch up with Activision exec Josh Taub, and get a quick rundown on what to expect later this year with the Nintendo editions of Skylanders SuperChargers. For starters, the Wii edition i...
Skylanders amiibo photo
Skylanders amiibo

Get ready to drop a lot of cash on the Skylanders line, amiibo collectors


Very expensive variants
Jul 07
// Brett Makedonski
Those who collect amiibo are no stranger to the variant game. It was just this past spring when both Gold Mario and Silver Mario released -- the former significantly more sought-after than the latter. Two more variants were a...
Toys to life photo
Toys to life

Toys-to-life games have a long way to go


Here's something to strive for
Jun 22
// Jordan Devore
Between Skylanders, Disney Infinity, amiibo, and now LEGO Dimensions, I'm hearing an awful lot of talk about the "toys to life" category these days. That's fine, but nudge me when we can do this:

Skylanders photo
Skylanders

Bowser and Donkey Kong amiibo confirmed as Skylanders crossovers


Coming in the new game later this year
Jun 16
// Chris Carter
Nintendo announced during their E3 presentation today that Donkey Kong and Bowser will both be making their mark on the Skylanders franchise this year in figure form, to be playable within the game. The figure will be a...
Skylanders photo
Skylanders

Activision confirms Skylanders SuperChargers, coming this year


Vehicles-to-life
Jun 03
// Chris Carter
Skylanders pioneered the recent toys-to-life market, and from there, moved on to giant figures, then to swappable toys, and eventually, to "traps." Now Activision is taking the series to vehicles with SuperChargers. Evidentl...
Thanksgiving Day Parade photo
Thanksgiving Day Parade

This year's Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature a Skylander


Pikachu makes another appearance
Nov 04
// Chris Carter
I don't think I've watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade since I was 10, but if gathering around the TV (or the actual event in New York City) is your thing, this year it'll feature Pikachu and Eruptor, the Skylande...

Review: Skylanders: Trap Team

Oct 07 // Chris Carter
Skylanders: Trap Team (3DS, Android, iOS, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Toys for Bob / Beenox / Vicarious VisionsPublisher: ActivisionReleased: October 5, 2014MSRP: $74.99 (Starter Pack) The premise is basically the same as it always has been with the Skylanders series. Once again an ancient evil (The Doom Raiders) has awakened, and it's up to the Skylanders and their new allies (the Trap Masters) to put them away. Players will do this by using all of the toys released so far, as well as the new Trap Master figures that can access unique crystal areas, and the trap pieces. To be clear, all of the toys from the first three generations of Skylanders can be used here, which is a pretty neat way to keep a collection relevant. At this point it's hard to believe that Toys for Bob is still coming up with unique characters and movesets, but pretty much every new toy I've used shines in its own unique way and has its own personality. Visually, Trap Team has taken some strides since Swap Force, which is a big accomplishment considering how great that game looked on newer consoles. Everything looks like a legitimate Dreamworks or Pixar animated film, and the idea of the franchise transitioning over to the big screen is completely believable based on the game alone. The script isn't as sharp as Swap Force, but it's still perfectly acceptable for kids, and completely skippable for adults. Gameplay-wise the series still holds up, with addictive hack and slash gameplay that deserves to be respected with any modern action release. Characters will naturally grow their abilities as time goes on and most of them will have a tool for every situation, making every toy feel fun and viable. Higher difficulties also help ease in veteran gamers who may view Skylanders as a kids-only franchise. On the other hand, there's nothing really new that justifies spending $75 to get the Starter Pack, which includes the game, the new portal, two traps, and two characters. It sounds ridiculous, but while Swap Force technically innovated with the ability to jump and a few other elemental mix-up mechanics, Trap Team doesn't really add anything exciting to the mix. Well, the "new" bit is found in the traps themselves, but I was pretty disappointed with how they actually play out. The concept involves the new Traptanium portal, which has a tiny slot to fix in plastic traps that are shaped like pegs. The game has 46 special villains in it that can be captured as you make your way through the story, and if you have a trap toy handy of the correct element (the game comes with the Life and Water traps), you can collect them to re-use from that point on. The trapped character also "talks" by way of the peg, which lights up in the portal. Traps are a bit of a letdown in two ways. One, the actual use of trapped villains involves summoning them for a limited amount of time as a playable character. Said time is linked by way of a special meter, and at the end of the day, it amounts to nothing more than a temporary power-up. It would have been much cooler to have each villain as a fully playable character at all times with their own level system and custom movesets. Whereas the hulking  giants and the swap combos fundamentally changed the game, traps don't feel nearly as innovative. Additionally, adding traps to the game is just too much in terms of the physical collecting aspect. While all eight elements of traps can be purchased now in stores, two "mystery" elements are not for sale, and thus those villains cannot be captured until those are released. While I'm generally okay with gating off small bonus rooms by way of elements, giants, swap doors and Trap Master crystals, gating off characters while juggling the similar looking trap toys doesn't really make for a fun time. Taking off and putting on toys feels intuitive. It doesn't matter if the toy is big, small, or has interchangeable parts -- simply placing a new character on a surface and playing instantly is a fun and well designed activity. The traps on the other hand will leave many people confused as to who is in what trap, and since they're only truly used at certain points of the game to capture enemies, they often feel like they're sidelined. Thankfully, all of the other mechanics I mentioned earlier from past games are still readily available, and you can still complete the game only using the traps from the base kit. In true Skylanders fashion there's plenty to do though, even for those who don't dig the traps. The Kaos Doom Challenge is probably the biggest addition, and expands the arenas from Swap Force into a full-on horde mode with tower defense elements. Why the series didn't have this sooner is beyond me, but it's a ton of fun to play with friends, and a great way to get more use out of your whole collection of toys. Skystones, the in-universe card game is also back in a bigger capacity, battle arenas are still in, and a few more minigames like a 2D platformer diversion are available to unlock. While I never really connected with the trap mechanic or the new Trap Master toys, Skylanders: Trap Team is still a well-oiled machine. On newer consoles it looks fantastic, the action gameplay is still exciting, and the charm is still there. I just hope that Activision and its ilk have more interesting concepts in mind for the next iteration.
Skylanders 4 review photo
Same great gameplay, not so great new gimmick
Toys For Bob has found some rather interesting ways to evolve the Skylanders franchise. While the conceit the first time around was simply interactive toys, the developer mixed things up with giants on the second go, and...

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Full Skylanders Trap Team game hitting tablets too


Will even include a controller
Aug 12
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Skylanders Trap Team is heading to mobile devices as well! And like, the full actual game. Activision is claiming console-quality graphics, and it even comes with its own high performance controller. This is huge! This will a...
Skylanders Trap Team photo
Skylanders Trap Team

If you buy Skylanders Trap Team on Wii, the Wii U version will be free


Via a download code
Jul 25
// Chris Carter
Activision has announced a special promotion for the upcoming Skylanders Trap Team that will probably excite some Nintendo fans. If you buy the game on the Wii, it comes with a free download code for the Wii U version of...
Skylanders photo
Skylanders

Skylanders to get premium metallic toys with 'Eon Elite' line


Parents, your wallets!
Jul 25
// Chris Carter
While the Skylanders figures are generally high in quality, they're about to get even more detailed with a newly revealed "Eon's Elite" line. Basically, eight characters are going to get the makeover (starting with Chop ...
Skylanders photo
Skylanders

This is Skylanders Trap Team's Dark Edition


Skylanders will be all over San Diego Comic-Con
Jul 21
// Jordan Devore
$99 to get started with Skylanders Trap Team in style -- thank heavens I'm not a kid (or don't have children, for that matter) because I'd be all over this. Activision has opened pre-orders for the Trap Team Dark Edition, whi...
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Skylanders Trap Team pre-orders will get you access to a bonus figure


Don't miss your chance to get her!
Jun 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Starting today, Skylanders fans that pre-order Trap Team will be given access to a bonus figure. New character Gearshift (pictured above) will be offered in limited supply, and this marks the first time fans will be able to b...
MONEY photo
MONEY

Life in plastic, it's fantastic: Skylanders has made 2 billion dollars


In less than three years
Apr 29
// Steven Hansen
Floating placidly in our oceans, far out of sight and out of mind, are near-invisible islands of trash. Plastics and chemical sludge metastasizing. One day, Skylanders toys will float out to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. ...

The next Skylanders borrows a little from the Pokemon series

Apr 23 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Skylanders Trap Team (3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 [previewed], Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Toys for Bob (last-gen) / Beenox (current-gen, 3DS)Publisher: ActivisionRelease: October 5, 2014MSRP: $74.99 (Game, Portal, figure, two Traps) The story sees Invader Zim Chaos trying to take over Skylands ... again. This time, however, he's going to enlist a group of villains trapped in a prison made out of Traptanium, the hardest material known to Skylanders. Chaos' plan works, sort of -- he's able to free the villains, but they all just escape instead of joining up with him. Enter the Trap Masters, the main draw of Trap Team. These Skylanders are bigger than normal core characters, but not as big as the Giants. The Trap Masters are skilled with all things Traptanium, and all their weapons are made out of the substance, shown off as see-through crystals in the game and the toys themselves. There's going to be around 50 new Skylanders, made up of a mix of these Trap Masters, new core characters, and reposed fan-favorite Skylanders. And of course all the previous Skylanders, Giants, and Swap Force heroes will work in Trap Team. Now here's the surprise, there's going to be over 40 playable villains as well that you'll have to physically capture, so to speak. "Pretty much the biggest thing we've done is this idea of constantly innovating," executive producer Jeff Poffenbarger told Destructoid. "Bringing toys to life was the first initial big innovation. We can certainly just continue to do that, but for us we asked ourselves 'What would even take that a step further?' We know we can bring toys to life ... but we also wanted to figure out how to reverse that magic. So you can bring toys to life, but how do we bring life to toys?" All of the escaped villains can be converted over to your team. Take them on, defeat them, and then capture them in a new special crystal toy. So yeah, kind of like Pokemon. Once an enemy has been defeated, players are told to insert a special crystal into the new version of the Portal of Power. It's actually a really cool effect, as the audio from the TV gets outputted into the Portal itself (and vice-versa) as they get sucked in and out of the adventure. Villains will also give you feedback, help, and advice from the Portal when not in use. One of the first major bosses is called Chompy Mage (pictured in the lead image), a crazy old guy who fights with a sock puppet on his hand (kind of like the Ventriloquist from the Batman series.) He can summon little tiny monsters, and later in the battle he'll transform into this giant jumpy gross monster thing. After he joins your team, all the power sets he used on you are now yours. While some villains are powerful in this way, there will be some with more passive abilities. One example shown was a mini-boss troll that can use a gun to freeze opponents. He can't really do damage, just freeze enemies. Those playing by themselves can actually hotswap between a Skylander and a villain with the press of the button to take advantage of this ability. Or say a parent can play as the ice troll to let their kid be more of the main star in the game. Traditional co-op with multiple Skylanders is still in the game too. So a cool concept, but here's where it gets kind of dumb. You can only save one villain into a Trap toy at a time. That I kind of don't have a problem with. You can at least store villains at a new hub location so you can swap villains in and out as desired into a crystal. The dumb part is that the Trap toys are all elemental based. So you can only store an ice based villain inside of an ice Trap toy, for example. My main concern is that this is going to get more expensive for fans than ever before. I'm just hoping the Trap Hero toys will include their respective Trap toy too. Plus these things are tiny compared to even the tiniest Skylander figure, and could potentially get lost really easily. Collectors be warned: There will be multiple variants of the Trap toys themselves as well. That said, you don't have to capture the villains, just like how you don't need all of the elemental types of Skylanders to beat the games. So what happens if you don't want to -- or just can't -- capture a villain after defeating them? Toys for Bob is still figuring that out, having kids and adults of all ages try out the game to find the best solution for everybody. Otherwise players can expect similar approaches to the mini-games, competitive multiplayer, the cross-platform saves, and the return of the jump mechanic from the past games. The visuals are just as gorgeous as ever, especially on the current generation of hardware. You know how you've always wished that the CG sequences from a game was what you were actually playing? That's Trap Team, essentially. The great visuals extend down to the toys themselves too, looking more detailed than ever. So yeah, Skylanders Trap Team. If you're a fan of the series, you already know you'll be picking this one up. I did want to make some special mentions of other playable characters before you leave. There's Chopper, a new core hero who's a little tiny T-rex with a helicopter rotor on its back. It can fly in the air and shoots swarms of missiles like it was straight out of Robotech. Then there's a duo team of villain trolls who control a walking chainsaw tank. Just let that visual sink into your head. Also SPOILERS Chaos himself is playable.
Skylanders Trap Team photo
Skylanders Trap Team has you capturing and reforming villains to your team
The developers at Toys For Bob are back in the saddle with Skylanders Trap Team, the next entry in their hit toys-meet-videogame franchise. This time the hook involves you capturing villains and enslaving brainwashing reform...

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You have a chance to name these three new Skylanders


Let's all go in together to name the dolphin one Max Scoville
Feb 25
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Frito-Lay and Activision are holding a little promotion to let fans name these three brand new Skylander characters that will appear in the next game coming out in 2014. There's just something so off about that dolphin creatu...
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Skylanders series has made over $2 billion worldwide


Good!
Feb 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Another reveal from today's Activision Q4 results was that the Skylanders series has grossed over $2 billion worldwide across all platforms. There's been over 175 million of the Skylanders toys sold too. Skylanders is a giant...
Skylanders Swap Force photo
Skylanders Swap Force

The last two Skylanders: Swap Force types are out


Now you can 100% the campaign
Jan 13
// Chris Carter
If you haven't been following Skylanders, the game requires specific physical toys to unlock content. Not only does each character have a unique challenge, but they also have particular elemental powers (to unlock certain gat...
Snow globe photo
Snow globe

Now this is what you do with a Skylanders Portal


Too cute for words
Jan 12
// Wesley Ruscher
I'm not into Skylanders, but even I can't help but want this fantastic snow globe created from one the game's portal devices. Using a smaller 3DS portal and a snow globe creation kit, the holiday themed Skylanders ball of fes...
Skylanders photo
Skylanders

Skylanders Collection Vault brings new level of obsession


Prepare to see a whole new side of your Skylanders
Nov 30
// Wesley Ruscher
For those looking to get a tad more intimate with their favorite Skylanders, Activision has a new app, the Skylanders Collection Vault, currently available on the iOS App Store.  Perfect for managing one's Skylanders col...
Skylanders: Swap Force photo
Skylanders: Swap Force

Impressions: Skylanders: Swap Force (Xbox One and PS4)


Slightly more Pixar-y
Nov 27
// Chris Carter
Skylanders: Swap Force was one of my biggest surprises of the year. After two full iterations in such a short amount of time, I didn't think Vicarious Visions had it in them to make the strongest one yet. But here we are, and...
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Wii U gets a Skylanders holiday bundle


Launches Nov. 15 for $299
Oct 25
// Dale North
A new Wii U bundle for this holiday season packs in a Skylanders SWAP Force starter pack for a nice all-in-one gift idea. Set to launch on November 15 for $299.99, this bundle comes with a white Wii U, the Skylanders SWAP For...

New releases: Skylanders, Goodbye Deponia, and more

Oct 14 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Xbox 360: Cabela's African Adventures, Skylanders Swap Force PlayStation 3: The Wolf Among Us, Cabela's African Adventures, Skylanders Swap Force PC: Goodbye Deponia, Cabela's African Adventures, Skylanders Swap Force, Two Brothers, The Stanley Parable: HD Remix PS Vita: Valhalla Knights 3 Wii U: Wipeout: Create & Crash, Skylanders Swap Force Wii: Wipeout: Create & Crash, Cabela's African Adventures, Skylanders Swap Force 3DS: Skylanders Swap Force The Wolf Among Us (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac) [embed]263556:50919:0[/embed] Valhalla Knights 3 (PS Vita) [embed]262078:50537:0[/embed]
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Plus The Wolf Among Us hits PSN
A relatively tame week of releases, with the star being Skylanders: Swap Force. This series just prints money, especially now that you can split and merge toys to create new warriors. How cool is that? The other biggies this...

Review: Skylanders: Swap Force

Oct 14 // Chris Carter
Skylanders: Swap Force (3DS, PS3, PS4,  Wii, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Toys For Bob (PS3, 360) / Vicarious Visions (PS4, Xbox One) / n-Space (3DS)Publisher: ActivisionRelease: October 13, 2013 (PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 ) / November 15, 2013 (PS4, Xbox One) / November 2013 (3DS)MSRP: $74.99 (Starter Kit) Once again, Skylanders utilizes the "toy and game" concept, offering up a host of characters to use in-game so long as you own the physical figure. Since Swap Force uses new technology that incorporates figures with multiple pieces, you must buy a new Starter Kit to get the new "Portal of Power" base to beam the toys into the game. Yes it's a bummer, but once you dive into Swap Force you'll quickly forgive the inconvenience. For starters, the series received a huge visual upgrade that puts it on par with many animated theatrical films. While the jump from Spyro's Adventure to Giants wasn't massive enough to turn any heads, Swap Force sports some very high production values in multiple areas of the game, even on a console like the Xbox 360. Not only have old characters been overhauled to bring some more nuance to their animations, but the new characters look fantastic: especially the "Swap Force" members, which I'll get to momentarily. Skylanders also has a stellar voice cast to support said visuals, and pretty much everyone is at the top of their game yet again in Swap Force. Patrick Warburton effortlessly nails the goofy Flynn, and Steve Blum as one half of the anthropomorphic "Hip[po]Bros" is another welcome addition. Famous or not, the rest of the cast is stacked with delightful performances, like a talkative fish who does his best rendition of Steve Buscemi's "total silence" routine from Fargo. I really think at this point after seeing Swap Force in action, Activision could just hire Patrick Warburton and make a pretty entertaining kids show. So what's actually new? Quite a bit, actually. In Giants, the main gimmick involved having to use special "Giant" toys that were larger than most to barge through special barriers. It was highly inoffensive considering that the Starter Pack came with one, and that one Giant was all you really needed to access every bit of content. In Swap Force, many new toys feature detachable legs and upper bodies so that you can mix and match and form your own combinations. I ended up loving this part far more than I thought I would, for multiple reasons. Not only do the new Swap Force toys and in-game models have a ton of detail (Wash Buckler's squid legs are a highlight), but it also allows an unprecedented amount of customization as you search for your favorite playstyle. Immediately, I started experimenting with squid tentacles, snake coils, and chicken feet as I searched for my ideal Skylander, but had a blast the entire time -- especially since each part has its own upgrade path and unique abilities that carry over when you swap them. The key is that the Swap Force brigade isn't solely built around the "switch" gimmick, as a major emphasis has been put on their bottom halves -- which are used to drastically switch up your means of travel. Every Swap Force toy has a new means of getting around, whether that's rocket boots, teleportation, a whirlwind, or wheels -- and they're all a ton of fun. My favorite new character ended up being "Magna Zone," which is the combination of the robotic enforcer of Magna Charge and the fiery rocket legs of Blast Zone. Depending on what leg parts you use new mini-games open up that use completely unique mechanics, like races, flight challenges, Donkey Kong Arcade-esque climbers, 2D platforming sections, and sidescrolling beat-'em-ups. I was pretty surprised at the insane amount of variety the developers packed in, and thankfully, none of it gets stale or overstays its welcome. The core game is just as fun as ever, as it's really easy to just jump in and start blasting or hacking away. Every character still has three base abilities, but nearly all of them have some sort of variation that vastly changes how it operates, like the ability to charge them up into a new attack by holding a button. On higher difficulties Swap Force can put up a decent fight, which is great news for those of you who don't want to just effortlessly make your way through a bunch of playgrounds. Mechanically, quite a bit is new as well in Swap Force, mostly because you finally jump! It sounds absolutely ridiculous, but the first two games did not feature jumping -- instead, players had to use "jump pads" to climb vertically. But given the new-found freedom to leap about, secrets are now more cleverly hidden, new puzzle opportunities arise, and the game just feels better in general as a result. Besides bounding, a concerted effort has been made to make co-op play more fun, which is great news for those of you with kids, or a spouse who enjoys the simplicity of the series. Loot and food are now shared (preventing one player from stealing everything), allowing both players to enjoy the game equally. But multiplayer extends beyond that, as now, everything you do -- even if it's a solo area -- allows the other player to interact in some way. Instead of the one-player puzzle boxes from Giants, co-op partners now have to solve a special multiplayer brain teaser. If there is an area that only accommodates one player, the other is given a power-up or special attack to unleash at their leisure to assist. The enhanced co-op is going to come in handy when you're tackling the most amount of content yet in a Skylanders game. In addition to the fairly hefty campaign, there are more collectibles than ever to find, tons of secrets, and a large amount of bonus missions. The Arena also returns, and it has a staggering amount of gametypes. Thankfully there's a bit of variety this time around, that ranges from PVP, to co-op, to a mix of the two (which is my personal favorite). Like Giants, you earn money and experience in the arena, encouraging everyone to at least try it. You can also raise your "Portal Master Rank" in addition to your Skylanders' actual levels to unlock more items, so you're in for a long ride if you want to get everything -- and it doesn't feel like a grind, because it's fun throughout. Swap Force also benefits from the fact that every past toy is compatible with the third generation. So at this point, you can pick up the previous two games on the cheap, and use pretty much every toy in the current game somewhere down the line. As always, the toy's abilities, appearance, and statistics are still kept in the figure itself -- so you can bring your collection to a friend's house, or even switch console generations without any issues strictly in terms of your character progress. If you were thinking that this was going to be an Activision cash grab, think again. So much heart and soul is consistently poured into the Skylanders franchise time and time again, and Swap Force is no exception. In fact, it's the best one yet.
Skylanders: Swap Force photo
The Skyland of Doctor Moreau
Skylanders has had a bit of an odd history. Initially, it launched under the auspices of the Spyro name, and made a very small splash in the market -- so small, that barely anyone knew what it was. Fast forward to six months ...

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There really needs to be a Skylanders cartoon already


It's just so cute!
Sep 25
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The entire Skylanders series appeals to me in a lot of ways, most of all how it reminds me of cartoons I used to watch as a kid. This latest trailer for SWAP Force really shows off what I mean by that, and really makes me wi...
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Let's take a look at the non-swappable new Skylanders


Four new characters
Aug 22
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Okay first of all the creature in the header here looks like something from a nightmare. Just, so creepy. Well whatever it is, it's one of four new Skylanders playable in SWAP Force. Two of them are also just normal Skylander...
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Activision bringing Destiny, Ghosts, more to gamescom


Plus Skylanders SWAP Force and Angry Birds
Aug 17
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Activision will be at gamescom and are planning to wave their giant wads of money around as they will have the biggest ever demo-theater ever built in gamescom history for Destiny. It comes in at 72ft in length, 43ft wide, a...

Skylanders Swap Force is surprisingly more fun than evil

Jul 29 // Steven Hansen
Skylanders: Swap Force (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 [previewed], Xbox One, Wii U, Wii, 3DS)Developer: Vicarious Visions (PS3, PS4, 360, One, Wii U) / n-Space (3DS)/ Beenox (Wii)Publisher: ActivisionRelease: October 13, 2013 After last year’s Skylanders: Giants, which featured bigger monsters, the toys needed a new gimmick. This time, it’s swapability. Over a dozen of the new characters are Swap Force characters, meaning they can be vivisected at the waist (they’re held fast with magnets) and you can change characters’ top and bottom, mixing and matching as you see fit. It’s basically sanctioned unholy fusion of separate action figures. Kids these days have it so easy. Each Skylanders toy has its set of stats tied to it and each Swap Force character halve lays claim to independent statistics, which means you’re not tied to the entire character if, say, you wanted to keep a quick and speedy base but wanted to easily switch between melee and ranged attacks. Or something, I guess. I think it’s more personal preference than anything, because the game isn’t that deep. There is a Nightmare Mode you can gain access to, so maybe being savvy with character abilities and strategies might be a thing worth considering down the line, but everything I got the swappurtunity to go hands-on with was fairly straight forward mashing on monsters, which gets back to my original point: it’s solid mashing on monsters. I get the appeal now. I don’t exactly like the appeal, because there’s something inherently slimy and manipulative about the whole children’s toys market wherein kids are trained to desire all the baubles, but I get it. Had I disposable income and a child, Skylanders would be a no stress way to introduce said stupid human child to videogames in a lax environment. The child would get colorful visual stimuli mildly reminiscent of Ratchet and Clank, silly toys that children are apt to collect and enjoy, and pretty chill monster mashing combat. It’s not to say I wouldn’t get anything from it, either. Skylanders, at least of the Swap Force ilk. are generally named with lovely puns (and permutations thereof when they get swapped) that I enjoy terribly. Invader Zim’s voice actor also voices the main villain, and the writing in general pulled a few chuckles out of me. You can also see some semblance of heart and fun in Swap Force. Jumping has finally been added to the game and while it’s not a core tenet, it’s fun, as we learned so many years ago playing all those platformers. Plus, the jump animations are all kind of great. There’s a snake Swap Force character, Rattle Shake, who is basically Crocodile Dundee with Antnio Banderas’ voice, which is hilarious in and of itself. His jump features a springy sound effect as his tail coils up and propels him upward. I enjoyed it, anyway. The robot legs also bring a cool backflip jump into play. All existing Skylanders characters have been retrofitted with new jumping animations as well. Also, the Crocodile Dundee snake character? His gun is a smaller snake. I hate copping out and suggesting Sklyanders: Swap Force for kids. First, because I don’t know a modicum about child rearing. I’d probably throw s book at them and make them entertain themselves. Or take them to the park to play sports in the hopes of vicariously living through their organized athletic success after my own failures and blown out knees. Yeah, what of it? Don’t tell me how to raise my own gosh darn hypothetical children. The other reason is that I don’t see why those ungrateful little twerps can’t just play Super Mario World like I did; why they have to have something pared down and spoon fed to them. My SNES is literally sitting in my entertainment center right now. Still, if you can abide by the bollocks that comes along with children’s toys (and potential physical pay walls locking you out of side content that you need certain characters or character types for), I can see how Skylanders: Swap Force might be appealing. I’m still leery of the whole charade for more ideological reasons, but it’s a solidly fun escapade with some character to it. And Invader Zim. And a Crocodile Dundee rattle snake with a snake gun.
Skylanders Swap Force photo
Snakes shooting snake guns
Activision’s Skylanders franchise has always smelled of a money grab to me. Copperish, like the smell of old pennies scrounged up by hard-working parents so little Linda Anne can have all the newest and coolest Skylande...

Skylanders in Japan photo
Skylanders in Japan

First Skylanders hits Japan in July, gets Wii U port


That's... weird
Jun 25
// Tony Ponce
We are so used to waiting insufferably long periods of time for Japanese games to be localized and brought out West that we often imagine Japan as this floating island of privilege and good fortune. How easily do we forget th...
Skylanders photo
Skylanders

Hide your kids: Skylanders: Swap Force launches this Oct.


Also coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Jun 07
// Jordan Devore
Skylanders: Swap Force is targeting October 13, Oct. 16, and Oct. 18 for North America, Australia, and Europe, respectively. This new installment, centered around swappable parts for characters, will be out on most every syst...

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