It’s hard to believe, but it’s only been four years since the first Skylanders game, Skylanders Spryo’s Adventure, was released. It ushered in a brand new genre, toys-to-life, and would forever change the way we play and interact with video games. The latest release in the award winning, multi-billion dollar Skylanders franchise is here—Skylanders SuperChargers.
Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iPad
Developer: Vicarious Visions / Beenox
Release Date: September 20, 2015
Genre: Role-playing, action-adventure, platform, racing
Modes: Single-player, Co-op and Online Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (for everyone ages 10 and up)
The best Skylanders game to date
Each year new and innovative gameplay mechanics have been added to the Skylanders series, for example, Skylanders Swap Force introduced swappable Skylanders, allowing for a whopping 256 different mix and match combinations. While Skylanders Trap Team introduced traps allowing players to capture and store over forty enemy characters, as well as the ability to take control of the villains and use their powers to defeat Kaos.
With the release of Skylanders Superchargers, Vicarious Visions and Activision bring many firsts into the series, and thus here are five undeniable reasons why Skylanders SuperChargers is the best Skylanders game to date.
5. Backwards compatibility with previous Skylanders toys
One of the best features of Skylanders SuperChargers is the backward compatibility with all 300 plus previous Skylanders toys. Not only can you use your previous Skylanders toys, but also each one of them can ride in any of the 20 new vehicles. Seeing this support and being able to use all of the Skylanders I have collected over the years was great, and instantly put a smile on my face.
It’s evident that backwards compatibility wasn’t a last minute decision either, developers Vicarious Visions went to great lengths and added brand new vehicle animations for each of the previous Skylanders characters. Talk about dedication!
4. Online play
Quite possibly one of the most dreamed about features by Skylanders fans has been online play. Fans can now rejoice, because for the first time in a Skylanders game, you can now play online. Allowing you to connect and play co-operatively through the entire story mode, you’ll even be able to use the built-in chat functionality with your friends. You can also play up to four players online in the new racing mode.
Truth be told, online play has been an absolute amazing experience for my family. My son has several friends that live a few provinces away and are devoted Skylanders fans, when visiting they would spend hours together playing Skylanders together in his bedroom. Now with the addition of online play, they can play whenever they want and chat as if they were in the same room. Thank you Activision!
3. All-new Racing mode
Skylanders SuperChargers features an all-new racing mode, which you can race across the sea, land, and sky. In this high-octane mode, you’ll compete head-to-head in three-lap time trail races against your family and friends for the best time on the leaderboard. Each of these colourful tracks comed filled with power-ups, booster pads, and secret routes that will shave valuable seconds off your overall time.
Out of the box, Skylanders SuperChargers comes with six diverse racetracks to choose from; two each for sea, land, and sky. My personal favourite is Chompy Garden, it’s a giant garden filled with oversized mushrooms, enormous creatures, huge lily pads and slippery water puddles. It’s so much fun!
Sold separately, there are three different Racing Action Packs that will add an additional six racing tracks, for a total of 12 action packed tracks. You can play with two players, split-screen locally, or up to four players online. Each race will contain eight racers, with computer players filling the remaining positions.
2. Two playable iconic Nintendo characters
In an unprecedented announcement this past June at E3, both Nintendo and Activision revealed that two of Nintendo’s most beloved characters Donkey Kong and Bowser would be playable characters in Skylanders SuperChargers. Both Turbo Charged Donkey Kong along with his Barrel Blaster as well as Hammer Slam Bowser with his Clown Cruiser not only function as Skylanders but with a simple twist of the base function as Amiibo.
Exclusive to the Wii U, Wii and Nintendo 3DS, these hybrid Skylanders / Amiibo fit right into the Skylanders storyline without a hitch. In fact, I felt as if Donkey Kong and Bowser had always been a part of Skylanders family from the very first game.
Between the two Nintendo characters, Turbo Charged Donkey Kong is my favourite. He has an awesome move called Donkey Kong’s old school attack, which pays homage to the 1981 classic Donkey Kong game. It’s a sight to behold when you see Donkey Kong jump up and down on the ground and ladders from classic Donkey Kong game rain down causing damage to his enemies. It brought shivers down my spine!
1. Introduction of vehicles
For the first time in in the Skylanders franchise, your characters can now ride in vehicles. There are three different types of vehicles; sea, land and air, each offering their own unique type of gameplay. What’s really awesome, is the ability to customize these vehicles with awe-inspiring modifications and upgradeable weapons that make them even more powerful. In all, there are over 20 incredible vehicles with almost every imaginable type of vehicle to drive.
Take for example the Dive Bomber, my favourite sea vehicle; it’s a heavy-duty submarine that is equipped with torpedoes. As with all sea vehicles, you can dive deep below the water to engage in epic under-water combat, or skim the surface of the water to take on enemies.
The Barrel Blaster, exclusive to the Wii U version, is a land vehicle that is made from Donkey Kong’s mine cart and legendary barrels. As you race across land at breakneck speeds, you’ll be taking out enemies left and right with explosive barrels—enemies don’t stand a chance against this land vehicle!
The Sky Slicer, a super charged Jet, is an air vehicle that is not only lighting fast but also aerodynamic. As you take to the skies, you’ll battle enemies at lightning-fast speeds all with a complete full range of movement. The sense of speed is utterly amazing!
Each SuperCharger character has a signature vehicle, when paired up they create a SuperCharged combination. As a result, an exclusive mod that boosts the performance of both the vehicle and respective character is unlocked. Watch out Kaos!
It’s clear to see that Skylanders SuperChargers is the most ambitious game to date in franchise history. It has backwards compatibility with all previous Skylanders toys, online co-op and multiplayer fun, a brand new racing mode, two playable iconic Nintendo characters, and more diverse gameplay with the introduction of vehicles.
If you’re a fan of the toys-to-life genre, do yourself a favour and pickup Skylanders SuperChargers you won’t be disappointed. Let me know in the comments section below who your favourite Skylanders character is.