Skylanders Swap Pressure delivers virtually every little thing followers may need. There are improbable new characters, a comic story, and a whole disregard for the boring guidelines that say robots and wizards should not be a part of the identical world. It additionally delivers every little thing Activision, its writer, may need. There are a great deal of new toys that it’s good to full the optionally available challenges, a brand-new portal which you can solely buy within the starter packs, and a fanbase that has already made the earlier video games runaway bestsellers.
The preliminary enchantment of Skylanders has at all times been in placing that bodily toy on the portal after which watching it come to life within the digital world. Whereas I am nonetheless fascinated by the and software program that makes that transition attainable, Skylanders’ actual magic is its unrestricted embrace of every little thing within the toy field. When my youngsters sit right down to play, they do not solely play cowboys or ninjas or robots or dinosaurs; they play in a world the place all of these issues exist aspect by aspect. Skylanders has at all times promoted that idea by together with characters which may probably not make sense collectively. What makes the rollerskating zombies, enchanted bushes, and robotic dragons appropriate is the sequence’ humor and visible fashion.
That anything-goes method is even stronger in Swap Pressure because of the brand new swapping mechanic. Now you may take the rattlesnake cowboy and swap his tail for a large robotic wheel, or take the bomb-lobbing fireplace knight and place his prime on the octopus pirate’s tentacles. Nevertheless, there are solely six of those swappable Skylanders obtainable at launch, solely two of which include the starter pack. The plan is to launch 10 extra swappable characters for Swap Pressure, which implies there can be a whole bunch of potential mixtures of figures for those who’re keen to purchase all of them.
The payoff for these absurd mixtures is basically principally visible at the beginning, however as I started to unlock new talents for the swap characters’ numerous components, I began to
see there is a compelling strategic resolution right here as effectively. The characters from the earlier video games have at all times given us numerous choices to select from by way of play fashion – you would be a brawler with a great deal of armor, or a speedy character who can dish out harm at vary – however Swap Pressure allows you to create your personal play kinds. Possibly you wish to use the teleporting legs of Hoot Loop, the magical owl, however you additionally actually like to make use of Magna Cost’s helmet to raise enemies up into the air and slam them down on the bottom. By swapping the 2 halves of every character, you get one thing completely new and distinctive.
With out giving an excessive amount of away, I have been actually curious to see how this sequel’s story performed out. The epilogue of final 12 months’s Skylanders Giants hinted at a brand new villain for the sequence, and I am blissful to say it pays off right here. Kaos continues to be one of many funniest and most pleasurable villains in gaming right this moment, however the sequence has wanted one other antagonist who can assist a whole sport. Having Kaos and this different villain play off one another in Swap Pressure is effectively definitely worth the wait.
Fight can be acquainted to followers of hack-and-slash video games like Diablo and Torchlight, however Skylanders leans a bit extra in the direction of kid-friendly button mashing and talent upgrades than the execution of combos. There is a satisfying vary of enemies right here, from weak and tiny Chompies who overwhelm with numbers, to extra highly effective enemies armed with particular assaults or armor. There are even Spellpunks who can strike from a distance and even heal different enemies on the display. Consequently, the motion adjustments sufficient from encounter to come across to maintain issues from ever getting stale. Among the boss fights can get just a little predictable, however that is comprehensible given the youthful audience.
Outdoors of the combating, there’s lots to discover and uncover within the ranges and the between-mission hub. Some, just like the legendary treasures and hats, can be utilized to spice up the skills of your complete group or of particular person Skylanders. There are additionally loads of bonus missions and ranges to be found in far off corners of the marketing campaign’s missions. Sadly, the brand new unlocking minigame is needlessly convoluted and never practically as intuitive or pleasurable as the easy ball-in-a-maze puzzle within the earlier video games. Much more disappointing, there is no Skystones mini-game right here. That card sport is well probably the most nice diversions within the earlier sport, so it is unhappy to see it gone.
Swap Pressure contains the standard elemental gates from earlier video games (which may solely be opened by a Skylander related to that very same aspect) but it surely additionally contains new multi-element gates that require both a swapped Skylander of each parts, or two gamers who every signify one of many parts. It is a good way to encourage swapping and cooperative play. The brand new swappable Skylanders additionally every include distinctive motion powers which are tied to particular problem gates. These challenges ship extra platform-like expertise – like climbing up a vertical wall whereas dodging falling rocks, or bouncing alongside floating islands – which are a pleasant break from the core sport and assist reinforce a number of the distinctive character of the related Swap Pressure Skylander.
Moreover, Swap Pressure goes a bit farther than Giants in offering significant milestones alongside the way in which. Every time you earn a star in a degree, discover a treasure chest, or add a sure sort of Skylander to your assortment, you earn development factors that open up new Portal Grasp ranks. The ranks themselves solely actually appear to be helpful for opening up improve slots, which is a little bit of a disgrace, but it surely’s nonetheless good that Swap Pressure gives such a transparent strategy to observe your progress. Probably the most insidious half, in fact, are the paths that observe what number of Skylanders you personal. Seeing which you can earn further Portal Grasp ranks by proudly owning a number of Skylanders from a sure sequence, or a sure elemental sort, would possibly appear to be a good way to reward hardcore followers of the sequence, however for individuals who aren’t comfy shopping for dozens of figures, it would appear to be blatant advertising.
You will need to set your personal normal for the price of the toys, however the brand new motion talents of the swappable Skylanders are required to unlock lots of the obtainable optionally available challenges. As I mentioned, the starter set comes with two swappable characters however you are taking a look at paying as a lot as you’d pay for a complete different sport if you wish to purchase the opposite 4 obtainable figures at launch. There are two motion powers that are not even obtainable on this first wave of figures, so you would be taking a look at including much more to your assortment down the street if you wish to get at every little thing Swap Pressure has to supply.