Evolution is important in order for a video game franchise to succeed.
Whether it’s flashier graphics, smoother gameplay, new mechanics or just new characters and levels. Vicarious Visions and Activision have took the super popular Skylanders franchise and done something nobody seen coming, they included vehicles. Not just cars but planes and boats too. Sticking with the toys-to-life premise, we are now able to purchase vehicles with their own respective drivers although any Skylander can drive any vehicle which is pretty cool.
Following on from last year’s Trap Team, returning villain, Kaos has imprisoned everyone who helped the Portal Master (you) in the last game. Flynn, Cali and Hugo manage to make a communication device to speak to you from their cell thankfully and revitalise your link with the Skylanders to firstly rescue your friends and Master Eon and to take down Kaos once and for all. It’s a light hearted yet gripping story for the young ‘uns but me being an adult felt compelled to help Flynn and co using my now extensive collection of Skylander toys now including my new vehicles.
I got the Wii-U version which is identical to the PS4 and Xbox One versions in terms of content apart from the new additions of Bowser and Donkey Kong, the latter of which came in the starter pack along with his Barrel Blaster vehicle. For the other versions, different vehicles and characters are in the box. I also got sent by the cool guys at Activision, the Bowser character and his Clown Cruiser which is an aeroplane. Instantly noticeable from opening was the superb craftsmanship put into the characters and the vehicles. These are true collectables and can be switched to Amiibo mode which can be used across certain compatible games. Another thing I noticed was the lack of a podium for the vehicles, the Barrel Blasters wheels actually turn meaning it could be played with like a proper toy and placing it on the new Portal of Power quickly transports it to the game.
Skylanders Superchargers has grew since Trap Team. Vehicles handle brilliantly. Land vehicles handle Mario Kart style, air vehicles and sea vehicles all handle as you would expect with or without inverted controls for the pilots out there and boats handle just as great such as the Dive Bomber which can explore underwater sections. Levels are huge in Superchargers with the inclusion of these vehicle sections although they are scripted sadly so no Grand Theft Auto style “oh im gunna get my Barrel Blaster and rip em a new one!” joyriding here. They are everywhere though and land, sea or air routes are available all the way through the adventure encouraging more exploration and of course parting with green for more characters and vehicles. Combat hasn’t changed much and neither has the platforming and plenty of collectables like hats, vehicle bits and upgrades encourage every nook and cranny of the levels to be explored and using them unlocks more moves and upgrades for your currently used Skylander. My favourite of the collectables was the red chests which contain vehicle upgrades. It wasn’t long before my Barrel Blaster was kitted out kicking more ass than before and matching the driver with their respected vehicles adds more power by it being supercharged which boosts stats massively and makes it look more badass.
The vehicles fit into the game perfectly.
The new mechanics are executed fantastically.
The old ones are great too.
Upgrades and collectables everywhere.
Cool story and characters.
Skylanders Superchargers is a lot of fun! On foot sections have loads of combat and exploration with the new vehicle parts being a breath-taking rollercoaster ride whether Land Sea or air takes your fancy. All your older Skylanders all work with Superchargers so if you want your favourite Trigger Happy to ride the Dive Bomber for some underwater traversal, then you can! Although it takes a lot of dollar to collect them all, Vicarious Visions shows us why Skylanders is the master of the Toys-to-life genre.