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Family Video Game Review: Skylanders Imaginators

Skylanders Imaginators proves that sometimes good things come when gamers are patient. Toys for Bob have a hit on its hands with the Skylanders franchise and Imaginators is hands down the best version of the game that I have played to date.

Every game in the franchise, save the first one, has had some sort of gimmick that added a new twist or dimension to the series. This time around Toys for Bob has given players the chance to create their own character and customize them using near limitless combinations of parts. The characters that you create are called Imaginators and they are, obviously, central to both the gameplay mechanics and the story of the game.

It is impossible to talk about the game without first discussing the character creation and customization systems. So let’s start there.

Creation

Creation Crystals have replaced the standard $9.99 figures from previous sets. These are blank canvases upon which young gaming artists can create. Placing one of these crystals on the portal of power for the first time will bring up a menu that will force them to assign a single Battle Class to the crystal. These are character archetypes that will represent what kinds of moves the Imaginator  will have access to.

It is VERY important to note that this is a one-time choice and cannot be reversed on a given crystal. So kids should be encouraged to choose carefully.

There are ten Battle Classes to choose from. Some of them are melee (up close) fighters while other focus on ranged attacks.

Customization

Creation may be limited to one time per crystal, but once you choose a Battle Class you can customize the rest of the character endlessly using a collection of parts (heads, arms, legs, armor, etc) at the push of a button. You start with a rather straight forward collection of pieces that look thematically appropriate for Skylanders. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of those parts were taken from Skylanders that were being designed, but never made the cut.

The collection of parts you start with grows very quickly from there. Just about every challenge you complete and level you finish will give you an Imaginite chest. Opening these chests will unlock new items that come in four different rarities: common, rare, epic, and ultimate. The items include cosmetic things like body parts, but also armor and weapons that you can use to equip your Imaginator to suit your playstyle. What I love about this is that you are constantly earning Imaginite chests. There was almost always a chest to open as I was playing through the game.

The story, while not a masterpiece, is serviceable. Kaos is looking to take over the Skylands again and is trying to use the Mind Magic of the Ancients to do it. What sets this game apart is that it finally includes a large cast of the original Skylanders as the characters driving the story alongside the player. This felt like a great idea especially when we consider that the new Skylanders cartoon is available on Netflix as we speak and features some of these same characters.

 

Is This a Kids’ Game?

Yes. Skylanders: Imaginators is one of the best kids games on the market this year. It is rated E 10+ because it features some cartoon violence. But, if you have been comfortable letting your kids play previous games in the series, then this should not pose any problems.

 

Can Kids Play it?

Fans of earlier games in the series should not fear too much change though. You may be able to create and power up your own Skylanders, but the rest of the game operates very similarly to previous games. Kids will be able to transfer all of their knowledge from previous games right into this one without a problem

That said, the game does feature a fair amount of platforming so it is important to make sure your kids know how to jump and navigate 3d spaces. The good news is that falling off of the world doesn’t actually cost you anything other than time as characters immediately respawn on solid ground.

 

Conclusion

This is a must purchase for fans of the series. I also recommend this as a great starting point for anyone who is interested in playing .

We played the game on Xbox One, but it is also available on Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, and Wii U.

Note: The Xbox One version of Skylanders Imaginators was provided to EFG for review purpose.

 

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Who is ready to feel wicked old?

I know. I know. This comes up every time a video game franchise from our childhood has a massive anniversary. But, you know what? How about meaningful anniversaries from the video games our kids will look back on fondly the same way we look back at Super Mario Brothers?

On that note: I would like to remind everyone that Skylanders is turning 5 this year. It is now officially in Kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN.

Since it has reach school age it only made sense that we throw the franchise a birthday party! Fortunately for us Activision PR was ready to lend a helping hand.

I have to admit that it didn’t hurt that Duff, the Ace of Cakes himself, was bringing a new show to FoodTV called CakeMasters and was featuring Skylanders on their most recent episode!

It all came together earlier today as a start to April vacation! Our kids, and their guests, loved watching Duff’s antics on the show as he tried to bring some of their favorite characters to “life” in cake form. (Spoilers: Eruptor was a fan favorite for the 10 year old boy set). The followup was a Skylanders themed party with a blue cake and a whole bunch of awesome Skylanders decorations care of Activision PR. Just take a look at those happy faces!

This was super easy to set up and all of these decorations can be purchased at major retailers and party stores. This is a great idea for your own kids birthday parties OR a party to celebrate when Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures released later this year  on October 12th!

If you missed the episode of CakeMasters you can read up on the details here and make sure to check it out On Demand on your Cable network!

We Had A Skylanders Party… And It Was Awesome!
Behold! The Cake!
We Had A Skylanders Party… And It Was Awesome!
The Decorations!
We Had A Skylanders Party… And It Was Awesome!
The Setup!
We Had A Skylanders Party… And It Was Awesome!
Happy Birthday Some MORE!
We Had A Skylanders Party… And It Was Awesome!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

 

 

 

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Skylanders are going on sale from March 13th through March 19th to celebrate the arrival of Spring (and for Easter Baskets). Check out all the killer deals to help fill out your collection!

EggcitedThrillipede

Eggcited Thrillipede is ready to help celebrate Easter!

Toys R Us

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Packs $29.99
Skylanders SuperChargers Characters and Vehicles $9.99
Save $10 on Racing Packs

Target

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Packs $29.99
All Skylanders toys 50% off

Game Stop

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Packs $29.99, and receive a FREE Kaos cup with your purchase
Skylanders SuperChargers Characters and Vehicles Buy One Get One Free
Racing and Dual Packs 50% off

Best Buy

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Packs $29.99, and receive a FREE legacy Starter Pack with your purchase
Buy One Get One FREE Skylanders SuperChargers toys

Walmart

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Packs $49.96 Everyday Low Price
Legacy Character Rollbacks in Store

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Activision Blizzard is teaming up with the charity Autism Speaks as part of the “Light it up Blue” campaign. They will be releasing a set of special edition action figures that are painted blue in an effort to raise awareness for Autism ahead of Autism Awareness Month this April.

The figures they are releasing are Splat and her boat, Splatter Splasher, as well as Trigger Happy and his car, Gold Rusher.

Skylanders Special Characters Light it Up Blue

These Skylanders Special Figures will Light it Up Blue! (available now!)

These special figures will function identically to their regular counterparts, but they will appear blue and white inside the game as well.

The Power Blue Toys aren’t the only way that Activision is supporting Autism awareness either. They are:

  • Supporting an employee-match donation program for Autism Speaks
  • Encouraging participation in the Autism Speaks Walk on April 2 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca in support of World Autism Awareness Day
  • Activision is also making donations to non-profits that are making a difference in the autism community.

This is a great program for Activision to get involved in as Autism is a concern for millions of parents all over the world.

What do you think? Will you be buying any of these figures? Sound off in the comments!

 

 

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Available on the following platforms:

Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Wii, 3DS, iOS

Bundles/Packages:

Starter Pack (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3): $75 – Includes the portal, the game, The Spitfire figure, Hot Streak vehicle, and the Super Shot Stealth Elf figure.

Starter Pack – Wii U : $75 – Includes the portal, the game, the Turbo Charge Donkey Kong figure, the Barrel Blaster vehicle, and the Super Shot Stealth Elf figure.

Dark Edition Starter Pack (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3): $100 – Includes the portal, the game, the Dark Spitfire figure, Dark Super Shot Stealth Elf figure, the Dark Hot Streak vehicle,  the Dark Sea Shadow vehicle, and the Kaos trophy (This is the Superchargers version of traps. This one lets you race as Kaos.)

Dark Edition Starter Pack – Wii U $100 – Includes the portal, the game, the Dark Turbo Charge Donkey Kong figure, the Dark Super Shot Stealth Elf, the Dark Barrel Blaster vehicle, the Dark Sea Shadow vehicle, the Kaos trophy(This is the Superchargers version of traps. This one lets you race as Kaos.)

The Wii and the 3DS don’t have the power to run the main campaign so they will receive versions that are focused on the racing.

Wii and 3DS starter pack: $75 – Includes the portal, the game, the Hammer Slam Bowser figure, Clown Cruiser vehicle, and the Super Shot Stealth Elf figure.

Pricing structure:

Figure price: $13

Vehicle price: $15

Racing Packs: $35 (Each racing pack includes a character, a vehicle, and a race expansion.)

Additional characters available now:

 Dive Clops

Fiesta

High Volt

Shark Shooter Terrafin

Smash Hit

Stormblade

Additional Skylanders Vehicles available now:

Burn Cycle

Crypt Crusher

Dive Bomber

Jet Stream

Sea Shadow

Shark Tank

Sky Slicer

Stealth Stinger

Racing packs available now:

Racing Sea Pack – Includes Deep Dive Gill Grunt figure, Reef Ripper vehicle, and the Sea Trophy

Characters coming later:

Astroblast

Nightfall

Hurricane Jet-Vac

Thrillipede

Lava Lance Eruptor

Double Dare Trigger Happy

Splat

Big Bubble Pop Fizz

Vehicles coming later:

Sun Runner

Tomb Buggy

Thump Truck

Buzz Wing

Shield Striker

Gold Rusher

Splatter Splasher

Soda Skimmer

The cost to “Catch ‘Em All!”:

Skylanders Superchargers is in a unique place this time around because it has Nintendo specific characters. If you were to pick up everything on its release day the total cost for a Wii U owner would be around $718. This is because the only way to get Bowser or his Clown Cruiser is to purchase the Wii or 3DS starter pack.

Non-Nintendo owners get a bit of a break here and only have to pony up $615.

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Note: This is a guest post from over on ParentsGamingGuide.com.

The game itself is a bit dated, but parents on a budget should be keeping their yes out because Skylanders Trap Team starter sets and figures should be PLUMMETING in price soon since Skylanders Superchargers will be out in a little more than a month!

What makes this review even more interesting is that the Parents Gaming Guide website is being run by a teenager! This is some great writing for someone at their beginning of their career and it will only get better.

Lets all show some love over at the site! Read some reviews! Comment! Share them on social media! The reviewer deserves a boost!


Skylanders have kickstarted the toys to life genre of gaming. The basis of this genre is that a physical toy plays a role in a virtual game. No other game captures this better than Skylanders. Skylanders games normally have you place Skylanders characters on the Portal of Power to play with them in the game, however, Trap Team builds on this idea by including villains too!

GAMEPLAY

Activision did not disappoint with this year’s cast of figures. There are 16 new Trap Masters, which are larger, more powerful Skylanders that have the power to open special gates and destroy Traptanium. There are also 16 new core characters, 5 returning characters and 9 mini figures that are smaller versions of fan favorites. Lastly, there are 4 new Skylanders that fall into the two new elements. Each Skylander has its own upgrade path which powers them up and supplies them with new moves. My only problem with the Skylanders is that specify elements of Trap Masters are required to open gates, making it feel like they are forcing you to buy more characters to get the full experience.

The story mode behind Trap Team follows you, a Skylander, as you try to trap and return escaped villians back to Cloud Cracker Prison. You do this by exploring different levels, fighting enemies, solving puzzles and capturing villians. Each villain you find challenges you to a boss fight. The fights feel different enough from the basic enemy fights that you do not get tired of them. Once you beat the villian you can capture it by putting of trap of the villian’s element into the Portal of Power. Once trapped, you can switch between that villian and you Skylander through the press of a button. Each feels very different from the rest and applies some extra comedic relief through their banter. The best feature about the villians is that you do not need to spend tons of money to play as a lot of characters. Normally, Skylanders range from $10 to $17 each. However, each trap ($6 each) offers you 3-6 villians to play as. Additionally, each villian has a quest that powers them up.

The Arena Battle Mode in Trap Team offers you challenges to complete during fighting sequences like defending a stash of food, lasting for a certain amount of time or surviving with one point of health. Each battle requires that you stick with one Skylander and one villian the whole time, which is a bit disappointing. However, these battles are a great way to earn money and experience to upgrade your Skylanders.

The Kaos Doom Challenges were probably the worst part the game. They require that you fight off hordes of enemies one after another while defending an ancient coffin type thing. These battles were very repetitive and boring and I do not see myself going back to them.

PROS

-Playable villians

-Arena Battles

-Great boss fights

-Fun humor

CONS

-Kaos Doom Challenges

-Lack of 1 on 1 battle mode

-Price for figures

AGE GROUP

I would recommend this for children 7 and up. I think it would be a bit too hard for younger children.

OVERALL SCORE

8/10

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Skylanders Superchargers has some impressive visuals. They are so impressive, in fact, that the Nintendo Wii and the 3DS are just plain out of the question as far as ports of the main game. This year the 3DS and Wii versions will be a completely different game experience than the main game. Activision has gone so far as to call them “complimentary experiences.”

Skylanders Superchargers Racing will release for the Wii and the 3DS and is a “dedicated racing combat game.” Gameplay video is available online and it appears to be VERY similar to games like Sonic and Sega All -Stars Racing Transformed. It includes a large number of race tracks that all have power-ups, hazards, boosts, etc.

It will be interesting to see how well these games sell considering how different they are from the standard Skylanders experience. I could see it going one of two ways.

  1. They might sell BETTER since some families will buy both just to get the racing game. (Keep in mind that the Wii U is backwards compatible and will play the Wii version.)
  2. The games might tank because parents won’t want to take a chance on a different type of Skylanders experience.

Where do you fall? Sound off in the comments!

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The release date for Skylanders Superchargers is racing towards us. We just received another batch of information regarding the newest entry in the Skylanders series and we can’t be more excited about it.

 Online Multiplayer

All of the Skylanders games have been multiplayer games at heart. Two people could sit on the couch together and romp through the colorful levels using exciting characters. But that multiplayer experience has been limited to offline play.

That is all changing with Superchargers. This release, and we can safely assume all subsequent releases, will allow for online play. This will be a great change for friends from school or cousins to jump into the action together without having to be in the same place.

This is a feature that has been requested by fans for a while now and it is good to see Activision make it work.

Race Mode!

Skylanders Superchargers includes vehicles for the first time in the franchise so it stands to reason that they will let us race them. The base game will come with six different courses (two each for land, sea, and air) and more will be able in expansion packs in stores.

The press release makes it sound like these will be full on race tracks a la Mario Kart with secret shortcuts, power ups, and weapons. Even better? The races can either be between two players locally or up to four players online. This competitive element has the opportunity to extend the life of the Skylanders experience for kids once they have exhausted the main story.

Take a look at the video below from our friends over at FamilyGamerTV to see a race in action!

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Nintendo made a big splash at E3 this year when they announced that they would be lending two of their most iconic characters to Activision for the upcoming (all but guaranteed smash hit) Skylanders Superchargers. Knowing that Donkey Kong and Bowser will be in the upcoming game got us to thinking. “What other Nintendo characters would make a great fit for the Skylanders universe?”

First off, it is pretty clear that they avoided including any of the human characters from the Nintendo universe. They chose a giant ape and a dragon-turtle-thing so I am going to assume that Mario, Luigi, and the gang are out.

Here are some of my suggestions. I would love to hear yours in the comments!

 

Kirby

The biggest challenge to be found in making Kirby a Skylander would be implementing his skillset where he eats his enemies to take on their powers. But, that is a design issue that could be overcome. They’ve got a bunch of smart people over there. They could manage.

Kirby has the advantage of being both easily recognizable AND adorable. He also had a wide array of abilities that could be him a lot of fun to play.They have had characters before that used air to move enemies around the battlefield (Jet-Vac), but he also has added mobility in that he can fly.

 

Yoshi

Yoshi has been a mainstay in Mario games for a long time and has even gotten a few of his own. He would be a great fit as a Skylanders character as well. The ability to use his tongue to capture enemies and convert them to ammunition for other abilities would be a great mechanic to fuel some very cool powers. It would also give players some potentially cool powers for interacting with the environment.

 

The Ice Climbers

Ok this might be cheating a little bit since they are technically people like Mario and Princess Peach, but a pair of chubby, hooded mountain climbers could be an exception. They two of them appeared most recently in Smash Bros. Melee on the GameCube and were fan favorites for a long time there. I can easily imagine a whole move-set built around spinning around the different levels swinging their hammers.

The challenge would obviously be that the younger player base of Skylanders might not recognize them since they are not frequently in games. This might even be a real deal breaker, but man would it be fun!

 

Pikachu

This right here. This is the real deal. Putting the alpha pokemon into Skylanders could very well cause a black hole to form on Earth. I am hard pressed to imagine a character that could guest star in Skylanders that would draw any more buzz.

Pikachu even fits into the Skylanders lore as there are plenty of Pokemon toys lying around. I could imagine a whole host of cool powers for him to use that would fit in quite well with the Skylanders Universe too.

 

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