Toys-to-life is a phenomenon without questions, the way the toys-to-life concept has blossomed over the last couple of years is nothing but amazing. Now some of you might have a different view of these toys that you can interact with but as a father of two it is more of a love hate kind of thing. I love seeing my kids interact with them but I hate buying them, so you can imagine my sigh of relief when I took it upon myself to review the latest in the Skylanders franchise, Skylanders Superchargers for the Playstation 4
The original Skylanders introduced kids to a new and amazing way to play video games and a new money-vacuum for any parent out there. The concept has seen numerous spin-offs like the Disney Infinity ones and now the latest craze the Nintendo Amiboos, developers and publishers around the worlds ears have perked up now knowing there is a lot of money to be made by turning your franchise into toys-to-life figurines. But there has always been something special with the Skylanders franchise to me and my family as Skylanders was the first game that really got my kids interested in video games, well that and Minecraft...
The Skylanders Superchargers starter pack comes equipped with two characters and a vehicle, as the new spin on the franchise this year is that the Skylanders now can use vehicles. Vehicles you can also buy separately with different elements as with other Skylanders releases. You have water vehicles, air and ground, but sadly our package got mixed up and we got two water vehicles and therefore could not review the air vehicle parts of the game, but 2 out of 3 really ain’t bad when it comes to Skylanders Superchargers as I found my personal favourite right off the bat, the Crypt Crusher which was a coffin-like vehicle with sugar skulls painted all over it, and when you used it in-game you could active tiny minions which danced to the Mexican soundtrack the car gave out, purely amazing.
The kids however immediately picked their favourites, exchanged favourites numerous times throughout the play through and concluded at the end that they all felt pretty great, so I knew they wouldn't be much help when writing up this review... So this is a fathers perspective of why you should or maybe why you shouldn't cave in and shell out for a new Skylanders game. The vehicles adds more diversity from the already well-known overall gameplay in the series. I will admit, even though I love the previous Skylanders games they have all felt a little more of the same, but the vehicles this time around felt new and fresh.
The story is actually pretty meaty in this one, we had numerous play sessions to finish the story, and the missions are explained and laid out pretty simple so that kids can easily follow along. The combat is also simple compared to what you might enjoy but to a kid it is the best feeling in the world playing a game where you are completely overpowered, trust me. Kids don't need a intricate story with plot twists, they want to run around and cause havoc, again, trust me.
As a father I understand that it seems weird that your kids want “that new Skylanders game” again when it feels like it was just months ago where they nagged you half to death over the previous game, but this one adds more gameplay and replay value, not that the other games didn't but this one has vehicles! As with the previous Skylanders, the vehicles as well as the characters can be customized with unlockables you pick up along the way. Make the vehicles looks different but also control different like you would expect.
The way the levels are set up is also revamped for this release as the puzzles felt more thought out by using different game mechanics to tweak the environment to move forward. It also has two-player coop which will turn into arguments but the end result is teamwork is the way to go and the developers have managed to have kids really work together to solve some of the puzzles which after a few arguments we managed to pull together and finish them and the kids loved it. Speaking of coop, Superchargers gives players the ability to go online with up to four player coop sessions. Both the campaign mode can be completed this way or you can challenge your friends to different races, think Mario Kart, and you get the idea.
Adding vehicles to the Skylanders franchise seems like, not only, a wise business decision but also a great way to move the series forward and mixing up the gameplay. I have always been a fan of the series as it gives me another game for us to experience together and if you are a gamer and you are a mom or a dad I suggest you go buy this and spend some nice gaming quality time with your kids and you will see why these are some of the most beautiful family games out there right now.