The Skylanders franchise has pioneered and capitalized on toys and video games. If you do not know already, Skylanders is a game that “brings toys to life”. There is a large assortment of figures to purchase and collect and when you place the figures onto the “Portal of Power” you can play as those characters in game. Every figure has their own powers, levels, voices, and playstyle. The designs are varied and unique as well. While the starter packs are just what they say they are, you can do a lot with just three figures and a portal. The game itself has come a long way, and so have the figures. Skylanders SWAP Force is the latest installment coming with 50+ new figures including new versions of older ones.
Kaos is up to no good again and his latest plan is to infect one of the four Sages to spread his evil Chaos energy all across Skylands. Despite getting defeated by the Skylanders twice before, Kaos is still doing the same plan as always. I guess some villains just never learn.
You know, the story is incredibly simple. Just like the previous games. There isn't anything special about it, the storytelling is very generic and “bedtime” story. I don't care though. The story is incredibly charming and hilarious at times. The characters really help since they all have different personalities, new and old.
This game, due to the gameplay, feels like a great sequel to a game that knew what it wanted to be and play like. Skylanders SWAP Force plays just like the previous games, however there was one change that to most people would seem small, but to “veterans”of the series, it is quite possibly the biggest change made, Jumping. Yes, Skylanders can jump and it is glorious. Fans of the game have been clamoring for the ability to jump in Skylanders. It was never added to Skylanders Giants despite the “outcry”. The developers listened, and now I cannot stop jumping every chance I get. Levels feel more varied and unique since platforming elements were added. It is crazy how different a game can feel when one simple feature is added.
In addition to jumping, the controls have been mapped better and the non SWAP characters have new abilities to learn to accommodate the new combo system. Combat feels so much smoother than previous games. All of the special moves the Skylanders use look better with brighter more vibrant colors as well. In addition to the regular Skylanders, the SWAP characters are what this game is truly about. Quite frankly, they add more to the game than Giants did. With the 16 SWAP figures you can have over 250 combinations. By switching the bottoms your way of movement is changed and by changing the tops your method of attacking is changed.
The combinations come into play more than just combat. There are new SWAP Gates and these gates have two elements on them. To open, your SWAP Skylander must have those two elements to open. Then there is the Movement Gates. These activate when you have the correct legs of a skylander. Some of the movements are Rockets, Teleportation, and Climb. These activate minigames you play to earn more coins in the levels and Stars to increase your rank outside of levels in the Homebase. The game feels much longer this time around which is nice since there is little replay value.
While previous Skylander Figures have been released, you can use the older ones, just like with Giants. There is a catch still, the game will still be incredibly expensive for collectors or just to do everything in the game. The Starterpack gives you two SWAP characters and a repurposed older Skylander. That is enough to get through the game, but not enough to 100% it. Even if you do not get any of the new sinle element Skylanders you will still need to get the SWAP Skylanders. Each one is 15 USD and that adds up when you need one of every movement type and element. There are two Skylanders per element.
Skylanders SWAP Force adds new features and new figures to an already massive franchise. IT will injure your wallet if you wish to get into the game. This sequel is a great upgrade both gameplay and visuals. It benefits heavily from time and this is a game Skylanders fans must play. It gives the best experience possible and the SWAP Force characters are better for not only visuals, but for playability as well. I give Skylanders SWAP Force for the PS3 an 8.5/10. It is a great sequel in nearly every way and it is well worth your time.