Skylanders is one of those Toys-to-Life games that require you to purchase a bunch of expensive toys in order to unlock content in the game you already paid full price for. I wrote IGN’s wiki guide for two games in the series and calculated that you need to spend a minimum of $254.89 in order to experience everything in Skylanders: Swap Force. Skylanders: SuperChargers has the potential to cost you significantly more, depending on just how much of the game’s content you want to access. A game, I must remind you, that costs $75 to start.
It’s horse poop.
But equine droppings aside, how’s the actual game?
It’s your typical, colorful, cartoony, action-platformer. Mechanically, the game’s fine. It’s not great but it’s not a bad way to pass the time.
That said, where the series really shines, in my opinion, is the world, story and characters. While I unequivocally loathe the way these games are sold, I absolutely adore how they’re presented. It’s obvious that the developers have a genuine love for these characters and the world they inhabit and that comes off loud and clear when you play the games.
The gameplay itself may be middlingly pedestrian but the characters are so charming and fun and infused with such larger-than-life personalities that I find myself happy to play just for the story. Well, when IGN commissions me to write its guides, anyway.
Considering that the story, for me, is the main attraction, I should probably point out that if you’re willing to miss a bunch of content, you can play through the entire story without buying any additional toys. But that will still run you $75 dollars and that’s far more than I’m willing to pay for a single video game, I don’t care how good the story is.
If you’ve heard me talk about these games on old episodes of Super Podcast Action Committee, you’ve heard me say that I think the Skylanders property would make an awesome television show. It would be the best part of the game without any of the expense or fuss! No need to worry about expensive, room-cluttering toys or gameplay that makes you say “meh,” just sit back and enjoy the imaginative adventures of your favorite Skylanders.
Well, as it happens, the first season of a Skylanders TV show, Skylanders Academy, is set to appear exclusively on Netflix on October 28 with a second season to follow in late 2017. Very soon you’ll be able to enjoy the endlessly amusing antics of Chaos and Glumshanks (pictured) as they try to defeat the Skylanders and take over Skyland and all it will cost you is a Netflix subscription! Just think about it: for the price of accessing all the content of in one of the Skylanders games, you could watch Skylanders and everything else in Netflix’s catalog for years!
But hey. You do you. Feel free to spend $75 on Skylanders: Imaginators when it launches in the middle of October plus however many hundreds of dollars worth of toys you need in order to unlock content in a game you already paid for. Whatever floats your boat!
For those interested, the Skylanders appearing in the first season of the Netflix series are Spyro, Eruptor, Stealth Elf, Jet-Vac and Pop Fizz. Patrick Warburton wasn’t announced as doing voice work for the series so it’s possible the Jack Burton-esque Flynn may not make an appearance. That’s a shame but I’d trade him for Chaos’ mother any day. She’s hilarious!