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Skylanders SuperChargers: planes, cars and new plastic toys

The next Skylanders is coming this September with cars, planes, submarines, and more

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Skylanders has long been the king of video game / toy hybrids; it’s a franchise worth billions and a genre that’s becoming increasingly popular (cf. Amiibo, Disney Infinity, Lego Dimensions). Every iteration of the series adds one twist to its formula. For this year’s Skylanders: Superchargers, which is set for release September 20th for pretty much every console and iPad, it’s cars. And motorcycles. And boats. Also tanks, helicopters, jets, submarines, and more.

As with previous Skylanders titles, players «import» playable characters into the game by placing physical figurines on a plastic «Portal of Power» connected to the console. The game itself is very tongue-in-cheek action / platformer (the Big Evil Weapon here is called the “Doomstation of Ultimate Doomstruction”) that involves a lot of running around and solving small puzzles or fighting bad people. The world is colorful, and the collectibles are plenty.

All previous Skylanders figurines are compatible — just place them on the portal and go crazy — but the real draw here of course are the 20 new vehicles and 20 new «SuperChargers» figurines. The vehicles themselves vary, but they all fall into one of three categories: land, sea, and air. The game has specific levels designed for each category, and no there’s no intermingling — you can zip through a water-centric level in a jet, for example. The new Portal of Power has enough room for both character and vehicle, and each character has a signature vehicle that, when paired, creates a «SuperCharged Combo.» (Get it?) Additionally, each vehicle has several customizations you can collect as you play.

In a meeting with publisher Activision and developer Vicarious Vision, I got to check out three vehicles in action: Hot Streak, a racecar; Sky Slicer, a jet; and Dive Bomber, a submarine. The physical toys themselves matched past Skylanders in style and color. They were fairly sturdy and had moving parts like the wheels and propeller. (The representatives stressed that the toys and Portal we saw were not final products.) Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to play the game ourselves, so while I can say it looks fun, I really won’t know until some actual hands-on playtime.

Skylanders: SuperChargers is coming out September 20th to virtually every console from the last two generations: PlayStation 4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, and iPad — the Nintendo Wii and 3DS will «have a different, complementary experience.» A Starter Pack costs $74.99 and comes with three figurines: Hot Streak car, its signature driver Spitfire, and a «SuperCharged» variant of classic figure Stealth Elf (the 3DS Starter Pack will be $10 cheaper). Additional characters will cost $12.99 and vehicles $14.99.

You don’t have to buy the Starter Pack, though: for the first time in the series, «connected consoles» and select iPads will be able to buy and download a digital copy and «complete the mainline game» with a virtual (read: no physical figurine required) Spitfire character / Hot Streak vehicle — and again, previous portals and characters are compatible here.

‘Skylanders Superchargers’ Review: All Revved Up

Skylanders Superchargers PS4 Starter Pack (Image: Activision)

Skylanders Superchargers delivers Activision’s most comprehensive and enjoyable toys-to-life experience to date. Racing, online, vehicular toys, backwards compatibility and high end production values combine to make this the stand out experience of the series.

The toys-to-life landscape has changed somewhat since we were assessing last year’s Skylanders Trap Team . As Superchargers hit stores there is more competition than ever, not only from other video-game publishers but also toy makers like Anki and Playmation.

Perhaps it’s no surprise then that this year we find the most robust, broad and entertaining Skylanders game to date. Not only does it add a proper line of articulated toys but also brings in a full kart racer experience and online multiplayer to join its well loved on-foot adventuring.

Skylanders Superchargers main novelty is the new customization vehicles for air, land and sea racing sections. These crop up in the main adventure adding considerable variety as well as a whole new play scheme.

In the starter pack you have a land vehicle, additional purchases can add in access to air and sea modes. Some of the zones are also tied to particular elements, which I’m less keen on as this means you need ten in total to access everything.

Each of these offer different handling and special moves and each takes quite a bit of getting used to. Give it some time though and it all comes together nicely. As you work through the main adventure there’s a satisfying back and forth between the vehicle and on-foot sections. Bring in one of the new Supercharger Skylanders and you get a special upgrade for their ride, along with the ability to add modifications.

As more of these are unlocked there are crucial decisions to make about how and when to upgrade different elements of your fleet of transport. This is further incentivized by the kart racing modes that pit you against AI and human opponents online.

Balancing is of course important here and seems to work well. Developing a particular car in one direction will have negative implications in other areas. Players have to offset benefits versus costs to ensure the best chance of winning.

The game looks stunning throughout. Vicarious Visions have done a fantastic job on creating a compelling and inviting world to investigate. Certainly it will take a number of play-throughs before all the secrets are discovered.

Skylanders Superchargers (image: Activision)

The lock puzzles are also worth mention. These have again been revised into their own unique mini-game. Directing your mini-character to collect all the sparks and reach the key now has a more action-oriented feel. In two player mode this becomes a hysterical and entertaining effort to help your partner navigate each maze.

It’s the breadth of this year’s experience that is most impressive. The main game on its own will be what most would have expected. Add to this the new vehicular toys, kart racing modes and online play and the benefits really start racking up.

I’m also glad to see the reposed characters being dropped this year in favor of «re-imagined» versions of favorite Skylanders. These offer entirely new versions of characters with fresh attacks and upgrade trees. This is much better value than previous re-released characters that essentially only offered one new attack.

Along with Lego Dimensions offering of build-able smart minifigures, Skylanders’ articulated toy vehicles mark a watershed moment in the toys-to-life games. Simply offering static plastic figurines as «toys» isn’t going to pass muster any more. (In this light, even the Disney Infinity Star Wars figures look a little dated in comparison.)

This year Skylanders also has another trick up its sleeve in the form of Donkey Kong and Bowser coming to the game. This exclusive Nintendo cross-over is available on Nintendo’s Wii U, Wii and 3DS systems.

The amiibo-Skylanders can function in both amiibo and Skylander mode to offer a lot of value if purchased in the Starter Pack. The only down side here is that they are not sold individually so players want to collect them all would need to purchase two starter packs.

Overall, Skylanders Superchargers is a very impressive package. Totting up how much extra content you get makes it very good value. Add to that the full backward compatibility support for all the previous figures, new online and racing modes and high end production value and it’s a very tempting package.

Superchargers is the moment we really see Skylanders deliver on its potential. It’s not the cheapest game to play with your family but it delivers a huge amount of value.

Skylanders Superchargers

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, iOS, (Racing game on Wii and 3DS)

The newest trick for Activision’s Skylanders: Planes, boats and cars

The newest installment of the popular video game franchise that mixes real-world toys with a video game will include a new vehicle lineup when it releases this fall.

Activision Blizzard has a new plan to kick its Skylanders games into the next gear.

The company, which has sold more than $2 billion plastic toy figurines and software as part of its Skylanders franchise, is hoping to rev up demand by introducing vehicles into the mix.

The games and their associated action figures have become the talk of the video game and toy worlds since their debut in 2011. The games were initially sold as games that let players use toys imbued with sensors that let them communicate with the world displayed on the TV. Activision has expanded its offering each year with features like swappable body parts, allowing players to mix the capabilities of the game’s heroes by physically switching their body parts.

Now, with more than 300 toy characters in its lineup, Activision is expanding its ambitions with cars, boats and planes in a new title due out September 20 called Skylanders SuperChargers.

«To date, we’ve only brought one type of toy to life, and that’s characters,» said Chris Wilson, a senior producer at Activision. The company will sell submarines, dragsters, helicopters, jets and more. «We want to take kids on a fun adventure.»

Developed by Activision’s longtime subsidiary, New York-based studio Vicarious Visions, SuperChargers is the eighth installment in the Skylanders franchise and the first to introduce vehicles into the toy lineup. Players will now be able to place up to two characters and a vehicle into the game at once. They do this by putting these toys on a platform, which then communicates with a video game console and displays their likeness on screen as part of the game.

These technological toys are part of a growing trend in the games industry known as toys-to-life. The simple idea, which piggybacks on the proliferation of sensors throughout the tech industry, has become one of the most popular aspects of the video game industry, commanding $4 billion in sales over the past four years, 75 percent of which has been racked up by Skylanders, Activision said.

More companies have begun chasing Activision’s success. Walt Disney launched its line of toys and games called Infinity in 2013 and has said it’s pleased with results. It’s planning a Star Wars-themed set of toys for this year. Nintendo is another competitor, which launched its line of Amiibo toys last year. Lego has also said it plans to enter the mix, launching its Dimensions toys this year too.

Activision said it plans to release SuperChargers for all major video game consoles, including Nintendo’s 3DS handheld and the original Wii, first released in 2006. As was the case with last year’s Skylanders: Trap Team, SuperChargers will see simultaneous release of the full game on Apple’s iPad, which uses a specially designed controller to work with the game. The title will add 20 new characters and 20 vehicles to the Skylanders lineup.

Not all aspects of the game, however, will be accessible without the right set of toys. The title’s console starter pack, which will retail for $74.99, comes with one car and two new characters, which Activision says players can use to complete the game’s main story mode. To access additional in-game play, you’ll have to purchase one of the vehicle-themed toys for $14.99 apiece. Character toys will sell for $12.99 apiece.

There’s one more thing Activision added to SuperChargers toys: moveable parts. Cars will have wheels that let them slide along the ground, while boats and planes will feature spinning propellers and rotors. Effectively, this means kids can now use the toys when not playing the video game much in the same way generations past may have raced Hot Wheels cars on the living room floor.

«For all of us, when we were kids, you played with your toy vehicles, there was that moment when you were rolling your car on the carpet or zooming your plane in the air,» Wilson said. «We want to make sure kids have that moment with these vehicles, and let them play not only in the game, but outside of it as well.»

Skylanders SuperChargers: planes, cars and new plastic toys

The Skylanders heroes have apparently been taking driving lessons since last year’s Trap Team, as Activision has announced this year’s offering in the toys to life franchise will be introducing vehicles into the mix for the first time.

Skylanders SuperChargers will introduce new areas of the Skylands to play through, and take a diversion from action platforming with the introduction of vehicle-based racing, combat, and puzzle solving sections. It also brings a host of new playable characters to collect in toy form.

The new game also promises something the series has never seen before — articulation. Split into three categories — land, sea, and air — the vehicles will be more like «regular» toy cars and planes, with rolling wheels, rotating propellers, and movable wings. They still pack in a near-field communications chip though, transporting them into the SuperChargers game when placed on the «Portal of Power».

Although any existing Skylanders character can drive or pilot the vehicles in game by placing them on the portal at the same time, the new SuperChargers class of characters get the most out of them. These are the key characters for the year, similar to the earlier Giants, Swap Force, or Trap Team members. Pairing them with certain vehicles — such as putting new hero Spitfire with the fiery hot rod Hot Streak – unlocks new abilities and the titular supercharged mode.

Gameplay remains familiar, with players initially exploring levels on foot and battling hordes of enemies. Approach a vehicle marker though, and you’ll be prompted to place one of the new toys down, entering areas that showcase SuperChargers’ additions to the Skylanders experience. Developer Vicarious Visions has pleasantly avoided the temptation to just mash in a kart racer between levels — instead you’ll engage in Starfox-style shy shooter sections, or have to navigate aquatic paths that require thinking about paths above and below the waves.

As you progress, you’ll not only collect experience for your characters but GearBits for the vehicles themselves. These are used to power up your craft at pit stop points, while mods collected through the levels can be applied at any point, customising vehicles on the fly. Each craft has three areas that can be customised in-game, allowing for unique approaches even for kids who have the same physical toy.

The toys themselves are a nice addition to the Skylanders range. The SuperChargers characters are smaller than last year’s Trap Masters, more in line with the ‘regular’ sized figures, but the detail of the sculpts is impressive. They’re very dynamically posed, with very nice paint jobs and areas of translucency. Sadly, they don’t physically fit in the vehicles, which are of a similar scale. However, these are also very nicely made toys, with fantastic designs. Vehicle articulation isn’t a universal feature — the futuristic Sky Slicer jet is a solid piece, for instance — but those that do have moving parts feel sturdy enough to be played with away from the game.

In total, there will be forty new pieces of Skylanders merch released for SuperChargers, across characters and vehicles. Thankfully for cash strapped parents (and collectors who should know better) the game retains compatibility with the more than 300 characters already released. Some of those will get updated versions for SuperChargers though, such as the revamped Sure Shot Stealth Elf.

Skylanders SuperChargers launches on 25 September, for PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Wii U. There will also be a «Portal Owners Pack» for those with earlier entries, with just the game and virtual versions of Spitfire and Hot Streak.

Skylanders Superchargers

Skylanders дарит игрокам уникальный опыт. Игровой процесс проходит не только на экране, но и в реальной жизни. Каждый персонаж игры, которым вы можете играть, — это физическая фигурка. Вы ставите фигурку на специальное устройство «Портал силы» и она, как по-волшебству, переносится в игру.

Некоторые фигурки идут в комплекте с игрой, а некоторые можно купить отдельно. Накопленный в игре опыт записывается в саму фигурку. Принесите своего персонажа к другу, поставьте на портал рядом с его фигуркой и играйте вместе!

Skylanders SuperChargers не похож ни на одну предыдущую игру из серии Skylanders. В волшебный мир Скайленда с ревом врываются машины! Путешествуйте среди горных вершин, в глубинах морей и высоко в небесах за рулем потрясающе детализированных машин. Играйте в реальной жизни, а потом оживите свои фигурки, перенеся их в игру через Портал силы. Отныне никто не помешает вам яростно поднимать пыль, вступать в воздушные схватки и прорываться сквозь полчища врагов, рассекая по дорогам Скайленда!

В центре событий Skylanders SuperChargers коварный план Каоса по захвату власти над скайлендом. Злодей строит самое кошмарное из виданных ранее орудий — «Роковую станцию тотального Рокзрушения», способную пожирать сами небеса. Однако Мастер Йон вовремя заметил надвигающуюся угрозу и собрал специальную команду скайлендеров-пилотов. Теперь неудержимый флот уму непостижимых транспортных средств мчится вперед, чтобы положить конец разрушению мира! SuperChargers — это новый класс героев, обладающих свежим набором оружия, приемов и атак.

Skylanders SuperChargers поддерживает все (более 300) фигурки из предыдущих частей игры и позволяет любому персонажу управлять воздушными, морскими и наземными машинами. Создайте непобедимую команду из своих старых друзей, объединив их вместе с суперзарядами.

Внимание! Все фигурки от предыдущих частей игры Skylanders совместимы с порталом силы из данного издания и могут использоваться совместно с машинками.

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Skylanders SuperChargers не похож ни на одну предыдущую игру из серии Skylanders. В волшебный мир Скайленда с ревом врываются машины! Путешествуйте среди горных вершин, в глубинах морей и высоко в небесах за рулем потрясающе детализированных машин. Играйте в реальной жизни, а потом оживите свои фигурки, перенеся их в игру через Портал силы. Отныне никто не помешает вам яростно поднимать пыль, вступать в воздушные схватки и прорываться сквозь полчища врагов, рассекая по дорогам Скайленда!

Skylanders SuperChargers не похож ни на одну предыдущую игру из серии Skylanders. В волшебный мир Скайленда с ревом врываются машины! Путешествуйте среди горных вершин, в глубинах морей и высоко в небесах за рулем потрясающе детализированных машин. Играйте в реальной жизни, а потом оживите свои фигурки, перенеся их в игру через Портал силы. Отныне никто не помешает вам яростно поднимать пыль, вступать в воздушные схватки и прорываться сквозь полчища врагов, рассекая по дорогам Скайленда!

Skylanders SuperChargers не похож ни на одну предыдущую игру из серии Skylanders. В волшебный мир Скайленда с ревом врываются машины! Путешествуйте среди горных вершин, в глубинах морей и высоко в небесах за рулем потрясающе детализированных машин. Играйте в реальной жизни, а потом оживите свои фигурки, перенеся их в игру через Портал силы. Отныне никто не помешает вам яростно поднимать пыль, вступать в воздушные схватки и прорываться сквозь полчища врагов, рассекая по дорогам Скайленда!

Skylanders SuperChargers не похож ни на одну предыдущую игру из серии Skylanders. В волшебный мир Скайленда с ревом врываются машины! Путешествуйте среди горных вершин, в глубинах морей и высоко в небесах за рулем потрясающе детализированных машин. Играйте в реальной жизни, а потом оживите свои фигурки, перенеся их в игру через Портал силы. Отныне никто не помешает вам яростно поднимать пыль, вступать в воздушные схватки и прорываться сквозь полчища врагов, рассекая по дорогам Скайленда!

Игровые приставки, видеоигры и аксессуары.

The newest trick for Activision’s Skylanders: Planes, boats and cars

The newest installment of the popular video game franchise that mixes real-world toys with a video game will include a new vehicle lineup when it releases this fall.

Activision Blizzard has a new plan to kick its Skylanders games into the next gear.

The company, which has sold more than $2 billion plastic toy figurines and software as part of its Skylanders franchise, is hoping to rev up demand by introducing vehicles into the mix.

The games and their associated action figures have become the talk of the video game and toy worlds since their debut in 2011. The games were initially sold as games that let players use toys imbued with sensors that let them communicate with the world displayed on the TV. Activision has expanded its offering each year with features like swappable body parts, allowing players to mix the capabilities of the game’s heroes by physically switching their body parts.

Now, with more than 300 toy characters in its lineup, Activision is expanding its ambitions with cars, boats and planes in a new title due out September 20 called Skylanders SuperChargers.

«To date, we’ve only brought one type of toy to life, and that’s characters,» said Chris Wilson, a senior producer at Activision. The company will sell submarines, dragsters, helicopters, jets and more. «We want to take kids on a fun adventure.»

Developed by Activision’s longtime subsidiary, New York-based studio Vicarious Visions, SuperChargers is the eighth installment in the Skylanders franchise and the first to introduce vehicles into the toy lineup. Players will now be able to place up to two characters and a vehicle into the game at once. They do this by putting these toys on a platform, which then communicates with a video game console and displays their likeness on screen as part of the game.

These technological toys are part of a growing trend in the games industry known as toys-to-life. The simple idea, which piggybacks on the proliferation of sensors throughout the tech industry, has become one of the most popular aspects of the video game industry, commanding $4 billion in sales over the past four years, 75 percent of which has been racked up by Skylanders, Activision said.

More companies have begun chasing Activision’s success. Walt Disney launched its line of toys and games called Infinity in 2013 and has said it’s pleased with results. It’s planning a Star Wars-themed set of toys for this year. Nintendo is another competitor, which launched its line of Amiibo toys last year. Lego has also said it plans to enter the mix, launching its Dimensions toys this year too.

Activision said it plans to release SuperChargers for all major video game consoles, including Nintendo’s 3DS handheld and the original Wii, first released in 2006. As was the case with last year’s Skylanders: Trap Team, SuperChargers will see simultaneous release of the full game on Apple’s iPad, which uses a specially designed controller to work with the game. The title will add 20 new characters and 20 vehicles to the Skylanders lineup.

Not all aspects of the game, however, will be accessible without the right set of toys. The title’s console starter pack, which will retail for $74.99, comes with one car and two new characters, which Activision says players can use to complete the game’s main story mode. To access additional in-game play, you’ll have to purchase one of the vehicle-themed toys for $14.99 apiece. Character toys will sell for $12.99 apiece.

There’s one more thing Activision added to SuperChargers toys: moveable parts. Cars will have wheels that let them slide along the ground, while boats and planes will feature spinning propellers and rotors. Effectively, this means kids can now use the toys when not playing the video game much in the same way generations past may have raced Hot Wheels cars on the living room floor.

«For all of us, when we were kids, you played with your toy vehicles, there was that moment when you were rolling your car on the carpet or zooming your plane in the air,» Wilson said. «We want to make sure kids have that moment with these vehicles, and let them play not only in the game, but outside of it as well.»

Источники:

http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/3/8717203/skylanders-supercharged-pricing-availability

http://www.forbes.com/sites/games/2015/09/21/skylanders-superchargers-review/

http://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/activision-skylanders-superchargers-planes-boats-cars/

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/skylanders-superchargers-reveal

http://www.center-n.ru/category/skylanders-superchargers/

http://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/activision-skylanders-superchargers-planes-boats-cars/

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