Hands-On: Details on Skylanders Superchargers

Activision had demos of their latest entry in their Skylanders series, Skylanders Superchargers, on the E3 show floor this year. Like the many titles before it, this one adds another inovention to the gameplay: vehicles. What might be written off as a gimmick to sell more figures actually appears to add depth to exploration of the series’ world. There were previews of vehicles for traversing the sky, land, and sea.

Superchargers will be the first time gamers get to explore Skylands’ oceans. The different terrain each has slightly different controls. Sky combat, for example, allows for a complete range of motion, giving you the ability to do barrel rolls and other flight maneuvers. The in-game parameters and appearance of the vehicle can be adjusted with “mods” found scattered throughout the game. Each mod is unique to a specific vehicle and should you be using a vehicle that matches the mod you find, you can equip it immediately.

The vehicle figures will have different forms of articulation, such as Hot Streak (a Fire-element land vehicle) and its rolling wheels. Speaking of figures, 20 additional character toys will be made for Superchargers. Out of that 20, eight are returning characters (I saw fan-favorite Terafin in action) and 12 are brand-new, plus an additional two, the Bowser and Donkey Kong made in collaboration with Nintendo (previously discussed here). Each character has a corresponding vehicle to pair up with. The vehicles can be used by anyone but by matching pairs together it boosts your stats as well as changes the look of your vehicle.

Going back to Bowser and Donkey Kong, these special Skylanders stand on a unique base that can switch them from Skylander to amiibo and back again. And just like the rest of the Skylanders, these two have special vehicles. Bowser’s is a sky vehicle called the Clown Cruiser, when boosted it takes on the appearance of the Koopa King’s airship. Donkey Kong has the Barrel Blaster, a land vehicle that, when boosted, reveals Diddy Kong in a sidecar. If you are concerned about these particular figures being hard to find, fear not; one figure is packaged in the starter sets for Nintendo systems. Bowser for 3DS and DK for Wii U.

As gamers have come to expect, this title is backwards-compatible with all previous figures. Even those traptonium crystals are used although in a slightly different way. Rather than taking villains out of the game, the crystal instead provides an elementary boost. But if there is a baddie trapped within, it will appear in the Skystones minigame.

 Skylanders Superchargers will release in the United States on September 20. The game is available to pre-order now.

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About The Author

Associate Editor

Since the height of the Sega Genesis days, video games captured Natalie Kipper's heart and never let go. Her favorite genres are RPG, platformer, and puzzle but is always open to trying new things. If she isn't glued to a gaming console, she can be found at Disneyland or adding to her army of plush toys.