Skylanders SuperChargers is coming out on September 20. Are you ready for race day? Here’s what we know about it so far.
Skylanders SuperChargers will bring online multiplayer to the series for the first time. This is a big deal for racing.
The Adventure mode will have the usual two-player co-op with both players sharing the same screen. If you’re playing with someone, you can also do two-player split-screen races, but in the Adventure Mode you’ll share a vehicle during the driving sequences that make up a large part of the game.
In online multiplayer races, you can race with up to four players. You can match up with friends or with strangers, but only friends will be able to use voice chat with you. The Standard Edition Starter Pack comes with six tracks. That makes two for each terrain type: land, sea, and air. There will of course be more on the way.
Expansion Packs called “Racing Action Packs” will be on the way after launch. So far there is one planned for each of the terrains. The Racing Action Packs also will have a new Skylander, a new vehicle, and a villain trophy that has new tracks and game modes. There are 12 different trophies total. You can also use these trophies to store character data for the game’s villains, and then play with them as you would a Skylander toy.
We got to play Skylanders SuperChargers Racing for the Nintendo 3DS at PAX Prime this year. It felt a lot like Mario Kart, but the way the power-ups worked was very different. In the Racing Mode of Skylanders SuperChargers, every vehicle has a light and a heavy attack. You charge these attacks up by gathering blue power cells along the course, enabling you to fire at other racers and force them to take a second to recharge. Then there are the power-ups, which have an immediate effect on your character. These might be something like a shield or a speed boost.
We didn’t notice these having a huge effect in any of the races we did. While in Mario Kart these items make or break a race, in Skylanders SuperChargers Racing for 3DS, they were just…eh. The vehicular combat, however, was really fun. That’s one thing that sets this game apart.
Let’s talk a little more about the figures. There are only going to be 20 new Skylanders and vehicles in this installment of the game. When a Skylander and vehicle are matched (like Spitfire and Hot Streak), they’ll be…wait for it… Supercharged! That gives you a nice boost. The Donkey Kong and Bowser figures are hybrid amiibo and Skylanders. You can rotate the base of the figure to switch between the two modes. It was easy to tell what mode the figures were in, and the base felt solid and sturdy. I’m not worried about the moving parts on any Skylanders figure, to be honest.
Each of the cars has working wheels, and the sea and air vehicles have moving parts as well. All felt high quality, not fragile.
Now let’s talk Starter Packs. The Starter Pack for Skylanders SuperChargers will come with Stealth Elf, Spitfire, and the Hot Streak vehicle. You’ll also get the usual web codes, stickers, and the Portal of Power. That Standard Starter Pack will cost $74.99.
It’s for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and the Wii U, and for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and the new upcoming Apple TV. That iOS Starter Pack comes with a Bluetooth controller and Portal of Power. This version of the game also has Instant characters that you can get through in-app purchases. That way you can download characters and play with them, well, instantly. It also uses cloud play to allow you to play the same saved game across all your iOS devices.
Now take a deep breath. There’s also a Dark Edition of the Starter Pack. This one is just for the major consoles (that means no iOS, no Nintendo 3DS) and costs $99.99 because it has an extra vehicle, the Sea Shadow, and a Kaos Trophy that has more levels. The Wii U version mixes it up a bit. This one has Donkey Kong and his vehicle, the Barrel Blaster, in place of the Stealth Elf and Sea Shadow. In the Standard Edition of SuperChargers for Wii U, Donkey Kong and the Barrel Blaster replace Spitfire and Hot Streak.
There’s one more Starter Pack: The Digital Portal Owner’s Pack is only $49.99, and it’s intended for players who already have a Portal of Power from a previous Skylanders game. Since it’s a digital download, it includes Instant versions of Spitfire and the Hot Streak vehicle.
You might have noticed that the Wii and and Nintendo 3DS were both left out of this. Well, Skylanders SuperChargers is coming to those consoles, but it will be called Skylanders SuperChargers Racing, and it won’t have the story mode. However, you can race to your heart’s content.
The Standard Wii version has Bowser and the Clown Cruiser as the main pairing, with Stealth Elf riding shotgun. The Dark Edition has Bowser, the Clown Cruiser, and Spitfire, and Hot Streak. It’s also exclusive to Toys-R-Us. There is, thankfully, no Dark Edition for the Nintendo 3DS. Just a Standard Edition with Bowser, Stealth Elf, and the Clown Cruiser.
Check back in at pixelkin.org for our review of Skylanders SuperChargers.