I am a fan of Skylanders. It is just plain casual fun for me. To sit down, explore levels that aren’t exceptionally difficult and unlock the hidden items and secret paths is something that helps put me at ease. Not that there are a lot of mainstream games that are hard anymore with a few exceptions, there’s something I just enjoy about kicking back and playing Skylanders or checking out the stack of them on my shelf. But there is one thing I don’t like: The Release Schedule
When I play a game, I binge on it. I start playing it and I am content to go from start to finish and in most cases, that’ll be the majority of the time I spend with the game. Though I will go back to occasionally achievement hunt or if someone wants to hop on multiplayer or even have a party game while over my place, things usually wrap up once I have beat the game and move onto the next.
But because of the level design of the games and release schedule of the Skylanders figures, there are times that it is actually impossible for me to get as much out of the game as I want until months after release. This time with Skylanders: SWAP Force it ended up being three months and one week before I had the proper combination of figures to experience the majority of the title.
Let me explain better for those of you who aren’t as familiar with the game and now probably think I am a lunatic. In Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure they introduced 8 different elements and to access certain areas you needed a character of that element. Once you opened it up, everything was cool to switch around between Skylanders and continue on through the hidden areas. In Skylanders Giants they added new Giant characters but as long as you had one Giant, you were good to go. Now in Skylanders: SWAP Force, things are different.
There are 16 different SWAP Force characters which can be combined together to form 256 combinations. Each character has two characteristics, their element and their travel power. Because the combinations of SWAP Force can put Water and Earth characters together, you have to have at least one of every element at your disposal. Additionally you need one of each of the eight travel powers as well.
Because the Skylanders figures are released in waves instead of all at once (since it is a toy market after all and a mass release of over 50 figures at once is marketplace cancer to a brand), it took over three months before I was able to get my hands on a Skylander of each travel power. I didn’t have the desire to purchase all sixteen SWAP Force figures since they are about $15 each but I wanted to unlock the hidden areas as I played through so I waited until now until I had each travel power. But then to my horror I realized I have two Life SWAP Force Skylanders with different travel powers… but no Earth SWAP Force figures at all.
Yes, I know this is probably the most #FirstWorldProblem a person could have but it is still damn annoying. So now as I finally tackle the game, there is still a pretty high likelihood that there are going to be levels I cannot yet access. The saving grace is that hopefully these are later levels and I can stop by Toys R Us and Target on my way home and find one of the two SWAP Force Earth Skylanders.
I know I am not earning any sympathy here but you know what, part of being a gamer is complaining and so is being a blogger. Time to start playing anyway. I don’t have anymore time to write about Skylanders when I should be playing it.