At Comic-Con in San Diego we got the opportunity to take a closer look at the latest additions to Skylanders with Skylanders Trap Team. While we had already gotten a peek at the title, there were still some awesome announcements behind the game along with some great insight from the designers as well.
First came the announcement of the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack. Like last year’s SWAP Force Dark Edition, the set will come with some special dark paint variants of characters. Unlike last year’s though, there will be only three new Trap Team members without any sprinkling of classic characters.
It will also come with a new Portal of Power which will have a new feature in addition to a new look, the ability to use Traps to capture villains in game and use them while playing. The Dark Edition will come with a limited edition over sized trap allowing players to capture Chaos.
For most of the gaming popular, this was the first game they ever took home. While there were the select families that had the Atari 2600 or even Pong, it was Super Mario Bros. that made its way into homes across the country in unprecedented number in 1985. After likely billions of hours played and incalculable deaths, there are people still playing in 2014 and trying to beat it JUST a little faster.
YouTuber LordSaradoc has made his name on the space with about 90 videos doing speedruns. Just about a week ago, he uploaded a new one where he looks to have broken the Super Mario Bros. speed run with not just a perfect run with no deaths, but also accomplishing it in world record time. If everything is accurate, it looks as though LordSaradoc was able to complete the game in 4:57.69. In less than 5 minutes, he was able to run the perfect path doing what most people could only dream of accomplishing.
The funny thing is that movie games have a pretty terrible reputation in the gaming world. Most are quickly put together knock-offs of what could be considered a full game that depend upon riding on the fame of the established franchise. But back in 2004, Spider-Man 2 based off the Sami Rami take on the franchise changed all that.
Without reliance upon the movie, Spider-Man 2 as a game was just good. It was a great movie game, a great super hero game and most importantly a great Spider-Man game (considered the best of the character up to this point). But ten years later, the game and movie franchises have both gotten a reboot and that’s not always a good thing.
First let’s talk about the story of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. While I applaud the writers trying to separate themselves from the movie slightly be adding in a whole new subplot connecting the scenes between the movie as previous games often do, the beats in this one just feel off. The early beat that introduces the game’s main antagonist also directly messes with the whole Uncle Ben story and what happens to Ben’s killer. It feels about as accurate to the character as Superman killing in Man of Steel.
Though it slipped under our radar for the Kickstarter Watch, the team over at Ink Whiskey were able to successfully crush a $12,000 goal on Kickstarter by reaching just shy of $40,000 to get their concealed gaming flask to market. Most of the clever flasks we’ve seen are usually hidden inside other objects, like the famous classic novel that when opened reveals all the pages have had a section cut out to fit the flask.
The team at Ink Whiskey decided to go for something else entirely by actually making a flask that looks identical to classic NES cartridges. As my flask sits on my desk, it takes a keen eye to actually pick up on something being askew. The plastic housing of the flask, especially from a distance, is indistinguishable from a classic NES cartridge.
Most people would glance over it unless they got to the label. Drunk Hunt with a duck crashing into a bottle or the Bar Hop Bros where a familiar looking plumber is jumping inside of a bar are two examples of the clever puns from the Ink Whiskey team. In their initial run, there are five total designs (and a sixth special edition if you include the gold Legend of Drink Kickstarter exclusive) but hopefully the series does well enough that they can do multiple series of this.
Only a few weeks after Disney decided it was time to shoot a volley in the smart toy war by introducing the Avengers to Disney Infinity, Activision has fired back with a premiere for the latest Skylanders sequel. Again, focusing on innovation with gameplay implications, Skylanders Trap Team is coming to systems in October.
As you’ll see in the trailer below, Skylanders Trap Team introduces a new element to the series. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out this means traps. But it isn’t just a matter of trapping defeated foes. This game encourages players to take those villains and use them for good. Boasting 60 new Skylanders and 40 trappable villains, this could be the largest release of Skylanders to date.
It’ll be interesting to see how the traps work but it the trailer hints that specific traps work on specific enemies which means to catch them all, you have to buy them all too. How they are packaged will be interesting though. Skylanders may come paired with a trap or maybe a trap pack will be created with four or five traps sold together. Regardless, Activision has just renewed their license to print money.