So as previously mentioned, yesterday was the new release for Skylanders SWAP Force. As expected, it was not a cheap endeavor. One special edition Starter Pack, one Adventure Pack, one Battle Pack, four SWAP Force, three Lightcore and one standard Skylander later and my tally between Gamespot, Toys R Us and Target had hit the $250 mark. Now, I am not complaining. I bring it upon myself and I enjoy it. That’s what the appeal of Skylanders is. Combine a video game with the ongoing geek desire to collect things and you have an addicting formula. And that’s why we have a fantastic unboxing video for you to check out to check out and help decide which Skylander SWAP Force starter set to get yourself.
There is one piece of the Skylanders formula that does get a little frustrating though. To access all of the game’s content, it does require you to purchase real world products. To play through all the areas that are travel power based, you need eight different SWAP Force characters. Granted, two come with any Starter Set you buy but that leaves six more to go at $13 each, and at launch there are still two modes of transportation not yet available as only six of the sixteen are available so far.
Now I understand the arguments that they are releasing them in waves to keep up demand and all that, but my problem lies with content being locked. The other argument that this is to keep players coming back later and maintain replayability. Let’s be clear, (gravelly old man voice, “Get off my lawn”) back in my day we went back to games often even when there was no such thing as expanding shy of a sequel.
Speaking of expanding content, one thing that still irks me is the use of Adventure packs. It isn’t that different from DLC… except it is. DLC of an individual level or campaign usually maxes out at around $15 unless it is a pretty massive expansion. In the case of Skylanders, it ends up being thirty dollars for one level, one Skylander and two magic items. Sure, I get to add another Skylander to the shelf but still, it’s $30 dollars.
But at the end of the day, it’s a choice. At least for me it is and as you can see from the video below, I do love Skylanders SWAP Force. If you’re the parent of a kid who is into Skylanders, best of luck to you. Trying to explain why financially they can’t do everything they want in a game when the kid next door can isn’t a battle I want to touch. Luckily when I do finally have kids, they will have a dad who has a collection of probably well over 100 Skylanders at that point for them to play with and they will all be leveled up and decked out too.