It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure. I’ve tried the Xbox 360 version as well as the 3DS one too and continuously check my local Toys ‘R’ Us, GAME or Tesco in search for the figures I’m sorely missing (Of which I embarrassingly have twenty three.) I’ve been bitten by the Skylanders bug and if Activision’s latest announcement is anything to go by, it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to tear myself away from this series for the next year and beyond.
Yes it was inevitable but Skylanders Giants was announced earlier in the year leading my excitement to reach maximum! Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure was a great game but not without it’s faults so I’m hoping with the sequel we will see a wealth of additions and tweaks. While the list below is purely a wish-list, it’s perhaps ideas that you could well see in the sequel. Fingers crossed.
More options for existing Skylanders
We already know that Skylanders Giants will work with all your old figures (although whether you can use the new Skylanders on the old game is still unknown) but I want to see more than the game just allowing you to play as the likes of Drobot or Flameslinger. I want to see some extra features included that make using the older characters worthwhile.
For example the original game had a level cap of just ten so it would be great to see that extended here. Maybe even throw in some new abilities for each character .
Yes it’s great news that all the original figures won’t go to waste, but let’s hope that Toys For Bob take this further and reward those who invested so much in the last game.
While more difficult doesn’t always equal more enjoyable, it can help make the game feel more rewarding for the player. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, while being a really fun game, didn’t exactly push you too far out of your comfort zone gaming ability wise, with the adventure not really finding its sweet spot until the final few chapters.
Enemies would go down too easy or not deal enough damage, and when played with a friend in co-op, this would only make things easier.
So how could Toys For Bob better this? While I understand this is primarily a kid’s game and having a product that is tough as nails will likely put off younger gamers, would it hurt to include a difficulty option for older gamers? (And I know you’re out there even if you’re too embarrassed to step forward) Throw in tougher enemies or make them stronger. Anything to give those who want a challenge the choice.
Expand the Battle Mode
The ‘Battle Mode’ had potential but never really offered the sort of fun that would make you want to come back. The three match types on offer (Arena Rumble, SkyGoals and SkyGem Master) each delivered unique and sometimes entertaining spouts of fun but with just the two of you it kind of fell flat pretty quick. With the sequel it has been mentioned that the battle options will be expanded in some form. What way is unknown.
Take Kid Icarus: Uprising as an example for the moment. The game offers a cool looking single player campaign but also included is six player online multiplayer. Something like this could be perfect for Skylanders. Imagine taking your little critter online and battling it out against other players in a crazy three on three match. It would be a chance to show off your powerful Skylander and offer something a little more than just the campaign. Hell, even throwing in more stages, power ups and match types would be a great start.
Spyro’s Adventure wasn’t a particular lengthy title and once it was over there was little to do outside of leveling up your Skylanders or completing the same challenges over and over. While I’m not asking for a fifty hour epic, I would like to see a few more chapters, side quests and general sense of freedom.
Instead of a series of short linear chapters why not expand some of these areas and offer alternative paths with interesting side missions. Much like the Mario 64 titles the stages could feel more playground-like allowing you to explore and take on what you want and when. Rather than being handheld the whole time these more ‘open’ areas could be a nice change of pace.
Maybe an arena type mode that sees you battling it out against waves of enemies to help gain cash and experience could be added to the adventure. While a small addition, I’m sure it would help extend the lifespan somewhat more also allowing you to compete for fast times/ high scores on and offline.
With over thirty characters and a shortish campaign, you’ll want the chance to try them all on new environments and tasks rather than repeat the same again and again.
Better Organization of the figures and map packs!
Skylanders has become a surprise hit for Activision and while you can hardly blame them for the lack of figures… well just about anywhere, it’s something that MUST be handled better with the sequel.
When the game launched it had a modest opening with figures and level packs stocked at every store in the UK. Fast forward to around Christmas however and things changed. You couldn’t find Eruptor or the rest of the gang anywhere. The craze had officially kicked off and Skylanders would be the hottest kid’s game to have that year.
Even today it’s a matter of stores receiving new stock and then being sold out just hours later. Asking staff when and which figures will be delivered often gives you a reply along the lines of “We’re not sure to be honest” or “We haven’t heard a word from our supplier.” It’s insane.
What’s even worse is seeing the figures appear on online auction site eBay at hugely inflated prices. One story I heard from a GAME staff member mentioned a single guy buying out their entire delivery purely for the chance to make some money online!
This can’t happen again surely? If Activision is smart it will plan much better in advance, going into the sequel full-knowing the potential popularity it will have. I’m enjoying using my current figures, but I hate the amount of effort it takes to try and find the ones I need. Imagine how much worse it is for a child.
So there you have it. While a lot of this list is just wishful thinking, maybe… just maybe at least one or two ideas make it into the game. Either way I know what I’ll be keeping my eyes out for come Autumn…
Skylanders Giants is planned for an Autumn release on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and unannounced handheld platforms.