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What went wrong with Skylanders?
Street50 Yellow Sparx Gems: 1864
#151 Posted: 23:54:02 30/01/2018
toysrus had many problems throughout the year. People used to say it's the sears but for kids.
But I would compare it to Kmart because every single one i've gone in has been filthy and seemed uncleaned for many years. This seemed to be a very common complaint and yet they never seem to fix it in the stores.
Another as been said often is the question why they are at times higher then retail price? The online site always seems to have some sorta error to it.

Anyhow they are only closing one toysrus in my area.
Drawdler Gold Sparx Gems: 2889
#152 Posted: 05:58:12 31/01/2018
Tbh, I think if we have a "Sky7" next year it's going to be a soft reboot tie-in to Academy
Otherwise the series will prolly be rebooted when '10s nostalgia kicks in
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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 06:12:10 31/01/2018 by Drawdler
Bifrost Platinum Sparx Gems: 6752
#153 Posted: 15:59:01 31/01/2018
TIL that there's a super hero called Fruit Boy that got rejected from a main team because his only power is to make fruits ripe. Funny how that sounded ridiculous in that universe, but Camo's entire power is that but amplified.
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Halvmorke Yellow Sparx Gems: 1935
#154 Posted: 15:59:56 31/01/2018
Quote: Drawdler
Tbh, I think if we have a "Sky7" next year it's going to be a soft reboot tie-in to Academy
Otherwise the series will prolly be rebooted when '10s nostalgia kicks in


Both options are unpleasant for me...

Quote: Bifrost
TIL that there's a super hero called Fruit Boy that got rejected from a main team because his only power is to make fruits ripe. Funny how that sounded ridiculous in that universe, but Camo's entire power is that but amplified.


Camo grows things 'till they explode, as well as he shoots beams of solar energy, plus he can heal himself. Those are pretty nice combat skills! Growing plants isn't enough. In such case, Fruit Boy may be compared with Food Fight.
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Edited 2 times - Last edited at 16:04:14 31/01/2018 by Halvmorke
Bifrost Platinum Sparx Gems: 6752
#155 Posted: 16:11:54 31/01/2018
I just noticed I posted it here instead of GD, whoops.

That is true, though Food Fight's power isn't quite explained. Camo entered the team by making melon so ripe it exploded, which in hindsight should've been pretty painful for Eon.
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AlexanderGilman Green Sparx Gems: 173
#156 Posted: 02:13:32 12/12/2018
I will resume this discussion, given recent news from Activision and the recent Skylanders games, plus the additional evidence that they declined.

One such reason was the sales of certain games, others were the rise of Battle Royale, gimmicks, and possibly even Mobile.
Buchi Green Sparx Gems: 417
#157 Posted: 02:16:17 12/12/2018
Hey... what about "Skylanders Battle Royale"? Actually I shouldn't give Acti ideas.
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AlexanderGilman Green Sparx Gems: 173
#158 Posted: 02:26:08 12/12/2018
Quote: Buchi
Hey... what about "Skylanders Battle Royale"?


I think you meant Blackout from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, but the main point is that Activision attempted admonition upon the Skylanders series, and the results are definitely bad. Hopefully, Rings of Heroes does well on Mobile, because they had lost their core.
ThunderEgg Blue Sparx Gems: 747
#159 Posted: 02:36:19 12/12/2018
I'll tell you what went wrong with Skylanders: people stopped buying them.
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Buchi Green Sparx Gems: 417
#160 Posted: 02:37:59 12/12/2018
Quote: ThunderEgg
I'll tell you what went wrong with Skylanders: people stopped buying them.



Probably because the franchise went to ****.
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AlexanderGilman Green Sparx Gems: 173
#161 Posted: 02:49:02 12/12/2018
Not to mention the original developer, Toys For Bob, wanting to be sold off and become independent in part by Activision's liberal culture.

That is also what maybe called 'Yellow Media,' if confirmed.
ThunderEgg Blue Sparx Gems: 747
#162 Posted: 15:40:38 12/12/2018
Quote: Buchi
Quote: ThunderEgg
I'll tell you what went wrong with Skylanders: people stopped buying them.



Probably because the franchise went to ****.



Yeah. Although the yearly releases were likely a good sounding marketing move, it did affect the quality of the product. Even when they switched developers every few games, I started being able to tell things were getting more and more rushed. I also began to grow out of the target audience...
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Buchi Green Sparx Gems: 417
#163 Posted: 16:17:12 12/12/2018
Toys to Life was little more than a trend that quickly turned old. If done well it could have been the innovation Acti was hoping for, but it wasn't, and the whole franchise crashed and burned with Superchargers.
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AlexanderGilman Green Sparx Gems: 173
#164 Posted: 21:06:47 12/12/2018
In contrast, Activision might had been greedy and lost about the Skylanders series' future, but they were neither dumb or operose means.
kaosmumishot Emerald Sparx Gems: 3271
#165 Posted: 23:19:33 13/12/2018
Quote: AlexanderGilman
I will resume this discussion, given recent news from Activision and the recent Skylanders games, plus the additional evidence that they declined.

One such reason was the sales of certain games, others were the rise of Battle Royale, gimmicks, and possibly even Mobile.


Sorry, what recent news from Activision?
AlexanderGilman Green Sparx Gems: 173
#166 Posted: 20:55:52 14/12/2018
The recent, considerately bad news that involves Activision, and related business around:

*https://investorplace.com/2018...e-stock-to-buy/
*https://www.pcgamesn.com/leisu...ce-code-auction
*https://www.fool.com/investing...-in-novemb.aspx
*https://arstechnica.com/gaming...rs-in-the-cold/

Although they are not related to Skylanders, they show their real issues, but you decide that.
ThunderEgg Blue Sparx Gems: 747
#167 Posted: 21:40:33 14/12/2018
About the last link: the originals didn't have subtitles for the cut scenes (at least from my memory). While later games like TLOS did get them, I haven't heard many other people talking about this for the PS1 games. Of course it's super important to be as inclusive as possible. No subtitles is a not a problem that I immediately think of, however.

Please keep in mind, I know little about the people who would be using subtitles. I'm assuming they would be helpful for the deaf or for people who speak a different language. For these people, I am sure it is a MASSIVE deal. I just don't understand that as an issue because I'm not in that position. I think many people may be in a similar boat as I, so I don't see that affecting sales in a significant way.
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AlexanderGilman Green Sparx Gems: 173
#168 Posted: 22:08:32 14/12/2018
Quote: ThunderEgg
About the last link: the originals didn't have subtitles for the cut scenes (at least from my memory). While later games like TLOS did get them, I haven't heard many other people talking about this for the PS1 games. Of course it's super important to be as inclusive as possible. No subtitles is a not a problem that I immediately think of, however.


Spyro's Adventure and Giants, in addition to others by Toys For Bob, did not have subtitles, while SWAP Force and SuperChargers, developed by Vicarious Visions, did. Subtitles are useful to clarify what a character is saying, and that helps most people be better aware. If there are none available, then the game becomes difficult.
Skylander3112 Yellow Sparx Gems: 1988
#169 Posted: 07:44:33 16/12/2018
Games started becoming more and more weird with Toys for Bob and Vicarious Visions clearly wanting to make more money rather than bringing more entertainment to the audience. I haven’t played imaginators due to me not liking superchargers because it went from Skylanders to Mario kart
kaosmumishot Emerald Sparx Gems: 3271
#170 Posted: 02:08:40 17/12/2018
Quote: Skylander3112
Games started becoming more and more weird with Toys for Bob and Vicarious Visions clearly wanting to make more money rather than bringing more entertainment to the audience. I haven’t played imaginators due to me not liking superchargers because it went from Skylanders to Mario kart


Agree with the Mario Kart comment.

Imaginators was a way more fun gimmick than I thought it would be, but the game itself is really, really average in hindsight. I've played through the first 4 games a number of times and whilst I am a huge TFB fan and still prefer the original game to any of the others, I found myself liking Swap Force more than I initially did when replaying it.

But I've recently tried to replay Imaginators and I've found it really hard to get into. I still put it ahead of Skylanders Mario Kart but those two are way behind the rest in my opinion.
Halvmorke Yellow Sparx Gems: 1935
#171 Posted: 11:27:16 17/12/2018
Quote: Skylander3112
Games started becoming more and more weird with Toys for Bob and Vicarious Visions clearly wanting to make more money rather than bringing more entertainment to the audience. I haven’t played imaginators due to me not liking superchargers because it went from Skylanders to Mario kart


Activision is the one pushing the things to make a lot of easy money, not the developers...
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ThunderEgg Blue Sparx Gems: 747
#172 Posted: 17:03:20 17/12/2018
Quote: Halvmorke
Quote: Skylander3112
Games started becoming more and more weird with Toys for Bob and Vicarious Visions clearly wanting to make more money rather than bringing more entertainment to the audience. I haven’t played imaginators due to me not liking superchargers because it went from Skylanders to Mario kart


Activision is the one pushing the things to make a lot of easy money, not the developers...


I would argue that the developers play some role in this, as they probably get a good cut of funds from the games.
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zookinator Emerald Sparx Gems: 4618
#173 Posted: 17:52:18 17/12/2018
And they're also the ones completing the games in under two years--under one in Giants' case. Face it, Activision is the likely culprit in the largest issues that STT, SSC and SI had, namely the Traptanium Elemental Gates, the extreme focus on the Vehicles and many of the flaws in Imaginators (lack of reset button for CC's, stock music for soundtrack and maybe the weak story).


Honestly, Superchargers gets more flak than it deserves. Yeah, it focused too much on the vehicles, and the figure quality was not up to par compared to the prior games or even Imaginators, but at least it had a quality story and a nice, original soundtrack--two things that Imaginators sorely lacks. And it had all the Portal Master powers, which were a brilliant expansion to the formula that Swap Force established. Honestly, it would be the ideal game to play if it had a proper battle arena, like what Swap Force had to offer.

And yeah, I know that's an unpopular opinion. At least I was excited to replay that game like all the others before it, unlike Imaginators, which I still have to push on to complete Nightmare mode on my Switch and get the Swap Force upgraded again--neither of which I'd call 'fun' compared to zooming around on the Hot Streak for the umpteenth time.
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ThunderEgg Blue Sparx Gems: 747
#174 Posted: 18:28:45 17/12/2018
I'm glad to know there's some redeeming qualities in SuperChargers!

I don't hear much discussion about this.
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HeyitsHotDog Platinum Sparx Gems: 5200
#175 Posted: 19:00:09 17/12/2018
Superchargers is my second favorite
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ThunderEgg Blue Sparx Gems: 747
#176 Posted: 21:57:09 17/12/2018
All of the discussion I hear about SC is largely negative. I'm indifferent about SC, honestly, but I can relate to being a fan of a Spyro game that many others in our community dislike.
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AlexanderGilman Green Sparx Gems: 173
#177 Posted: 22:41:24 17/12/2018
It maybe noted that the genre of Skylanders, Toys-To-Life, was trending during the mid-2010s, with mobile games by the early-2010s, and Battle Royale predicted to trend throughout the late-2010s. It's when there was peak competition.
kaosmumishot Emerald Sparx Gems: 3271
#178 Posted: 00:13:52 18/12/2018
I agree partly with Zookinator on the point of the storyline although I found the whole 'rift engine' thing ridiculous and unnecessary. SC actually had some fantastic chapters. Great exploration of lore. Just a shame the whole vehicle heavy focus.
Drawdler Gold Sparx Gems: 2889
#179 Posted: 06:28:57 18/12/2018
Okay, I know I don't log in much but I'm gonna be honest, I played TT again and it really doesn't hold up as well as the fandom and my own memories would make me believe.

That's where we reached the point of truly egrigious monetizations, the balance is godawful, and most importantly... it just isn't that well designed honestly. The levels aren't painfully slow like Giants or something but it feels like they get interrupted often, there's a lot of just lol crowds of enemies, and the enemies themselves are wonky (weird attack speeds and AI are pretty common). There's also a lot of little things off and clunky about it (for example, really slow menus). Lots of fun ideas, lovely aesthetics, you can feel the effort and it's nice to just relax in but really trying to play it... yeah... I still enjoy some of it, but can't get back into it at all. On a design level, it really doesn't hold up.

When I replayed this game, I always found myself quitting at Chef Zeppelin. I thought it was because the tablet version with no physical controller sucked, or maybe I wasn't just in the mood, or something, but I got back to it on the PS4. Really, anytime I replay it, these feelings just get stronger. I don't know if the game very suddenly gets better, but based on what I remember, I doubt it. And when I quit at this point everytime, I feel like it must have something wrong about it. This isn't even getting to all the stuff that had to be cut with this game, but that's a whole other topic, and not really related to those problems.

Still of the opinion that Giants is grossly overrated, clearly the weakest, and the games didn't just "drop" after some point, it's the fandom that dropped way more clearly if anything.
SA and SF are very clearly the best IMO. SC could have joined them but the structure and certain cuts it clearly had to take severely lets it down, and SI is really good on a gameplay level but clearly lacking effort. SF used that VV engine the best and had the most content, but was sorely lacking on the art side and missing/misused a couple things, SA is the best experience as a whole (there isn't some chunk of it that feels incomplete to the point it's a detriment... as opposed to... every other entry, and while it has its jank, SA ABSOLUTELY holds up).

I think SA is definitely the best and it's not a coincidence that it got the longest and probably least strained development cycle. The last two games are REALLY clearly missing stuff because of rushed and strained development, and even TT is (although they could've done way better design, still e_e).
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zookinator Emerald Sparx Gems: 4618
#180 Posted: 15:25:30 18/12/2018
As much as I like Trap Team, I can't help but agree. There are many aspects I love about it, such as its soundtrack, the story, and the level asethetics, and especially the boss fights (Pepper Jack and Kaos especially!), it feels rathre slow, and it clearly didn't have enough time in development.

One of the clear indicators to me is how they handled the Villain timers. As some might know, the game initially gave the villains health bars, but since the test group of kids were playing mostly with them and not with the Skylanders, the developers thought to change that. I don't think this change was fully implemented, as the Villains have lines of dialogue when their timers are too low for them to be called in that they can't return for the rest of the level, and the entire concept of the Villain Stashes seems built around the fact that all your villains could be defeated, and so you might have to return to be able to open them.

Then there's the obvious lack of character-specific challenges (Ranks), poor arenas and severe balance issues across the board. TT was not balanced well at all ompared to its predecessors or even Superchargers. I loved the creativity and aesthetics behind it, but it just needed more development time for it to be truly great. The same can be said for Superchargers and Imaginators as well.

And yes, while Giants was clearly rushed given its short length and lack of new figures--not to mention having a lower quality story than SSA--it felt like a true expansion to the series rather than completely reshaping it (SSF). I wouldn't tell someone to play Giants before SSA because you need to play both to have the full experience. Giants only added on to SSA, and while Swap Force did the same, it drastically changed it in asethetics, gameplay and tone.

Either way, I'd say that all games in the series are worth a play, no matter their flaws, but if I had to choose one not to recommend, it would be Imaginators for it not having the same heart as any of the other games and obviously focusing on the microtransactions more than the others--alongside the terrible soundtrack and story.
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Buchi Green Sparx Gems: 417
#181 Posted: 18:01:24 19/12/2018
By the way, how many years now has it been without a new Skylanders game? Three?
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kaosmumishot Emerald Sparx Gems: 3271
#182 Posted: 00:10:40 20/12/2018
Imaginators came out in 2016 so it's only been two but it feels like more.

I've been saving Lost Imaginite Mines since then. On Christmas day, after everyone has gone to bed I will load it up and play what I fear will be the last new Skylanders console level I'm ever going to play. I hope I'm wrong but I don't ever see them releasing characters again. I have a faint hope that one day they'll release another console game with DLC but I think that's years off.

But I also have the four 3DS games to play so it's not all bad.
Buchi Green Sparx Gems: 417
#183 Posted: 00:50:16 20/12/2018
I'd honestly prefer it if they release a new game without figures or DLC. Although I now realize that would take away the main concept of what Skylanders was, I still think the franchise could have potential without the idea of buying characters - especially with the characters like they are, there's little difference between each of the 100+ characters we currently have besides their attacks (which even then can be quite similar).

But knowing Activision they'll never give up any chance to milk their games. If Skylanders continues then it's guaranteed to just be another round of Acti milking a cash cow.
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kaosmumishot Emerald Sparx Gems: 3271
#184 Posted: 00:36:34 21/12/2018
Can't see any retail stores wanting to stock the figures again and given how quickly they have lost value I doubt that the general public would buy them. I would just like to see more console games. Ring Of Fire is of no interest to me personally. A dungeon crawler console game would be my personal preference. But with the full roster available as DLC. That's just me personally.
Muffin Man Emerald Sparx Gems: 3269
#185 Posted: 16:44:29 21/12/2018
The only way I could see Skylanders come back is if was built mainly around digital figures with a digital storefront, with physical as an optional thing that would end up being poorly stocked at stores.
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TakeYourLemons Gold Sparx Gems: 2343
#186 Posted: 18:09:19 21/12/2018
The toys made the game special. Delivering digital characters would lessen the experience (it felt cheap to me when they did it on the Trap Team and in 3DS). I'd be fine with a game only release, but that wouldn't be financially viable for them as all their money was in the toys. Checkmate? I guarantee it will be resurrected. It will likely fail as Guitar Hero and other games got rebooted...but if they bring something truly inspirational it might be a modest success. Still loved swapping--ultimate gimmick.

Merry Christmas all! First post by me in a long time.
Edited 2 times - Last edited at 18:12:40 21/12/2018 by TakeYourLemons
Sesshomaru75 Platinum Sparx Gems: 6008
#187 Posted: 18:12:25 21/12/2018
Quote: TakeYourLemons
I'd be fine with a game only release, but that wouldn't be financially viable for them as all their money was in the toys.


Ironically the toys are also what basically killed the franchise. lol (Besides the yearly release schedule, of course)
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TakeYourLemons Gold Sparx Gems: 2343
#188 Posted: 18:13:29 21/12/2018
Yeah we all knew when the numbers doubled every game it was only a matter of time. Should've kept it reasonable....but alas that did not happen.
ThunderEgg Blue Sparx Gems: 747
#189 Posted: 20:02:16 21/12/2018
Quote: TakeYourLemons
The toys made the game special.


Tell me about it! Some of them had really cool designs.
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AlexanderGilman Green Sparx Gems: 173
#190 Posted: 22:52:36 21/12/2018
So, how could the toys themselves have to do with the Skylanders' decline? From what we produced on the discussion so far, that depends on the context of how they were sold, as the OP amounted on sales. Remember, Activision is the accused company for their greediness and losing core of the series. Here is some more news:

*https://nmsunews.com/2018/12/2...ive-valuations/
*https://seekingalpha.com/artic...vision-blizzard
*https://investorplace.com/2018...nd-from-plunge/

At this point, they risk being acquired. That is especially once the Federal Government shuts down tonight.
Edited 1 time - Last edited at 22:56:43 21/12/2018 by AlexanderGilman
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#191 Posted: 21:28:27 29/12/2018
Too much, too fast.
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Drawdler Gold Sparx Gems: 2889
#192 Posted: 15:04:54 14/02/2019
very long even by my standards

I know this is a random time to post it fam, but I'm sorry, now that I played Giants a bit more I'm going to say Trap Team is the worst entry. It's just too poorly designed and while it has a lot more heart outside of the characters than SI, the gameplay of SI trumps it. Massively. Trumps Giants too.

About the villain health bars in TT- dude, I knew, are you doubting how much I know about this series? I was a mod on a Skylanders site and even wrote articles there. I've been here, on some account or another, for nine years. X'D (although that's more depressing than anything because I hate this site nowadays... it's just the only semi-living Skylanders community, and sometimes ranting about the series to just my friends isn't enough, we tend to go over similar points. I wish GhostRoaster had kept a cult clique, my memories of that site are amazing and it was honestly a huge part of my personal growth.)

I feel the health bars would have been very imbalanced as well. I think the timers are a good idea to make villains feel more separate as well, and they would lose personality with just health bars. But there's the classic problem of then they become meat shields.
It honestly baffles me how TFB did such a terrible job balancing TT and the Senseis were balanced so well- I can't help but wonder if VV lent them a hand there. After all, SF is clearly the most balanced entry... but then SC and TWI are both still too easy. The balance on Cortex and Crash suggests perhaps VV only balanced them, because they're clearly the weakest Senseis. But otherwise, the Sensei balance is way too consistent to have been a fluke, and TFB's balance wasn't nearly that good in any of their other entries. I'm absolutely baffled. I wish we had way more info on SI's development in general, because we pretty much have nothing (unless something came out in the last year and I missed it, don't lurk these forums tbh), and I feel it would put a hell of a lot into perspective. Plus it's the last game we actually got, and would have been nice to know more about how things were winding down.

I SWEAR this isn't my imagination... I'm playing SC on TABLET whenever I go back to it these days, and that's a much wonkier format, but I still find it much easier than any other entry besides SA. SC is too, too easy. It weakens the game, and the combat was already weaker than it needs to be because of the stupid mistake to add hitstopping to eeeeeeverything (thank goodness this was reverted in SI, but what a shame the SCs were still cursed with it). As well as weak enemy variety and those enemies not really hitting the mark. And there's already too little combat. Man.

The thing with the vehicles isn't just lel interrupt muh onfoot- it means levels were split between them and onfoot, and THEN ON TOP OF THAT onfoot was torn between combat and platforming, and the platforming was never very good in Skylanders (and plays the same with everyone e_e) but they still put more in and unless they made levels longer (which SF got criticised for, imo undeservingly, so they probably wouldn't) then they just couldn't develop combat as much... and they didn't. It doesn't go far enough, and the platforming can be a nice breakup (see: SF) but not when there's that much and it's that uninteresting and between weaker action... I just, I just feel you can see signs they could have gone all the way if they had the resources or confidence or something more, VV can do amazing stuff when their head is on right, but most of the game doesn't go as far as it should.
Anyway, funny thing is, I don't think the balance in SC ends up too bad until postgame where you get pinatas in place of spin chests and get ridiculous food drops from them, plus at that point you might be unlocking the strong speed and crit and whatever boosts from your last rank ups. It's not quite what it should be during the main quest but it's certainly better than it ends up.
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Drawdler Gold Sparx Gems: 2889
#193 Posted: 15:05:18 14/02/2019
And what the hell with the microtransactions comment though? I feel like someone answered this for me, so sorry if so- but I repeatedly hear this complaint and unless people mean the inability to reset Crystals (which IS absolutely stupid, but at least can be averted), I think it's just wrong. The game is extremely generous with Chests. And the microtransactions do not exist on Switch. You get most items in one playthrough, and just spend some hours with two or three characters in postgame and I think you naturally finish them off.

Let's also not forget the disaster that was the DLC vehicle mods in SC- which never got enough criticism- either ridiculous grinding for Gearbits or buy those Gearbit packs. AND these are now completely inaccessible (unless you're matteo the hack man...?). Which is tragic. They were actually a fun, if not really interesting, bonus. Much needed for personalising vehicles, which were way too limited in customisation, and felt like generic Magic Items rather than your own vehicles. And that was far worse balanced than the Chests in SI.

I'm glad to hear you don't totally hate SI/consider it worthless though zookinator but still kinda feel like you were calling it out... meh. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Doesn't matter.
I know this is also a random time to ask but do you have a Discord? I know I've been piss sometimes. Right now I'm going through the worst week of this year, so far, so I'm not really available at this moment. But if you do maybe we can chat, I'd honestly like to try.

And in regards to Giants, I'll just copy what I posted on its game page.
Quote:
The extras like quests and heroics are pretty good, and the legacy support is pretty great, but the main quest has a dozen mediocre or bad levels. There's not really anything to do after maxing out, which isn't a new problem, but SA was far more fun to replay. Giants' plot is good, and continues from the first game well, but really just isn't as good. On the whole Giants is significantly worse, slower and less complete entry than its predecessor- it relies way too much on puzzles for the meat of levels, and has some with very egrigious minigames- so I don't know if it's actually a good sequel.

I'm sorry but Giants just has the worst levels along with TT. I never want to replay most of them. I have to force myself through most of them. I never replay the whole game because of it. I only ever really look forward to chapters 8/11/12/13 (and still, all of those could be better, although ch8 is definitely the best). The rest are drags, or too basic to replay (looking at ch1, which is really chill and nice, but terrible replay material). But I also find myself without stuff to do besides Heroics because of it. It sucks because the additions to legacy characters, like I said, are really good. I STILL miss Heroics. SF Quests still suck. As do SC Quests.

Also the combat took a hit with way worse enemy variety. Sure, it actually has some bite now, but that doesn't mean it's more fun, and the enemies in Giants... are solid. Not amazing. It doesn't make up for their lesser count.
SF had a similar number IIRC but they had much fresher attacks- I just found them a lot more fun to fight. They were more balanced for sure too, like more exciting to fight, better attack timing, etc., led to some extremely tight stuff. But with the development window for Giants, I can't complain too much about the enemies it had.

On a related note, back before Giants came out I said Cutthroat would be the obligatory minigame level filled with Skystones... holy ****, I didn't even believe it very seriously, but I called it.
Pirate Seas was way more forgiveable for being Card Game Simulator in SA because it had way better pacing, way better atmosphere, was essentially a bonus level (unfortunately you had to pay for it- but it's not like you were ONLY buying the level with its pack), and because it was the only time that minigame appeared- and because SA restrained itself with minigames in general- it had way more novelty than Skystones in Giants or TT. Also the Seas minigame was faster. TFB's iterations of Skystones have so much ****in downtime even if you skip the animations and combined with their predictability it makes them absolutely awful on replays. Overdrive is still pretty good, and I wish it had random matchmaking, and I wish you could at least still play that online.

side-note SA looks much better than Giants and is still the best-looking entry in the whole series. Giants really overused town and ruin themes and just had weaker assets and less maturity (see, more empasized/simple shapes, simpler concepts in general, it's just willing to go less far, also making every 'lander speak english was a bad decision) and neeeehhhh I can't complain too much because of deadlines and it did good with what it did have, but can't shake the feeling of the sameyness, and much weaker thematic progression, among other things... ...
I honestly think SA only gets better with age, as you can notice and appreciate more and more how much of it is unique, well thought out, and how it doesn't have gaping holes like other entries, and how it was clearly least money-grubby (reminder: even Giants gated Heroics behind reposes, and SC forced you to buy EVERYTHING for all the Supercharged Challenges and had pitiful racing track count; if you just went for the three vehicle types you honestly got what you paid for, and imo the game shortcharges you with content regardless). I look at SA more and more and... don't notice more holes, I find more to look deep into and love. The low difficulty is kinda lame, but even then you still have really fun gameplay, it still clearly builds in difficulty and the more you analyse it the more you can appreciate it and learn little ins and outs I think. It's easy but it still tries to have a challenge, by which I mean it still tries to have obstacles, even if they aren't that punishing or hard to deal with. And the mechanics, surprisingly, are still very solid and feel great. But...

SA > SF >> SC = SI > Giants > TT

... now that I think about it- imo Giants and TT clearly have the worst campaigns, but the difference is that Giants has pretty good bonuses (in lieu of, obviously, a much smaller roster). And TT's is just worse anyway because the poor balance is painful and somehow the minigames are worse and... lawd... I sound like I'm only trying to crap on TT now. But I don't think it's bad as a whole experience... but it's just the worst designed as a game... If there were just an artbook of it I'd just jump on its dick. :'D
Oh, and any concepts and dev stories for SA... There's a whole ****in treasure trove there I feel like we're never going to really see and it hurts my soul. SA is my favorite game, period, and given what we've already seen of how it developed... holy ****. Man why did the Giants alpha leak instead of the SA one, it's hardly different from Giants final other than the obvious placeholder speech and storyboards.
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Quote: dark52
Error: You
zookinator Emerald Sparx Gems: 4618
#194 Posted: 14:23:51 15/02/2019
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About the villain health bars in TT- dude, I knew, are you doubting how much I know about this series? I was a mod on a Skylanders site and even wrote articles there. I've been here, on some account or another, for nine years. X'D (although that's more depressing than anything because I hate this site nowadays... it's just the only semi-living Skylanders community, and sometimes ranting about the series to just my friends isn't enough, we tend to go over similar points. I wish GhostRoaster had kept a cult clique, my memories of that site are amazing and it was honestly a huge part of my personal growth.)


I joined the site during Swap-Force’s pre-release, which was about six years ago now—and I was barely in high school at that point. I don’t have the greatest memory of who was active then, so sorry if I bring up things you are already aware about. I never meant to question your knowledge of the series.

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I feel the health bars would have been very imbalanced as well. I think the timers are a good idea to make villains feel more separate as well, and they would lose personality with just health bars. But there's the classic problem of then they become meat shields.


Then comes the question of how it should be approached. I’m not sure they could have done it any other way, so if we wanted to have the ‘swap with alternate character’ mechanic, what would have been better?

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It honestly baffles me how TFB did such a terrible job balancing TT and the Senseis were balanced so well- I can't help but wonder if VV lent them a hand there. After all, SF is clearly the most balanced entry... but then SC and TWI are both still too easy. The balance on Cortex and Crash suggests perhaps VV only balanced them, because they're clearly the weakest Senseis. But otherwise, the Sensei balance is way too consistent to have been a fluke, and TFB's balance wasn't nearly that good in any of their other entries. I'm absolutely baffled. I wish we had way more info on SI's development in general, because we pretty much have nothing (unless something came out in the last year and I missed it, don't lurk these forums tbh), and I feel it would put a hell of a lot into perspective. Plus it's the last game we actually got, and would have been nice to know more about how things were winding down.

I will never deny that TT was a completely imbalanced game. That is really my main criticism for it, alongside the lack of (good) post-game content and the Traptanium Elemental Gates. And I can somewhat agree on the balance of SF being at least better than other entries. I’ve been meaning to replay the series to gain some perspective of how it evolved over the years, but I haven’t gotten around to it.
Sidenote: A really good way to do that is to save your Skylanders on the Switch version of Imaginators and reset them, then restore them when you’re done. Doesn’t work for Swap Force character, but there’s always the backup tool for that.

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I SWEAR this isn't my imagination... I'm playing SC on TABLET whenever I go back to it these days, and that's a much wonkier format, but I still find it much easier than any other entry besides SA. SC is too, too easy. It weakens the game, and the combat was already weaker than it needs to be because of the stupid mistake to add hitstopping to eeeeeeverything (thank goodness this was reverted in SI, but what a shame the SCs were still cursed with it). As well as weak enemy variety and those enemies not really hitting the mark. And there's already too little combat. Man.


I liked what combat there was in SC, but I will agree there wasn’t enough of it. Sure, there’s the vehicle combat, but with only—at most—nine vehicles to use during a section, it can get stale pretty quickly. Again, I’ll want to replay it, and I wish SC released on Android so I could play it on my phone—if they didn’t remove it from the app store anyway, but still.

As for the difficulty…yeah, it was pretty easy. I died during the vehicle sections most of the time even on Nightmare. I appreciated it more for the fluidity of the combat itself rather than the difficulty; it just felt good to play through the game with characters like Lava Lance Eruptor or Hammer Slam Bowser. The attacks for the Superchargers were really well-designed, and the only real fault is the hitstop and the difficulty of their game of origin. Shame that the balance of SI made it difficult to use any character but a Sensei or Imaginator in even Hard mode.

[Continued on next post]
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Skylanders Colosseum Clash
A Fanmade Skylanders Boardgame
zookinator Emerald Sparx Gems: 4618
#195 Posted: 14:24:10 15/02/2019
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The thing with the vehicles isn't just lel interrupt muh onfoot- it means levels were split between them and onfoot, and THEN ON TOP OF THAT onfoot was torn between combat and platforming, and the platforming was never very good in Skylanders (and plays the same with everyone e_e) but they still put more in and unless they made levels longer (which SF got criticised for, imo undeservingly, so they probably wouldn't) then they just couldn't develop combat as much... and they didn't. It doesn't go far enough, and the platforming can be a nice breakup (see: SF) but not when there's that much and it's that uninteresting and between weaker action... I just, I just feel you can see signs they could have gone all the way if they had the resources or confidence or something more, VV can do amazing stuff when their head is on right, but most of the game doesn't go as far as it should.


I never really replayed SF because of the weaker story and the overall length of the game; it is a beast when it comes to content, and it took me till about Trap Team’s release to really finish everything. And part of that has to do with the crazy long levels that SF had. Honestly, the games probably would have fared better if they didn’t introduce jumping into the equation so it wouldn’t have had to take as long to make the levels. I’m not sure if that would’ve been the case, but that’s just my assumption.

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And what the hell with the microtransactions comment though? I feel like someone answered this for me, so sorry if so- but I repeatedly hear this complaint and unless people mean the inability to reset Crystals (which IS absolutely stupid, but at least can be averted), I think it's just wrong. The game is extremely generous with Chests. And the microtransactions do not exist on Switch. You get most items in one playthrough, and just spend some hours with two or three characters in postgame and I think you naturally finish them off.

Let's also not forget the disaster that was the DLC vehicle mods in SC- which never got enough criticism- either ridiculous grinding for Gearbits or buy those Gearbit packs. AND these are now completely inaccessible (unless you're matteo the hack man...?). Which is tragic. They were actually a fun, if not really interesting, bonus. Much needed for personalising vehicles, which were way too limited in customisation, and felt like generic Magic Items rather than your own vehicles. And that was far worse balanced than the Chests in SI.


At the time of posting, I honestly forgot about the vehicle mods. And I agree, those are worse than anything SI throws at you (I should know, I grinded gearbits with the Shield Striker in the introductory sequence). The inability to reset crystals is wrong, but at least they can be reset with SSA 3DS (which I helped inform others about, if I remember right, but I know that someone else discovered it could rest traps before I did). And while I agree that it is good that the Switch version got rid of DLC items, it also got rid of the racing mode, rendering the vehicles useless outside of granting bonus items.

Although, come to think of it, I don’t mind. They absolutely destroyed the vehicle balance in SI, making it so you can spin out in no more than four shots. I don’t want to do those challenges again, thank you.

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I'm sorry but Giants just has the worst levels along with TT. I never want to replay most of them. I have to force myself through most of them. I never replay the whole game because of it. I only ever really look forward to chapters 8/11/12/13 (and still, all of those could be better, although ch8 is definitely the best). The rest are drags, or too basic to replay (looking at ch1, which is really chill and nice, but terrible replay material). But I also find myself without stuff to do besides Heroics because of it. It sucks because the additions to legacy characters, like I said, are really good. I STILL miss Heroics. SF Quests still suck. As do SC Quests.


I will admit, the first few chapters of TT are pretty boring, and I tend to drop another playthrough around Chapter 5 or 6. As for Giants, I just haven’t tried picking it up again since I played through it dozens of times to complete all the Quests. And despite what I may say about HCs being good content, I never liked the bonuses they gave me since they made characters almost overly powerful—especially the Giants if you boost them all the way up on speed. Plus, the animations were never really designed for that, so it isn’t aesthetically pleasing either.

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I'm glad to hear you don't totally hate SI/consider it worthless though zookinator but still kinda feel like you were calling it out... meh. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Doesn't matter.
I know this is also a random time to ask but do you have a Discord? I know I've been piss sometimes. Right now I'm going through the worst week of this year, so far, so I'm not really available at this moment. But if you do maybe we can chat, I'd honestly like to try.


I wouldn’t mind chatting through Discord either. We can organize a time over PM. I wasn’t in the best mood either when I was writing that post, as I was having to replay SI for the fifth time on my Switch—and that included getting all the gold for my Swap Force Skylanders. I just had to vent my frustrations for the game—especially for Chapter 3. By far my least favorite chapter due to its ungodly length, especially in the final sequence.
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Skylanders Colosseum Clash
A Fanmade Skylanders Boardgame
Swap Force Fan Emerald Sparx Gems: 3809
#196 Posted: 18:23:23 20/06/2019
Honestly, at this point, I figure just releasing either a remake of Spyro's Adventure or at least a new game that scraps all past Skylanders and starts with fresh new faces is probably their best bet.
Drawdler Gold Sparx Gems: 2889
#197 Posted: 10:46:51 05/10/2019
I retract a lot of what I've said. The series did go downhill with TT.

Portal Master on YouTube (ninja[somenumbers] on this website I believe) was right. Even if his video kinda lacks some pacing, I recommend watching it.
The TL;DW is that a lot of people had issues with TT back then, but everyone played Trap Team. Everyone in the general public. And didn't like it enough. So then a lot of the general public skipped Superchargers, but that means even if Superchargers sucked, you couldn't blame it for the general public's perception. Because they didn't play Superchargers. They played Trap Team. They got burned by that. All the Traptanium Gates, Crystals, the redundant Minis, and the uselessness of Cores.

As far as the actual games rather than perception of them go, TT is the point where they came to suffer bloat in the number of characters and stupid task of trying to balance them and develop more and more, also where Activision really made the games blatantly greedy. (Contrary to popular opinion, I also think some of this carried to SC, as soon as you look beyond the main chapters. Here's your reminder that SC had microtransactions first. Tiny number of race tracks. Absoutely garbage Elemental Vehicle Gates. Et cetera.)

The situation is honestly comparable with Pokémon. In my ideal world, these series should just have been planned out to maximise and complete themselves and just have them end at some point, because with the sheer amount of stuff, of course the games would go downhill at some point and cut content that should be there, and of course they wouldn't be able to wrap up their narrative or keep one going that long, with that much stuff, with that much development stress, etc., under publishers pushing for yearly releases.

Then you could go cut playable characters out to focus on the game itself- but you'd be totally betraying the appeal of the series. Personally, I'd expect some of my absolute favorites to be cut. You know the one I mean. I mean Sunburn.

But at least Skylanders never had a complete nosedive of quality/downright bad games like Unova. Shots fired.


And as for what I think Superchargers is one of the better games in retrospect and yes I just said that. Sue me.

But I like Trap Team. In retrospect, I don't really like Imaginators. It's funny when I said it was the best once it came out, but it just seems so dull and pointless.

  • SA has a place as the original, for its unique pacing and for tons of unique stuff it has like gibberish-speakers, the Portal Master stuff and dozens of little touches. It just codified an overall experience with the Portal Master dialogue and Elemental theme and wild feel that all the sequels totally moved away from. Back in the day, Universe was also a part of the experience, and the Hero Level stat lives on as a visible relic here. Even if all you care about is maxing figurines, then you still have to make a stop to this game for certain Heroics. It's not forgotten. I appreciate the games that have content toys can only get in that game because it just shows that they added to the toys and gives a real and tangible purpose to stopping and playing them.
  • SG, while I consider it much worse than SA, shares quite a few of its charms, and feels like a kinda neato remix of it, with higher difficulty, much slower pacing, and new Heroics, Quests, and a higher level cap. It's a good sequel, even if it's clearly not as good of an entry as the original.
  • The innovation of SF needs no explanation. Wether you like it or not it revamped the visuals entirely, added a lot more dynamic moments and ironed out many bugs, added jumping, gave us our final level cap and plenty more, with tons of content exclusive to it.
  • TT removed so much from not just SF, but even the first two games, and doesn't add anything new at all for old characters, unless you count Trinkets. However, if you just intrinsically enjoy the gameplay, the balance in this game is so wonky, unlike the others, and interesting, and the enemies (though not the levels) are so varied and creative, that it's worth studying and messing with at times, and Traps provide a unique dynamic regardless. This game is extremely flawed, but at least it's very interesting for people who are into the gameplay on that level. I also hold that some TT characters play better in this game than they did in SC or SI.
  • SC adds path switching. You know. Something that should have been in the first game. That's pretty big for the old toys. And as a whole experience, of course, there are the vehicles.

All of these games have a clear place in the series. Perhaps to varying extents, but still. And you can unlock something new on all old toys in all of these games, other than TT, where you get a wildly different gameplay experience.

SI adds this for old characters:
...
...
...
More levels, I guess. And the quality of them is really debatable, and it's a crapshoot as to which old characters hold up, and the game as a whole isn't interesting. It's a super-duper budget SWAP Force.

I say Trap Team may be technically worse but it did a lot more and has a lot more charm and point and so on. I often get frustrated at it- go back and play it and you might be surprised how dull chunks of levels are, and how many old characters don't hold up, and how often the game interrupts itself, and how much straight-up bad design is in the game, and how many little things are unpolished a-la my critiques of Reignited- but it's just so charming and again, interesting, in spite of that. And I think I'll always hold it's worse for art to be boring, even if it checks more technical boxes. And Imaginators does inherit some of TT's flaws anyways.

I'm really curious about anyone who dislikes SWAP Force but likes Imaginators. The only thing I can think of is that the SWAP Force levels were long (which people really exaggerate anyway; besides, the SF levels earn their length via pacing and doing more than fetchquesting keys and more than hall-to-arena-to-hall as the latter TFB games would suffer from).

I'm not saying Imaginators is void of moments, I don't think it's downright bad, I'll always appreciate that it kept every character in regardless of the execution but I honestly just... don't feel like replaying it. I don't see the point, except to say that I replayed it. It's just a level pack. Not a great one. And there are the Imaginators but I'm done with them, and they're functionally, mainly, more Skylanders to me, and not very good ones. And so on.

Last: before someone points it out, yes, I have warmed up to SG more. Replaying TT (over this week) makes me appreciate how SG tried to give level design more identity than it got in TT. And again, I still enjoy TT. But I hold tight the criticisms I already posted about its levels here: interrupts itself, enemy spam, dull hallways, messy pacing. It's unfortunate. SG suffers some of TT's issues but it's sill better than TT though. .-. It doesn't suffer them as badly, and has a lot of little things the series just lost, I guess. But I'm off-topic already.


Actually last: I really think nobody should get their hopes up for the inevitable remake or reboot. I kinda frown when I see the demand for that. You have to remember: Activision wouldn't make it for the fans, they'd make it for the money. You should know how they act when they're doing things for the money.
Personally, I have no interest in a remake or reboot, honestly. And it really is largely because of the publisher, otherwise I'd be more open to a reboot. But I'm someone who just thinks serieses should simply end much, much more often. So I know I'm in a minority anyway. I often wish Skylanders had been just a well-planned trilogy or quadrilogy. We honestly didn't even have consistent lore or plot threads after like the first two games and even Giants was flimsier than the first with lore stuffs.
The point stands that you have to remember that Skylanders is published by Activision. Don't underestimate Activision.
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Quote: dark52
Error: You
Edited 3 times - Last edited at 10:58:18 05/10/2019 by Drawdler
Unreallystic Emerald Sparx Gems: 3043
#198 Posted: 13:24:32 17/10/2019
Decided to pop back in after a while to see what was going on, reading through this has been interesting with hindsight.

I still have my Skylanders shrine, but I've moved it to the playroom for my kids to play with, my son (8) has moved on entirely to different games, though he occasionally will que up Imaginators on the Switch, he really enjoys his custom characters.

So this weekend I had the urge to play Skylanders, I saw a couple figures in the playroom and had flashbacks. And that's when I asked myself "why things fell apart". I honestly can't point to a single issue as the culprit, it was a multitude. There are things that the adult in me would crucify, namely the storyline(s), but the real sin are the issues the gamer in me found, and I don't think its overly complex.

The game was too expensive for what it was.

You could port ANY of the Skylander games to a mobile device, and using on screen buttons, not lose a step, it was really a mobile game, dressed up as an AAA title. Unlike modern mobile games though, there was no "unlock" with play or use real money to skip the grind, it was flat out paywalled. Not only that, but the paywall was HIGH. 4-6 characters could buy you a brand new game. So you go ot the store, spend an exuberant amount of money, go home to play, and the character you spent $15 on is nothing but a polygon swap of another character - or worse, simply not fun. Same goes for the gimmicks (mostly SC), where purchasing one of the vehicles may look cool, but controlling them in game was infuriating and frustrating, and frankly - so inconsequential to the "fun" that it left a bad taste in my wallet.

Here I am, several years after the fact, and all I can think about his how much money I wasted, and how bad some of the characters were to play as. My daughter (4) recognizes the Disney characters, so she plays with the DI figures all the time (poor broken lightsabers everywhere).
- Unreall
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