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Games : Highly Recommended
Release Date: September 20th, 2015 Movie Release Year: 2015

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack

Overview -

Since 2011, one runaway entertainment brand has, year in and year out, crossed over the fun and collectability of action figures with the dynamic world of video games. With toys to life gaming growing to an entire (gaming and toy) genre, 'Skylanders SuperChargers' arrives bearing big expectations.

Series' staples like the support of 300+ figures (from the past, present, and near future), drop in, drop out co-op, and a game that can handle ages 6 and up are a given, but not unlike the heyday of various iconic toy brands (the 1980's), 'Skylanders SuperChargers' seeks to take the sensation to another level, the one with vehicles.

That's right, this year, there are a crazy variety of 20 vehicles, but all of this armada breaks down into three ways, land, sea, and air. Within those categories, the SuperChargers vehicles can be paired with any Skylander, they can be modified for both looks and specs, and they can be raced.

There's even match-making online racing, but the online doesn't end there. This time out, full online co-op is available. Along with these series' bombshells, there's Environmental Challenges, Skystones, Daily Challenges, SuperChargers Challenges, collectibles, leaderboards… it goes on.

With the Wii U version (and the Wii and 3DS versions), Activision and Nintendo partnered up for something exclusive, and by definition, special. The Wii U 'Skylanders SuperChargers' starter pack includes a combination Skylander and amiibo in the form of Turbo Charge Donkey Kong. 

Skylanders SuperChargers Wii U Starter pack amiibo

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
September 20th, 2015

Video Review


Here again with the visuals, that sense of uneven threatens. Right off, 'Skylanders SuperChargers' is easily tops in the series in terms of looks. It's not just the real-time cinematics, nor is it just the excellent character and vehicles designs. There are large swathes of levels, both campaign and racing, that are nicely detailed, full of deftly applied lighting and particle effects that were likely worried over by multiple teams.

Other areas, off the main path, like the Environmental Challenge levels, are rougher. In level NPCs stand in place doing a whole lot of not much. The UI has its pros and cons, but just comparing the giant (and familiar) pause menu with the lovingly crafted Live Wire one screen sections shows an unfortunate disparity instilled on the part of every platform under the sun development. Clipping on the race tracks (and overly large invisible collision bounds in areas like the underwater library section) also detracts. (Skystones is also too basic in looks.)

Then again, the character design for Skylanders like Fiesta and his Crypt Crusher, the visual changes resulting from upgrades to Stormblade's Sky Slicer, or even just the way that Smash Hit can drop his spike ball and leave it spinning like a top- these are all the scene-stealers. The Skylanders and the vehicles are meant to do very cool things visually. High Volt, who can handle the cheapest of enemies (unlike Fiesta who gets knocked out in seconds sometimes), not only can become a lightning virtuoso, but again, upgrading really makes him pop and that's without ever being SuperCharged.

Skylanders SuperChargers Turbo Charge Donkey Kong

Going from the Xbox One to the Wii U, and there are two problem areas, aliasing, and lighting. I had to set in the in-game brightness all the way down to help with the washed out look on the Wii U, and just had to live with the aliasing. This was an issue for me in large part because I was going back and forth between the versions.

Skylanders SuperChargers Barrel Blaster vehicle mods

Globally, the color is weaker, but the characters still look great, and that includes the Nintendo guest stars. (I was able to play Bowser on the Wii U in a pre-release build.) None of this would stop me free recommending the Wii U version. Far from it. 

The Wii U version offers great (if a little dense) offscreen GamePad play. While the absolutely best image quality is found on the newer platforms, I still think the Wii U version is the one to get given the choice. 

Audio Review


Some of the voice actors define their roles, and they do so nearly as well as any animated film, maybe better in some ways. Much like with the character design, I think the newest audio assets are the best, and it makes for a stark contrast when Stealth Elf speaks.

Vehicle sounds are right in the groove, and the game manages to work in revving engines all over the place. The music can be very pleasant, but I think more variety was called for on the racing side.

'Skylanders SuperChargers' is that game that can make the toys to life concept feel exciting again. It can pull together different family members locally or online, and you better believe it will make players want to get a boat and plane to augment that vehicular fantasy. There is depth and variety, but some areas are much more polished than others. It's an obvious buy for existing fans, but the vehicle dynamic makes it a nice choice for anyone who might want to dip their toes. Although the amiibo side is pretty vanilla, the inclusion of Turbo Charger Donkey Kong (and his trusty Barrel Blaster) make the Wii U version the one to beat.