Having been at the forefront of the “toys to life” gaming format, Activision are ready to take Skylanders to the next level, introducing vehicles and making a near-carbon copy of Mario Kart in the process.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I guess taking inspiration from Nintendo’s legendary racer is no bad thing. Each race sees you battle it out amongst your opponents for first place, giving you item boxes to utilise an array of weaponry and power-ups.
Many weapons bear a striking resemblance to Mario Kart, simply replacing the look or name but retaining a similar purpose. If you happen to lag behind then you can fly to the front in a special capsule (Bullet Bill), gain invincibility whilst glowing yellow (Star Power) or even hinder your fellow racers through using a Tahiti mask to slow them down (Squid Ink).
Though the usual adventure mode takes precedent, racing is an integral part of the campaign. You can participate in land, air or water-based races, utilising different Skylanders for each track type. Though there aren’t any races as of yet that include all three modes of transport, it was hinted that bringing land, water and air together in one map may happen down the line.
There’s no doubt that racing in Skylanders was great fun, but also incredibly frustrating. In Mario Kart it’s inevitable that weapons will bounce you back to last place if you’re not careful, in SuperCharger it seems even more chaotic and you have less control.
I was constantly being tossed around the map, and even when I was leading solidly in first place, a barrage of weapons would mean I’d be last in no time. If it was Mario Kart I wouldn’t mind, but in Skylanders, as a game primarily for kids, I would’ve hoped that the difficulty would be a little more forgiving.
Introducing vehicles to the series is a logical next step, and the ability to use any of the 300+ figures currently available is a huge plus point. We’ll have to wait until release to find out whether SuperChargers can really burn rubber with the best of them.
Skylanders: SuperChargers will release on September 25th for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii and Wii U.