Gearshift – Skylander Review
Gearshift is a brand new Tech Trap Master which debuts in Skylanders Trap Team. She was created by a king who considered the robot to be his own daughter. Gearshift liked to spend most of her time in the Labyrinths below the kingdom tending to the huge machines that were there. This was not what the King wanted her to do. However, one day a squadron of Undead Stormriders attacked and wanted to capture the King. Gearshift hid the King in the Labyrinths below the kingdom and used the Great Gear to fight off the invaders. After this she was made part of the Trap Team where she could use her Traptanium-forged gear to help defend Skylands.
The first thing you notice about Gearshifts figure is her huge Traptanium gear that she holds with both hands. She is holding it in “Hoop Mode” which means it’s in one solid circular shape. However, you cannot tell from her figure just how powerful this gear really is. We’ll discuss that more when we get to her attacks. Gearshift is otherwise an obviously female robot. She is very slender wearing all white armor covering her golden coiled arms and legs. She looks like she would be very flexible in motion. Her figure though is not very flexible despite having a smaller and thinner body than most. She is another very study and durable figure with no problems areas that are in danger to breaking due to rough play. Her distinguishing feature besides the Traptanium Gear weapon is that she has a gold gear symbol right in the middle of her helmet. There is little doubt that this is a Skylander of the Tech element.
Where Gearshift really becomes unique is with her attacks. She is one of a very few number of Skylanders that offer some sort of ability to toggle between different attack types. In her case you can hit attack 2 to toggle between three different modes: Hoop Mode, Dual Mode and Fragment Mode. In Hoop Mode, the gear spins around Gearshift’s body and when you use attack 1, does a little roll dash attack where the gear deals melee damage. This is great when surrounded by many enemies. In Dual Mode, the gear breaks into two pieces and Gearshift uses each piece like a sword. With these she can perform basic slash melee attacks and can even perform a three hit combo. She can use this mode to go one on one with larger enemies. In Fragment Mode the gear forms a rotating helix around Gearshift. Gearshift can then use fragments of the gear to throw at her enemies for a nice ranged attack. So depending on the situation, gearshift has an attack mode for any of them. She also has a secondary attack which you can unlock with an upgrade. When pressing Attack 3 she will perform a cartwheel inside the gear and roll forward to attack those in her path. It’s sort of like a stronger Hoop Mode attack. However, an upgrade to this attack will also send mini-gears to litter the ground like mines. Gearshift has two upgrade paths. One focuses on the Dual Mode, and the other focuses on the Fragment Mode. There is no further upgrading of the Hoop Mode, though the additional Attack 3 attacks are sort of like upgrading the Hoop Mode attacks. And finally we have Gearshifts Soul Gem ability. Unfortunately, it’s not very exciting. The soul gem does two things. It allows Gearshift to change between modes more quickly, and it makes all attacks more powerful. It’s important to have, but not something that you’ll be able to show off.
Overall Gearshift is a pretty good Skylander. Her figure isn’t flashy or special, but her Traptanium weapon really stands out. Her unique gameplay requires a little more thinking and precise button pressing if you want to use her to her fullest abilities. Button mashers though, will still do pretty well regardless of the mode you are in. She is another durable figure which makes her good for play outside of the game. Her versatile attacks means that she should fit almost anyone’s play style. Once she is fully upgraded though, she does tend to have a lot of ranged or attacks that scatter mini-gears around. She is also not as fast as you would expect her to be. Dodging attacks by running out of the way isn’t going to always work. In order to properly avoid taking damage, you will need to use a combination of using the correct attack mode, or using the cartwheel attack to get out of immediate danger. It can be done, and is pretty effective once fully upgraded, but isn’t as easy as some characters. A disappointing Soul Gem ability is really the only downside to the character.
SkylanderNutts gives Gearshift…