Trail Blazer – Skylander Review
Trail Blazer is a new core Fire Skylander making his debut in Trap Team. Trail Blazer is a unicorn who has a bit of a temper whenever he sees anything unfair. One day he came across another unicorn trapped in a net. This wasn’t just any unicorn trapped in the net, it was the mythical Unocorn. The Unocorn was a magical unicorn with a Churro Horn that sprinkled enchanted cinnamon throughout Skylands. Trail Blazer immediately set the Unocorn free from his trap. Just then the Dark Wizards, who had set the trap appeared. They were very angry at Trail Blazer for ruining their trap. Trail Blazer however, was just as angry. He was furious at the unfair trapping of the Unocorn. Somehow, some of the spicy cinnamon from the Churro Horn had rubbed off on Trail Blazer and mixed with his elemental fire. Trail Blazer was literally set ablaze with fury! He ran fiery circles around the wizards forcing them to run away. Trail Blazer realized that he could use his fiery powers to fight evil so he sought out the Skylanders who welcomed him as a new member.
Trail Blazer is the first unicorn character in Skylanders. At least he is the first horse based unicorn. Whirlwind is close but is more of a unicorn dragon. His fiery horn, mane and tail leave no doubt that he is a fire Skylander. He doesn’t hold a weapon so you know his fiery horn will probably be his main form of attack. The only armor he has resembles that of a knights horse. He has some chest protection and part of a saddle protecting his belly. However, no one will be riding this unicorn with the fire covering Trail Blazer from head to tail. He also wears a protective helmet to complete his knightly horse look. He is a rather simple looking character with the fiery horn, mane and tail being his primary visual focus.
Trail Blazer’s main attack is indeed his fiery horn which can shoot fireballs at enemies. This is a pretty decent mid-range attack. His other main attack is the Roundhouse Kick. This attack does a good job at clearing out swarming enemies in front of Trail Blazer, but is hard to use as his main attack. Enemies have to be pretty close to get hit, and by that time they are most likely already doing some kind of damage to Trail Blazer. This attack is best used to start a retreat. However, the best way for him to retreat is to use his Stampede attack. This attack which is unlocked after an upgrade, will allow Trail Blazer to charge with his horn while shooting fire out of his horn. It’s basically a dash attack but it works very well by protecting Trail Blazer at the same time he is attacking his enemies. It’s very effective to get out of trouble or to rush through a large group of enemies while dealing some major damage. Most of his other basic upgrades just increase the damage he deals, but one other called Bucking Bronco allows Trail Blazer to kick in random directions kicking flame dust at enemies. Unfortunately due to the random nature of this attack, it’s too hard to use as an aimed attack, but it does an even better job of dishing damage to a swarm of enemies who are already on top of Trail Blazer.
There are two upgrade paths to choose from. The Equine Excellence path focuses on improving the Stampede attacks while the Fireballer path improves fireball attacks. We chose the Equine Excellence path, and as part of that path you get an upgrade to shoot three fireballs at once. Consider that before you choose the Fireballer path which only has one upgrade to the Fireball attack. Other upgrades in the Equine Excellence path allow for two flaming forms to join you during a stampede attack. This effectively widens the area of attack for the Stampede. The Firewalker upgrade will leave a trail of fire behind Trail Blazer during the stampede further injuring enemies in it’s path. The Fireballer path is very misleading. Two of the three upgrades actually focus on the Bucking Bronco attack. One of those upgrades will allow you to stay in Bucking Bronco mode longer and kick up extra flame dust. Maybe the creators considered the flame dust as another fireball? The actual fireball upgrade allows the fireballs to bounce on the ground and travel further. I’m sure it’s useful, but I don’t know if an entire path needs named after that upgrade. It seems more likely that maybe the Triple Fireballs upgrade of the Equine Excellence path was originally supposed to be part of the Fireballer path. Maybe at some point it was accidentally swapped with one of the upgrades in the Fireballer path and it wasn’t caught until it was too late? Just be warned that the Fireballer path doesn’t upgrade your main fireball attacks as you might think it should. Trail Blazer’s Soul Gem is called Heat Wave and adds a wave of fire to a charged up Fireball attack. This wave also travels through enemies meaning it can dish out quite a bit of damage before disappearing. It’s easy to pull off and very useful.
Overall Trail Blazer is a very interesting Skylander. For being the first Unicorn/Horse type Skylander, the character does a good job of feeling like you are playing with a horse. The movements and animations are well done, and the Bucking Bronco attack feels like a horse bucking out of control. Unfortunately the attacks are not very innovative. The fireball attack, has been done numerous times in other Skylanders and has been done better. The kicking attacks are either too hard to aim or are too random to control even if they are cool to look at. The Stampede attack is my personal favorite as it can do a lot of damage and it seems to protect Trail Blazer while in a Stampede. It is also very useful as Trail Blazer doesn’t have a lot of armor and will suffer some heavy damage pretty quickly. Still the Stampede attack is just another version of the common dash attack we see in many characters. A lot of Fire Skylanders seem to be very powerful, but Trail Blazer is not one of them. If you like horses or unicorns then he’ll definitely get the job done, but if you are looking for a unique or powerful Fire Skylander, you may want to keep looking.
SkylanderNutts gives Trail Blazer…