Echo – Skylander Review
Echo is a new Water core Skylander making her debut in Skylanders Trap Team. She comes from an undersea kingdom that was built around a giant oyster shell. This oyster held the famous Pearl of Wisdom at it’s center. Every day, water dragons from all over the kingdom would come to the Pearl to ask it questions. This was a sacred ritual, so anyone living near the Pearl was required to be quiet and speak only in whispers. Echo happened to live right next door to the Pearl and she had a very hard time abiding by those rules. One day, a gang of sea horses called the Aqua Jocks decided to steal the Pearl. They cast an unbreakable bubble around the pearl and attempted to drag it away. Many of the nearby water dragons, tried to call for help, but found that they no longer knew how to be loud since they had been quiet for so long. However, Echo was there and she saw the Aqua Jocks trying to take the Pearl. She let out her loudest sonar blast which shattered the bubble and blew the Aqua Jockeys out of the kingdom. Her heroic actions caught the attention of Gill Grunt who recruited her as a Skylander. Now she sounds off against evil all throughout Skylands.
When I first saw a picture of Echo, I tried to figure out who Echo was, because I really thought I was looking at a new version of Zap, but a closer look revealed that she indeed was a new water dragon Skylander. She looks like a cross between a dragon and a Sea Horse. She has the same square scales and a very curly tail like a sea horse. Of course she also has four legs with claws which help her walk around pretty fast. She doesn’t really have any noticeable weapons or armor so it’s hard to tell what kind of gameplay she might have just by looking at her. She looks a little plain and boring. She appears to have these odd shell coverings over her ears. Only after I started playing with her did I realize that they are some sort of headphones. She has a love of music which becomes obvious after seeing some of her attacks and upgrades. Based on her lackluster appearance and the fact that she reminds me of Zap, I was not too excited to use her. But once I began to explore her attacks, and get her upgraded she became a good character to use in almost any situation.
Her main attack is her Siren Scream. By holding Attack 1 the scream will damage any enemy it comes in contact with. Eventually it will stop, but it can do some good damage before it does. Her second attack is her Bubble Bombs. You can press the Attack 2 button to create explosive bubbles that will “move to the beat”. These bubbles don’t do much damage at first, but because they just sort of hang in the air where she creates them, they can make a good weapon to use when you are being chased by one of the larger enemies. The Sonic Slam is a third attack that can be gained through an upgrade purchase. It’s a typical ground pound that has been seen in many other Skylanders. Nonetheless, it’s still fairly powerful, and is useful when too many enemies surround you. She has three other basic upgrades and each one slightly enhances one of her attacks. The Pitch Control upgrade allows her Siren Scream to last longer and deal more damage. The 4-Beat upgrade allows a maximum of four Bubble Bombs to be active at one time and they also do extra damage. And finally, the Subsonic upgrade will create an aftershock that will deal extra damage after the Sonic Slam. It’s possible with this upgrade to miss the main damage with the Sonic Slam, but then still pick up the aftershock damage since the aftershock extends the radius of the attack.
Echo’s upgrade paths focus on one of her two main attacks. The Bubble Up! path focuses on the Bubble Bomb attacks. I didn’t really like the Bubble Bomb attacks because they were pretty weak and not controllable. However, the upgrades in this path may have made the attack stronger and more interesting. The Bubble Shield will form a bubble around Echo that absorbs damage until it pops. The Power Pop upgrade will allow Bubble Bombs to do maximum damage and increase their range. The final upgrade called Burst My Bubble will allow you to manually explode the Bubble Shield to damage all nearby enemies. Unfortunately I’m not sure how well those upgrades would work since we chose the Singalong path which upgrades the Siren Scream attacks. The Ultimate Pitch Control upgrade might be the best upgrade Echo has. This allows her to have a never-ending Siren Scream. This can be quite powerful as she can even still move a bit while doing this attack. The Scream Out upgrade will let you press the Attack 1 button again during the Siren Scream which will cancel the scream but deliver a powerful shout attack. And finally, you can get Ultrasound which allows you to hold the Attack 3 button to charge a Sonic Slam. This unleashes a devastating amount of damage, but it does take a while to charge, so you need to plan this attack early. I felt this path was very satisfying. Using a never ending attack like the upgraded Siren Scream makes Echo an easy character for anyone to use. And it does significant damage, not just a small amount that adds up over time. She rivals Spotlight for best continuous attack. As good as the Singalong path is, unfortunately the soul gem attack is not quite as great. It’s called Call of the Siren and Echo can scream on a Bubble Bomb to put enemies in a painful trance. It seemed to only effect the closest of enemies, and other enemies were just not drawn to it. They did get stunned, but it just didn’t effect enough enemies to make it seem worthwhile.
Overall, Echo is more than meets the eye, or the ear. She may look plain but she has quite a bit of power in her upgraded Siren Scream and Sonic Slam attacks. If you choose the Singalong path to get the never-ending Siren Scream, then she becomes another easy character that even the youngest of Skylander fans can use and have fun with. She’s not a must have character as she is not a Trap Master, and she really doesn’t offer anything new or unique that we haven’t seen before. But if you need another water Skylander, you certainly can’t go wrong with Echo.
SkylanderNutts gives Echo…