Gamescom 2016 ended yesterday but during the show we did get some new Skylanders Imaginators information. While most of it was exciting news, unfortunately some of it was very troubling.
First we’ll start with the good news. Anyone who pre-orders a Skylanders Imaginators Starter Pack (Normal, Dark, or Crash editions) will receive a free Kaos Sensei. That’s right Kaos is going to be a playable Skylander this year. Technically, it really isn’t Kaos it’s just his clone, but it still appears that he will be the most powerful Skylander to date. He will be able to use attacks from ALL battle classes. You can read more about his back story on his character page.
Next we got some new information about the Crash Bandicoot Starter Pack. First of all, included in the starter pack is not only Crash Bandicoot, but also a Dr. Neo Cortex Sensei. He is the villain in the Crash Bandicoot games, but like other reformed villains from Skylanders, he will be fighting for the side of good…for the time being. Also included in the Crash Starter Pack is a special bonus level called Thumpin’ Wumpa Islands. The starter pack will be exclusive to the PS4 and PS3. Fans of other consoles, don’t despair. A Thumpin’ Wumpa Islands Adventure Pack will be released separately this holiday and will work on any system. The characters that come in the PlayStation starter packs will also work on other systems should you want to bring them to a friends house.
Activision also unveiled “Mystery Chests”. These chests will unlock new creation pieces like gear, weapons and body parts for Imaginator characters. I’m a little unclear on exactly how these will work, but for now they seem like they work a lot like the old Disney Infinity power discs. You don’t know what you’ll get when you buy one, but they’ll unlock a new item for your Imaginator. I’m hoping these chests are not the only way to unlock certain items but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were.
Ok, now on to the “bad” news. The first bit of not so good news is for Wii and 3DS owners, as there will NOT be a Wii or 3DS version of Imaginators this year. I’m guessing the processing power required for this years game was just to much or too big to be contained on the Wii and 3DS.
Now for the “worse” news. This comes from an article I read on gameinformer.com which you can find here. It’s about the creation crystals. We already know that there are 10 of them, one for each element. The idea is that you create your Imaginator in one of these crystals. We also know that there are 10 different battle classes that your Imaginator can use. Well, here’s hoping that you don’t like experimenting. One of the first choices you have to make when designing an Imaginator is what battle class they will be. Once you make that decision, it is then LOCKED into the crystal. That’s right, your battle class decision is PERMANENT. You can’t reset the crystal. You can’t even reset the Imaginators level back to 1. What it sounds like you CAN do, is edit the look and design of the Imaginator. I guess you can change body parts, weapons, sounds, and abilities, but you won’t be able to change the battle class. So if you are not happy with the Smasher Life Imaginator you made, and wished you would have made a Knight Life Imaginator, you’ll have to go back to the store for another Life crystal. This also mean’s if you were wanting to create one Imaginator per class and element, you will need 100 crystals. Crystals will retail for $9.99 so that is quite a bit of money. Chances are you won’t really want or use that many Imaginators. But this isn’t about the ability to “collect them all” as much as it is about correcting your mistakes. You probably won’t understand which battle classes you even like in the beginning. You won’t have any idea which class might be best suited for a particular element. It won’t be until after you play with a few different creations before you will get a good understanding of what you really want. And let’s not forget that this is a KIDS game. I know that my kids are extremely non-committal. They change there minds constantly. They are going to create something that uses a sword, try out their attacks, and realize they’d rather have an Imaginator that shoots something, and they are NOT going to be able to make that change. To make matters worse, if you like buying used characters, you will probably want to stay away from buying used creation crystals, because you’ll be locked into whatever class the original owner chose.
Earlier, when Imaginators was first announced there were some images of different crystal designs of the same element type and we were worried that they would make a crystal per combination of Element and Battle Class. At the time they assured us that that wasn’t the case and that there would be just one design per element for a crystal. I guess we just assumed at that point, that we wouldn’t need anymore than 10 physical crystals to play the game and see all the combinations. It appears that we were wrong. As a collector myself, I’m still happy that there are only 10 physical crystal designs as I will buy one of each crystal. However, having two kids with wildly differing opinions on what makes a “cool” Skylander will mean that I’m probably going to have to buy more than the original 10 crystals that I was planing on buying. But there is no way that I’m buying 100 crystals. Quite frankly, I doubt Activision’s ability to even produce enough crystals should I want to do that. The last two years they have failed on producing and releasing everything they “said” they would make. There were several trap designs from Trap Team, either not released, or released in such a small quantity that finding them in a store was more like winning the lottery than buying a product. The same can be said for the SuperCharger Thrillipede, which seemingly was never released in the U.S. I know I’ve been going to TRU three times a week for two months and they’ve never seen it. So let’s just say, that my faith in Activision’s ability to produce what they say they will produce is not very high. I’ll consider myself lucky if I get one of each Creation Crystal, and I’ll wait for 70% off sales to pick up any extras.
So there is a wrap up of the Skylander news from Gamescom 2016. I’m still very excited for Skylanders Imaginators and I still think it’s a great idea to be able to make your own Skylander. However, if the news above remains to be true when the game releases (things could always change), then there are going to be A LOT of angry parents and long time Skylander fans which will no doubt have a very negative impact on future releases of the game. Before you go, check out the official Skylanders Imaginators: Overview Trailer, which also came out at Gamescom.
See you soon!
Skylanders Imaginators: Overview Trailer
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