While there has been lots of noise and pizzazz around the Wii U version of Skylanders SuperChargers at E3, not so much attention has been spent on the Wii and 3DS versions. When Superchargers was announced it was clear that both Wii and 3DS were not the same as the other console editions.
Having supported the Wii with a feature-matched iteration each year, 2015 is the moment when the level of horsepower required was simply too much. However, rather than dropping the Wii platform like Disney Infinity and the Lego video-games, Activision has promised to continue supporting it this year. What we didn't know was exactly what a "complementary" experience looked like.
This week we have sight of the packaging and official name for the Wii and 3DS game, Skylanders SuperChargers Racing. With a vehicle theme already present in the main game, it's not a huge stretch to imagine a Mario Kart-style experience that uses the different Skylanders rides in a battling raceway.
The question is how the game will combine the three classes of air, land and water? Will there be separate races for each type or will they be able to race against each other? Also, how will the driver-car combos work out in a racing scenario? We put all these questions to Activision representatives on the company's E3 booth, and no answers were forthcoming - in fact, they refused to even talk about these editions. The Wii and 3DS versions weren't even on display at the event.
However it breaks down, Skylanders SuperChargers Racing looks like it will take the kart customisation of Mario to the next level with an impressive array of mods already shown for the Wii U game. This enables players to apply modifications to the vehicles in the main game before bringing them to the Wii or 3DS where, presumably, these mods would be supported.
On the packaging we can also see a couple of the Skylander characters that we will be racing with. Eruptor and Rollerbrawl are returning, each with their own vehicle. Combine this with Bowser and Donkey Kong and it all sounds decidedly like a kart racer.
News of the Wii and 3DS game of course came along with the surprise collaboration of Skylander amiibo. Some would suggest that a kart racer Skylanders game staring Nintendo characters is too close to Nintendo's own property, but after this week it seems anything is possible.
Stretching things further, could this be a version of Mario Kart with Skylanders characters added — the other half of the Activision partnership? Sure that's a little far fetched but stranger things have happened — and did this week at E3.