The natural way of things in the video game world is be to moved on to the next generation of console pretty quickly. The Wii has changed all that, for better or worse.
Millions of families who don't consider themselves avid gamers still have that little white box tucked under their television sets. They may not buy tens of games each year but there is an ongoing appetite for titles like Skylanders and Just Dance that still see yearly releases.
This year Skylanders SuperChargers is offering a "complementary" experience on the Wii rather than the full game. Titled "Racing" this looks like it will be some kind of multiplayer online karting experience.
Speaking to Josh Taub, Senior Vice President at Actvision Blizzard, recently I ask him whether this signalled the thin end of Activision's great ongoing support on the Wii. Anything but, it seems - "the Wii is an important part of our fan base. Rest assured it's going to be a great gaming experience."
He went on to talk about how important the Wii was for Activision as a business:
We think there is a very active install base on the Wii and 3DS who deserve great content. On Skylanders they have been our biggest fans over the years. We want to be able to be where our fans are and we think it's important to develop on that platform as long as we can for them.
Certainly it seems that the Wii still has lot of life in it for game makers who are willing to keep on supporting the hardware. Another nice touch last year was that Wii owners got a free upgrade to the Wii U Skylanders Trap Team game if they wanted it.
At the same event, talking to Vicarious Vision CEO's Guha and Karthik Bala, they spoke about the exciting exclusive amiibo Skylanders crossover characters, but I wanted to know why you couldn't buy these amiibo on their own.
We found that families that have Nintendo consoles like Wii U often also have 3DS. The 3DS version comes with Bowser amiibo that is cross compatible in the Wii U game. The games are complimentary, they are very different experiences.
He also explained how the digital download version would work with the Wii Spyro's Adventure portal to offer much increased compatibility:
All portals are now supported included the Spyro's Adventure portal. We've had some new software innovation that allows players to go all the way back. All the 300 characters are also supported and can all pilot the vehicles.
I also asked why the physical Skylanders toys didn't fit in the vehicles, perhaps the one downside of this year's game. Karthik explained:
We struggled with this in the design process. To do characters in the vehicles meant they would have to really large and would need a new portal. Or we'd have bespoke deigns for the Supercharger characters and the older Skylanders wouldn't be able to drive. But we wanted all the characters to be able to drive. It was a combination of value and was of play.
Like the recent Yoshi amiibo the Skylander NFC vehicles don't have a base. Karthik explained why that was important. "This was really important. We don't want cars on a base. We want the play off the game to be great. We innovated on the tech and managed to move away from bases on the vehicles."
I asked Guha about the gender mix in Skylanders Superchargers. The previous game had a good balance of male and female heros. "What we find is that our girl characters are also popular with the boys. It's about making children feel comfortable in their own skin, finding a Skylander they can identify with."
Certainly Skylanders Superchargers has its eye on the ball this year. Along with the backwards compatibility, strong female characters and vehicle toys, the Nintendo element is uppermost again. Wii, Wii U and 3DS support and of course those amiibo crossover characters, this is perhaps the best year to be a Nintendo gamer who loves Skylanders.
You can check out Family Gamer TV's Skylanders Playlist for loads of content on the upcoming SuperChargers releases.
Bowser and DK are looking good.
I just wish Skylanders would do more with the Spyro licence. There's so many characters that could be playable besides the two we got (plus Sparx)
Who can afford all of these anymore!? I surely tried and failed!
@Shiryu: to be honest, I am not interested in any of these things like Skylanders, Amiibo, Diseny Infinity or whatever it is called.
When I play computer or videogames, I play these. If I want to play with physical toys, than I play with real toys (aka Lego etc.) and not the virtual ones.
My nephew loves Skylanders but only has an Xbox 360, hopefully Bowser and DK Skylanders can get him to get a Wii U.
@opeter You are lucky. If only I could turn back time and before buying the very first Skylanders, going "Wow, this is a really neat way to finally sell me some DLC!" and having bought every game of it's kind except Infinity (which will change when the Star Wars one hits...) I would be a much richer man... and had a lot less plastic to clean.
The problem is not really in money, but rather in not having so much free time to play any single game I want (hundreds of them). So for games, that need extra time (and things/money) to invest, I rather don't play.
I don't play any multiplayer game at all, just single player. I like, when things have and start and an end.
And these series with Amiibo, Skylanders etc. are made so, that people buy new plastic stuff all the time and they really don't have an end.
When you realize (or not), how much money and time have you invested in this kind of things ... but anyway, everybody knows (or at least should know) what's good for him/her and what he want's do to with his/her money and free time.
I really like the artwork of Bowser and DK for this game. The style kinda looks like it belongs in a saturday-morning cartoon
So is "Racing" still under wraps? Game is releasing soon and I can't find a single screen shot of either version.
And as much as it will pain my wallet I understand why both version - dark and normal - won't be sold separately, they won't work on the PS3, PS4, Xbox360 or X1.
That said - yes it's nice they split Bowser and DK between the Wiig U and Wiig versions, but why do both games have the same other chsracter, I don't need 2 of those. It's even worse in the dark versions as they both have the same csr, 1 version has 2 cars, no boat or plane, it's really mean and insulting.
Familygamer should do a side by side by side w/ all 5 versions to see what we would get, and how much it would cost, to but all 5. Maybe after they finally show Racing.
Skylanders, Lego and Disney all supercharging £85. I'm curious about all these scams, I mean games, but I'll need to spread out my purchasing as September already has Mario Maker and Mighty No. 9. I'm most intrigued by the Wii kart game, I hope it has more depth than the main line itself.
@Captain_Gonru - "but Godzilla is on PS3 now. And if you thought $20 was too much for Swords and Soldiers 2..."
Yeah, I was having a hard time when I thought it was $40, then on release day it was $50. for a single player download. Not gonna happen. I'll just wait for Goat Simulator next month.
BTW I follow all the Sony news on Pushsquare, but thanks for the info.
@Captain_Gonru I've been haunting Push square pretty much since Sammy started it, much to their chagrin, so if you start visiting the site best to pretend you don't know me.
And yeah, your Ed, I know that's a get out gif and not a wisenheimer gif but I liked that one more. Can't touch the classics.
Extremely curious to see what kind of a racer the Wii version is. I still love a good tile control race game, and Beenox has made some very technically competent Wii ports (Aliens v Monsters; Spiderman S D).
@Captain_Gonru "current gen" for almost two 2 years!!
Nice of Paul Rudd to take some time out from promoting Ant-Man to share some Skylanders info.
@Captain_Gonru - "I guess I failed to include enough emoticons."
Can never use enough emoticons.
OK, so I'm a little bit behind in my replies. I'm taking today to catch up, I need a breather.
@Captain_Gonru - Yeah. Can't beleive I wrote that this morning, feels like 2 days ago, long day of doing nothing. Well except putting the heavy AC in the window, I hate that.
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