Skylanders: Swap Force
|Skylanders: Swap Force|
|Release date(s)||Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U & Xbox 360
|Genre(s)||Toys-to-life, role-playing, action adventure, platform|
Skylanders: Swap Force is a platformer video game developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision. It is the third main game in the Skylanders video game and toy franchise, following 2012's Skylanders: Giants, which was a direct sequel to 2011's Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (the spin-off of The Legend of Spyro series). It is the game before Skylanders: Trap Team and features the voices of John DiMaggio, Jess Harnell, Audrey Wasilewski, Richard Tatum, David Sobolov, Josh Keaton, Keythe Farley, Dave Wittenberg, Joey Camen, Gregg Berger, Troy Baker and Robin Atkin Downes.
It is the first Skylanders game to be released in North America before other regions, unlike the previous two games where Australia got the installments first. It is also the first Skylanders game not to be owned by Vivendi.
During the last eruption ceremony (the volcano fuelled Skylands), something tragic happened. Kaos' Mom aimed to destroy the volcano, but a team of Skylanders defended it. After that, the volcano erupted, sending these Skylanders to Earth. The volcano's eruption gave these Skylanders the ability to swap their tops and bottoms, transforming them into the Swap Force.
For years, Wash Buckler, Blast Zone, Free, Ranger, Freeze Blade, Night Shift, Magna Charge, Stink Bomb, Rattle Shake, Hoot Loop, Trap Shadow, Grilla Drilla, Spy Rise, Rubble Rouser, Doom Stone, Boom Jet and Fire Kraken - the Swap Force protected the volcano that replenishes Skylands' magic. That is until an epic battle caught them in the eruption, blasted them apart, sent them to Earth, and gave them the ability to swap powers. Now they must mix and match their tops and bottoms to save the Elementals from being evilised, stop Kaos, and save Skylands.
The gameplay for Swap Force is based on the two previous games, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and Skylanders: Giants. Players use a portal to bring real life action figures into the video game. For the new game, Skylanders are able to jump, and there are new swappable Skylanders. The new game also brings a new Portal of Power (and therefore is only sold as a starter pack). The new Portal was added because of the new technology that makes the Swap Force characters work correctly. The older portals from the past two games would not be able to sense the top half of these new Swappable characters. These sixteen new characters have top and bottom halves that can be separated from each other and recombined with the halves from other characters. This allows for a total of 256 combinations between all tops and bottoms. Another new feature of the swappable characters is that each has one of eight distinct ways of moving. These different movement types are necessary to enter certain side areas in the game called "Swap Zone Challenges". Only characters with the correct bottom half can enter said areas. There are eight: Rocket, Spin, Dig, Stealth, Teleportation, Bounce, Speed and Climb.
As with the previous installments of the game, Skylanders: Swap Force is available for purchase in starter kits that will include a copy of the game itself, the portal of power, three characters to begin or supplement your collection, a poster of the entire Swap Force collection, cards, stickers, and Web codes. The current starter packs and the characters include the following:
Console Starter Pack
- Wash Buckler (Swap Force - Water - Climb)
- Blast Zone (Swap Force - Fire - Rocket)
- Ninja Stealth Elf (Series 3 - Life)
Nintendo 3DS Starter Pack
- Rattle Shake (Swap Force - Undead - Bounce)
- Free Ranger (Swap Force - Air - Spin)
- Volcanic Lava Barf Eruptor (Series 3 - Fire - Alt Deco)
- People who pre-order Console Starter Pack or Gamestop Exclusive Dark Edition Starter Pack from GameStop receive a free, never before released Skylanders: Giants Lightcore Hex figure and a poster.
- People who pre-order Console Starter Pack from Toys "R" Us also receive a free, never before released Lightcore Hex figure, a poster, and any single Skylanders: Swap Force character they would like.
- People who pre-order Console Starter Pack from Walmart also receive the free, never before released Lightcore Hex figure.
- People who pre-order Console Starter Pack from Target Corporation receive a free, exclusive, physical magic/trading card that grants a hat (UFO Hat) when placed on the new Portal of Power, as well as the Lightcore Hex figure.
- People who pre-order Console Starter Pack from Best Buy also receive the free, never before released Lightcore Hex figure.
Swap Force features sixteen new core characters and sixteen new swappable characters, in addition to sixteen reposed Skylanders from previous games.
Skylanders: Swap Force was released to positive reviews, with the reviews from GameRankings and Metacritic being the highest and most genuinely positive of the series so far across all platforms. Gaming website Quarter To Three gave both the Wii U and Xbox 360 a perfect score of 5/5. Video Game website Gaming Age gave the PlayStation 3 version the highest grade of an "A" and further commented that "Whether you’re a Skylanders fan or a gamer who’s looking for a charming and unique family-friendly game series to get into, Skylanders SWAP Force comes highly recommended."
- East, Thomas (July 2, 2013). "Skylanders Swap Force Wii will be very close to the HD versions". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- Greening, Chris (2013-05-01). "Lorne Balfe Interview: Scoring Assassin’s Creed and Skylanders". Game Music Online. Retrieved 2014-04-24.
- "Skylanders Swap Force FAQ". Activision. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- "Skylanders Swap Force for Xbox 360". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Skylanders Swap Force for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Skylanders Swap Force for Wii U". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Skylanders Swap Force for Wii". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Skylanders Swap Force for 3DS". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Skylanders Swap Force for XONE accessdate=25 April 2014". GameRankings.
- "Skylanders Swap Force for PS4". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Skylanders Swap Force for Xbox 360". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Skylanders Swap Force for Wii U". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Skylanders Swap Force for PlayStation 3". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Skylanders Giants for PS4". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Skylanders Swap Force for 3DS". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Skylanders Swap Force is enough new stuff to delight a whole family". Quarter To Three. 2013-10-16. Retrieved 2014-04-25.
- "Is Skylanders Swap Force a force for good, a force for evil, or something else?". Quarter To Three. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2014-04-25.
- "Skylanders SWAP Force review for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U". Gaming Age. 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2014-04-25.