Revisiting old games

After some rather early spring cleaning last weekend, we rediscovered our very dusty stash of Skylanders figures. Surprisingly, I’ve only mentioned this game once in all these years of blogging. The blog turned ten this week (on Monday 8th), though it’s a bit neglected at the moment, I’m still churning out the odd post ten years later! A proper retrospective will take longer than I want to spend on the PC after work, so that will have to follow fashionably late.

We own the first four games in the series; Skylanders, Giants, Swap Force and Trap Team. We finished the story and some of the grindier/achievement focused content in the first three games, but our trophy count on the Playstation 3 shows we played each game progressively less. The final game that we bought we didn’t get that into, for various reasons I imagine. The figures save their own progress outside of the console through an on-board chip technology, storing levels, unlocked abilities and gold amounts. It’s pretty impressive this data is still intact as we’ve not played any version of the game since 2016. I guess I’ve been a bit busy with online gaming in-between…

We played the first game pretty extensively as we collected the most figures in that first series. New figures meant new levelling, and given the relatively short storylines (compared to MMORPGs), that involved replaying the game – it’s kind of like re-rolling a new alt in WoW Classic. With the later games we were more restrained about buying figures just for the sake of collecting them, only buying one of each element for instance. So with fewer new characters to level we had less incentive to repeat those stories mulitple times through.

Now in 2021, we’ve decided to replay the Giants game (second in the series) as I had rather fond memories of the Skyship as housing element. I also really loved the characterisation and ability design of both of the two Giants characters I played, Thumpback and Eye-brawl (left and right in the top image set).

I imagine we’ll potter through the Giants’ story, and in all probability replay through the Swap-Force story as well. Whether we replay the original remains to be seen as it’s longer and a bit more basic mechanics-wise. We should definitely give Trap Team a proper go as well, but there’s the issue of not having enough of the game specific pieces for that. We could probably get some more pieces quite cheaply on Ebay or Amazon these-days, but the game pushed the “buy all new stuff yet again” button a bit too hard. It also doubled down on the trend started in Swap Force of requiring ever more specific combinations of pieces to unlock certain content. In earlier games it felt like all the Skylanders from earlier games were still useful, as the series overall kept expanding and get more gimmicky over time I feel something was lost along the way. Still what we do have still works, and it’s been fun to revisit it for some sofa coop gameplay!

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