Skylanders SuperChargers Review

Skylanders SuperChargers Wii U Starter Set

The toys-to-life genre has absolutely crushed the second half of 2015 with one major wallet-busting launch after another, and Skylanders lands right in the middle of the fray with their strongest entry yet: Skylanders SuperChargers. SuperChargers introduces big change to the Skylanders franchise with vehicles, online co-op, and a Mario Kart-esque racing system. Let’s dive in and take a look!

Skylanders and Adventure Mode

Much of the core gameplay still revolves around the Skylanders figures themselves. Many of our favorite Skylanders return as one of the 20 new Skychargers, each witch a matching vehicle, but a few new characters join the ranks of the Skylanders which I’ll get to in just a moment.

The story is rather thin, as all Skylanders stories tend to be, but that doesn’t detract from the point of each mission: Explore, beat up the bad guys, collect lots of coins to upgrade, and beat bosses. The gist of the story this time around is that Kaos has destroyed much of the islands by harnessing the power of darkness. The Skylands are shattered apart and it’s up to the SuperChargers to use their vehicles to save the day. They’re totally up to the challenge, of course.

In terms of time to complete, the campaign is roughly 10-12 hours for those looking to do a full clear on a harder difficulty. Graev and I played the entire thing co-op, and each mission ended up taking easily 1.5-2 hours. I don’t want to gloss over this point: ONLINE co-op in two different houses with our own copies of the game and our own consoles. You can play finally play with friends!

Each mission definitely had a unique feel with unique looking bad guys and gimmicks. That’s not to say the levels were really all that different in terms of the way in which you went about completing them. The real flavor comes in the form of the new vehicles. [Read more…]

Camelot Unchained “Bater” Details

The Camelot Unchained beta bater test (sorry Mark) is potentially coming pretty quick. Sheesh… it’s already October? Beta is coming (subject to change) early 2016 which means CU should begin taking the shape we can expect to see around launch relatively. Despite backing the game, I’ve purposely been avoiding CU whenever possible. I’ve had access to the alpha tests and I get all of the emails and newsletters, but I’ve kept this distance in order to protect myself and the game.

Getting too close too soon to a game like Camelot Unchained is like asking the fire not to burn you. Even with the upcoming beta, I am foreseeing a lot of change will occur to bring CU’s beta version in line with what MJ and team want to deliver, and what the backers and general public are expecting. The way they are discussing things, it sounds to me like launch is still quite a ways off.

There’s a video you can watch that’s about an hour long. I went ahead and watched it to extract the details you’ll want.

Camelot Unchained Abbot

In Beta Phase 1:

Classes (one of each for each realm (9 classes))

  • Fighters (or “tank” but that felt ambiguous)
  • Healers
  • DPS


  • Generic class without plans to specialize them
  • Gathering materials will be in
  • Full crafting reveal expected before the end of October


  • 1 Larger map
  • 3 small maps with plot ownership, contested stuff, etc.

Lots of other stuff like basic itemization, travel, technical stuff, basic guild system, etc., were mentioned. Most everything was stated as “basic but will be built upon.”

We’ve all been here before. The realistic picture being painted is that this is likely a fall 2017 launch at the earliest. Just like Mark said for beta’s launch date, “Expect the worst,” I’m expecting the worst for release.

Overall, I’m getting excited. I’ll allow myself that much. The classes revealed were the ones I voted for (which is exciting) and I like how I can already feel the class diversity starting to roll in. Hopefully it’s true diversity and not just the same spells reskinned for 3 classes. I want to see a class coming and think, “Incoming Abbot!” rather than, “Incoming melee/healer hybrid!” The class identify needs to be strong. My hopes are realistically high.

Rainbow Six Siege Closed Beta Impressions

Rainbow Six Siege Closed Beta

Holy smokes… I haven’t played a Rainbow Six game since like the Rogue Spear days. Anyone else remember the old school multiplayer platform? I think it started with an ‘M’ or something; Gamespy might have bought them. Anyway, wow, long time ago. Okay wait all of that might have been a lie — I think I tried one of the Rainbow Six games a few years ago like Ghost Recon or something. Does that count? Anyway…

I got my hands on a key for Rainbow Six Siege closed beta on the PS4. Graev got one too so that means we were able to play together in multiplayer (there is no campaign) and shoot some terrorists! Woot. The terrorist hunt modes have always been my favorite. Something about coming up on an embassy with terrorists hiding inside and having to storm the place and use strategy and planning makes for a great experience. I’ve always loved teaming up with four players going against AI.

Terrorist Hunt is back in R6S, but I feel like it’s missing a bit of the strategery that made the older games in the series more memorable. I haven’t seen a hostage rescue mode yet, which is one of the things I also loved from past games. There’s a mode where players go head to head against each other and one team defends while the other attacks. The act of having to do one or the other makes the matches feel way more real and involved than a simple deathmatch where you just roam the map trying to kill each other.

The maps are well-made, though, and I really like the destructible environments. Shooting through walls is satisfying. Repelling — holy crap it’s AWESOME! Going up, down, changing positions, etc., are all superb. Things like drones can be used to sneak around and drive under doors, taser people, etc. Wall defenses can be put up to reinforce structures from collateral or direct damage. Suffice it to say, lots of gadgets are cool in R6S

The system of unlocking “characters” so to speak is done by earning points while playing. Point gain is faster on harder difficulties, but so far it seems pretty slow. Oh, and characters are also classified as attackers or defenders for obvious reasons of being a terrorist or CT and having to defend and keep people out vs. having to break your way in.

Shooting mechanics are okay. R6S as a shooter in general isn’t anything to get uber hyped up for in terms of advancing the genre TOO far ahead from where we’re already at — especially in terms of graphics which are just ‘okay’ at best on PS4 — but the gameplay in general is nice.

My worst experience was definitely with load times. They are abysmal. Combine that with people purposely team killing and you get what amounted to 20 minutes of load screens with less than 5 minutes of play for me and Graev last night.

Check it out if you can. It’s worth playing for a couple of hours during this beta (which ends Oct 4) if for no other reason than the cool stuff like rappelling.

Like Lots of Classes in Your MMO? I Do.

Camelot Unchained Class Reveals

Camelot Unchained offered up one of their more interesting reveals last week: There will be “a wee bit” (read: a lot) more classes than originally planned. The reasons cited ranged from symmetrical class design being too restrictive all the way to being easier to balance asymmetrical classes.

Classes in CU won’t all have the same number of skill trees, and if I’m reading this all correctly it sounds like we won’t necessarily see mirrors across the realms. Lots of classes that aren’t the same? Less homogenization? Those are all the things I like to hear.

Dark Age of Camelot took a very similar approach. All realms had archers, speed classes, tanks, etc., but they weren’t all identical. Granted, they did all have (if I remember correctly) the same number of paths. However, they all played entirely unique. The Hunter was very different from the Scout.

Being able to say that essentially make any changes to any classes does make balancing easier on a per-class basis, but introducing more classes can quickly become difficult to balance if all of the classes are given enough diversity. Having 3 realms and maybe 10 classes per realm could mean having almost 30 different classes with the ability to all be very different. This is a breeding ground for flavors of the month.

The risk is worth the reward here, though, and I look forward to a return of more classes in a MMO with differing playstyles and themes. I credit the number of classes and replayability as the biggest reason I stuck with DAoC for as long as I did. Lots of classes and lots of diversity are now a requirement for me to play an MMO, and I’m glad to see CSE stepping it up in CU.

Heads up, backers like myself can vote for which class reveals we want to see.

Part 1: Making some WoW videos. Part 2: Let’s talk MMOs for a second.

Late night weekend update for the blog but I want to squeeze this in before I get too busy. I made a video last night while playing WoW that I wanted to share. I’ve started to notice a theme from some of you surrounding a line of questioning: Do you still play MMOs? Yes, I do. I play World of Warcraft very, very casually.

Since I enjoy making videos about the games I’m playing, I decided to include WoW and start a series showcasing why and how I am having fun back in the MMO I thought I quit a dozen times.

Now let’s chat about part 2 of this little question here. What’s with the state of the MMO industry? If you’re currently playing a handful of MMOs and you’re one of those people who can enjoy GW2 and SWTOR and ArcheAge and WildStar and you never quite understood why the population in those games was dismally low and the servers were merged then this isn’t going to be an answer you’ll comprehend. The MMO industry sucks in 2015, the talent is drying up worse than the reservoirs in California, and most simply aren’t worth the digital space they’re taking up on those MMO news sites desperate for page views.

I certainly do not enjoy them, so I don’t play them. There are a couple… maybe as many as 3… MMOs on the distant horizon worth even thinking about, but I have trouble getting excited right now. I think Camelot Unchained has the most potential for anything related to PvP. They just announced like a bazillion classes would be in the game, and I’ll write something on that soon.  Crowfall … let’s just say I have my “I told you so” post already written. Yeah, that sums it up.

If you use the term correctly, then yes I am jaded. I am tired, bored, and lacking enthusiasm. If you’re using the term incorrectly, you’re probably going to reply with something like, “Well you’re just jaded, Keen!” As if I’m wrong for feeling this way. I refer you to the correct definition. Some people like to call other people jaded as though there is something wrong with those people and the way they see something is inaccurate. I’m being pretty darn upfront here and stating that I’m bored outa my mind with MMOs and can’t find more than a shred of hope for them to improve. If you can give me a reason, I’ll be more than happy to hype it up and show some enthusiasm.

I’d much rather play a ton of fun games out there that aren’t MMOs than sit around and hate “gaming” because MMOs are currently awful. I’m having an awesome time gaming in 2015, and it’s because I got tired of waiting and moved on. Does that mean I won’t play MMOs anymore? Heck no. MMOs are my favorite games. I’m just waiting until they deserve it again, and by waiting I mean playing lots of awesome games.