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YMMV / Skylanders

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  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Many people had doubts that this series would be a success. Spyro fans in particular, believed the franchise would fail automatically based on what they hate about Skylanders (Spyro's redesign, the toys-to-life gimmick, etc). Instead the Skylanders series has crossed the $3 billion in sales threshold, and with over 250 million toys sold since 2011, it makes the series one of the top 20 highest-selling video game franchises of all time!
    • Unfortunately, Activision milked the series to death, causing Superchargers and Imaginators to fall short of their respective sales goals. Trap Team also sold less than it's predecessor, Swap Force.
  • Awesome Music: As composed by Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe. It's actually on par with most animated films. Special mention goes to the game's theme.
  • Broken Base: There are some fans that are willing to at least give it a chance or actually like it, despite the negative outcry from a lot of them. Some are happy that Spyro's personality is supposed to be like his classic self.
    • Cynder broke the base again. Legend fans were quite pleased, Classic fans weren't. Many fans wanted a clean break from previous continuities...
    • There's a displeasure within both the "Classic" and "Reboot" Spyro fans that this series is less of a Spyro reboot and more of a series that includes Spyro in it.
    • Some Skylanders even break the base. Sprocket for example has some people hating her just because she looks "too human", while others think she's a refreshing change of pace in adding some diversity to the teams. Some merely dislike her because they already have her and they have to wade through dozens of Sprockets to find what Skylanders are available in the stores next.
    • While it hasn't caused large-scale drama in the fandom, there is quite a bit of debate over whether Toys For Bob or Vicarious Visions have done better for the franchise. Toys For Bob developed the original Skylanders game (Spyro's Adventure) and its sequel, Giants, while Vicarious Visions developed SWAP Force (as well as the 3DS version of Spyro's Adventure and the various iOS/Android games). Although SWAP Force includes features such as new bonus modes and jumping, some fans dislike the story, lack of Heroic Challenges, or how some older Skylanders were nerfed. Others feel more neutral about it and think that Toys For Bob are better with story and creative assets, but Vicarious Visions are better at technical aspects and game design.
      • A lot of fans also disagree with each other about which of the 3DS games is the best. Some like the pacing of Spyro's Adventure better than that of Giants or SWAP Force, which are more slow-paced. The former was developed by Vicarious Visions, while the latter two were developed by n-Space. At the least, it seems most people agree that SWAP Force was better than Giants.
      • The 3DS version of Trap Team is developed by Beenox with the help of Toys For Bob, yet another set of developers, so it might divide peoples' opinions further.
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    • SuperChargers split the fanbase in half, making vehicles the focus of the game rather than traveling and fighting by foot. However, it was confirmed that only half the game is dedicated to using vehicles.
      • SuperChargers also brings in Bowser and Donkey Kong as guest characters, with the ability to switch them as a Skylander or as an amiibo. Both fanbases did not take this well. The Skylanders fans believe that only original characters should be used in the series, while the amiibo fans hate that they have to buy two starter packs just to get a special version of the characters. (At first.)
    • With the inclusion of Crash Bandicoot in Imaginators, the internet is split between whether his inclusion is an insult to his fanbase or if it's a good thing he came back at all.
    • Imaginators introducing playable villains was incredibly well received, but the changes to some of the character's elements (Eg. Tae Kwon Crow going from Dark to Fire, Grave Clobber going from Earth to Water), has been met with serious contention in the fan base. Some people simply don't care too much, and are just happy to have Villain figures, while others question some of the strange decisions and lack of in-universe explanation.
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    • The fact Imaginators has micro transactions for getting more body part for custom Skylanders has spilt many fans. People who already dislike micro transactions find it ruins the game while others don't really care about them since they are optional and you can grind for those Skylander Creator parts anyway.
  • Critical Dissonance: Fans were really not looking forward to it, and many are making a big deal about how little respect they have for the game or hope in its ability to sell. Critics, meanwhile, are often very warm to the new game, taking it for the toyetic kids' game that it is, and quite like it. Some have even admitted that they went into the first game expecting the worst because of the negative fan reaction, only to be pleasantly surprised by what they played.
  • Dancing Bear: Without the toy gimmick, it's just another Platformer/Beat 'em Up. (A perfectly enjoyable Platformer/Beat 'em Up, by all accounts, but nothing special.)
  • Demonic Spiders: Missile Mauler trolls in SWAP Force. Unlike most ranged enemies, their regular attack fires a homing missile that redirects towards you once and deals a HUGE amount of damage (120-ish on Medium difficulty). They also tend to be positioned on elevated areas or on the far end of the arena, which means that they're going to fire that missile at least once.
    • Bark Demons in Giants can hit for massive damage with their melee attacks, but if you're out of range they can also hit you with a spammable attack that summons a tree at your location that also hurts a ton. Their large health pool doesn't help.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Boomer and Stealth Elf seem pretty popular. The latter is kind of obvious, the former because of his gameplay, personality, and this commercial. Sonic Boom also has her fans, primarily due to her sympathetic backstory.
    • Wash Buckler from SWAP Force is slowly becoming this after his appearance in the extended trailer.
    • Spyro has become this because he's, well, Spyro. He's no more important than the other characters but has a major following.
    • Flashwing is also pretty popular, probably due to being voiced by Tara Strong.
    • Out of the villains in Trap Team, Wolfgang is probably one of the most popular, mostly due to his cool design, voice, and the fact that he is a werewolf that uses rock and roll as a weapon. Another villain that's gained some popularity is Broccoli Guy, not only for his hilarious design and voice, but also because he's incredibly useful in gameplay.
    • Pretty much every Female Skylander with a humanoid design (specifically Stealth Elf, Hex, Ninjini, Roller Brawl, Sprocket,etc.) Tend to be among the most popular of the Skylanders, escpecially among older fans.
  • Fridge Horror: Like you, Kaos and his mother are portal masters... however, Kaos's mom actually uses her powers to Interface Screw, and speaks directly to the player - she knows how to fight a fellow portal master, and attempts to attack the player. Just imagine if Kaos learned how to do this...
    • In Trap Team, he gains the ability to do just that. The horror is mitigated by the fact that he isn't very good at it, instead pulling random junk through the portal. However, SuperChargers brings the horror back right from the intro cutscene and even outdoes his mom: Kaos uses his portal skills to cut the player off from Skylands entirely. The only reason the player even manages to get a Skylander into the game is because Hugo, Cali, and Flynn were resourceful enough to re-establish a connection, but if they hadn't, Kaos would be unstoppable.
    • One of the Story Scrolls in SWAP Force mentions that Kaos' Fortress was used for him to experiment on living creatures. In the next level, Motherly Mayhem, you fight Bubba Greebs- a huge, mutated Greeble with eyes on its shoulders and back... Most likely the result one of Kaos' experiments.
    • Ghost Roaster's backstory mentions him eating ghosts. If ghosts are the souls of the dead in the Skylander world, what happens to them when they're eaten?
  • Game-Breaker:
    • From Spyro's Adventure, we have Terrafin and Ghost Roaster who are really good at dodging, Hex who can set up a super-powerful wall while she safely fires away from behind it, and Boomer whose ground pound attack hurts a lot of targets at once and stuns.
    • From Spyro's Universe, Tech Skylanders are really good for the Sky Defense minigame, where their machine gun Limit Break can mow down multiple mooks with ease.
    • From Swap Force PvP, we have Bumble Blast. His bees can be fired at a good rate, home in on the enemy, and hit more than once. He also has honey and mines which make the opponent slowed for some time and also makes them take more damage from bees. Then there's Jolly Bumble Blast, who is Bumble Blast wearing a Christmas hat that boosts his speed and armor by a huge amount.
    • Dune Bug in Swap Force's Story Mode. An early upgrade allows his Dune Balls to trap up to 5 small/medium enemies (bypasses shields and hits flying Rip-rotors), then he can roll them off the edge for a One-Hit Kill. As Skylands is a World in the Sky, he has many opportunities to do so, and if there isn't he can fire the ball at a wall to stun the trapped enemies. As such, the only Mooks Dune Bug usually has to worry about are Geargolems. This ability is mostly useless in PvP, though.
    • Chef Pepper Jack in Trap Team. He's absurdly powerful, being able to rain down explosive peppers over a wide radius (each of which does 120 splash damage) at a mind-boggling pace (roughly 1.5 second cooldown, 5 per shot), precision kill enemies with his fire breath AND rapidly move about the battlefield with his whisk charge. Additionally, upon completing his Wanted Poster, the mitigating factor of his summon time is tripled in length. He turns Arena Battles and Kaos Challenges into cakewalks at best and "Mash Primary Attack To Win" exercises at worst.
    • Eon's Elites. Super powerful versions of fan favorite characters from the first game, such as Spyro, Chop Chop, and Trigger Happy. Noticeable traits are triple stats and having their card values cap at 500 while Trap Team series characters only go up to 250. At max level Spyro has 2700 health!
    • Kaos himself, once trapped, though it's pretty clear this is intentional as a reward for clearing the game and managing to acquire a Kaos Trap. His basic attack has different effects based upon what elemental symbol appears, which hit a wide area for staggering amounts of damage. That is, unless he pulls a Magic symbol which completely refills his summon meter, making him the only villain in the game able to be played indefinitely. Add to that his Doom Sharks, which home in on enemies while packing a solid wallop (and can't heal enemies if they miss, unlike when you face them) and the ability to turn into his Awesome Giant Head from Spyro's Adventure, and it's easy to see how he could solo the entire game.
    • In Imaginators, the titular Imaginators are often flat out better than everyone else for multiple reasons, but mostly because they are either stupidly fast, or stupidly strong. Getting enough Senseis will have them eventually start reaching Eon Elite levels of HP.
  • Growing the Beard: Some people believe that in between Giants and Swap Force, the series started to take itself a little more seriously. Giants started adding a lot of well-known voice actors to the cast. (Just take a look at the Trivia page!) The toy designs became more detailed, and the games started gradually adding more to the gameplay, such as the ability to jump. Not to mention, the levels of Swap Force are not only better looking than in Giants, they are much more full of secret areas, some of which are relatively well hidden.
    • Additionally, Swap Force began featuring more nuanced combat styles among the Skylanders themselves. While still in simplistic, kid friendly forms, Stance Systems, Status Buffers, Beastmasters and more are present, rewarding players who take a more strategic approach to combat.
    • Trap Team furthers the growth artistically, featuring a slightly upgraded version of the graphics engine from Swap Force, the return of several fan favorite characters from Giants, and the figurines continue to become even more beautiful and intricate. While Swap Force was certainly no slouch in the figurine department, the Trap Masters are gorgeously painted and modeled, with craftsmanship rivaling that of several hundred dollar collector's figures.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • One of the Skylanders, Whirlwind, is part unicorn and can fire rainbow energy rays as her main weapon. The Big Bad is named Kaos. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic will be reminded of the season two premiere, with a villain named Discord and Elements of Harmony emitting rainbow energy. Also, as of Giants there is a character voiced by Tara Strong (which is not surprising, as she's all over the place, including MLP:FiM's Twilight Sparkle.)
    • Also from Giants is the Secret Arkeyan Vault of Secrets level, which features a giant blue robot who needs a second pilot to perform properly wading through lots of water as it punches similarly scaled opponents. If the game hadn't preceded the film by at least a year, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a ripoff.
    • The ending of Spyro's Adventure has Kaos being warped into our world as a mere toy. Fast forward to Imaginators where there's actually a Kaos figurine, and it can be used in game.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
  • Memetic Mutation: Cyndertits! note 
    • For some, making fun of that one Skylander who the stores always have a ton of that you already have.
      • Water traps and Head Rush. Every time.
  • Most Annoying Sound: I trapped a villain... but will you please just SHUT UP over there? Zig-zagged as you are able to turn it off.
  • Nightmare Fuel: For older audiences, it might not be, but it definitely would be for most kids: during The Golden Desert in Trap Team, you fight a villain named Grave Clobber. The first thing he says? "I'M GOING TO BURY YOU."
    • It seems like a lot of young kids find Ghost Roaster, with his sharp teeth, claws and the ability to turn into a flaming skull, pretty frightening. The fact that he's Ambiguously Evil doesn't help.
    • Eye Five and especially Eye Scream are pretty creepy.
    • The villain Dreamcatcher from Trap Team. Her levels are a Mind Screw, she eats dreams and has More Teeth than the Osmond Family. She's also a disembodied floating head.
    • The Wilikin village in Giants is eerie enough, but one of the houses in Facadeville seems to have a female Wilikin ghost running around through the air that you can't interact with other than standing under her to make her stop. On top of this, the furniture is floating off the ground and the music is replaced with a version that has childlike laughing in the background. The other Wilikin never mention the house.
    • This one is more likely to weaken with age as well but, Hood Sickle's redesign in Imaginators takes his grim reaper/executioner vibe Up to Eleven. With a catchphrase of "Any last words?", he's way less friendly than any of the reformed villains.
  • Porting Disaster: Spyro's Adventure received a hasty port to the PC. The options menu does not allow you to change any graphics settings and sound often completely cuts out at certain pre-rendered cutscenes. To make it worse, there was no subtitles feature for these scenes, so you end up with Eon simply mouthing at you or Kaos and Glumshanks mouthing at each other with the player having no idea what's going on. There were also random crashes at various places, such as the beach levels. This may be why none of the sequels had any versions released on PC.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: While the figures certainly cater towards the collector demograph and is the Dancing Bear, the Merchandise-Driven aspect has created a minor annoyance of a Scrappy Mechanic - the fact that certain Skylanders are more rare than others, and that not all of the Skylanders are released at once. This can lead to certain Skylanders who the stores never seem to run out of and other figures that the stores never seem to carry. Not to mention, certain Skylanders never got a series 2 or series 3 rerelease, meaning that as stores carry less Spyro's Adventure packs, it becomes harder to find the non-commonplace Series 1 Skylanders, same with the battle packs.
    • Sunburn and Ghost Roaster deserve special mention, as their figures are only available in the Dragon's Peak and Darklight Crypt packs - which have been out of print for several years and, consequently, become much harder to find in a brick-and-mortar store. Furthermore, Darklight Crypt was fairly rare to begin with, leading to sightings of it in secondhand stores for almost $200. Fortunately, Ghost Roaster got a long awaited re-release under the Eon's Elite line. However, Sunburn is still exclusive to his Adventure Pack.
    • As mentioned by Chris Bores, certain Skylanders tend to be purchased immediately by collectors, who then sell them on eBay or Amazon for inflated prices. This makes certain figures a little more rare.
    • For some time, Ninjini was so rare that stores which carried Skylanders reported a ratio of one Ninjini figure out of forty other Giants being shipped. Like Spy Rise and Stink Bomb mentioned below, it was at one point not uncommon to find her online for four times her retail price.
    • The Mystery Gates and villains requiring unknown elemental traps in Trap Team. You cannot access/trap them. Period. At least, not until the new elemental characters are released. Some might enjoy that they'll have more to do later, but others might get annoyed at these until then completely unknown villains showing up. Bound to be a moot point upon their release however.
      • On the subject of Trap Team, the fact that elemental gates must be opened by Trap Team members. It certainly encourages the collection of the new characters, but it seems a tad unfair when Swap Force allowed you to bypass the dual gates via co-op and can make the other Skylanders seem less needed. Also like with the Mystery elements, before 2015 (The game launched in October, by the way) Magic gates were an impassible brick wall.
    • For some, the traps themselves can veer into this - The game is shipped with a board of all the trappable enemies, and if you are going for 100% Completion and to do that you need all the villains, you are going to need quite a bit of traps. The traps aren't expensive, but they add up quickly. (It doesn't help that the only pack of multiple traps is a pack as expensive as a 3DS Game!) Not only that, but you are pretty much told to use up the two traps that came with the game on the first level so... better have gotten some extras if you want to trap them. note 
    • The backlash really comes from the fact that in Swap Force and Trap Team, none of the old Skylanders can open any Gates like they used to. Buying pricier Skylanders for more zones is nothing new, but you could still unlock (Swap Force) Elemental Gates with Core Skylanders, and even Dual-Element Gates if you had two controllers. The Swap Force members were more expensive than normal Skylanders and you needed eight of them for 100% completion, but their swappable parts justify the higher price. The Trap Masters toys don't have special features like the aforementioned swapping or the light-up parts on Giants, and their only redeeming factor is their amount of detail.
    • If this weren't enough, 100% completion in Trap Team also requires a set of eleven Traps (ten elements plus Kaos) and four Location Pieces (Midnight Museum, Sunscraper Spire, Mirror of Mystery and Nightmare Express), making it the most expensive Skylanders game to complete. Without all of these, you can't earn every star on your save file. Thankfully, Traps are cheaper than Skylanders, though Location Pieces are only sold in multi-packs.
      • Compounding the issue with the Location Pieces is that it's nigh impossible (as of mid-2016) to get Midnight Museum and Sunscraper Spire without paying out the nose, as they both go for around $70-140. The Skylanders and Traps bundled with them are available in single packs, but while the Skylanders are reasonably priced the Traps will still cost you an arm and a leg.
    • Perhaps the worst case of this has happened before Imaginators' release, when they announced that Creation Crystals, the toys used to hold your custom character's data, are permanently locked to the Battle Class that is first chosen, and that the only way to get a certain Battle Class in a certain Element afterwards would be to buy a whole new one. Literally no one was happy about this, most complaints stemming from how obviously greedy it is, and exists solely to suck money dry from people. This, and a few other problems with the creator, has soured a lot of the fanbase on the game's main selling point.
  • Self-Fanservice: Just check on DeviantArt, you'd be surprised how much arts there are about naked Stealth Elf, often with very exaggerated curves when compared to the skinny action figure.
    • Hex got some of this too; whereas her actual dress is rather sober and cover everything but her face and fingers, you will probably easily find art of her in Stripperiffic goth attire with Absolute Cleavage, when she even wears something. And of course, don't expect her to have decayed skin or anything similar. They apparently forgot she was supposed to be an undead.
    • It doesn't take long for Ninjini, Chill and Sprocket to get fan-serviced either. As a DeviantArt member once reacted:
    "God just cant stop yourselves, can you? Gotta draw EVERY HUMANOID Skylander like she's some kind of god damn porn star!"
    • Ask Fright Rider, Flameslinger, Sunburn, Gill Grunt, Flashwing, Whirlwind, Tuff Luck, or Sonic Boom, and they'll all tell you that you don't even have to be female or humanoid to have this issue.
  • Sequelitis: Trap Team has much less content than SWAP Force, with half as many game modes, despite adding many more playable characters. Most of the general game design is worse, with a larger but emptier hub, bad Power Creep and less variety in level layouts and enemy attacks. It lacks things that were even in the series before SWAP Force: PVP is one of the missing game modes, Heroic Challenges and Quests are removed completely and the Story Scrolls just have jokes from Flynn instead of adding background lore (stupidly, you can't re-read them now, either). There's also the fact that none of the old Skylanders can open Elemental Gates any more, leaving a sour taste in some fans' mouths (see the Scrappy Mechanic example below).
  • Shipping: While the game doesn't provide any visible romance between the Skylanders themselves (due to their personalities and relationships never being explored except in the biographies and trailers), this hasn't stopped the fans from already imagining some shippings. Aside from the obvious Spyro/Cynder due to them being based on Legend of Spyro, Flameslinger/Stealth Elf seems to have become quite popular (logically due to the fact both are from the same species).
    • Even Les Yay have been imagined already, mainly with Stealth Elf/Hex.
    • As of Giants, "Bashwing" (Bash/Flashwing) has taken wing due to Bash developing a crush on Flashwing in her backstory.
    • Spotlight and Blackout has seen a fair share of shipping fanarts as well.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: A full on actual game version. Unlike previous games, Superchargers is VERY straightforward and offers little incentive to go back to earlier levels outside of the water/sky challenges and a few treasure chests. Its Wii/3DS version on the other hand takes the focus towards the racing minigame from the other consoles and instead has a full on Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed style story mode. One can actually go from the last gen version to the HD modern consoles and actually feel a little disappointed.
  • That One Achievement: In Giants, only one of a character's "Quests" cannot be achieved in single player — it requires winning 10 PVP matches, and you can't Gold-rank the figurine without it. Do you have friends to challenge?
    • In SWAP Force, one of the Portal Master achievements requires you to own at least one Sidekick... because you got it, right? Surely the toy stores haven't decided to stop carrying all the sidekicks...
      • Alleviated as of Trap Team, which featured a re-release of all eight original sidekicks, along with eight new ones, as a core aspect of the toy line.
    • For collectors, there is that one figure that you can never find - it's always online for a much higher price than you're willing to pay for it.
  • That One Sidequest: Some of the Heroic Challenges can be a nightmare for certain characters. For example, Drobot's HC requires the player to kill 100 green Chompies while avoiding the purple ones (although you are forgiven if you kill just one). Thing is, there is quite a ton of the purples in the dungeon, and they are also aggressive. Good luck trying to complete this challenge with characters with ranged weapons (you can accidentally shoot a purple off-screen), a wide-ranged attack (the purples will gang up on you), or a Giant (who automatically trample any Chompies that get close).
    • Any challenge marked "Warning! This can be tough!" has the potential to become this. Like Drobot's challenge above, these often require precision, destroying some targets while avoiding others; and some Skylanders are just no good at avoiding collateral damage.
  • Ugly Cute: About half the Skylanders. Kaos and Glumshanks may also count.
  • Uncanny Valley: Persephone. Players have pointed out the uncanny resemblance to Chucky.
    • In-Universe, the Wilikin are a race of wooden doll people who creep out almost everyone who interacts with them.
    • Trigger Happy's grin takes up most of his face, so when he's frowning (in his defeated pose), he just looks plain wrong.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: If you never read her bio, you might be forgiven for thinking Sonic Boom is male in the first game, despite the focus on using her eggs/hatchlings in combat. In Giants however, she's given a clearly feminine voice.
  • Vocal Minority: Many classic Spyro fans spend their time doing nothing but complain about the franchise, and bully supporters. While they claim that most classic fans despise Skylanders, this isn't really the case, as many classic fans have either embraced it or choose to ignore it without fuss. But the haters are so vocal, supporters are hard to come by. Because of how serious this has gotten, Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment applies here.
  • The Woobie: Sonic Boom. She went to hell and back to find a safe place to have her eggs and some rotten wizard decides to put a curse on them so they always return to their eggs after a short period, meaning she'll never see her babies get to grow up. This didn't stop her from teaching them to kick butt, however.
    • You have to feel a little bad for Night Shift as well. He got banned from boxing, his favorite sport, all because there was a change in rules which outlawed teleportation. It's implied that he has no control over his abilities.
    • Enigma. Because of one bumbling Mabu's mistake, he was driven from his homeland. Then he had to deliberately cut himself off from his world, forever, to stop baddies which were caused by said mistake.

Alternative Title(s): Skylanders Spyros Adventure


Example of: