Skylanders Trap Team (XB1) Review

Ken McKown

Broccoli Guy is awesome!

It is time to once again spend an abundance of money on plastic figures. That’s right, Skylanders has returned. This year’s iteration introduces new hooks, which of course require the purchase of even more toys, adding to my already overflowing box of figures. I’m up to 85 now, and feel like a kid every time I drag out the collection to play. So what makes this year’s game worth shelling out another $100 plus for more cleverly-named heroes? Well, there are several reasons Trap Team is the best in the series to date, but the most obvious is the ability to play as villains.

Villains are not normal figures like Skylanders, instead users can purchase traps (one for each element of course) that store defeated villains. Once captured, they are stored in the hub world in a containment chamber. I could then swap them out at will before missions. It is as simple as pulling the left trigger to unleash them during battle, and they complement Skylanders well, especially in co-op. Sadly, they don’t offer a traditional level-up system, although they do have side missions that can unlock new abilities.

You say tomato…

Platforms: XB1, PS4, PS3, 360, 3DS, Wii U, Wii
MSRP: $74.99 (starter kit) figures range $9.99-$15.99
Multiplayer: Local co-op

I also love that the new portal has a speaker built into it. When villains are trapped they will talk to players as they progress. Sometimes it is absolutely hysterical. I found myself laughing out loud as Broccoli Guy continued to tell me how awesome he was while trapped inside the portal.

Sadly, the new Trap Masters aren’t as interesting. They unlock hidden areas, and of course have their own element-specific locations, but they just feel like slightly smaller Giants. It is also worth noting that side areas blocked by elements are now specific to Trap Masters, which again makes it feel more like a way to force players to buy even more toys.

Playing co-op is still the ideal way to enjoy Skylanders, and now both players share treasure, which is a huge deal. No longer am I fighting my wife for all the goodies. As I mentioned, villains are also great in co-op. They have powers that compliment Skylanders, such as healing and freezing, which make taking down tougher enemies much easier.

From top to bottom Trap Team is the best game in the series. The platforming feels refined, the visuals pop even more on the new consoles and the sheer amount of content will keep kids (and adults) coming back for more. Still, there are a few nagging issues that the developers have still yet to address.

The villains are hilarious.

The one that has driven me nuts since the original game is the movement speed. There is a lot to see and do in Skylanders games. The amount of secret areas and things to collect is ridiculous. So when I find myself skipping them because of the slow-as-molasses speed my Skylanders move at, it becomes a problem. It wouldn’t take much, just a small increment. Yes I know that upgrades make them move faster, but that takes quite a while, and even then they still feel like they have no haste in saving Skylands.

The second problem stems from the abundance of dialogue. I think Skylanders contains some of the best writing in the business. Characters are genuinely funny and very likable, but they talk way too much. It seems every five seconds someone has something to say, and forcing Persephone to ask me EVERY SINGLE TIME I go there if I am ready for an upgrade is annoying. It is the only thing she does, of course that is why I am here!

Even with these quirks Trap Team is still the best game in the series to date. Sure it is yet another massive investment, but I am glad to see that the team continues to improve the core game and make it even more fun with each iteration. I still wonder how many years the series has left. My collection of plastic toys is so large I can’t keep track of which ones are upgraded or need more gold. Still, I sank yet another 20+ hours into Trap Team, and that speaks volumes for its entertainment.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Playing as villains
  • The speaker on the portal
  • Great visual style

Bad

  • Character movement speed
  • Abundance of dialogue
  • More toys, more money
8

Great

Ken McKown

Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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