While the Wii U version is undoubtedly inferior to the PS4 and Xbox One offerings in terms of presentation, there's no denying that the Skylanders Imaginators offers a lot of value thanks to its character creation mode. While some might argue that this focus on virtual creatures goes against the tactile experience so beloved of toys to life players, it's an interesting new direction for a series which needed a change to maintain consumer interest. If you're a long-standing follower of Skylanders then you'll find a lot to like here.
Overall Minecraft Story Mode is a great start to a new series. Although the child-like visuals will put some Telltale fans off this is to miss the huge investment and achievement so far. If the series continues in this vein it's set to be warmly welcomed by both Minecraft fans and families.
This isn't just another update to the Skylanders series, it's the moment the game properly comes of age both from the perspective of top notch gameplay as well as offering families exactly what they want in terms of value. Also, those amiibo-Skylanders are fantastic.
As with any of these toy-video-game cross over products Lego Dimensions is not cheap. However, it's come in with super high production values, loads of content and tens of hours of game-play. In an already crowded it stands out from the crowd by taking the toys-to-life genre another step in the right direction.
Despite those load times, Disney Infinity 3.0 is a very strong addition to the franchise. The Star Wars content is handled well and the Toy Box additions will open game-making to a wider audience. While Disney could have rested on the knowledge that this year's brands would sell themselves, it's good to see that it's taken the game forward in substantial ways.
Overall, Skylanders Superchargers is a very impressive package. Totting up how much extra content you get makes it very good value. Add to that the full backward compatibility support for all the previous figures, new online and racing modes and high end production value and it's a very tempting package. Superchargers is the moment we really see Skylanders deliver on its potential. It's not the cheapest game to play with your family but it delivers a huge amount of value.
Disney Infinity 3.0 does much more than just rely on Star Wars to sell units, though. Enhancements to combat, toy-box tools and vehicle handling combine with the new space dog-fights, racing and more generous cross-over characters to deliver just what fans of the series have been asking for.
Alongside substantial improvement to the game there has been considerable effort to improve the value here with the lower price starter pack. Disney Infinity 3.0 will be hard to resist for fans of the film and families looking for this year's toy-to-life video-game investment.
On balance the Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes The Avengers Starter Pack — to give it its full name — offers a lot of value on its own. Providing families understand that the additional toys are optional extras rather than necessities they should be able to resist over-spending at super market checkouts. The improved upgrades, enhanced Toy Box experience and Marvel franchise make this year's game an enticing proposition.
On balance this is another good outing for Skylanders, although not delivering as much ambition and creativity in the video-game as in the toys. Provided families can enjoy both physical and virtual elements of the game there is still much to celebrate here, and plenty of value.
It's not until you see it in action in the hands of fans and players that it starts to make better sense. Testing the game out with my own children was a light-bulb moment for me, as I watch them moved seamlessly from playing with the toys on the carpet to placing them on the Infinity Base and continue those adventures on the screen.