A long time ago, I saw a tweet from Nat Loh, senior game designer at Toys for Bob:
@starcontroller have you played #Skylanders yet? how many #StarControl ship powers can you identify?
To be honest, I was surprised. I never really thought about this. Maybe this could be the obscure Star Control references after all. I was watching this clip of Flameslinger and his secondary attack is strikingly similar like the Thraddash Torch from Star Control II:
I haven’t had a chance to watch all of the videos and this is the first video I’ve seen that is exactly like one of the ship’s abilities in Star Control.
Here’s another part of the game, where I encountered an enemy with a very familiar name: Arkeyan Ultron.
Another thing that surprised me in Skylanders is the boss battles. They are not only challenging but they often resemble SHMUPs (SHoot eM UPs). The difficulty is nowhere near Ikaruga, but it’s hard enough to feel like a SHMUP and can even motivate players to buy more toys to have a better chance of winning by numbers. With this particular enemy, I was so distracted by the missiles that I couldn’t concentrate of attacking it when its shield was down. There’s another part of the game where I had to deal with two of them at the same time!
I hope Skylanders: Giants has a disc-only option when it is released; I’d hate to buy another starter kit with things I probably wouldn’t use. For example, Guitar Hero sold its sequels as disc-only, which is only logical for Skylanders to do. TFB mentioned that it will be compatible with the existing portal that came with the first game. At this moment, I’m considering adding the sequel to my collection.
Thanks Nat for tipping me off about the ship powers in Skylanders.