In a surprise reveal yesterday, Sony announced during their press conference that Crash Bandicoot is back. Not only is the PlayStation icon appearing in full-blown remakes of the original three PlayStation 1 games, but he is making his toys-to-life debut through Skylanders Imaginators, the next in Activision’s wildly popular franchise that lets players make their very own Skylanders for the first time.
Chris Wilson, senior producer for Activision, took us through a demo on how character customization works, which he said has been a highly requested feature for the series.
Players can customize virtually everything on their Skylander from the usual kinks found in character creators such as class, chest and arms, and even uniques catch phrases with a beginning and ending — all of which are unlocked in various ways from boss battles to loot found from fallen foes. The example phrase they used was “Can’t stop” for the beginning phrase and “zombie dance party” for the second half.
The self-created characters are put in the game and saved through crystal toys, which, like the normal characters, can be swapped in and out at any time.
What the character wears will have an effect on different stats as well, meaning costume parts aren’t simply for aesthetics. After a boss was defeated, it dropped the “rocky” armor it was wearing for the player to wear, which granted a higher armor rating.
Aside from character customization, Wilson also talked about new characters called Senseis, the masters for each character class. The Senseis are not only stronger than the average Skylander, but they also teach new techniques to character classes. For example, if you get a Sensei for the bow class, a character you create that uses the bow will be granted new powers.
Another popular feature players have yearned for is playing as villains, which players will finally get their hands on in Imaginators.
So how does Crash fit into all of this — other than Activision holding rights to the character? Wilson said a wormhole has opened on an island that basically allows Bandicoot to cross over into the Skylanders’ universe. Makes sense, right?
Editor’s thoughts: If I was a kid, I would absolutely be going crazy for this. It was pretty cool seeing everything I could use to form my dream character. I could give it a doll head with an upper body that looked like it skipped leg day, or simply an awesome scaly creature with a sword. And with a loot system akin to Diablo’s, I can see kids going crazy over this — and parents driven into insanity through their wallets.
Robbie Key is the Nintendo editor for Analog Addiction, assistant news editor at The Daily Sentinel and former editor-in-chief of The Pine Log at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he is now an alumnus. Follow his “completely relevant” Twitter updates and view his LinkedIn profile.