Skylanders: Trap Team launches today in Australia, and while Vicarious Visions has somehow crammed the console experience onto tablets, the 3DS version is a completely different animal. How so?
A Whole New Story
The prison break story in the console version of Skylanders: Trap Team? Forget about it. The 3DS version instead focuses on the beloved and bumbling Hugo, assistant to the series resident floating head, Eon. On a trip to the Eternal Archives, Hugo accidentally reads a book titled "The Most Boring Book Ever". It was called that so people would avoid it, as it is actually a prison for the vile Dream Sheep. Freed from the book, the Dream Sheep uses magic to put all of Skylands into a deep slumber. It's up to the Skylanders to gather three legendary magical bells and wake the world.
The Eternal Archives serves as the game's hub, with doors leading to each adventure zone as well as collection and villain storage rooms.
As is tradition with 3DS versions of Skylanders releases, Trap Team on Nintendo's handheld is all about jumping. While the console version still fumbles about with vertical movement, the 3DS version embraces it. Jumping? How about double jumping? And what they heck, here's a sprint button to help earn those time trial stars. It's a bit more challenging than its console brother, which is a good thing.
Efficient Skylander Management
Rather than have players tote about a portal everywhere they go, Skylanders: Trap Team on the 3DS only requires Skylanders be scanned into the game once. Just set your Skylander on the included portal (which looks exactly like last year's model), line up its sensor with the 3DS' IR port, and in it goes.
Its quite a convenient system for a game you carry about in your pocket. Any Skylander in your arsenal can be called upon with a touch of the lower screen at any time. Have 100 Skylanders? They're all there.
How odd, considering the console game's strong focus. Do not worry about those little trap crystals for the 3DS version of Trap Team — they are useless here. When one of the game's 14 unique villains is captured, it appears on the 3DS' lower screen. Players can poke it, pet it, blow on it, or summon it to appearing alongside your chosen Skylander, performing a screen-wide attack before waiting out a timer for another go.
See? No traps. It does, however, come with the Barkley sidekick figure. Those little guys are delightful.
Just As Entertaining
I've been looking forward to the 3DS version of each new Skylanders release since playing the DS version of Spyro's Adventure back in 2011. They have consistently been solid platformers, different enough from the console versions to warrant playing both. Trap Team follows suit.
Just make sure you don't buy any of the traps for your 3DS-exclusive children. Those tears will burn.