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Skylanders Imaginators: Crash Round-Up

Crash's long-awaited revival is being done as a step-by-step effort to raise the brand's awareness. This includes a special guest appearance in the upcoming Skylanders Imaginators and a remastering of the original trilogy. If you're wondering what exactly the former will be like, you've come to the right place. Let's take an in-depth look at Crash's appearance in Skylanders Imaginators.

The Game

King Pen in Skylanders Imaginators.

Imaginators is set for release on October 16, 2016. For those of you who don't know, it's the latest entry in Activision's toys-to-life franchise, Skylanders. Simply put, by placing any compatible figure in the NFC device known as the Portal of Power, you'll be able to play as the character it represents. As you level up your character, progress is saved in the figure itself, allowing you to take it to a friend's place and play as the exact same character you've been using.

The Skylanders games are platformers with RPG elements, and Imaginators is no exception. Each character has his/her own abilities and belongs to one of several elements (such as fire and water) as well as battle types. The main innovation in Imaginators is the ability to create your own character using a vast array of possible combinations, including unique attacks learned from Senseis (the big kahunas in the game and the ones that are getting figures this time).

Skylanders Imaginators is featured in 3 different editions, each with varying content. This is where Crash comes in.

The Edition

The Crash figure introduced in Skylanders Imaginators.The 3 different Imaginators editions are called Standard, Dark, and Crash. The Crash Edition is exclusive to the PlayStation 3 and 4, and features the most content of them all. It includes the game, a currently unknown number of Sensei figures (not the least of which is the exclusive Crash figure), an Imaginite Creation Crystal (for making your custom character), a poster, and the Portal of Power needed to bring your figures into the game.

Due to all the stuff included in the Crash Edition, it's also the most costly of the three. It will be sold for $99.99 US dollars, and you can pre-order it exclusively from Toys 'R Us.

An interesting thing to note about the Crash Edition is that despite its PlayStation exclusivity, the Crash figure will still be compatible with other systems. So, for example, if you have a friend with the Wii U or Xbox One version of the game, you can still use the Crash figure to play as the bandicoot there.

This is also good news for crossover fans: every new Skylanders game is compatible with all the figures released thus far, so it's technically possible to have Crash partnering up with Spyro, Bowser, or Donkey Kong in the same game, as they've all been a part of Skylanders in the past. Bowser and Donkey Kong are Nintendo-exclusive and, unlike Crash, will only work in the Wii U version of the game, so you'll still need that if you want to see Crash joining forces with Mario's foes. But hey, just the fact that it's even possible is pretty cool!

As a reminder, the Crash figure is not planned to be sold separately, so you'll need to get the Crash Edition if you want it in your collection and the ability to play as him.

The Role

Crash running in what appears to be a variation of Wumpa Island in Skylanders Imaginators.

Imaginators features special Sensei characters — Mighty warriors whose powers can be transferred to your custom character. This is where Crash comes in, for he, too, is a Sensei. Quite appropriately, Crash's Skyland element is Life, and he is a Brawler class type.

In Crash's story, Aku Aku visits the Skylands through a wormhole to announce the Synchronization Celebration that occurs every 20 years. However, the Skylanders are busy dealing with Kaos and his new threat, so they are unable to accept the invitation to party with the Wumpa Island inhabitants. Crash then decides to leap through the wormhole to help them out.

The Portrayal

Crash Bandicoot fighting some enemies in Skylanders Imaginators.

Jess Harnell is reprising his role as Crash's voice actor. Though the bandicoot evidently doesn't have any spoken lines, he still grunts during gameplay like in Radical Entertainment's games. Also returning is Greg Eagles, who plays the wise sidekick Aku Aku. As usual, he's the one who speaks during cutscenes. Interestingly, both actors are part of the ensemble that was more or less established during Radical's reign, so there is a chance we will see more reprisals in the upcoming Crash Bandicoot Remastered.

As you have no doubt already noticed, Crash's design is heavily inspired by Charles Zembillas's original concept art, dating all the way back from the character's creation. He looks like a modernized take on Zembillas's classic style with a few extra details and a couple of choices lifted from more recent designs. Vicarious Visions spent a lot of time and put a ton of effort into making Crash's design just right, and you can read all about it here.

It's worth noting that in the game proper, Crash looks slightly different from promotional artwork (as well as the figure itself). Most noticeably, his head is considerably larger, which could be a reflection of the usual Skylanders proportions. This is just speculation, but chances are that the proportions from the promotional artwork will be used in the remaster, assuming the same design will be used in that at all.

Crash using his yo-yo Sky-Chi in Skylanders Imaginators.Crash's moveset is directly based on the classic games. He has all of his original attacks, including the slide-tackle, the belly-flop, and, of course, the spin attack. He can also perform some fancier moves in Skylanders, such as the ability to throw around TNT crates or use his yo-yo as his Sky-Chi (an especially powerful attack exclusive to Senseis). You can also find Bazooka Crates that let Crash use his Fruit Bazooka while flying with his Jet-Pack at the same time. But that's not all.

Going the extra mile, Vicarious Visions is making Crash unique as a Skylander in other ways too. For instance, whereas every other Skylander has a unified health meter, Crash actually has lives like in the old games (lose one and he'll literally fall into his own grave before respawning, at which point Aku Aku mutters some good old mumbo jumbo before shielding him for a second). If you're lucky, you can actually find extra lives in some of the crates thrown by Crash. Also back are Wumpa fruits and what appears to be a Crash-themed beach level. However, it hasn't been confirmed if this location really is what it looks like and whether it's exclusive to the Crash Edition.

The Gist

  • Skylanders Imaginators comes out on October 16, 2016;
  • The Crash Edition will be exclusive to PlayStation 3 and 4 ($99.99 USD);
  • The Crash figure won't be sold separately, but it will work in every version of the game, including non-PlayStation consoles;
  • Crash has his own story reasons for visiting Skylands;
  • Jess Harnell and Greg Eagles will reprise their roles as Crash and Aku Aku, respectively;
  • The character designs look heavily inspired by the original art by Charles Zembillas;
  • Crash's moveset is based on the classic PlayStation games;
  • There may be an exclusive level for Crash (not yet confirmed).

That's all we know so far. New videos and images will be posted in the newly created Skylanders Imaginators section as they are released, so head there regularly to learn more about this neat guest appearance!



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