Disney Infinity vs Skylanders: FIGHT!

The kids may constantly pester for a new Skylander or Infinity figure, but which game/toy is better? We conducted a few experiments…
 
 
 

Disney Infinity vs Skylanders: FIGHT!

  • BOMB MAN! (We don't know his name)
    Vikki Blake
    Last updated: 27 December 2013, 10:33 GMT

    Comparing the storylines of Disney Infinity with Skylanders is a little like comparing a simulation like F1 2013 with the open-worldliness of GTAV.

    Skylanders takes you on a whimsical adventure to beat franchise bad boy Kaos, presenting a tourniquet-tight story with little-to-no opportunities to step off the linear, if colourful, path.

    Infinity on the other hand, lets you drive the story. Through the free, open-world ‘Play Sets’ on offer and using the engaging build-your-own ‘Toy Box’ mode, you’re able to explore the world at your leisure, picking and choosing how – and where – to play. Both have their merits, and both are perfectly enjoyable, but...

    Although Infinity’s Play Sets run to a decent length, it takes a while to get going and offers no single, cohesive storyline. Congratulations Skylandersyou scoop our opening challenge.

    Winner: Skylanders

     
     

     

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  • Bagsy Sully
    Vikki Blake
    Last updated: 27 December 2013, 10:33 GMT

    It’s a fine line, crafting characters that can tweak the intrigue of parents as much as they do the sprogs. Skylanders packs warmth, charm and personality into every iteration, with each individual character bringing a unique spin on combat.

    But along came Disney Infinity and with it the House of Mouse’s prefabricated cast of thousands. Even though the characters you can play as remain, at present, disappointingly limited, the childhood friends you’ll encounter are plentiful.

    It’s tricky. On the one hand, Activision has carefully crafted an array of wonderful – brand new – beasts, and on the other, Infinity has cherry-picked popular characters from decades of Disney-flavoured nostalgia.

    But as warm and engaging as the Skylanders cast is, Disney Infinity has Jack Skellington in it – so it wins by default. Also Star Wars characters will probably turn up at some point, thus cementing this victory.

    Winner: Disney Infinity

     
     

     

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  • We'd only ever pick the dude with laser eyes, to be fair
    Vikki Blake
    Last updated: 27 December 2013, 10:33 GMT

    A crisp, robust brawler, Skylanders offers chapters that are narrow in scope and chiefly undemanding, but they’re undeniably good fun nonetheless.

    While Giants offered fewer levels than its predecessor, each chapter was stretched and stuffed with new secrets, hidden areas, bonus items and plentiful collectibles, while combat was helped (or hindered) by each figurine’s elemental solidarity.

    Although the Play Sets – offering a heap of quests and challenges – aren’t without their appeal, in Disney Infinity it’s the Toy Box mode that is undoubtedly the bigger draw.

    But while the former varies gameplay from setting to setting – swashbuckling action in Pirates, prankarific hilarity in Monsters University, and so on – the recycled mechanics grow stale with alarming speed.

    And it’s for this reason Skylanders once again takes the crown.

    Winner: Skylanders

     
     

     

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  • The Disney figures really are excellent
    Vikki Blake
    Last updated: 27 December 2013, 10:33 GMT

    When a game ships with plastic toys and a ‘portal’, you’d be forgiven for underestimating it.

    Don’t.

    You know how the figures work, right? Each game ships with a USB Portal of Power (bit grandiose there, Activision) or Base (not very grandiose at all, Disney), and whatever character you pop onto the portal will, ahem, magically appear on the screen.

    That’s providing the game lets you. Skylanders’ characters can jump in any place, any time, but Infinity prevents you from cross-contaminating Disney universes. So no, Sully can never stomp the gangplank in Pirates of the Caribbean.

    Boo, Disney. Boo.

    But while Skylanders offers more options – particularly as your figurine choices affect the combat options available to you in-game – Disney Infinity’s toys look so much cooler on your shelf, right?

    Winner: Disney Infinity

     
     

     

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  • It might look violent, but it's really not that bad at all
    Vikki Blake
    Last updated: 27 December 2013, 10:33 GMT

    With its rainbow-palette and laugh-out-loud script, there’s a solid game buried in Skylanders, particularly if you’re not immune to the charms of an adventurer stuffed with combat, puzzles and a mind-numbing array of collectibles.

    But Infinity’s not without its charm, either. Each Play Set is suitably different thanks to the unique quirks of each character, while Toy Box offers an immersive build-it-yourself mode bound to delight fans young and old.

    The winner this round? It’s close, but it’s got to be Skylanders.

    Battles modes are, admittedly, repetitive, but you are at least able to explore the co-operative campaign without restriction. In Infinity, co-op options are limited unless you have more than one character to accompany its designated setting… which means you can’t play unless you pay. Again.

    Winner: Skylanders

     
     

     

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  • Mr Incredible really is
    Vikki Blake
    Last updated: 27 December 2013, 10:33 GMT

    It’s unlikely that either of these games hold much longstanding allure for grown-ups, though let’s be clear: we’re not the target audience.

    Crafted carefully for children from the ground up, it’s pint-sized gamers Activision and Disney are actively tempting here.

    In Skylanders, there’s plenty to explore, and each new addition to the squad may open a previously unexplored area.

    Infinity, on the other hand, is a game without end. Players are free to explore at their own pace, and in the Toy Box – if occasionally a bit buggy – the story literally never ends.

    Explore friends’ boxes for missing unlockables, and they world is your oyster. Or racing track. Or university. Or… well, whatever you want it to be.

    Winner: Disney Infinity

     
     

     

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  • Skylanders Swap Force's figures are changeable! Huzzah!
    Vikki Blake
    Last updated: 27 December 2013, 10:33 GMT

    If you were to assume building a half-decent cast in either game takes the kind of financial backing typically associated with Premier League football clubs, you’d be right. Good grief, these games are expensive.

    Inexcusably so, actually. Starter packs alone will set you back £50+, and while you may – occasionally – find discounts or multi-packs at your favourite game/toy outlet, on the whole figurines ship separately, retailing at £10-£15 per piece.

    Given you’ll need more figures in Skylanders to access all the secret areas – and extra/duplicated characters just to play co-op in Infinity – this doesn’t come cheap.

    So though the Disney figures are, naturally, more recognisable, the sheer range of Skylanders – coupled the additional elemental effects on the in-game action – edge it just ever-so-slightly in front of rival Infinity.

    Winner: Skylanders

     
     

     

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  • The winner - Skylanders!
    Vikki Blake
    Last updated: 27 December 2013, 10:33 GMT

    It’s a close-fought battle – one that came down to a photo finish. Both games have their relative strengths and weaknesses, and were it a perfect world we might tell you to rush out and bag both.

    But that would require you to have the GDP of a small European nation in your bank account, so it’s not really a viable recommendation.

    So it is, things as they are, the chips have fallen, the hand is dealt, the metaphor is stretched – and the winner, beating out the opposition 4-3, is…

    Overall winner: Skylanders

     
     

     

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Vikki Blake

wants to go it alone

Shooting things dead, while a hell of a lot of fun, is not the be-all-and-end-all of a gripping multiplayer experience"