New portal? It's definitely nice that they're improving the game, but at the same time, that is still really annoying and definitely means I'll have to put this off, especially with how much else they'll is I'll be wanting this year and how tight my funds will likely be.
Something else that's disappointing is sticking with only 2-player local co-op. I mean, I can kind of understand their reasoning for not having online co-op. But if they were going to redesign the portal anyway, couldn't they have at least added support for 4-player local co-op? I mean, I have no use for it personally, but this seems to be the perfect kind of game to have the whole family able to play at once or to let a kid play with several of their friends at once, instead of just one. Seems their really limiting it's potential by keeping it to just 2-players and like I said, though I have no use for that myself, all the same, this just seems to be a type of game that screams to be expanded to four players and it really is a shame they're not using this opportunity with the new portal to add that aspect to the series.
Also, on a personal note, I have to say: I feel sorry for the people who work in retail and will have to try and sell this game (which will probably end up including myself again). Not that these are bad games or anything--far from it. It's just that it's pure hell trying to explain everything that you actually need to know about these games to parents who don't know the first thing about the series who were just trying to get a nice Christmas gift for their kids (who I also have a lot of sympathy for--there's a lot to know about this series and Activision isn't exactly making it easy to just jump in without any worries. Granted, this time you will just be able to buy the Starter Pack of the newest game and be completely fine for the time being, but if you're actually trying to be a good parent and learn a bit about the game you're buying your kids, it's easy to get swamped and just feel overwhelmed trying to keep track of everything, especially if you're not a NeoGAF poster and don't know much about games and such period).
Having had to handle it myself last year, it was bad enough with just Giants and trying to explain the difference between the Spyro's Adventure and Giants, the difference between the Starter and Portal Owner's Pack for Giants, that the Portal from Spyro's Adventure works for Giants, what was actually different about the Giant figurines, that all the old figurines from Spyro's Adventure work on Giants, but that the new figurines don't work with SA, what the deal with Series 2 figures was, and what the deal with the Lightcore figures was (especially since some of them were SA characters and some of them were from Giants). And of course, the basic idea behind the games themselves and stuff like he idea behind the 8 different elements and such. Just a lot of info for parents who were just trying to get something really nice for their kids for Christmas to keep track of, who knew nothing about what this "Skylanders" thing even was and had no clue there was so much to it and so it's easy for them to be lost in it all and just end up confused trying to digest it all at once.
Now, adding on this third game, on top of still having to explain a lot of that old stuff for any of it to really make sense at all, you have to explain how the old figures work with the new game again, but the old portal doesn't and so you have no choice but getting a Starter Pack for this game, the idea behind the Swap-Force figures and which games the Series 3 and new Lightcore figures will work with? That... doesn't exactly sound like my idea of a good time at all. Again, any retail workers who have to deal with this and any parents trying to get into this for the first time despite not knowing much about the series (again, it's not really that hard to or anything, but it's still easy to get overwhelmed by everything, especially if you don't know where to look for the important info): you have my sympathies and best of luck to you. xD
Anyway, shifting gears again, the game definitely looks better and the concept between the Swap Force figures themselves is interesting. Probably not going to get this entry myself like I said due to financial reasons, but definitely going to keep tabs on this though. I do worry though that unless they have a TV series or something ready to go by the time this one launches, that this will be the point that the series starts declining/going down hill already due to a combination of existing customers just feeling fleeced by having to buy a new portal again and the series getting a bit too confusing and just overwhelming-feeling to invite in new customers. Kind of really hope I'm wrong about that, as it would be a shame to see the series start dying already, but is something I fear could easily happen here from what has been revealed bout this, if Activision isn't extremely careful about how they handle this at least.