Now that the console version of Skylanders has finally caught up with the portable one in terms of jumping, the 3DS version of Skylanders: Swap Force ups the ante, letting players load all of their toys into the game at once.
The previous installments of Skylanders for the 3DS only allowed players to load two characters into the game at once. That was it. Once those two characters were loaded, players could switch between them at will, but new characters had to come in through the portable portal, replacing one of the current pair.
In a way, it made choosing which Skylanders to take with you a game, but it was also annoying for players who invested in collecting a whole set, only being able to play with two at a time.
Skylanders: Swap Force for the 3DS allows players to import their Skylanders into the game once, and then they're available for the rest of the game. Import your entire collection, and they'll always be right at your fingertips.
Just press the elemental icon of the character you want, and pull them up. Swap Force characters — the ones that split in two — allow you to choose an upper and bottom half.
Otherwise the game is a lot like the portable Skylanders Giants. Developed by N-Space (same as Giants), it's packed with challenging platforming that fully takes advantage of the fact that each character has not just jumping, but double jumping here. Combat is a little messy, but you get used to it.
The game also features a completely new storyline, just to make picking up both it and the console version easier. Activision thinks of everything.
Don't think of Skylanders: Swap Force for the 3DS as losing most of the physical interactivity of the series. We are losing that, but we're getting back a portable and playable catalog of every Skylander toy we own.