Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Skylanders Battle Tournament

Well, here it is, the little "project" I have long teased about...A Skylanders Battle Tournament!!

Don't get too excited, I'm not sure how people will take this one...It could either bomb or turn out to be very popular.  I am obviously hoping for the later, but even if it isn't a smash hit, I think a few of you will enjoy it and I figure we will make the most of it and see it out to the very end.

Here is the video to explain things in more detail:

Skylanders Battle Tournament!



As you very well know, I can't record Single Player Battle Mode footage simply because there is no single player option...I'm not quite sure what the logic was in that...maybe it is too daunting, idk...I really hope that we see that addition for Giants.  Even if it isn't spot on, or at the level of say Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I would think as widely popular as it has been they might dial it in...As things currently sit, I and many others, seldom even get the chance to enjoy Battle Mode.

So with that in mind, this is the next best thing I could come up with, lol.  I really think if it is given a chance it could be pretty enjoyable, and possibly even become a regular series with different scenarios or weights (ie dragons, elemental grudge matches, home field for Earth etc).

The way these "battles" will work rely entirely on you!

If you recall the big poll I did for "Who is Your Favorite Skylander?" you might think this order looks familiar...it should, because I set up this 1-32 Bracket based entirely off of who you voted your favorites.

The bracket itself basically consists of 4 Tiers of 8 Skylanders that comprise the 32 player field.  They are broken down 1-Warnado, 2-Camo, 3-Wham-Shell, and 4-Sunburn.  Warnado will have the easiest time getting to the finals since the lowest seed after him is #8 Spyro.  Juxtaposed to that we have #4 Sunburn facing the biggest challenge to reach the finals since he has the #5 Ignitor lurking in the bracket below.

I will try to get a pic of the bracket up soon, but you can see it pretty well in the video.

Right now, I am thinking of running the polls for 2 Week Intervals.  If we decide to run longer, we will adjust on the fly.  You can find the 16 1st Round Polls on the Right Hand side of the Blog, just below the Twitter Feed.

I have the ordered 1-1, 1-4, 1-2, and then 1-3, to basically replicate the "bracket" layout.

All you need to do is vote for you favorite, or who you think would win...tell your friends...and monitor the results.  There are already some pretty interesting matchups between pretty even characters.

Things may have changed since the "Who is Your Favorite" poll, or certain people might feel #32 Boomer would decimate #1 Warnado and thus shake the bracket up with a big upset.

I wish I could record Battle Mode footage, but this is honestly the best concept I could come up with...I have had the idea for a LONG TIME, but wanted to get all the main video installments up before side tracking into this one...

Feel free to let me know what you think...whether you like it, or hate it...Also feel free, assuming you like it, to throw out ideas you'd like to see for "future tournaments" etc.  I will probably video the "results" and then announce the "next round matchups" etc.

Like I've said, this could be well received or not really taken seriously.  I can certainly see a lot of potential in it and hope you will enjoy it, vote, and spread the word...The more votes, the tighter the matchups...and that makes for much more interesting outcomes!

Will Warnado battle Camo for the Championship, or will upsets happen and we see Double Trouble vs Trigger Happy?  The only way to find out is to vote, spread the word, and follow along.  I am looking forward to the outcomes and will offer up my synopsis after each battle's results are announced.

So what are you waiting for?  Vote now, tell your friends, have some fun, and pull for your favorite Skylander to emerge victorious!

1ofWiisdom

Round 1 Results Video


Round 2 Matchup Video


Round 2 Poll Results



Round 2 Results Video



Round 3 Matchup Video



Round 3 Results


Round 4 Matchup Video


Round 4 Results


Championship Matchup


Championship Results


And there you have it!  #5 Ignitor led a fiery charge throughout the bracket and absolutely wreaked havoc on the Life Element Skylanders.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Blog Poll #29 Results: What Do You Do with Your Skylanders Packaging?

Blog Poll #29 "What Do You Do with Your Skylander Packaging" wrapped up this past weekend and the results were about what I expected.  This was mainly just an item of curiosity for myself and I figured a few others were likely interested.  We had 130 Votes and the results broke down as follows:


The Poll wouldn't fit in the screen grab, so I just mixed it...Here is the exact outcome:

-Open Them All, Throw It Away 87 Votes (66%)
-Open Them All, Keep Packaging 26 Votes (20%)
-Open and Discard all but Variants 13 Votes (10%)
-Don't Open Any 3 Votes (2%)
-One Open, One Sealed 1 Vote (0%)

So to put this one to rest amongst viewers and readers...The overwhelming majority of you open all your Skylanders and toss the packaging never to see it again and you do so without hesitation.  You bought it, plan to use it, and have no need for the extra rubbish in your life.

1/5th of you open them as above, but hang on to the packaging...I figure this is the practical collectors amongst us.  You bought it, want to enjoy it and use it, but you realize that years from now, when reunited with the original blister pack, it will likely have more value (assuming they have any value).  I currently fall in this boat, but have seriously considered tossing the packaging.  I have several sacks full of them at this point and I have never opened one up to enjoy the packaging...The sad thing is they really take up a lot of room by the time you accumulate the base 32 and Legendaries.  I'm still debating but odds are they will get trashed.

A dead-even 10% of you open everything but the variants...I also fall into this mix, but mainly just put this up to give the option to voters.  I have no plans of opening any of the variants I have been lucky enough to find...I figure having the regular version open is good enough, AND if I do decide to toss the regular packaging, it helps me feel better about keeping these around sealed.

3 of you simply don't open any...You are probably the thrifty diehard...Rather than buy 2 (one open, one sealed) you simply take advantage of the portal reading thru the plastic and have the best of both worlds...minus the web code cards etc.  Not at all a bad strategy if these ever have value, or you need to sell in the near future.

And 1 of us actually takes it to the extreme of having one open and one sealed.  This is probably a fantasy for most of us with a collector's tinge, but the cost and or space is likely prohibitive.  Fun and well prepared for years down the road...not bad if you can finance it.

Thanks to everyone who voted...I think stuff like this is interesting and hope you do too.

I will have a "big" poll coming soon...You do not want to miss it...Stay tuned!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weekly Update 6/21/2012 and Translucent Red Drill Sergeant

Hey Everyone,

My apologies for not getting to update this much lately...it seemed like the last two weeks were just chock full of thunderstorms.  It was one year ago that I got the new computer...I like to think I'm doing it a favor not running it with the ridiculous lightning we have had lately.  That said, the storm pattern passes and it is just  hott...yeah, hot with two "t"s hott.  Really, it is that bad.

But hey, summer is officially here so what can you really expect...

Anyway, where to begin?

Skylanders Update

Ok, I have a few pics from my scrounging around.  I will try to add them soon.  I have not found anything new in stores, but did tonight...

You can read about it here {Yeah, right here, lol}

Translucent Red Drill Sergeant

Yep, you read right...And oh how I heartily laugh at the impecable timing.  I just recorded a video for Blue Bash and casually mentioned we might see a translucent red or green (I still think that would be killer with Stump Smash or Zook), and then as I am waiting for the video to render I come across the SkylandersGame  Retweet of a portal master who found a Translucent Red Drill Sergeant.  I know I'll get grilled in the video for it...somehow people that comment seem to not read descriptions or blogs, or do and then just arm themselves with ammunition to add to their "all knowing" state...fabulous.

That said, check it out:



Note the "Only at Walmart" sticker.  You all know how I feel about the "Only at Walmart" Drill Sergeant and "Only at Target" Whirlwind issue.  You have to assume, especially given Blue Bash being a TRU Exclusive, that it only makes sense Whirlwind would get a translucent version.

I have to say, I am not a fan of how they crank out multiple versions of the same Skylanders.  We already had a Gold Drill Sergeant...I'd much rather have had a translucent red Ignitor or some other character that doesn't already have a variant, but oh well.  The red does not look good in the pic, it looks pale.  That said, Translucent Blue Bash looked pale to me in pics, but looks awesome in person...I'll give the color the benefit of the doubt.

The biggest news with the unveiling of Translucent Red Drill Sergeant is simply speculation.  That's right...SPECULATION.  I just said it seems likely we see a translucent Whirlwind for Target.  What about doing Translucent Green?  Maybe a Translucent Orange Drobot?  Yeah, the options are endless, and so are the potential release dates.  This goes along with what I said all along about looking for Crystal/Glow-in-the-Darks....it makes you keep checking stock and hunting....just staying connected to the ritual in case you get lucky.  This is a nice nod for collectors, but I do wish we had a wider variety of "variants" as opposed to certain Skylanders getting multiple forms etc.

Skylanders Playthrough

Last night (June 21st, 2012) I recorded the Legendary Skylanders Upgrades and Gameplay in Quicksilver Vault.  I also took care of the "You didn't do the Golden Yamato Blast" crowd by doing it several times at the ruins and in the level.  That is really, for what it is worth, the end of the main uploads to the blind playthrough.  All I can really upload now is just taking multiples down their other path and then comparing the two...which I may very well do.

Skylanders Blog Posts

Within the week you should see two new posts: My Favorite Skylanders and My Upgrade Path Suggestions.  Both will be pretty simple, but will give you an idea of who I like and why, as well as some insights on upgrade paths if you are debating what to choose.

Skylanders Project

I do have one more thing planned.  I will have to see how people respond to it, but if it goes over well I will see it out to the end...I think a lot of you will enjoy it, despite being less than perfect.  More to come very soon!

Next Project

As most of you know, I have recorded quite a bit of the Mario Kart Wii Playthrough.  I even have a few of the videos ready to upload.  You should see them before too long.

That said, I have 2 other games going simultaneously.  One I started to take a break from MKW...I had horrible audio lag on the game end that really screwed up the recording...It is the worst I've ever had.  That said, it will make the commentary not sync at all.  Furthermore, to "re-do" that portion, I kind of have to start over...That isn't horrible since it happened early on, BUT it would also make this segment more of a rehash as opposed to totally blind, which I like.

With that in mind, last night, kind of out of the blue, I just decided to start recording something else...it should go quick and I might alternate uploading Mario Kart Wii and this particular title.  All I will say is it is on the Wii, pretty new, and will probably either be loved or hated...Feel free to comment with your guesses, lol.

Currently Playing

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (Wii)
Mario Kart Wii
Mystery Game 1
Mystery Game 2

Mario Tennis Open (3DS)
Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS-3DS)

Currently Listening

Auto Audio: Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots
Home Audio: Train, Taylor Swift

More to Come

There is actually quite a bit of  news to post up, but I am going to wait.

I do want to remind you to check out the Mario Tennis Open QR Code Post I made and the Skylanders: Giants Post I created just earlier this week.

Also, the most recent blog poll closes today.  It is of course just asking what you do with your Skylanders Packaging.  With it expiring, you know I will posting something new...but what?  This may very well tie in with something posted above...

Stay tuned!

1ofWiisdom






Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure Translucent Blue Bash

Checkmate Raincheck, Checkmate!

Many of you will recall my scenario with Translucent Blue Bash, which I have dubbed TBB for short.  I don't like the "show up early to a store Sunday morning, stand in line 2 hours, get in, and maybe land an item...and then possibly get back to your vehicle without having to fend of enraged lunatics" concept, so I just go with the flow.

As it was, "the flow" brought me to TRU about 20 minutes after the last TBB left the shelf.  Turns out my store had 12...but they were allocated 15 rainchecks.  Yeah, naturally I inquired about that and sure enough, I got one of the last rainchecks.

Instead of hearing, "We will call you when it comes in, should be 2 weeks max," I got this line, "We really don't know anything definitive aside from to check back in June since that is the estimated delivery date."

Wait...what?  June?  Keep in mind, this went down early April.  There was no guarantee you'd get your raincheck filled and two months wait time seemed a bit extreme.  Nonetheless, I held on to the little raincheck and despite ridicule, held on on to the hope it would get filled.

Well I ran into TRU early this month and was told they knew nothing.  I had an associate nice enough to run the ticket and they found a store with 12 on the floor.  Everyone in the immediate vicinity was all ears at this point...20 mins later and one manager making their way to the phone at a distant and mythical TRU branch and we all found there were none on hand.  I was told they would do their best to hold one for the raincheck when and if they ever came in...

This Sunday the TRU ad boasted the return of TBB.  I was thinking, "Sweet, I'll pick it up...I bet they must have decided to crank them out like LTH (Legendary Trigger Happy).  Come to find out, that is currently not the case.  I walked in, didn't see any, and was then told they sold the last TBB yesterday (who hasn't heard that one a million times with Skylanders, lol).

I brought up the raincheck and associate and boom...

The associate who said they would make sure to hold one for my raincheck did just that...Pretty cool.  That is going above and beyond the call of duty imo, but I sure appreciate it.



I don't know if TBB has seen his run (roughly 27 per store), or if in a few weeks everyone will trip over them like LTH.  I really hope it is the former as I'd like to see the real variants remain limited.

Fittingly I mentioned the prospect of having Translucent Red or Translucent Green Skylanders surface soon...Little did I know I would find Translucent Red Drill Sergeant (TRDS) in a Tweet while I had the video uploading to YouTube.  I have more info on that and the picture in the Weekly Update Blog Post.

That said, enjoy the video...TBB is really a deep, dark blue in person and looks great!

Here is the basic info from the video:

What: Translucent Blue Bash, TRU Exclusive
Where Did You Get It?: Toys'R'Us
How Much Was It?: $9.99 + Tax
How Many Were There?: None, I had a rain check from April
Should I Get A Blue Bash? If you find one, yes...otherwise, don't worry about it.
Is he Blue in the Game? No.
What is Special About TBB? TBB is a rare variant.  He starts out at Level 5 and with 2,100 cash.

I tried to give you the run down on TBB, and then wanted to stress to act quick if you have a rain check, or go ahead and hit the store if you haven't been.  I know many of you have completed your collection, or just lack a few and have given up on TRU...they are now worth checking out once more on the off chance you can land a TBB.

Like I say though, don't stress if you can't find one...I figure most people get them to sell them...and please, don't buy them from scalpers.  I don't have but 3 variants now, and I am getting by just fine without Silver Eruptor and Gold Drill Sergeant etc.  Treat them as special finds...if you waltz in a store and see one, get it and enjoy it.  Otherwise, just save the money.

For those of you with kids continuing on about the "Level 5 with 2100 Coins" bit, just tell them to take Bash through Quicksilver Vault...he should come out with a nice chunk of change and roughly Level 5...realistically  he should best both of those.

Good luck!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Skylanders: Giants Information, Characters, Powers, Compatibility

This post will remain a work in progress as new information is released and/or I have time to update the post...feel free to comment with what you know...Again, I will update as time allows.  I will also stick to posting only things that are confirmed or very likely to be true.  The original draft was composed Monday, June 18th, 2012 and published Tuesday, June 19th, 2012.  The latest revision is Feburary, 26th, 2013.




About the Game

-Release Date & Pre-Order

Skylanders: Giants will be the follow-up game to the smash-hit, and 1ofWiisdom staple, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.  The game is available for pre-order now at various places (Amazon, GameStop, Toys'R'Us, etc) and is slated for release on Sunday, October 21st, 2012 just ahead of Thanksgiving and the impending holiday rush where us veteran Skylanders really saw things get crazy.

Background Story

I heard this in an August 4th, 2012 interview with Alex Ness...here is the recap:

Kaos is on earth in a toy store trying to get back to Skylands and something he does with a portal sends him way back, literally, in Skylands. He finds and figures out how to activate an ancient Arkeyan robot and then learns that if he controls the "Iron Fist of Arkus" he will be in control of the entire ancient army of Arkeyans and can then proceed to defeat the Skylanders and rule all of Skylands.

-Game Engine

Giants will run on the same engine as Spyro's Adventure.  All console versions will be developed, once again, by Toys for Bob.  The 3DS Version, which should again be unique, will be switched from Vicarious Visions to n-Space...Here is an easy to read breakdown:

-Plartforms

Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U (Developed by Toys for Bob)
Nintendo 3DS (Developed by n-Space (Spyro's Adventure was done by Vicarious Visions))
Microsoft Xbox 360 (Developed by Toys for Bob)
Microsoft Windows (Developed by Toys for Bob)
Sony Playstation 3 (Developed by Toys for Bob)

-Packaging

Skylanders: Giansts will come in two flavors: Starter Pack (with Portal) and Portal Owner's Pack (no Portal).  It is unknown if different versions will have different characters (ie Console=Jet-Vac, 3DS=Pop Fizz).  We will just have to wait and see at this point.  Update: It actually looks like my sample was correct...Jet Vac goes to Console Packs and Pop Fizz goes to the 3DS Packs!

--Starter Pack
Each Skylanders: Giants Starter Pack will include: Portal of Power, Game Disc/Cartridge, Poster, 1 Giant (Tree Rex), 1 New Skylander (Jet Vac), and 1 Re-Released Skylander (Cynder), as well as the matching Trading Cards and Stickers.

--Portal Owner's Pack
This is designed for people who already own a portal and want to take advantage of the savings.  It will feature the Game Disc/Cartridge, Poster, 1 Giant (Tree Rex), 1 New Skylander (Jet Vac), and the matching Trading Cards and Stickers.

Compatibility

--Forward Compatibility 

The Skylanders you know and love from Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure will transfer right across to Giants AND they can join the new releases in being able to upgrade to Level 15.  That said, they will not be able to have any other perks you see with the Giants based Skylanders as they can not have multiple upgrade paths or capitalize on the "Wow Pow" Powers.

--Backwards Compatibility

I did not expect this, but according the official Giants website, Series 2 (ie what will come out with Giants) will actually be able to play in Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.  The answer doesn't explicitly mention Giants, but the question does...I will have a screen grab below.

New Skylanders

This is probably what most of you, at least at this point, want to know the most about...I will do my best to keep you up to date.  As I've said for quite some time, our best bet for info was E3, and it delivered.

-Giant Skylanders
--8 New, 1 per Element

There will be 1 Giant per Element and they will truly be "giant" when compared to their counterparts.  They should be just a shade over 2 times the height of a regular Skylander.

-Air Giant: Swarm
-Earth Giant: Crusher
-Fire Giant: Hot Head
-Life Giant: Tree Rex
-Magic Giant: Ninjini
-Tech Giant: Bouncer
-Undead Giant: Eye Brawl
-Water Giant: Thumpback

-LightCore Skylanders
--8 Total, 4 Brand New, 4 Previously Released (ie from the original 32)

These Skylanders light up when placed on the portal of power and have special "LightCore" powers.  In addition to that, whatever that may be anyway lol, they will reportedly light up in the game.  So unlike the current variants (Gold, Silver, Glow-in-the-Dark etc) these will not only look special in real life and on the portal, but also in the game...Well played Activsion, well played.

-New LightCore, Air: Jet-Vac
-New LightCore, Life: Shroomboom
-New LightCore, Magic: Pop-Fizz
-New LightCore, Water: Chill
-Old LighCore, Earth: PrismBreak 
-Old LightCore, Fire: Eruptor 
-Old LightCore, Tech: Drobot
-Old LightCore, Undead: Hex 


-New Regular Sized Skylanders
--8 Total, 1 per Element: 4 Regular, 4 LightCore

-New Regular, Air: Jet-Vac (Lightcore)
-New Regular, Earth: Flashwing
-New Regular, Fire: Hot Dog
-New Regular, Life: Shroomboom (Light Core)
-New Regular, Magic: Pop Fizz (Light Core)
-New Regular, Tech: Sprocket
-New Regular, Undead: Fright Rider
-New Regular, Water: Chill (Light Core)


-New LightCore, Air: Jet-Vac
-New LightCore, Life: Shroomboom
-New LightCore, Magic: Pop-Fizz
-New LightCore, Water: Chill
--New LightCore, Water: Legendary Chill


-New "Re-Released" Skylanders
--24 of the 32 will be coming back in regular form, but in a different pose...3 from each element.
--4 of these 24 "Re-Released" Skylanders will be LightCore (see above: Eruptor, Prism Break etc).


-Air: Lightning Rod
-Air: Sonic Boom
-Air: Whirlwind
-Earth: Bash
-Earth: Prism Break (LightCore)
-Earth: Terrafin
-Fire: Eruptor (LightCore)
-Fire: Flameslinger
-Fire: Ignitor, Legendary Ignitor
-Life: Stealth Elf
-Life: Stump Smash
-Life: Zook
-Magic: Double Trouble
-Magic: Spyro
-Magic: Wrecking Ball
-Tech: Drill Sergeant
-Tech: Drobot (Light Core)
-Tech: Trigger Happy
-Undead: Chop Chop
-Undead: Cynder
-Undead: Hex (Light Core)
-Water: Slam Bam, Legendary Slam Bam
-Water: Gill Grunt 
-Water: Zap 

-Legendaries

-Legendary Slam Bam
-Legendary Ignitor
-Legendary Stealth Elf
-Legendary Jet-Vac
-Legendary Bouncer
-Legendary LightCore Chill


There have been rumors and even a few decent pics or screen grabs of what looks like a maxed out Legendary Slam Bam and Legendary Ignitor.  If I had to guess, I would think we might see 8 of them total...That would allow for 3 from each Element to be released in a new pose, and 1 from each Element to be released as a legendary, thus making all 32 available in some form or another for another purchase.
*Again, this is just my speculation on June 18th, 2012, but I have heard crazier things...This just seems too likely to me...Activision can congratulate me for a correct prediction by sending new characters to demo :D

 Variants 

Potential Variants:

--Nothing at this time has been made official, but you can bank on some "chase" Skylanders.  I heard Alex Ness mention in an August 4th, 2012 interview they had some cool stuff planned in regards to variants.

I would think we might see more of the translucents, but in different shades...or metallic/pearl/dark variants.  I would bank that they will be like the past set-up...Hard to find, loaded with cash/partially levelled up etc, but probably look the same in the game.

Store Exclusives

-Amazon.com
--Gold Flameslinger (Single Pack)

-GameStop

--Golden Dragonfire Cannon Battle Pack
--Royal Double Trouble (Battle Ground Starter Pack for Apple)

-Target
--Granite Crusher
--Jade Flashwing
--LightCore Triple Pack (Prism Break, Eruptor, Drobot)

Toys'R'Us
--Legendaries
---Triple Pack: Slam Bam, Jet-Vac, Ignitor
---Single Pack: Bouncer
---Single Pack: Stealth Elf
---Single Pack: LightCore Chill


-Walmart
--Glow in the Dark Cynder (Starter Packs)
--Glow in the Dark Sonic Boom (Single Pack)
--Molten Hot Dog (Single Pack)


Glow-in-the-Dark

Cynder: Walmart Starter Pack
Fright Rider: Europe Single Pack
-Sonic Boom: Walmart Exclusive

Rock/Stone

-Zook
-Whirlwind

Sparkle/Glitter

-Sonic Boom
-Sprocket
-Hot Head

Flocked White (Snow)

-Eruptor
-LightCore Prism Break
-Stump Smash

TBA

-Scarlet Ninjini
-Polar Whirlwind

Console/Starter Pack Exclusives

Punch Pop Fizz: 3DS Stater Pack

Gnarly Tree Rex: Wii with Starter Pack

Translucent Green Gill Grunt: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure XBox Starter Pack
--Really bad timing on this one

Employee Exclusive (Christmas 2012)

-LightCore Prism Break

Toy Fair Exclusive (2013)

-Metallic Blue Chop Chop


Releases: Single Pack, Triple Pack, Battle Pack etc.

I will indicate "New" behind brand-new Skylanders.  Your old favorites listed out can be assumed to be their reposed "Series 2" releases.

Adventure Packs

Skylanders: Giants will have no new Adventure Packs.  The old APs however will work, which I assume means they'll unlock new chapters just as they did previously.

Battle Packs

In place of the Adventure Packs, Giants will feature Battle Packs.  Basically 2 characters packaged with an item that unlocks a new Battle Arena.  It is my hope, especially since there has been no confirmation of a Single Player Battle Mode, that they will also function as a "magic item" in Giants gameplay.

-Golden Dragonfire Cannon BP: Chop Chop, Golden Dragonfire Cannon, Shroomboom (New) ((GameStop Exclusive))
-Dragonfire Cannon Battle Pack: Chop Chop, Shroombooom, and Dragonfire Cannon
-Scorpion Striker Battle Pack: Zap, Hot Dog, and Scorpion Striker

Triple Packs

-Triple Pack A-1: Pop Fizz, Whirlwind, Trigger Happy
-Triple Pack B:-2 Ignitor, Chill, and Zook
-Triple Pack C-3: Sonic Boom, Sprocket, Stump Smash
-Triple Pack D-4: Gill Grunt, Flashwing, Double Trouble
-Triple Pack E:-5 Prism Break, Lightning Rod, Drill Sergeant
-Triple Pack F-6: Eruptor, Stealth Elf, Terrafin
-Triple Pack G-7: Fright Rider, Wrecking Ball, Flameslinger
-Triple Pack H-8: Spyro, Bash, Hot Dog
-Triple Pack I-9: Slam Bam, Shroomboom, Hex

LightCore Triple Pack (Target Exclusive): Prism Break, Drobot, Eruptor

Legendary Triple Pack (Toys'R'Us Exclusive): Slam Bam, Jet-Vac, Ignitor

Single Packs

LightCore

-Drobot-Light Core
-Eruptor-Light Core
-Prism Break-Light Core
-Jet-Vac-Light Core
-Shroomboom-Light Core
-Chill-Light Core
-Legendary Chill-Light Core
-Pop Fizz-Light Core
-Hex-Light Core

Series 2

-Terrafin-Series 2
-Slam Bam-Series 2
-Ignitor-Series 2
-Trigger Happy-Series 2
-Zook-Series 2
-Flameslinger-Series 2
-Double Trouble-Series 2
-Drill Sergeant-Series 2
-Stump Smash-Series 2
-Sonic Boom-Series 2
-Whirlwind-Series 2
-Gill Grunt-Series 2
-Bash-Series 2
-Hex-Series 2
-Prism Break-Series 2
-Stealth Elf-Series 2
-Eruptor-Series 2
-Lightning Rod-Series 2
-Cynder-Series 2
-Spyro-Series 2
-Wrecking Ball-Series 2
-Zap-Series 2
-Drobot-Series 2
-Chop Chop-Series 2

Newlanders

-Pop Fizz-New-Fright Rider-New
-Chill-New
-Flashwing-New
-Sprocket-New
-Shroomboom-New
-Hot Dog-New

Giants


-Swarm-Giant
-Crusher-Giant
-Bouncer-Giant
-Hot Head-Giant
-Thumpback-Giant
-Eye-Brawl-Giant
-Ninjini-Giant

Pricing

-Portal Owner's Pack (minus Portal $59.99):
-Starter Pack (with Portal): $74.99
-Single Packs: $9.99
-Light Core Singles: $11.99
-Giant Singles: $14.99
-Triple Packs: $24.99
-Battle Packs: $24.99 (as per August 2012 GameStop Exclusive)

Castaways (Added 8/7/2012)

I thought it only fitting to make note of the Skylanders from Series 1 which are not going to be treated to a repose.  I think Part of this is based on sales, and part is based on release date.  Warnado, Camo, and Wham-Shell are all insanely popular, and a lot of people still don't have them...With people getting them May-September, it makes sense to not crank out another...With others like Boomer, Voodood and Ghost Roaster, I think it is simply based on sales.  They just didn't move as much as the others.   I am really sad not to see a Dino-Rang repose, primarly due to the fact we had so much Bash in SSA (Regular, Legendary, Blue Bash at TRU etc).  Either way, Dino-Rang will remain a favorite of mine as will Ghost Roaster!

Here is the current list of "castaways:"

-Booomer (the more people hate on him, the more I like him)
-Camo 
-Dino-Rang (A favorite of mine, hard to repose though)
-Ghost Roaster (Metal Head had WIN written all over it)
-Sunburn
-Voodood 
-Warnado
-Wham-Shell

Powers

-The Original 32 (Green Base=Skylanders Spyro's Adventure)

The good news here is that your favorites from SSA can play in Giants AND upgrade to Level 15.  They will not have any new powers, but will supposedly enter just as you have them.  So if Terrafin is your favorite, he is maxed out with a SoulGem and down Sandhog, he should enter Chapter 1 of Giants in his killer form!


-Series 2: 8 New and 24 Re-Released from SSA's Roster (Orange Base)

Not only will all Series 2 Skylanders have the ability to upgrade to Level 15, but they will have what is known as "Wow Pow" Powers, basically something above and beyond the regular upgrade paths and Soul Gem seen with "Series 1" Skylanders.  Perhaps the best feature is that Series 2 Skylanders can switch paths.

-Giants

Each of the 8 Giants will have some massive powers to match their impressive stature.

You will see Giants able to walk on enemies and over treasure etc...They will also be able to bash (ie gain entry to areas regular Skylanders can not) and throw items (like boulders, not natural powers).  As you have seen in the trailer there is also "Feats of Strength" where you have to perform a certain action to advance through the level (think Elemental Gate from SSA, but on a larger scale).

Skylanders: Giants: In Game Features

There is not going to be online play at this point.

There has still yet to be confirmation of a SINGLE PLAYER BATTLE MODE, which is what I would like to see the most in Giants. 

An August 4th, 2012 interview with Alex Ness revealed that there was a game called Sky Stones

Skylanders: Spyro Universe

This will still be around and will be adapted to accommodate new Series 2, Light Core, and Giant figures...It is also believed they  will contnue to add games etc.


What I Would Like to See

-Pre-Order

It is nice to see the game is already up for pre-order, but is that to accommodate us die-hards, or is it because they are planning to make the game a nightmare to obtain?  You know, where it comes out mid-October and you can not find it until January, or nearly get killed and/or pay 3x the retail price to land one prior to Christmas.  I would really like to see the pre-order go for us die-hards and then have it function because it lets Activision estimate interest and quantity and then work to fulfill those orders and ramp up production to match etc.

I would obviously like to see this with the game and characters.  So if someone wants to order all the new Skylanders, they can fork over the cash in December and know they will see them the same day the local stores get 2 cases to sell out in an hour.

-Release Schedule

I realize these are made overseas and stuff happens, but it would be great (once the game is out and we know the character roster) that you will land X, Y, and Z Skylander at Q, W, and E Dates.  Even if you just announce that December 1st is when you can pre-order Wave 3 Skylanders that will ship mid-January it would be huge.

The rush to hit the store and time things with trucks is fun...about once every 3 months when you actually have the stars line-up.  The scalpers need to be put at bay...Activision and their retailers are not the ones profiting it is greedy individuals who likely don't even care about the game...Just eliminate it...we will gladly pay retail, in advance of the product, to avoid hassles...

-Bigger Challenge

The game is sort of geared towards a younger audience and I understand wanting to keep it accessible, but having some way of adjusting the difficulty would be great.  A few ideas would be having something unlock after defeating Kaos for the first time, or simply having the option to select it at the title screen, or per chapter etc.

-Single Player Battle Mode**

I have still not heard if it will feature SINGLE PLAYER BATTLE MODES, but it if does not, it is a HUGE BLUNDER.  Imagine a Madden Game where you can not play a practice game without having a friend.  I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume this is a no-brainer.

Conclusion

Skylanders: Giants is shaping up to be a great follow-up.  We don't have a lot of information just yet, but we should see more with trailers and screen caps released along the way.

I know I am looking forward to it and to answer a very popular question: "Yes, I plan to do unboxings and a blind playthrough of the game...much like you saw with Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure."

Again, as of right now (June 18th, 2012) there is more we don't know than we do know.  I will update this as time allows, or more likely, as info is released.

**Updated August 6th, 2012.  Added a few confirmed names...Some info from an August 4th, 2012 Interview with Alex Ness, the just confirmed GameStop Battle Pack, and pricing and release dates etc (which I should have already done, just got too focused on the "cool" stuff).

**Updated August 13th, 2012.  I saw this yesterday morning, but am just now getting to post about it...Ther was another leak via an online vendor creating place holder pages (ie all the info, price etc, just waiting on image sets).  Luckily someone caught it, took screen caps, and shared with everyone.  This, for better or worse, revealed all the remaining characters OFFICIAL NAMES.  We still don't have all the info (release dates, waves, single/triple/battle pack configurations etc).  Nonetheless, this is a big deal!

Updated February 26th, 2013.  I decided to finally take the time to add in the variants and update the single pack and triple pack listings with what is currently known.



Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blog Poll #28 Results: Who is Your Favorite Crystal-Clear and Glow-in-the-Dark Skylander?

Blog Poll #28 took a look at the most recent release of variants and asked, "Which Crystal/Clear and which Glow-in-the-Dark Sklyanders are your favorite?"

Here are the results:


Crystal "Clear" Skylander 158 Votes

1. Wham-Shell 96 Votes (60%)
2. Cynder 26 Votes (22%)
3. Stealth Elf 26 Votes (16%)

Glow-in-the-Dark Skylander 155 Votes

1. Warnado 106 Votes (68%)
2. Zap 29 Votes (18%)
3. Wrecking Ball 20 Votes (12%)

It is always interesting when Polls are stacked and have almost the same number of votes...You would think if you vote in "Clear" you would just glance down and vote for "Glow-in-the-Dark."  I've never known if people just don't see the other poll, or simply just don't like any of the characters, or like multiples and can't pick just one.  Nonetheless, the winners have something in common.

Both Wham-Shell and Warnado are among the last wave to be released, which as I've mentioned seems to be a regular trend at this point in time.  In fact the first poll shows that Wham-Shell, Cynder, and Stealth Elf finished in backwards order (newest release to oldest release).

The same was almost seen in the "Glow in the Dark" poll, but the results between 2nd and 3rd (9 Votes) are so marginal it doesn't matter.

Both Warnado and Wham-Shell cleaned house.  2nd and 3rd were both super close.

As for my liking, I'm not sure the "clear" really suits any of those three, but I suppose it would best suit Wham-Shell, then Stealth Elf, and then Cynder.

One thing I continue to say is how I feel like they nailed the character selections for the Glow-in-the-Dark Skylanders.  I think all three are very welll suited to being "Glow-in-the-Darks" and can't picture them being better in any other variant form.

As much as I like Warnado, I think I'd rank them: Zap, Wrecking Ball, and then Warnado.

Nonetheless, thinks to all who voted!  I continue to look, but have yet to find a Clear or Glow-in-the-Dark Skylander...

Stay tuned for more polls!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mario Tennis Open: Special QR Code Yoshi

Mario Tennis Open has been a lot of fun...

Something Nintendo did to take advantage of the capabilities of the 3DS, hit on social media outlets, and just provide a really cool addition to the game was make certain things available via QR CODE.

This started with the Club Nintendo promotion to get the "full Yoshi costume" for your Mii:


I started not to post that (and encourage you to sign up for Club Nintendo), but since it was already out and even Nintendo posted it on the Mario Tennis Facebook site, I figured it was okay.  That said, if you are not a Club Nintendo member you are missing out...big time!  (Side note: June 30th is your last chance to hit "elite" status (Gold or Platinum) and earn the super-secret, "special" gift!

As if the Yoshi Costume wasn't enough, they also added in a lot of Yoshi options...a fan request.  I personally would have liked to see a few different characters, but I sure won't complain...this was a very cool touch, FREE, and something I hope that they will continue to do to capitalize on new games and make them that much more memorable.

They are actually dividing the QR Codes up by regions, so while the US got Yellow and Pink Yoshi right off, Europe got White and Black.  If you are like me, you tried the "foreign QR Codes" just in case...and I can assure you, we will just have to wait for the Black and White Yoshi characters.

The Official Mario Tennis Open Site: http://mariotennisopen.nintendo.com/ either has the QR Code in place, or provides a subtle hint of where to find it...I was unaware until tonight that the Mario Tennis Open Facebook page had these nice and tidy QR Code segments.  All we currently lack (that I know of) is Black and White Yoshi.  I don't know for sure if this is an add on, or built in to the software, but it leads a lot of speculation for future releases.  It would have  been really cool to see this in Mario Kart 7.  

Nonetheless, this is an unadvertised feature when you buy the game, and something that makes coming online and doing a little research worth the time.  I can see this being a hot topic amongst younger players who debate "Black Yoshi" and wonder how their friend got it...accuse him of hacking the game etc...Good times Nintendo, good times!

Here they are in release order (North America)

Yoshi Costume for your Mii:


Yellow Yoshi=Power

Pink Yoshi=Technique

Red Yoshi=Technique

Blue Yoshi=Speed

Light-Blue Yoshi=Speed

Black Yoshi=All Around


White Yoshi=Tricky

Metal Mario=Power



Friday, June 1, 2012

Blog Poll #29: What Do You Do with Your Skylander Packaging?

Blog Poll #29 asks, "What Do You Do with Your Skylander Packaging?"

This one is really just for the sake of being curious and to gauge how this game has hit between the play it and save it camps.

So, what do you do:

-Don't Open Any (Thrifty Collector)
-Open Them All, Throw the Packaging Away (It Is a Game, I'm not Investing in the Future)
-Open Them All, Except for Variants which stay Sealed (Nothing Special vs Special)
-One Open, One Sealed (Best of Both Worlds, Despite Being Broke)

The poll will close June 22nd, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST.

I think it is pretty self-explanatory.  I just was curious how people treated their Skylanders.  There are those noted collectors who have multiples, new-in-the-box, and then there are people who have all of them parading around in the grass for staged pictures.

I want to know where you fall on that spectrum.

Personally, I open mine...with the exception of the variants.  I do have some sealed duplicates, but it wasn't really by choice.  For what it is worth I "still" have the packaging from them all...I have been debating tossing it, but who knows.

I've been in collecting for quite some time and often you will find something "open" can still hold great value if it is in good shape and you have the original packaging to go with it.  That kind of helps explain why I was so interested in finding the "new" 2007 copy of the "The Last Village" lol.  Plus, the "just game cards" from GameStop etc bother me...The case, instructions, Club Nintendo Points, and ads that come for the extra $15 is well worth it imo...plus I'm usually the person that gets the "used" stuff that works for a level or two and then freezes.

So cast your vote and get a feel for what your fellow Portal Masters are doing with their collections.

Blog Poll #27: Mario Kart Wii

Blog Poll #27 "What Do You Want to See in the Mario Kart Wii Playthrough?" just wrapped up.

Thanks to all who voted and the results were pretty one sided:


It looks like most people want to see "everything."  I sort of thought it would have been more split down the middle.  I watch a few Mario Kart Wii vids and most have been online multiplayer, crazy shortcuts, or challenges between friends.  I haven't ever really taken a look to see if anyone has just sat down and gone from zero to hero, but apparently there is a big desire to see that happen.

If you recall this one was voted on by you...not just what you want me to do in the playthough, but what you wanted me to play (Mario Kart Wii, Paper Mario, Nerf-N-Strike, Skyward Sword, Epic Yarn, etc).

I plan to accommodate as best I can, but I will start things up and see how they go.

I will probably alternate recording another game in with this one...I may leave that one to upload later, or you could see it up immediately...we'll just wait and see.

I haven't played the game much recently...I picked it back up a few weeks ago in preparation to record, but still have not started recording anything.  I use to play it all the time, including online (but that came to an end when the connection went to being abysmal).  I may be rusty, but I think 50cc should warm me back up.

I should start recording this very soon and get the first video up within a few weeks.

So again...thanks to everyone who voted for Mario Kart Wii and what you want to see in the playthrough.  Some of my very first YouTube vids were actually "point-and-shoot" clips of ending sequences...not great, but everyone has to start somewhere.  I actually intended it to be my first playthrough, but that obviously didn't happen...I'm excited to get started and have a few ideas to make it a bit more unique.

Blog Poll #26 Results "Who is Your Favorite Skylander?"

Well, the epicness has come to an end.  Blog Poll #26 pulled out all the stops and simply asked, "Who is Your Favorite Skylander?"  I waited till all the Skylanders were out to ask this question and left the poll up over a month in hopes of getting some genuine feedback and avoid the "hype boost" that you see with "current, or hard-to-find characters."

I am going to break this down in detail over the weekend, but for now here is the final tabulation:


  1. Warnado 82 Votes (14%)
  2. Camo 51 Votes
  3. Wham-Shell 35 Votes
  4. Sunburn 32 Votes
  5. Ignitor 29 Votes
  6. Lightning Rod 25 Votes
  7. Cynder 25 Votes
  8. Spyro 20 Votes
  9. Stealth Elf 20 Votes
  10. Trigger Happy 19 Votes
  11. Flameslinger 19 Votes
  12. Terrafin 19 Votes
  13. Double Trouble 14 Votes
  14. Bash 14 Votes
  15. Prism Break 12 Votes
  16. Slam Bam 11 Votes
  17. Chop Chop 11 Votes
  18. Sonic Boom 11 Votes
  19. Zook 11 Votes
  20. Voodood 10 Votes
  21. Wrecking Ball 10 Votes
  22. Ghost Roaster 10 Votes
  23. Drill Sergeant 9 Votes
  24. Drobot 9 Votes
  25. Zap 9 Votes
  26. Hex 8 Votes
  27. Gill Grunt 7 Votes
  28. Stump Smash 5 Votes
  29. Eruptor 4 Votes
  30. Dino-Rang 3 Votes
  31. Whirlwind 3 Votes
  32. Boomer 2 Votes

Weekly Update 5-31-2012

Hey, what better way to start June than by recapping May?  That's the way it works this time...Two polls just closed on the blog, I've got another to stick up, and I have a lot to cover here...let's get started.

Skylanders Update


YouTube Uploads

So, as you should well be aware, the "Mass Upgrades" and "Fully Upgraded Gameplay" videos have started surfacing on YouTube and the blog.  Basically every other day (or roughly something like that...might do every other day that ends with "y" haven't really decided yet) I will upload one or two of these videos and add them to the blog.  They aren't the most exciting things in the world, BUT they will let you see what path I took and that should (when combined with the subsequent gameplay) help you decide to follow suit, or abort and take the other path.  Eventually I'll get a blog post up highlighting all of this...

Skylandin'

As for the Skylander hunt, let's take a look at some of my latest adventures:

Walmart

These first two are from Walmarts.  The first shot is the store that I was able to find the Zook and Lightning Rod singles at...they had Boomer, Wrecking Ball, Drobot, Eruptor, and I think Bash...oh, and Darklight Crypt.  I was in the area for work and figured I'd check just in case I was able to land a Glow-in-the-Dark or something cool like that.


This next one was shot at a supercenter and likely hub for the scalper...They had an Eruptor single, and the Drobot and Whirlwind Triple Packs (kind of surprised by the 4-5 of them that were around).


Target

They had nothing new the past two weeks, but did have people blocking the display.  Boomer, Drobot, Eruptor, take your pick of the usual suspects.  

Local Store

This one is from tonight and it showcases a nice, orderly arrangement.  You've got Chop Chop, Eruptor, Drobot, Double Trouble, Wrecking Ball, a few Sonic Boom and Stealth Elf, the Drobot Triple Pack (only triple in the store), and 2 Zook, 2 Lightning Rods, and 2 Ignitor Single Packs...I probably just missed another Wham-Shell sighting.



Amazon Pre-Order 

Which doesn't really matter because if you remember that mid-April Amazon Pre-Order I kept rambling on about...well, it came earlier this week.  I would have cancelled one of them to just have the one for my friend, but I was afraid I'd loose the Super Saver Shipping...that would have meant shipping would have cost  roughly what the other figure would have...So for the time being, I'll have an extra.  I haven't really gotten to the Water Element Upgrades and Gameplay, and I know a lot of people are huge Wham-Shell fans, but I am not.  He looks pretty cool, the tertiary attack is sweet, but I am far from impressed...He just doesn't do much for me.  I know of someone locally that has had a heck of a time finding it...I may see if they want it.  Otherwise I'll hope someone wants to swap a variant or doesn't like Terrafin so I'll have an extra to take down the primary path.  Maybe he will grow on me, but I don't really think so.


Street Passin'

Came up empty once more...shocking isn't it?  There are some really cool features you unlock with Street Pass tags on most Ninendo Titles (not to mention the help in Find Mii and Puzzle Swap), however, it really sucks when you never land any tags to enjoy or access the special stuff.

Currently Playing

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (Wii): Legendary Stuff

Wii Fit Plus: Usual Stuff

Gold's Gym Cardio Workout (Wii): 1-2 times a week, really good workout

Mario Tennis Open (3DS): This game has currently taken over the top spot in the 3DS and has been a blast.   The critical reviews are total bs in my opinion.  This game is a lot of fun in both single and multiplayer.

This afternoon I won the Champions Cup in the World Open I attempted to get a screen shot with my cell phone, not too great, but you get the idea.  There is a ton to unlock here.

I mentioned that Club Nintendo Members could sign-in and get the QR Code for the Yoshi (green) costume.  I have done that and it is pretty cool.  You can also go to the official Nintendo website for Mario Tennis Open and find a few more QR Codes for unlockable Yoshi characters (not all are released yet), but they include: Blue, Red, Yellow, and Pink Yoshis...I believe Black, White, and Light Blue should be released soon.  I've got the QR codes saves and will get them up in a separate post when time allows.



 Score of the Week


I tweeted that I had made a cool find before starting this post...I'm sure most everyone will think it was the Amazon delivery of the 2 Wham-Shells...That would be incorrect!

If you follow along regularly you will recall that I picked up Professor Layton and the Last Specter earlier in the year...I completed the game and really enjoyed it.  It was the 4th in the series, but a prequel to where things began in 2007 with Professor Layton and the Curious Village.  I figured I'd pick it up and play through it, Unwound Future, and Diabolical Box...One issue with that strategy...

Since "The Curious Village" was an 07 release, I couldn't find it anywhere.  I even hit up TRU and GameStop about ordering it in and they said no dice.  If you have ever wanted to dive into a Nintendo series, you might notice that their proprietary titles will be on the shelf for a long time, be sold reasonably, and then just kind of disappear (think Kirby games).  For most this isn't an issue, but what if you just got yourself or your children Kirby Mass Attack for the DS and they love it.  Now they want Kirby Super Star Ultra...total pain to find new.  And the remaining "new/pristine" copies stay sealed and are then sold for big bucks.

I have seen Diabolical Box and Unwound Future for $14-19 new, but no local stores still had the debut.  Well, tonight while looking for Skylanders, I found one tucked away in the alphabetical abyss that only a disgruntled employee could muster. I was shocked.  Granted, the store still wanted $29.99 for it (total bs), but at the same time a "new" copy from Amazon or a similar online source would have set me back $45 or more.  I'm not opposed to used, but you rarely get the game case, instructions, extra collectibles, or let alone the Club Nintendo Points.  So all-in-all I am stoked!  I plan to finish up Mario Tennis Open, and my little foray back into Mario Kart 7, but this will be my next big time consumer on the 3DS.  I'll likely order in the 2nd and 3rd installments in the series since you can usually find them for $12-15 brand-new online.

It will be interesting to see how this one stacks up compared to the latest installment.  I am also hoping for a Professor Layton 3DS title, perhaps as early as this fall!

Currently Listening

Home Audio: Taylor Swift, Fitz & The Tantrums

Auto Audio: Kings of Leon, Stone Temple Pilots

Conclusion

It was a pretty busy and hectic week.  I will continue to work on the final few Skylander Blog Posts (Upgrade Paths, My Favorites, etc) and will upload the upgrades and gameplay as time allows.  I should be starting Mario Kart Wii recordings soon..I planned to already have them underway, but I just haven't had the time.

I'm still way behind on YouTube comments...If you need a quick response just ask here on the blog on a pertinent post or via the "Ask 1ofWiisdom" post.

Well, hope everyone is ready for June!



Currently Playing

  • Skylanders Imaginators
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • NBA Playgrounds
  • Minelogix-Minecraft PC
  • Stardew Valley - PC
  • Wii Fit U (Wii U)
  • Animal Crossing amiibo Festival (Wii U)
  • Yoshi's Wooly World
  • Animal Crossing New Leaf 3DS

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