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.
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.
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:
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)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
--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
--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
-Earth: Prism Break (LightCore)
-Fire: Eruptor (LightCore)
-Fire: Ignitor, Legendary Ignitor
-Life: Stealth Elf
-Life: Stump Smash
-Magic: Double Trouble
-Magic: Wrecking Ball
-Tech: Drill Sergeant
-Tech: Drobot (Light Core)
-Tech: Trigger Happy
-Undead: Chop Chop
-Undead: Hex (Light Core)
-Water: Slam Bam, Legendary Slam Bam
-Water: Gill Grunt
-Legendary Slam Bam
-Legendary Stealth Elf
-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
--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.
--Gold Flameslinger (Single Pack)
--Golden Dragonfire Cannon Battle Pack
--Royal Double Trouble (Battle Ground Starter Pack for Apple)
--LightCore Triple Pack (Prism Break, Eruptor, Drobot)
---Triple Pack: Slam Bam, Jet-Vac, Ignitor
---Single Pack: Bouncer
---Single Pack: Stealth Elf
---Single Pack: LightCore Chill
--Glow in the Dark Cynder (Starter Packs)
--Glow in the Dark Sonic Boom (Single Pack)
--Molten Hot Dog (Single Pack)
Cynder: Walmart Starter Pack
Fright Rider: Europe Single Pack
-Sonic Boom: Walmart Exclusive
Flocked White (Snow)
-LightCore Prism Break
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.
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.
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 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
-Prism Break-Light Core
-Legendary Chill-Light Core
-Pop Fizz-Light Core
-Slam Bam-Series 2
-Trigger Happy-Series 2
-Double Trouble-Series 2
-Drill Sergeant-Series 2
-Stump Smash-Series 2
-Sonic Boom-Series 2
-Gill Grunt-Series 2
-Prism Break-Series 2
-Stealth Elf-Series 2
-Lightning Rod-Series 2
-Wrecking Ball-Series 2
-Chop Chop-Series 2
-Pop Fizz-New-Fright Rider-New
-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)
-Dino-Rang (A favorite of mine, hard to repose though)
-Ghost Roaster (Metal Head had WIN written all over it)
-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.
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
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.
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...
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.
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.