Here it is...2 AM just inland of the Pacific Ocean...it is 4 AM back home, and I am heading out in just a few short hours. That said, I wanted to get some of this information up for you to take in...I have much more on tap AND hope to learn even more. That said, here is something to tide you over...I'll basically be out of commission all day Wednesday due to travel etc. We will start with the obvious and go from there...
Starter Pack Characters
Wii, Wii U, PS3, PS4, 360, Xbox One
-Of Note: Swap Force will be a day one (ie launch day) title available for both PS4 and Xbox One
Wash Buckler, Water Element, Swap Force
Blast Zone, Fire Element, Swap Force
Ninja Stealth Elf, Life Element, Series 3
Free Ranger, Air Element Swap Force
Rattle Shake, Undead Element Swap Force
Volcanic Eruptor, Fire Element, Series 2
*I am going to go out on a limb and call this as I see it. Volcanic Eruptor, is in my mind, a Starter Pack Exclusive for the 3DS. I view him just as I do Dark Spyro and Punch Pop Fizz, basically an in-game variant. I say this because while at E3 I uncovered Lava Barf Eruptor...same look, different colors (again think Dark Spyro and Punch Pop Fizz).
**Sidenote: Pretty sure this means you can expect to see not only a few more in-game variants (Granite Crusher, Jade Flashwing, etc), but chase variants as well...They have really become a part of the series. I am going to be seeking verification of this and info on any Sidekicks and Legendaries, both of which I personally still expect we will see.
Portal of Power
This one proved quite tough to answer, but I did get word that the portal would work in SSA and Giants. The new portal is very sleek and I am particularly fond of the arched and lighted cutaways.
New Character Info
There are so many pics and videos involved in this I am going to hold out and might just update the SF Character List post, although I'll likely still highlight what I saw at E3 with a video and post...Several are still unknown to us at this point, name wise anyway.
This is a term I heard by several folks higher up the chain and in the behind closed doors demo. This does not refer to "Legendary" Skylanders, but rather established and returning characters! Contrary to what some have and continue to profess...Activision has full intentions of keeping your PREVIOUS Skylanders up and running. They realize it is an investment and that now, at this point, each successive series will bring new elements and experiences to the table. They are truly on the consumers side here...Granted, they will continue to innovate and make you want the latest and greatest, but your old Series 1 Spyro will still be there right along this year's S3...fully functional and playable. They almost view them like the elder statesman...they just deserve respect.
The Fate of the Castaways: They will be back...at least some of them!!
New Series 2 Characters (ie Blizzard Chill) will receive a Wow Pow! And yes, that is "Blizzard" Chill. Apparently, from this, we can take that each individual Skylander will be classed as a "Series #" to distinguish their successive repose. So, while we have Series 3 Spyro, this is a Series 2 Chill, and a new character like Countdown is in his Series 1 trim for Swap Force. That also leads me to believe that any reposed Castaway, let's just pick Camo would be labeled accordingly and be a Series 2 for Swap Force since it is his 2nd repose. And no, I have no proof of Camo, I just picked him as an example.
Series 3 Character's old Wow Pow is gone, but replaced with a newer, more powerful Wow Pow!
Will there be any Adventure Packs?
Yes, there will be 2 New Adventure Packs. As best I learned it will be a location piece only. I also believe one will involve Cali.
Will there be any Battle Packs?
Yes, there will be 2 New Battle Packs. I would have to assume they would follow the same format as in Giants with a 2 Characters and possibly a Magic Item.
Game Play Questions
How Many Chapters are in the Game?
There will be 12 Chapters in Swap Force. While chatting with the developers about this, they said things are not pre-determined, but that 12 Chapters is what it took to play out the story line.
What is the Storyline?
Kaos is using his magic powers to turn good things bad...he has entirely decimated Cloudbreak Islands and our job is to rebuild and restore order to Skylands.
How Does Play Time Compare to Giants and Spyro's Adventure?
The play time is roughly the same, BUT with all the characters and combinations it has immense replay value!
What is the main hub of the game?
Woodburrow or Woodborough? It is more of a setting, but it is the main hub. I had a hard time hearing when I asked...I feel confident that is at least close to being correct.
Will the new Swap Force characters have more individual personalities?
Yes! This was, as predicted, something the developers loved talking about...they spent a lot of time articulating everything. Each and every character in the game will offer up more of a unique persona: different reactions, voices, and emotes are now involved via the D-Pad. A very subtle, but incredibly cool trait mentioned is that characters will have their own way of letting you know that you are near something special..more on this later!
Will the Beenox version be the same as the other versions?
Yes! Just not with the same graphics, which is only a big deal when you have seen the amazing graphics...it is that point you know what you are missing out on enjoying.
Will the 3DS version continue with a different story line?
Oh, and the ultimate asset to 3DS gameplay is in store...If you are a 3DS owner you will likely know what this is..if not, stay tuned for a video!
Will there be a solo Battle Mode?
No, but there will be a Survivor Mode similar to Brock's Arena Challenges where you battle enemies.
Will there be any benefits to having Giants in the gameplay?
Yes! More on this later!
Will fan favorites and established elements like Auric's Shop, Hats, Legendary Treasure, Story Scrolls, Treasure Chests, Battle Arenas, and Sky Stones be back?
Yes to some of this...more info soon. For now, just now there will be a lot of hats!
What happens if you put only half of a Swap Force character on the portal?
I have found out...I will let you know by way of video!
Will there ever be Android versions?
I have the answer and will report back!
Skylanders Merchandise and Accessories
Here is what I know...there is a virtually limitless market for these products.
Power A is cranking out some ridiculously awesome stuff (that will be a stand alone post (or two, or three...it is that cool)).
Penguin was mentioned and one can only conjure that we will continue to see Skylander books etc.
I have a few questions on this matter that I plan to continue to investigate.
Well that is it for tonight ladies and gentleman, boys and girls...I have quite a bit of info I haven't released yet and some I may have been the only person to bother to investigate. I can't stress enough how great Swap Force looked...I will go into greater detail back at the desk, er, um...pool table.