Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 Channel Update

1ofWiisdom Thanksgiving 2012 Channel Update is 345 AM and I need to be up in around 3 hours...fabulous.

Nonetheless, I wanted to get this update video out to keep you up-to-date on everything and of course, wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

First off, as a Thanksgiving gift to everyone I have decided to upload Flashwing and Hot Head's Intro and Heroic Challenge vids!  Note that these will be "out of order" as they are part of the playthrough, but I thought it would be nice to get them up regardless.

So if you wonder where "Part 27" is or why none of the "Part 30s" are uploaded that is why.  

Come Monday or so I will resume where we left off and then add these two vids into the Playlist as they fall into place.

*Still planning Skylanders Battle Tournament II.  I actually had an idea of an Elemental Showdown for the seeding in this one...let me know what you think.

*Wii U is awesome.  Miiverse is very deep and almost like a stand alone social network just for Nintendo people.  

*GITD Sonic Boom and L-Stealth Elf should hit Walmart and TRU respectively.  Royal Double Trouble is at GameStop in the Apple Starter Pack.

*Be on the look out for new variants next time you are hunting Skylanders!

*Things will slow down for me toward the start of next week...I'll try to get some pics of the new variants etc up on the blog.  I'll also resume regular uploads on Giants and continue recording gameplay (Ch 7 and beyond).  If time allows I'll get a Battle Tournament going very soon.


Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone has a great time with their family and friends.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Skylanders Giants Heroic Challenge List

*Please note that this is a work in progress.  Obviously I do not have all the Skylanders yet, so I do not know what the remaining HCs are in regards to whether they match the S1 character's previous HC, if they are the same and the stat bonus has changed (Double Trouble for example going from Speed to Critical Hit), and I have yet to buy challenges from Auric..  I will update here as I get new characters AND to organize the challenges by power-up etc.

If you COPY this list, please at least link it back to the blog.

Skylanders Giants Heroic Challenges

In-Game Order

Prism Break
Lair of the Giant Spiders
Clear the mine of 6 giant spiders.
+5 Critical Hit

Lightning Rod
Fight, Teleport, Fight!
Fight and teleport your way to the Tribal Mask.
+3 Armor

The Three Teleporters
Find the correct path to the Golden Spork
+3 Armor

Mining for Charms
Find Magical ore buried within the rocks
+5 Elemental Power

Mining is the Key
Break rocks to find the keys to find the treasure.
+4 Speed

Stump Smash
Mission Achomplished
Pick a path and take out the chompies.
+3 Armor

Sonic Boom
Time’s A-Wastin’
Take out enemies for extra time needed to exit.
+5 Critical Hit

Save the Purple Chompies!
Hit green Chompies, not purple!  WARNING: This is tough!
+4 Speed

Spawner Cave
Take out 100 Chompies by finding the best spawners.
+5 Critical Hit

Lock Key
Arachnid Antechamber
Defeat 8 giant spiders in this dungeon.
+4 Speed

Trigger Happy
Hobson’s Choice
Fight and teleport your way to find the antique vanity.
+5 Critical Hit

Isle of the Automatons
Destroy Automatons and other enemies to score 75 points.
+5 Elemental Power

Double Trouble
You Break It, You Buy It!
Hit Trolls, not paintings!  WARNING: This is tough!
+5 Critical Hit

Stealth Elf
Minefield Mishap
Make it through the minefield.  WARNING: This is tough!
+4 Speed

Lobs O’Fun
Earn a tasty treat by taking out Cyclopses.
+5 Elemental Power

Bombs to the Walls
Use bombs to find 25 magic charms.
+5 Elemental Power

Gill Grunt
Rescue 6 Mabu from the Cyclops Islands.
+3 Armor

Drill Sergeant
Environmentally Unfriendly
Bust 7 of the Troll's Pipes
+5 Elemental Power

Slam Bam
Chemical Cleanup
Score points by destroying barrels of the right color
+5 Elemental Power

Break the Cats
Destroy the cat statues.  WARNING: This is tough!
+3 Armor

Copy that Post
You just copied an entire blog post and didn't catch this.
+1 Google 

Flame Pirates on Ice
Defeat the Flamethrower Pirates.
+5 Elemental Power

Skylands Salute
Raise all the flags.
+3 Armor

Tree Rex
Save the Gecko Chorus and their King.
+4 Speed

Pop Fizz
The Sky is Falling
Destory the Troll’s large cannon.
+5 Critical Hit

Nort’s Winter Classic
Make your way around this icy course.
+3 Armor

Break the Fakes!
Put the Trolls out of Business by destroying their fakes.
+4 Speed

Baking with Batterson
Bring fruit to Batterson for a sweet reward.
+3 Armor

Blobber’s Folly
Help Blobbers escape the dungeon.
+5 Elemental Power

Fright Rider
Delivery Day
Deliver gifts to familiar characters.
+4 Speed

Give a Hoot
Return lost owls to their nests.
+4 Speed

Zombie Dance Party
Find all the Zombie heads.
+5 Critical Hit

Shepherd’s Pie
Bring sheep back to their pens.
+4 Speed

Hot Head
Watermelon’s Eleven
Dodge bombs to collect 100 watermelons.
+5 Elemental Power

Hot Dog
A Real Goat Getter
Go get the Hermit’s goats!
+3 Armor

The Great Pancake Slalom
Race against time through an icy slalom.
+4 Speed

Shoot First, Shoot Later
Fire cannons at flying barrels.
+5 Critical Hit

The King’s Breech
Defend King Capybara’s Castle against an Arkeyan Army!
+3 Armor

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wii U Library

As with other consoles and handhelds (Wii and 3DS), I like to try and keep tabs on the game library.  This not only serves as a way for people to see what I've got, but to see if there are similar interests, and if so to quiz me on select games, suggest playthroughs, or simply suggest I try a game out.

This one is really my best chance to stay "up to date" on, so I'll do my best.

Wii U Game Library

*I got my Wii U on the US Release Date: Sunday, November 18th, 2012!*

  1. Nintendo Land (It was included with my Wii U Deluxe Bundle) (11/18/2012)
  2. New Super Mario Bros. U (11/18/2012)
  3. Assassin's Creed III (11/18/2012)
  4. Batman Arkham City Armored Edition (12/20/2012)
  5. Madden 13 (12/25/2012)
  6. Sonic All Stars Racing Transformed (12/25/2012)
  7. Darksiders II (1/29/2013)
  8. Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (1/29/2013)
Totally lost track of my hope of staying "up to date," but let's update this a bit (1/11/2016):

Lego City Undercover
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
Tekken Tag Tournament

Skylanders SWAP Force
Skylanders Trap Team
Skylanders SuperChargers

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Mario Kart 8
Mario Party 10
New Super Luigi U
Super Mario: 3D World
Super Smash Bros.
Yoshi's Wooly World

Unboxing Assassin's Creed III (Wii U)

Unboxing Assassin's Creed III for the Nintendo Wii U

What?  Assassin's Creed III, Wii U

Where Did You Get It?  Toys'R'Us

How Much Was It?  $59.99 plus tax

What Was Stock Like?  Picked over pretty good, but I think you won't have any trouble finding it.


Again, these unboxings were done by viewer request to get a feel for the Wii U packaging and disc art etc.  Assassin's Creed III has nice cover art and disc art, but the black and white manual fails in comparison to the full color units we saw in Nintendo Land and NSMBU.

That said, I am very excited about this game...I had held out on getting a different console all this time, and this game might have made me justify picking up a PS3 or 360 (probably would have been a 360 for other Microsft exclusive titles)...I've had no issues with my PS2, but still...

When the Wii U was announced and I saw all the great third party games were back (N64, GameCube) it really got me excited.  The Wii U not only lets us enjoy the Nintendo staples that are always high quality and endearing, but also pick up some of the 3rd Party Gems that for so long evaded the Nintendo segment.

I will probably get started on this game shortly after the initial blind run on Giants...I doubt I record it, but I do plan to enjoy ACIII :)

The fact that I got this for 40% off via the TRU sale on Wii U Games (11/18-11/21) just makes it that much more of a great deal.  As mentioned in the NSMBU post, that is a great sale and I suggest you take advantage of it if you are able!

Unboxing New Super Mario Bros. U

Unboxing New Super Mario Bros. U

What?  New Super Mario Bros. U

Where Did You Get It?  Toys'R'Us

How Much Was It?  $59.99 plus tax

What Was Stock Like?  Most stocked Wii U game...shouldn't be hard to find.


New Super Mario Bros. U screams fun...and that is just from the packaging.  Nintendo really nailed the bold, grab-your-attention blue and coupled it with colorful, deep cover art that just draws you in to wanting to experience the game IMMEDIATELY.

I was very impressed with the packaging overall including the manual and game disc.  What I liked best about the NSMBU packaging was the very nice World Map inside...I honestly hope to see that show up in Club Nintendo!

Speaking of that, NSMBU is of course a Club Nintendo title and you can currently redeem it for 70 Points...a very nice treat for the Nintendo faithful!

Also, I can't stress enough that TRU has a BOGO 40% Off Sale on Wii U games running from 11/18-11/21!  This is a huge savings on what should be top-tier games...I am still shocked that they chose to do this on launch day...Take advantage of it and score yourself another launch title at nearly 1/2 price!

Unboxing Nintendo Land

Unboxing NintendoLand

What?  Nintendo Land, Wii U Console Game

Where Did You Get It?  Toys'R'Us--Included with Wii U Deluxe Set

What Did It Cost?  $349.99 plus tax for Deluxe Wii U; $59.99 retail (solo game)

What Was Stock Like?  Nintendo Land was and should remain plentiful.

This is the first ever Wii U game I unboxed and I have to say Nintendo did a great job stylistically.  The color of blue they selected really pops, the graphics are bold, and even the brief instruction manual screams "look at me" with its vivid color pallet.  What really pops on the inside is the full art game disc set against the Nintendo blue backdrop.

I have yet to play it, but getting Nintendo Land, +28 GB, the console stand (already in use), the GamePad Cradle (currently recharing the GamePad for tomorrow), and the GamePad Stand (handy for keeping it upright when not charging) was well worth the extra $50 to get the Deluxe over the Basic set.

I consider NintendoLand to be the entry software to showcasing some of the unique things the GamePad CAN bring to the table...the future is wide open on this one!

Unboxing Nintendo Wii U

Unboxing Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set

*Please note that this is "in process" meaning some of the info may not be accurate or may be amended as time passes.  This initial post is just up to help you out and answer some basic questions.

What?  Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set

Where Did You Get It?  Toys'R'Us via Pre-order

What Did It Cost?  $349.99 plus tax

What Is Included? See Below

What Was Stock Like? Sold out.  I hope you pre-ordered or camped out.

The Wii U Deluxe Set is very nice and a great value in my opinion.  Let's start by taking a look at just what you get:

Wii U Console
Wii U GamePad
Wii U AC Adapter
Wii U GamePad AC Adapter
High Speed HDMI Cable
Sensor Bar
Wii U Console Stand
Wii U GamePad Stand
Wii U GamePad Cradle
Nintendo Land Game Disc

The items you get in the Deluxe Set over the Basic Set are as follows:

32 GB vs 4 GB
Nintendo Land
Wii U Console Stand
Wii U GamePad Stand
Wii U GamePad Cradle

While none of these are necessary for you to enjoy the console, they are a steal at the extra $50.  The game alone would cost you $10 more than that and the fact you get the nice cradle (charge and stand) for the GamePad saves some cash as well.  I prefer my console upright so the console stands will be good too.

I would personally advise you go for the Deluxe Set if funds allow.

What To Do Once You Have Unboxed

1. Charge your GamePad
2.  While waiting, run the power cords from the console
3. Set up Console (basic time, date, sync stuff)
4. Enjoy or continue
5. Transfer your Wii data via eshop or SD Card to the Wii U
6. Get online and download the system update
7. Link your Wii U to Club Nintendo for 160 Points!
8. Enjoy!

If Your TV Does Not Have an HDMI Port

The Wii U does not come with adapter cables.  That said, you can use the Wii AV Cable if you have a Wii.  The picture quality will not be as good, but it will work.  I would think that pretty much any generic adapters would work as well (Monster etc).



Wii U GamePad & Accessories

Wii U Console and Stand

Operations Manual and Quick Start Guide

Nintendo Land

Weekly Update 11/18/2012 4:30 AM

Well, North is the day.

Wii U Launch!!

Nintendo' Wii U launches today!  Many of you already have it thanks to midnight releases...and some of you like @Britt5091 have 3 (I guess because you're just awesome, lol).

I got confirmation Thursday afternoon that my Wii U was going to be ready to pick up at Toys'R'Us.

I pre-ordered it on Day 2.  I actually went in on Day 1 (Thurs.) and the store didn't have the cards or info to take any pre-orders.  Jut for the record of me being diehard Nintendo/Skylanders and/or annoying to my local TRU I was the first person to use the "Hot Toy Reservation List" to secure the Legendary Triple Pack, bahahaha.

The plot actually got thick there for awhile because I was leaving to go out-of-town on Friday...I knew they would sell out fast (and they did!), so I asked if I could call in...The lady I dealt with was great and told me she'd be in around 11 AM.  I called, she took my info and credit card info ($20 deposit), and thus secured my Wii U Deluxe.  I ran in next week and got my reservation card from her.

This past week I pulled it out and had a semi-panic as there was no receipt with it.  I've been picking up Christmas gifts for my nephew for several months and I save all the was no where.  I still had the Hot Toy List print out, that series of receipts (overall I think there were like 8), and the GameStop paperwork for my Golden Dragonfire Cannon Battle Pack.

The Wii U receipt was no where :(

The ticket clearly read "Bring this reservation ticket and your receipt to pick up your Wii U."

Crimey!  Here I am thinking I'll not only miss out on the Wii U, but loose $20 in the process.

I was going to run in Thursday night and try to see if they had the receipt, or if I could bring in the reservation ticket and my charge card bill showing the $20 was charged....

As fate would have it around 3 PM break time I had a new e-mail from TRU and it said I could bring the reservation ticket and receipt OR "this e-mail" to pick up the Wii U...


That was a big weight off my shoulders...just for good measure I asked Thursday night and the associate said she thought she still had the receipt on her desk but not to worry because she knew I pre-ordered and they would hold it for me...Awesome!

Wii U Games

So I will be honest...I was actually debating NOT getting any games.  I know, sounds crazy right?!  But hear me out...I am in the middle of what will be an extensive Skylanders Giants Playthrough.  I then want to finish Mario Kart and Mario Party 9.  In the mean time I want to play and finish SSA 3DS, start and finish Giants 3DS, finish Professor Layton and the Curious Village DS, and I've got Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (got it locally late in the summer) AND Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (got it to get free shipping from Amazon and at a great price) that I kind of want to get started and wrapped up so I can feel good about progressing into the new 3DS Layton game.

Granted the 3DS stuff is kind of limited use, late night before bed, and travel situations, BUT it is pretty extensive.  Oh, and I got Super Paper Mario Sticker Star for the 3DS on the BOGO 40% off sale Thursday night...Yep, it is in the mix...Gotta have something to break up the puzzle/mystery that is Professor Layton!

So what I wanted to do was focus my main attention on the Giants playthrough...leisurely work on the 3DS list, and then get into Wii U games as I wrap up Mario Kart Wii and Mario Party 9.

That said, there are several I am very interested in, most notably New Super Mario Bros. Wii U, Assassin's Creed III, and Black Ops II.  There are a few other titles I'd like to try as I haven't had access to them with my Wii/PS2 set-up.

However, an e-mail from TRU changed my mind.  Tomorrow, yes launch day, TRU is having a Buy One, Get One 40% off sale on Wii U Games!  I did not expect that on launch day.  The sad fact of the matter is that NSMB will likely be perched at $60 for a LONG TIME.  If ACII or BOII come down in price it will likely only be $10 or so in the immediate future.  This changes my plans as that is a pretty solid deal AND I'd really like to play NSMB Wii U for a change of pace from Giants (or just when it is too late to record or the computer isn't wanting to cooperate etc).

I will probably head in tomorrow and see how it goes.  I really planned to just be content with Nintendo Land and fully explore it and enjoy it while I wrap up other things and hope to see prices come down etc...I still plan to stick to that, just maybe with 2 games thrown in the mix.

Speaking of Giants...

Skylanders Giants Playthrough

So, where are the videos?  Well, they are coming my friends...I should upload several of them tonight (Sunday).  I actually recorded last night (Friday) and did intros for all the recently unboxed characers (LC Drobot, LC Eruptor, Whirlwind, Trigger Happy, Slam Bam, Terrafin, and yes...Hot Head!).

Tonight I did something different and went ahead and edited all of last night's recordings.  That means I am fully caught up in that regard.  Yep...Part 41 is ready to go as is everything below it.

That should give me quite a bit of time to focus on the game play (beginning with Chapter 6) and make solid progress as I do not anticipate getting any new Skylanders, although I could be wrong.

I'm not sure if I will upload 2 each day, or just pile a ton of them on...I will be very busy around Thanksgiving and probably won't be doing anything in terms of uploads or recordings.

In all honesty I would really like to upload Chill, Sprocket, Flashwing, and Hot Head, but people would probably freak they were "out of order."  Who knows, I may do that as a Thanksgiving deal and then resume  uploading the rest...

Skylanders Giants Blog Posts

The other big accomplishment from Friday night was the fact that I spelled out all the HCs I have access to WITH descriptions and WITH power stats.  I will be posting it to the blog later and can then order it accordingly etc.

I may also work towards getting the character bio's typed out and posted...

I would already have done that stuff IF the playthrough were complete...I kind of want to keep the focus on that, finish it, and then get in to the extra stuff  and details etc.

Skylanders Battle Tournament

I won't go into many details, but I really want to get a new Battle Tournament set up BEFORE Thanksgiving...It will be the same set up as last time...Video intro, vote on the blog, winners advance, crown a champion!  Stay tuned for updates!

Currently Playing

Wii: Skylanders Giants, Wii Fit Plus
3DS: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure, Find Mii II, Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Currently Listening

Auto Audio (In the Car): Taylor Swift RED
Home Audio (At Home): Train, Live, and Soundgarden


First off, hopefully that post makes sense...I'm typing it at 430-5 AM and this is after I was up until 7 AM last night recording all the new character introductions.

My plan of action for today (Sunday) is to get a little sleep, take in the Cowboys game, and then head up to TRU to pick up the Wii U.  I will record an unboxing, hook it up, and kind of give you some first impressions on it and Nintendo Land etc.  As of right now I am not sure if I can record gameplay footage or not...I am not really set up for HDMI stuff.  In all honesty if not for getting a new computer last summer I wouldn't have an HDMI port anywhere in the house, lol.  My TV may be old school but the picture is great and I don't really like spending money on stuff like that when it works just fine as is...

Luckily, the new computer has the HDMI port and a very nice size screen so I can hook it up here (with the help of (yet) another outlet expander).  It will be far from ideal, but it will let me download the update (which is quite lengthy from what I have seen tonight...expect over an hour), and check things out.

I guess I'll probably unbox it, update it, and then play around with it while some vids upload :D

So the next question is who all else is getting a Wii U on launch day?  What games are you picking up?  If you aren't getting one do you want it for a gift, or hope to pick one up later as funds allow?

I feel lame for getting the console, not having a "modern" tv, and not really wanting to spring for all of the new titles, but I suppose I am a different sort.  My tv is staying put and I really do want to focus on Giants before diving into ACIII, Black Ops II, Darksiders II, Batman Arkham City, MEIII, or even ESPN Sports Connection (which I think will drop from $49 soon...hopefully).

I kind of want to take the Wii U on as a chance to buy 1 game and actually complete it  before getting backlogged like I have done with the Wii, lol.  I guess on the bright side I can play all these untouched and waiting Wii titles on the Wii U!

Anyway, I'm very tired and going to get some sleep...Post up what your plans are!  Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Skylanders Giants: Unboxing Hot Head

Unboxing Hot Head

What?  Hot Head, Fire Element Giant

Where Did You Get It?  Local Store, Not Sold Online

What Did It Cost?  $14.99 plus tax

What is Included?  Hot Head, Stat Card, and Sticker Sheet with Web Code

What Lights Up?  The flame plume on his head...sadly that is it.

What Was Stock Like?  Incredibly hard to find, at least as of me writing this 11/15/12...I got the only one in the store.

Quick Character Info

Slogan: "Hey!  I'm on fire!"


Power/Strength: 150/150
Defense/Armor: 120/150
Agility/Speed: 60/150
Luck: 80/150
Totals:  410/600


Hot Head is currently the hardest Skylander to come by...The last 2-3 weeks I have seen plenty of Sprocket and Flashwing and that even includes their respective Triple Packs.  Tonight was the first time I have ever seen Hot Head in person.

I am looking forward to playing Hot Head and seeing how he stacks up...That said, while he isn't too bad aesthetically the light up display garners him no additional points.  While Drobot was disappointing, Hot Head's light up effect is extremely disappointing.  With Hot Head hailing from the FIRE ELEMENT and his hands serving for what looks like 2 eternal torches it blows my mind that they do not illuminate.  His head fire (not sure how to describe it still) casts a nice, red glow (in person it really is red...not an amber color like we saw with Drobot) but it seems lost in the massive expanse that is his hands-up pose.  Lighting up both the hands AND his head would have been great, but if I had to pick either/or I'd have gone with the hands, "hands down."  Not only would that spread the light up effect, it would have put out a lot more, and I believe served to radiate some to his face anyway.

I want to stress that the light up effect has no impact on the actual game play, but there was once again a lot of potential that was missed here.  And no, I'm not bashing him...I haven't played Hot Head and I am genuinely excited to have found is just a true disappointment things weren't better executed...that said if he conveys that short fuse and infinite supply of fuel and fire in the game I might just reserve a warm place in my portal master heart for him.

The main thing I want to stress with Hot Head (aside from the lackluster lighting) is that you do not need to go overboard and spring $35-$100 for him.  Just be patient and snag him for retail, or better yet...catch him in stock during a sale!  

I am hopeful that stock will hit before Black Friday and if not then, hopefully a nice stock prior to Christmas...That said, here are some useful links (my way of thanking you for reading the blog!)...

Bonus Content for Blog Readers!

Amazon: I'm kind of getting tired of their lackluster shipping efforts, but they have honestly been the best best for finding Hot Head for the last 2 weeks or so.  When they do get stock it tends to go very fast...I would order it immediately.  And just a tip, to get free shipping you can have a few other items (another Skylander perhaps?), or a CD, DS game, etc to push you over the $25 threshold.  That said, if you want it fast it might be smart to pay for shipping.  I've waited 6 days for my Hot Head to leave their warehouse and it has yet to happen...not impressed:

Best Buy:  I am not a fan of this store at all.  That said, I've had several people tell me their local stores have been getting in 3-6 Hot Heads...Might try your luck there or keep refreshing the link:

GameStop: First off, check with your local store...if they don't have a big demand the associates may very well offer to hold one for you, or put you on a list!  They are almost always the most in-tune to Skylanders and more willing to work with you.

Target: I've yet to see Hot Head there and the person who works in electronics has told me she has yet to see him, and she does seem to keep up with who they've had etc. head skylander

Toys'R'Us: You might ask associates here too.  If you are nice and they know you are looking many will alert you to shipments, hold one, or try their best to help you out.  If you've got someone really good they will be on par with GameStop employees.  Their website just had a nice stock of Hot Head (which is now gone), BUT they tend to sell out and then restock as I've seen it since SSA and as recently as Sprocket and Flaswhing...just keep checking their website:

Walmart: I have never seen Hot Head here either, but they have actually had the best continual stock of new Skylanders, Giants, and the harder to come by Sprocket and Flashwing, particularly the Triple Packs.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Skylanders Giants: Unboxing Terrafin

Unboxing Terrafin

What?  Terrafin, Series 2 Skylander, Earth Element

Where Did You Get It?

What Did It Cost?  $9.99 plus shipping, plus tax

What is Included?  Terrafin, Stat Card, and Sticker Sheet with Web Code

What Was Stock Like?  I have rarely been in a store that didn't have S2 Terrafin.

Quick Character Info

Slogan: "It's Feeding Time!"


Power/Strength: 80/150
Defense/Armor: 100/150
Agility/Speed: 30/150
Luck: 60/150
Totals:  270/600


Terrafin is my favorite Skylander and thus was well worth picking up early (ie before he was in a Triple Pack).  They did an awesome job with his repose and it is very menacing.

Terrafin appealed to me because of his unique abilities.  In SSA, no one else could burrow under the ground...this unique ability was further awesome-ized with the ability not only for his dorsal fin to do damage, but also to pick items up.  This makes him a beast not only in story mode, but also in Battle Mode.

Terrafin's Pirate Seas is a fun level and worth picking up if you are new to Giants.  I would advise you go that route if you are unsure if you will like him as you get more for your money.  That said, if you do like Terrafin from Pirate Seas, spring for S2 Terrafin and you will get access to his new Wow Pow Power and have the ability to switch upgrade paths!

I have never had trouble finding S2 Terrafin.  The few times I have been in a store and they didn't have him, I am confident they likely had stock in the back, or a delivery on the way.  That said, when he did turn up missing pretty much every other store in town had him.

He is a great Skylander and was granted a killer repose...I highly recommend you pick him up for the battle vs Kaos!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Skylanders Giants: Unboxing Slam Bam

Unboxing Slam Bam

What?  Slam Bam, Water Element Skylander

Where Did You Get It?

What Did It Cost?  $9.99 plus tax, plus shipping

What is Included?  Slam Bam, Stat Card, and Sticker Sheet with Web Code

What Was Stock Like?  I have never had too much trouble finding S2 Slam Bam.

Quick Character Info:

Slam Bam, Water Element.  S1, S2, and Legendary.

Slogan: "Armed and Dangerous!"


Power/Strength: 90/150 (-5 from L-Slam Bam)
Defense/Armor: 90/150  (-5 from L-Slam Bam)
Agility/Speed: 50/150
Luck: 40/150
Totals:  270/600  (-10 from L-Slam Bam)

Legendary Slam Bam


Power/Strength: 95/150 (+5 over Slam Bam)
Defense/Armor: 95/150 (+5 over Slam Bam)
Agility/Speed: 50/150
Luck: 40/150
Totals: 280/600 (+10 over Slam Bam)


Slam Bam is one of my favorite Skylanders and my Nephew's favorite by a long shot.  He is very cool, literally.  Slam Bam is fairly unique in his ability to inflict massive damage up close, but also being quick enough to escape and easily counter attack, or take an advantage with his Ice Prisons.

I know of a few people that still don't have Empire of Ice...either they're parents won't purchase it, or they can simply never find it when they have the money.  I think EoI is worth getting since you add a new level to both SSA and SG, but if you just want to play as Slam Bam, this S2 offering is the way to go as you can use him in both SSA and SG.

I have seen a few stores that didn't have him on the shelf, but I honestly think they would have had more in the back, or someone just stashed him...It has never been a "long" shortage...likely just a case of an employee not getting stock out.

Slam Bam is a great character and his unique powers and abilities definitely make him worth picking up!  I like him so much I ordered him on release day just in case he was tough to come by...He and Terrafin are the only S1 reposed Skylanders that I will spring for without knowing the contents of a Triple Pack.

Skylanders Giants Unboxing Bouncer

Unboxing Bouncer

What? Bouncer, Tech Element Giant

Where Did You Get It?

What Did It Cost?  $14.99

What is Included?  Bouncer, Stat Card, Sticker Sheet with Web Code

What Lights Up?  Eyes and Torso

What Was Stock Like?  I have yet to see a store NOT have Bouncer.

Quick Character Info

Bouncer, Tech Element Giant

Slogan: "Deal with the Wheel!"


Power/Strength: 150/150
Defense/Armor: 110/150
Agility/Speed: 50/150
Luck: 90/150
Totals: 400/600

Legendary Bouncer's Card Stats:

Power/Strength: 150/150
Defense/Armor: 120/150 (+10 over Bouncer)
Agility: 50/150
Luck: 90/150
Totals: 410/600

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Skylanders Giants Unboxing LightCore Drobot

Unboxing LightCore Drobot

What?  LightCore Drobot, Tech Element

Where Did You Get It?  Toys'R'

What Did It Cost?  $11.99 plus tax, free freight

What is Included?  LC Drobot, Stat Card, and a Sticker Sheet with Web Code

What Lights Up?  The center portion of his back...sadly, that is all.

What Was Stock Like?  I have yet to enter a store that did NOT have LC Drobot.

Quick Character Info:

Slogan: "Blink and Destroy!"


Power/Strength: 65/150
Defense/Armor: 80/150
Agility/Speed: 65/150
Luck: 70/150
Totals: 280/600


I know Drobot is a fan favorite and not many are complaining about him getting both a Series 2 remodel AND a LightCore figure.  That said, I feel like Drobot is by far the most lackluster LightCore figure overall.  I have yet to see some in person (Hex, Chill, Shroomboom), but I feel Drobot was done a great injustice.

For being such a followed Skylander Drobot was really shortchanged here.  If anyone was to guess what would light up on Drobot it would be his they shoot lasers.  The next logical step would be his wings...We got neither on this one.

Instead, we just have him glow from his back...not really like the afterburner even...just kind of a "What is the easiest way to put a light in this one?"  It isn't horrible, but the bottom line is there was a TON of potential here and I can't help but feel it was totally missed.

I've had several people tell me the same thing.  I feel like Drobot is far more "followed" than Hex, Prism Break, or Eruptor and yet I feel that those three got better LC features than everyone's favorite robot dragon.

My official opinion on the old guard LightCore is that Prism Break is the cream of the crop.  Drobot's LC just doesn't do him, or his massive fan base, justice.

That said, the lackluster lighting doesn't really impact gameplay so you've got that in your favor.  I would like t point out that the way the light is positioned you really don't even see it if you place Drobot on the portal facing you.  A bit disappointing for such a well liked Skylander.

Skylanders Giants Unboxing LightCore Eruptor

Unboxing LightCore Eruptor

What?  LightCore Eruptor, Fire Element

Where Did You Get It?  Toys'R'

What Did It Cost?  $11.99 plus tax, free shipping

What is Included?  LC Eruptor, Stat Card, and a Sticker Sheet with Web Code

What Lights Up?  Eruptor's Mouth

What Was Stock Like?  I have yet to enter a store that did NOT have LC Eruptor.

Quick Character Info:

Slogan: "Born to Burn!"


Power/Strength: 90/150
Defense/Armor: 90/150
Agility/Speed: 35/150
Luck: 65/150
Totals: 280/600


LightCore Eruptor is a pretty solid LightCore character.  While I personally wish they would have also had his fists light up as if he was preparing to throw a magma ball, he is still fairly well executed and puts out a nice amount of light.

Friday, November 9, 2012

11/9/2012 4 AM Update

Not sure why, but I have always tended to favor the night to get things done.  I think a lot of it has to do with no interruptions...the other part is likely due to feeling like I'm wasting daylight with things like this on nice days.  I have noticed that I keep progressively getting later, but I'll work on that, lol.

Nonetheless, I just wanted to post a few updates for those of you who faithfully read the blog.

Skylanders Giants Playthrough

I have recorded through Part 31 and believe it or not I have up through Part 20 ready to upload.

These recordings basically cover the first few character intros past the somewhat scattered first chapters.  After that we get into Chapters 3 and 4.  So far I have to say Rumbletown is the best chapter in my opinion...That is in large part due to Ch. 1 being somewhat of your tutorial, Ch. 2 being relatively brief, yet divided into three parts, and Ch. 4 having Skystones (that's another post!).

Chapter 3 actually has the most of what I anticipated and hoped for...action.  I wanted to have a lot of enemies, showdowns, and a little exploring requisite to finding treasures etc.  Chapter 3 has been the best to produce what I desired.  That said, it is important to note I have only played through Chapter 4.

After the Ch 3 & 4 playthrough I introduced all the characters in Triple Packs #2, 3, and 4.

I then opted to go in and record a "What We Missed" video that will compile all the stuff we missed (Treasure Chests, Hats, Story Scrolls, Legendary Treasures, Areas etc) into one video.  The levels are just so long (well time consuming I should say), I didn't want to bore everyone with a 15 minute run thru a level just to obtain 1 Treasure Chest.  Similarly, I actually want to play through the levels in full detail to obtain as much XP and cash as possible.

I will being editing the next round of videos (21-31) and at that point I'll upload the stuff that is ready to go.

Skylanders Giants Impressions

I have to say that I was most looking forward to Crusher.  I think he is very powerful, but may not be the most user friendly out-of-the-box.  Tree Rex is great in my opinion and fairly versatile with his charge attack. It is Bouncer, who I was looking forward to the least, that has been the most versatile Giant thus far.  His bouncing bullets are the cream of the crop in terms of "box stock" as their range makes up for the lack of speed, although Bouncer isn't quite as slow as you'd think.

Swarm has been a nice surprise having the flying ability right from the also helps him move quicker and offers a more spirited offensive alignment.

Granted, once the Giants are upgraded and have some Heroics (cough, Speed, cough) under their belts I think things will fall more in line with my overall expectations.  That said, the bottom line is to not write Bouncer off just yet!

New Skylanders Impressions

Keep in mind I have not upgraded anyone just yet.

Jet-Vac, who I was most looking forward to, is great.  He has decent range with his gun and the vac is super handy and efficient.  I think Pop Fizz has a lot of potential down his upgrade paths, but to be honest I am currently just using his potion toss as a hit-and-run type attack...the results are pretty good!  Shroomboom isn't quite up to par with my early 4, but I definitely think his upgrades will alter that.  I have yet to loose him and enjoy playing as him though.  Fright Rider has proven to be quite efficient for me. Similar to several Undead Characters (Ghost Roaster and Cynder), he has an initial combination of a decent close quarters attack and a speed move to get away or deliver some damage.   This suits my play style and that is probably why I've used him so much at this point.

The other three new Skylanders (Chill, Sprocket, and Flashwing) I literally just got into the mix.  Sprocket's secondary attack is pretty disappointing right now.  It looks like the upgrades will address it, but as of right now I liken it to Hex's "Rain of Skulls" that just took so long to conjure I never got to use it.  I have to say the turret gun is cool, but the time involved usually gets it decimated in Hard (Story Mode), and when you set it up, the range is lackluster.

Flashwing is probably going to be seriously under the radar based on her looks.  I think her upgrades will be huge.  I have yet to use her for anything outside her Heroic Challenge, but she isn't bad right out of the box.

Chill is probably the best in stock form out of these three.  She has a perfect pairing of offense and defense in my opinion.  The Ice Walls not only push enemies back, but also allow you to set up several and adopt defensive techniques.  The range on her javelin is very impressive and the best thing is she can throw the javelin through the ice walls!  I haven't used her in gameplay yet, but I know that will suit my style of play.

Bottom line is each new Skylander here has something to offer.  While I think the upgrades will no doubt impact my opinions and change rankings, I can see each of these 7 benefiting greatly from what they've got to work with...


I think I'm going to make a poll on Skystones to see how well it is liked or disliked.  I could certainly do without it.  I don't hate it, but I'd rather be smashing trolls or cyclops spinners.  I think a lot of my griping about it has to do with recording late into the night, lol.

Heroic Challenges

So far I can say that the only one to really be challenging is Crushers's with a box stock Crusher.  If the enemies didn't respawn it would be a cake walk.  If the secondary attack had another 8" of range it would get done within 2 tries.  As is, this is insanely tough for Crusher with no upgrades or other Heroics.

It is actually why I haven't uploaded Part 11-20 just yet.  Crusher is Part 13 and I spent several tries on his HC and didn't get it.  I hit the 30 minute mark (loosing audio is a huge risk there for me), and I wanted to progress and get into the game more so I just left it at that.

I know with a few upgrades and other speed challenges it wouldn't be as tough, but as of right now it is a complete pain.  I'm not sure if I want to upload it without being complete, but I haven't had time to touch it since those initial attempts failed to pan out...

The Game Overall

I have to say thus far (Chapter 4, ready for Chapter 5) has been pretty fun.  I like all the new characters and greater challenge in terms of difficulty.  I do miss some of the old voices and think that shot of using the treasure chest or a glitch it is going to take a brief eternity to get the cash to upgrade everyone.  If I was just using Giants and New Skylanders it wouldn't be as daunting.  (That said I do think I remember you getting cash in Battle Mode...that is nice, but without either  Single Player mode or Online play it kind of limits my chances to "cash in.").

The best thing to take from that is that you will have even more play time to milk out of Giants.  There are a few other things I won't go into right now (Quests etc), but let's just say Giants will keep you as busy as you so desire.

Skylanders Stock

This is a big one, and I really didn't mean to go into a full mini-synopsis of the game like that, as it is probably what is driving most people (literally in many cases).

Wave 1 is pretty well in stock everywhere.  Outside of missing a Giant at Walmart or something I feel like you can easily snag all the Wave 1 releases.  And I should note, if you do miss a Giant at Walmart they probably have more in the back.

Wave 2 is hit and miss right now.  It came out the Monday after launch at TRU and has slowly trickled elsewhere.  I was without any Wave 2 figures until last week when I stumbled upon Sprocket and Flashwing in both Single Pack and Triple Pack offerings.

The Triple Packs of these two characters are currently pretty hard to come by...that said, anyone with diligence or contacts can get them relatively easily, but it might take a week or two.

Sprocket seems to be quite a bit more common then Flashwing at this point.  I have noticed that every store other than GameStop (smaller and more controlled display) runs into the situation where people are stashing what they want (which is likely Wave 2 figs).

Hot Head is the only currently available character I have yet to see in person.  I nearly landed him on Amazon last night, but in the short time it took me to add a CD to my cart for free shipping all 14 were gone!   I am hopeful more stock on this Fire Giant will trickle in soon.

As for store-by-store here is what I've noticed the last 2 weeks:

Toys'R'Us: The biggest selection overall.  They have also kept good stock on the Legendaries, Giants, and LightCore.  If you dig around you can find Wave 2, Series 2 Singles like Flameslinger, Hex, Bash, Double Trouble, Stump Smash, Gill Grunt, and Sonic Boom (I listed those in order of what I see the least often to the most often).  Sprocket seems to outnumber Flashwing about 5:1 by my counts and you will likely have to skim the pegs to find them.  The Wave 1 stuff is still fully stocked (Pop Fizz, Fright Rider, Triple Pack #1, Triple Pack #2, TP1 singles (Trigger Happy, Whirlwind), TP2 Singles (Ignitor, Zook), and S2 Singles Slam Bam and Terrafin.  Jet-Vac's LightCore is really the only thing past Flashwing and Hot Head that is tough to come by at TRU.

Target:  They seem to keep a nice stock of Wave 1 Series 2  Singles (Slam Bam, Terrafin, Trigger Happy etc), Triple Pack 1 and Triple Pack 2, and the base Giants.  Oddly enough it is rare to see a LightCore at my local store and I have not seen the LC Triple Pack they have rights to...The big thing here is I have not seen Granite Crusher since release day when I snagged the last two.  That said, GC is online so it isn't too big of a hit.  I have not seen Sprocket or Flashwing at Target, and I have only seen Stump Smash and Gill Grunt in the W2 S2 Singles.  Their presence tells me they probably had Bash, Double Trouble, and Sonic Boom but they must go quicker for some reason.

GameStop:  They have the smallest display, but it is about the only one actually controlled and kept orderly.  They seem to stock 2 of each Giant and 3 or so of everything else.  I have seen Sprocket and Flaswhing single and Triples but they are the least common.

Walmart:  Believe it or not, they have had the best stock on Sprocket and Flashwing by far.  Similarly, there count on Wave 2 Series 2 Singles is higher than Toys'R'Us by a significant margin.  I think I saw 4 Flaswhing Triples tonight.  However, I did not see very many Slam Bam, Terrafin, or Fright Rider singles.  Also of note is the fact that their Giants and LightCore selections seem to be the most picked over.

Misc. Stuff Just Because

Wii U Countdown
-9 Days!

Currently Hunting
-Hot Head (Skylanders Giants)

Recent and Upcoming Releases

-Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS) 10/30/12
-Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS) 11/11/12
-Skylanders Giants (Wii U) 11/18/12

Currently Playing

-Wii: Skylanders Giants, Wii Fit Plus
-3DS: Skylanders Spyro's Adventure

Currently Listening

-Auto Audio (In the Car): Taylor Swift's RED
-Home Audio (At the House): Matchbox Twenty's Exile on Mainstream


Well that turned out to be a lot more of an update than I had anticipated.  I really just wanted to tell you that I had Parts 11-20 ready to upload, had recorded Parts 21-31, and currently didn't have Crusher's Heroic Challenge complete....I suppose that just would have been too simple, eh?!

Oh well...I have just honestly been too busy to upload what I've gotten recorded or really dedicate toward the playthrough or blog as I had hoped.  You should see some new vids go up Sunday and if all goes well I'll upload 1-2 more a night till I'm catching up with the current recordings etc.

Stay tuned for more updates...I also think you will be seeing Skylanders Battle Tournament #2 here shortly!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Black Friday 2012 Skylanders: Green Gill Grunt, Gnarly Tree Rex, and GITD Sonic Boom

Well, not sure that should be the title, but it applies to some of the post and it is 4 AM so we are going to run with it for now.

Long story short I wrapped up a few recordings tonight and got back to my e-mail...

I found this from Walmart:

Umm yeah...

So what we first see is a 4GB Xbox with Skylanders Spyro's Adventure that includes an exclusive character...


GREEN GILL GRUNT has finally surfaced!

Why it took over a year and what they are doing trying to move a base console and last year's version of the game remains to be seen, but if you want the "Microsoft Exclusive Green Gill Grunt" this is your chance...

Now more importantly for the rest of us (and those not interested in buying a console just to get an exclusive figure (although I admit it is a good deal if you don't have an XBOX and don't have Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure), we have this little gem:

We finally have a solid shot of the anticipated GITD Sonic Boom.  At least this is a Series 2 figure and not some rehash from late 2011.  That said, the box art depicts the Walmart Exclusive logo so I would have to guess we will see as many of these as we did TRDS (Translucent Red Drill Sergeant).

And lastly, we have Toys'R'Us finally advertising the Blue Wii with Skylanders Giants and the highly sought after Gnarly Tree Rex!

I have to say this one is tempting...and here is why.  The Blue Wii looks good, but when you factor in Giants costing roughly $75 that means you are getting the Wii for roughly $75, and it includes the Motion Plus Remote (roughly $40).

I don't need a Wii, but it might be nice to have a spare...I do like Blue...and Gnarly Tree Rex looks pretty cool.  That said, since I'm about to spring over some hard earned cash for the brand new Wii U, this one probably won't come to fruition for me...Now if this had been an exclusive pre-order that included a Blue Wii U and Gnarly Tree Rex with the Giants Starter Pack I'd have jumped on it...

Oh, and lastly you might have caught that Walmart is selling their GITD Exclusive Starter Pack for $38.96.  That is a heck of a deal!  Good enough for me to go out and stand outside a store with a bunch of, but a good deal nonetheless.  If you are on a budget, or just really thrifty, this is a hot ticket.

Well it is now after 4 AM and I had better get to bed...

I caught Hot Head on Amazon tonight, had him in my cart and the total (saved another item) was $24.01...I needed $0.99 more for the Free Shipping.  Well, by the time I found another CD and added it in the item was gone...maybe I'll get lucky tonight and find him.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Skylanders Giants Unboxing LightCore Jet-Vac

Unboxing LightCore Jet-Vac

What?  LightCore Jet-Vac

Where Did You Get It?  Toys'R' via pre-order

What Did It Cost?  $11.99 plus tax, free shipping

What Is Included?  LC Jet-Vac, Stat Card, Sticker, and Webcode for Skylanders Universe

What Was Stock Like?  I honestly saw my first LC Jet-Vac this past week when I landed the Sproket and Flashwing Triple Packs.  Toys'R'Us had a few of them, GameStop had 2, Walmart had one that was hidden, and Target had none.  Online he is easy to locate, but still tough to find "in stock."  That said, I honestly feel like stock for LC Jet-Vac, Sprocket, and Flashwing etc will slowly build up over the next few weeks prior to Black Friday.  So if you want him, stay diligent and I bet you will land him!

What Lights Up?  The Air Medallion/buckle lights up and radiates out back thru the clear canister.  You also see a very nice light in his gun.  The video shows the lights well, but not their color.  The light is so bright it kind of washes out the true blue color of both lights.  If you want an accurate feel for the shade of blue simply look at my hands when the lights are out.  I said it several times, but this is one LightCore that will definitely look great in person and really casts a lot of light!

Quick Character Info:


Slogan:  "Hawk and Awe!"

Card Stats:

Power/Strength: 65/150
Defense/Armor: 50/150
Agility: 80/150
Luck: 90/150
Totals: 285/600

VS Regular Jet-Vac's Card Stats:
+5 Strength, +10 Agility, and +10 Luck

VS Legendary Jet-Vac's Card Stats:
+5 Strength, +5 Luck

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Unboxing Skylanders Giants Triple Pack #4: Gill Grunt, Flashwing, Double Trouble

Unboxing Triple Pack #4: Gill Grunt, Flashwing, and Double Trouble

What? Skylanders Giants Triple Pack #4

Where Did You Get It?  Walmart

What Did It Cost?  $24.96 plus tax

What Is Included?  Gill Grunt, Flashwing, Double Trouble, Stat Cards, Stickers, and Web Code

What Was Stock Like?  I think there were 4 in the store, the other three all stashed.  That said, Toys'R'Us had none of the Triple Packs.  Target had no new Triples or new singles.  GameStop had singles but not this triple pack.

Quick Character Info:

Gill Grunt

Slogan:  "Fear the Fish!"

Card Stats:

Power: 85/150
Defense: 70/150
Agility: 40/150
Luck: 85/150
Totals: 280/600


Slogan: "Blinded by the Light!"

Power: 40/150
Defense: 80/150
Agility: 80/150
Luck: 80/150
Totals: 280/600

Double Trouble

Slogan: "Boom Shock-A-Laka!"

Power: 90/150
Defense: 60/150
Agility: 30/150
Luck: 100/150
Totals: 280/600


This has actually  turned out to be a pretty cool triple pack.  I didn't figure I would get lucky and find it quite this soon, but I suppose diligence pays off...or scalpers are waiting till Black Friday.

That said, Flaswhing is a character I am really looking forward to...If you were unaware the Earth Element is my favorite and that coupled with the story reference lasers shooting from her tail give me high expectations.  The figure, while not my color scheme, looks great.  Double Trouble is my favorite Magic Element character and one that I think is under rated.  I used him box-stock to do what most deem "difficult" portions of SSA and he aced them.  I am not a huge fan of the repose, but the fact he gets a Wow Pow Power makes up for it.

The real icing on the cake, and an unexpected surprise, is how well done Gill Grunt's repose looks.  Prior to unboxing, I had no idea he was "blasting off" with the water tanks out back.  The colors are vibrant, the harpoon looks killer, and the fact so much went in to the design just makes you proud to look at it knowing he is in your arsenal.  That said, the other treat is that short of going online or buying another Starter Pack for SSA, there was no way to get a "spare" Gill Grunt (Series 1) to take down his other path.  I can finally try Water Weaver and get the benefit of the Wow Pow to go with what is easily the most impressive repose I have seen to date.  This triple pack definitely saved me a few bucks and stacks up very well!

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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