Thursday, June 26, 2014

Skylanders Trap Team at E3: Your Questions Answered Part 1

Well, this had the best of intentions and didn't turn out so well...

Instead of going with things by category etc, I thought it would be cool to address the questions as posed by the individual.  Yes, I knew there would be overlap.  I did not, however, anticipate it would consume around 80 minutes of time.  I know you are just looking at a pool table, but each 20 mins or so is roughly 4 GB in the 1280x720 format.  So, the roughly 80 minutes is around 15-16 GB.  This would take a LOOONG time to render and upload.

So, for now, I have broken off the start and the first few questions (which happened to be my own questions).  Below the video I will have kind of a text transcript.  I am not sure if I will run with what I have already recorded and break it down by individual, or if I would be better off starting from scratch and then doing a "shout out" to everyone who submitted questions.  Whatever I do, you will see, I'm just not set in stone yet.

That said, Part 1 is, so here you go...

Skylanders Trap Team at E3 Your Questions Answered, Part 1: My Questions

Here is a text version if you prefer that...Not verbatim, but I do a rough recap on the question, response, and what my take is from that...


Q1:  Will there be a difference between the Toys for Bob and Beenox versions of the game?

A1:  We are not talking about that

My Take: The demos were Wii U and PS4, which are both by Beenox.   Toys for Bob is handling the Wii/360/PS3 versions and Beenox will handle the ports to Wii U/XB1/PS4.  We had differences in SWAP Force and I’m curious if the games will play the same in terms of cutscenes and collectibles on the previous gen consoles AND if the Beenox versions will have anything "extra."

Q2: Will the Wii U still utilize the GamePad screen for Character Stats?

A2: We are not ready to talk about that.

My Take:  Harmless info imo…Maybe they are going to tout “off screen” gameplay as a selling point and wanted to wait it out.  I hope they retain something special for the GamePad.


Q3:  Will the 3DS Starter Pack incorporate different characters?  Also, will one be exclusive to the Starter Pack?

A3: We are not talking about the 3DS version of the game.

My Take:  Kind of surprised they couldn't at least confirm/deny the same set up as past games.

Q4: Will the 3DS version still feature the character roster found in SWAP Force?

A4: See above…No comments at all on 3DS questions.

My Take:  Confirming this at E3 would have been very nice and really spoils nothing.  It was the single most important advancement in the handheld entries in my opinion.


Q5:  How many villains can be held per crystal?

A5: One. 1.  Only One.  Just one.

My Take: Finally confirmation, but it does pose some other issues.

Q6: Is it possible in 2P Mode to both play as a villain?

A6: No comment.

My Take: Sadly, based on “1 per Trap” and only having one crystal slot on the portal, I have to say this will not happen.  Things may change, but with 1 per trap, you’d have an odd situation on hand.

Q7: Will there be a Single Player Battle Mode (ie P1 as Terrafin vs CPU as Slam Bam)?

A7:  I got, “We can’t talk about that,” “Ask PR,” and a few “No” responses.   Leads me to believe it will be a no go for Trap Team.  More on why I asked this later.

My Take: Pretty much what I expected.  Solo Battle Mode (Skylander vs Skylander by way of a CPU) is the natural precursor to anything online and in my opinion make the most sense.  One of the purported reasons for a lack of “online” is protecting the young audience.  What is the best way to do that and ensure no one is exposed to anything bad online?  Use a CPU!  I’ll elaborate more on this later.

Q8: Is there a special role for Giants and Swappers in Trap Team?

A8: No.

My Take: Quite surprising.  Even though Giants didn’t do much in SWAP Force, you were at least inclined to pick them up and open a chest…Kind of a nice nod to the past and incentive to keep them handy and continue to play as the past characters for more reasons than just wanting to…

Shockingly, the reason for this goes back to focus groups with the kids.  They found kids wanted to play with the “new” figures and characters, not their old figures.  So, with the emphasis on focus groups, there will be no special areas or reasons to specifically use your Giants and Swappers.  That said, since the game is fully backward compatible, you can still play as Tree Rex or Free Ranger just because you want to, or because they are your favorites.

Q9: Please bring back the original SSA Castaways (not a question, but I don’t care).

A9: We aren’t talking about character rosters, or reposes.

My Take: Last year I was able to get a “Yes, you will see some of them (Castaways),” which would have totally been fine with me…I don’t expect to get a “Oh yeah man…S2 TripWire Voodood, S2 Skull Master Ghost Roaster, and wait till you see S2 Fright Rider” etc…

The tight lips in that regard, kept me from pursuing a request or teaser for any other reposes, be they S2, S3 (Jet-Vac, Pop Fizz), or S4 (Spyro, Trigger Happy, etc).

Off camera, with several different folks, I did at least ask about reposed Giants (Swarm, Crusher) or SWAP Force Skylanders (Boom Jet, Night Shift, etc.).  The answer was the same as above…no comment on any character info.

What concerns me is that I heard the Trap Masters referred to as “Guest Stars” multiple times.  I also heard a few people call Giants and Swappers “Guest Stars.”  This leads me to the assumptive conclusion that at this point, all of the “gimmick” Skylanders are viewed as just that, “Guest Stars.”  So while Spyro, Gill Grunt, and others that catch on like Jet-Vac and Pop Fizz might get a near annual repose, the “Guest Stars” are likely to remain one trick ponies.  The good news is, of course, if you love Bouncer and Spy Rise you can always continue to play them in new releases.  The bad news is, at this point in time, it seems highly unlikely that we would see S2 Eye-Brawl, or S2 Magna Charge.  Maybe they don’t want to tip their hand, but I had NEVER heard “Guest Star” until this year.  The “Core” Skylanders are referred to as “Legacy” Skylanders by high end people and “fan favorites” by the more grounded spokes people…Seems sad so many great characters could just be “one and done.”  That said, one thing that is clear is they never seem to rule anything out.

Q10: If LightCores still exist, will you give them WowPows or a recharge of the Flash Bomb?
A10: No comment, or not commenting on character specifics.

My Take: I did it.  I gave my “LightCore Sermon” to around 4 different people…I think it seemed to resonate well with at least two of them.  I think it is no secret that the LightCores have not sold as intended, particularly when they are of a reposed character (ie not BRAND NEW).  My sermon kind of highlights those reasons.  For those who have somehow not heard my rant, cough sermon, here are the cliff notes:
--LightCores are great in that they are a unique pose and have a Light Up Effect
---It is all downhill from there
--They do not have a WowPow, which makes them weaker than their counterparts (when applicable, ie S2).
---LightCore figures MUST have a WowPow and the ability to switch paths (outside of brand new LCs).
--The Flash Bomb is auto initiated right upon loading into the game…and it can not be recharged
---The Flash Bomb should be user executed and rechargeable via set XP, or time intervals

Q11: Will there be Adventure Packs or Battle Packs?

A11: We are not talking about that at this time.

MyTake:  Really?  You can’t even give a tease of an answer, something like, “They may be back, but not like you are used to seeing them.”  I think the APs are far more sought after than the BPs, and personally I liked the 4 APs in SSA the best.  Giants offered 2 and 2, just like SF, but to me that APs deliver the good with extra content (ie a Chapter), cool and unique stories with memorable non-playable characters, and they have had great Skylanders packaged in (cough, SSA’s 4 APs, cough).

I thought we would at least get a, “Yeah you will see them” and maybe even a “We have 2 Adventure Packs and 2 Battle Packs once again” etc.  No such luck.  Last year I got this info from the Vicarioius Visions guys.

Q12: Is the portal wired?  Is there a volume control?  And will the new portal work with the old games?

A12: Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

My Take:  Makes sense to be wired, but I wanted to double check…I saw it first hand.  I never did find the volume control on my own (the booths were very dark so you could record gameplay I believe), but 2 people told me there was a separate volume control on the portal.  It took some digging, like last year, but I finally got confirmation that the portal will work with the older games.   This question seems to take people by surprise till I explain, “You know, the SF Portal worked for SSA and Giants, so you just had to keep one out…discounting the Trap portion etc, will the Traptanium Portal be able to be plugged in and load up characters in SWAP Force etc.” 

Who knows, maybe I confused the person that said yes, but once I explained it and laid out I wasn’t expecting the Traps or sounds to work, they were quick to say, “Yeah, you can just use the one portal for all the games.”  So for those who like being tidy, this is welcome news!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Unboxing Jade Fire Kraken Skylanders SWAP Force Alt Deco

What? Jade Fire Kraken, Fire Element, SWAP Force, Bounce Ability
Where Did You Get It? Walmart
What Did It Cost? $14.96 plus tax
What Was Stock Like? Well Stocked, 12 on the Pegs
What is Included? Jade Fire Kraken, Stat Card, and Sticker Sheet

Unboxing Jade Fire Kraken

Jade Fire Kraken
Fire Element, SF Swapper

Jade Fire Kraken Packaging, Front and Back

Slogan: "Burn to be Wild!"

Jade Fire Kraken and Stat Card

Card Stats
Power: 170/200
Armor: 70/200
Agility: 170/200
Luck: 60/200
Totals: 470/800

Jade Fire Kraken and Fire Kraken
Fire Element Swappers
Dark Blast Zone, Jade Fire Kraken, Patriot Blast Zone (Custom), Fire Kraken, and Blast Zone

Bounce Swappers
Rattle Shake, Viper Strike (Custom), Jade Fire Kraken, Fire Kraken
Not Pictured: Quickdraw Rattle Shake

Jade Collection
Jade Flashwing (Target Exclusive in Giants), Jade Fire Kraken

Monday, June 16, 2014

Skylanders Trap Team E3 Booth Tour: New Skylanders and Traps!

This video is just kind of a quick showcase of the available Skylanders and Traps at the Trap Team after hours event.  I started out booth hopping (each one had slightly different characters), but then one of the really cool ladies working brought in several of the other figures for me, including the illusive Gearshift!  I also got a size comparison between the Trap Team Newlanders and Trap Masters.  Check it out for yourself and stay tuned for more Trap Team E3 Coverage!

Some cool stuff here is just getting a look at each of the featured characters and the Traps on hand.  The hardcore fans will no doubt like that video thumbnail as it shows my size comparison between Chopper + Food Fight vs Krypt King.  Wallop, if you haven't heard, is the heaviest Skylander I believe I've ever laid hands on...Krypt King was rumored to spit out a swarm of beetles, or bees by many, but during the private screening of the game, one of the guys running the demo said it was a swarm of locusts...That makes perfect sense given his name and aesthetics (especially the back side!).

For those interested, I will also have the size comparison up as a still image in the near future...I also "think" I have still shots of each character as well as some group shots.  Stay tuned for so much more from E3!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Skylanders Trap Team E3 Exclusive Life Trap with Riot Shield Shredder

As you should know, this year at E3 the giveaway was not a special character, but rather a special trap containing a villain.  Riot Shield Shredder will be in an game variant of Shield Shredder who will be standard and trappable in the game.  So in terms of you seeing Riot Shield Shredder, we will all have to wait for the release on October 5th.  That said, there was plenty to talk about here including the Trap Designs (Sculpts), number of traps, and most important and solid at this point in time: the packaging!

I had a 0% success rate asking about if the trap given out was reflective of the final packaging we can expect to see on retailers shelves this fall.  Finally, at dinner,  I had confirmation that this was in fact the final design for the packaging.  Given no one else would commit, it is hard to know if that is a definitive yes, or not.  I will say this, the packaging is super nice, well designed, sleek, and catches your eye.  I spent a lot of time covering all the clues that would lead me to believe this was in fact the final packaging, regardless of what people will or will not reveal.

But with that said, if this is not the final packaging I would think it is super close.  Any significant changes might be a downgrade in my opinion.  I truly believe, based on what I see, that this is the final packaging and I did have one "Yes" from the evening dinner.

Sadly, we can't see Riot Shield Shredder or play as him for a few months, but the insights gained from the packaging are of great interest to myself and many of you hardcore fans.  As soon as Trap Team is released I will get some gameplay of Riot Shield Shredder.

Skylanders Trap Team E3 Kaos "Holy Trap!" T-Shirt

While treasure hunters will no doubt covet their E3 Life Element Trap pre-loaded with in-game variant villain Riot Shield Shredder, I was honestly more excited by a simple t-shirt.  And yes, I am serious.  The trap is cool and I'm excited to use it, but at this point in time I was more excited to see the packaging and backside.

The Kaos T-shirt however was totally unexpected and it is easily one of the greatest shirts I have ever seen.  I didn't even look at it until later in the night at the hotel, but instantly brought me to a loud cheer, lol.  I pushed last year for "adult sized" merchandise and throught this past calendar year I never saw anything.  There are tons of cool kids shirts, but nothing for adults...not even generic logo t-shirts etc.  Needless to say, I was stoked to land this thing!

A First Look at the Most Epic Skylanders Shirt Ever: Kaos' "Holy Trap!"

I have no idea if it is exclusive to E3, a quick print for a laugh, or something that might hit shelves, but I do know it is awesome and countless of you would purchase this thing if it was on a shelf.  That said, here and on the video I want you to post up what you would like to see in terms of adult sized merchandise.  Do you want basic t-shirts, do women want tank tops, does anyone want hats etc.  I have no guarantee this will go anywhere, but I'm also the only person trying to get it somewhere...So post up what you want and maybe, just maybe, we can convince the folks at Activision to license some adult merchandise, or let potential licensees know there IS a market for adult sized Skylander swag!

Skylanders Trap Team Demo and Q&A with Jin, Senior Producer

Well, my strategy for E3 was simple this year...use the limited time to get in as much info and gameplay on Trap Team as possible.  wdrumz, CrystalBlazier, pdiddysportscards, and myself quickly realized we had no chance of getting thru the Trap Team lines at the official Skylanders booth before we'd go up for the screening...

Thus, I went with backup plan and pdiddysportscards (Paul) was smart, or dumb enough to think it sounded like a good idea too...Luckily, the plan worked out flawlessly and we not only got some early hands-on with the game, we wound up with a Senior Producer for the game that really knew his stuff!

As such, not only was I able to capture some gameplay via Paul's work on the Wii U, but we got some early answers and a reality check into how much was going to remain withheld.  Jin did an awesome job with the demo and the rather intense Q&A given he probably didn't have dedicated Portal Masters like us too often.  Had I have known what all was off limits I wouldn't have hit him up with so many questions, lol...He is literally the first person we had the chance to talk to...

Skylanders Trap Team Q&A with Jin, Senior Producer

Skylanders Trap Team Gameplay, Questions, and More with Jin, Senior Producer 
and Paul, pdiddysportcards, on the Controls

Here is a text summary of the Q&A Session with Jin:
Q&A with Jin: When you don't hear me asking a question, the voice you hear is Paul (pdiddysportscards)

Pricing (Yes, Pricing)
-Traps $5.99
-Skylanders $9.99
-Trap Masters $14.99
-3DS Starter Pack $64.99 (everything online is $74.99, he may know something we don't, or it may have been an honest mistake...I could not get verification on 3DS stuff from is basically 100% off limits at this point)
-Console Starter Pack $74.99
--Portal, Game, 2 Figures, and 2 Traps in Console Starter Pack
--Traptanium Portal, Snapshot, Food Fight,  Life Trap, Water Trap

Favorite SP Character: Snap Shot vs Foodfight
-Gameplay: Snapshot
-Aesthetics: Foodfight
 Favorite Trapped Villain

-Volume Control

Chopper has heat sinking missiles and has been a fan favorite

Portal Backward Compatibility
-Better for PR (got confirmation it will work)

Traps Forward Compatibility
-Can’t Talk About, but every year they want to bring innovation every year
--They want giant leaps, not small steps…biggest innovation and best games

Villains from Trap Team potential to Return in Future Games as Standard Figures
-Anything is possible
-Not ready to talk about next year’s game
--As a fan and toy geek, he would love to see the villains in collections

Receptions and Impressions
-Everyone has been enjoyed it, folks love Chopper
-Everyone impressed with trappable villains

Repose Giants or Swap Force
-Can’t speak on reposes, but there will be some

Activision PR
-Always in touch with fan base, searching internet: videos, forums, and blogs
--Want to make as many happy as possible

Trap Master Count
-Can’t talk about it
-40 Total Villains
--Wants to give us more, but can’t just yet

-Repeat on the Pricing

-Outlaw Brawl and Chain $11.99

--Suggest we talk to PR about it

Text Notes for Gameplay with Jin (Paul was playing, I was filming)
Gameplay with Jin and Paul (pdiddysportscards)
-Portal: Wired with Volume Control
-Traps: 1 Villain per Trap, only need 1 Trap per Element, switch villains in the hub
--Villains on Timer, recharges when depleted
--Timer won’t refill by way of XP, Food, or similar means
--Timer should be the same for all the villains
--40 Playable Villains
--Do Villains take damage and loose time? Can they die?
---Ask PR
-Jump Attacks for everyone: Trap Masters, Newlanders, Reposes, and Original Cast

-More powerful vs Skylands Most Wanted
-Have access to special areas via Traptanium Crystals

-Heights of Trap Master vs Giants: Giants slightly taller
-Wii U Gamepad: Stats or Gameplay, Off Screen?  User Selectable?
--Better for PR, will for sure utilize tilt controls
-TFB vs Beenox: Can’t talk about differences yet
-Sewer Level
--Better for PR
-Trap Designs: Can’t talk about them yet
-3DS Starter Pack Contents
--Can’t talk about it yet

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Skylanders Trap Team at E3 Exclusive Interview with Executive Producer Scott Krager

Hey Everyone,

Here is an exclusive interview I got with the Executive Producer behind the Skylanders series, Scott Krager!  He was kind enough to let me take up about 10 minutes of his time and I tried to highlight a few key points, pick up on his favorite new characters, and gain insights from his perspective.

I totally apologize for the bobbing camera...I'm not a vlogger and apparently I don't make for a great tripod...Sometimes we clip a little hair, or the chin, but the audio still came thru great and that is what really matters.  I tried to stand beside the camera to get closer to him to ensure we could hear his voice...that to me is an okay trade off, lol.  If I am fortunate enough to attend next year, I think the tripod will be coming.

That said, I was able to get confirmation from him on pricing for the line up (Single Traps, Core Skylanders, and Trap Masters) and he confirmed what I learned earlier from Jin.

Scott was also kind enough to give a shout out to my Nephew (thewalkthruking) and offer up his take on his 2 favorite Sklyanders, Slam Bam and Freeze Blade!

Here is a text-based accompaniment to the interview:

E3 Scott Krager
-Senior Producer

At this point I knew what was off limits and just opted for info that could be released.  Trust me,  I asked everyone, including him, right before this interview…and then kept asking thru the evening.

His favorite Trappable Villain: Painyatta
His favorite Trapmaster: Wallop (who btw is the HEAVIEST I have ever held)
His favorite Core: Chopper (with gyro-dino-exo suit)

Price Points
-Starter Pack: $74.99
-Individual Traps: $5.99
-Core: $9.99
-Trap Masters: $14.99
--Battle edge with Skylands Most Wanted AND interaction with Traptanium Clusters
---They were referred to multiple times here and in other conversations as “guest stars”

-Tried it again, but NO INFO on Battle Packs or Adventure Packs
 -I went for info on an 8 Pack of Traps: they are considering everything
--For me an 8 Pack is highly desirable, especially since it should knock the price down some

-What does the crowd at E3 mean to you?
--He has been here since Spyro’s Adventure, and says it is one of the highlights of his 20+ year career in the industry.  He values the professional success, but enjoys seeing his kids interact with the game at his personal, family level.

--I knew we would get nothing info wise, but I did get confirmation that even our forgotten guys like Voodood, Ghost Roaster, Dino-Rang, and Sunburn would get jump attacks, even if they stay molded in their debut forms…I’ll take the small victory for those of you who have their favorites invested in the old cast.

-Trapped Villains
--1 Per Trap (this is absolutely how it works, not 4 per trap as so many reported early on)
--Each villain has their own theme song to add personality

-My Nephew (had to get him a shout out and Scott’s insights on his favorite)
--Slam Bam, Scott loved his concept and unique design
--Freeze Blade, Vicarious Visions came up with him and he likes the leeway the Water Element affords in ice and is very well rounded

-Trap Team October 5th
--Will we see a gradual release of info approaching launch?
---He thinks so

I had a ton of tough questions, but I sadly knew they would be met with the same guarded reply and that honestly would have made for a bad interview.  Thus, I tried to focus on the positives, get his personal favorites and take on the series development as the Executive Producer.  I couldn't pass up the chance to get my Nephew’s questions regarding his favorite Skylanders covered with a personal recap, so I opted for that as well, lol.  So, if you also like Slam Bam and Freeze Blade, you got some nice bonus content.

The assumed approach of a gradual release of info is likely correct.  I think they wanted to keep the focus on what is "New" and "Innovative" at E3, and then likely reveal some more, gradually over time.

Skylanders Trap Team E3 2014 Experience

Coming Soon!

I have so many people that just ask, "What is E3 like?" and "What is it like getting to go?" coupled with things along the lines of, "Did you see Rob from Coin-Op TV?" and "Did you meet any other YouTubers?"  that I have opted to just make a stand alone video kind of running you thru the paces of what it is like to get to attend E3 from a pretty modest background.

Again, without your support and a really good PR team at Activision, I would be covering E3 from home, via second hand sources.  I would have no chance to ask direct questions, or get answers and insights from the people behind the game.

Many thanks to those behind the scenes and who remain relatively unsung heroes for orchestrating everything, getting Portal Masters from across the country to E3, and then setting things up to run so smooth for everyone at the event and who then go above and beyond to make it even more fun and memorable for everyone involved.

Similarly, a great thanks to everyone who follows along here on the site, watches the videos on YouTube, interacts with me on social media, and who posed questions from all those sources and forums like DarkSpyro.

I am keeping this video generic and kind of down to covering the overall experience...All my usual intricate details will be up in other videos.  Bottom line getting to attend E3 is a big honor and tons of fun.  The fact that you have folks behind the scenes working to make it more fun and get to meet some fellow Portal Masters, company brass, and those who work directly on the game just make it icing on the cake!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Skylanders Trap Team at E3: What Do You Want to Know?

Hey Everyone,

Pretty big news for you...

I have once again been afforded the privilege of getting to attend E3 to check out the latest Skylanders entry, Skylanders Trap Team!!

Skylanders Trap Team at E3: What Do You Want to Know?

I am very excited for this game, have tons of questions myself, and can't wait to learn more about all aspects of the game: figures, packaging, price points, gameplay, removed and returning in-game elements, WowPows, and much, much more!

That said, what I want to know from you is simply what you want to know.

You can leave questions here on this post, on the above YouTube video, via Twitter, Facebook, Google +, e-mail, whatever medium works best for you.  I realize that without your support, I likely wouldn't be able to attend E3 and get the honor of relaying the news and information back to the Skylanders community...So thank you!

I can't guarantee all questions can be asked, or more importantly answered, but I will do my sincere best to make it happen.  I went info heavy last year covering Swap Force...I can do the same this year, or if you would prefer, I can work more on recording some gameplay etc.  I hope to have a nice balance of both, but I will definitely take advantage of any opportunity I have to really cash in on any element of the game, be it recording gameplay or picking the brain of the developers.

If you will be attending E3 as well let me know!  I'll spend most of my time covering the Skylanders side of things, but it is always great to meet other Portal Masters from here and abroad!

Similarly, if there is something else you would like to see just let me know.  I can't quite explain how easy it is to get lost/misdirected at the convention center, and several times last year I just came upon something pretty awesome without intending to do so, lol.  That said, the main focus will no doubt be Trap Team and I can not wait to learn more about the game!

Thanks again for your support and thanks to the folks at Activision for trusting me to attend E3 and deliver solid, fun information back to you, the Skylanders fanbase!

I will keep an archive of the questions here and will literally have it with me on my iPad to pose to anyone willing to answer, or share what information is available.

Spy Rise Upgrade Paths and Attack Damage Numbers Skylanders SWAP Force

Spy Rise Base Upgrades

Spy Rise Attack Damage Numbers
(Click to Enlarge)

Spy Rise Web Spinner Upgrade Path (Top)

Spy Rise Shock Spy Upgrade Path (Top)

Spy Rise Fire Tech Upgrade Path (Bottom)

Spy Rise Electro Tech Upgrade Path (Bottom)

Spy Rise is one of the few characters who you could honestly leave box stock and have no issues with all but the toughest of challenges.  Give him just the Base Upgrades and you can literally stop right there.  Super Spy Scanner adds a second tier of damage numbers to is nuts.  He honestly doesn't need any further upgrades in my opinion.

But, what would the fun in that be?  If you are up for a challenge, leave him as is, but 95% of you are probably looking to max him out, so let's take a look at the upgrade paths.

Up top you have Web Spinner and Shock Spy.  Shock Spy is going to do more damage, but Web Spinner isn't far behind AND BOTH slow enemies.  For rookie players I would suggest Shock Spy as it is going to deal more damage.  Veterans can honestly choose and be fine with either path...It really comes down to personal preference: Do you want Spiderman like web shooters, or high tech grenade like bombs?  Let that one factor in...

On the bottom end you have Fire Tech and Electro Tech.  Fire Tech doesn't have the super high damage numbers, but offers a quicker and spammable option.  Electro tech will require charging and isn't quite as efficient, but makes up for it with insane damage numbers.

I personally need some time to play with each of the upgrade paths to make an official determination and that tiime has not come...My main goal is wrapping up the Undead and Water upgrades right now...I do hope to come back and update this, but the bottom line is Spy Rise honestly doesn't have a "bad path" and at this point none stand above the others.  Take what you think looks the best and you will be happy.

Magna Charge and Nitro Magna Charge Upgrade Paths with Attack Damage Numbers Skylanders SWAP Force

Magna Charge Base Upgrades

Nitro Magna Charge Base Upgrades

Magna Charge Attack Damage Numbers

Nitro Magna Charge Magnetic Armaments Upgrade Path (Top)

Magna Charge Magnet Tuner Upgrade Path (Top)

Magna Charge Static Buildup Upgrade Path (Bottom)

Nitro Magna Charge Drag Racer Upgrade Path (Bottom)

Magna Charge has always been a very intriguing character for me...I have mentioned several times how he reminds me of a robotic paintbrush from The Learning Company's Super Solver's Midnight Rescue game...It is an old, Windows 95 educational game that some of you may be familiar with...I remember it, Morty Maxwell the Master of Mischief, and Shady Glenn Elementary School quite vividly...Magna Charge could easily take on the roll of one of Morty's 5 Robotic Paintbrushes...

So, nostalgia aside I just truly like Magna Charge's aesthetics.  I'm also a fan of his unique abilities.

His Base Upgrades are a lot of fun.  You can summon items (or pick up enemies) and slam them into other enemies to do impressive damage.  His Magnet Cannon does overheat fast, but that makes it do more damage and it fires off the small numbers very quick!  Down low you can drag enemies and throw them forwards, or backward to gain a dash forward that also damages enemies.  He is very well rounded and very fast!

Up top, you really can't go wrong.  Magnetic Armaments upgrades the Magnet Cannon and offers up a hard hitting Fireball after you've maxed out and overheated the cannon.  This shoots on command after the 3 second run time of the Magnet Cannon.  This path is probably best for rookie players, or those looking for a simple, yet effective path.  The Soul Gem further enhances all of Magnetic Armaments.

Magnet Tuner is my choice for the top end.  I mentioned you can't pick a bad path up top, and I stand by that statement.  However, to me, Magnet Tuner takes advantage of what is most unique about Magna Charge and capitalizes on it in a bigger fashion.  Magnet Tuner turns out some impressive damage!  I don't want to lean you this direction as Magnetic Armaments has to be taken seriously, despite the lesser numbers, due to the speed at which they fire off...That said, Magnet Tuner is something we've never seen before and I personally have a blast with it.

Down low, I'm a bit disappointed in both paths.  Given how fast he is (he is a Speed Swapper), I would have liked to see an electromagnetic field left behind while dashing that would damage enemies...Even the old Flameslinger idea of "making a circle" that might have ignited a huge electric column would have been welcome in my book.  What we got instead is some overlap on the base upgrades.  Static Buildup doesn't do much with Shock Stop, but Crash Test really amps up the damage output of Shock Stop AND Eject, which turns out to be massive numbers on the forward dash, which the game and strategy guide completely fail to even mention does damage at all...I think Static Buildup is probably best for Story Mode.

Drag Racer is the perfect path for Nitro Magna Charge (assuming you equate "Nitro" with racing).  This one disappointed me more than Static Buildup initially just because of the repetitiveness...Rapid Repel offers no increase in damage and Opposites Repel was marginal...Static Buildup bumping the damage on Eject is really the dividing line in my opinion.

Drag Racer could have bumped the speed slightly to offset the Static Buildup's gain on Eject...That would have been really cool.  Or, another idea I had was a "Burnout."  Down Drag Racer Nitro Magna Charge (or regular) could hold "A" (or the secondary attack button on your console) and do a burnout that fills the screen, or area behind/around him with smoke that damages enemies and he would then dash off and deal damage, or have a proportionate increase in speed to the duration the button was held.

That is just my take anyway...

That said, I think Drag Racer will actually turn out to be great for Arena Challenges.  It may not offer up much in terms of increased damage, but the ability to pickup 2 enemies, throw them out, and keep going will make quick work of large groups of weaker enemies.

Up top, you can't go wrong with either path...You either want the simple and effective Magnetic Armaments, or the unique Magnet Tuner Path.  Down below, you can go with the harder hitting Static Buildup, or quicker hitting Drag Racer Path.  I'd suggest Static Buildup if you just have one Magna Charge and enjoy story mode.  If you are done with story mode and just have Bonus Missions and Arena Challenges, consider Drag Racer.

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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