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- Skylanders Giants
This will make you enjoy giving Activision your money.
Skylanders GIants just may be the apex of collectible video gaming. This game summons all the excitement of collectible gaming I remember from my childhood, from the obsessive trading of friendship bracelets by the girls of my fourth grade class, to pogs, Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, and Warhammer 40K. Skylanders has them all beat, though, with its in-game assets assigned to the physical action figure characters.
Skylanders Giants goes one step further by increasing the novelty value of specific collectibles by giving them special attributes both inside and outside the game. Like the previous game, playable characters in Skylanders Giants are assigned by placing the physical toy on the plastic "portal" stand. This makes that character appear in the game, but the character's attributes (which level up over time through gameplay) are recorded on the toy itself, so that character can be played cross-platform on any version of the game (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3) by putting it on the game's portal regardless of the platform.
The game adds the Giants to this version, who have gameplay features that allow them to open paths the regular hero toys can't. This has allowed the developers to put more of an emphasis on exploration this time around. They've also introduced a line of specific Returning Champion from the first game, and a subset of those called the "Light Core" that actually cause the Portal to light up with different colors. In addition to that, the new game increases the level cap from 10 to 15, creating more of an incentive to keep the first generation of Skylanders figures around.
An introductory version of the game will run you $74.99 including the portal, Giant figure, Returning Champion, and new character. Just the game and the Giant figure will run $59.99. There will be 8 Giants, 1 for each element, at $14.99. The Light Core Returning Champions will be $11.99, and all other figures $9.99.
Skylanders Giants is slated for PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii, with a different version for Nintendo 3DS (but that no doubt carries the stats of the figures just the same).