Skylanders really took off, didn’t it? Set in the same universe as Spyro, it had all the promise of purple dragon platform awesomeness, but in reality, had naff all to do with orb guzzling, and everything to do with action figures and portals with power. That’s ok, though; it still turned out alright, and even got itself endorsed by Mr Boyfriend himself, Justin Biebzebub, via his Twitter feed. Really, there is no better place to get your gaming reviews… (Apart from here. Obviously. - Ed.)
As with all things, Activision were quick to capitalise on the success and make a sequel; this time taking advice from the mantra, ‘bigger is better’. Introducing, Skylanders Giants.
While the Skylanders are seen as legendary guardians and protectors of Skylands, eons ago, the Giants were the ones who ruled with an iron fist. The giants immersed themselves in full-scale war, protecting the revered haven of Skylands from atrocious, ancient, evil. However, much like the Skylanders after them, when the war was won, the Giants were banished to Earth, never heard from again.
However, with the Skylands once again under threat from the maniacal, Kaos, who has freed himself from Earthly prison, as Portal Master, you must unite the forces of the ancient giants with the legendary protectors and once again restore balance to world.
It seems that giant toys definitely equate to giant sales. Newly-released transmedia RPG Skylanders Giants has smashed its way into 2nd place, edging out even the likes of Dishonored and Just Dance 4. The newly-released Doom 3: BFG Edition also debuts in a strong fifth place, though nothing seems capable of challenging FIFA 13 yet.
Pokemon Black & White 2 are still selling like hot cakes with a gooey black tar heroin centre. We'll have full review of the latest mid-generation titles this week.
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We're big fans of Skylanders, the trans-media phenomenon that allows players to collect a range of collectible figurines and level them up within a light and frothy action-RPG (or cynical stopgap designed to replace Activision's lost peripheral sales after Guitar Hero went down the tubes, depending on how you look at it). It's a perfect example of how toys and videogames can compliment each other, using NFC technology, onboard chips and the 'magical' Portal peripheral to make models come to life. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure was a deserved success, and Toys For Bob plan to follow it up by embracing the philosophy of "bigger is better."
Giants is the result: a full sequel rather than an expansion, which heralds the launch of the Series 2 toy line. Alongside new versions of the original cast, who'll ship in a range of different poses, debut the titular Giants, enormous hulking models that stand at over double the height of their predecessors. Lightcore figures also make an anticipated appearance, using current derived from the Portal to illuminate them from within despite possessing no internal battery.
I was able to check out both the new game and new model series at E3 2012, and emerged from the Activision bunker suitably impressed.
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