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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Idiots Guide to Skylanders - What to Purchase this Holiday Season

So you've decided to pick up +Skylanders Game for that special someone in your life. First off, congratulations. You've just managed to become the coolest person in the entire world.

Secondly, you're going to walk into a ton of figures and accessories. Don't be fooled. Before you know it you will be spending hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on Skylanders. Instead, follow the guide below to ensure that you only purchase what you absolutely need to start.

Editor's note: this guide is by no means saying that you won't eventually spend a ton of money. Because trust me, you will.

Skylanders Giants vs. Skylanders Spyro's Adventure:

The first think you're going to want to do is make sure you purchase a Skylanders Giants bundle. The "Giants" part of that is crucial. The reason I say this is because if you pick up the original Spyro's Adventure you won't be able to use any of the new Giants figures in the game. If you go ahead and pick up Skylanders Giants, you'll be able to use every Skylanders figure available.

Make sure you are buying the Skylanders bundle for the appropriate system:

Next thing is purchase the appropriate console version of the game. While this may seem like a no-brainer, there's now a Skylanders for nearly every system. You can get it on the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and even a complete bundle for your iPhone/iPad. In other words, making the wrong choice for someone who isn't a regular at buying video games may not by as simple as it seems.

If you by chance have every system available, including the recently release Nintendo Wii U, I highly recommend getting Skylanders Giants for it. It allows for Gamepad only play, freeing up the television. This way, you can play any time you want. The Wii U version also has slightly better graphics, along with Gamepad-only features such as stat tracking and game art.

Which toys you absolutely need to beat the game:

Okay, follow me closely here. There are nearly 100 Skylanders figures out there for you to collect. There are however only 8 different elements. You absolutely need one Skylander of each element if you want to completely beat the game.

The elements are as follows: Fire, Earth, Water, Life, Magic, Tech, Undead, and Wind.

Oh, you'll also only need one Giant, which is included in every bundle you purchase.

If you purchase Skylanders Giants for a console (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, or Wii U), right out of the box you'll be given three figures. They are Tree Rex (Giant, Life), Cynder (Undead), and Jet-Vac (Wind). This takes care of 3 of the 8 elements, along with your Giant.

You'll now want to pick up at least one figure for the remaining elements. This means you need Fire, Earth, Water, Magic, and Tech. At this point it's up to you who you want to purchase. I'll list my personal favorites below as I now have nearly every character... yes, I'm addicted. I get that.

Fire - Ignitor, without a doubt. He has a great combination of up-close and distance attacks. In terms of overall appeal however, Eruptor is awesome. Just a really cool looking figure that has some nice area-of-effect spells (he erupts like a volcano, blasting lava all over the place).

Earth - I am in love with Dino-Rang. He's this cool little dinosaur that runs around with two boomerangs. If you're looking for another Giant, Crusher is of the Earth Element and offers a lot of very powerful attacks, including extra armor at his highest level.

Water - This is a weird one. While Wham-Shell is rare and should be purchased immediately if you find him, I have really enjoyed my time with Gill Grunt. He's a walking fish that shoots a harpoon gun. How cool is that?!

Magic - Wrecking Ball is an absolute terror in this category. He uses his tongue to attack enemies. This can later be upgraded to allow the consumption of smaller enemies into health. He has saved my life more than once and is absolutely critical to my Skylanders arsenal.

Tech - Ah Tech. I didn't make this the last entry on accident. You see, the Tech element holds Trigger Happy, who is not only my favorite Skylander, but quite possibly my all-time favorite video game character. He's this creepy little gun-slinging gremlin who shoots coins out of his guns. Level him up and he'll unlock a Gatling gun and a few other goodies. What makes Trigger Happy even more amazing is the fact that he laughs maniacally the entire time you are playing as him.

So there you have it. The Idiot's Guide to Skylanders. Thing is, you're not an idiot. You're awesome because you just purchased it. So once again congratulations, now let's air five.

*air five!*
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