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Skylanders: Giants is a 2012 video game in the Skylanders series, a direct sequel to the 2011 game Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and features the voices of Kevin Michael Richardson, Greg Ellis, Peter Lurie, Steve Blum, Dave Wittenberg, Carlos Alazraqui, Kevin Sorbo, Bobcat Goldthwait, Patrick Seitz and Julie Nathanson. It is the game before Skylanders: Swap Force. As the title suggests, it features larger Skylanders known as "Giants", along with other new gameplay mechanics. It was released on 17 October 2012 in Australia, on 19 October 2012 in Europe, on 21 October 2012 in North America, and on 22 November 2012 in Brazil by Neoplay. It has also been released on the Wii U as a launch title in North America, Europe and Australia. This is the final Skylanders game to be owned by Vivendi before Activision became an independent company on 25 July 2013.
Skylanders: Giants builds upon the fundamentals of the first game, which merges a line of physical toy figures with a video game world. The game introduced over 40 new toy figures, some of which are more than twice the size of the original Skylanders cast in both physical and virtual form. The game involves connecting a physical toy to the video game console through a "Portal of Power"; whichever toy is used creates a respective character in the game. Toy figures from the first game are also forward compatible with Giants, although there are also new versions, called "Series 2", which have more powerful attributes than the originals. A new series of figurines called "LightCore" was also introduced, which glow when put on the Portal of Power. The game has a new and improved "Battle Mode", for head-to-head play, featuring more areas and gameplay options as well as offering a new variety of alter ego Skylanders.
Thousands of years ago, Tree Rex, Crusher, Bouncer, Swarm, Hot Head, Eye Brawl, Thumpback and Ninjini fought the Arkeyans, but the Iron Fist of Arkus used the last of its power to banish them to Earth. Now, with a new threat looming, Jet Vac, Cynder, Pop Fizz and the rest of the Skylanders must unearth and join forces with them to rebuild Flynn's new ship, the Dread Yacht and get the Iron Fist before Kaos does in the ultimate battle to save Skylands.
The plot of this game is focused on how the history of the Skylands comes alive again in the present. The main villain from the last game, Kaos, finds himself in a toy store. He finds a Portal of Power, and goes back to the Skylands. The first level takes place 10,000 years ago to discover where the Skylanders and the Giants came from. 10,000 years ago, the Skylands were ruled by an evil race of giant robots called Arkeyans, until the Skylanders made a stand and began war with the Arkeyans. Eventually, the Giants, who were the first ever Skylanders, faces the king of the Arkeyans and removes the source of the Arkeyans' power, the Iron Fist of Arkus, but this victory also sent the Giants to Earth, ready for the player to use them.
Tree Rex, the first giant to be sent back, is sent out on a quest to rebuild Flynn's ship, and get to the Lost City before Kaos. Multiple new characters show up throughout the levels, including Ermit the hermit and Brock the gladiator. Ermit reveals that Kaos has returned and has accidentally awakened an ancient Arkeyan Conquertron, which recruits Kaos as its new leader, and goes on the search for the Lost City of Arkus. Ermit also reveals that he has a giant robot of his own, however, while attempting to activate the robot, the player encounters a "machine ghost" which turns out to be the very soul of Ermit's robot, who also joins the Skylanders on their journey.
The Skylanders travel to an ancient vault which is said to contain a map to the city of Arkus, but Kaos arrives and attempts to crush the player with falling rocks. In an effort to save the player, Machine Ghost sacrifices himself by shielding the Skylanders from the falling rocks using his robotic body. Kaos and his robot travel into the vault to find the map, but the map is destroyed as a result. Glumshanks, Kaos' butler, remembers an image of the map, and with Kaos' help, finds the location of the lost city. Meanwhile, Machine Ghost tells the player to go after Kaos and find the lost City of Arkus, before disappearing, presumably dead.
Despite the Skylanders' efforts in reaching the Lost City of Arkus, Kaos manages to reach the Iron Fist of Arkus and transformed into a large Arkeyan robot, preparing his conquest over Skylands. The player soon reached Kaos within the City of Arkus, only to discover that the now robotic Portal Master was impossible to stop unless the Iron Fist of Arkus was removed from his grasp. With the help of Ermit and the revived Machine Ghost, the Skylander was able to remove the Fist of Arkus, returning Kaos to his normal form and stopping him from commanding his Arkeyan army. The Arkeyan Conquertron carries Glumshanks and Kaos out of the collapsing city and to the safety of an island before shutting down completely.
Post-credits, Kaos and Glumshanks are shown entering Kaos' Kastle. There they run into Kaos's mother, whose shadow is only shown, as we are left to wonder what happened next. If players complete Nightmare Mode, they are given a scene where Chompies dance and party around the deactivated Iron Fist of Arkus.
Console Starter Pack
These Starter Pack accessories are:
- Skylanders Giants disc
- Poster of all the Skylanders from Skylanders Giants
- Portal of Power
- Trading cards (3)
- Stickers and codes (3)
- 3 Skylanders figures: Tree Rex (Giant - Life), Cynder (Series 2 - Undead), and Jet-Vac (Air)
3DS Starter Pack
The 3DS Starter Pack contains the portal, 3DS game card, and a Punch Pop Fizz figure instead of Jet-Vac.
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This game was received with mostly positive reviews. Metacritic holds the Xbox 360 version an 82/100 score, with the PlayStation 3 version holding an 80/100 score. IGN gave the game an 8 out of 10 score, calling it a "...a more polished but by-the-numbers sequel that’s really fun to play". Cheat Code Central gave the game a 9.2 out of 10.0 saying: "With tons of new and exciting things to do, new figures to collect, and the ability to use your previous Skylanders, it feels like someone finally got everything right when creating a sequel." PlayStation Lifestyle however, gave the game a lesser score with a 70/100, saying: "The reality is that Skylanders: Giants is age-appropriate fun that harkens back to the delight you had collecting Pokémon cards or mashing your way through a dungeon crawler. If you've got little ones, then you already know the verdict here."
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