What is the difference between this game and the original?
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I want to know whether he should get Spyro's Adventure or Giants. Is Giants basically the same game but with more content, or are they completely different games? Do you have to get different figures for each game or are they the same? Are there any other differences that I should know about?
Edit: One last thing.
Which extra skylanders should he get? Is it one of those things where there is no clear cut best, or are there some that he should definitely get?
All Spyro Adventure (SA) figures work in Giants but not all Giants Figures work in Spyro's Adventure.
If getting both is a possibility, Toys R Us is currently offering buy 1, get 1 40% off on all Skylanders. You could get the Spyro's Adventure Starter $70, and either the Giants Starter ($75) or Portal Owners pack ($60) at the discount. Personally, I regret not paying the extra $15 for the Giants starter. You get 2 additional figures (apx value $10 each), and another portal which I understand is USB. My SA portal runs on batteries and I have to recharge 3 AAs every week. A USB portal would have been nice.
Now unlocking certain areas of the game require Skylanders of a special element. If you want to be able to unlock all those areas, you need some additional Skylanders (see below). If just playing thru the game is good enough, the strater(s) are all you need.
So now you want 8 figures (one of each element) that work in both games. Again, TRU is offering BOGO 40% off, so if you can find the ones you want, its a good place to look. You could also get a TRU flyer and see if Wal*mart will match prices. Your 8 elements are:
WATER - Gill Grunt comes in the SA starter
MAGIC - Spyro comes in the SA starter
TECH - Trigger Happy comes in the SA starter
DEATH - If you bought the Giants starter, you have Cynder. If you didn't, look for Hex or Chop Chop. Fright Rider DOES NOT work in SA.
LIFE* - Stealth Elf (not TRU exclusive Legendary Stealth Elf), or Stump Smash work in both games
FIRE - Ignitor and Flamesinger work in both games
EARTH - Bash or Terrafin will work in both games
AIR* - Whirlwind and Sonic Boom work in both games
* - The Giants starter comes with Jet-Vac (Air) and Tree Rex (life), but these do not work in SA.
Okay, thank you very much.
Also the Giants/series 2 versions of these will also work in both games:
WATER---Slam Bam, Gill Grunt
TECH--Drill Sargent, Trigger Happy
But all of the figures the poster above me mentioned are good to start with.
And all of the figures from series 1/Spyros Adventure will work in both games.
I think TRU has those on sale this week Buy 2 get the 3rd Free.
To answer the actual question asked though, they are completely different games. Giants is a sequel that takes place after the events of the first game, and it starts with a spoiler on how the first game ended (not that the ending of the first game is any kind of surprise) and to some extent expects you to already be familiar with who the NPC's are from the first game (Flynn, Cali, Kaos, Glumshanks, Eon, etc.).
I think it is worth getting both as it gives you more value for your toy figures (they each get 2 games to play through instead of 1 - except for the 16 characters that only work in Giants). The first game actually has more levels but the second game's levels are larger and more complex.
If I only could get 1 though I'd actually go for the first game, the second has a lot of neat additions and more toys available that work with it, but I hate starting with a sequel and not knowing as much what is going on, even though the plots of these games are pretty simple. Also the first game's plot is a bit more straightforward and easy to follow compared to the second game in my opinion, which is nice for the kids.
Though what's extra nice is you could buy the series 2 versions of any skylanders and use them with the first game as normal, but when when you go to Giants with those same figures they'll have the extra series 2 bonuses (Wow Pow and instant path changing). Any character marked "series 2" works with both games but gets extra stuff in the second game. I wish I could do that but I had already bought all the series 1 toys and can't justify to myself buying a character I already have just for the extra power and nicer figurine.
Also its worth noting that the first game always comes with a portal, but the second game you can buy it with or without a portal to save money, so if you get the first game first you could then decide to get the second game without a portal since you already have one from the first game, but if you buy Giants first than later on decide to get the original you'll end up with 2 portals (on Wii 1 wireless that sucks batteries like mad and one wired since original Wii game came with wireless and Giants comes with wired version). Something to keep in mind.
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