Free Ranger – Character Review

Free Ranger
“Regular Free Ranger”

Free Ranger is a new Swappable Air Skylander for Skylanders Swap Force. Free Ranger is a bird who spent his early years chasing storms. He chased hurricanes, rode lightning and spun inside tornadoes. That’s how he perfected his spin ability. One day he was chasing a dark and ominous storm when Master Eon caught him and taught him of the darkness in Skylands. Free Ranger then became a protector of Cloudbreak Islands by becoming a Skylander Swap Force member. Free Ranger’s figure embodies his backstory. His legs are in a constant spinning vortex and his hair is in a lightning bolt shaped pony tail. His light blue, yellow and orange coloring complement his character well, by just making him look light. He also carries a couple of Stormblades in his hands to give him a powerful spinning attacks.  Overall, he fits the image you might have for an air element Skylander. He is a bird who spins and has several lightning and tornado based air attacks. Free Ranger comes with the 3DS version of the game. He also has a special Legendary version which changes his paint scheme to the legendary black and gold.

Free Ranger starts with a couple attacks you would expect from looking at his character. He has a fast melee attack with his Stormblades in both hands, and a spinning attack that sucks enemies in to damage them. After some upgrades Free Ranger will be able to shoot bolts of lightning from his eyes, and his Stormblades will send a wave of air shooting at his enemies. His spinning will become faster, more powerful and pull in enemies from farther away.

Legendary Free Ranger
“Legendary Free Ranger”

As a swappable character there are two different upgrade paths to choose, one for his body and one for his legs. The body paths let you focus either on stronger Stormblade attacks by adding combos or a stronger lightning attack by being able to charge the bolts of lightning he can shoot. The leg paths are actually pretty powerful for Free Ranger. One path allows you to add lightning bolts to your tornado attack to further damage your enemies. The other path adds the ability to shoot out a tornado once your normal tornado spin attack ends. None of Free Ranger’s attacks are super flashy or unique. They are pretty much what you would expect from a spinning air element character. However, that doesn’t make him weak or not fun to play with. Sucking up enemies in tornadoes and firing lightning is very satisfying.

Also as a swappable character he has two soul gem abilities. Neither are very exciting or creative which is a bit of a disappointment for such an expensive upgrade. Most soul gem abilities offer some new crazy attacks. For Free Ranger though, one upgrade increases the damage of the Stormblades by adding lighting damage to them, while the other upgrade fills the tornado attack with lightning damage.

All in all, Free Ranger is a very solid character. He is sort of the stereotypical air elemental “storm” character with tornado and lightning attacks. He’s still worth owning, especially if you want the 3DS version of the game.

7 out of 10

Free Ranger’s Stats

    Card Stats
In Game Stats
Attack:115  Max Health280
Defense: 150  Speed43
Speed:110  Armor18
Luck:100  Critical Hit8
  Elemental Power25

Legendary Free Ranger’s Stats

    Card Stats
In Game Stats
Attack:115  Max Health280
Defense: 150  Speed42
Speed:110  Armor18
Luck:100  Critical Hit8
  Elemental Power25

Free Ranger’s Attacks

Body Attacks
Stormblade SlashPress Attack 1 to slash at enemies with powerful Stormblades.Free
Eyes of the StormPress Attack 3 to shoot a bolt of lightning from the eyes, stunning the first enemy and chaining to others.300 Gold
Charged BladesPress Attack 1 to slash with more powerful Stormblades that do increased damage.800 Gold
Gale SlashPress Attack 1 three times to send a wave of powerful air at enemies.1000 Gold
Wind Slasher Path
Slicing StormHold Attack 1 to charge Stormblades, release for a devastating combo attack.1500 Gold
Feathered FurySlicing Storm does increased damage. 2000 Gold
Storm Focus Path
Lightning Strikes ThriceHold Attack 3 to charge Eye of the Storm, release to shoot a larger bolt of lightning.1500 Gold
Charged Gigawatt BoltLightning Strikes Thrice does increased damage. More powerful than lightning.2000 Gold
Soul Gem Ability
Storming StormbladesPress Attack 1 to attack with more powerful Stormblades that deal extra lightning damage.3500 Gold
Leg Attacks
Ride the WindPress Attack 2 to become a tornado and damage nearby enemies.Free
Approaching StormHold Attack 2 to become a tornado, speed is increased while the tornado is active300 Gold
Wind PoweredBecoming a tornado will last longer800 Gold
Tornado Vacuum BoostTornadoes now pull in enemies from further away.1000 Gold
Lightning Linquist Path
Lightning NovaBlast all nearby enemies with a powerful lightning bolt when becoming a tornado.1500 Gold
Nova FlashLightning Nova does increased damage.2000 Gold
Tornado Thrower Path
Wild TornadoWhen becoming a tornado ends, a powerful tornado is shot out, damaging all enemies in the way.1500 Gold
Twisted TwisterMore powerful tornadoes are shot forward that do increased damage to enemies.2000 Gold
Soul Gem Ability
Charged WindsHold Attack 2 to become a tornado filled with lightning, dealing damage to all enemies in the way.3500 Gold
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Pop Thorn – Character Review

Pop Thorn - Character ReviewPop Thorn is a new core Air Skylander for Skylanders Swap Force that only comes with the Tower of Time Adventure Pack. He is a creature called a Pufferthorn which sort of resembles a puffer fish. Like a puffer fish he has a puffed state where he is bigger, slower, and uses his spikes as an attack. His other state is popped or deflated where he is faster and uses his breath for an attack. He is a simple looking figure with a light and dark blue color and a yellow underside. He is covered in spikes and has two little wings which help him fly and move in his puffed state. Pufferthorns are known for their quiet and timid nature and this comes across in his pose. He holds no weapon and he doesn’t look very menacing. The only thing you can tell is that he has spikes which look like they are used for defense. Make sure you check out our unboxing video where you can see his spikes in action. Overall his look is somewhat unique but rather plain.

If you haven’t really though much of Pop Thorn because he doesn’t look like he’s powerful or exciting then you will be in for a big surprise when you play with him. A fully upgraded Pop Thorn might be the most powerful and dominating core Skylander that I have used. He is one of my go-to characters whenever I need to get through a difficult part. His basic attack while puffed is to shoot spikes at his enemies. These spikes are homing spikes which means they will always hit an enemy, no matter which direction you are moving. If you need to move faster to get out of trouble, then you want to “pop” and become smaller. This removes the spike attack but adds a wind attack similar to Spyro’s fire breath. Many of his upgrades are also not very exciting but they are extremely useful and powerful. Spike attacks become more powerful and add more spikes. Wind attacks become more powerful and can add multiple blasts at one time. He can even learn a Mario like ground pound which will damage and knock back all of the nearby enemies. The ability to attack with spikes from at a distance or while running away is very powerful. But combine that with an upgraded wind blast that occurs when you “pop” or a ground pound if too many enemies close in and Pop Thorn can clear an area in record time.

Despite Pop Thorns lack of Flash or complicated attacks, Pop Thorn deserves to be in every Portal Masters army.

10 out of 10

 

Pop Thorn’s Video Review

 

Pop Thorn’s Stats

    Card Stats
In Game Stats
Attack:90  Max Health280
Defense: 110  Speed43
Speed:45  Armor24
Luck:65  Critical Hit6
  Elemental Power25

Pop Thorn’s Attacks

All Attacks
PuffPress Attack 1 to Puff and damage nearby enemies. While puffed, rapidly press Attack 1 to shoot out homing spikes at nearby enemies.Free
PopPress Attack 2 to Pop and shoot a large wind blast. While popped, hold Attack 2 to shoot gusts of wind at enemies.Free
Fresh BreathPress Attack 2 to Pop. After popping, hold Attack 2 to shoot more powerful air projectiles for a short time.500 Gold
Puffball PoundPress Attack 1 to Puff. Press Attack 3 while puffed to slam into the ground, damaging all nearby enemies.700 Gold
Polished SpikesPress Attack 1 to Puff. After puffing, press Attack 1 rapidly to shoot more powerful spike projectiles for a short time.900 Gold
Wind TrapWhile popped, press Attack 3 to leave behind a spiny mine. The mine puffs and explodes when enemies approach, launching them into the air.1200 Gold
Tough and Puffed Path
RollerpuffWhile puffed, hold Attack 3 to roll forward, damaging all enemies in the way.1700 Gold
BouncebackPuffing deals increased damage and reflects nearby projectiles.2200 Gold
Prickly BodyWhile puffed, taking damage releases a spike projectile that damages an attacker.3000 Gold
Controlled Breather Path
Aero TrampolineWhile puffed, hold Attack 3 to charge a powerful slam attack, release to bounce multiple times, damaging all enemies in the way.1700 Gold
Deep BreathWhile puffed, press Attack 2 to shoot three air blasts instead of one.2200 Gold
Scattered WindsWhile popped, air beams now shoot multiple projectiles that spread.3000 Gold
Soul Gem Ability
To Puff or Not To PuffWhile popped, speed is increased. While puffed, armor is increased, which reduces damage taken.4000 Gold
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Knockout Terrafin – Character Review

Knockout Terrafin Character ReviewKnockout Terrafin is a Series 3 Earth Skylander for Skylanders Swap Force. He has appeared in each of the three games so far. For Swap Force he comes bundled with the Fiery Forge Battle Pack but he can also be bought separately. Being a Series 3 Skylander gives him a couple of advantages over his Series 1 counterpart. (Note: Series 2 Skylanders have the same extra abilities). First he is granted an extra attack upgrade called a “Wow Pow!” which the Series 1 Skylander does not have. This is usually the most expensive attack upgrade and is quite powerful. The second advantage is that you can switch upgrade paths after you have chosen a path to upgrade. Normally with series 1 characters you cannot switch paths without resetting the entire character.

Knockout Terrafin is a land shark. He has the unique ability to be able to burrow through the ground as if he was swimming. Knockout Terrafin is a rather plain looking Skylander. He is a two tone dark and light grey like a shark with arms and legs. The only exciting thing about the character are these two huge Wolverine-like brass knuckle claw gauntlets that he wears. It shows that he is a melee focused Skylander with some mean punching power. He wears no other armor or really has any other menacing looking features. Overall his look is a little bland and boring.

Even though Terrafin’s looks lack some flash, he does have a couple interesting and useful attacks. First he can burrow underground. This is a nice ability that allows him to escape easily when he gets surrounded. He can then use his heavy punches to work his way back through a large group of enemies. He can also unlock an upgrade that allows him to send out mini-sharks that can do some long distance damage. They can also help distract enemies so that Terrafin can move to get a better angle on his attack. Most of his other upgrades revolves around making his punches stronger, punching more enemies, adding new punching combos or adding speed. Despite this he can still be very useful in battle with a no nonsense attitude.

Overall Terrafin is a solid character. He lacks some flash and a lot of his upgrades are very basic. But he does have a few very helpful moves that makes him worth owning. However, if you already have a previous version, there is nothing new about this version that makes him worth a purchase.

5 out of 10

Knockout Terrafin’s Video Review

 

Knockout Terrafin’s Stats

    Card Stats
In Game Stats
Attack:100  Max Health310
Defense: 100  Speed35
Speed:50  Armor18
Luck:70  Critical Hit6
  Elemental Power25

Knockout Terrafin’s Attacks

All Attacks
PunchPress Attack 1 to punch the enemy. Press Attack 1, Attack 1, Hold Attack 1 to perform a comboFree
Earth SwimPress Attack 2 to burrow and while underground, press Attack 1 to perform a Belly Flop.Free
Brass KnucklesPunch attacks do more damage.500 Gold
Mega Belly FlopBelly Flop does increased damage and affects a larger area.700 Gold
Feeding FrenzyPress Attack 3 to spawn mini-sharks that burrow and latch onto enemies.900 Gold
Multi Target PunchesPunch attack hits multiple enemies.1200 Gold
Sandhog Path
Master Earth SwimmerIncreased speed while burrowing.1700 Gold
Homing FrenzyMini-sharks home in on enemies and do extra damage.2200 Gold
RazorfinWhile burrowed, your dorsal fin does damage to enemies.3000 Gold
Brawler Path
PugilistPress Attack 1, Attack 1, Hold Attack 2 for Body Slam. Press Attack 1, Attack 1, Hold Attack 3 for Uppercut.1700 Gold
Spiked KnucklesAll punch attacks do even more damage.2200 Gold
Frenzy ShieldYou launch mini-sharks at enemies who damage you.3000 Gold
Soul Gem Ability
Surface FeederCollect power-ups while burrowed.4000 Gold
Wow Pow!
Have You Met My KidsWhile burrowed, press Attack 3 to launch at enemies and hit them with a claw swipe move as well as with mini-shark allies.5000 Gold

 

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Freeze Blade – Character Review

Freeze Blade Review
Normal Freeze Blade

Freeze Blade is a new Swappable Water Skylander for Skylanders Swap Force. You would think that Freeze Blade comes from somewhere cold. However, while he was born in the Frozen Wastelands of Vesh, he soon moved to the Great Lava Lakes. This is where he met Blast Zone. After helping Blast Zone defend himself from some Spell Punks, Blast Zone introduced him to Master Eon and Freeze Blade became a Skylander. It was also in the Lava Lakes where Freeze Blade learned he had a magical ability to skate on any surface. This ability allows Freeze Blade to always wear his ice blades. He has very thin looking leather armor which looks more like workout clothes than armor. This allows for greater mobility which is good since he is one of the fastest Skylander characters.  He is a wolf creature with ice hair and ice cuffs. He also wields a boomerang like bladed weapon called a Chakram. Overall you can tell his character is built for speed. Freeze Blade also has an alternate version called Nitro Freeze Blade. Nitro Freeze Blade is identical in pose but wears a sporty golden race clothes and silver skin instead of grey skin. Nitro Freeze Blade doesn’t look any more powerful, but he certainly looks like a force of speed. Regardless of which character you choose, their starting stats are the same.

Nitro Freeze Blade Review
Nitro Freeze Blade

Freeze Blade starts off with a basic Chakram Throw. This is a short ranged/melee attack. The attack can reach enemies a short distance away but doesn’t fly far across the screen. It can be used in rapid succession like punches, so it has a very strong melee feel. He also starts with the Speedy Skate ability which is a dash attack that allows Freeze Blade to burst forward for a couple seconds, damaging any enemies in his way. An early upgrade unlocks an attack that allows you to freeze your enemies. This attack has a longer range than the Chakram throw. Several other upgrades increase the damage ability of Chakram, the Dash attack and armor. The ability to freeze most of your attackers combined with a dash attack and a strong Chakram throw allows Freeze Blade to become one of the most powerful Skylanders in the game.

As a swappable character there are two different upgrade paths to choose, one for his body and one for his legs. The body paths let you focus either on either a stronger Chakram, or stronger freeze attacks. The leg paths both affect dashing, and are both pretty devastating. One path leaves a trail of ice behind Freeze Blade’s Dash. This trail will slow and damage enemies that touch it. The other path allows Freeze Blade to knock back any enemies hit by the dash which will also cause a freezing explosion when they land.

Also as a swappable character he has two soul gem abilities. The body Soul Gem gives the Chakram increased critical hit chance and damage, while the legs Soul Gem gives the dash attack more damage and prevents it from being broken by attacking enemies. Neither is a flashy upgrade, but both add even more attack power to what was already one of the strongest attacking Skylanders available.

Once upgraded, regardless of path chosen Freeze Blade’s power and speed are valuable assets that make him one of the best and easiest to use characters in the game.

10 out of 10

Freeze Blade’s and Nitro Freeze Blade’s Stats

    Card Stats
In Game Stats
Attack:140  Max Health280
Defense: 75  Speed50
Speed:200  Armor6
Luck:85  Critical Hit8
  Elemental Power25

Freeze Blade’s and Nitro Freeze Blade’s Attacks

Body Attacks
Chakram ThrowPress Attack 1 to throw an icy chakram.Free
FrostciclePress Attack 3 to fire a shard of ice that freezes enemies.300 Gold
IciclesChakram gains a new layer of ice, making attacks do increased damage.800 Gold
Frigid WhirlHold Attack 1 to charge the chakram, then release to throw it.1000 Gold
Blizzard Blade Path
Shaved IceHold Attack 1 to charge the chakram, release to throw the chakram and shoot ice in every direction.1500 Gold
WhiteoutIce projectiles from Shaved Ice do increased damage.2000 Gold
Ice Sculptor Path
Oh Snow!Hold Attack 3 to charge Frostcicle, release to freeze an entire area.1500 Gold
Ice to Meet YouFrostcicle and Oh Snow! do increased damage.2000 Gold
Soul Gem Ability
Winter ChakramChakram attacks have increased critical hit chance and do extra frost damage3500 Gold
Leg Attacks
Speedy SkatePress Attack 2 to dash forward a short distance and damage enemies in the way.Free
Ice TrailDashing leaves behind a trail of ice that slows enemies.300 Gold
Glacial CoatArmor increased.800 Gold
Bladed ButterflyHold Attack 2 to perform a fancy skating trick that damages all enemies nearby.1000 Gold
Trail Freezer Path
Flash FreezePress Attack 2 to dash, dashing will now leave behind an ice trail that damages enemies.1500 Gold
Nice IceFlash Freeze does increased damage.2000 Gold
Ice Skater Path
Penalty FrostPress Attack 2 to knock back an enemy, wherever the knocked back enemy lands will cause a large freezing explosion. 1500 Gold
Iced SkatesPenalty Frost does increased damage.2000 Gold
Soul Gem Ability
Iceberg EnduranceDashing does increased damage and does not stop when attacked.3500 Gold

 

 

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Bumble Blast – Character Review

Bumble Blast - Character Review
Regular Bumble Blast

Bumble Blast is a new core Life Skylander for Skylanders Swap Force. He comes with the Fiery Forge Battle Pack, or you can buy his limited variant Jolly Bumble Blast as a single character. His back story says that he was originally a beehive where bees made a sweet magical honey. Then when Kaos launched an attack on the bees to take the honey for himself, Bumble Blast came to life as their protector. He is a very detailed character but I think he looks more like a smaller version of Tree Rex than a beehive. He is a walking tree with a beehive gun and a sweet honeycomb jaw with a honey tongue sticking out. The detail on his character is fantastic. There is a little stinger coming out the barrel of his beehive gun showing the bee he is about to shoot, and even the life element symbol carved into the wood knot on his shoulder. Bumble Blast looks great, but he has a limited colored variant called Jolly Bumble Blast who looks even better. He dons a Red Santa Suit with green feet and stands on a snow covered base. He even has a candy cane striped bee coming out of a green holiday beehive gun. It’s a fantastic looking colored variant and it might be my favorite Skylander character.

Jolly Bumble Blast - Character Review
Jolly Bumble Blast

Besides being a great looking character, Bumble Blast also has some pretty awesome attacks. He starts with a basic Beezooka attack which shoots homing bees at enemies. These bees hit their target as long as you are aimed fairly close to your target. He also starts with a Honey Glob attack which coats enemies in honey. As you begin to upgrade him, the bees will always target enemies coated in honey. This allows you to attack while running away from trouble. It’s a huge advantage. You will also be able to drop mines that explode to oat enemies with honey and be able to shoot multiple bees at one time. If you choose to upgrade the Bee Keeper Path, there is also an upgrade that shoots out a huge Queen Bee that knocks a group of enemies into the air. If you choose the Honey Tree Path, then you will improve your honey coating abilities.

For Bumble Blast’s Soul Gem Ability, he will gain a backpack that automatically fires bees at enemies. It’s an interesting looking change to the character and it allows you to worry more about coating enemies in honey than always firing your bees. No matter what upgrade path you choose, and even before you unlock the Soul Gem ability, Bumble Blast is a very strong Skylander and very fun to play with.

Overall Bumble Blast is a must have. He is on a short list of our all time favorites.

10 out of 10

 

Bumble Blast’s Stats

    Card Stats
In Game Stats
Attack:85  Max Health320
Defense: 85  Speed35
Speed:50  Armor24
Luck:90  Critical Hit4
  Elemental Power25

 

Bumble Blast’s Attacks

All Attacks
BeezookaPress Attack 1 to shoot honey homing bees at enemiesFree
Honey GlobPress Attack 2 to shoot a big ball of honey that will coat enemies in honey when hit.Free
Honey BeeconBees will always target and attack enemies coated in honey.500 Gold
Hungry BeesBees deal increased damage against honeyed targets700 Gold
Hive MindPress Attack 3 to shoot a beehive into the ground. The hive explodes into honey when an enemy approaches it.900 Gold
Painful StingsBees gain more powerful stingers, increasing their damage.1200 Gold
Bee Keeper Path
Bee ArmadaHold Attack 1 to charge the Beezooka, release to shoot three bees at once.1700 Gold
Stirred up a NestA new Beezooka now shoots even more bees that do increased damage.2200 Gold
Queen BeeHold Attack 1 and charge theBeezooka even longer, release to shoot a Queen Bee that knocks enemies into the air.3000 Gold
Honey Tree Path
Honey Buzz BlastHold Attack 2 to charge a honey attack, release to shoot a honey glob that contains angry bees.1700 Gold
Heavy HoneyHoney attacks deal increased damage and slow enemies.2200 Gold
Honeycomb BarkArmor is increased. Bark skin will sometimes drip out honey that coats enemy attackers3000 Gold
Soul Gem Ability
Bee-Pack BackpackGain a behive backpack that automatically launches bees at nearby foes.4000 Gold
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Rip Tide – Character Review

Rip Tide - Character ReviewRip Tide is a new core Water Skylander for Skylanders Swap Force. He is an Aqua-Fighter and appears to be a descendant of some kind of fish himself. He is all blue with a light green underside and is wearing a full body, gold armored suit. Unlike a fish, he walks on two legs and has two arms. His character holds a swordfish in one hand as a weapon. In the game he can change his weapon to be a hammerhead shark or, after some upgrades, a large whale. He is moderately detailed with scales on the top side of his body and even the gold plated armor has scales. He looks like he’s ready for a fight and even his swordfish weapon looks to be ready for action. Overall he has a very interesting look, a fish-man wielding another fish looking for a battle.

Initially I was not too impressed with Rip Tide’s attacks. The swordfish attack was a good fast melee attack, but the hammerhead attack seemed too slow and not strong enough to use instead of the faster swordfish attack. Eventually you upgrade the ability to throw your weapon. This changes the character’s attack strategy as now he can stand back and perform more ranged attacks. However, each time you throw one fish, your weapon switches to the other. So you might end up equipped with weapon you do not want to use when you get back into melee. We chose the Fishy Fencer Path and the main ability that path added was a dash to the swordfish attack. This acts almost like another ranged attack as it allows Rip Tide to quickly get into a fight or quickly get out of trouble. The soul gem ability is also pretty interesting as it allows your weapon to turn into a giant whale which does a wide area attack and then also shoots out extra smaller fish to damage nearby enemies.

Overall Rip Tide is a fair character. He has a bit of a slow start but finishes with some good abilities.

7 out of 10

 

Rip Tide’s Video Review

Rip Tide’s Stats

    Card Stats
In Game Stats
Attack:120  Max Health300
Defense: 70  Speed43
Speed:75  Armor30
Luck:55  Critical Hit4
  Elemental Power25

Rip Tide’s Attacks

All Attacks
Tetra AttackPress Attack 1 to swing the currently held fish at enemies. Swordfish attacks are quick while Shark attacks are slow, but more powerful.Free
Fish TossPress Attack 2 to toss the currently held fish at enemies. Fish Toss will also change between Swordfish and Shark.Free
Whale On 'EmPress Attack 3 to drop a large whale and smack down a large number of enemies.500 Gold
Bigger Fish to FlyPress Attack 2 to throw the held fish, doing increased damage to enemies.700 Gold
Fresh FishPress Attack 2 to throw the currently held fish. Press Attack 1 to attack and critically hit with the new fish.900 Gold
Blistering BlubberWhale attacks do increased damage. 1200 Gold
Fishy Fencer Path
Nipping Needle NosePress Attack 2 to throw the sword fish which does damage over time to enemies that it hits.1700 Gold
Practiced ParrySwordfish attacks do increased damage.2200 Gold
Straight as an AnglerHold Attack 1 to charge a swordfish attack, release to dash through enemies causing them to take damage and be knocked back.3000 Gold
Flounder Pounder Path
Shark SurprisePress Attack 2 to throw the Shark which bounces off of enemies' heads before landing.1700 Gold
Time to HammerHammerhead shark attacks do increased damage.2200 Gold
Shark Bite BaitHold Attack 1 to charge a shark attack, release to dash forward biting any enemies in the way.3000 Gold
Soul Gem Ability
Reinventing the WhaleAngry fish explode out of the whale's spout, seeking out and damaging nearby enemies.4000 Gold
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Grilla Drilla – Character Review

Grilla Drilla - Character ReviewGrilla Drilla  is a new Swappable Life Skylander with the Dig ability for Skylanders Swap Force.  The bottom half of Grilla Drilla is a large drill while the top part is that of a heavily armored Gorilla. In the game Grilla Drilla actually walks on legs but he can turn them into a drill. He has a mean look on his face and two large metal plated fists ready for action. The lack of any weapon makes you believe that he will be a melee attack character. Even though he looks mean, it’s hard to gauge how well he will perform in battle. Having a large drill bit for legs is cool for his digging ability but that is hardly a way to attack enemies. Just based on his looks he doesn’t appear to be a very useful Skylander.

Grilla Drilla does in fact start with a punch as one of his main attacks. But his punch is not a normal type of a punch. His fist actually has arm drills that spin and deal even more damage when punching. And it is quite the powerful punch. His card shows the maximum 200 for his attacking ability. His secondary attack is to plant a coconut turret by transforming his legs into a drill. As Grilla Drilla starts to get upgrades, his attacks become much more interesting. One of his early upgrades adds the ability to summon a pair of crazy monkeys. These monkeys run across the screen damaging enemies in their path. It’s basically a ranged attack. The turret attack can be upgraded to drop bombs and to gain the ability to plant two turrets at a time. And the punches can be upgraded to have a longer range, making them a good medium ranged attack option.

As a swappable character there are two different upgrade paths to choose, one for his body and one for his legs. The body paths let you focus either on stronger punching where he can use both fists at once, or on upgrading the monkeys to do more damage and to send four out at a time. We chose the monkey path and they do quite a bit of damage when they run across the screen. However, the dual punching fists sound pretty devastating as well. The leg paths both enhance the turret attacks. One path shoots coconut projectiles that explode while the other path turns the turrets into rapid fire banana turrets. Neither seem very useful in a heated battle. To take the time to plant a turret leaves you open for attack and even when the turret has done it’s job. Chances are you will want to move it or replant it, because the battle can quickly move on. And by the time you build up Grilla Drilla all of the way, the punches and monkeys become super powerful and a much quicker and easier decision to use.

Also as a swappable character he has two soul gem abilities. One turns his arm drills into shiny gold allowing punch attacks to do even more damage, and the other adds a thorny defense to the turrets making them very hard for enemies to attack. The turret upgrade is the more interesting upgrade, but the arm drills will be used more often so a little extra power doesn’t hurt.

Grilla Drilla is quite powerful, but I never really found myself using the turret attacks much. It just doesn’t have the power of the monkeys or Grilla Drilla’s amazing punch attack.

8 out of 10

 

Grilla Drilla Video Review

Grilla Drilla’s Stats

    Card Stats
In Game Stats
Attack:200  Max Health290
Defense: 130  Speed43
Speed:70  Armor24
Luck:70  Critical Hit4
  Elemental Power25

Grilla Drilla’s Attacks

Body Attacks
Punchy MonkeyPress Attack 1 to punch at nearby enemies.Free
Monkey CallPress Attack 3 to summon a pair of crazy monkeys!300 Gold
SilverbackPress Attack 1 to unleash punches that deal increased damage.800 Gold
Reaching MandrillPress Attack 1 to punch at a longer range.1000 Gold
Monkey Master Path
Team MonkeyMonkey Call summons four monkeys at once!1500 Gold
King of the JungleMonkey Call does increased damage.2000 Gold
Drilling Punches Path
Double PunchPress Attack 1 three times to attack with both drills.1500 Gold
Primate PowerDouble Punch does increased damage.2000 Gold
Soul Gem Ability
Ring of the Golden MonkeyArm Drills become shiny Gold, making punch attacks do extra damage.3500 Gold
Leg Attacks
Planted TurretPress Attack 2 to plant a coconut turret that attacks nearby enemies.Free
Explosive GrowthHold Attack 2 to charge a turret, release to plant a bomb plant that explodes and damages enemies nearby.300 Gold
Spreading Like WeedsExplosive Growth bomb plants will explode into three smaller bombs.800 Gold
Nature's BountyPress Attack 2 to plant a coconut turret that shoots at nearby enemies. Press Attack 2 again to plant another.1000 Gold
Coconut Caretaker Path
This is Coconuts!Turret projectiles now explode, causing damage to enemies in a small area.1500 Gold
Coconut MayhemCoconuts do increased damage.2000 Gold
Banana Blaster Path
Banana SplitCoconut turret upgrades into a rapid shooting Banana turret.1500 Gold
Go Bananas!Bananas do increased damage.2000 Gold
Soul Gem Ability
Adaptive NatureAll plants gain thorns that damage and push back enemies that step on them.3500 Gold
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Stink Bomb – Character Review

Stink Bomb - Character ReviewStink Bomb  is a new Swappable Life Skylander with the Sneak ability for Skylanders Swap Force. His sneak ability allows him to unlock certain Sneak zone challenges on some of the main game levels. He is a green ninja skunk armed with throwing stars while wearing some light armor. His arms and legs have some wooden guards covered in spikes. He stands ready to throw one of his throwing stars while he has a couple more attached to his shirt . It seems pretty obvious that he will have a ranged attack in his arsenal. Overall he looks like a ninja ready for battle. Even though we already have a ninja character in Ninja Stealth Elf, Stink Bomb certainly holds his own unique look and feel.

Stink Bomb does start with a throwing star attack that can damage enemies at medium range. He also starts with a skunk cloud attack that allows him to go invisible and to damage enemies with the cloud. His upgrades are pretty much what you would expect. His throwing star attack can be upgraded to do more damage or to throw more stars at once. His Skunk Cloud can be upgraded to grow larger and to leave a trail behind as he moves. He also has the ability to add an attack that will knock back his enemies. His attacks are not too flashy or too unusual. His Skunk Cloud is about the most unique attack he has, but it is similar to Stealth Elf’s invisibility with some added damage bonus.

As a swappable character there are two different upgrade paths to choose, one for his body and one for his legs. The body paths let you focus either on adding a shield to the throwing star attack, or adding a poisoned acorn attack to knock his enemies back. We chose the Art of Skunk-Fu Path which adds the shield ability to the throwing stars attack. The throwing stars attack is our most used attack. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s ranged. The leg paths involve adding a second skunk cloud attack or adding an option to leave spike traps behind to damage enemies. Both leg paths seem to do the same thing by passively damaging enemies as they move through the traps. But overall neither leg path is extremely devastating or interesting.

Stink Bomb also has two soul gem abilities. One enhances the throwing stars to do more critical damage, and the other allows Stink Bomb to stay invisible even after attacking enemies from the Skunk Cloud. The “invisible after attacking” ability sounds cool, but he never seems to stay invisible for very long after the attack. So after a while it just feels like a pointless upgrade. These soul gem attacks are slightly useful, but they are not as devastating or over the top as other character’s soul gem abilities.

Overall Stink Bomb is a decent character who is very useful at a distance but I don’t find myself gravitating to use Stink Bomb much outside of completing Sneak Challenges.

7 out of 10

 

Stink Bomb Video Review

 

Stink Bomb’s Stats

    Card Stats
In Game Stats
Attack:140  Max Health270
Defense: 85  Speed43
Speed:150  Armor12
Luck:15  Critical Hit6
  Elemental Power25

Stink Bomb’s Attacks

Body Attacks
Skunk-Fu StarsPress Attack 1 to throw small stars that can damage enemies at long rangeFree
One-Inch PalmPress Attack 3 to deliver a powerful palm attack that knocks away enemies.300 Gold
Noxious NinjaPress Attack 1 to throw Skunk-Fu Stars that do increased damage.800 Gold
Sweeping Kung-FuHold Attack 1 to charge handfuls of Skunk-Fu Stars, release to damage enemies in all directions.1000 Gold
The Art of Skunk-Fu Path
Skunk-Fu ShieldSweeping Skunk-Fu creates a whirling shield that damages nearby enemies.1500 Gold
Skunk-Fu MasterSkunk-Fu Shield does increased damage2000 Gold
The Art of Acorns Path
Acorn AccuracyHold Attack 3 to charge a powerful poisoned acorn, release to shoot it at enemies.1500 Gold
Skunk EyeAn ancient aiming technique makes acorn attacks do increased damage.2000 Gold
Soul Gem Ability
Master-Star TechniquePress Attack 1 to throw Master Stars that have a higher chance to critically hit.3500 Gold
Leg Attacks
Skunk CloudPress Attack 2 to go invisible and damage enemies with a large obscuring cloud.Free
Hidden TailPress Attack 2 while invisible to perform a tail attack that does a large amount of damage to enemies.300 Gold
Sporting StripesSpeed is increased.800 Gold
Skunking AroundPress Attack 2 to go invisible and leave a skunk cloud on the ground that damages enemies.1000 Gold
Skunk Cloud Controller Path
Rolling FogUp to two skunk clouds can be active at one time.1500 Gold
Cloudy ConcoctionSkunk cloud does increased damage.2000 Gold
Sneaky Tricks Path
Sneaky TacticsMove forward slowly to cause pointy objects to be left behind that slow and damage enemies.1500 Gold
Pain in the FootSneaky Tactics does increased damage.2000 Gold
Soul Gem Ability
Stealth SkunkRemain invisible even after attacking enemies.3500 Gold
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