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'Skylanders: Giants' on Wii U will have richer graphics

Gamers can play mini-games, but not the entire game, on the GamePad's touch screen.

Wii U Skylanders
Wii U Skylanders

The Wii U's Skylanders: Giants is the prettiest console version of the popular, toy-powered action game developers Vicarious Visions told Polygon.

The Wii U's Skylanders: Giants is the prettiest console version of the popular, toy-powered action game, developers Vicarious Visions told Polygon.

The Wii U version of the game, which is also coming out on the 3DS, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 consoles, will have higher texture density and screen resolution than its other console counterparts, Nick Ruepp, producer at Vicarious Visions said.

Skylanders: Giants, a sequel to 2011's surprise hit Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, still has players using a Portal of Power to transport plastic figures into the game as playable champions. Those plastic figures, some of which no light up, save the champions progress so they can be used on any platform, or account.

While the Wii version of the Portal of Power used a wireless USB receive to communicate with the console, the Wii U version will use a cord, Ruepp said. The Wii version of the portal, as well as all figures, will still work with the Wii U version, he added.

The core gameplay of Giants remains the same across all platforms, including the Wii U, but the Wii U's GamePad does allow the developer to add a couple of neat twists.

The GamePad's built in screen means that players can see their champion's stats in real time next to a picture of the character. It can also be used to display a map or to monitor progress on story goals, "dares" and objective collections.

Finally, the GamePad can be used to get more hands on with Giants' three different minigames. For instance, Ruepp showed me a game called Skystones, which is a light card battle game found in Giants. While you can play the game with a standard controller, playing it on the Wii U allows you to use the GamePad's touch screen to move cards around and play the game on the controller.

You won't be able to play the entire game on the GamePad's screen, foregoing the television all together, he added.

Skylanders: Giants is slated to hit sometime in holiday 2012.

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