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updated 6/5/2012 3:21:50 PM ET 2012-06-05T19:21:50

One of 2011’s most unexpected successes was "Skylanders," an action/adventure game for all ages that serves a dual purpose.

Placing specific figurines in a “magic portal" (essentially a docking station) brings them to life in the game, enabling players to use their attack abilities and build statistics for their character, which in turn would be stored in the character.

The franchise has made a huge amount of money, so of course there's a sequel.

Activision recently let us try out "Skylanders Giants," which promises to be all things bigger and better for the franchise. The portal and toys from the original game will work just fine with the sequel. Newcomers can buy the game bundled with figurines.

The game once again features an adventure mode where your Skylander of choice helps citizens bring peace to the land, battling goblins of all shapes and sizes. But this time around, you don’t have to stick with normal-size characters to get the job done. The game introduces Giant characters, ones with more power and abilities. We saw two of these bad boys (out of the included 12) in action.

The first is Tree Rex, a huge, lumbering creature that can smash through walls and beat enemies to a pulp. He’s quite effective in battle, but a bit slow, making him more susceptible to cannon fire. The second character, Bouncer, is a bit speedier and much more nimble, as he can ram into enemies and bounce around to new areas if needed. [' Trials Evolution' for Xbox Sends You on a Wild Ride ]

What is so great about these new characters are their figurines. They’re bigger than usual Skylanders, and once you place them on the portal, they light up, without the need for batteries.

Along with a single-player campaign, Skylanders Giants also supports two-player cooperative action, with two figurines on the portal. You can also duke it out in Battle arenas and challenge waves of goblin hordes in the new Survival arena. [ 'God of War: Ascension' for PS3 Adds Multiplayer Gaming ]

Skylanders Giants offers the kind of enjoyable all-ages fun that the original did. Plus, those new light-up toys are pretty nifty.

Look for the disc-based Skylanders Giants for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii later this year. A price and release date should be revealed shortly following E3.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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