As the game that introduced character creation to the Skylanders, Skylanders Imaginators is one of the highlights of the series so far, and a game that blew us away in our review. For the first time in series history, Imaginators gives you the ability to make your very own Skylander hero - and it's as easy to get started as you might think. All you have to do is place a creation crystal on the Skylanders base (luckily, one comes bundled in the starter pack), and get stuck into the surprisingly powerful character creator, with thousands of options on offer. But before you even get started, there's one big decision you'll need to make - which battle class is the best for your Skylander?
With ten different classes to choose from, and Eon's warning that choosing a class is a final decision, knowing which one to pick can be a bit of a daunting prospect - and it's a decision you'll want to be sure you've got right. Not only does your battle class determine what moves your Skylander can use, but it also determines which parts you can use to create it - and seeing as there's no way to wipe your Creation Crystal and start over as something different, this is the single most important decision you'll make when creating your character. With that in mind, here's our guide to each battle class, their ups and down, and highlights and lowlights, because this is the biggest decision you'll need to make!
First things first
Before we begin, you should know that there are two main components that influence how your created character will turn out. The first is the aforementioned battle class, which locks your Skylander into using a particular type of weapon and move set - and the second is the element of your creation crystal. While it doesn't have quite as drastic an effect as your battle class, the element of your creation crystal determines your Skylander's elemental attack moves.
Each Imaginator has three different attack types - a Weapon Power (determined by battle class), a Secret Technique (also determined by battle class), and an Elemental Power (determined by the element of your creation crystal). For each attack type, you'll have a selection of potential moves to choose from, but will only be able to set one of each as your chosen attacks. For the Elemental Power, you'll be limited to the element of your creation crystal, so a Life Skylander can't learn the attack of a Fire Skylander. The moves are consistent across character classes, however, so a Fire Smasher and a Fire Ninja will share the same selection of Elemental Powers.
Some of our favourite elemental moves include being able to change into a sheep as a Life Skylander to avoid enemy attention, summoning a giant gravestone to squash enemies as our Undead Imaginator, and firing a rainbow beam that zips between enemies as a Light Imaginator. It's not as big a deal as your Battle Class as it only affects a single move, but something you might want to keep in mind nonetheless.
So, on with the battle classes (and for a trip through our created Imaginators!)
The quintessential fighting class, Knights slash through their enemies with swords. This being Skylanders, though, you don't have to stick to a serious weapon if you don't want to - Knights can also wield hot dog sticks and pirate cutlasses too, should you want something a bit more ridiculous.
A knight's default moves give you a choice between speedy sword slashes or slower, more powerful swinging attacks to hit multiple enemies around you. Secret Techniques, meanwhile, give you an upward sword slash that knocks enemies in the air, a spinning sword attack that keeps enemies at bay, and a forceful sword strike to deal massive damage - while the final move (unlocked by playing as a Knight Sensei in game) lets you stun enemies by shaking the ground. The Knight's Soul Gem can be found in the Sky Fortress level, which unlocks another special move.
Bowslinger Imaginators do pretty much what they say on the tin - archers through and through, their focus is on long-ranged bow attacks, trading outright damage capacity for the ability to strike from a distance. Beginner Bowslingers have a choice between Long Shot, a move which fires a single arrow at an enemy, or Multi Shot, which fires a three-arrow spread instead. Their Soul Gem, found in the Dragon Temple level, unlocks Volley Storm - the powerful attack which lets you fire a volley of flaming arrows to rain down fiery destruction on your enemies.
As you play, Bowslingers will learn Knockback Shot, an arrow that knocks back enemies; Slow Shot, an arrow that you can fire at again to trigger an explosion; Target Tag, the ability to lock on to a specific enemy for lightning fast shots; and Lob Shot, the ability to fire a lob shot over a group of enemies and hit those slightly further away. There's no body part restrictions for the Bowslinger class, but given that bows have a very specific shape to them, this does limit their capacity for novelty weapons somewhat.
Masters of double-ended weapons, Sentinel Skylanders make use of polearms, spears and marshmallows on sticks to create a whirling dervish of destruction that's great for taking out large groups of enemies. Starting attacks let you choose whether you prefer to swing your weapon in a long arc to take out enemies all around you (Buster), or instead focus on a few directly in front (Acrobat).
As you play, you'll unlock the ability to clothesline enemies (only using your Sentinel's staff instead of your arm); Top Spin, which creates a vortex and sucks enemies in closer; Hypnotise, which puts your enemies into a trance to slow them down; and Grand Slam, which sends a powerful shockwave sweeping out in front of you to damage enemies. Their Soul Gem power, found in The Lair of Kaos level, lets them summon an expanding, 360 degree shockwave to damage enemies both near and far, giving them a much needed ranged attack to go with their melee skills. Unlike some classes, there's no particular body part restrictions associated with this type.
Brawler Skylanders excel at close-quarters melee combat, focussing on throwing punches at lightning speed - with a nice pair of brass knuckles adding to the flair. Whether its a serious row of bolts, a blingy ring or even a teddy bear decorating their mitts, getting up close with a five knuckle sandwich is a brawler's modus operandi.
Default moves give you a choice between quickly jabbing and uppercutting your enemies, or focusing more on power, with a three-blow hammering strike. The unlockable Secret Techniques let you send enemies flying with a supercharged punch, unleash a shockwave to stun nearby foes, wind up an explosive punch for serious damage, or use a full-speed charging attack that sees you uppercutting a whole group of enemies to throw them into the air. The Brawler Soul Gem, found in the Mushroom River level, lets you unleash an incredible flurry of super-fast punches at your enemies, letting you defeat them with style.
The Smasher class is one for those who want to smash their foes at close range, with large and heavy club-like weapons - think spiked maces, huge hammers, a giant lollipop, or, er, a dead fish to name but a few - and have some seriously over the top techniques at their disposal.
To begin with, you have a choice of two equally amazingly named moves - either the Obliterator, which lets you smash your club into the ground to cause mini-earthquakes (and splats anything in front of you), or Pulveriser, which is a less focussed move that takes out enemies who get too close.
As you play, you'll unlock War Cry Rage, which temporarily scares and weakens enemies; Seismic Slam, a move which creates a ground-shaking seismic blast; Berserker, which temporarily boosts speed and attack power (something which is immensely useful with a character like this), as well as Here Comes the Pain, a hugely entertaining belly flop to obliterate foes. Your Soul Gem, found in The Golden Arcade, called Smash Smash Rinse Repeat, unleashes a flurry of incredibly fast, heavy club smashes to pulverise all enemies in range. It really is something else to see. Pair it with Berserker for maximum damage.
Of all the character classes, if you're looking for the easiest possible ride through the game, this is probably the one to go for - and there are no restrictions on the character parts you can use.
One of the more obvious battle classes on offer, Sorcerers rely on magical spells to defeat their enemies, channelling their through staff-like weapons, which range from gnarly magical sticks to silly ice cream sundaes and everything in between.
Default attacks give you a choice between Enlightened, which hurls magical orbs at your foes, or Enchanter, which damages enemies with a magical beam. As you level up and play through the game, you'll unlock Summoned Fury, which lets you fire a cacophony of lightning strikes, Mystic Grid, which turns the ground into a deadly grid of electricity, Sticky Orb, which sends out damage-dealing globs that stick to enemies, and Magic Upheaval, which throws nearby enemies into the air, as if by magic! (sorry)
Finding the Sorcerer's Soul Gem from the Cradle of Creation level will unlock Sorcerer's Circle, a magical forcefield that surrounds your Imaginator, protecting them from harm. Presumably a result of all that pent-up magical energy flowing through them, Sorcerer Skylanders float from place to place, and have slightly smaller legs because of it.
Quickshot Imaginators dual wield pistols with serious speed - much like the Bowslingers, their focus is on hitting enemies from a distance, rather than excelling at close-range brawls. Weapons range from the more serious Tommy Guns and old-timey blunderbusses, to banana pistols and hair dryers, with default attacks letting you choose between Marksman, which fires in a straight line, or Wild Style, which takes a more scatter shot approach, letting you hit multiple enemies at once.
As you play, you'll unlock various imaginatively named Secret Techniques, like Death Blossom, which lets you spin around and fire your pistols crazily; Blast Zone, which creates a danger zone on the ground where enemies take extra damage, Charge Shot, which does what it says on the tin, leting you charge up a massive super-sized shot, and Gunslinging It, which lets you fire incredibly rapidly - just only in one direction, kind of like Trigger Happy's infamous move.
The Quickshot Soul Gem, found in the Abandoned Amusement Park level lets you place a bounty on enemies, causing them to take more damage than usual and drop more gold when defeated.
Another ranged class, Ninjas are one of the most unique battle classes in the game. For starters, these are the only Imaginators that don't actually have bodies - instead, it's just a head with arms and legs - something that's perfect if you're looking to create a cute Skylander (or something a bit weird!)
A ranged class (naturally), Ninjas throw projectiles - from standard shurikens, to starfish and doughnuts - to deal damage. Starting attacks give you the option of focussing your ninja star attacks straight in front of you for precise damage-dealing (Piercer), or all around you for crowd control (Sneaky), while the unlockable Secret Techniques add a bit more variety.
As you level up, you'll unlock Party Popper, which lets you spawn mines that explode when hit with your projectiles, Ninja Teleport, which sees you hurl a beacon into the distance, which you can quickly dash towards to get out of harms way, Invisibility, which creates a decoy to draw enemy fire as you turn invisible and escape, and Knife Storm, which causes a shower of knives to drop down on your opponents. The Ninja Soul Gem move, Stars Near and Far, is found in the Fizzland level, and lets you teleport to nearby enemies, throwing stars at each one.
Imaginators of the Bazooker class use bazookas, large cannons and other heavy projectiles to deal great damage to enemies - although their speed is a bit lower to compensate for their damage dealing potential. Initial attacks give you a choice between Blaster, which lets you fire rockets rapidly in a straight line, and Destroyer, which works in much the same way, only with a slower rate of fire, and a final shot that explodes into a cavalcade of smaller rockets, letting you cover a greater area.
Unlockable Secret Techniques let you Rocket Jump with your bazooka, drop a bomb that explodes when enemies draw near (Birthday Present), target specific areas/enemies with a cursor for an overhead rocket shot (Artillery Strike), or unleash a Scorched Earth attack on the ground in front of you, which not only fires a load of rockets, but also burns the ground in front of you, hurting any enemies that happen to stroll across it. Found in the Scholarville level, the Bazooker Soul Gem unlocks the 1M4G1N1T3 Payload move, letting you fire an immensely powerful rocket filled with Imaginite explosives.
Swashbuckler characters dual wield swords for a graceful, speedy style of attack, laced with more magic than your average sword-slinging knight. As they glide along above the ground, Swashbucklers actually can't have legs, instead getting to choose from their own unique lower body parts - their genie-like 'Tail' and their skirt-like 'Tasset'. Weapons a Swasbuckler battle class Imaginator can use range from popsicle swords and banana blades to katanas and various short swords.
Initial attacks let you choose between Charger, which lets you attack enemies at close range with your dual blades, or Knife Thrower, which sees you throw your swords at them from a safe distance. Unlockable attacks include the ability summon a 'wall' of swords that fly toward enemies (Sword Wall), and Takedown attack that yanks enemies to the floor with a deadly blow. More melee-centric attacks include a ferocious blade-spinning attack, called Bladenado, and a devastating Criss-Cross sword slash, whilst the Swashbuckler Soul Gem, as found in the Shellmont Shores level, lets you use Steel Fans, turning your swords into fans for a massive spiral attack.
And that's your lot! With 10 battle classes to choose from, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, fighting style - and sometimes even body parts - there's a lot to think about when choosing a battle class for your Imaginator, but now you know a little bit more about how each character plays. Why not let us know which class you went for, and share a picture of your Imaginators with us?