Holiday gaming shopping recomendations: Part Deux

by: “Tiger” Oliver

You thought we were done with only one article of holiday shopping recommendations? Think again! Here’s some more games to keep in mind for those on your “Nice” list.

Nintendo Wii

If New Super Mario Bros. is hard to find, you can’t go wrong with Wii Sports Resort. It comes with a slew of games, including a new golf course (joy!). It comes with one Wii Motion Plus adapter, so you’ll have to buy more at $19.99 a pop (plus applicable tax). Another I’d recommend is the Metroid Prime Trilogy, which features all three games from the Metroid Prime series, the first two being available in widescreen display for the first time.

Another game I’d highly recommend is Need for Speed: Nitro. It’s exclusive to the Wii, and the controls are amazing. You can hold the Wiimote regular or horizonally like a wheel; but, either way, the controls are better than the other games in the series, in my opinion.

Other recommendations:
Super Mario Galaxy – Reviewed it, one of the best on the console.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Still delivers the timeless, classic Zelda that has dazzled gamers for 23  years.
Super Mario Kart Wii – A good alternative to Need for Speed: Turbo. Plus, it’s Mario Kart.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010 – One of the only sports games I’ll shell out money for just got better, it plays similar to golf on Wii Sports, but better.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl – It’s an old game like Twilight Princess, but it still delivers. Perfect for someone who missed out on it at the Wii’s release.

PlayStation 3

It goes without saying, Modern Warfare 2 is on the top of my list this year. If the one you’re buying for is a bit of a metalhead, Guitar Hero: Metallica and especially Brutal Legend will allow them to get their rock on. Speaking of music games, Rock Band: The Beatles and DJ Hero are also strong recommendations – that is, if you have the money to shell out.

There are also a few older titles you could give to make it easier on your wallet. For example, Valkyria Chronicles is a pseudo-WWII RPG that GameSpot.com raves as “a boldly refreshing strategy RPG that is both beautiful to look at and fun to play.” Also, one can’t go wrong with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which will be a joy to play for, well, pretty much anybody. For $19.99 each at Gamestop and Gamestop.com, these are perfect for the shopper on a budget.

Other recommendations:
Katamari Forever – If the person you’re shopping for is in to the weird and aesthetically pleasing, this game will not disappoint.
Batman: Arkham Asylum – C’mon, this game is amazing. ‘Nuff said.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – Another one of those games that you should check out if you haven’t yet. If they like Metal Gear Solid, they’ll like this.
Braid – There’s nothing I can say about this game besides it’s like nothing you’ve ever played before. Except for being an amazing game.
Tekken 6/Street Fighter 4/Soul Calibur 4 – If the person you’re shopping for loves fighting games, either one of these three will sure to make them gleam with giddiness come Christmas morning.

XBox 360
Many of the same titles for PS3 apply for the XBox 360, with a couple of exceptions due to console exclusivity.

However, there are some recommendations outside of Left 4 Dead II. One of which is, obviously, Halo 3and Halo 3: ODST. If your giftee is a Halo junkie and he/she doesn’t have any of these games, it’s a no-brainer.

A couple of budget titles you need to keep in mind include the XBox 360 release title Kameo: Elements of Power and the bundle of the smash hits The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Bioshock. You can find Kameo for as low as $9.99 and the Oblivion/Bioshock bundle for anywhere between $30-40 (which, for two games, that ain’t bad).

Other recommendations:
Batman: Arkham Asylum – C’mon, this game is amazing. ‘Nuff said.
Eternal Sonata – An RPG revolving around Frederic Chopin’s death? This is why Japan makes the best games of the genre!
Forza Motorsport 3 – XBox 360 exclusive, an impressive racing game.
Braid – There’s nothing I can say about this game besides it’s like nothing you’ve ever played before. Except for being an amazing game.
Tekken 6/Street Fighter 4/Soul Calibur 4 – If the person you’re shopping for loves fighting games, either one of these three will sure to make them gleam with giddiness come Christmas morning.

Nintendo DS
When dealing with a Nintendo console owner, there are two franchises that hardly ever fails to amaze: Legend of Zelda and Mario. That being said, the new Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks will be on the top of any Zelda fan’s list. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story and New Super Mario Bros. will satiate any Mario fanboy.

Other games one should check out include the next chapter in Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and any of the Pheonix Wright: Ace Attorney games.

PlayStation Portable
Right off the bat, I have to recommend Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. It’s awesome for DS, it’s equally so for the PSP. If your giftee is either a fan of the Jak and Daxter series or platformers in general ala Crash Bandicoot, the PSP exclusive Daxter will be right up their alley.

If you’re looking for RPG greatness, a double shot of Final Fantasy may be in order. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, the prequel to one of (if not the) greatest RPGs of all time, is worthy of sharing the Final Fantasy VII moniker. While more fighting game than RPG, Dissidia: Final Fantasy combines the separate universes of each game and throws the heroes and villians in an Armageddon-esque war.

On the budget side of things: the surprisingly addictive Patapon is a stellar real-time strategy/rhythm game, even for $20. Finally, the PSP legend Lumines is the puzzle game every PSP owner has to own.

PC
If you have a World of Warcraft junkie that either can’t afford a subscription or wants a change of scenary, Dragon Age: Origins will be right up their alley. This game is huge, almost WoW huge. Plus, it plays somewhat similar to the granddaddy of all MMORPGS.

Another game I’d highly recommend for PC-savvy gamers is Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Now, wait, did I just recommend an old Guitar Hero game for PC? Yes, and here’s why: someone who knows what they’re doing can insert custom songs to play in GH:III PC, which makes the potential song list even larger than Rock Band for PS3 and XBox 360.

Other games are obvious: World of Warcraft if they haven’t gotten it yet, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 or The Orange Box (because we all know first-person shooters are WAY more awesome on PC), Street Fighter 4, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Borderlands.

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