Dec. 20, 2013
Sure, time's getting tight, but you might still be able to get some gifts for the holidays if you act and ACT NOW! I'm not going to pretend to know what most people like (I can barely shop for my wife), but I've got a decent idea of what gamers might like to see under the tree, so I here's some ideas that are sure to put a smile on the face on even the most cynical Call of Duty spawn-camper. I'll even include the links to Amazon for you, but if you check out Cheap Ass Gamer
, you might be able to find some of these games for a lower price elsewhere.
If you've got a Wii U sitting around, chances are you might be looking for something to play. If you haven't picked up the latest Mario game yet, you're missing out on one of the most enjoyable games on the system. Playing solo is a great experience by itself, but play co-op on the couch with a few friends is where it's at. It doesn't (generally) degrade into the mess that the New Super Mario Bros. games turn into when playing with friends, so even the most intense sensations won't likely seeing you chucking Wii-motes at your best friend. Even after completion, there's still plenty of challenge trying to get the three stars in each level. It might even be enough to keep you busy through the Wii U's anemic release schedule.
Speaking of anemic release schedules, how about something for the oft-forgotten Playstation Vita? This wonderful little platformer has gotten a lot
of high praise
. It's nice to see something making use of the Vita's special features that aren't just a shoehorned gimmick, but having a brand new game that has nothing to do with LittleBigPlanet
come from Media Molecule is a good showing that the studio isn't a one trick pony.
If you have someone in your life that owns a 3DS of any ilk and they don't own this yet, you need to slap them with one of the best Zelda games in years. Set in the same version as the classic A Link to the Past, A Link Between Worlds tightens up the length of some of the more recent entries in the series and brings a fast-paced Zelda game that never lets up. Just as you think it's going to start getting too chatty, it shuts up and lets you at it. Smart use of Link's new ability to meld into walls, upgrades to tools that are old favorites, puzzles that never leave wondering how to solve them for too long, and a useful gameplay reason to go on the collect-a-thon of hidden things that's in nearly ever entry makes this a definite "must own" title for Nintendo's handheld.
One of the most underappreciated (sales figures and moving the series to the PSP should be proof enough of that) games on the Playstation 3, Valkyria Chronicles
, is not only a wonderful game that you really should pick up
if you haven't already, but it also has a rather beautiful art style. The character designs are a little heavy on the anime end of things, but a blend of magic and World War II era technology clashing makes for some great design choices. Hell, it's only one of two games Luke Maxwell and I agreed on for our favorite Playstation 3 games
You know the old saying "the gift that keeps on giving"? Well, that's exactly what Playstation Plus. Whether you own a Playstation 3, Playstation 4, or Playstation Vita, this is a great thing to have. If you own a Playstation 4, you need it to play online multiplayer, but that's not it's only benefit. Plus has been rolling out free games to owners of all three platforms, giving you what they call an Instant Game Collection. As long as your subscription is up to date, these games are yours to play whenever you feel like at no cost to you. Updated every couple of weeks, you also never get stuck looking at a six year old game as a thank you for your patronage.
On top of free games, you're often given discounts on new Playstation Network releases and even deeper discounts on the items already on sale there. Lastly, you're also given a 60 minute trial on some new releases. Just download them, try them out, and if you like them, buy them and your progress carries over to the full game. You really can't go wrong with this.
(I totally don't work for Sony, I promise.)