Monday, November 21, 2011

Give the Gifts that Keep On Winning

We all have gamers in our lives, and we know that what they really want this Christmas is a gift that gives them reason to isolate themselves for countless hours in a dark room.  That's right, they want more games.  And with all the great releases this holiday season, developers have totally helped out the gift givers, but there is a huge selection, so if you feel like you need a little heads up on which direction to go for your specific gamer, read on.

Teens & Adults:

Syrim, rated M which means 17 and up.  We would probably let ages 16 and up play it.  If they already have Skyrim or you are looking for something cheaper, try DragonAge 2 or Fallout New Vegas.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, rated M and we recommend sticking with that rating, not necessarily for the gory gameplay, but because the online play has almost no filter from crazies people.  If they already have this or you're totally not dropping $60 on Little Timmy this year, Battlefield 3 will be on sale at Best Buy and possibly other retailers for $30.  Also, Homefront and Resistance 3.

Batman: Arkham City, is accurately rated T for teen which is 13 and up.  This should be in everyone's budget since it will be on sale for multiple consoles for $30.  They already have Batman: AC?  Try Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood or Revelations.

Uncharted 3, rated T for teen, we would probably keep it 15 and up but that's pretty conservative.  This one will also be on sale for $30.  Assassin's Creed might be a decent replacement for this one too since its very story driven.
Dance Central 2, for anybody who can dance!!  (Or, more hilariously, for those who can't.)  This one has already been advertised at $27 at Target as a Black Friday deal.  Alternatives could be the first Dance Central, or the Just Dance games.

Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword is the newest game in the Zelda series.  It looks amazing, but we haven't had a chance to play it yet.  Zelda games are typically a pretty safe bet if your gamer is into the other Zelda games.  You could get them Twilight Princess if they somehow like Zelda and haven't played that yet (doubtful), or just punch them and tell them to buy Skyward Sword on their own.

The Younger Set (and, let's face it, most of the older set still):

Disney Universe is fun and crazy for the kiddos who will recognize their favorite Disney characters.  This game is also in the Target ad for $27 on Black Friday.  Alternatives for this game would be New Super Mario Brothers.

Once Upon a Monster is a kids game for the Kinect that will not totally drive the parents bonkers.  Yes, it has Elmo, but he is not as abrasive as he could be.  And the kids, of course, love it.  Alternatives for this would be Kinect Adventures or Xbox Points for Fruit Ninja on Xbox Live Arcade.  Kids love flailing around in front of the Kinect, you can't go wrong.

Super Mario 3D Land brings everyone's favorite plumber back to the foreground with a fun, new adventure filled with old friends (Tanooki suit FTW!)  Alternatively you could pick up Super Mario 64 DS at Gamestop for $30 or less (depending on new or used.)  You can't go wrong with any Mario title for a gamer, young or old.

Kinectimals with Bears is a Kinect game where your little sprout can raise, train, and interact with a baby wild cat.  The game is really cute and the kids get a kick out of their pet mimicking their movements.  Alternatively you could pick up the first Kinectimals without the bears for about $20.  Same fun, no bears.

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 has recently released and we haven't had a chance to play it yet, but you can't go wrong with a Lego game either.  If your gamer has played and enjoyed any of them, or is a Harry Potter fan, this one will be a win.  If they haven't played the first Lego Harry Potter, pick that one up to get them started on the franchise.


Black Friday is a great time to pick up that console you've been considering.  There are always great sales and bundles.  The Target ad alone has a 3DS bundle with the new Mario Land 3D and the system for $170.  The Kinect is a low $99.  Best Buy and Gamestop will also have doorbuster deals for PS3 bundled with two games for as low as $200, same for the 250GB Xbox 360, complete with totally respectable titles.  Maybe it's time to turn yourself into an Achievo.

So that's a run down of some of the new titles you'll see out there this holiday season from the Achievo point of view.  If you still feel totally overwhelmed, don't forget that you can always snap a picture of your gamer's game library and show it to the people at Gamestop (or wherever, but I can't make any promises for the baffoons at Best Buy) and they will help you find something that your gamer will enjoy.  And you can never go wrong with picking up Nintendo/Xbox Live Arcade/PSN cards full of points for purchasing games and content online.  There are even Xbox Live 3 Month subscription cards out there for $10 or less.  Buy with confidence - your gamer will appreciate your efforts (just don't forget the gift receipt.)

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