Holiday Shopping Guide: Video Game Edition

Every year, it’s the same thing: what to get the techno geeks (or growing techno geeks) in your life. (Well, assuming you have techno geeks in your life. If you don’t, why don’t you find one, and give him or her something this holiday season? Because tech stuff is expensive, man.) Some of you have kids who are in to the whole video game thing. Others of you who have spouses in the same boat. And there you stand in the video game store, looking at hundreds of boxes that all look sort of similar, wondering what to buy.

Wonder no more. I’m here to help you out with that. All you need to know is what video game system your techie of choice loves, and you’ll be off and running. (And for you video game geeks out there, remember–this list isn’t really for you. It’s for people who have no idea where to begin with video games. Sort of like me in a yarn shop.) Ready? Here we go.

3DS Games
Many of you have no doubt heard of the trouble the 3DS has been having. Slow sales, bad games–all that jazz. And so you might be feeling skittish about committing to the system. Let me allay those fears. TRC has one of them, and he adores it. Flat out worships the thing. Interestingly, he doesn’t care for the 3D all that much. And that seems to be a thing many people echo. But the thing is, the 3DS is a whole lot more than just being about 3D. It’s a much stronger DS game system, and it plays all the DS games. I highly recommend the thing. If your loved one has a 3DS, your life just got a whole lot simpler, because they have a rash of new games coming out, all of which look or are awesome:

This one’s a no-brainer. Mario Kart. Comes out December 7. Your loved one will thank you.

The second best reviewed game for the 3DS out there. If your loved one has a 3DS, they like Nintendo games. It’s one of the main reasons to have the system. Play to the system’s strengths. Buy Nintendo.

 The best reviewed game. A remake of one of the best games of all time. Sure to scratch that portable Zelda itch.

Cheaper than the other ones. TRC has this game and can’t get enough of it. I’ve played it, and I can see why. Good times.

Nintendo DS
Maybe your loved one hasn’t branched out into the next Nintendo system yet. Not to worry–there’s some love for the DS out there, as well.

The latest iteration of Pokemon. There’s a reason this game has lasted as long as it has. Another one that TRC owns and plays often.

A great one if your loved one loves puzzles. The Professor Layton games are well produced, engrossing, and fun to solve. Speaking as a puzzle lover, myself.

Nintendo Wii
No longer the huge Must Have item of the video game world, the Wii still has some solid games coming out for it. That said, the choice is pretty straightforward. The one game you should be getting for a Wii lover in your life this year has got to be:

It’s getting fantastic reviews across the board. It comes out on November 20, so you know they don’t have it yet. It’s Zelda. What more do you need?

This one came out about a year ago, so they might already have it. But it’s a great game, and it would be cheaper by now, too. Or get it used–cheaper still. Or–if they don’t have the first one–get that one, instead:

$20 new. You can’t go wrong. Fun for the whole family.

But perhaps you’re not in to the whole Nintendo thing. You’ve got a PS3 or a 360, and you want to use it for something more than Netflix and Blurays (if you’ve got a PS3). I haven’t played any of these systems in a while, so I can’t vouch for any of these personally, but definitely look into the following: (all fairly recent releases, all solid games–though not all for kids)

And finally, maybe one of the games I personally am most interest in:

It’s like Guitar Hero, except you play it with a real guitar. Not a fake one. And at the end of the day, you’re learning how to play the guitar, except you’re playing a game. This is a game I might have to buy. We shall see. You can get it as a standalone game, or get it bundled with a real electric guitar. Note that it will work with any electric guitar–not just the one the bundle comes with. Intriguing . . .

Or maybe your loved one still plays games on an actual computer (gasp!). If that’s the case, allow me to suggest one in particular:

A MMO game for Star Wars fans. Note that this is like World of Warcraft–you’ll have to pay $15/month to have access to the content, and it’s likely going to be wicked addicting. But maybe you’re sick of talking to your tech geek, and you’d like some peace and quiet. This’ll buy you some for a while. It doesn’t come out until December 20th, though–so you might have to wrap it at the last minute.

Got any questions about specific games, or games I haven’t mentioned? Ask away. I’m happy to help.

I’ll try and do more posts for other topics–whether it’s gadgets or movies or board games. We’ll see how much time I have.

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