Gamer Christmas | 2011 Video Game Gift Guide
1 For the RPG Gamers
Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
One of the biggest games of this year, Skyrim cast the player in the role of the dragonborn tasked with saving the world. The huge open-world game features many quests that will draw the players into the world. Exploration and a revamped combat system ups the ante that was set forth by previous Elder Scrolls games.
Looking for something to satiate the masochist in you? This game will definitely do that. It is a punishing game that tests player’s skills to there limit. One of the most unique and inventive games of the year, it takes what made Demon’s Souls a cult hit and increases the scope and volume of the game.
Deus Ex: Human Revelation
Resurrecting a dormant franchise is a tricky business but Human Revolution does it with great respect. Like the other Deus Ex games, Human Revolution stresses player choice and unique play styles. Those looking for RPG gunplay need look no further.
2 For the Platformer Gamers
Super Mario 3D Land
Nintendo is finally releasing games for their 3DS system. Anyone who has played Mario Galaxy will instantly recognize the gameplay and older fans will enjoy the references to older games. If you needed a reason to pick up the 3DS, you can take console in the safety of Mario’s familiar gameplay.
Sonic fans can now rejoice for their savior has come. Sonic Generations combines the stop-and-go platforming of the original games and the fast paced roller coaster levels of the newer games. The blending of nostalgia and tight gameplay easily makes this one of the best games in Sonic’s sordid past.
This game combines classic Rayman gameplay with co-op play. This game will provide more difficulty then most other platformers, but also has aspects that keep the game from being too punishing when playing co-op. This combined with the beautiful graphics make this a very unique game.
3 For the Action-Adventure Gamers
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Delivering the same cinematic tales the series is known for; Nathan Drake is back for the third installment of this amazing franchise. The story delves into the relationship between Nathan and his mentor, Sully, as they track down treasure lost by Sir Francis Drake. The game also includes multiplayer to keep players interested even after the story is done.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
This is the Zelda game Wii gamers have been waiting for. Using Wii Motion Plus, this game uses the Wiimote to follow the player’s arm and relates it exactly to Link’s sword arm. This allow for a new puzzle like mechanic when facing enemies. If you are a fan of Zelda, you owe it to yourself to buy this game.
Batman: Arkham City
After the amazing Arkham Asylum game, fans were eager to resume the role of Rocksteady’s Dark Knight. By taking the basic gameplay from Arkham Asylum and throwing it into the open-world genre, Arkham City reaches heights that other superhero games have failed to reach so far. Arkham City is easily the best superhero game of this generation and a must play for comic book fans.
4 For the Shooter Gamer
Taking a more calculated and tactical approach to multiplayer gunplay than its Cal of Duty counter part, Battlefield trades the fast passed gameplay for tanks, jets, and a more tactical approach to gameplay. By combining that with a set piece driven single player, this is a franchise that may be stepping out of the shadow cast over most shooters by the Call of Duty franchise.
Modern Warfare 3
Heralded as the most anticipated game ever, Modern Warfare 3 sticks to what makes the Call of Duty franchise sell like hotcakes: fast paced action, explosions, and an addictive multiplayer component. If you enjoyed any of the Call of Duty games, you know what your in for, but that doesn’t make the game any less impressive.
Gears of War 3
The Gears of War games are focused around shooting enemies or chainsawing them in half. Fortunately, this game delivers on both accounts. It also features a more balanced story and the universally loved Horde mode that has come back with new added features. Those who need a break from the first-person shooters should take a look at the third-person controls of this game.
5 For Sports Gamers
This game expands upon the Michael Jordan sections of the last game and adds many new legendary basketball stars. Players will be able to play the games that gave them their status as some of the NBA’s greatest players. The My Player mode and Creating a Legend mode are also back and expanded upon making this the best entry into the series to date.
FIFA 12 is considered a refinement of the franchise. This game adds many more improvement to the gameplay to make the soccer players seem more lifelike and offer more options to players. The game also has a manager mode as well as online support. There is a lot of content in this game that any soccer enthusiast will enjoy.
NHL 12 adds many new features to their tired-and true formula. Instead of revamping the whole system, the NHL 12 team made changes to their current system to make the hockey matches a more real experience. These changes are also coupled with the Be a GM mode, the Be a Pro mode, and online multiplayer.
6 For Puzzle Gamers
Fans of Valve were pleasantly surprised when Valve released a little gem called Portal. This follow-up takes the same puzzles and gameplay and expands upon the concept. Puzzles are more intricate and the characters make the game unforgettable. This along with a co-op mode allows games to sink a lot of time into such a masterfully made game.
Professor Layton and the Last Specter
Professor Layton and the Last Specter is the latest game in the popular puzzle/adventure series. With over 170 puzzles in the game, there is enough content in the game to last players for a while. Also, the games comes with an Animal Crossing type game called Professor Layton’s London Life, which allows players to assume the role of their own character and interact with characters from the Professor Layton series.
Now this is a weird one. This game is one part puzzle game, one part morality simulator. They combine to form a distinctly Japanese feeling game. The puzzles come in the form of difficult, timed block puzzles and the simulation aspects comes into play based on your reaction to the two women vying for your characters affection. Anyone who enjoys a more Japanese-like game will feel right at home.
7 For Racing Gamers
Dirt 3 combines racing, rallying and a new mode called gymkhana to make the game a very unique racer. Whether it is racing, or doing one of the many time trial there is always something to do. When players get tired of racing they can turn to the skill based gymkhana mode that tests a player’s ability to control the car in different situations. This game is a good choice if players want something more than just racing.
Forza Motorsport 4
Forza is Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s Gran Turismo series. This game features a career mode that allows players to race all round the world while collecting and customizing cars. Those customized cars can be shared and raced online with up to 15 other players. The game also features content from BBC’s show Top Gear, which gives information about racing and cars. If you own an Xbox 360 and love racing games, you can’t go wrong with Forza 4.
Driver: San Francisco
Driver: San Francisco is an interesting departure from the Driver series and from racing games in general. The game revolves around the concept that the character can swap between cars on the fly, which makes for some interesting racing segments. The game also has spilt screen and online multiplayer. This also game has a much more arcade-like feel than a title from the Forza or Gran Turismo series
8 For Fighting Gamers
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
The latest release to the crazy mash-up series, it does away with many of the characters to offer a more streamlined experience. Each character now feels vastly different from other characters and offers more room for team strategy. This game relies heavily on combos and juggles and fighting game fans will find a lot of depth to the gameplay. If you every wondered who would win if Dante from Devil May Cry and Magneto ever got into a fight, this is the right game for you.
After trying many new things to try and spice up the franchise, Mortal Kombat finds solace in what made them great games in the first place. They have raised the ridiculous factor and tightened the gameplay the put Mortal Kombat back in the league of great fighting franchises.
The King of Fighters XIII
One of the more underrated fighting series, King of Fighters XIII tries its best to distinguish itself from other fighters while simultaneously reaching back into the elite camp. It gives players more options during fights than Street Fighter and Tekken, allowing players more ways to take out opponents. However, while new gamers might find all the systems a bit hard to get into, fans of the series will feel right at home.