& a happy new year!

Under the tree

 

Well people we did it, another great year of gaming and entertainment – we ourselves have a great haul to sort through for what Santa brought us. And even though it’s sad to see 2013 go, 2014 should be an extremely good year because it will be the official first year of next gen console games. Can you imagine the awesome crop of games that await us? I can because a lot of games got delayed. I rather have a game delayed however then be crappy, but which games should be the ones we aim for, you ask? Why tune in all of January and out with ‘the Games & Gear list of 2014’ – til then Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

 

 

 

Gift guide for great gamers: All the new Mii Plaza games

 

 

It’s Christmas Eve people, all the stores have sold out of games (even the crappy ones) and your pocket book could just float away because of how little you have in there. Yet you still haven’t brought the gamer in your life anything thing yet – looks like you’re going to be in the dog house this year. Nope. There’s still hope. Months ago Nintendo release four awesome street pass games for Mii Plaza: Mii Force, Flower Town, Monster Manor, and Warrior’s Way. Each one a barrel of fun and great way to use the Street Pass functionally (more Street Pass players = better results in the games). Sure they’re not very serious, and won’t win any awards for best game of the year but they have three things going for them: they’re cheap, they have a lot of replay, and they’re just plain fun. I mean I like how video games these days are written with a higher caliber than ever, showcasing society good and bad qualities just as well as any other form of media. But sometimes it’s just awesome to have nice, clean, fun with a game without the need to headshot someone in the face. Games that will never end up on Fox News for threating the valves of today’s youth. Bright primary color everywhere and no moral pondering about how my actions will ruin a virtual character’s whole day.  Don’t get it twisted however, these games are simple to learn but tough to master – especially since people with the same games will be your opponents as well as your allies in one way or another.  The new Mii Plaza games are a complete package of good times and simple innovation, whose only downside is that it’s only available for the 3DS. However if they don’t have a 3DS I’m sure they won’t mind having that under the tree tomorrow, I know I wouldn’t – then they could get the new Mii Plaza games for themselves. It’s a win-win.

 

 

 

Gift guide for great gamers: The Wonderful 101

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You like Viewtiful Joe don’t you? Of course you do, and before Clover Studios got shut down Viewtiful Joe was on his way to be the next great video game mascot. However we all know the sad tell of Clover, however most endings are just new beginning. A lot of Clover alliums founded and merged with other groups to make Platinum Games, the same company that made MadWorld, Bayonetta, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance titles. All of them different like a fingerprint, but have only one thing in common: great fun, and when you put great fun and a spiritual successor of Viewful Joe (which was great fun to begin with) into one game you got The Wonderful 101. Like Viewful Joe you play as a super sentai hero who must save the world from evil, unlike Viewtiful. Joe you don’t do it alone (mostly). There are many ‘Wonderful ones’ in the game and when you find (or recruit) enough you can use the ability to Unite Up and morph into the form of giant weapons and objects. People you haven’t played a game until you take a couple dozen people and turn them into a massive fist to smack enemies up with. What’s more the characters are as colorful as the costumes they wear (and yes I know I made that joke on the review too) and both humor and action are well done. Fun for the whole family, challenging to gaming elite, and not bad to look at – The Wonderful 101 is not Viewtiful Joe but it might be just as Viewtiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gift guide for great gamers: GTA V

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People I’m going to say something I thought I would never have to say: please parents – don’t buy this game for under-age gamers. I’m serious  – and surprised how many adults buy a game called ‘Grand Thief Auto V’ for little Jimmy & Jamey who are only 8 years old or under. This game is as raw, violent, and sexual, as any game I’ve ever played (and that’s a lot of games people). There’s no real reason why people can’t do research on titles before they buy them, with the internet  sites like Video Game Armada (cheap pop) its easier than ever  to find games age appropriate (which GTA V is definitely not).  Again this game is not for little kids, however if you’re old enough to drink and smoke (and don’t mind doing rather graphic things from time to time) this game will fit you like a T. A world within a world, and characters with minds of their own, you’ll lose endless hours living and doing in San Andreas. Even my biggest gripe, GTA Online, is better now (or so some gamers have said) so if you managed to finish everything in the single player there is a whole different side of the city in the multiplayer to tackle. In short GTA V is: not for kids, a guilt pleasure for adults, a well crafted single player with an extremely dark sense of humor, a recovering glitchly multiplayer that’s pretty good too, and a good adult only gift for adult gamers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gift guide for great gamers: Sly Cooper – Thieves in Time

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Ah the return of the king baby, no not the good Duke, but Sly Cooper and his merry band of heroic thieves. After the conclusion of Sly 3 I thought this cell-shaded series has seen its last adventure, but nope, the Cooper family line is once again in danger. This time, it’s time that’s used to rub out the  anthropomorphic ring tail’s ancestors.  As the pages of the Thievius Raccoonus are disappearing from reality Sly knows the only way to solve this mystery is to come out of retirement and get the gang back together (again). Players will not only be traveling through different places, but different times as well, meeting the new gang of temporal trouble makers screwing up time and wrecking your timeline – turning noble thieves into jokes and clowns. However using the combined skills of Sly, Bentley, Murray, and other characters in the crew, you’ll be able to set time right and get some ancient treasures to boot. Thieves in Time offers a lot in a small package, something simple and clean for little kids to get into, but even the most harden gamers will enjoy trying to get to 100% game completion. It’s a solid title worthy to be put under any tree this year.

 

 

 

 

Gift guide for great gamers: Pokémon X & Y

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Its Pokémon; do I really have to say anything else? Ok, a few things: this latest game will be the first Pokémon title to be both in 3D & on a handheld at the same time. It also marks the return of legacy Pokémon like Bulbasaur, Charmander, & Squirtle to the Pokémon franchise.  Depth of the world of Pokémon has never been deeper as there’s more to do than ever – both in single player and online. I could go on, but really, its Pokémon, and Pokémon’s record speaks for itself.

 

 

 

 

Gift guide for great gamers: Project X Zone

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What does Akira Yuki, Heihachi Mishima, Devilotte de DeathSatan IX, Jill Valentine, Frank West, KOS-MOS, Ulala, Bruno Delinger & many more different characters have in common? Nothing, except for an awesome handheld game called Project X (cross) Zone. Think Super Smash Brothers crossed with Final Fantasy tactics with a story as epic as Metal Gear Solid. If that doesn’t hook you then how about the fact that you can create powerful combos and use special powers that would make a Dragon Ball Z fan weep with joy. Challenge? Forget about it! Its starts simple (like most games do) but it later level they will test your tactical skills to the fullest.  Finally it’s a 3DS game, so you can enjoy the next dimension anytime, anywhere you want. And I’m kind of out of reasons so pick your favorite, buy it for your 3DSed loved one and watch how they will thank you profusely.