Sweet Christmas Gift Guide – Code name S.T.E.A.M.

 

This one’s for the Nintendo 3DS users out there – you’re not forgotten. Code name S.T.E.A.M. is from the brain children of Intelligent Systems; the same people who created many awesome games like Fire Emblem & Advance Wars (and I know I say that every time I mention of Intelligent Systems). Code name S.T.E.A.M. takes place in a alternation reality where it’s still the 1800’s and the whole world runs on steam. Then suddenly – aliens! So who are you going to call? The Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace or S.T.E.A.M. that’s who. This title is part action and part strategy, you can run and gun but action are all governed my steam power. Use too much for shooting and you can’t move, use too much for running and you can’t fight, you have to think ahead in this game. While not Advanced Wars (and what is really), Code name S.T.E.A.M. is a rare hybrid game that has colorful characters, challenging enemies, and plenty of replay ability (even amiibo support is you got the New Nintendo 3DS). Give this game to a Nintendo handheld owning friend this holiday, they’ll thank you, then disappear, and not return til they beat the game (and maybe the New Game plus too).

 

 

 

Sweet Christmas Gift Guide – Massive Chalice

 

What’s better than fine, why Double Fine of course! Sorry for the bad joke, but hey, a Double Fine game should make it all better. Massive Chalice takes magic, monsters and fantasy stuff and says: “why not add genetics?” You play as an Immortal strategist whose kingdom is under a curse of darkness known as Cadence. Now the good news is that your kingdom’s Massive Chalice can destroy the Cadence but the bad news is that it will take 300 years to do it – that’s where you come in. You got the keep the kingdom alive through cleave strategy, kingdom development and of breed (others, not you). You live forever, but the kingdom defenders do not so it’s up to you make sure your strongest fighters pass their skills to their children. Doing this will not only unlock new classes for your kingdom but the children of great heroes will be much stronger fighters when they become old enough. A cleaver game wrapped in good humor and decent amounts of challenge make Massive Chalice a excellent purchase for the chess buffs out there.

 

 

 

Sweet Christmas Gift Guide – Bladestorm Nightmare

 

Ok all here’s a question: Do you know a person who likes Dynasty Warriors but is looking for a different title to try and don’t own a Wii U? Well that person might like Bladestorm Nightmare for Christmas! In addition to fighting armies of enemies on medieval battle maps, securing areas and defeating special opponents like any proper Dynasty Warriors clone but Bladestorm has its own chops as well. It lets you create your own medieval mercenary character, find and master 17 different style of combat, and allows players join together online to dominate the battlefield. Heck Bladestorm proper is the anime version of the Hundred Years’ War and the Nightmare section added to the craziness by including demons and dragons to the mix. Bladestorm Nightmare is a very unique game, not meant for everyone. However, again, if the person you’re shopping for likes Dynasty Warriors and/or likes the things described above then this title is a lock for best gift of the season.

 

 

 

Sweet Christmas Gift Guide – Dragon Ball Xenoverse

 

Finally an original DBZ game that’s not just Goku vs Frieza for the billionth time; you get to play as a ‘time patroller’ which protect time/space from weirdness. Although let’s face it, that’s just a flimsy excuse for our Z warriors to fight the most powerful characters in DBZ and take their skills as our own – and love every minute of it! For every child of the 90’s or for fans of the show (which would be every child of the 90’s). Now let’s see if we can’t get the definitive Sailor Moon game one of these days.

 

 

 

Sweet Christmas Gift Guide – Star Wars: The Old Republic

 

I know, I know; I am the biggest swtor fanboy this side of the internet, but BioWare’s beautiful MMO has definitely earn it my fanaticism. Excellent characters, excellent connecting story lines, making an MMO feel like a single player experience(which before swtor I didn’t think it was possible), voice acting in an MMO (not just sound bytes – ‘work work’), and those were the default pluses at year one. Over the years the game got better with various improvement, added features (strongholds and space fighter combat), and new planets. Now they just released their greatest DLC ever: the Knights of the Fallen Empire. Which basically is a sequel to swtor – and amazing, and free, all of it. So if your MMO happy friend/family member hasn’t tried the Old Republic due to reasons – please for all that is good let them know and get them started on their own adventure a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

 

 

 

 

Sweet Christmas Gift Guide: Battlefield – Hardline

 

Again, I’ll say it: the Battlefield series is not my favorite. However Battlefield – Hardline is just different and dynamic enough to break the cycle of boredom the other games in the series are stuck in (in my opinion). Players are either cops or robbers; robbers are trying to commit crimes like stealing money or hijacking cars while the cops are trying to stop them. With large maps and squads of players (on both sides) every goal and objective in play will always be in a frantic tug of war (but in a good way) by the two sides until a winner is decided. Each player can configure their class load out to their play style and can unlock further weapons over time. None of this is really new or different to the series, but Hardline does it so well because it focuses on a more urban premise for the game. Rather than another generic faceless military engagement the other games are ‘famous’ for. Plus the single player is modeled after an not quite serious-serious cop drama, not quite ‘Bad Company’ but at least a step in the right direction.

 

 

 

Sweet Christmas Gift Guide – Evolve

 

Turtle Rock Studios does two things very well: zombies and monsters, so while we wait for Left 4 Dead 3 (hopefully) why don’t you pick up a copy of Evolve for that gamer in your life. This particular title has a high replay valve because players can be one of, at the time of writing, 18 hunters working with 3 three other players in order to take down a giant monster. Or become one of five monsters and evolve up to victory (and of course kill the hunters). With many game modes, character abilities, stages, and random events hosted by Turtle Rock Studios, Evolve will be an almost endless generator of clutch moments and good times.