Dec 14, 2011

Posted by | 0 Comments

Holiday Gift Guide: The Gamer on the Go

Holiday Gift Guide: The Gamer on the Go

Not all gamers have the luxury of time on their side, especially those on the move. With the hustle and bustle of daily life (not to mention work and social obligations), some gamers just cannot afford to be tethered to a wide-screen television and a console.  Here at Vivid Gamer, we’re looking out for those that live the portable lifestyle. Here is a gift guide for the gamer that does not like to be tied down.

Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS has inarguably had a rocky start since its launch in March, so just what exactly makes it a great gift this holiday season? While Nintendo’s new handheld failed to produce a great game library at launch, a steady stream of quality games are making their way to the market, making it a more attractive purchase to buyers. At a $169.99 price point, and with several bundles available with games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS, Super Mario 3D Land, and Nintendogs + Cats, the Nintendo 3DS offers great value this holiday season. This is a particularly good buy for owners of the original Nintendo DS or DS Lite who have missed out on access to the e-shop and camera features included in later iterations of the DS. Since the Nintendo 3DS is backwards compatible, they won’t have to put their old Nintendo DS library to rest.

Mario Kart 7

Boasting updated gameplay and new online play options, Nintendo’s new installment in the Mario Kart franchise has so far been a crowd pleaser. Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS offers up a roster of 17 classic Mario characters and 32 courses. The game modes are fun, but not exceedingly time consuming, making it a perfect gift for a gamer who doesn’t have copious amounts of time to drop on a campaign mode. The multiplayer serves as a great method to connect with friends both locally and online. Mario Kart 7 supports download play for local matches, allowing the game to link up with nearby Nintendo 3DS systems without the need of extra game carts, and hooking up with friends for online matches is easier than ever with the in-game friend’s list.

Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Puzzle solvers and fans of visual novels alike will be pleased with Capcom’s Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. With a charismatic collection of characters and witty humor characteristic of the team that brought us the Ace Attorney series, Ghost Trick is just as entertaining as it is a pleasure to play. The game follows the pursuit of Sissel, ghost and victim of a recent murder, on a quest to reclaim his memories. After becoming a ghost, Sissel discovers he has the power to change the fate of the dead by rewinding time to four minutes before the victim’s death. The player completes timed puzzles by possessing various objects and performing “ghost tricks” to progress the story. Ghost Trick is a clever, innovative game that has been overlooked by many due to coming out late in the Nintendo DS’s lifespan, and for less than $15 on Amazon, it hardly breaks the bank.

Platforms: Nintendo DS

Solatorobo: Red the Hunter

Another great Nintendo DS game that may be missing from your portable gamer’s library, Solatorobo: Red The Hunter is an excellent title for fans of the JRPG genre. The game spent ten years in development, and it certainly shows. A successor to cult classic PlayStation game Tail Concerto, Solatorobo features anthropomorphic animals operating sky ships and heavy machinery.  Instead of turn-based gameplay, Solatorobo employs a (surprisingly fun) real-time combat system that involves picking up and throwing objects. The story may come off as a bit clichéd, especially for long-term JRPG players, but the overarching world is charming enough to make up for it.

Platforms: Nintendo DS

iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch

With a growing library of exclusive games like Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery and Infinity Blade II, it’s easy to see why apple’s iOS devices are becoming more and more appealing to gamers. The iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch all grant access to thousands of games via Apple’s app store. While not exactly a bargain gift, an iPad or iPod touch is sure to bring a smile to your mobile gamer’s face. Apple’s portable hardware not only excels as a gaming device, but also serves its purpose well as a digital media outlet. While Apple’s iOS devices may not be too friendly to your wallet, they’re sure to win the gratitude of any portable gamer that would be interested in a recent platform that has overwhelming indie developer support.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is one of the most aesthetically interesting games available for the iOS hardware. Developed by independent games studio Capy, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP combines adventure and musical puzzle solving for a unique gaming experience. The games’ visuals are reminiscent of 8bit pixel-based games, but are polished and modern looking. The game is a steal at $4.99, and a great gift for anyone who likes their games with some art on the side (or vice versa). If you’re still not convinced, the game was one of the few runners-up for Apple’s official App Rewind 2011 iPad Game of the Year.

Platforms: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch (Universal)

Assassin’s Creed: Recollection

Ubisoft takes a new approach to the Assassin’s Creed series with the collectible card battling game Assassin’s Creed: Recollection. The game features returning characters from Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and in addition to basic play and real-time multiplayer, the game boasts an eight-hour story mode. This iPad game is a great way to take the Assassin’s Creed series on the go, but be sure the recipient is a fan of tactical-based game play — the board game-like Assassin’s Creed: Recollection lacks the free-running and sandbox gameplay the series is known for. The gameplay is likely to appeal to fans of Risk or Magic: The Gathering.

Platforms: iPad