LAist Gift Guide: Video Games!
With a name like "Black Friday", its no wonder that shoppers all around the country are whipped into a frenzy of consumerism mere hours after a tryptophan-induced coma. We here at LAist know what its like to descend upon a day full of lines, sales, coupons, and toy-nabbing, so that's why we've got your back. There's no doubt that you or the gamer in your life is just itching to play with some of the best games and accessories out this year, so avoid getting that teethy, sarcastic "just what I wanted..." smile and check out what some of the hottest products are this holiday season.
- Guitar Hero World Tour - There is still controversy as to whether World Tour is better than Rock Band 2; all we know is that we love the way the hardware feels and NOFX’s “Soul Doubt” had us sold at the start.
Fable II - Legendary game designer Peter Molyneux’s sequel to the eponymous 1st party title. The third-person platformer is an exploration-based fantasy world featuring great depth and plot.
Xbox 360 Accessories
- Nyko Charge Base 360 - For the gamer in your life that always seems to run out of juice while s/he’s fragging noobs, pop in a fresh rechargeable battery into the 360 controller and avoid those pesky wires. Nyko is also an LA-based third party video game accessory manufacturer, so give some love to our local buddies.
- PDP Rock Band Stage Kit – Rock Band is good for living out your dreams as a famous musician, but nothing says “rock show” like smoke and light effects. Groupies not included. PDP (also known as Pelican) is yet another third-party video game accessory manufacturer based in LA, so give some equal love to our local pals in the industry.
- Xbox Live Points Card– Even though we love the tangibility of a good DVD or game case, its hard to ignore the fact that digital distribution is the future. XBL points allow users to buy games, downloadable content (like extra maps or characters), and movies straight off the servers.
- Naruto - Our buddies at Namco Bandai showed this one off a few months back, and we didn’t realize how huge the Naruto craze is. Young gamers will be stoked to play as their favorite anime ninja.
- Valkyria Chronicles - Now this is a truly unique game that almost flew under our radar. Sega has designed an RPG tinged with a few hints of a third person shooter that literally feels like your playing an anime story. Very stylish.
- Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe – A seemingly random pair-up of franchises, this fighting game has been anticipated by many. Reviews have been decent, but when’s the last time you got to execute a fatality?
- LittleBigPlanet – This game receives maximum swoonage on our end. Create characters, levels, environments and pretty much anything you want in this casual yet highly entertaining title. Even the music is awesome.
- Dead Space – Warning: Don’t play this one by yourself in the dark. Another survival-based horror game that features ridiculously scary creatures jumping and crawling out of the woodwork, Dead Space has been highly revered for its unique interface and general entertainment factor.
Playstation 3 Accessories
- Nyko Media Hub – Pimp out your PS3 with this compact port hub made by our friends at Nyko. It comes with 3 USB ports (to attach MP3 players, your PSP, or anything else you want to view on your Playstation), and a memory card/memory stick reader.
- Sony Blu-Ray Remote – Since Sony won the Hi-Def turf wars, many have been turning to the PS3 for a Blu-Ray player on the cheap side. Pick up one of Sony’s proprietary remotes for the HD-junkie in your family.
- PDP Metal Gear Solid Bluetooth – You’re not gonna find a Bluetooth this cool at your local Office Depot. Officially licensed for the MGS franchise for online play communication, this Bluetooth syncs up to any compatible device.
- Animal Crossing: City Folk – The next in a long running Nintendo franchise, AC: City Folk continues the tradition of exploration-based games for Wii. Make sure you talk to the sale rep all the appropriate accoutrement to maximize online playability.
- Mario Kart Wii – Remaining on the best-seller list for months, Mario Kart Wii is pretty much a must-have for any fan of the game. The packaging includes a plastic wheel in which the Wii-mote is placed, offering myriad opportunities for watching spazzed out gamers.
- Super Smash Brothers – One of the Wii’s marquis titles, SSBB pits armfuls of Nintendo characters against each other in a battle for supremacy. We don’t know about you, but we’ll watch Pikachu fight Princess Peach any day.
- Boom Blox – Steven Spielberg’s throwing-based venture into the world of gaming premiered with Boom Blox. Check out our review of the game here on LAist.
- Outdoor Challenge - The best new way to exercise is with Nintendo. Grab a copy of Wii Fit if you can, but if you want a similarly exciting way to break a sweat then check out Namco Bandai's Outdoor Challenge where running, kayaking, and mine shaft riding will have you moving in no time.
Nintendo Wii Accessories
- Nyko Wing - A healthy alternative to Nintendo's bland, no-frills-attached classic controller. Nyko's Wing features more ergonomic shoulder buttons and an all around better style for classic gaming on the Wii.
- Nyko Chargestation - One of the top-selling charging solutions for the Wii-Mote, the Chargestation sports two rechargeable batteries and ports, eliminating the need for those pesky Duracells.
- Wii Points Card - Much like the aforementioned Xbox Live card, Wii points may be used towards Nintendo's online marketplace where users can download new and classic games as well as other various forms of media.
- Mystery Case Files – Arguably one of the most addicting games for the DS, the MCF franchise uses the DS’ touch-sensitive interface and microphone allowing players to play through hours of seek and solve puzzles and levels.
- N+ - Originally a downloadable game on the consoles, N+ is a action-based platformer that features a futuristic world of homicidal robots who can only be outdown by the acrobatic prowess of your ninja character.
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia – Anyone who’s had a Game Boy knows that Castlevania is one of the best side-scrolling franchises around. The next installment for the DS continues the legacy in its typical medieval gothic fashion.
- Littlest Pet Shop - The multitude of tie-ins combined with maximum cuteness have prompted an instant hit for this Wii/DS franchise aimed towards little DS players everywhere.
- Professor Layton and the Curious Village – Perhaps one of the smartest games to come out on the DS, Professor Layton is definitely geared towards the older gamers on your list. The game features point-and-click brain teasers and puzzles that’s sure to stump even the sharpest of players.
Nintendo DS Accessories
- Guitar Hero Rocker Kit – While it may not be as fun as playing on the console, the Guitar Hero for DS is just another way for GH junkies to get their fix on the road. Our friends at BD & A have made it simpler to play and transport all your gear with a stylized case, ear buds, and cleaning cloths.
- PDP DS Case – One of our favorite ways to carry around our beloved DS’s. PDP’s cases feature one of four Nintendo-themed graphics to pimp out your handheld.
Playstation Portable (PSP)
- Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee – Hot Shots Golf is always a classic. The cartoon-style golfing game allows players to use the PSP’s dominant graphics capabilities to smack, drive and putt on the go.
- Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – Final Fantasy is one of the most infamous titles on the Sony side. The handheld version of the RPG is widely heralded as one of the best games on the PSP this season.
- Midnight Club: LA Remix – By now you realize how excited we’ve been about the latest installment of Midnight Club which is based in LA. Grab a hold of LA Remix for a portable version of the racer-fan on your list.
- Star Ocean: First Departure – The popular Japanese RPG finally makes its way state-side. Help put an end to a galactic war with a motley crew of local heroes in this widely heralded title.
- PDP Mega Pack – Yet another bundle of PSP accessories made by local manufacturer PDP. The pack includes a DC Charger, 2 UMD cases, a USB cable, earphones, cleaning cloths, and a skin.
- Logitech Play Gear Pocket – One of the more popular carrying cases for the PSP, the plastic-shelled Logitech Pocket is a seemingly indestructible way to transport your handheld.
- Element Customizable Case – Get any design you can imagine laser-etched onto a burly plastic and metal case to protect your beloved iPhone thanks to our pals at Element. Since we liked the Mirror's Edge logo we decided to get it etched onto ours. Not too shabby.
- Griffin Power Duo – If you’re using your iPhone on maximum power, then make sure you can get some juice anywhere you go with Griffin’s pack of power solutions. The bundle includes a car charger, AC charger, USB dock, and a USB-mini USB cable.
*Note: For the PC gamers on your list, many of the titles found on this guide may be found in PC format on store shelves everywhere. For something different, we'd like to suggest the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack, but be careful: the WoW franchise is notorious for being completely addictive, so give with discretion.