Monday, October 29, 2007

The Christmas Gaming Gift Guide Part 1: Must Have titles

Greetings! I'm taking a bit of a break from my recent review marathon for a three part feature on the games that you won't want to miss this Christmas season. Maybe you're looking for an idea of what to buy for a gaming friend, or you'd like some inspiration of what to ask for? Well look no further. I've divided the games into three sections - must have titles which shouldn't be missed, and those that are worth a look if you have any spare cash left over after buying the games in the first category. Today we're looking at the games that you shouldn't be without (in my opinion of course).

The Orange Box - PC, Xbox 360, PS3 - out now

I'm not really a great lover of the FPS genre, and it takes something extra special for me to take notice and actually go out and buy the thing. The Orange Box is just such as thing as it contains one of the finest FPS games the world has ever seen in the form of Half-Life 2, together with Episode 1 and 2, and tops it all off with the sublime puzzle-FPS Portal and the frantic multiplayer deathmatch game Team Fortress 2. An absolute bargain that will keep you playing for ages.

Project Gotham Racing 4 - Xbox 360 - out now

PGR3 was one of the best launch titles for the Xbox 360 and now Bizarre Creations have managed to better it with PGR4. As well as new additions such as motorbikes and dynamic weather, there's also a fully reworked and extended Career mode, and the challenges which used to make up the career can now be found under the Arcade section. The could well be the last game in the series that Bizzarre is involved with as the company now belongs to Activision.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - Wii - out now

The Metroid Prime trilogy comes to an explosive end as Samus goes up against her evil nemesis Dark Samus as well as long term enemies the Space Pirates and Ridley. The motion controls work extremely well, and the epic boss battles are both challenging and extremely exciting. Will this be the last we see of the Bounty Hunter? I hope not, these games have been favourites of mine for the last few years.

Super Mario Galaxy - Wii - out 16/11/07

This is easily my most eagerly anticipated game of the year. Super Mario Sunshine was OK a few years back on the Gamecube, but, Galaxy looks like it's going to take a slight step back to the charm of Super Mario 64 whilst still managing to bring plenty of original ideas to the able. Mario will be able to transform into a bee, a boo and spring to name just three new abilities, and from what I've seen the graphics will be amazing.

Mass Effect - Xbox 360 - out 23/11/07

The Xbox 360 is finally starting to build up a decent collection of RPG's. Enchanted Arms was OK but nothing spectacular, which is exactly what Mass Effect promises to be. Developed by Bioware, the developers of KOTOR and Jade Empire, Mass Effect promises to deliver an epic space saga with more freedom and emphasis on character customisation than has ever been possible before. Definitely one to watch.

Halo 3 - Xbox 360 - out now

Of course, many people out there will already own a copy of Halo 3, but many also won't be getting their own Xbox 360 to play it on until Christmas, so expect another sales surge towards the end of the year. While picking up a copy personally isn't my highest priority, I will get around to it eventually and I look foward to trying out the new additions such as the video replay mode, the bubble shield and the Forge level editor.

Eternal Sonata - Xbox 360 - out now

For those who prefer a traditional Japanese style RPG rather than the western approach taken by Mass Effect, Eternal Sonata will do nicely. The game centres around the composer Chopin as he lies on his death bed, and takes place in his dreams. At various points in the game the player is given more details of the real Chopin and his musical compositions, which is a strange contrast to rest of the game but fascinating nonetheless.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass - DS - out now

Last winter it was Twilight Princess, this time it's Phantom Hourglass. The touch screen controls, which include drawing the path for your boomering or steering your boat, are perfectly implemented and when you see the game running for the first time you won't believe your eyes as Nintendo have managed to capture the style of The Wind Waker on the DS to great effect.

Bioshock - Xbox 360 - out now

The spirtitual successor to the classic PC shooter/chiller System Shock 2, BioShock has been out for a while now, but if you haven't already bought it I'd recommend putting it on your Christmas list. You can genetically modify your character so that they can perform telekenis, shoot fire or even a swarm of bees from their arms, and you also have to decide whether to save or sacrifice the Little Sisters, who look like young girls but are actually something more sinister.

Hellgate: London - PC - out 02/11/07

Members of the original team behind Diablo and Diablo 2 return to create a game that shares many similarities but also many differences. The hellish theme and the random generated content will be familiar to fans of the hack and slash RPG series, but the fast paced action and the London Underground settting will be new. As well as offering an in depth single player campaign, Hellgate: London also promises a fully developed multiplayer mode.

So, those are the ten games I would consider over and above all of the hundrens of titles that are coming out this Christmas period, but they aren't the only ones I'm intersted in. Next week I will list my the top ten games that I am keeping tabs on, but will only pick up if time and money permit,

No comments: