[originally posted at Total PlayStation]
Have a gamer in your life? Fretting over what to buy your finicky friend or family member? This gamer gift guide has some suggestions that should give you a head start on your holiday shopping, because who needs extra stress during this season?
The Thrill Seeker – You can’t go wrong with God of War III, the explosive conclusion to the acclaimed PlayStation 2 series. If he’s already grabbed it, you could try the God of War Collection, a disc that contains both original PS2 games in high-definition resolution.
Other major titles this year were Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, which is a great gift for anyone who liked either of the original games, and Red Dead Redemption, the critically acclaimed western from the creators of Grand Theft Auto.
For the man who has everything, there’s Bayonetta, an insane brawler in the vein of Japanese titles like Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden. It’s hailed as one of, if not the best in its genre and can be found for very cheap now.
The Gun Nut – There’s always this year’s requisite entry in the undying Call of Duty series: Black Ops. Everyone and his grandmother is probably aware of this game, so I’ll spare you the details.
If you want to give something less obvious, go for Vanquish by Platinum Games and directed by Shinji Mikami, the legendary creator of Resident Evil. It’s ludicrous and excessive in all the right ways and is perfect for anyone who loves setting high scores, and doing it in style.
Wallet feeling tight this season? Try MAG, the 256-player massive online shooter, which came out in early 2010 and is now part of the Greatest Hits budget line.
The Motorhead – Gran Turismo 5. For those who don’t know, this is only the most anticipated racing game of the last several years, and it’s finally out after numerous delays. Of course, a true racing game enthusiast probably picked up his copy with a yellowed pre-order receipt at a midnight release event, so there’s got to be something else for him, right?
How about the new Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit by Criterion Games, the makers of the popular Burnout series? Sure, it’s a bit less simulation and a bit more arcade, but sometimes you just want to floor it and outrun some cops. You could also check out the well-reviewed ModNation Racers and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing for some Mario Kart-inspired wheeling, especially if you’re on a budget.
The Disillusioned Motion Control Gamer – We all know that guy (or, in some cases, maybe you are that guy): he or she was all pumped up for Nintendo’s “Revolution,” the system that would change the way we play games – forever. Four years later (already?), a lot of those who were most excited for what we know as the Wii are now disillusioned, cynical husks of their former selves. And let’s be honest – even those who still defend Wii’s mostly lackluster library and questionably noticeable effect on input mechanics will probably do so with one of those niggling reservations in the back of their minds.
Restore your friend’s faith with the PlayStation Move, Sony’s motion technology that pretty much lives up to the high expectations that the Wii hype machine generated way back in 2006. There are some bundles that give you everything you need in convenient packages, so you can be sure you’re not missing an essential piece. Standout titles include Sports Champions, with the Table Tennis game especially showing off Move’s fidelity; The Shoot for old-school arcade shooting action; and Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition, a control experience that closely mimics Resident Evil 4 on Wii. Like all new tech, its long-term worthiness is yet to be proven, but Move is already a lot more conducive to the types of experiences most “hardcore” gamers are interested in than the other two alternatives.
The Traveler – Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was not just one of the PlayStation Portable’s best titles this year, it was one of the best titles of the year on any platform. Packed to the gills with missions, weapons, items, and good, old-fashioned Metal Gear plot and humor, Peace Walker will keep your gamer entertained for dozens of hours, and it’s a ridiculous value for the price it can be found for now.
The Nerd – Final Fantasy XIII is ubiquitous and divisive. Either way, your typical RPG player has already beaten it or hates it for various reasons. For this person, try gifting them Resonance of Fate, a tri-Ace game that’s about as original as JRPGs get. Its unique take on turn-based combat is refreshing and challenging, while the plot kind of takes a backseat in the experience. But isn’t everyone sick of the overwrought drama in the typical JRPG by now?
The Kid (at Heart) – 3D Dot Game Heroes is the perfect gift for anyone who loved the original Legend of Zelda on the NES. In fact, the line between “ripoff” and “homage” can be a bit blurry at times in Game Heroes. This charming title hit in the first half of 2010 and kind of fell under the radar of the mainstream.
Of course, there’s the aforementioned ModNation Racers and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing for kart-racing fun with a family-friendly atmosphere.