Last night I returned home from PAX AUS 2014. Long story short, it wasn't perfect, but it was quite possibly the best weekend I've had this year. It was a lot of fun. If you'd like to continue reading, the long story is just below.
Buckle up. This is gonna be...
It's the most wonderful time of the year—GameRevolution's Holiday Gift Guide time! This year, we've got great gift suggestions for the gamer and tech enthusiast in your life, no matter what console they're into, and at every price range.
In this list, you'll find everything a handheld gamer could want, need, or hope for.
(Buy Now)- While the portable powerhouse may have had a rocky start, it’s undeniable that Nintendo 3DS is the hottest video game hardware of 2013, with tons of incredible software and several different model choices. With 2DS, 3DS, and 3DS XL, Nintendo guarantees flexible pricing and feature sets for the gamer in your life.
While Nintendo 2DS doesn’t support the handheld’s glasses-free 3D effect, it’s appropriate for younger gamers or new Pokémon trainers. This mid-range 3DS base model features a clamshell design for protecting screens and offers everything you’ll need to enjoy 3DS games. The 3DS XL is for hardcore gamers who want to get the most out of every experience on the system with bigger screens and a sturdy form factor.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
(Buy Now) – Why not give the gift that keeps on giving with a copy of Nintendo’s latest entry in the Animal Crossing series. Life sims don’t usually get this unique, cute, deep, reactive, celebratory, or entertaining, but moving to a new town and stumbling upon a vacant Mayor’s seat means you’ll get your hands dirty improving your town fast.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf may not have started the Nintendo 3DS hot streak that’s run through most of 2013, but it definitely kept the fires burning throughout the summer. If you’re giving the gift of Nintendo 3DS, open it up and download this game from the eShop so your gamer doesn’t have to switch cartridges to check on his or her town.
Fire Emblem: Awakening
(Buy Now)– Looking for a strategy game with some heart? How about a deep, epic, hundred hour adventure with extreme challenge? Fire Emblem: Awakening has that and more all in a pocket-sized campaign against the forces of darkness.
Chrom, Lucina, and dozens of other characters await your masterful tactician, but Fire Emblem: Awakening has an entertaining RPG hook to boot: make characters work together and they might just fall in love. As your adventure continues, these relationships won’t just reward you with increased combat superiority. You’ll also get to take the resulting children into battle with the stats and skills they earn from their parents.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
(Buy Now)- Nintendo hoped to revive the top-down Zelda formula established in A Link to the Past, but in doing so they’ve also revived the franchise with a wild new formula. Instead of discovering important tools in each dungeon, you’ll rent them from Link’s new pal Rovio.
All told, this creates a much faster, leaner Zelda experience where the player’s choice drives the action. If you don’t want to climb Death Mountain, you can swim with Zoras instead. Discovering the shadow world and more will keep players entertained with adventure for hours.
(Buy Now) - Sony’s handheld might not have chart topping hits like Nintendo 3DS in 2013, but for the gamer that loves portables and already has a 3DS, the Vita will become a welcome compliment. PlayStation Vita is also a great gift for someone who already went Christmas shopping for themselves and bought a PS4 at launch.
While Vita’s software has a few bright spots, it’s better as a compliment to the environment Sony is growing with their PlayStation Plus subscription. Every Vita owner with a subscription will get free games, discounts, and more just like on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, but Vita’s hardware can add to PS4’s value by offering an off-TV option when non-gamers want to take control of the big screen.
(Buy Now)- Sony’s first-party Media Molecule studio brought user-generated content to the forefront with LittleBigPlanet on PlayStation 3, but now they hope to give Vita owners out there a whole new way to play in Tearaway. You’ll control Tearaway’s protagonists Iota and Atoi in world that reacts more to you than to any button you might press.
Touch the Vita’s rear touch panel and your finger might poke through Tearaway’s paper world. With the Vita’s front-facing camera, you become the sun shining down on Media Molecule’s storybook scenery. Tearaway will help any new Vita owner this holiday make the most of Sony’s handheld packed with unique functionality.