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Gift Guide for Geeks Part 3 – Gamers (PC, Nintendo DS and Xbox 360)

Posted in Games, Technology by engtech on December 01, 2006

(Continued from Gift Guide for Geeks Part 2 – Christmas Gift Suggestions from gifts.com)
(Start at Gift Guide for Geeks Part 1 – Tis the Season for Receiving)

Write what you know. In this case, what I know about is being a geek. Over the next few days I’ll be suggesting things that I liked. Occasionally I’ll be going by other people’s recommendations, but mostly this is a list of stuff I own and like. I’ll be giving ball-park prices (in Canadian dollars) and at the end of each post I’ll include a link to where you can find all of the items on Amazon. Please leave a comment if you have other suggestions or disagreements, I probably missed a lot of good stuff.

I play video games on my PC, Xbox 360 and the Nintendo DS. These are my picks for great gifts if your geek gamer has similar tastes. I’d love to suggest games for the Wii or Playstation 3, but it would be hypocritical because I’ve never played those systems. Feel free to suggest any other good games in the comments.


XBox 360 System

Xbox 360 Premium Console – Don’t waste your money on the core console. It costs way more to buy the parts separately. I have the core console.
Xbox 360 Premium Console

Xbox 360 Live 12 Month Gold Kit or Xbox 360 Live 3 Month Subscription Gold Card (CDN$ 17.99) – If you want to play online multiplayer, you’ll need a subscription. It also lets you download demo games. My friends keep bugging me to get Live.
Xbox 360 Live 12 Month Gold KitXbox 360 Live 3 Month Subscription Gold Card

Xbox 360 Component HD AV Cable (CDN$ 49.99) – Necessary if you have the core system and want to connect it to an HD-TV (included in the premium system).
Xbox 360 Component HD AV Cable

Xbox 360 Headset Communicator (CDN$ 29.99) – Voice chat for online multiplayer. I haven’t tried it.
Xbox 360 Headset Communicator

Xbox 360 Wired Controller (CDN$ 49.99) or Xbox 360 Wireless Controller – Have friends over and play multiplayer head-to-head. Wireless is much more convenient.
Xbox 360 Wired ControllerXbox 360 Wireless Controller

Xbox 360 Play and Charge Kit (CDN$ 29.99) or Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit (CDN$ 39.99) – If you have wireless controllers, you’ll need these. I don’t have them, I just use rechargeable batteries.
Xbox 360 Play and Charge KitXbox 360 Quick Charge Kit

XBox 360 Games

Gears of War X-Box 360 (CDN$ 69.99) – Combat shooter. Highly recommended as the best game available for the 360 by Gamespot and friends. I haven’t played it yet.
Gears of War X-Box 360 ( English )

Marvel Ultimate Alliance (CDN$ 64.99) – Comic book action/adventure. Up to 4 players head-to-head. Not a great story, but a lot of fun to play.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance

Dead or Alive 4 (CDN$ 69.99) – Fighting game. Not suitable for kids, DOA is famous for their “jiggle technology”.
Dead or Alive 4

Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion Collector’s Edition (CDN$ 79.99) – First person RPG. Single player only. I’ve only played it on the computer, but this is an amazing game.
Oblivion Collector's Edition

Dead Rising (CDN$ 64.99) – Zombies in a mall. Single player only. Starts out slow, fonts can be hard to read on SD-TV (use widescreen mode on a 4:3 TV to improve it), but a lot of fun once you get into it.
Dead Rising

Lego Star Wars: The Original Trilogy (CDN$ 54.99) – Space opera action. Up to 2 players head-to-head. Frustrating at times, but it has a good sense of humour.
The Original Trilogy


Nintendo DS Games

Nintendo DS Lite Polar White (CDN$ 149.99) or Nintendo DS Lite Onyx Console (CDN$ 149.99) or Nintendo DS Lite Coral Pink Console (CDN$ 149.99) – I was very surprised at how fun this system is. Comes in three colours.
Nintendo DS Lite Polar WhiteNintendo DS Lite Onyx ConsoleNintendo DS Lite Coral Pink Console

Brain Age Train Your Brain In Minutes A Day… (CDN$ 24.99) – Brain tests and sudoku. Very addictive puzzle game for adults.
Brain Age Train Your Brain In Minutes A Day (Includes Sudoku)

New Super Mario Bros. (CDN$ 39.99) – Mario platformer. It’s like a sequel to the immensely popular Super Mario 3. Anyone 32 or younger will love it.
New Super Mario Bros.

Elite Beat Agents Nintendo Ds (CDN$ 36.99) – Dance Dance Revolution for the DS. I haven’t played it, but it’s getting good reviews.
Elite Beat Agents Nintendo Ds

Yoshi’s Island Ds (CDN$ 36.99) or Mario Vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (CDN$ 39.99) – Good reviews all around, haven’t tried it.

Yoshi's Island DsMario Vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (CDN$ 44.99) – RPG based on Dragon Warrior series. Haven’t tried it.
Rocket Slime

Nintendogs: Lab and Friends (CDN$ 37.99) – Virtual pet for Nintendo DS. I haven’t tried it.
Lab and Friends


PC Games

World of Warcraft – *The* massive online roleplaying game that beats all others. Requires a monthly subscription, destroys lives. I haven’t played it but everyone who does loves it. If they already play WoW, you could get them a prepaid subscription card for $29.99.

The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion (DVD) (CDN$ 59.99) – Single player RPG. One of the best games I’ve ever played, but the system specs are ridiculously high. There is an expansion pack called Knights of the Nine that will be released on Dec 6th.
The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion (DVD)

Fable the Lost Chapters (CDN$ 39.99) – Single player RPG. Very fun, but entirely too short.
Fable the Lost Chapters

Dragonshard: Dungeons & Dragons (CDN$ 59.99) – Real time strategy / RPG mash-up. Fun.
Dungeons & Dragons

Neverwinter Nights 2 (CDN$ 54.99) or Neverwinter Nights 2 Limited Edition – Neverwinter Nights was an amazing game. The sequel is a better single player experience, but doesn’t live up to the great multiplayer experience of the first game.
Neverwinter Nights 2 ( DVD-ROM )Neverwinter Nights 2 Limited Edition ( DVD-Rom )

Guild Wars (CDN$ 59.99) or Guild Wars Factions (CDN$ 59.99) or Guild Wars Nightfall (CDN$ 59.99) – The only massive online roleplaying game (MPORG) that doesn’t require a monthly service fee.
Guild WarsGuild Wars FactionsGuild Wars Nightfall

Half Life 2 Aftermath (Episode One) (CDN$ 19.99) or Half Life 2 Holiday Collection DVD (Half Li… (CDN$ 49.99) – *Very* fun first person shooter. Amazing game.
Half Life 2 Aftermath (Episode One)Half Life 2 Holiday Collection DVD (Half Life 1, Half Life2, Half Life 2 Episode 1, Counter Strike: Source)

Sid Meier’s Civilization IV (CDN$ 29.99) – Highly addictive real time strategy game. I haven’t played it.
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords Expansion Pack


I’ve made a list of all these games in one place at Amazon. Looking at the product description on Amazon.ca will bring you to the Amazon for your country. Gamespot is the best place to go for video game reviews:

Leave a comment if you have any suggestions on improving the list, or questions about whether your computer is powerful enough to play a video game.

Related Posts

  1. Introduction – Some personal stories of what the holiday experience is usually like for me.
  2. Gifts.com – I go through one of those gift suggestion websites and try to pick out the good from the bad. TIP: these sites suck.
  3. Gamers – A list of what I think is good for the Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and PC video gamers.
  4. Comic Books – My favorite comic books available in trade paperbacks.
  5. Programming/Tech Books – Top ten recommended books for programmers, managers and anyone working in high tech.
  6. Books – 45 of my favorite books (non-fiction, fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, humour).
  7. Movies – 81 of the best DVD recommendations.
  8. TV series on DVD – some shows I like.
  9. T-shirts – 100+ geek t-shirts that I like.
  10. Last Minute Suggestions – waited to long and need a gift in a hurry? Try these.

12 Responses

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  1. engtech said, on December 01, 2006 at 6:39 pm

    I dropped the ball and completely forgot to mention Knights of the Nine, the expansion pack for Oblivion. Looks good.

  2. Tony said, on December 01, 2006 at 11:25 pm

    I wouldn’t say Dead Rising is “only good for HD-TV”. True, the on-screen text is HARD to read on a standard-definition TV, but otherwise it plays just fine. In fact, it’s one of my favorite 360 game (and I don’t have an HDTV).

    Also, you have Final Fantasy 7 listed in the DS section but it’s a Playstation title. There is a Final Fantasy III available for the DS.

    Otherwise, great list.

  3. engtech said, on December 01, 2006 at 11:57 pm

    Tony: you’re right — it’s not fair to say HD only. I’ve mellowed the comment.
    So far I think I’ve enjoyed the multiplayer Ultimate Alliance more than Dead Rising. But Dead Rising has been my best single player experience.

    I wish Dead Rising had a multiplayer mode. That would be awesome.

    re: FF7. Whoops, thanks for spotting. Friggin Playstation boxes kinda look like DS boxes on small pictures.

  4. A.J. Valliant said, on December 02, 2006 at 12:53 am

    Civ 4 is phenominal game.
    The managed to add depth and playabilty, while making the length and depth scalable so you don’t have to spent a year of your life building a nation.

    In terms of the 360, I have been loving the new Smackdown for it. You can trade wrestlers online, so Rob and I have been dominating, then diseminating, our Ronald Macdonald/Grimace tag team world wide.

  5. engtech said, on December 02, 2006 at 1:13 am

    I wish they’d make more 3-4 player head-to-head games.

  6. jaybird said, on December 04, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    Yeah, Marvel Ultimate Alliance is a lot of fun.

    Except when the person playing Wolverine steals all of the power ups.

    *glares at engtech*

  7. engtech said, on December 05, 2006 at 3:56 am

    It isn’t me!

    It’s something about Wolverine. I swear.

  8. CajoleJuice said, on December 14, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    [b]Rainbow Six: Vegas[/b] arguably beats Gears of War at its own game – the cover system. R6:V also has graphics that stand right up to GoW’s and its multiplayer options are much more plentiful. There’s also a cool feature to put your own face into the game using the Xbox 360 Camera.

    I also hear a tons of good things about [b]Viva Pinata[/b]. It’s basically a graphically stunning version of Animal Crossing. Extremely addictive.

    As for the DS, I’d add [b]Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.[/b] It pretty much continues the standard GBA/DS fare Konami has been pumping out every year, but it’s still great, especially if one hasn’t been keeping up with the series.

    And [b]Company of Heroes[/b] is one of the highest rated PC games of this year. It’s a tactical WWII RTS that does things not seen in most RTS games. I just wish I had a good PC.

  9. CajoleJuice said, on December 14, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    Crap, I had a feeling that bold coding wouldn’t work.

  10. Cameron Turner said, on December 21, 2006 at 2:20 am

    Wow. This Geek Gift series is great. I did a similar thing two weeks ago about geek BOARD games. If anyone is interested feel free to check it out:

    http://www.camturner.com/archives/11-best-geek-board-games/

    Also, I found this blog through the ProBlogger group writing project. I’ve subscribed. It’s awesome!

  11. guild wars fan said, on February 20, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    yay, now i have something to do HA!

  12. [...] Gamers – A list of what I think is good for the Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and PC video gamers. [...]


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