Gift Guide for Geeks Part 3 – Gamers (PC, Nintendo DS and Xbox 360)
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 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 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 Headset Communicator (CDN$ 29.99) – Voice chat for online multiplayer. I haven’t tried it.
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 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 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.
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.
Dead or Alive 4 (CDN$ 69.99) – Fighting game. Not suitable for kids, DOA is famous for their “jiggle technology”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Brain Age Train Your Brain In Minutes A Day… (CDN$ 24.99) – Brain tests and sudoku. Very addictive puzzle game for adults.
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.
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.
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.
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (CDN$ 44.99) – RPG based on Dragon Warrior series. Haven’t tried it.
Nintendogs: Lab and Friends (CDN$ 37.99) – Virtual pet for Nintendo DS. I haven’t tried it.
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.
Fable the Lost Chapters (CDN$ 39.99) – Single player RPG. Very fun, but entirely too short.
Dragonshard: Dungeons & Dragons (CDN$ 59.99) – Real time strategy / RPG mash-up. Fun.
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.
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.
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.
Sid Meier’s Civilization IV (CDN$ 29.99) – Highly addictive real time strategy game. I haven’t played it.
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.
- Introduction – Some personal stories of what the holiday experience is usually like for me.
- 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.
- Gamers – A list of what I think is good for the Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and PC video gamers.
- Comic Books – My favorite comic books available in trade paperbacks.
- Programming/Tech Books – Top ten recommended books for programmers, managers and anyone working in high tech.
- Books – 45 of my favorite books (non-fiction, fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, humour).
- Movies – 81 of the best DVD recommendations.
- TV series on DVD – some shows I like.
- T-shirts – 100+ geek t-shirts that I like.
- Last Minute Suggestions – waited to long and need a gift in a hurry? Try these.