Top Video Game Releases This Holiday Seasonby Duncan Stewart
Are there any video games on your holiday shopping list? If so, I'm here to help you pick the right ones!
I remember a few years ago, I really wanted a copy of the new Super Mario game. My mom ended up getting me Mario Paint instead. It was pretty cool and I still liked having a new game, but it just wasn't the same. Probably because I wanted to fight Koopa troopas, and Mario Paint is based on making music that sounds like pop songs (for example, Katy Perry's Hot n'Cold composed only with sounds from the Mushroom Kingdom).
But I digress.
The point is that there are a lot of games coming out right now, and not all of them are winners. Don't be fooled by fancy cover artwork and "genuine" reviews - some of the newest releases are just plain bad. So here are my top three picks for the video games that are going to come out in time for the holidays.
Pokemon Rumble Blast (Nintendo 3DS)
In the first Pokemon game for 3DS, players crash and bash against other wind-up toy Pokemons for the title of Battle Royale champion. There are more than 600 characters, each with their own unique stats and power levels. The game also has a multi-player option where friends can play together over a local wireless connection for social adventures. Gotta catch 'em all!
Rated E10+ for everyone 10 and older, Pokemon Rumble Blast was released on October 24th.
Mario Kart 7 (Nintendo 3DS)
This game is my number one handheld pick! The Nintendo 3DS is the new version of the Gameboy - it just came out and Mario Kart 7 is one of its flagship titles. The racing game is loaded with cool features, from the ability to make your Kart fly or go underwater. It also features a whole new cast of supporting characters like Bowser and Donkey Kong. On top of that... it's really, really cute.
Rated E for everyone, Mario Kart 7 is available December 4th.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)
Every single game with "Zelda" in the title has been amazing, and the newest game for Wii is no exception. In this prequel to the Zelda series, Link must save the title character while battling the dark forces of Ghirahim. And since gamers estimate it will take around 50 to 100 hours to beat the game, you know you're getting a good value for the money. The 3D graphics are amazing, and I give this game two big thumbs up.
Rated E10+ for everyone 10 and older, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was released on November 20th.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
Although not meant for younger gamers, teenagers everywhere are drooling over the fifth installment in The Elder Scrolls series. It boasts spectacular graphics and visual effects; seriously, this game is beautiful. And enormous. Players can take a stroll through the countryside, pick up an empty goblet, make a potion, forge some armor, slay some dragons - pretty standard stuff. The appeal is in the overall quality, for example, every line of dialogue is voiced by an actor. It's like fifty different movies combined into one video game where you start as a lowly peasant and rise to save the entire world from ancient demons (and of course, get the girl along the way). And as for the soundtrack, it's Oscar-worthy. Skyrim is truly a classic upon its release.
Rated M for mature, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released on November 11th.
Check the Ratings
One last tip for moms who are worried about whether the game their child wants is appropriate for him or her - check out the mobile app from ESRB, the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Just download the free app to your smartphone and get access to detailed ratings explanations right at your fingertips!