Gaming on a budget: Holiday shopping guide for the money conscious gamer


Because of the sparse availability of the the new consoles, I thought I’d compose a list of gift ideas that won’t break the bank and will still get the most use out of last generation’s consoles. I’ve listed items, games, and services I have used personally that I think will make great gifts this holiday season, along with the blockbuster titles.

Games

IL*2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey – Xbox 360/PlayStation 3

In an era where flight sims are seemingly a forgotten genre, this entry by 505 Games gets it right. Set during World War II, players take to the skies to as Allied pilots working to stop the Nazi war machine. Jump in the cockpit of Spitfires, B-52s, and other era craft as you follow the narrative from those who lived it. The game, while a fun and strong title, looks like something off of the History Channel. Its sound and imagery are very fitting for the time period. It is a good game all around, with some fun history to be learned as well.

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron – Xbox 360/PlayStation 3

From the creators of Okami and Devil May Cry, this visual mindtrip is mixed with a hack-and-slash combat style and story almost literally out of the Bible that is not going ever be forgotten by those who play it. Taking control of the great grandfather of Noah, Enoch, you are tasked by God to defeat fallen angels to prevent the end of humanity. Working alongside the Devil, players will fight and platform their way to help save human kind. This is a game that is not well known, but should not at all be missed.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon – Xbox Live and PlayStation Network

This. Game. Is. Awesome. Ubisoft Montreal took everything about over-the-top 80s action and science-fiction movies, lampooned them and made an AWESOME shooter at the same time. Players take control of Sergeant Rex Powercolt and must stop a rogue General from wreaking havoc on the world. The game pays homage to such films as Terminator, Rambo, and, in my opinion, some Reb Brown and Universal Solider as well. Blood Dragon is a hilarious, action packed title that is a breath of fresh air in the current first person shooter genre.

Fire Emblem: Awakening – Nintendo 3DS

Fire Emblem is a series that has had little exposure in the the US, with my first introduction coming from the inclusion of Marth and Roy in Super Smash Brothers. It has a turn-based, Advanced Wars- like combat system, a gripping narrative, and solid gameplay. Fire Emblem: Awakening is going to be a welcome surprise to the gamers who find this under the tree. Beautiful visuals and likeable characters compliment the engaging combat. With only a few Fire Emblem titles in the US, this was, I felt, the best, and would make a great holiday present.

Others on my list include:

FIFA 14
Grand Theft Auto V
Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition
NHL 14
Battlefield 4
Lego Marvel
Pokemon X & Y
Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Metro: 2033/ Metro: Last Light
Fallout 3/ Fallout New Vegas
Forza 4
Poker Night at Inventory 2 (Xbox Live and Playstation Network)
Elder Scrolls Skyrim/Elder Scrolls: Oblivion
The Last of Us
Bioshock: Infinite
Diablo III
Super Mario 64 DS
Shadowrun Returns
Gears of War 1,2,3, Judgment
Resident Evil Revelations
Silent Hill HD Collection
Hitman HD Collection
Metal Gear Solid: Legacy Collection
Mario Kart 7
Mario Tennis Open
Animal Crossing New Leaf
Resident Evil 4 HD
X-Com: Enemy Unknown

Accessories

Wireless Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 headsets
Xbox 360 Play and Charge Kit
Duracell Quantum or Energizer Lithium AA Batteries
Xbox Live gift cards ($25/$50)
Xbox Live Membership 3 or 12 Months
PlayStationNetwork Gift Cards ($25/50)
Xbox 360 Hard Drives (Varies size and price)
Xbox 360 Flash Drives (8gb $29.00)
PC Gaming Mice, Keyboards
Steam Gift Cards ($25/50)
Replacement DS Stylus

With the holidays right around the corner, there will be plenty of sales and chances to get great gifts for a good price. Outlets like GameStop, Best Buy and Target have already leaked their Black Friday and holiday sales. Plan ahead to get the most for your holiday dollar. Even if the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are hard to come by, there are still plenty of ways to bring some holiday cheer to the gamers on your list.

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