A look at the
hot video games
for the holidays
The gift of
By Steven L. Kent
IF YOU’RE WONDERING whether video
games make an appropriate Christmas present, the answer is “They do!”
Video games are hot, and no longer just
for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crowd.
Games such as Halo and Madden NFL have
become staples in college dorms, while
Hannah Montana and other titles attract girls
and younger players.
Here’s a list of great games for the holidays, available in Costco warehouses and at
Question: What’s hot in games?
Answer: Just about anything from
The Nintendo Wii is the bestselling console system on the market today, and
Nintendo’s handheld DS is the most popular
game system. That means a new emphasis on
This Christmas, sports fans will have a lot
to crow about. Video gaming’s greatest legends are going for gold in Mario & Sonic at
the Olympic Games for DS and Wii. Players
can compete in track and field, archery, table
tennis and more as Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog
and other iconic game characters.
Along with entering the Olympics,
Nintendo’s ambitious plumber is exploring
space in Super Mario Galaxy for Wii. It’s Mario’s
biggest adventure ever as he flies from planet to
planet, solving puzzles, rescuing friends, col-
The Costco Connection
Along with video games, Costco features the
Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Xbox
360 and Sony Playstation 3 (see story on page
43) in the warehouses and at costco.com.
Quantities are limited. The Sony PSP handheld
will be available in some warehouses.
lecting coins and vanquishing villains.
Players can also travel to a faraway galaxy
in Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. If you
are looking for a big game that will distract
the kids for months, give this one a try—it
reenacts the exciting storylines from all six
Star Wars movies.
Other notable games include Donkey
Kong: Barrel Blast, The Legend of Zelda:
Phantom Hourglass, Hannah Montana: Music
Jam and High School Musical: Sing It!
COUR TES Y OF SEGA
Young players can have a fun Olympic
experience in Mario & Sonic at the
Totally teen titles
The Entertainment Software Rating
Board says games appropriate for teens can
have a little crude humor or minimal use of
blood. That may satisfy parents, but what
teens want above all else is for their games to
be cool, awesome and wicked.
One game fitting the bill is Super Smash
Bros. Brawl for Wii. The wildest fighting game
of them all, this brawl pits some of the most
famous monsters, soldiers, legendary heroes
and princesses in gaming in a no-holds-barred, no-blood-shown battle royal.
For a visually stunning game that’s fast-paced to boot, check out Lair, a new combat
COURTESY OF ELECTRONIC ARTS
Homer, Marge, Lisa and Bart embark on a
video game adventure in The Simpsons
adventure. When a fantasy nation comes under
attack, players take to the skies on dragons to
defend their home against the invaders.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is a comic adventure of galactic proportions in which a futuristic mercenary and his
robot sidekick tour the universe in an evil
emperor’s stolen warship. If you like weird
weapons of crass destruction, it doesn’t get
any better than this.
Others worth playing are BlackSite: Area
51, Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron,
The Simpsons Game and Project Gotham
Amusing for adults
Serious gamers are looking forward to
several highly anticipated mature-rated
games. Most of this year’s top M-rated games
are first-person-perspective shooters in which
players battle aliens or terrorists.
The big game this year is Halo 3, exclusively for Xbox 360. This Microsoft-made
masterwork follows the adventures of the
genetically engineered Master Chief as he
fights to save mankind from the evil aliens of
The big news for Halo fans is that this
time the game includes a cooperative mode in
which up to four players can work together.
Other hot titles for mature players are
Mass Effect, an action and role-playing game,
and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. C
Novelist and video-games journalist Steven L.
Kent is the author of The Clone Republic and
Rogue Clone. His Web site is www.SadSams