Informal poll of a handful of local gaming experts reveal the best games for the holidays. Some involve killers in ancient Rome and the soldiers of the Cold War. Others star adorable gorillas and an iconic mouse. Whatever the age of your friend or family member, there is something for everyone. And unless you shop online, the only place to buy these games at Westport is GameStop.
5. Gran Turismo 5 (PlayStation 3. Rated appropriate for all ages)
The release of a game Gran Turismo is still a promising opportunity. The games are released on an occasional basis and delayed so often that it’s hard to believe when a new episode of the series of race actually hits store shelves. The last entry in the hyper-realistic offers more than 1,000 cars, 70 different tracks and countless hours of content for dedicated runners.
Like all previous entries in the series, critics rated the game favorably, although less so than previous entries. Is the formula becoming stale? Do the fans dumping countless hours into the game even care?
4. Epic Mickey (Wii. Rated appropriate for all ages.)
Mickey Mouse has done it all over the years, but his adventures haven’t been this dark since his stint as a sorcerer’s apprentice.
This much-hyped game was released in late November, and while older fans were hoping for a mature experience when news of the game first broke, they were instead given a decent game playable for all ages. However, homage to Mickey’s days in Steamboat Willie might fly over the head of younger gamers.
3. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii. Rated appropriate for all ages)
A group of evil Tikis steal a gorilla’s bananas. Much to his chagrin, the gorilla embarks on a quest with his chimpanzee friend to retrieve them all. The debate as to whether games are art won’t be decided with this lightweight game, but that doesn’t mean it’s fun. This classic series returns with everything that made it so popular, and plenty of new wrinkles for 21st century audiences.
2. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC. Rated for mature audiences only.)
Rome has fallen, and it’s up to a ragtag group to rebuild the once proud city. Since this is a video game, you don’t accomplish this by running for office or canvassing for volunteers. Rome is rebuilt through assassinations, sword fights and gracefully running across rooftops. The Assassin’s Creed series has always blended science-fiction with pseudo-historical events, and the third entry in the series is the most refined yet.
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC. Rated for mature audiences only.)
There are many successful video games, but none can be compared to Call of Duty series (with the exception of the famous TimeSink Farmville and World of Warcraft). The last record sold 5.6 million copies in Britain and the United States within 24 hours after their release. It is equivalent to 360 million. Not bad for a day.