Christmas Lists. I write one every year and since it's just one measly week until the big day I thought I might share with you and also reccomend some games that are worth getting for Christmas in the form of a feature. I've applied one simple rule to this list; It is only made up of games that came out in the space of the past few months. If this rule wasn't applied I could stick a ton of stuff on here and never get it finished. So, know that that's out of the way, let's get started.
Professor Layton and the Lost Future
Sure, Professor Layton's third DS adventure came out in the UK a while back, but I still haven't got my hands on it yet. This is because, ever since the first Layton game was finally released in the UK 2 years ago, I've gotten every game in the series for Christmas. It's like some kind of tradition now, so I'm pretty certain I'll be getting this on the 25th. A Toblerone too, I always seem to get at least one of them. For those who aren't aware of the Professor Layton series, it's a collection of titles that are packed full of puzzles, animated cutscenes and absolutely phenomenal story-lines. They're a bit short, but considering I get them (basically) for free, I can't complain. The Lost Future is apparently the best so I can't wait to get my mitted mitts on this one. I don't really know a whole lot about this title, but that's simply because I refuse to spoil it by looking at Youtube videos. Professor Layton games are titles to be enjoyed personally. They pack such an awesome charm that I really can't not ask for these games every year. And did I mention? I'll be getting a free collector's box because I've registered the previous titles on Club Nintendo. Get in!
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Next up, it's a Wii game. Donkey Kong Country Returns to be precise. Now, I'm a big fan of the Metroid Prime games and since this new title is developed by Retro Studios, the same folks that worked on Samus' first-person adventures, I really can't wait to play it. According to various sources, DKCR is very hard, which is to be expected. After all, it was developed by the people who made Prime 2, a game considered by many as unplayable. However, the game's difficulty is mostly brought on by it's secret collectables. Each level is packed with four letter that spell out K-O-N-G, as well as 5 to 9 Puzzle Pieces. The letters are always in plain sight, but in order to grab them you'll need to do some really specific jumps to reach them. The Puzzle Pieces however, are always hidden away and are much harder to grab. I'm a good collect-a-thon fan, so DKCR will surely last me quite a while. The game visually looks beautiful too, as unlike certain other 2D platformers (Not naming any names... Mario) each level doesn't use a pre-made tile set. Instead, each level is built from the ground up, with so many subtle, tiny details that really show Retro has worked on the visual aspect of the game as much as possible. DKCR looks awesome, and if it wasn't for that free collector's box I'll be getting with Layton 3, it would be at the top of my list.
Super Mario All-Stars Collector's Edition Box
This is the definition of awesome: A SNES compilation featuring four of the greatest 2D platformers of all time packed onto a Wii disk, packaged alongside a beautiful retro box, a Mario history booklet and a soundtrack CD. What's more, this lovely package is amazingly cheap, at only £17 on Amazon and Play.com. Shamefully, I don't own Super Mario Bros 1, 2, 3 or The Lost Levels so it's kinda obvious why I wouldn't mind getting this package. After all, this collection does include four amazing platformers with enhanced graphics for a very affordable price along with various other goodies. It's difficult to think of any Mario fan that wouldn't want this box. Plus it'll probably be worth a ton in the coming decades. Now, moving swiftly on to the second DS game of this list...
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
How could I not put this game on the list? Dark Dawn is the extremely highly anticipated third game in the Golden Sun series. For those not in the know, the previous Golden Sun games were a series of Role-Players for the GBA and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is the newest instalment, released 8 years after Golden Sun 2: The Lost Age. I happen to have my hands on the original Golden Sun games, the first of which I haven't even finished yet. Because of this, I don't really want Dark Dawn just yet, but it's a game I'd very highly recommend for any gamer's Christmas list (as long as they have a DS, of course). It's also worth picking up if you've never even played the original games, because this isn't a direct follow-on from the previous titles. Dark Dawn is the last game to be released before Christmas, and we've certainly ended on a high-note. If you're a fan of RPGs get Golden Sun: Dark Dawn!
Last month I praised Sonic Colours and Sonic 4 for being an excellent return to form for the blue mammal. Both games have received great reviews and very positive feedback for the most part, and all Sega had to do was listen to their fans. With these facts in mind, it's certainly worth sticking Sonic Colours on this list. What's amazing about this game is that it still retains a gimmick, yet this one isn't game breaking at all. The game is set in an intergalactic amusement park built by Doctor Eggman (erm, Robotnik) who claims that he has left behind his previously evil lifestyle. However, Sonic has none of this and decides to investigate. As it turns out, his arch-nemesis has used the power of an alien race called Wisps to fuel his massive amusement park and is still up to no good, despite his claims. It's clearly a story inspired by the original Sonic games where the evil doctor kidnapped woodland animals, which certainly isn't a bad thing. Now, you know I mentioned those Wisp things? That's where the gimmick steps in. Different types of wisps grant Sonic different abilities to use in levels, like a drill, rocket, blimp, even a demonic monster transformation is in there. Most of the power-ups are clearly stolen from the Mario Galaxy games, but that's no bad thing. Sonic Colours' gimmicks don't hold the game back at all and it's definitely worth sticking on the Christmas list.
So there you have it, a definitive list of some of the best games available to buy this Christmas. I did leave a few things out to save time, such as GoldenEye and a few downloadable games like Cave Story and Sonic 4, but I'd recommend those games as much as everything else on this list. Have a great Christmas and enjoy the Holidays while they last doods!