This is but the first part of our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Today we focus on exclusives for each platform (the PS3 will have its own article later this week). The purpose of this article is to showcase the best and brightest of each platform's lineup, perhaps swaying you on purchases for yourself or for your loved ones. Now, start your making your lists, and if need be, check them twice-- it's time for SuperPhillip Central's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide - Part 1!
Killzone: Shadow Fall
You can't launch a console these days without some kind of technological showcase of your console, and Killzone: Shadow Fall is just the game to do so. With glorious graphics, twitch shooter gameplay, and a captivating world to do all your fragging in, Killzone: Shadow Fall is a remarkable game to look out, and it's not half-bad to play either! If you can get your FPS lover away from Call of Duty: Ghosts or Battlefield 4, Killzone: Shadow Fall might just be a good gift to give them.
Knack came out to lukewarm reviews. However, the market for this game isn't really aimed at the reviewers and more towards kids, who are more open to this type of title. It's a beautiful game running on the PS4 hardware, and it's a perfect game to play with the little ones who are just first experience gaming (there is co-op after all). Knack may not be the most pleasurable game in the world to play, but it is a competent title of the PlayStation 4's launch.
Forza Motorsport 5
Racing has gotten even more realistic, if such a thing was possible. Forza Motorsport 5 cruises onto the Xbox One's impressive launch lineup with more curves, turns, cars, and high speed action than you can shake a gearshift at. Hop inside hundreds of perfectly rendered vehicles, race online or off in high octane showdowns, and just marvel at the incredibly impressive visuals. Whether you have a speed freak, lover of automobiles, or racing fan in your life (who also has an Xbox One), Forza Motorsport 5 is an essential purchase for them.
Dead Rising 3
Our favorite Xbox 360 exclusive was Dead Rising. With the return of the series and this time on the eighth generation's Xbox One, the series is more open and irresistible than ever before. Take zombies down in as serious or as comedic a fashion as you desire. Blood will spill as the undead fall to the ground. Take on numerous psychopaths whose minds have shattered, leaving them sick, disgusting and crazed individuals. To review, Dead Rising 3 is full of bright and cheery tidings for this holiday season!
Super Mario 3D World
We're astonished that Super Mario 3D World actually was nominated for a mainstream award show (VGX). After all, it doesn't take itself seriously, it doesn't come off as pretentious, and it actually doesn't want players to think it's more than a video game. (Not to discredit the other nominees.) Regardless, there is just a magic about playing a new 3D Mario, and now you can do it with your family and friends. It's a perfect holiday gift for that rare Wii U owner in your life.
Fans had been waiting a decade for a sequel to Pikmin 2 on the GameCube, and it finally came two generations later. Pikmin 3 is a game that was most definitely worth the wait, allowing players to take control of three unique captains. This gave players the ability to divvy up tasks between the trio of captains, solving environmental puzzles, taking down creatures both harmless and deadly, and collecting fruit to grant a future to their captains' home planet. The lack of online is annoying, but overall, Pikmin 3 is a great gift for beginning and expert players, as well as everyone in between.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
Most HD remakes would not be worth $50. However, there are actual changes within The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD that sets it apart from the GameCube original that makes this remake very much worth it. For one, the bothersome Triforce Quest has been heavily altered to require much less hassle. Moreover, sailing is faster than ever once Link retrieves the Swift Sail. The addition of Miiverse grants helpful bottles with messages inside to wash ashore beaches throughout the game. All of this with a gorgeous art style, and you have one killer package.
LEGO City Undercover
The best LEGO game yet released, LEGO City Undercover is a collector's dream-- giving them hundreds of tasks and goodies to grab. Trying to fully complete the game will easily last most players upwards of 50 hours. LEGO City itself is an absolute blast to explore. Then you have the child-friendly story and content, which are both quite funny, with various pop culture and film references sprinkled all over the place. LEGO City Undercover isn't just perfect for kids as a Wii U game purchase, it's also surprisingly fun for us adults, too.
The Wonderful 101
First-time gamers need not apply with Platinum Games' latest. The Wonderful 101 puts players in charge of a team of out-of-this-world superheroes as they punch, slash, shoot, whip, and blow up the evil GEATHJERK army of alien invaders. Combat is deceptively simple, but it allows an incredible amount of improvisation with the team members' various moves. Creating combos is highly rewarding and grants professional players the chance to score Pure Platinums, the highest rating within the game, on every mission in the game. The Wonderful 101 is definitely not for everybody, but if you have a Platinum Games fan in your life, this game is almost assuredly for them.
The phenom of a series hits the Nintendo 3DS for a whole new generation with Pokemon X and Pokemon Y. No longer are battles stuck in an over-the-shoulder P.O.V. Instead, battles are fully three-dimensional, giving Pokemaniacs a perspective of fights not seen before in a mainline Pokemon game. Throw some fantastic areas to explore with a multitude of activities to do, and you have a very capable solo adventure to enjoy. Then there is the online component of the duo of games, allowing for battling and trading between friends and total strangers. No doubt if you have someone with a 3DS or 2DS, they might already have either Pokemon X and Pokemon Y. If not, these titles should be one of the first gifts you give this holiday season!
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
The SuperPhillip Central staff has collectively put close to 500 hours into Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Not bad for a video game nowadays, where so many $60 titles fail to deliver even ten hours of content. Regardless, the amount of customization in the game is astronomical with the inclusion of the primary player serving as the role of mayor. This feature allows a fortunate player to set village ordinances, decide where to build public works projects, and much more. The ability to customize your own appearance, your hair, your clothing, your furniture, and even your house makes for a game that will be very much worth the price of admission for a lucky person on your holiday shopping list.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Set six generations after the events of A Link to the Past, join Link as he travels through Hyrule and Lorule in order to save the seven sages and both kingdoms in the process. Critics of past Zelda games have gone after excessive hand-holding, linearity, and exposition in the series. These problems are not to be found in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, offering an amount of freedom not seen since the original Legend of Zelda on the NES. The Zelda fan in your life will remember why they fell in love with the series with A Link Between Worlds, and virtual adventurers will find two worlds to happily get lost in.
Fire Emblem: Awakening
A sales and critic success story, Fire Emblem: Awakening delivers the strategy RPG fun that the series is known for, while offering beginners to the series a nice entry point. The Casual mode allows players to enjoy the epic adventure without the fear of losing comrades permanently through their deaths. No worries for veterans, however, as the game has the normal rules for you as well. If you have someone in your life that has a tactical mind like General Patton, why not give them the gift of medieval war?
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
As part of the Year of Luigi, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is a much improved sequel to the GameCube original. Instead of exploring just one mansion, Luigi explores a series of haunted locations in search of the pieces of the Dark Moon. Next Level Games did a masterful job taking the formula from the original Luigi's Mansion and tweaking it to be something a lot better. The few troublesome parts of the game don't do anything to mar the overall package of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, making it a must-have for any 3DS owner.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
Team up with Mario and Luigi in this humorous and creative take on the RPG genre with Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. Solve puzzles, participate in battles where your reflexes and timing are put to the test, and explore Pi'illo Island. Just beware that if you don't like excessive tutorials-- even if they're written well and are funny themselves-- this might not be the game you're looking for.
Two Killzone games in one year? Talk about Killzone overload! Despite that, Killzone: Mercenary is one of the best first-person shooters to ever grace a handheld device. It doesn't make compromises to give PlayStation Vita owners a console-like shooter to be entertained by. Whether your gamer prefers shooting opponents offline, online, or both, Killzone: Mercenary makes for some good old fashioned FPS fun.
Media Molecule is one of SuperPhillip Central's favorite Sony developers. Their passion for creativity is easily discovered in each and every title they develop. Their latest release is the critically acclaimed Tearaway, due to make a PlayStation Vita owner's holiday season a little warmer in this coldest season of the year. Using basically all of the features of the handheld, Tearaway is a game full of charm and worthy of being in every PlayStation Vita owner's library.
Ys: Memories of Celceta
The Ys series is criminally underrated. It not only has terrific action RPG enjoyment, it also provides a truly stellar soundtrack. The newest game in the series is available now in North America, Ys: Memories of Celceta, granting PlayStation Vita owners a chance to play a deep, rewarding, and fulfilling RPG. If that sounds like something a certain someone on your shopping list would love, picking up Ys: Memories of Celceta seems like a no-brainer.