XXL’s 2014 Holiday Gaming Guide
Fall is usually the season of video games. Knowing that, It can be quite daunting finding the perfect one for the gamer on your list, as there's no shortage of options that are likely to put some pressure on your pocketbook. Fear not though, XXL has you covered with a selection of can't miss gifts—written and compiled by DJRhude (@DJRhude)
Disney Infinity 2.0
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Developer: Avalanche Games
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360
Price: $74.99 for Starter Pack; $13.99-$34.99 for additional characters, Play Sets
Release date: September 23, 2014
Most comic book fans love a good crossover universe no matter how outrageous it may be. With Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Superheroes that kind of universe comes alive as you'll see superheroes like Iron Man and The Hulk joining forces with Mr. Incredible and Elsa from the hit animated film Frozen. Like last year's title, Disney Infinity 2.0 breaks down into two key components: Play Sets and the Toy Box. Players buy a Starter Pack that includes the game, three figurines (Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor) and a clear Play Set piece. Infinity features two more playsets sold separately: one starring Spider-Man and a second with The Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as individual characters. All of this adds up to great fun as Disney Infinity 2.0 makes every kids daydreams come true.
Platforms: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
Released: September 9th, 2014
From the creators of the original Halo series comes one of the most expensive games ever made to grace a console. It blurs the line between genres in ways few major titles have to date, one that mixes big single-player narratives with multiplayer shooting and role-playing character development. We'd be remiss also not to mention the absorbing character development mixed with Halo-style combat and seamless co-op multiplayer. For FPS and MMO fans, this is a must own.
Fantasia: Music Evolved
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Developer: Harmonix Music Systems
Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360
Released: October 21, 2014
Disney and Harmonix have teamed up to produce Fantasia: Music Evolved for Xbox One and Xbox 360. The game is a motion-controlled dance/rhythm game that combines timing-based gameplay with freestyle sections that allow players to remix the music and a hub world that offers interactive music toys that record your activity and play it back as a series of loops. The game also features a mix of modern and classical music, but each song will have two alternate versions in different musical styles that the player can switch between on the fly. If you know someone who has an Xbox One and a Kinect, then they should have Fantasia: Music Evolved in their library. It's an immediately accessible and fun party game.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Monolith Productions, Behaviour Interactive
Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS3, PC
Released: September 30th, 2014
Shadow of Mordor is an action-game set in the famous fantasy world that we all know from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Players battle and mind-control an army of orcs, destroying them and pitting them against each other. What's so dope about this game is it's an action RPG with a compelling mechanic that allows the player to weave their own narratives of bloodlust and revenge in Tolkien’s world. Whereas the vast majority of games treat death as a fleeting experience quickly remedied by a hit of the restart button, Mordor makes clear there are consequences, with every action bringing about a reaction. Puts a whole new meaning on the term "the world is your oyster."
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Evolution Studios
Released: October 7, 2014
Originally intended as a flagship launch title for the Playstation 4, DriveClub endured a few false starts leading to the title being delayed for nearly a year but it's finally here. DriveClub takes a purist approach to racing with an emphasis on strong social elements. As a result there is an enjoyable competitive edge to beating your best friend’s time. Players are able to team up by the half dozen and compete against one another as well as share their spoils. From the outset, DriveClub puts you in the driver's seat. Even before you reach the main menu, you're thrown into a race, giving you a taste of things to come and showing off the game's stunning visuals. Gentlemen, start your engines.
Publisher: 2K Sports
Developer: Visual Concepts
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Released: October 7th, 2014
With another NBA season upon us NBA 2K15 would make the perfect gift to put under someone's Christmas tree. Once again developer Visual Concepts proves competition is none as they deliver the best basketball simulation on the market. 2K Sports latest NBA game offers a triple double worth of compelling content, from its accessible but deep gameplay to the deep MyGM and dramatic MyCareer modes. And one.
Released: October, 2014
Most of you youngsters probably don't remember slot car racing where toy electric cars sped around a small plastic course, powered by small groves in the track's surface. Well thanks to Anki the slot car concept has been reintroduced to the new generation with one of the more ingenious designs ever seen with the debut of Anki Drive. The cars guide themselves around a vinyl course that is devoid of any grooves. They can weave and pass with computer-controlled precision while the player controls the action with an iPhone (or Ipad), the required Anki app (recently made available for Android devices as well), and Bluetooth connectivity. The set is a little pricey but Anki recently slashed the price from $199.99 to $149.99 and it includes, 2 race cars, charger and a huge rolled up printed mat which is the race track. This is the perfect gift if you're looking to change things up and get the kids to play something a little more stimulating than a video game.
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date: October, 2014
With PlayStation TV, users can download select PS Vita games and classic PS one and PSP titles through the PlayStation Store, stream select PlayStation 3 games through PlayStation Now, and use the Remote Play function on their PlayStation 4 system to stream their PS4 games over local Wi-Fi. For as small as this device is, PlayStation TV delivers impressive gaming performance. Native PS Vita games also play smoothly on the system, though occasionally graphics will suffer transitioning from the Vita's 5-inch screen to a large screen TV. Retailing for $99.99 PlayStation TV is a great addition for any PS4 owner.