This is Daz’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
There are great bargains in older games. Even though they are old they still fall in the must-have category. Here are my top 5 choices:
- Call of Duty 4 – Although a year old it still stands miles above the rest and the recently released Call of Duty World at War stands on par if not worse if going back to World War II wasn’t your thing. The single player sets you during the modern day and uses a cinematic feel which is fantastically engrossing and to get those hard earned veteran achievements you’ll be playing it many times over. Although the single player is great it’s the multiplayer which takes Call of Duty into its own and truly excels. With the best leveling up system I’ve seen on a console shooter to date, the ranking up from private to corporal is enjoyable. The ability to customize your characters perks and special powers extends beyond the normal weapon selection. Honestly this game is still tremendously popular both offline and online, some people are actually coming back from COD: World at War, and if you’re into some proper first person shooting action then this is the game to get this Christmas.
- Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga – Gosh, this one may be controversial depending on how much you cherish your childhood memories but you can’t doubt the success of the Lego games series. This year has seen the release of Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Batman but they all lead back to the Lego Star Wars series. I recommend getting the Complete Saga version as that gives you all 6 episodes on one disc. Even as a die hard Star Wars fan, I enjoyed this game. Don’t get me wrong; realism isn’t top of the list but it doesn’t disappoint in the enjoyment factor and keeps strictly to the storyline. Seeing those special moments recreated in Lego will make you laugh. Out of all the games on this list I think Lego Star Wars will take the longest for you to complete 100%; because of the way it’s been made you’ll have to play the game several times over to get the special treats. By earning studs you’ll be able to unlock characters so you can see once and for all what it would have been like if Mace Windu had magically been able to fight Emperor Palpatine to the death at the end of Return of the Jedi. These hypothetical situations are fun to play out but this game will appeal to not only fans of the Star Wars phenomenon but also anyone looking for something different this Christmas.
- Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock – If you haven’t been part of the Guitar Hero craze you’ve been lying under a rock far too long. Last years release was the kick start to the music gaming revolution and has truly expanded with new Guitar Hero and Rock Band games going on sale this year. But that doesn’t pull away from the fact that this was a good game. To be honest the game hasn’t changed radically from Guitar Hero II. The only changes come in music tracks and instrument options. The basic premise is to feel like a rock star and play along with tracks by hitting the notes at the right time. It sounds easy but it gets hard quickly. Looking back, the songs aren’t going to be quite as up to date as you’d like but the famous tracks will be there to rock on too. With some money spent in the Xbox Live Marketplace you can update your tunes to something more modern. Remember you’ll need the guitar with this game to play properly as it’s not worth just using the controller. If you’re not at all interested in music I would steer clear of this.
- Rainbow Six Vegas 2 – This sequel wasn’t as much a new game, just as an expansion to the first. There was no major changes just slight graphical appearances which, in my opinion, appeared a bit better in HD than the prequel. But that’s not a bad thing; the original was such a good hit, putting you in the role of an elite anti-terrorist squad. Rainbow Six Vegas 2 builds on the success of duck-and-cover shooting as well as the team commands which seem quite easy to order and the missions are overall fun to complete. Set in and around the outskirts of Las Vegas, the environments aren’t repeated often but can seem bland. The multiplayer part of the game shares a similar leveling system as COD 4; they have a more cautious approach than the running and gunning of COD. This game requires patience during the single player campaign as well as multiplayer; but if you’re after that it can provide you with a thorough experience.
- Assassins Creed – This makes my list on wow factor alone. Given the single player is quite short, Assassins Creed amazes people on it’s scale. There is a huge virtual map of four cities set during the time of the Crusades and never has history been so much fun as you play an assassin fighting against the Christian Crusaders, the Muslims and any evil force. Although over a year old the graphics hold up giving truly amazing views from the top of buildings; for once you just stop and stare in a video game as you try and point out things on the horizon. However that is just small compared to what makes this game a must play – the movement system is immense albeit easy. It doesn’t take long to get used to and you’ll be jumping across buildings and free running around ancient Jerusalem before you can say “Kill that infidel!” The implementation is very streamlined and makes simple running on the ground quite boring. Overall an entertaining game in an otherwise unexploited era but won’t be on your played list for long.