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Gifts for the gamer
Batman and the Beatles are just the beginning of what's in stores this holiday season

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

If your holiday wish list includes electronics, you might want to check out these suggestions for not-to-be-missed games. They were put together for KidsPost by video-game reviewer Tom Ham (we know, you're wondering how do I get that job when I grow up?). There are suggestions for every platform and for every type of game -- from racing and defeating bad guys to puzzling and singing.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Platform: PlayStation 3

Rating: Teen

Price: $59.99

Details: Players take on the role of Nathan Drake, adventurer and explorer, as he follows Marco Polo's footsteps in search of mythical treasure. This is the first game that really lets players feel as if they are a part of a Hollywood blockbuster -- complete with cinematic gameplay, a fantastic musical score and action sequences that would make Indiana Jones nervous. This is one of our picks for game of the year.

Super Mario Bros Wii

Platform: Nintendo Wii

Rating: Everyone

Price: $49.99

Details: The classic game everyone grew up with is finally coming to the Nintendo Wii with its own version. What's the hook this time around? Multiplayer. Play with up to three others for a fun mixture of competitive and cooperative gameplay. Some areas will require one player to pick up another, while others will have you racing for the goal. The game also utilizes the motion abilities of the Wii remote to get the characters across the various levels. Mario has never looked better.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Sony PSP

Rating: Teen

Price: $59.99

Details: When the Joker escapes custody and takes over Arkham Asylum, it's up to Batman to save the day. Players step into the boots of the famed Caped Crusader as they use their wits and quick reflexes (and cool Bat gadgets) to bring the Joker and his henchmen to justice. Combined with amazing voice talent from the animated series and brilliant graphics, this is the best comic-book-based game ever.

DJ Hero

Platform: Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

Rating: Teen

Price: $119.99 with turntable

$199.99 Renegade Edition

Details: Ever wanted to know what it's like to be a DJ? The latest rhythm game incorporates a very cool turntable controller that mimics scratching, tapping and cross-fading pretty darn well. But the true stars of the game are the music tracks themselves. Players will show their DJ skills on exclusive mixes from Queen, Herbie Hancock, the Black Eyed Peas and others.

Need for Speed: Shift

Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Sony PSP

Rating: Everyone

Price: $59.99

Details: If driving fast is your thing, then the latest in the Need for Speed series is where it's at. We especially liked the improved in-car view, which allows players to experience the feeling of driving some of the most exotic sports cars in the world.

The Beatles: Rock Band

Platform: Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

Rating: Everyone

Price: $59.99 for game, $249.99 for limited-edition bundle (drums, two guitars and microphone)

Details: With 45 songs by the legendary British rock group, players are treated to a colorful and historical trip in which they'll learn the history of the Beatles and get to play some of their most beloved songs. The animation of the group is remarkable and memorable. This is a game the whole family can enjoy.

Scribblenauts

Platform: Nintendo DS

Rating: Everyone

Price: $29.99

Details: The player with the most imagination will be the winner. Players control our hero Maxwell, who must collect objects called Starites, which are spread out over 200 levels. To get the Starites, Maxwell must use objects that the player gives him (using a virtual keyboard in the game). Type "sword," and it appears in the game. Type "jetpack," and Maxwell can use it to fly across the level. With more than 20,000 words, there is plenty to play around with.

Madden NFL 10

Platform: Nintendo Wii, Sony PSP, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

Rating: Everyone

Price: $39.99-$59.99

Details: If you think you can call better plays than Redskins Coach Jim Zorn, then you may want to pick up the latest version of this famous game. Everything in the game has been revamped: pregame warm-ups, refs debating calls, players getting yelled at from the sidelines -- it all makes the game much more realistic. And the player models are the best yet.

Ratchet & Clank Future:

A Crack in Time

Platform: PlayStation 3

Rating: Everyone

Price: $59.99

Details: The universe is in shambles again thanks to Dr. Nefarious, and it's up to Ratchet and Clank to set things straight. Adding to the frantic platforming action is all-new Clank gameplay where he can manipulate time to defeat his enemies. Of course there are new weapons and gadgets for Ratchet to play with -- hoverboots, a plasma striker and buzz blades. Imaginative players can design their own weapons by collecting mods spread throughout the game. Pretty cool.

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