We have a lot of ground to cover today in a short amount of time, so here are more thoughts on holiday gift-buying.
1. For the third time, one of my Xbox 360s just died, giving me that old “red ring of death” light around the start button.
So from now on, I’m recommending PS 3 and Wii U over Xbox 360. There are other reasons for my switching allegiances.
I’ve never loved the fact Xbox Live charges me $60 a year to game online. PS 3 and Wii U are free to game online. But the new Wii U still doesn’t have a lot of games available, so PS 3 has a big edge.
It’s also silly Xbox makes me buy excess credits (rather than letting me use a credit card) to buy TV shows and games. Plus, every year, my rechargeable Xbox controller battery dies.
I’m not vilifying Xbox. I love gaming on it. It’s just that now I’m officially a PS 3 fanboy.
2. I’ve been playing a great game for kids called “Scribblenauts Unlimited.” But since I am an adult man, I’m finding it difficult to play the whole kiddie thing.
So I’m not writing a full review, but I’m recommending it to parents of young kids.
You portray a little dude who solves puzzles to help his sister get rid of a dumb curse.
This side-scrolling puzzler is very cool for kids. You type an adjective and a noun, such as “humongous devil,” and that thing comes to life on the screen. Pretty amazing.
There are 41 levels. And more than 100,000 words come to life as objects right on the screen, from “polka-dotted” and “janitor” to “zombie” and beyond.
3. Next week, I’m giving you my Top 10 games of 2012 for more holiday gift-buying ideas. But don’t forget you can buy old masterpieces too, such as these below.
Old greats available for both Xbox 360 and PS 3: “Mass Effect Trilogy,” “Deus Ex: Human Revolution,” “L.A. Noir,” “Resident Evil 4,” “Battlefield 3,” “Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution,” “Just Cause 2,” “Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days” and “Afro Samurai.”
Available only for PS 3: “God of War Saga,” “Uncharted 2,” “Uncharted 3” and “Infamous 2.”
Available only for Xbox 360: “Alan Wake,” “Fable III,” and the first three “Halos.”
Top games for the new PS Vita: “Uncharted: Golden Abyss” and “Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational.”
Top games for 3DS: “Super Mario 3D Land,” “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D” and “Mario Kart 7.”
And top games for the new Wii U: “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” and “Scribblenauts Unlimited.”
4. If I didn’t already own Sony’s new Pulse Elite headphones ($150), that’s what I would want as a luxury present. These rechargeable headphones (with microphone) sound crystal clear. They work wirelessly off a USB connector on your PS 3, PC or Mac for games and music. I’m listening to music on them now as I write this. They’re incredible.
(“Scribblenauts Unlimited” by Warner Home Video Games retails for $60 for Wii U, 3DS and PC — Plays fun. Looks good. Fairly easy. Rated “E 10+” for cartoon violence and comic mischief. N/A out of four stars.)
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Doug Elfman is an entertainment writer for the Las Vegas (NV) Review-Journal. Contact him at DElfman@reviewjournal.com