8 Great Gaming Gifts this Christmas

Seven more sleeps until Christmas day is upon us once again. This wonderful day brings so much joy around the world. What it also brings is a lot of disappointment when gamers wake up to realise they have been gifted Devil’s Third or even the unthinkable Tony Hawks Pro Skater 5.

So, if you are still struggling to find a present for that lovable gamer in your life, then maybe these eight items will help keep them sufficed. All products below were found from myself scouting the internet combined with some personal items I have or wish to own one day. Hope this helps with your shopping woes.

Amiibo 

Any collectors or fans of Nintendo’s many IP’s would be delighted to receive a figure of their favorite character. Whether it’s Mario, Link, Pikachu, Samus, Fox or Marth, it’s very likely they’ll have a figure. Scan them into your Wii U for added content or just display them to make your friends jealous. With over 50 in the Super Smash Bros line, you may end up regretting the first one.

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Hyrule Historia

Zelda fans rejoiced once Nintendo agreed to shed some light on the infamous timeline. With Hyrule Historia, there was finally confirmation of when The Legend of Zelda games actually took place and, most importantly, in what order. For a detailed analysis on this, as well as how some of the greatest entries came about, this is a must for followers of the series.

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Milk Chocolate Games Controller 

A great stocking filler. A game controller completely made out of milk chocolate is sure to bring a smile to any sweet-tooth lovers. Slightly expensive for chocolate at around £3.99, but terrific for the presentation. Remember to brush your teeth afterwards.

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Pac-Man Ghost Light

Are you afraid of the dark? Well, fear no more as this Pac-Man ghost light will brighten up any room. With the feature to change into six different colors, this retro gift is a winner.

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Subscription to Loot Crate

The gift that keeps on giving. To keep any gamer happy all year round, how about giving them a subscription to Loot Crate? Every month, subscribers will receive a crate full of gaming goodies ranging from T-shirts to toys and every month is different. A bonus is that usually these products are exclusive to the company.

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First4Figures

For those willing to spend more than average, you could treat someone to a limited-edition figure. These statues are beautifully hand-crafted and completely unique to the industry. Including some some of the biggest franchises in gaming, you have Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Castlevania, Street Fighter, Legend of Zelda and Megaman. These hot collectibles tend to not hang around very long, so if you want one you better look for announcements and pre-order dates.

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Question Block Lamp

Ever wanted to punch a lamp? Well, now you can with this Super Mario Bros inspired Question Block lamp from 8BitLit. Just like in the Mario world you punch the bottom of the block to make it light up. Perfect nostalgic fun for any gaming room.

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Latest Video Games

So, this one should be obvious, but with an array of releases like Star Wars: Battlefront, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Super Mario Maker and Fallout 4, there is plenty on offer to keep your console busy for months. Shooter fans pick Star Wars. RPG fans wanting to devote hundreds of hours; Fallout 4 is perfect for you. Love adventure? Tomb Raider is right up your street. Finally, for creators everywhere, Super Mario Maker is waiting.


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So there you have eight gaming Christmas presents. Hopefully this will help with your decision making. What do you think is a great gaming present this Christmas? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.

Merry Christmas from Vgamerz

 

This Cat Mario Statue Looks Meow

Meow. This statue does look purr-dy. Now that we have the obligatory cat puns out of the way,high-end makers of quality statues First4Figures have revealed their latest creation. Here we have Cat Mario straight out of 2013’s Super Mario 3D World. When Mario grabs one of the super bell power-ups, he instantly gains the power of a cute, agile cat. With these new skills he can run at a quick speed on all fours whilst also be able to scamper up any walls in his way.

Standing at 15 inches tall, the figure comes in three different versions. Firstly you have the “Lucky Cat Mario Exclusive” ($399.99) which comes with an empty question block with a lucky bell power-up on top. This extremely limited version is made from quality polystone resin then combined with an eye-catching gold finish that represents what happens when he turns into Golden Statue Mario. The much sought-after feline is limited to 125 pieces worldwide and, at the time of writing, this is sadly sold out. However, there is a waiting list that you can sign up for.

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Other versions of the statue can still be bought that include exclusive and standard. The “Cat Mario Exclusive” ($259.99) limited to 750 pieces again comes with the empty question block and the lucky bell above. However, it lacks the golden finish. The “Cat Mario” standard ($209.99) on the other hand is a bit more forgiving with 2000 pieces available, however, the statue comes alone. This is the second figure in the Super Mario Series so if you managed to pick up “Tanooki Mario” you are entitled to the same model number.

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Lucky Cat Mariohere

Exclusive Cat Mariohere

Cat Mariohere

What do you think of this latest figure? Will you be purr-chasing one? Leave us a comment below to tell us your thoughts?

Super Mario Sunshine Needs a Remake

Super Mario

Super Mario

It bothers me that everyone wants an HD remake of Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2. We just had those, what’s the rush? You slide those games into either your Wii or Wii U and they still look great! They don’t even run in native 1080p but they look like they do! If there must be an HD remake of any Mario game, may I allow myself to lay down money on it being Super Mario Sunshine?

Let me explain, I have a theory that every other Nintendo console is really the fruit of the labor of the previous console. NES had a few greats, but a lot of them were so bad that no one would dare pick them up today. Then the SNES came out, and took everything from the NES and made it better. Because of that, the SNES became arguably the best console ever. After SNES, the N64 came about, and just about every game was a technology test, making a lot of games rough around the edges. Think back to the N64 and think about how much of them really hold up well. Not much, right? The only ones I can think of are Banjo-Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and Pokemon Snap. Every other game that was good at the time was remade into a better version on a different console. Honestly the N64 controller is one of the worst controllers known to man, so being updated to any current console with a modern controller already makes the games better. Starfox 64, Ocarina of Time, Mario 64, and Majora’s Mask, all of these have superior remakes on a different console. Even Conker got remade, and while I never played the updated version, it’s a safe assumption that the controls were better.

So, after the awkward era that was the N64, came the Gamecube. This is when Nintendo really knew how to properly make fantastic 3D games, but everyone seemed to hate them at the time. That’s because Nintendo dared to try something new with their franchises. Zelda got a visual overhaul that made it look like a cartoon. Star Fox became an adventure game with dinosaurs. Metroid became a third person shooter. Kirby became a racing game. And Mario? He got a water powered jet pack. These drastic changes really put off a lot of people, even though all of them are arguably great games. Even Star Fox Adventures I think people would love if it didn’t have “Star Fox” in the title.

So, what does this all have to do with an HD remake of Sunshine? Just about everything. I am fully willing to admit that Sunshine was one of my first 3D games, so I inherently have nostalgia goggles on it. However, even with those goggles, I still have fun every time I play it. Every year, I pop in Sunshine at one point or another because it’s a fun game. Recently I even played through the entirety of the game and it still holds up. It’s a beautiful game with challenging, precise, platforming. It holds up surprisingly well, way better than Mario 64 and on par with both Galaxy games. However, the reason why Sunshine deserves a remake over the other games is because not many people got the chance to play it.

Gamecube was one of the least successful Nintendo consoles that still managed to make profit. Compared to the Wii, the Gamecube was a huge flop. Because of that, not many people got to play Gamecube games. To get more people to play this wonderful game, Sunshine needs to get the Wind Waker HD treatment. A slight graphical upgrade and maybe evening out levels  so the difficulty spike isn’t as noticeable (I’m looking at you, pachinko machine level!)

With those minor tweaks and a release on either 3DS, Wii U, or even the upcoming NX, this game would almost be a guaranteed hit.

The VGamerZ Monster Files: The Boos (Super Mario)

Super Mario

Oh yes indeed. Everybody knows these cheeky buggers. They’re gaming’s most adorable ghosts, with their hiding-faces-in-their-hands-like-a-three-year-old shenanigans. The last thing you’d ever expect to KILL YOU RIGHT IN THE FACE.

Don’t turn your back on them!

The Boos made their first appearance in Super Mario Bros. 3. Back then, their official name was the puntacular ‘Boo Diddleys,’ and they’d dwell in the dark levels of World 8. From this inaugural encounter, all of the Boos’ trademarks were in place: they hide like big girls when you look at them, they careen murdererously at your face when you don’t, they’re pretty well impervious to attack, and they’re just all-round ghostly pains in our big ol’ Italian butts.

Later, with Super Mario World, they learnt a new trick. There, they were found within not-so-fiendish Ghost Houses. These twisty-turny, deceptive levels were packed with hidden doors and dead ends, and more of those freaking Boos. The little buggers loved to fly around your cranium in formation, safe in the knowledge that your standard jump right on their darn faces combat tactics wouldn’t work at all.

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The plucky poltergeists’ finest hour came in Luigi’s Mansion. This Gamecube launch title saw them dethrone the mighty Bowser as antagonist, and their king kidnap Mario himself. The underlings were safely ensconsed in the mansion’s rooms, detectable only by use of Luigi’s radar attatchment. They couldn’t fight as such, but did have a knack for tricking you and trying to blow your dumbass moustache off with a Boo-shaped bomb.

On ocassion, the Boos will stop their dastardly antics and join the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom in some sports. They’ve appeared in such spin-offs as Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix and Mario Tennis. In a sneakier capacity, of course, such as the Tricky class of tennis player (able to bend the ball like a racquet-flailing David Beckham), but they are there.

The devious dudes have become more iconic, and more central to the series, over the years. In the Mario Galaxy games, our hero is given a new power-up which transforms him into one. As you nonchalantly cruise through that first wall as Boo Mario, you realise how awesome it is to be one of those tiny ghosts.

Is it Really the Best Game Ever? #2: Super Mario Galaxy

Super Mario

In the last installment, we admired The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. There were collective oohs and aahs, like super mario, we were attending some kind of nerdly gaming fireworks display. Because Ocarina is just that beloved by players and critics.

Not all of them, naturally. It’s impossible to please everybody in any walk of life, perhaps especially the gamertastic (you know the philosophy of the Internet, I whine, therefore I am, after all). But we’re looking at the most celebrated games here, and the best-reviewed of all time –according to gamerankings.com– is Super Mario Galaxy.

The hype was strong with this one, there’s no doubt about that. This much ballyhooed Wii release was Mario’s first for the system, and it had the full force of the franchise to live up to. Super Mario 64 was among the most prestigious platformers ever made, and was the game that thrust our ol’ moustache buddy into the third dimension. But hell, that’s a classic for another day. All we’re concerned with just now is: how do you top that?

The N64 launch game added a liberating sense of scale and freedom, with its big ol’ mountain slides and vast castle hub. The Gamecube’s Super Mario Sunshine was quite the curve ball, sending us a-platformin’ across the verdant tropical paradise of Isle Delfino. Thinking big has been the key for the series’ designers.

And what’s even bigger, more ambitious, than these huge worlds? Outer darn space, that’s what. Because if a world is vast, a galaxy must be vast..erer.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Wasn’t this a sight during the previews/screenshot/sneak peeks phase? Prior to its release in November 2007, there was a lot of anticipation about this odd new direction Mario was taking. The Mushroom Kingdom was nowhere to be seen. The hub would be the Comet Observatory, from which we would transported to planets, moons and satellites across the cosmos. It was all shiny and new and exciting.

After all, Mario has only rudimentary knowledge of space travel. It isn’t his domain at all, as the franchise hasn’t really ventured into that area before. Beyond the fleeting Space Zone in Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Golden Coins, that is. You would think it’d be an idea at odds with the games’ legendarily brightly coloured, toon-tinged funtimes. The endless black bleaky blackness of space is an odd fit in this vibrant cartoon world.

But wow, does that juxtaposition work. It’s rather a gimmicky concept, and running across those rotate-y planets and asteroids is a strange feeling at first. But then you’ll encounter the giant goombas on the supersized world, or the thwomps, and you’ll wonder why they didn’t think of this before. As is the case with the other 3D games in the series, there are no ‘levels’ as such. Instead, you are exploring the same locations with a different objective, and this is the key to Galaxy’s success.

Whatever you may think of Super Mario, the quality of its platformery –because that’s a thing– is pretty well unrivalled. As the genre goes, they are always polished to a delightfully shiny shine. What Galaxy did was literally take this to a place the series had never been before, and try to enhance that sense of wonderment, grandeur, freedom and plain fun the mascot stands for.

It will only take your first joyful journey on a Launch Star to see that they succeeded.