Note from Editor Mike: As we embark on a new console generation, many people’s go-to gifts are related to these fancy systems. What about those left behind however? We live in a time when it’s easy AND affordable to play retro games on pretty much any system. Here are some suggestions for the games of Christmas Past with this section of the Holiday Gift Guide.
Replay: The History of Video Games, Recommended By Scott
The History of Video Games Replay is a brilliant account of the history of video games. Tristan Donovan takes a slight different tact then many other historical accounts, with a greater focus on people and culture then technology. Aside from usual history, video game crash, Nintendo’s rise, etc. There are chapters on less known European history. The U.K., Spain, France, and others all get some love during their 8-bit computer eras. Anyone who is interested in video game history would do well to check this book out.
The Ouya is a console that is developer and homebrew friendly. It was made for those of you out there that enjoy to play a bit of everything and actually want to do it on a console hooked up to your that big TV mounted in the living room. It is also the cheapest of the new consoles this year, so if you are looking for a good retro friendly deal this year, put the Ouya under your tree so you can open it up and play a bit of Towerfall with the family. Bonus points for the white model only because it looks like the love child between a Gamecube and Dreamcast.
When Anodyne came out, I was a bit surprised by it. Made to look similar to classic Gameboy Color games like Link’s Awakening or Oracle of Seasons, Anodyne takes some of those themes and just ran with it. It’s a bit crazy, but it most certainly encapsulates the nostalgia of those Zelda games while turning it on its head.
Ducktales: Remastered, Recommended By JC
I know, I know, the whole “retro-revival” thing is so played out at this point that nobody even care’s when a game as rare as Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure gets the HD treatment. However, there was one release this past year that got the attention of many forlorn gamers once more; DuckTales: Remastered. Pretty much a near perfect and faithful port of the NES fan-favorite, DuckTales makes the perfect gift for anybody who’s still living in the 90’s, complete with that oh-so-memorable themesong in check. Plus, Capcom recently put the game out in a new retail version, so no worries about trying to somehow wrap up a digital copy (believe me, I’ve tried). Now, there’s nothing new in this retail version, but if you know anyone who grew up loving Disney, Capcom, classic platformers, or, well, ducks, then DuckTales: Remastered makes for the perfect stocking stuffer—just make sure to pair it with a longer game, since the game is short enough to be beaten in less than a week by skilled gamers.
Organ Trail, Recommended By Yami
This throwback with a twist by the indie devs The Men Who Wear Many Hats, Organ Trail, will surely put a smile on any retro gamer’s face. Basically, it’s Oregon Trail, with a zombie apocalypse as the setting. How awesome is that? Very, I know, and it’s cheap, too!
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, Recommended By Chris
When Microsoft fled the Amazon marketplace, it meant that gifting digital content had to once again fall fully on Steam. Then Sony decided to try their hand partially at it this year and it has somewhat set a precedent. This is the first time in 13 years that you have had the opportunity to gift somebody a copy of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment for less than $10. Don’t question that. You know its true. Now go forth and spread Shin Megami Tensei to the masses like a virus.
There are plenty of great new games out there to shop for this holiday season. Yet your gamer still has that wall of old consoles set up right next to the brand new Xbox One. If that is your gamer, then go get a brand new Dreamcast game. Developer NG:Dev are dedicated to expanding the life of the dreamcast and have done so with their newest game NEO XYX. It is something that is unique and special enough to really make a lasting impression on them this Holiday season.
You can pre-order NEO XYX in a bundle with the company’s other Dreamcast games, but I will caution you that they are shooting for a December 16th release. This does ship internationally so if it’s cutting it close, be advised.
Note from Editor Mike: As you can see, there are tons of oldies and goodies available for your loved ones. Remember, having a video gamey holiday doesn’t have to mean spending hundreds of dollars on shiny new tech when there is a treasure trove of classic titles out there. Alright, jump back to the Holiday Gift Guide intro post to check out our other categories!