Note from Editor Chris: Nintendo is, and always has been, the King of holiday shopping. When you think of kids shouting and screaming exstatically while opening their present, it’s usually because that box contained a Nintendo console. Your gamer probably experienced that last year when the Wii U came out, which leaves you at a loss for this year’s gifts. Well here’s a Holiday Gift Guide to follow for those that game with the Wii U.
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Recommended By Terrence
I am a total Zelda geek, having beaten almost every single entry, save for Spirit Tracks. I have fond memories of the original Wind Waker, and the HD remake improves upon an already fantastic adventure with Link. Small gameplay tweaks have made all the difference this time around, not to mention how pretty the upscaled cel-shading looks. Check out Rick‘s video review, he enjoyed it just as much as I did. This was always fairly high on the list of my favorite Zelda games, but I think this HD remake has scored a spot in my top three; though I haven’t played A Link Between Worlds yet…
Super Luigi U, Recommended By Chris
So it wouldn’t be the Year of Luigi if we didn’t highlight Mario’s better half. The new DLC upgrade also comes as a standalone retail title for those that happened to buy a Wii U bundle with Zelda or Skylanders bundle to put under the tree this season instead of a Luigi bundle. It works as a great accompaniment and it’s retailing at $30. If you are looking for a top notch platformer and your Nintendo gamer doesn’t have this already, put it under the tree for them. Nothing like a bit of co-op craziness for Christmas morn.
Super Mario 3D World, Recommended By Chaz
Innovations on the classic Mario franchise and up to four-person simultaneous play, Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U is a great option for parents who want to be involved. Some levels and puzzles are likely beyond most younger gamers, but the safety-bubble mechanic brought in from earlier entries in the franchise keeps the action going. You can read our full review here!
FlingSmash, Recommended By Chris
Everybody needs a 2nd, 3rd or maybe 4th remote come holiday time. Family is in town, the fresh smell of an unboxed console is still wafting through the air, and you have a line of people waiting for their turn to play some Super Luigi U. That is simply unacceptable. Give the gift of that extra controller. I personally recommend tracking down a copy of FlingSmash as you will be getting a game and a controller for your new Wii U at the same price as a standard remote. You can also get Wii Party U or Wii Play Motion, though I found it can be needlessly more expensive.
Pandora’s Tower, Recommended By Chris
There have been too few big JRPGs released this year on consoles. One of the big ones happened to show up on the console that was wandering around on its last legs. Pandora’s Tower was the final Operation Rainfall project and it is retailing now for a cheap $20. Those gamers out there with Wii U’s would be at a loss without Pandora’s Tower in their collection this year.
The Pikmin series is like the weird red-headed stepchild of the family. No spinoffs, the last original concept by Shigeru Miyamoto, stellar remakes on the Wii, and infinite challenge—yet it seems to go unnoticed by the general gaming public. Pikmin 3 was one of the flagship titles for the system when the Wii U was announced, and its still one of the best must-have titles. The game also feels like it demands to be in HD with its tiny characters on a huge playing field, so if anyone receives this a gift with their brand new holiday Wii U, it will definitely help make the system all that much more new and special. As an added bonus, the co-op modes are phenomenal, so this is one game that the whole family can play instead of just sitting on the sidelines and watching silently while downing yet another quart of lukewarm eggnog.
Lego Marvel Superheroes, Recommended By Chaz
Price: $49.99 (Also available on Next Gen consoles, 3DS, Wii U, PS3, and PC)
The wonderful Muaz wrote up a review of this game from an adult perspective, but just like other entries in Traveller’s Tales LEGO franchise, it’s great for kids and parents alike. Two-player drop-in multiplayer makes it easy to play together or solo, and the familiar characters and playful mechanics keep things going long after the story is completed.
Batman: Arkham Origins, Recommended by Alex
Price: $59.99 (Also available on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3)
Nothing will ever make you as cool as being Batman. So Warner Bros. has given fans yet another chance to play as the Dark Knight in Arkham Origins. Here you’ll play as an early-career Batman as he fights through one of the most dangerous Christmas Eves he’s ever faced. Along the way you’ll see how Batman meets some of his craziest and most iconic villains. You’ll get to explore the biggest Gotham the Arkham series has ever presented and immerse yourself in a story that will be sure to keep your jaw on the ground. Check out our review here!
Note from Editor Chris: Remember to enjoy the holiday seasons with the ones you love. Gather them by the fire, plug in a bit of Super Luigi U, and enjoy the company! Head back to our Holiday Gift Guide intro post for more categories!