Previously released buyer’s guides:
COG’s Christmas 2014 Wii U Buyer’s Guide, COG’s Christmas 2014 Xbox One Buyer’s Guide,
COG’s Christmas 2014 Multi-Platform Buyer’s Guide, COG’s Christmas 2014 PC Buyer’s Guide,
COG’s Christmas 2014 Family Games Buyer’s Guide, COG’s Christmas 2014 Accessories Buyer’s Guide,
COG’s Christmas 2014 PS4 Buyer’s Guide
Whether you have a Nintendo 3DS or PS Vita, you might be wondering what games to treat yourself or someone special with this holiday season. If you don’t have either of the handhelds, you might be wondering what games really make the specific handheld worth investing in. Regardless, this buyer’s guide is here to help you reach a decision or at least get you closer to one. Here are some of the best games on the 3DS and PS Vita you can get your hands on.
The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds
Set after the events of Link to the Past which was released in 1991, old fans have the opportunity to go through a nostalgic adventure while experiencing the new features like newer fans to the series. Explore Hyrule’s parallel world cleverly named “Lorule”, and set forth on another expansive and clever journey in the quest to defeat evil and, of course, save princess Zelda. This is a game that can be loved by all, but may be challenging for the younger gamers at some points. Although it’s great if you want to indulge in a new story and venture out to your heart’s content, if you’re looking for a quick and mindless game to seamlessly and merely complete, this is not what you should be looking into. To fully appreciate and understand its complexity, you really have to invest some time and embrace your inner nerd.
For more information on Link Between Worlds, CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW
Being the first two Pokemon games in the main series to be presented fully in 3D and contain some of the most innovative features, Pokemon X and Y are the Pokemon games you want to be getting your hands on. Customize your Pokemon trainer, form bonds with your Pokemon, have your Pokemon mega evolve, and even more features are all packed into this praise-worthy addition to the Pokemon series. It will surprise and excite you if you’ve played past instalments in the main series, and like past instalments, still continues to be welcoming to new players. Great for all ages, but does require a good amount of reading to understand how to progress in the story. Whether you want to catch ‘em all or just go straight to finishing the story, it’s up to you how much time you want to invest in it. However, I did quite enjoy the story and I would (much too often) catch myself playing the game way past the allotted time I initially gave myself. So this is my warning to you: Pokemon is still addicting.
For more information on Pokemon X/Y, CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW
Animal Crossing New Leaf
First landing on the Gamecube in North America in 2004, Animal Crossing has come a long way. While keeping the same concept of your character living in a town full of talking animals that have human-like characteristics, the activities and depth of the characters have improved in the greatest way possible. The game is like an escape from reality – go fishing, bug-catching, interact with your neighbours, and even travel to an island to play mini-games with friends who also have Animal Crossing. The game moves at your own pace so it’s great for people who don’t have an enormous amount of time to spend or just want to lay back and relax without any pressure or frustration. With that said, it is a slow paced game so if you’re looking for some action or craziness this is not the game to be looking at. The charm and appreciation comes in the long run when you have the town all perked up and have it feel like a second home. You’ll be interacting with your neighbours endlessly, wanting to visit your friend’s town, or even look forward to holidays for special events and characters to visit.
For more information on Animal Crossing New Leaf, CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW
Super Smash Bros
Super Smash Bros is the series that is one of the most looked forward to with each new console generation. For this generation, we’ve been given not one, but two versions of the Smash Bros game – one on the 3DS and one on the WiiU. If you don’t have a WiiU and instead have a 3DS, you’re definitely in luck this time around. Like past instalments, this is the series Nintendo brings the majority of their well-known characters all into an epic brawler. Play as Donkey Kong and battle it out with Link, Fox, and Olimar to claim victory. The game is full of action and excitement and is great to obtain high-scores or battle others locally or online. If you also happen to have the WiiU version you can use your 3DS as a controller to play on the big screen locally with your friends allowing up to eight players to play. It’s great for anyone looking for some brawling action and just all the familiar Nintendo faces all together in one game. With things to unlock, people or characters to battle, and just the pure goal of winning it’s a game you won’t want to put down.
For more information on Super Smash Bros, CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW
Indulge in turn-based combat, be a matchmaker, find love, and even have children. Fire Emblem touches on numerous themes and aspects that make this one of my favourite games on the 3DS. With beautiful art, great voice acting, and fitting music to top it off, not only are its features admirable, but also its presentation. You get to create your own personalized character and can change not only your own class but other character’s classes as well throughout the game. The game is fully under your control on who you want to form a relationship with and how you want your party to be structured. If you’re new to turn-based combat, not to worry as it provides tutorials and introduces you to the world at a good pace. DLC brings back scenarios from past Fire Emblem games and is a treat for fans of the series. If you’re into a slower paced combat system, want a challenge, and like seeing how characters interact, this is the game for you.
Persona 4: Golden
A wonderful remake of the original on the PlayStation 2, Persona 4: Golden made its way onto a handheld and does a fine job showing its worth. Set in a Japanese high school with a dynamic group of characters, it has one of the most intense RPG elements and also some clever character interactions and simulation. The game is based on the use of one’s Persona, an entity projected from your inner self, to battle and progress through the story. The story is not something you can expect to complete quickly. Instead, you’re looking at 40+ hours or more to fully complete it. The game is for a more mature audience and implements tougher and deeper mechanics. Not to mention, there’s a ton of reading involved as well. Thus, while this game is amazing, be ready to invest a load of time into it reading, battling, and making some difficult decisions.
Ah, the creations of Media Molecule. Get ready for creativity, quirkiness, and charm all squished and moulded into a little black cartridge. You are literally part of the paper world in Tearaway by tearing into it to help your messenger accomplish a simple goal – reach the sun. Why the sun? Well, it’s you. With the PS Vita camera your face appears in the sun and it’s now your job to watch over your messenger and get them to you. Tearaway is truly a world of no other. One of the best things about Tearaway is the fact that it uses pretty much every useable part of the PS Vita. It’s one of the few games that fully utilizes the PS Vita and shows what it is capable of. If you’re looking for an innovative platformer that will put you in awe and get you utilizing your PS Vita, this is the game you want.
For more information on Tearaway, CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
Another wonderful game that made its way to the PS Vita from the PlayStation 2 is FFX and FFX-2. With some new features included that have never been seen before in North America, it’ll still feel new even if you’ve played through it originally on the PlayStation 2. Not only that, but the one cartridge includes both FFX and FFX-2 which is a heck of a deal. Go through the story of Tidus who gets transported to the world of Spira and meets Yuna and together must defeat the creature named Sin. Also, its sequel, where you follow Yuna two years after the events of FFX. Experience the breathtaking music, story, art, and characters that have been beloved by many on the go right on your PS Vita. It’s a game that’ll keep you busy for quite some time, but it’s definitely well worth it if you can invest into it. If you like rich stories, turn-based combat, and the Final Fantasy series in general, you know what to do.
For more information on Final Fantasy X/X-2, CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW
Yet another home console game making its way to the PS Vita is Muramasa Rebirth. Originally on the Wii it’s a combination of beautiful visuals, some messed up looking creatures, and hacking and slashing fun. Exclusive to the PS Vita version is the DLC that adds four new playable characters for you do some more slashing with. With stories ranging from losing one’s memory to being possessed by a dark spirit, Muramasa Rebirth constructs an interesting framework that makes the story interesting and characters so awesome. Construct blades for your characters and unlock new abilities for some crazy animations. As an eye-pleaser with nonstop action, this is something anyone can pick up and have their way with. Just keep in mind, it might be a bit too much hacking and slashing for the younglings.