Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone here at zazenlife.com!
So, you or someone you love got a new PC or console as a gift, and you’re not sure what to get them? Never fear, your resident nerd, phdinweed is here.
This is a picture of a PC.
As popular as consoles are, true gamers know that you cannot beat a high-end PC for the richest gaming experience. That being said, the games listed below do not require a high-level PC to run. Have a question as to whether a game will run on your rig or not? Check here. I got my last three custom rigs from CyberPower, and have had nothing but positive experiences with them. If you’re in the market for a PC, you cant go wrong with them. Below are some of my favorite PC games of all time, all at value prices!
Dungeons and Dragons Classic Anthology
What can I say about this collection? It features some of my favorite games of all time: Baldur’s Gate and its expansion, Tales of The Sword Coast, Baldur’s Gate 2 and its expansion, Throne of Bhaal, and Icewind Dale I and II. It also features the critically acclaimed Planescape: Torment. The Temple of Elemental Evil is also included, but unless they polished it prior to releasing this multi-pack, I wouldn’t even bother installing it. Buggy as heck. A warning to anyone who is expecting to be blown away by 3D graphics and/or button mashing combat: these are not the games for you. These games were released over 10 years ago. The selling point on these games is their depth of story, character development, and excellent background music. If you (or the nerd in your life) like Dungeons and Dragons, you cannot go wrong with this! Conservatively 200+ hours of gameplay for about 2o bucks! Rated T for Teen.
Dungeons and Dragons Neverwinter Nights The Complete Collection
The next generation in Dungeons and Dragons games, Neverwinter Nights Complete Collection includes the original Neverwinter Nights and all its expansions, as well as Neverwinter Nights 2 and all its expansions. Gone is the 6-member party of the earlier games: you’ll be adventuring either by yourself or with one other companion. The graphics are a step up from the Baldur’s Gate games, and the story and music are excellent. The first custom PC I bought was specifically purchased to play Neverwinter Nights, and I wasn’t disappointed. This baby will give you about 150 hours of gameplay for less than 30 bucks! Ratings vary from T-M.
Diablo Battlechest [new version]
Get ready for the 2012 release of Diablo 3 with this bundle of Diablo II and its expansion, Lord of Terror. Features countless hours of hack-and slash fun. Play as the Amazon, Necromancer, Sorceress, Paladin, Barbarian, Druid, or Assassin, each with their own skills, abilities, and items. Plus, you can take the fight online with up to seven of your friends via Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment’s free online gaming service. Find games, trade, and compete in regional ladders during ongoing seasonal competitions. A solid value for under 30 dollars! Rated M.
A favorite of casual gamers, the Wii has some impressive titles not to be overlooked.
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo Selects)
Everyone’s favorite plumber returns in this truly breathtaking 3D platformer. Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach (again) and taken her castle into space! As Mario, you must navigate through a host of different galaxies populated with all new enemies and containing all new power-ups and attacks! If there is a must-have game on the Wii, this is it! You can’t go wrong for under 20 bucks! Rated E for everyone.
Disney Epic Mickey
Disney Epic Mickey is an action-adventure platforming game for Wii console that sends Mickey Mouse on an epic journey of creativity and discovery. As Mickey, the player is propelled into Wasteland, an alternate world made up of Disney’s forgotten creative efforts, and is given the power to wield paint and paint thinner to dynamically change the world while determining Mickey’s path to becoming an epic hero. Through the use of this unique paint and paint thinner, the key components of animation and Mickey’s tools for impacting his world, players will have the ability to shape how the story unfolds as they discover the concept of “Playstyle Matters“ – an innovative style of gameplay created by Disney Interactive Studios’ Junction Point, led by industry luminary Warren Spector, where players creatively tackle different challenges in the world to explore all the possibilities and storylines – but with consequences for their chosen actions. This game won “Best Wii Game of 2010″ and “Best Platforming Game of 2010″ at E3. For under 20 bucks, you can’t lose! Rated E for Everyone.
Sure to be a crowd pleaser, the Playstation 3 by Sony includes a blu-ray player and stunning HD graphics which make it a must-have for any home entertainment system.
God of War: Collection
God of War III
I’m sure everyone who owned a Playstation 2 played God of War and God of War 2. Even if you have, it’s worth picking up the God of War Collection to the the games re-rendered in stunning HD quality! You can pick up God of War 3 as well. Your total for all 3 games is less than 50 bucks! Who wouldn’t want to immerse themselves in Ancient Greek Mythology and battle creatures such as Medusas, Hydras, and even fighting gods themselves! White-knuckle combat and thought-provoking puzzles abound in this Playstation exclusive. All are rated M.
Stunning HD graphics, a bevy of exclusive content, and the Microsoft name all combine to make the Xbox 360 a multimedia powerhouse!
In a nutshell, this is the best console game I have ever played. Set in a dystopian underwater city called Rapture that brings to mind the Art Deco 1940′s, it is inhabited by genetically modified “splicers”, and the villian could very will be seen to be based upon the writings of Ayn Rand. The level design, voice acting, and storyline culminate in what is, to date for me, the ultimate video gaming experience. One of the very few games that could be considered art. I literally jumped out of my chair on multiple occasions. Best played in the dark. Very, very literate, and also very profane and violent. This one earned its M rating. Ridiculous that this good of a game is available for less than 20 bucks.
The Orange Box
Coming in a close second to Bioshock is this beauty, which features Half-Life 2 and its 2 expansions, as well as the multiplayer classic Team Fortress and the amazing puzzle game Portal. As in the original Half-Life, you play the role of MIT PhD Doctor Gordon Freeman, released some 20 years after the Black Mesa incident by the G-man and into a dystopic City 17. Earth has been conquered by aliens, due in part to Freeman’s actions in the first Half-Life.Your character never speaks, which adds to the games appeal, though other inhabitants of the world do speak, and the voice acting is top-notch. The game tells it’s own story and you’re basically along for the ride. The atmosphere of the game is excellent, and somewhat timely, as it paints a familiar world into an Orwellian nightmare. Another gem just waiting to be scooped up for less than 20 bucks! Rated M for graphic Violence and some language.
Batman Arkham Asylum: Game of the Year Platinum Hits
Who doesn’t love the idea of a superhero game? Unfortunately, most of them suck. Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner, Paul Dini, whose credits include “Lost” season one and “Batman: The Animated Series.” As the game begins Batman is personally delivering his nemesis, The Joker, to the asylum at Arkham Island, but he is uneasy. Although the Arkham asylum is well fortified, he has a nagging feeling that all is not well, which proves to be the case when seconds after turning The Joker over to the guards, the master criminal breaks free of his captors. Even more surprising than this quick turn of events is the revelation that it was never The Joker’s intent to escape the vault-like facility, but instead to trap Batman there. Surrounded by an asylum full of dangerous criminals, many of which he put there and all at the beck and call of the Joker, can Batman survive and discover what is behind the Joker’s intricate plot? A nice mix of stealth and combat, along with stunning graphics, creepy level design and excellent voice acting combine to make this game an insane value at less than 20 bucks. Rated T for teen.
I sincerely hope this little guide was worth your time. Don’t forget, follow me on twitter @phdinweed. Happy Holidays!