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Gamer Tuesday

December 18, 2012

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: A Letter to Santa Claus (Or a Very Clever Disney Video Game Gift Guide)

Dear Santa Claus:

Hi! It's me, Pedro 'Pap' Hernandez! First off, I want to thank you for the many years of presents. Sometimes it can be hard to find the stuff I ask for at times, but you never disappoint. For that I thank you. This year, though, I am not writing to ask for stuff for myself. I want to do something more special this year, and far more into the spirit to the season: I am writing on behalf of my Gamer Tuesday readers. You see, all of them have been very nice this year, supporting Gamer Tuesday and the rest of the Days of the Week articles and its authors for over 100 weeks straight! I want to pay them back and hopefully you are the right man for the job.

Epic Mickey 2

As you may know, Nintendo released the Wii U last November. The latest Nintendo system is a high definition machine that uses a gamepad with a touch screen in the middle for unique gameplay experiences. I am sure that many children have asked you for it this Christmas. If there are any Disney fans on your list that want a Wii U, you should give them along with their new Wii U Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. The sequel to 2010's Epic Mickey, the sequel picks up where the first game ended: peace has returned to the Wasteland, a land created for forgotten Disney characters, ideas, worlds and stories. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit has reunited with his sweetheart Ortensia and made peace with Mickey Mouse after years of bitterness and resentment. Unfortunately, peace doesn't last long, and a new threat looms over Wasteland. Players can now have Oswald as part of their team in addition to Mickey's magic paintbrush, all characters now have full voices and they even sing! Of course, in case you can't find any Wii U consoles (they are in short supply after all), Epic Mickey 2 has also been released for the original Wii, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360!

Epic Mickey 2

If you are planning on leaving behind nifty accessories for the game, these Wii and Wii U Nunchuck attachments will be a delight. While not necessary to enjoy Epic Mickey 2, these accessories are likely to engage players with the quirky narrative of the game. Players can enjoy either Mickey's paintbrush or Oswald's clicker. They also light up!

Gamer Tuesday Epic Mickey 2

Portable gaming is also very popular with both kids and adults. Whether through a traditional portable handheld system or a mobile device, games are the best way to kill time while on the move or waiting in line (like on Toy Story Mania if you fail to acquire a FastPass). One of these is the Nintendo 3DS, the latest Nintendo handheld which features 3D visuals without the need for glasses. I bring it up because an Epic Mickey game has been released on it! Titled Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, the game is a in-spirit follow up to the classic Castle of Illusion games on the Genesis. The game is a 2D platformer with emphasis on exploration. Mickey Mouse can travel through the castle and explore Disney themed worlds and rescue characters like the Beast, Rapunzel, and even Scrooge McDuck!

Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

On the 3DS there is also Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. I spent an entire year talking about the first game in the series here on Gamer Tuesday. There are a lot of Kingdom Hearts fans out there like me eager to try the next game in the series. If you leave a copy of this game on their stocking they will forever be happy.

Where's My Water?

Speaking of mobile games, I bet that alongside toys you have several tablets and mobile devices to give out as presents. Those can play games too. In the last couple of years, mobile gaming has become a huge deal thanks to games like Angry Birds. Disney has entered the mobile gaming realm with Where's My Water?, a puzzle game in which you guide water to Swampy the Alligator's tub. The game has been a hit for Disney, to the point where it was rumored that the main character would appear as a meet and greet character at the Disney water parks! There is also a Phineas and Ferb version titled 'Where's my Perry?', too! So if an iPad or compatible mobile device is to be under the tree this year, let the recipients know that Where's My Water? Is not to be missed.

Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure

Nice boys and girls know the importance of staying healthy and being active, even when playing video games. If on your list is a Kinect camera for the Xbox 360, you should give them one of these two games: Kinect Disneyland Adventures and Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure. Both of these games use the Kinect motion sensor camera to get players to get up and move around in order to complete the various mini games and challenges. Kinect Disneyland Adventures takes players to the happiest place on Earth in a beautiful digital representation. They can meet characters, get their autographs and complete missions based on the iconic Disney theme park attractions. As for Kinect Rush, players are placed in the middle of the some of the best Pixar adventures ever, like Toy Story, Cars, Up and many more. If your desire is for boys and girls to have a more physicaly active lifestyle, you can't go wrong with these games and the Kinect.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean

I must warn you about two games you must not leave under the tree, though. These are Brave: The Video Game and Wreck-It Ralph: The Video Game. Both are based on very awesome Disney movies with some of the most fascinating Disney characters yet. But even with the rich worlds and characters, the developers did a poor job of creating a captivating gameplay experience. It's a good chance that many kids will ask for both of these games because they just love the movies so much. What game can you replace them with? Easy, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean. Even if the game has been out for a year, it does something both Brave and Wreck-Ralph failed to do: pay homage to a great series with fantastic gameplay. Plus you can't go wrong with LEGO, especially the games. It is also on every gaming system available. May I also suggest leaving them a note saying to rent these games out before asking for them?

Actually, that's a good thing to give to a kid this Christmas. Games are, unfortunately, rising in costs, and parents often can't afford them. Services like GameFlyoffer video game rentals through the mail. By signing up and paying a monthly fee, players can rent any game and keep them as long as they want and return them free of charge. That way, parents can pick the games they want their kids to play without having to commit 40 to even 60 bucks per game. I am sure they will appreciate the gesture if you leave them a GameFly subscription behind.

This is but a small sample of the things you can give to my dear readers and their children. Knowing you, you have even more ideas for Disney video game presents, but hopefully these suggestions of mine will make anyone's Christmas morning the best ever. I, however, understand that what matters is that we spend our time together as family, and use this opportunity to show good will towards your fellow man. Presents are always nice, but the joy of the holiday season lies in the love we feel towards friends and family.

Thank you so much Santa for all your hard work, and for making so many children around the world so happy.

Pedro 'Pap' Hernandez


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