This week I’ve decided to go a different route than usual. Instead of writing another top ten list as I mentioned last week (that and I’m trying to hold off my top ten games of 2011 as long as possible as I’m still in the middle of playing some) and with the holidays around the corner I’m sure many of you are still trying to figure out what to get that special someone. You know, the significant other who does enjoy gaming on occasion. Why not get something that the both of you can enjoy!
So this week I’m going to give you a list of current generation games that you and your girlfriend or wife can enjoy together! For this list I had got some special consultation from my much prettier half for games she enjoys playing with me or even on her own.
Also, I’m only going to include games I’ve played on this list. It wouldn’t be fair for me to fire off recommendations if I haven’t actually played the game there’s a chance a few well-loved titles will be omitted. If so fire off your recommendations in the comments below!
So let’s get started!
Rayman: Origins (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)
What a fun little game this is, and a very pretty one to boot. This game may be under people radars with other games like Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim taking all of the spotlight but I can’t praise it enough. It’s a throwback to the old-school platformers of from the NES and SNES era.
Rayman: Origins starts off simple enough. You have very basic abilities: Run and jump. As you pregress your moveset gets upgraded. You’ll gain the ability to slap enemies (or even your partner), hover, run up walls and shrink into smaller spaces. These abilities will help you access hidden areas and find hidden chests for those aiming for 100% completion.
Also through into the mix are 2D shooter stages where Rayman and his buddies hop aboard giant mosquitoes. These fun little sections help break up all the hand-cramping plat forming and trust me… your hands will cramp up after awhile.
Rayman also has 2-4 player local co-op (sorry, no online though) similar to New Super Mario Bros. Wii. If a player gets hurt they turn into a buddle and it’s up to the other players to save them (again, much like Mario Bros. Wii). While having four people on the screen can be way too much at times (especially late in the game) two players is the perfect number as a second person can really help you get to those hidden secrets as well as aid against death.
A word of caution though: The further you progress through the game the more frustrating it gets. This may deter many significant others off from the game once you get close to the end as it becomes very unforgiving, especially the levels where you have to chase down runaway treasure chests. They’re extremely fast paced and can cause a more casual gamer to simply give up due to frustration of playing the same section 20 times over. If your lady is like this I recommend playing these levels solo.
Even with the difficulty being ramped up at the end I highly recommend Rayman: Origins. If your lady’s a more experienced gamer and has patience to replay certain sections repeatedly after multiple deaths then pick this game up.
You Don’t Know Jack (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)
The classic trivia game returned earlier this year and it’s still as fun as ever. If you had a PC in the mid-to-late 90s then you most likely played You Don’t Know Jack.
The newest game continues this tradition of wacky but fun trivia. Even if your little lady’s a trivia guru (like mine is) everyone will stumble on questions just due to the way some are phrased. To do well at this game you first need to play a few rounds and then you’ll be hooked and laughing all the way.
A fun new feature which seems to get everyone jacked for every in-game episode (pun intended) is the Wrong Answer of the Game. At the start of each game episode the game’s host, Cookie Masterson will hint at a particular wrong answer in one of the 10 questions in the episode with a game “advertiser”.
Let’s say, for example he’ll say the wrong answer of the game is brought to you by the Pope’s Crucifix Polisher. While you progress through the episode keep that note in mind as the wrong answer may have something to do with the pop, a cross, a crucifix etc. If a person finds the wrong answer of the game they get a “prize” from Cookie as well as a significant money boost which will most likely put you into the lead.
There are about 70 episodes in the game and once you complete them all, that’s it. There’s some DLC available to help extend the game’s life but once you finish it all that’s it unless you want to replay to get all achievements/trophies. But considering you can easily find You Don’t Know Jack for $20-$30 it’s the perfect price for this fun trivia game.
Scene It: Box Office Smash (Xbox 360)
While there are a few Scene It videogames out there, I think the best is Box Office Smash. There are a few reasons for this:
1) Your in-game character is you Xbox Live avatar. It’s a fun to actually play a game as your avatar and watch it dance around after winning a round while others mope around.
2) The game is online enabled. While I’m sure the online community is long dead (which is a shame) if you do have some friends who own the game you can get them online for a couch vs. couch online movie trivia marathon!
3) The questions seem to more varied and broken up. What I mean by this is you can play for hours and not come across a question you’ve already answered. This at least happened when we first played. You will eventually come across a duplicate question after several hours but, at least from my experience, by then you’ll have forgotten the answer. Your lady will probably remember though… they always seem to remember…
I could go on but really this is one of the best movie trivia games I’ve ever played (if not the best). They have a bundle which includes four wireless buzzer controllers. While they’re not necessary they do add to the fun I find. There’s also a DLC pack for the game which will set you back another $5 but it adds new question types.
If you have a lady who’s seen a lot of movies this is a fun way to get her into gaming. Just don’t feel too bad if she beats you at it. I know mine is amazing at the game and when we have friends over it’s more of a battle for second place than first because really… there’s no point. She’s too good at the game.
Little Big Planet (PS3)
A simple little platformer with unlimited possibilities. From the very get go she’ll love the cute-little sackboy (or sackgirl) characters. Then you can show her she can customize her little sackperson with all kinds of ridiculous clothing, colors etc. to make it extra cute or silly.
The platforming, while a bit floaty, is really simple and anyone with experience playing these types of games will be able to dive right in without any problem. The main hook of the game is there’s pretty much an unlimited amount of content. If you do complete the main game there’s still a plethora of user-generated levels to play. Or, if she’s feeling adventurous enough get her to try building her own level using the extremely deep level editor.
While I do know Little Big Planet 2 was released earlier this year I haven’t had a chance to play it yet so I can’t really comment on it. Even so, the Game of the Year Edition of the original Little Big Planet can be found at most gaming outlets for around $20-$30 and it’s a perfect game to get your lady playing over the holidays.
Dr. Mario Online Rx (WiiWare)
Here’s a nice, cheap game ladies seem to love. If you’ve played Dr. Mario before then you’re familiar with the premise. Match the appropriate color pill with the same color virus. Three of the same color will kill the virus. First one to kill all viruses wins. Simple!
While there are NES and SNES versions of the game available the one pm WiiWare is online enabled. Which means if your girlfriend/wife is as good at Dr. Mario as mine is when she’s done whooping you she can jump online for a real challenge (I’m terrible at Dr. Mario by the way). This is a great way to introduce a significant other to online gaming.
Best part is the price: 1000 Wii points (roughly $10). Very affordable classic game which you can compete online against other players around the world!
Castle Crashers (Xbox 360, PS3)
Another affordable yet amazing game. Castle Crashers is a simple beatem-up with very light RPG elements (leveling up abilities as you play). It’s this simplicity which makes it a very fun and addicting game. Hoards of enemies come at you and you just slice and dice your way through them.
While the story itself isn’t very long, the replayability on the other hand is. There are numerous characters to unlock, which in turn have different special abilities which can be leveled, there are many hidden weapons to find, hidden animal buddies to find which offer different character buffs (jump higher, move faster, stronger attacks etc.). Even if you do level your character completely there’s a “hardcore” mode to play which will give any Castle Crasher vet a run for their money difficulty wise.
The price is probably the best part, $15. If your lady is in for some slightly mindless fun then Castle Crashers is a great buy.
Lego Games (All Platforms)
I needed to put these games on the list as the Lego games seem to be the go-to games for the girlfriend or wife of a gamer. They’re very simple puzzle and platforming games based around big-name franchises like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean etc. but there’s just so much to do in them that they keep you very busy for awhile.
First you start off with the barebones Story mode, which retells the franchise through the silent-silliness of Lego people. If you’ve seen the movie the game is based on then you’ll probably find something funny in how it’s retold in Lego. However, if you’re not familiar with it then you’ll be completely lost.
When the story mode is complete though, the games really open up. There are a ton of collectibles to find, characters to unlock, powers and cheats to find, there’s several hours worth of content to find in free play mode.
Each individual level has a certain amount of Lego studs to collect (stubs are the currency in these games which will help you unlock characters and cheats) 10 hidden minikits to find which will add to your stud total. Hidden red blocks which unlock game cheats which can be used to help you through finding all the other hidden collectibles (stud multipliers, minikit detector, red-block detector are examples).
Even after you finish all the collecting there’s typically a few hidden levels which unlock to keep you busy for a little while longer. They really do cram the content into the Lego titles.
Now if you’re interested in picking up one of these games for you and your lady to try out I’m sure you’re wondering which one should you pick up? While they’re all pretty similar it really all comes down to taste. For myself, I thought the first Lego Harry Potter game was the most fun as it differentiated itself from the other titles.
There’s a lot less hand/gun/sword combat, which is replaced with more spell use. Also the puzzles are slightly more complicated than other Lego titles, relying on different potions and character abilities to advance. I haven’t played the second Harry Potter game so I can’t comment on it, but I definitely had the most fun with the first due to its slight gameplay change.
If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck though, go with Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. It’s basically Lego Star Wars 1&2 so you’re getting two games for the price of one. My girlfriend and I have been playing the game on and off for quite awhile now and still are only about 70% complete. This game will take you a long time to beat.
Either way, no matter what your taste there’s probably a Lego game out there you and your little lady can get into. Try them out, the price is right! They can usually be found for $20 new.
Well that’s the list. There are a few games I’m working my way through like the Fable games and New Super Mario Bros. which I wanted to add to the list, but couldn’t give them a fair comment as we haven’t completed them yet. So let us know what games you enjoy playing with your significant other in the comments below!
Article and News Script Written By Mr Black