Video games for Christmas

In just a weeks’ time it will be Christmas Eve, people! The whiff of Yule is most definitely in the air, Slade is blaring out of every supermarket’s speakers, and high streets up and down the realm are filled with people running around trying to figure out what to stick under the Norwegian spruce. If your loved one is into playing games (not the kinky kind, we mean video games) then you have an additional avenue to explore (again, not in a kinky sense). With three major consoles and two handhelds vying for the attention of the button-pusher in your life, you’re spoiled for choice. So SFX joined up with our buddies over at ComputerAndVideoGames.com to ponder what SF games ought to be bothering your wallet this December:

Xbox 360

Halo 3
"It’s been out since September but Halo 3 remains the Xbox 360’s premier first-person action title, as the Master Chief returns to finish the fight against the Covenant hordes. An involving if fairly brief campaign is extended by some of the hottest multiplayer online action, making Halo 3 a must-own for shooter fans."
SFX Rating:

Mass Effect
"Searing sci-fi space opera from masters of the genre and makers of Knights of the Old Republic, Bioware. A truly epic storyline, deep character development and sumptuous looks make this one of Xbox 360’s most important exclusive titles."
SFX Rating:

Half-Life Orange Box
"An excellent compendium featuring the awesome Half-Life 2, plus expansion packs Episode 1 and Episode 2, cerebral puzzler Portal and the admirable online team-based shooter Team Fortress 2. Exceptional."
SFX Rating:


(also available on PS3 and PC)

Assassin’s Creed
"Ubisoft’s brand new series casts you a stealthy assassin Altair, who fights against both sides to preserve the peace during the third crusade – don't worry, there's a strong SF angle too. Great looks plus splendid free running gameplay make this one of the best new titles of the year."
SFX Rating:


(also available on PS3 and PC)

PlayStation 3

Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
"Insomniac’s splendid platform game was one of the first games to show the PS3’s true potential as Ratchet and his sidekick Clank set out to quash the Cragmite menace, whose despotic emperor has decreed a fatwa on the titular twosome. PS3 shooting and puzzling action at its finest."
[not reviewed in SFX]

Uncharted: Drakes Fortune
"Compelling action adventure from developers Naughty Dog which evokes the spirit of Indiana Jones and the early days of Tomb Raider. A tale of high adventure and derring do, Uncharted mixes tactical shooting, platforming and Hollywood movie-style action scenes to winning effect."
[not reviewed in SFX]

Heavenly Sword
"The poster child of the PS3’s ad campaign isn’t quite up to the standards of the awesome God of War but as a hack n’ slash PS3 stocking filling romp it’s hard to beat. Gorgeous looks and intense combo-tastic swordplay make character Narika into a brand new PS3 heroine."
[not reviewed in SFX]

Nintendo Wii

Super Mario Galaxy
"The little plumber is a true Nintendo icon and the advent of Super Mario Galaxy has helped make the Wii scarcer than a tax collector’s smile. Boasting huge, gorgeous environments, great use of the Wii Remote and an amazing soundtrack, Mario Galaxy soars above the known universe and beyond."
[not reviewed in SFX]

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
"Another Nintendo staple, Samus Aran’s SF adventures continue in the most immersive Metroid yet, with one of the best first person shooter setups we've ever used. With smooth, accurate controls, beautiful environments and immersive puzzles, this is a fitting conclusion to a brilliant trilogy."
[not reviewed in SFX]

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
"Crossing the biggest movie with those little red bricks. What’s not to like? This handy compendium packs all the previous LEGO Star Wars titles into one handy package and is thoroughly recommended for its co-operative pick up and playability and hilarious sense of humour."
SFX Rating:


(also available on Xbox 360 and PC)

Nintendo DS Lite

Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass
"No Nintendo console would be complete without a Zelda game and this superb action adventure has all the hallmarks of a true classic. Innovative touch screen controls, a vast and colourful world to explore and Nintendo’s trademark cuteness make this is an essential selection for your DS collection."
[not reviewed in SFX]

Sony PSP

Wipeout Pulse
"The superior futuristic racing series makes its second outing on PSP and it’s as polished and , challenging as ever. Packed with races, time challenges, speed laps and tournaments, a wealth of online extras and bonus content ensure this is one to quicken your racing pulse."
[not reviewed in SFX]

Thanks again to the guys at the legendary C&VG . There are many, many more titles than this available now, and we haven't even touched on the PC, so remember SFX magazine reviews games (along with books, DVDs, movies, comics, toys and more) with a sci-fi slant every month - do join us for more. We have an area on our interactive forum where folk gather to give their opinions. Happy Christmas shopping!