A few of us are keen gamers in the Kuro Dragon office, and as well as catching up with family and enjoying all the festive food, Christmas also means we get a chance to catch up on all the great titles we missed throughout the year.
Steep – Ubisoft
If you’re dreaming of a White Christmas, I don’t want to shoot down your hopes too much, but the chance of snowfall up here in the North East is a troubling 21%. Fear not though, those disheartened by a lack of it can dive into Ubisoft’s latest venture, STEEP. The game is a fully open world extreme sports game, akin to the likes of SSX and Shawn White Snowboarding we’ve seen in years past. You can Ski, Snowboard, Paraglide and even use a Wingsuit to fly through a fully realized version of the famous French Alps, with Alaska coming soon as downloadable content.
The game prides itself on its ability to account for G-force, and a GoPro camera mode to add to the realism of its satisfying controls. Further, if you’re an adrenaline junkie yourself and are yearning for a trip to the slopes, this should scratch that itch for you in the comfort of your own home. Overall, A great means of escape into a thrill-seekers winter wonderland, all whilst you’re waiting for the turkey to cook.
Pokemon Sun & Moon – Nintendo
On the contrary, if you fancy losing yourself in a warmer climate this Christmas then you mustn’t look further than Pokemon Sun & Moon. This latest entry in the franchise sees players traveling to the Alola region, a multi-island Hawaiian paradise jam-packed with activities. You can take adorable photos of your favourite pocket monsters using the Poke-Finder, nurture your team with Pokemon Refresh, and play/trade online with your friends. The game further features ‘Alolan’ remixes of classic favourites from the first generation, including an Ice type Vulpix and a Psychic version of Raichu.
This means as well as experiencing a whole new world, you’ll get an excellent nostalgia kick from way back in the 90’s. Though it is all fun and games, expect fierce competition from the trainers on the island, as you traverse through the island’s many trials on your way to becoming the true Pokemon Champion. The best thing is that it’s portable too, so you can take your adventure with you on that long train home, or fit a few hours in here and there in between family occasions and other festivities.
Dead Rising 4 – Capcom
A one for the Zombie fans out there, Dead Rising 4 marks a pivot in Capcom’s famous third-person action series towards the holiday season. The fourth entry sees you back in control of Frank West, the photojournalist from the first game, who travels back to the Willamette shopping mall to save the world from a zombie outbreak. The twist this time around is that it’s Christmas, so the mall is decked with boughs of holly, and the combo weapons you can create with what you find each come with a distinct festive twist.
A few choice weapons include a crossbow that shoots sharpened candy canes, an electrified wreath that explodes unwitting zombies on touch, and a modified lawnmower ‘Sleigh’ used for crushing anything in your path. If we’ve learned anything from The Walking Dead, it’s that the people who are still alive are more dangerous than any zombie horde, so further watch out for the games ‘Maniacs’. These guys are survivors gone mad, dressed up like Elves among other costumes, hell-bent on stopping you from taking their Black Friday deals.
Final Fantasy XV – Square Enix
A game that has been in development for over 10 years, Final Fantasy XV finally hit store shelves at the end of November, but I bet you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s finished it yet. Such a long development cycle means that this iteration of the timeless series is absolutely packed to the rafters with content, and completely oozes charm. You follow a group of four lads as they venture out on a road trip across Eos to save the world.
Each of the four boys are uniquely compelling, Prompto being the goofy, awkward photographer of the group, in comparison to Noctis, the young prince harboring a royal burden on his shoulders. A game for fans and first-timers alike, Final Fantasy XV is something so vast and expansive it would be hard not to get lost in it this Christmas, but just make sure you’ve got the time to spare, the main story racking up at a gargantuan 21 hours, and that’s without any side quests!
Super Mario Run – Nintendo
The only game not out yet on this list, Super Mario Run is the next installment in Nintendo’s mobile app lineup, following the success of Miitomo and Pokemon GO. The game functions like an endless runner akin to Subway Surfers & Temple Run, but stars everybody’s favourite plumber as he hops, skips and jumps his way through a variety of detailed levels. The best part about Super Mario Run is that it is releasing exclusively for iPhone and iPad come December 15th, so you can play it on your phone during your down time in between servings.
As well as the normal platforming, the game features a ‘Toad Rally’ mode where you can challenge your friends to match your skills, as well as a ‘Kingdom Builder’ drawing from games like Clash of Clans, where you can create your own unique base with decorations acquired from the other modes, using Toad’s to do your bidding. Bushnell’s Law comes into play here, as the game looks easy to pick up and learn, but difficult to master.
Overwatch – Blizzard
I feel like you knew this was coming… Overwatch is easily the most popular game of 2016 and has won countless Game of the Year awards already. If you haven’t already joined the fight, Christmas would be a great time to start! The game is a multiplayer-focused shooter, in which you can choose from (as of now) 23 unique heroes who take on different roles that complement each other in battle. Blizzard are choosing to support this title post-launch too, so you won’t have to pay for any extra characters or maps if you’re already enjoying the fun.
Make your mark on the playing field in an offensive role as cowboy sharpshooter McCree, or utilize the healing power of music as the rollerblading support hero Lucio. The game is all about teamwork, and if you’ve got family and friends dotted around the globe, playing Overwatch would be a great way to bring you all together for some festive fun. The game also features themed events for every holiday, with the Christmas event being announced last night. At Halloween, the developers added a whole new game mode and a plethora of character skins, so you can expect much of the same this Holiday season. Just maybe don’t play it when its high-noon and the roast is ready…
Of course, these are just a few games in the selection box this Christmas, but we’d love to know what you think! Will you be picking up any of these titles? Or do you have a Christmas favourite we haven’t mentioned that people need to know about? Make sure to let us know on Twitter.