(Disclosure: I am a Nintendo Ambassador and was provided one or more products mentioned in this article, but not for the purpose of this article. Words, opinions and ideas are mine.)
When we were kids, games were unforgiving and brutal. They taught us lessons about persistence and adaptation, but they also only catered to able-bodied people with lightning quick reflexes.
These days, games are different. One of the biggest criticisms I hear is that games are “soft” – that they’re not as punishing on folks and that some of the modes and options actually make games too easy. Well, I think some of these technologies and options are great.
The holidays are a time of family. Awkward family you haven’t seen in foreves. I mean, sure, you follow them on Facebook, but once you’ve covered the catching-up phase, what do you do?
My suggestion: make the holidays a time of family gaming. I think you can, and I think it’s easy. But it’s not a one-size fits all approach. There are plenty of great board games, card games and video games out for folks of all ages – and with a little forethought, you can be the hero that emcees the whole thing.
Here are some suggestions of games you can break out once family starts showing up, and there’s bound to be something for everyone.
Being a Nintendo fan for the better part of my 31 years, I’ve known frustration. I’ve been through the gauntlet on NES games, tasted the satisfaction of SNES, felt the burn of multiplayer party games on the N64, GameCube and Wii, and gone it alone on all the handhelds – GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, DS and DSi to name a few. But the 3DS brings a new mix of all those things – frustration, satisfaction, multiplayer fun and portable distraction. So is the story of Mario Kart 7 – a game that has flaws, sure, but is a whole lot of fun – and championed-in a very important 3DS update.
That update included the ability to join friends’ games via the friends list – a vital function of the friends list initially left out. As well, players met through Mario Kart now show up in your Mii Plaza. But these things aren’t as important as the gameplay in Mario Kart 7. After all, it doesn’t matter if you can join a friend’s game if you’re not interested in doing so. It’s good news then, that Mario Kart 7 is loads of fun, despite some quirks and problems, and it’s a really fun game to play with your kids for all of the obvious reasons.The gameplay in Mario Kart 7 is, at its most basic, the same thing you always expect from a Mario Kart franchise game: you race, you shoot stuff at each other, you win, you lose. And if we just took MK7 straight based on that, I’d still be on-board for a near-perfect score. Just fair warning.
Well, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, more popularly-known as E3, came to a close yesterday. They’re not letting anyone in anymore – believe us, we tried to get back in and play dumb. Oh, sure – there will still be parties and events around Los Angeles that should torture commuters in the city for another couple of days, but as of tonight, the oasis of games and goodies in the Los Angeles Convention Center will disappear until their release dates.
No doubt, you’ve heard about some great stuff swirling about the game industry. There’s new systems, handhelds, games, apps and services. But as a father, it’s hard to parse through the “important” stuff.
Allow us to cut through the crap for you, and let you know about a couple of things that stood out to us at this year’s E3. We’re by no means telling you about everything. Actually, we’ve only got a small snapshot of E3 for you, but we felt that these are some awesome titles to look out for. Also check our gallery (at the bottom of every page) for screenshots of all the games we mention.
Now that the current-generation Nintendo DS is sailing out the door and the 3DS is just a couple of days away from kicking us in the eyes with 3D handheld gaming, we thought we’d go back through some of the best DS games for fathers and kids – that you’ll probably end up playing even when your kids aren’t around. Also, your pocketbook (do people even have those anymore) will be pleased to know that the 3DS does in fact play DS cartridges – so if you do get your hands on a 3DS this weekend, you don’t need to feel pressured to buy a launch title if there’s not something that immediately grabs your fancy.
Pro Tip: Something will grab your kid’s fancy, so stick around for a couple of upcoming Nintendo 3DS game previews after our look at some excellent last-gen DS games you can enjoy with (or without) your kid.