santa cruz video game gift guide
December 2018

Worlds of Wonder for all Ages Your Video Game Gift Guide: Gamer Life: December 2018

By Ricky Chavez

santa cruz video game gift guide

The holidays are finally here and video game companies are in fierce competition to make into your home and onto your TV screens.

Each company shows off the best parts of its games to make it look fun, but how do you know which game is the right choice? Unfortunately, Fortnite is already free so it’s not going be that easy.

Here are games I enjoyed very much this year and think any person would also enjoy regardless of age.

For kids 6 and under I recommend Spyro Reignited Trilogy.

The original three Spyro games came out for the original Playstation and instantly become of the gaming icons of the 90s. You play as Spyro, a young dragon trying to prove his worth and save has family. You travel through bright and colorful worlds using his flame breath, and head butt to defeat a cast of enemies. As the name states you get three games for the price of $40.

All three of these games have been completely remade and modernized, while they maintain the sense of magic that the original worlds held. This is the perfect game for anyone who’s just getting into video games for the first time or anyone who wants to revisit these timeless classics with a new coat of paint.

For kids 7-10, I suggest Super Mario Party. This is truly a return to form for the Mario Party Series. After two games and a spinoff that were considered the worst games in the series, playing with friends finally feels like a party again. With tons of unique minigames that take advantage of the Nintendo Switch’s precise gyro controls you can climb poles, cook meat and connect puzzle pieces.

In Super Mario Party they added a new mechanic that changes up the whole game, giving the cast of characters unique dice blocks, allowing you to choose either a normal dice block or a special dice block that has different numbers for each character. Along with this, during the party mode you can get allies who will give you their dice block to choose from, further expanding your options as each game progresses. Whether you’re playing alone or playing with friends, this really is the peak of the party.

For kids 11-16:

First is Mega Man 11. It’s been a long time since Mega Man has been relevant but he made a huge impact on my life as a child and entertained me for hours with this new game.

Santa Cruz video game gift guide

Mega Man is a platformer where players jump and shoot their way through colorful and cartoony robots. While the default mode is challenging there is an easy mode that is accessible from the start and is beginner friendly. Mega Man 11 brought a smile to my face as I traversed the beautiful environments to the music that fit every stage. With tons of challenges and several difficulty setting it’s a great game for preteen and young teen gamers.

The second game for those ages is possibly the best deal in video game history. Kingdom Hearts – The Story So Far ($40) is a collection of collections. That’s six full games and three movie recaps for a great price. Kingdom Hearts is an incredible kid friendly journey through many Disney Worlds with protagonists Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy. You’ll visit iconic worlds like, Wonderland, Halloween Town, Neverland, and even Pride Rock from the Lion King.

It’s fast combat and the heart warming retellings of Disney movies bring a smile to my face every single time I play, and now that they’re all released for PS4 they are finally in their definitive forms, looking and feeling better than ever.

The game I would choose for the older gamer, ages 17 and up, would be Red Dead Redemption 2. While it has a slow first chapter it soon builds up to something much greater. The game has some of the best visuals I’ve seen in any game and the way the characters interact with the environment is incredible. Leaving footprints and tracks wherever you go shows how much detail was put into the game. The freedom you are given and the amount of interactions with random characters that happen have made it wonderful to explore.

I absolutely loved the first time I was free to hunt where I wanted and harvest plants as I pleased. Red Dead Redemption 2 has solidified its place as one of my favorite games of the year.

The next best present for your gamer is Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. While at first many people thought it was going to simply be a remake of the Wii U version, Smash Ultimate has proven that it’s so much more. Including every character to ever appear in Smash, such as Solid Snake and Wolf, and new characters like Simon Belmont, and the surprising addition, Piranha Plant from Super Mario.


Nintendo has been using the slogan, “Everyone is here” and with the new spirits mode everyone really is here. Allowing you to fight characters that aren’t in smash by allowing them to possess characters and act in ways that the original characters would. This opens the door to a lot of potential content. Super Smash Brothers Ultimate is easily going to be one of the best games of the year.

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