Just because you're stuck on a train, in a car or worse - waiting in line - doesn't mean you can't get your game on! Just because there is a lot of coverage and media focus on the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii launches, along with Microsoft's latest game offerings, that doesn't mean the handhelds should be off your list this season.
In fact, there are great titles for the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS handheld systems coming out now that you should keep your eye on. In return, some of them will even be easy on your wallet. And who doesn't appreciate that during the shopping season?Sony PSP
You shouldn't look at lower priced or "budget" games as an inferior product. Here are a few great PSP games that are easy on the pocket:"Power Stone Collection" is a collection of two older Sega Dreamcast games merged into one. It's a solid and slick fighter that is every bit as fast and fun as it originally was. Retail price $30.
"Rush" is Midway's racing series brought down to the portable scene with breakneck speed that won't break your pockets. Retail price $30.
"SEGA Genesis Collection" is a great value as it has over 30 classic Genesis games under one roof, along with extras that make it a great bargain as well as an incredible snapshot of gaming history. Retail price $30.
If puzzle games are your thing, or you enjoy music/rhythm based games, "Lumines 2" will easily fit the bill with more music options and a great price. Retail price $30.
If your bonus came though (hooray!) and you have a little extra to spend this season, why not check out these titles for the PSP:
"Need for Speed: Carbon" continues the legacy of fast cars and customization goodness while introducing new concepts such as team-based racing. Retail price $40.
"Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception" is Namco showing the world how to make an awesome flying game on the PSP. Read the full review here. Retail price $40.
"Killzone Liberation" continues the Killzone storyline in a whole new third-person isometric perspective. Part shooter, part strategy equals completely intense and addictive action. Retail price $40.
"Justice League: Heroes (DC Comics)" or "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (Marvel Comics)" are tied for the last PSP spot. Both combine the dungeon crawl/hack and slash game with the completeness of their respective comic book universes. If your gamer is a Superman/Batman fan, get "Justice"; if they enjoy Spiderman/Wolverine, get them "Alliance." Retail price $40.
"SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2"
Sticking with what works makes this a great game. Not only is all the action that made the first Fireteam Bravo a hit, now new missions and new features such as air strikes places 'Fireteam Bravo 2' an absolute hit. Read the full review here. Retail price $40.
"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories"
This pick is a no-brainer. The Grand Theft Auto series always delivers with its unique storyline, and amazing gameplay. Vice City Stories is a prequel to the 2004 PS2 release of GTA: Vice City. Its set a few of years prior to the original and you play as Vic Vance, the brother to the infamous Lance Vance from GTA Vice City. Filled with all the great plot twists and turns, and a groovy 80s soundtrack, having GTA: Vice City Stories on your PSP should be required. Retail price $40.
"Cooking Mama" is a simple and fun set of minigames that is based on cooking. It's lighthearted and challenging at just the right speed - and you can't beat the price! here. Retail price $20.
"Gunpey DS" is a classic puzzle game updated for the DS and is, at its essence, why gamers love puzzle games so much. Retail price $30.
"Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin" will utilize WiFi capability to play cooperative in certain modes, so you don't have to go demon slaying alone. Retail price $35.
"Elite Beat Agents" is a quirky "touch the screen to the music" game that had me laughing within minutes of playing it! Music and rhythm game fans will LOVE it. Retail price $35.
"Children of Mana" is an action RPG with colorful visuals and button pounding gameplay. If your gamer is a fan of "Zelda," he or she will enjoy it. Retail price $35.
"Pokemon Ranger" literally lets you "catch them all" by actively drawing loops around the Pokemon on your screen like a lasso. This game caught me completely by surprise by honestly being more fun than I thought it would be. Retail price $35.
"Phoenix Wright: And Justice for All" is the second adventure game starring our intrepid lawyer. Seeing as how the first game completely sold through it's initial print run and became an instant "must find" game last year, do yourself a favor and pick this one up when you see it. Retail price $35.
"Final Fantasy 3" brings the series to the DS with touch-screen controllable menus, updated graphics and music while keeping the mechanics of gameplay faithful to its roots. A "must have" for the DS. Retail price $40.
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