Donkey Kong is a classic side-scrolling adventure that feels like a throwback to the more traditional way of gaming. "DK County Returns" stays true to its Super Nintendo predecessors, while adding heightened graphics, challenges and addictive gameplay. Though the clever level design may intimidate younger players, the game has a lot of charm and is a rewarding gaming experience. With the new co-op mode and plenty of replay value, you can't go wrong with Donkey Kong.
Kinect Controller (Xbox)
The Kinect controller is Xbox's take on motion control gaming. The hardware is basically a camera that allows people to play certain games using physical movement, gestures and voice commands, without the hand-held controller normally used with consoles. It's an impressive piece of technology that could give the Nintendo Wii a run for its money. But speaking of money, here's the bad news: The controller is $150 and it comes with one game. Every game after that is around $50 to $60. So at the end of the day, you may have dropped over $200, when you could have just purchased a Wii. Is it worth it? It depends on the player. Kinect is a brand new way to play games. Casual gamers can find themselves sinking hours into this fun and addictive device.
Some sports games try so hard to be realistic that they tend to leave casual gamers in the dust. NBA Jam is a casual basketball game in a world of complicated sports games. Its simple, fast, arcade-like gameplay mechanics and hilarious announcer make the game approachable for players of every age. It may not be a serious basketball game, but there is a ton of satisfying action. It's available on all major home consoles and is the perfect game for your sports nut.
Credit: Electronic Arts
Super Mario All-Stars: Limited Edition (Wii)
At a suggested retail price at $29.99, this is the perfect game at the perfect price. This "limited edition" game is a collection of four classic Super Mario games, including the first three Super Mario Bros., originally for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and a lost levels compilation game. The game also includes a soundtrack CD with classic Mario tunes and an illustrated booklet.
Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)
This game is a creative approach to another classic video game character. You play as the ever-morphing and adorable Kirby in a whimsical world of string and textiles. This side-scroller is easy on the eyes with its unique art style that resembles a children's storybook. With simple gameplay mechanics, it caters to players of all skill levels, making it a joy to play.
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (Xbox, PS3)
The third installment of the Assassin's Creed series invites players to become Ezio, a deadly assassin in a war against the Templar Order. But unlike its predecessors, developers have introduced multiplayer to the popular series, enabling players to assemble their own guild of assassins. This engaging new gameplay and epic storytelling will keep gamers occupied for hours.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox, PS3, Wii)
Call of Duty: Black Ops has been hyped as the fastest-selling game of all time - pulling in a reported $360 million in its first 24 hours on sale. But is it any good? In a word: Yes. This first-person shooter presents an overheated vision of The Cold War. Developers have created a world that immerses players into epic battles with settings ranging from 1960s Cuba to Vietnam and the Soviet Union. The game is bloody and violent, but is chock-full of exciting moments. Popping this game into a console is the equivalent to watching the latest blockbuster movie.
Goldeneye may not be as graphic as Call of Duty, but it will quench that first-person shooter thirst on your Nintendo console. This James Bond shooter is a remake of the classic Nintendo 64 game with a contemporary twist to meet today's gaming standards. Fans of the original will not be disappointed, but don't expect this to be a carbon copy. This game has a personality of its own with a lengthy campaign mode and addictive online multiplayer mode. If you have a Wii and you like shooting things, Goldeneye is the game for you.
Rock Band 3 (Xbox, PS3, Wii)
It's never too late to start playing Rock Band. Players become rock stars by strapping on plastic guitars and jamming to over 2,000 songs available for the series. But unlike Rock Band 1 & 2, this third installment features a much more demanding Pro mode that allows players to actually learn the notes of a song. Instead of playing color-coated buttons, players learn chords and licks to songs from rock groups like The Doors or Queen. Though pro instruments are pricey, this is still a fun party game for any group setting, including a new 7 multiplayer mode and keyboard peripheral.
Halo Reach (Xbox)
"Halo" has become one of the elite video game franchises since its debut in 2001. Halo: Reach is a prequel to the first-person shooter trilogy aimed to grab gamers once again. Combining all the features of what players love from its previous titles and a completely revamped multiplayer mode, this sci-fi shoot-'em-up is the best in the series. With more than 2.7 million people reportedly logging onto the game, it is the best online multiplayer experience on the Xbox.