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Feature: Nintendo Holiday Gift Guide

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Have a Mario holiday

The festive season is almost upon us, which means that it’s time to lighten our wallets and top up the gift stockings. For those who fancy some Nintendo gaming in the coming holiday, we thought we’d pass on some hints and tips on the games and consoles to buy.

We’ll cover some of the console bundles available, as well as recommend games in four categories: family, adventuring, old school and alternatives. We’re focussing on relatively recent games that are available worldwide, and of course these suggestions are merely the tip of the iceberg, so please direct any enquiries to us via the Contact form and we’ll be happy to help.

Let’s get started with our 3DS recommendations.

3DS Console Bundles

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Despite its short lifespan so far, there are already a variety of 3DS console bundles available. We’ve picked out two that should serve as perfect introductions to the handheld.

Limited Edition Legend of Zelda Black 3DS

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is a delightful remastering of the Nintendo 64 original, and it’s now available with a limited edition console. With gorgeous Zelda themed prints on the outside casing and a copy of the game, this is a package well worth consideration.

Red 3DS Console with Super Mario 3D Land

Available as a formal bundle in North America — including themed packaging — and also in many retailers in Europe as a bundle offer, the sleek red 3DS console is available with the magnificent Super Mario 3D Land. Considering the enormous popularity of Mario’s exploits on the DS, this could be a good option for young gamers, or even those young-at-heart.

They're not the only options available though. The system itself is available in several colours and bundles:

Pink Nintendo 3DS with Nintendogs + Cats (Available in North America, Europe and Australia)

Ice White Nintendo 3DS with Super Mario 3D Land (Only available in Europe)

Red Nintendo 3DS solus console (Available in North America, Europe and Australia)

Aqua Blue (Available in all territories)

Cosmos/Cosmo Black (Available in all territories)

Family

It's Christmas Day, and one lucky member of your family has just found a brand new 3DS console under the tree. If you want something to get everyone's interest, whether playing all together on multiple consoles or passing one machine around, here are two of our top picks.

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Mario Kart 7

The latest entry in the Mario Kart series. With all new tracks, 3D visuals, gyroscopic controls and solid online multiplayer, this accessible title should be fun and easy to play for the old and the young.

Super Mario 3D Land

Although not a family game in terms of multiplayer, we're pretty sure that a 3DS with a Super Mario 3D Land cart inside will get passed around a lot this festive season. With levels that cater for gamers of varying levels of skill, all full of wonderful moments of creativity, this represents another typically brilliant Mario outing.

Adventuring

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Want something expansive, exciting and generally all-round excellent? Adventures on 3DS don't come any better than this next recommendation.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

We’ve already mentioned the console bundle with this title, but if you’re yet to play it and already have a 3DS, now is the perfect time. An outstanding effort that improves the exemplary source material, it will provide dozens of hours of glorious adventuring.

Old School

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Journey back to your gaming past with some classic gems reimagined for 3DS.

Star Fox 64 3D

The fact that '64' is in the title is a dead give away; much like Ocarina of Time, this is a 3DS remake of a Nintendo 64 classic. With excellent visuals, excellent controls and arcade shooting of the highest calibre, this is well worth a purchase.

Cave Story 3D

Cave Story 3D has previous been released on PC, WiiWare and DSiWare, but this is the first version to feature modern 3D visuals and additional game areas and content. With plenty of platforming and shooting, combined with irrepressible charm and the option to play with old fashioned pixels in place of polygons, this is a title perfectly suited to gamers with a taste for the 1990s.

Alternatives

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Nothing tickling your fancy yet? Struggling to find something to suit that picky person in your life? Perhaps one of these two will hit the spot.

Sonic Generations

Although this isn’t the awe-inspiring revelation that Sonic fans may have been hoping for, it is nevertheless a solid, fun outing for the Sega mascot. With a mixture of the old and new, in addition to online multiplayer and plenty of challenges, this could be an ideal title to blast through during the holidays.

Professor Layton and the Last Specter

Let’s not forget that the 3DS is fully backwards compatible with all DS titles, and that the old handheld is still host to some excellent titles. This prequel is the fourth in the Professor Layton series released on DS, and continues the fine tradition of quirky storytelling and fiendish puzzles.

Those are some of our recommendations for 3DS consoles and games this holiday season. Check out the next page for details on some of the Nintendo Wii bundles and games that are worthy gifts for your loved ones.

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User Comments (28)

Platypus

#2

Platypus said:

FOOL! I don't need you to tell me what to buy!!!1..........gets everything on the list

SegaGamer93

#3

SegaGamer93 said:

I was gonna pick up Sonic Generations but i decided to pass. Mario Kart 7 is a game im gonna get for myself and my little brother for christmas. Im dying to get Mario Kart 7 tomorrow and play against racers online including Nintendolife members. I really dont want to miss out on this game. Cheers for the games list though but right now Mario Kart 7 ill be getting tomorrow and next week for my little brother.

shoopdawoop70

#4

shoopdawoop70 said:

I'm getting everything except Profeesor Layton (Sorry DS!), Starfox (I'm not a starfox guy) and MW3 (it's call of duty)

zezhyrule

#7

zezhyrule said:

Hmm... That Zelda 3DS sounds like a good idea :3
as does MK7. And Zelda: SS. why you release so many good games nintendo >:[

ThomasBW84Admin

#8

ThomasBW84 said:

I'm glad some of you approve! A mention for @James is due, as he added some lines and the all important info about the reconfigured Wii consoles not supporting GameCube (and even a couple of Wii) games :)

I'm glad I'm not a parent of a gaming kid, as I'd have to take out a loan. That said, being a big kid myself I may need a loan anyway...

@Hejiru - James found that rather snazzy image when I was away from my computer, a google search will do the trick for you.

Punny

#9

Punny said:

Most of these games are already on my list. Thanks for reassuring me that they are great. :)

FluttershyGuy

#11

FluttershyGuy said:

This ShyGuy wants a present from Yoshi too! :D

Next year, depending on how far away from Christmas it comes, is anyone else thinking of holding off opening their Wii U until Christmas morning? I've gotten every Nintendo handheld except 3DS for Christmas, but never a console. So thinking how cool of a first that would be! :)

SpaceKappa

#12

SpaceKappa said:

Good call on Skylanders, Thomas; if it wasn't on the list, I would have had to prepare a short essay (and PowerPoint presentation) explaining why it SHOULD be. :)

Ryno

#13

Ryno said:

@FlutterShyGuy: Wow never thought of that one. I dont think I could hold off that long though. I never got a system for Christmas before, only games. Well actually come to think of it I got my original Gameboy on Christmas, that is it though.

Wesker

#14

Wesker said:

3DS + Super Mario 3D Land would be my personal recommendation for a Nintendo gift. I can't see anyone being disappointed with that on xmas morning, or for weeks to come.

k8sMum

#15

k8sMum said:

the only one i have trouble with is thinking there is any way to find one of the zelda 3ds's still available for the true price and not horribly inflated on ebay. it ain't gonna happen...

Reggie4Life

#17

Reggie4Life said:

Want everything on the list... Maybe besides Professor Layton and Rayman. Great list, guys. I can tell you put in a lot of work. Just imagine a parent trying to find games for their kid when they stumble upon the list. That'll be like Christmas for them! Thanks again for the awesome list!

john2468

#19

john2468 said:

3DS + Super Mario 3D Land + Mario Kart 7 = Best Christmas EVER.
And those other great games like OoT and Star Fox. Non-3DS owners get your wallets ready!

Odnetnin

#20

Odnetnin said:

Not a bad list at all!

Might add BIT.TRIP COMPLETE/SAGA for retro-arcade-rhythm-music fans, though I see why you didn't make an entire category for that. ;)

FluttershyGuy

#22

FluttershyGuy said:

@Ryno
If it came in August/September, like Super Nintendo/Nintendo 64, no way I'd wait that long to play it. I'm patient, but not THAT patient! If it came in November like GameCube/Wii, I could make it a month.

If it came in between, like October, it depends on what else I have to play around that time. If there's an awesome game released for 3DS or Wii that was announced at E3, like The Last Story or the Link to the Past remake Miyamoto keeps hinting at, I could survive until Christmas.

Jono97

#23

Jono97 said:

can't it be nintendo holiday gifts? :3 But, I'l just wait until everything gets cheaper... I doubt my mum will let me buy stuff when they are at their most expensive point.

Magicpegasus

#28

Magicpegasus said:

I like this article except for one thing: older releases make great gifts too. Especially in the case of MW3, there's a lot of great "hardcore"
wii games in the bargain bin that would be better gifts than this game IMO. NBA Jam, Godeneye, DKCR, NMH2, HotD:O, Metroid Prime Trilogy, or Bit.Trip come to mind...Sin and Punishment, Monster Hunter...

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