You know, when I made my video game gift guide I completely forgot Nintendo games. Which is crazy because even my husband has purchased games by Nintendo, like the New Super Mario Brothers DS, and Super Mario 64 DS. He liked both of them a great deal, so I feel safe in recommending these others.
FAMILY / KIDS / LOYALISTS
Developers at Nintendo have dreamed of creating a simultaneous multiplayer Super Mario Bros. game for decades. The Wii console finally makes that dream come true for everyone. Now players can navigate the side-scrolling worlds alone as before or invite up to three others to join them at the same time on the same level at any point in the game for competitive and cooperative multiplayer fun.
With the multiplayer mode, the newest installment of the most popular video game franchise is designed to bring yet another type of family entertainment into living rooms and engage groups of friends in fast-paced Super Mario Bros. fun.
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii offers a combination of cooperation and competition. Players can pick each other up to save them from danger or toss them into it.
- Mario, Luigi™ and two Toads are all playable characters, while many others from the Mushroom Kingdom make appearances throughout the game. Players can even ride different Yoshi™ characters and use their tongues to swallow enemies, items and even balls of fire.
- In some areas, players use the motion abilities of the Wii Remote™ controller. The first player to reach a seesaw might make it tilt to help his or her character reach a higher platform – or might make it tilt incorrectly just to mess with other players.
- New items include the propeller suit, which will shoot players high into the sky with just a shake of the Wii Remote, and Mario’s new ability to transform into Penguin Mario.
- At the end of each stage during the coin battle multiplayer mode, players are ranked based on the number of coins they have collected.
FAMILY / MOMS / SENIORS
Wii Fit attracted millions of new players to the world of video games. Now Wii Fit Plus offers a range of new features and enhancements to help players reinvigorate their workouts, along with exercises and balance games designed to keep them fun. Players will find a new dimension to the Wii Fit experience as they easily set their own customized workout routines or choose 20-, 30- or 40-minute workouts based on how much time they have available. Users will also be able to choose from specialized workout routines that focus on an individual’s personal fitness goals or certain target areas. And with the addition of activities like Skateboarding and Rhythm Kung Fu, players will be using the Wii Balance Board accessory in a variety of new and fun ways.
- Workouts combine the original Wii Fit activities and selections from 15 new activities and six new strength training and yoga exercises.
- Users can input the amount of time they want to spend on their workouts or select an area for personal improvement, and Wii Fit Plus will suggest a number of diverse activities for them.
- For the first time, users can mix and match which strength and yoga activities they prefer on a given day. The seamless exercise flows make it easier than ever for users to maintain their daily workout routines.
- Users might be asked to run an obstacle course across a series of platforms, zoom across a beach on a Segway® x2 Personal Transporter or flap their arms to help their hilarious chicken-suited characters aim for targets.
- The range of games and customization options will make players want to play every day. They’ll be having so much fun that their workouts will seem to fly by in no time at all.
- Players also can see estimates of calories burned and can even activate a feature that lets them weigh their dogs or cats.
- Wii Fit Plus comes packaged with the Wii Balance Board accessory. For people who already own Wii Fit, the Wii Fit Plus disc will be available for purchase separately.
GIRLS – TEENS
Put Some Style in Your Stylus
Style Savvy combines creativity and fashion with a collection of trendy clothes, chic accessories and stylish shoes. As the owner of a clothing boutique, you must purchase inventory, monitor the store’s funds and try to please a constant stream of customers who look to you for the best fashions.
- You can stock your store with items from 16 different in-game designer labels, each with its own distinct style and price point. Style Savvy includes more than 10,000 items and a range of customers with a variety of styles and personalities.
- Every day customers who walk through the door of your shop tell you their shopping budget and the kind of clothing they want. If you make them look good, they’ll be back – or they might even stick around and spend more.
- Once you build up some cash, then it’s time for you to go shopping to stock your store. You can expand your inventory or start getting ready for seasonal changes, which are timed to the calendar of the Nintendo DS or Nintendo DSi system.
- You can make a local wireless connection with up to three of your friends to host a fashion runway contest to see who has the best eye for fashion.
- If two players have Style Savvy game cards, they can connect their Nintendo DS or Nintendo DSi systems locally to visit each other’s stores. Players who have broadband wireless Internet access can connect to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and walk around other players’ stores and browse their best wares. Players can find their favorite coordinates, download them and wear them.
- You can customize the look of your character with different head shapes, eyes and lips. Or you can modify your look by changing your hair color, getting a new hair style or adding makeup.
BOYS – TEENS
All Aboard for an Amazing New Adventure
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks sets hero Link on a daring new adventure. The game provides players with a new story, more puzzles and even a new mode of transportation. In this game, Link voyages by train, which offers up new possibilities for problem-solving. The game has the same look and feel established in the hit Nintendo DS game The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.
- Link has a valuable new companion. While navigating dungeons, he’s accompanied by a Phantom, a hulking suit of armor that responds to his commands. Players can tap the Phantom to take command of him, then draw a line on the touch screen to direct him where to go. The stout Phantom can walk through fire or lava, be used as a platform to carry Link above dangers, or even run interference to block Link from harm.
- When Link conducts the train, players enjoy a satisfying combination of action and real-time puzzle solving as they determine which track to take and how to best manipulate their speed. When on the train, Link must plot the best route to the end of the line around ever-moving obstacles. While en route, Link might need to fire an onboard cannon at enemies who attack the train or sound the whistle to scare animals off the tracks.
- Link uses a variety of new items and weapons, including the Whirlwind, which players activate by blowing into the microphone of the Nintendo DS or Nintendo DSi system.
- As with The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, players can draw notes on the in-game maps using the stylus on the touch screen.
KIDS (BOY or GIRL)
Nintendo DSi – Hardware – $169.99 – April 5
The DSi offers tons of cool features – you can take pictures, manipulate them and post online (i.e. on your Facebook page); share between DSi units with friends; save music to an SD card and listen to it on the DSi and manipulate the music. It’s all about interaction and social play. Not just listening to music but “playing” with music. Not just taking pictures but “playing” with pictures. And then sharing with friends and family. You can also download tons of games and applications right to the DSi for just a few dollars…or free for some apps.
- Two built-in cameras with 680 x 480 pixel resolution, 0.3 megapixels.
- Wireless Communication with ability to connect to Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo’s wireless gaming network, and download demo versions of Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi games from DS Download Stations, Nintendo Zone™, or via the Nintendo Channel of the Wii™ console.
- Touch-screen controls with embedded microphone for voice recognition.
- Embedded PictoChat™ software allows one user to draw pictures, or up to 16 users within local range of one another to chat at once; embedded real-time clock; date, time and alarm; touch-screen calibration.
- Easy-to-use parental controls allows parents or guardians the ability to manage access to Nintendo DSi exclusive and compatible software based on the ESRB rating, PictoChat, DS Download Play, Nintendo DSi Browser, and certain user-created content that may be inappropriate for some members of their household. It can also help manage the use of Nintendo DSi Points in the Nintendo DSi Shop and wireless exchange of photo data.