A holiday buyer’s guide for a college budget

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Author: Will Westwater

The holidays are fast approaching and, as with all holiday releases, the older games get cheaper. Some of these games are better than many games for current generation consoles (PS4 and Xbox One). Here are some of the best games that have been released, or re-released, this year.

1. “Resident Evil: Revelations”
Jill Valentine and Parker Luciani must go aboard an abandoned cruise ship– the SS Queen Zenobia– to search for partners Chris Redfield and Jessica Sherawat who were lost during an investigation involving the possible resurgence of the bioterrorism organization Veltro. Capcom’s “Resident Evil: Revelations” brings the horror of the original “Resident Evil” with the action of “Resident Evil: 4.” Last May, Capcom released HD versions for Xbox 360 and PS3 of the once-Nintendo 3DS exclusive title. Now this great game can be found for about $30 for PS3 and Xbox 360 versions and $25 for the 3DS version.

2. “Bioshock Infinite”
Developer Irrational Games and creative director Ken Levine’s “Bioshock Infinite” is a must-play for any gamer. “Bioshock Infinite” takes the player on a ride through the beautiful cloud city of Columbia. The story twists and turns in unexpected and thrilling ways that have players replaying it over and over. In addition, “Bioshock Infinite” just released new download content (DLC) that pays homage to the best of the Bioshock series. Now, would you kindly just play this game? It should be noted that the original “Bioshock” must be played first for full appreciation of all that “Bioshock: Infinite” has to offer. Both “Bioshock” and “Bioshock Infinite” can be found on Amazon for anywhere between $15-25 and is even cheaper used.

3. “Hotline Miami”
Made independently by the two-man team at Dennaton games and published by Devolver Digital, “Hotline Miami” is one of the most violent and disturbing video games around. That said, it is still an arcady top-down beat-em-up that manages to stay fun and interesting throughout countless deaths and retries by the player. An amazing electronic soundtrack pulses as the player navigates through a 16-bit neon and drug fueled ’80s Miami. The player is a killer for hire, receiving mysterious voicemails detailing the next assignment. The catch is that almost every character (including the player) can be killed in one hit. “Hotline Miami” can be found on Steam (PC and Mac) as well as Playstation Network (PS3 and PS Vita) for $10 and is currently free for Playstation Plus subscribers.

4. “Element4l”
“Element4l” is a creative puzzle platform for PC and Mac. The player, a bubble with a cute little face, navigates a course by changing forms that correspond to the four elements. The adorable character can change from an ice block, to a bubble, fireball or rock with the press of a button. The forms all behave in different ways and the player must use his or her cunning to navigate the elegant and crisp environments. The tight game-play flows to a soundtrack that suits the game perfectly. “Element4l” is a relaxing but challenging game that is a prime pick for any age. $10 on Steam (includes a download of the soundtrack).

Other must buys include some that have already been mentioned in this column. These include: “The Last of Us” (PS3) and “Grand Theft Auto 5” (PS3 and Xbox 360) which are both roughly $51 on Amazon (new) $40 (used). In addition, “Pokémon X and Y” (3DS) has also topped the list and is now about $35 on Amazon.

Gamers still have plenty to wish for this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean they have to settle for less. Amazing gameplay is out there. Only at the end of console cycles can gamers get these kind of deals on some of the best games, both independent and Triple-A, from the last console generation. Gaming can be an expensive hobby but newness isn’t a necessity for greatness. Incredible games can last a lifetime and can provide countless plays and re-plays. Game on! And happy holidays.

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