We have a lot of ground to cover today in a short amount of time, so here are more thoughts on holiday gift-buying.
1. For the third time, one of my Xbox 360s just died, giving me that old “red ring of death” light around the start button.
So from now on, I’m recommending PS 3 and Wii U over Xbox 360. There are other reasons for my switching allegiances.
I’ve never loved the fact Xbox Live charges me $60 a year to game online. PS 3 and Wii U are free to game online. But the new Wii U still doesn’t have a lot of games available, so PS 3 has a big edge.
It’s also silly Xbox makes me buy excess credits (rather than letting me use a credit card) to buy TV shows and games. Plus, every year, my rechargeable Xbox controller battery dies.
2. I’ve been playing a great game for kids called “Scribblenauts Unlimited.” But since I am an adult man, I’m finding it difficult to play the whole kiddie thing.
So I’m not writing a full review, but I’m recommending it to parents of young kids.
You portray a little dude who solves puzzles to help his sister get rid of a dumb curse.
This side-scrolling puzzler is very cool for kids. You type an adjective and a noun, such as “humongous devil,” and that thing comes to life on the screen. Pretty amazing.
There are 41 levels. And more than 100,000 words come to life as objects right on the screen, from “polka-dotted” and “janitor” to “zombie” and beyond.
3. Don’t forget you can buy old masterpieces, such as these below. Old greats available for both Xbox 360 and PS 3: “Mass Effect
Trilogy,” “Deus Ex: Human Revolution,” “L.A. Noir,” “Resident Evil 4,” “Battlefield 3,” “Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution,” “Just Cause 2,” “Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days” and “Afro Samurai.” Available only for PS 3: “God of War Saga,” “Uncharted 2,” “Uncharted 3” and “Infamous 2.”
Available only for Xbox 360: “Alan Wake,” “Fable III,” and the first three “Halos.”
And top games for the new Wii U: “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” and “Scribblenauts Unlimited.”
4. If I didn’t already own Sony’s new Pulse Elite headphones ($150), that’s what I would want as a luxury present. These rechargeable headphones (with microphone) sound crystal clear. They work wirelessly off a USB connector on your PS 3, PC or Mac for games and music.
Doug Elfman is an award-winning entertainment columnist who lives in Las Vegas. He blogs at http://www.lvrj.com/columnists/Doug_Elfman.html. Twitter at @VegasAnonymous.