Swingin' X-mas party 

Look, buying video games is hard enough when you're buying for yourself, but to compound the fact, it's practically impossible to purchase one for someone else. With myriad choices out there, just finding the right game is daunting. So here are a few suggestions so that you don't get the forced old Christmas fib of "Oh, neat ... this is just what I wanted." 

For the nostalgia freak:

Punch Out!!! 
Nintendo Wii

Memories of the NES and SNES classics will suck you in, but a solid gameplay experience will keep you hooked, son! Go it alone, or head-to-head with a buddy and you'll be trading punches all night long.


If they already have that, get: 

New Super Mario Bros
Nintendo

No 3-D adventuring this time, just good ol' classic Super Mario action with as many as four people at once. 


For the kid who listens to too much Pantera: 

Brütal Legend
Xbox 360, PS3

The heavy metal gods are as pleased as the retailers with this Tim Schaefer release. With a hilarious storyline fronted by Jack Black, and the Most Metal Soundtrack Ever, devil horns will be permanent appendage the entire way through.


If they already have that, get: 

Prototype
Radical Entertainment

Watch New York City become hell on earth, and take out as many monsters as you can — you know, a typical Thursday in the city.


For the habitual party thrower: 

The Beatles: Rock Band
Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PS3

The quintessential party game lets you be the band that's "bigger than Jesus." Even people who don't normally play video games will find themselves fighting over who gets stuck being Ringo next. 


If they already have that, get: 

DJ Hero 
Activision

Trade in your guitar for a turntable and get everyone dancing. See if the DJ really does get all the chicks. (We think not.)


For the guy who wishes he were a ninja: 

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
Xbox 360, PS3

The storyline's strange, makes no sense, and the voice work is spotty at best — kinda like your typical anime. Somewhere along the line, though, is the year's most technical and solid fighting game. Disaster enthusiasts unite!


If they already have that, get: 

Street Fighter IV
Capcom

Would've been the top game if not for the fact the updated Super Street Fighter IV comes out in March ... with new characters, and it'll most likely be cheaper.


For the person who expects the best: 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Not just the best first-person shooter of the year, but the best game of the year. See, 4.7 million folks in the North America and the U.K. bought the game the day it dropped. That's 4.7 million people who know I'm right.


If they already have that, get:

Brütal Legend 
Xbox 360, PS3

 If CoD is best, Brütal Legend is funniest. 

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