THE majority of 2020 has been quite the letdown when it comes to travel. While we aren’t allowed to travel everywhere just yet, there are some places in and out of state we’re now able to just in time for those Christmas getaways.The Nintendo Switch has personally become a necessity over the years while spending extended hours in transit.
The handheld device may not be as powerful as the other consoles on the market but it also shares much of the same library of games. Even though some have been re-releases of older games, this years roster has been impressive and caters to a variety of different gaming tastes. The following titles are all worthy stocking stuffers this Christmas and will surely fill up time for those travelling to spend it with loved ones.
Note: I’ve used variously retailers as guide in regards to price point as some may not carry the same stock as others or might be cheaper.
Although based on the popular movie franchise, John Wick, this is one of those rare movied-based video games that doesn’t re-enact the events from the movie. Taking place prior to movies, John Wick Hex is a fast-paced yet slowed down strategic shooter with notes of turn-based and survival elements.
This would be perfect for John Wick fans and those who enjoy strategic gameplay. John Wick Hex is currently $49 at JB Hi-Fi
Sold separately, this bundle of collections are a range of older games released between 2007 and 2016 by publisher 2K.
Borderlands: The Legendary Collection features Borderlands 1, 2 and The Pre-Sequel. If you’re unfamiliar with Borderlands or have only played the most recent Borderlands 3 then this is the perfect way to catch up. Borderlands is an RPG/first-person shooter hybrid filled with way too many guns to count and plenty of zany characters. Back-to-back, this collection shows how far the franchise has come since it’s initial launch in 2009. If you’re a trigger happy first-person shooter lover who doesn’t take stories too seriously, put this on your list!
BioShock: The Collection goes in the complete opposite direction in regards to tone. BioShock is a first-shooter series that takes you on an unforgettable adventure where guns aren’t the only weapons at your disposal. BioShock 1 and 2 takes you to the dark underwater city of Rapture while BioShock: Infinite has a much lighter tone set above the clouds in the floating city of Columbia. BioShock: The Collection is a must have in every gamers library and is a great catch-up with the announcement of a new BioShock game in the works.
XCOM 2 Collection is the sequel to the XCOM reboot of 2012. Containing both the base game and the expansion, XCOM 2 is a tactical turn-based strategy game where every decision matters. Aliens have once again threatened the human race and it’s up to the XCOM team to stop them. Be warned, XCOM 2 Collection can be punishing. Hardcore XCOM or tactical strategy fans will find hours of enjoyment out of it though.
Borderlands: The Legendary Collection and BioShock: The Collection can be picked up from JB H-Fi for $49 each however they will also require additional game content to be downloaded. XCOM 2 Collection is purely digital only so you’ll have to pre-load it the night before or give the lucky person some Nintendo eShop money. It’s a little heftier pricewise at $89.95.
Slay demons on the go now that Bethesda have just released the Switch port of DOOM Eternal. Hell has taken over Earth but you can still save it from being totally consumed. Following up from the 2016 DOOM reboot, DOOM Eternal surprisingly runs great on the handheld console.
If you know someone who needs their first-person shooter fix wherever and whenever, they’ll love you for this banger! DOOM Eternal is however another one of those digital only doozies and can be bought off the Nintendo eShop for $79.95.
This is another re-release of the 2014 built-from-the-ground-up remake of Oddworld: Abes Oddysee. You might remember it from back in the Playstation One days with the blue alien-looking creature who farts a lot. It’s a sometimes challenging platformer where you rescue as many of your co-workers from becoming tasty treats made by your employer/masters failing food company. The puzzles will really make you think, and sometimes even bring you to pure frustration.
However, Oddworld: New n Tasty will make time fly with all of the puzzle solving you’ll have to do. Remember, don’t give up so quickly. The satisfaction is worth it. Oddworld: New n Tasty is also around the $49 mark at JB H-Fi.
A turn-based JRPG which also has its fair share of very large but covered-up BEWBS, Fairy Tail is based on the anime/manga of the same name. While I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with Fairy Tail, I suggest it mainly as a gift for those already familiar to the franchise. There are references that I didn’t quite get until I started watching a bit of the anime so it may not get the same level enjoyment from newcomers.
Familiar or not, Fairy Tail will also be enjoyed by turn-based JRPG lovers who also love a good serving of story. Fairy Tail is currently $68 at EB Games.
A mixture of farming simulator meets Action RPG, Rune Factory 4 Special is a little something for those who enjoy tending to farms while also killing monsters. After suffering quite the fall from a flying ship, you wake up with no memory of who you are. But somehow you’ve now become the prince/princess of Selphia, depending on the gender you pick. It’s nice mixture of calm farm work and completing tasks for townspeople while also kicking arse and fighting monsters. The latter though is by far my favourite aspect of the game though.
If you enjoy farming by day and kicking arse by night, metaphorically speaking, Rune Factory 4 Special is the game for you. If you just enjoy kicking butt then you might also like this as well. Rune Factory 4 Special is currently $47 from EB Games
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Many gamers have one particular game to thank for getting them through the mess that was 2020. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is one of the OG farm/housing simulators where you can customize your own island to your hearts desire. You can even visit other peoples islands, socialize and share gifts. It was one of the heart-warming gaming experiences to have happened during the pandemic, it even sold out within days at multiple retailers. And while things have eased, many are still playing since its launch in March.
You’ll easily lose track of time with Animal Crossing: New Horizons and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys social interaction in games, creativity or just spending time alone on a remote island. Animal Crossing New Horizons is $64 at JB Hi-Fi.
This was a much awaited title that truely delivered and plenty of fun for those young and old. Moving Out is a physics-based moving simulator by a local development taking over the world, SMG Studios. It’s a lot of chaotic fun as you race against the clock to move entire houses into a moving truck. Moving Out will also make for a great family game night on Christmas, or any occasion, allowing for up to 4-player local co-op.
Buy this one for the kids, or even for the adults. It has some great 80’s vibes and references too. Moving Out is $49 at JB Hi-Fi.
This is the latest multiplayer craze to take the gaming world by storm, including the GOA team. There’s an impostor (or impostors) within the crew and it’s your job to find out who it is before they kill everyone. Among Us will leave everyone in stitches and is also cross-platform compatible.
Everyone will enjoy this one, I can’t recommend it enough. Among Us is also digital only but a bargain at $6.95 on the Nintendo eShop.
You might as well get yourself some accessories to go with your Switch too and GOA have just reviewed the latest accessory on the market. These are literally a game changer for the Switch gamers who have to resort to using wired headphones since there are no wireless options. But not anymore! The AirFly Pro connects to any device with a 3.5mm audio jack allowing for most wireless headphones to be used.
If you’re sick of cords getting in the way of your gaming, put this on your wish list! AirFly Pro are available at JB Hi-Fi for $89.95.