Sean Colleli – Staff Writer
Feel the Magic XX/XY/The Rub Rabbits (Nintendo DS) - Sega’s excessively bizarre minigame collections for the DS are rather off-putting at first, but, like Wario Ware, their quirky charm is what gives them staying power. Once you explain to your friend that there really isn’t anything dirty about these games, they’ll be hooked on the addictive challenges and heart-warming story. Ok, so the story is pretty weird in both games, but the art style is eye-catching. Both of these games run for bargain bin prices, and because most everyone has at least two DS’s, it shouldn’t be too hard to demonstrate Sonic Team’s idea of chivalrous, enduring romance.
Samba de Amigo (Sega Dreamcast)- A Dreamcast classic and winner of the first Developer’s Choice Award, this one is worth picking up if you still own Sega’s underappreciated last-gen console. It has the freestyle appeal of most rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution, but also the unique charm of the maraca peripherals. Getting your reluctant girlfriend or even your grandparents into this game shouldn’t be hard—its colorful, nonsensical style is non-threatening and its emphasis on movement shatters gamer stereotypes. It’s a shame that there’s never been a true sequel anywhere but Japan, but with music games being so popular these days, we might get a follow-up eventually. Hey, NiGHTS got a second chance.
Crazy Taxi (Multiple Platforms)There are three great things about this game: it’s insane, it’s funny, and it’s available on nearly every console. Crazy Taxi is one of those games that can be easy or hard depending on how much of a challenge you want, so an inexperienced player can still have a lot of fun. The humor is what draws in most non-gamers, and the controls are simple enough for most people to understand. What’s more, the arcade origins of this game mean that it might be known to a broader audience. There’s some rough language, but this one is great to play with the guys after a few beers, no matter what console you own.
Doom (PC/Xbox Live)- Why am I suggesting such a violent, notorious game as an introduction to gaming? Well, probably because in many ways, Doom is the perfect game. In today’s industry of normal-mapped gunshot wounds and volumetric particle blood, Doom’s gore seems almost comical, so it won’t be such a turn-off. It is also one of the easiest games to pick up and play, single or multiplayer. Its ubiquity is a real plus—almost everyone has heard of it, and Doom will run on just about anything. It might not cross genders as cleanly as Nintendogs or DDR, but if my 12-year-old sister likes it, it can’t be that unappealing to women.
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