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Christmas Shopping: Non-Gaming, Priest Dad-Style


What video game do you buy for a priest as a Christmas gift? That question was just posed to me. My ex-girlfriend (yeah, that girl that used to pop up somehow in every c-blog I ever wrote... we broke up. Still best friends though. It's good when that can work out.) texted me a bit ago. She wanted some advice for a Christmas gift for her father. Her dad is a priest of one of those Christian-type faiths that I keep forgetting what is called. Her folks are both very religious, which poses an interesting question or two when they just bought themselves a Wii a couple weeks ago and my ex is tasked with populating their gaming library. Here was the email I sent her in response:

"There really is no win here. Old people that buy Wiis will never play any of the games that are available for the console. They really only want Wii Sports. And they'll get bored of that inside of two weeks, as it is. Animal Crossing could be a decent choice, as there is some incentive to keep playing that for a while. There's no challenge and it's got a nice relaxing pace. But, I just don't see your pops getting into that. And bipedal, talking animals raises an evolutionary question. Knowing him better than I do, use your own judgement on that suggestion.

"I really think that anybody that owns a Wii would LOVE Super Mario Galaxy if they could only devote an hour to it. It's a beautiful game, and nearly flawless. It's got a little bit of challenge, but not too much. The sort of game that you have to put a little bit of effort into, but is constantly rewarding you for it, since the levels are fairly short, and the continues infinite. There's such a feeling of accomplishment that comes from beating a level in a video game (especially in a game where you don't have to start the whole thing over when you die). But, he would have to learn how 3D platformers work and control. I don't see him capable of putting forth that effort. So, maybe not.

"I can't speak for the multitudes of games for Casual Gamers that are out there as I'm not one. Casual games don't appeal to me. They don't appeal to me because they are terrible. Carnival Games is a good example. Super popular. It's sold a ton of copies. It's really shitty, has no replay value, isn't particularly fun, and nobody (even the casual gamer) plays it for longer than a week.

"So, my real suggestion here is going to be a game called "Boom Blox". It's got Steven Spielberg's name on the box (though, he probably had little to do with the game's creation). It's got amazingly solid review scores. My little brother owns it. My mother actually played it when he got it (I still haven't gotten a call for my Animal Crossing friend code since I got her the DS version early in the year). It's a puzzle game that is supposed to utilize the Wii-mote in the sort of way that you'd imagine it would be used for instead of how it's used in 99% of the games for the system. And puzzle games are pick-up-and-play by nature. So, after a short time of learning how to play, he could easily jump in and out of it. I imagaine that it's the sort of game that teaches new skills one plays. SO there wouldn't be a huge learning curve. I think if there's any game that he would both play and would be worth a damn, this would be your best bet.

"Except for Resident Evil 4. Because that's practically a hand-job on a disk."

She hasn't purchased anything yet. What would your advice be for the perfect, inoffensive game for the ultra-religious, casual gamer?
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About Haxanone of us since 11:13 AM on 10.23.2007

Occasional contributer to Tomopop.com.

Random gaming facts about Haxan

Legitimately beat Mike Tyson and went through Another World Circuit undefeated.

Beat the original Contra without dying. Twice.

Can land the damn plane in Top Gun and can also refuel in midair.

Can't beat Ghost & Goblins without the level select code and has never lied about it.

Thinks Friday the 13th is a great game even if the physics, controls and weapons are garbage.

Mario Paint caused him to buy a Super Nintendo and largely leave his Sega Genesis behind. He has played it more than most video games and wore down the mouse pad so that the grid only shows around the corners.

Has beaten Street Fighter II: The World Warrior and Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers on the SNES on the hardest difficulty without losing a single round. Multiple times.

Is still friends with the girl who worked at a local game store and sold him Street Fighter II nearly 17 years ago.

Beat Final Fantasy 2 in a weekend when he was a kid, yet can't get through a role-playing game these days if his life depended on it.

Has never beaten Final Fantasy VII.

Prefers pads to sticks.

Likes the N64 controller.

Prefers the Duke to the S-controller.

Doesn't think that Super Mario 64 is all that great.

Got an Xbox mostly for Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. And thinks it's a damn good game. Really.

Swore he would never buy a Game Boy Advanced SP, but immediately broke down once the NES edition came out. (And regarding the NES Classics series, true in-store dialogue: "Dude, are you serious?! They seriously expect people to pay 20 dollars a piece for games they can just downlo...Ooh! Zelda!")

Really liked the first Halo. (Well, there goes my dtoid cred.)

Can rock out Dynamite Rave in Dance Dance Revolution like it's nobody's business.

Played the hell out of Animal Crossing: Wild World and hid that fact from nobody.

Stomped Brad Nicholson at Street Fighter IV, but had to resort to the cheapest of tactics in order to do so. ;)

Thinks you're really, really, really smart. And pretty.

Top ten favorite games (in no particular order):

The Legend of Zelda (NES)
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out (NES)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
Phantom 2040 (SNES)
Street Fighter II (any version)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)
Final Fantasy 3/6 (SNES)
Ico (PS2)
Sin and Punishment (N64)
Picross (DS)


I love drawing, though I realize that I'm not very good. I figured early on that drawing my own header art would help my blogs stand out. Thanks to Destructoid, and to the scanner that Carollelogram got me for my birthday last year, I feel like I've developed a unique style that's distinctly my own.

Outside of games I've got a DVD collection that is exploding out of a 5'x6' shelf (over 400 titles). So suffice it to say that I love movies. I'm a huge horror fan and I host an annual Dusk Till Dawn Horror Movie Marathon nearly every October. My top ten favorite films in order are as follows:

1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cativo, 1966)
2. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
3. Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai, 1954)
4. The City of Lost Children (La Cit� des enfants perdus, 1995)
5. The Apartment (1960)
6. Strings (2004)
7. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
8. The Big Lebowski (1998)
9. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
10. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Music-wise, my top 3 bands are The Pixies, The Velvet Underground and Radiohead. I listen to damn near every genre of music (except modern country. I yearn for the days of Hank Williams, Sr. and Tammy Wynette). Hit random on my mp3 player and you'll get everything from darkwave to hip hop to 80's synthpop. I karaoke pretty regularly. I can't sing, but I surround myself with people who can. Still, you've not experienced all there is in life until you've seen me proper butcher True by Spandau Ballet.

Then, as for the literary interests, my love lies with pulp detective novels of the thirties and forties. Raymond Chandler is simply the greatest ever. And Dashiell Hammett is just fantastic. Lately, I've been reading through Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles at Carollelogram's recommendation. Two books in and I have to say they're astonishing.

If you do the Twitter thing, Haxan1 is my handle should you want to follow me.

Feel free to friend me to your console of choice should you ever want to play a game of Street Fighter. Just be sure to let me know that you're from Destructoid and you'll get the royal treatment.

Blogs I writed:

Virtual Console Review- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Review- Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop

Front Page
Other Worlds Than These: The citizens of the land of Termina
Community spotlight: Haxan goes above and beyond for the community

Monthly Musings
Instant Replay: Street Fighter II
The Start of the Affair: Solomon's Key

Editorials and assorted articles
Does the Wii have RROD-type issues of its own?
Okay, Nintendo. I guess that we can be friends again.
Niero, do you have any idea what in the lobster milkshake you have done?! (dtoid 3rd anniversary post)
10 things you might not have known about Haxan (but really only 8)
Why Destructoid is awesome: Nilcam is the greatest edition (I honestly can't give Nilcam enough props for this.)
Christmas shopping: Non-gaming, priest dad-style
Bad Dye Job: A Darius Pickman Story
"Congraturation" RetroforceGO!
Nintendon't what?! Now you tell me just what the %#@$ Nintendon't do!

Neat stuff I played a bit part in
The Destructoid children's alphabet book


Xbox LIVE:haxan1
PSN ID:Haxan
Mii code:8490 3559 2301 7665


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