In this list, I tried to bring together the games that, I think, people will enjoy this December. Kind of a goodbye to this year's releases. I chose three Vita games and four 3DS games. I tried to keep it varied, so there's something for everyone. Without further ado, let's begin with the PlayStation Vita games.
1. Xcom: Enemy Unknown Plus
Xcom: Enemy Unknown Plus launched for the Vita on March 22, and boy did it launch cheap at a whopping price of $19.99 dollars. Despite the fact that this turn-based strategy adventure was first released for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC back on October 9th, 2012, it still comes with all the DLC and extra content released at the time for the consoles and PC versions. They didn't just plaster the extra content, the guys at Firaxis Games, the developer of the game, interweaved the content in the main campaign, so you'll be playing everything in a seamless, all-encompassing, experience. Even though it is an old game, it still holds up.
There are some minor issues, like a small graphical downgrade to fit the game in a handheld, and some stuttering in gameplay, but these are not really deal breakers. For a low price, you will get the whole, anxious-ridden, experience.
2. Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma
Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma marks the finale of the Zero Escape series that was started in 2009 with Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. It wraps everything gracefully, living up to the expectations of its fans. For those who don't know, the Zero Escape series wonderfully blends great storytelling, narrated in the form of a visual novel, and incredibly well-thought cerebral puzzles in circumstances that are full of suspense. This is the third installment in the saga and, arguably, the best one. Everything has been improved. The writing is sharper, full of energy, and it doesn't extend the story on what isn't needed. The voice acting is superb, smooth, and well delivered. Fully animated sequences take the stand as another improvement that imbues the experience with a cinematic feel. All in all, this is a superb experience that, though also available on the 3DS, takes the upper hand in the Vita as far as presentation goes.
I don't want to spoil anything, and even though Kotaro Uchikoshi, the game's writer, director, and creator, says he designed the game with newcomers in mind, I personally recommend playing the complete series.
3. Steins; Gate 0
Steins; Gate 0 is the sequel to Steins; Gate, a visual novel game developed by 5pb. and Nitroplus. The sequel (there is a debate whether the term sequel applies, since the present game branches from a storyline of the previous game) is available for both the Vita and PS4. It features a convoluted storyline and clever writing. The theme of the series is rather bleak, with the main character is traveling back and forth in time to prevent a Third world war between the United States, Russia, and Japan. Even though the premise is rather gaunt, the writing is dynamic, and you'll find wanting to laugh as much as wanting to cry.
If you are into well-created characters, convoluted timelines, and deep and transcendental storytelling, you are in for a treat.
Now let's take a look at the 3DS's line-up.
4. Kirby: Planet Robobot
Kirby: Planet Robobot's premise is rather straightforward: It's Kirby in a mech suit. The new Robobot addition blends seamlessly in the Kirby game's formula. It is a new twist that could have fallen flat but instead breathes new life into the franchise.
Kirby is confronted with an invaded and mechanized version of his world after a long nap, the story is direct: you, Kirby, set out to destroy the invaders and take your planet back to its original form. The game drinks directly from Triple Delux, Kirby's last installment before this game in the 3DS. So, players will feel a familiar map and overall presentation, but with a different and unique story.
This is not a repackaging; Kirby: Planet Robobot is its own thing. It is really fun and its levels are very well designed, as Kirby games usually are. The addition of the Robobot armor is not just a gimmick. The whole game revolves and develops around this mechanic. Sorry for the pun.
5. Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS
Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS brings everything its old brother brought a year ago, well, almost everything. The game comes back with everything you know and love of the Wii U version. The level editor is as complete and intuitive as the original, the only hold back in this aspect is the smaller screen. Editing can feel a little bit cramped and design can be hampered, but this is just a minor issue.
The only two aspects that got chopped off are the Mystery Mushroom, which allowed users to change the Mario sprite to 150 different Nintendo characters, and, most importantly, the share feature, which has been reduced to StreetPass, only StreetPass. You can't share a code or something similar to play and be played around the web. Basically, the social aspect of the game has been hampered, and that's a bummer.
Other than that, the game is as engaging and creative as before.
6. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney − Spirit of Justice
Your favorite defendant lawyer is back in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney − Spirit of Justice. Everything is back: great story-telling, straightforward gameplay, clever design, and well-written characters is what you can expect from this game. There's also a twist, Phoenix leaves Los Angeles and is out now in the Himalayas. The story is set in motion when his tour guide, Ahlbi, gets in trouble and is our job to defend him in a proper dais. Locals don't take kindly to lawyers in the kingdom of Khura'in, the place in which the game takes place, and the game's plot revolves around this concept and the religiousness of the kingdom.
There is a new mechanic involved in the mix. The royal priestess Rayfa will allow the players to take part in seances that hold evidence key to the development of the game.
This is a strong entrance in the Phoenix Wright saga and a game sure to entertain you this December.