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Advice on game consoles?

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  • Advice on game consoles?

    Wonder whether anyone can help a dad out with a potential Christmas present for his daughter?

    My (little) girl - she's 5آ½ - has set her sights on a video games console for Christmas, and I think has decided that the GameCube has the nicest logo (she's a girl, what does she know about technical specifications?). The thing is that her old dad being a diehard PC-gamer doesn't know one end of a modern games console from any other. I'm somewhat loathe to shell out a huge wad of cash on a new X-Box or PS2, or any of the the portable consoles, and I've seen some reasonably priced GameCubes for sale on the Internet, but there doesn't seem to be many 'New' ones for sale, so I'm assuming the GameCube is approaching it's 'End-of-Life' phase (which is fine because hopefully I can pick up old games for it cheap).

    All she'll want to do is play games that are suitable for a pre-teen. She unfortunately finds the PC games I have either too involved, too complex or simply rely too much on text (ie rpgs). Ideally I'd like her to be able to try a console out beforehand so she can decide if its what she really wants, but since that's unlikely I've suggested we visit somewhere like Virgin or Game and try to get a demonstration from a sales assistant.

    Anyone here got any experience of kids and games consoles?

    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

  • #2
    In my *errant* youth I have to admit to playing the Gamecube somewhat regularly. It has been out for several years now, so games may soon become harder to find for it, but if you are looking for quite young games then I think the Gamecube is a good choice. I would imagine they are very cheap just now as well. It is unlikely that many new games will be developed for Gamecube from now on though because I'm sure Nintendo will soon have a new console out.

    Of course, you could shell out lots and lots of money for the shiny new consoles like the XBOX 360 or whatever they call it, but I can't help you there as I really gave up on console gaming a few years ago.

    Hope that is of at least some help and I'm sure others will know what would suit a 5.5 year old child better than I.

    Comment


    • #3
      The GameCube is ur best bet for a 5yr old. Nintendo, unlike other consule has many games that appeal to kids her age and grans for inviting groups (Mario Tennis or Mario Party anyone?). While XBOX and PS aim toward a more grown audience, Nintendo has managed to retain its family values, per say, and its hardly a concern to leave a kid with a GameCube. And although it seems at the end of its life, there still plenty of games with much replay value - I'm still addicted to Mario Tennis w/ my friends (sure beats a dreary D&D night sometimes) :lol:

      Demos, also, your wallet will thank you for it. GameCube comes with a game and controller for under 150$ - easier to swallow than a 500$ or more XBOX 360 or PS3 will no doubt cost.



      PS> I'm pissed Perfect Dark: Zero (the N64 classic) is on XBOX 360 - been waiting for that game FOR EVER! now I gotta save or borrow the system from someone else :(

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd go for a PS2. Those are relatively cheap, and you can use it as a DVD player into the bargain. There's also a hell of a lot more games available for it (including the entire range of PS1 titles). Also, should you upgrade in future the the PS3 is supposed to be fully backwards compatible with the PS2 games (unlike the Xbox 360).

        Gamecubes are cheap these days, but most of the major retailers are beginning to stop stocking them, and the games.
        Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

        Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

        Comment


        • #5
          Probably not much help, since I don't really know what kids are playing these days, but have you seen these self-contained little hand-held units that plug in to the TV? They have about four "retro" games on them (Sonic and so forth), and are very cheap. Obviously you can't get new games for them, but if you're worried about cost and the fickleness of youth, then it might be worth taking a look at. Debenhams have them, and I just saw an Argos advert which suggested holiday discounts on such things. Just a thought...
          "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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          • #6
            I don't remember what I liked at age 5,hehe.

            I have a PS2, I like the Revenge of the Sith game it had scenes from the movie in it.

            The 'guilty pleasure' games I played for it were The Two Towers, The Return of the King and The Lord of the Rings game that played kinda like a Final Fantasy. The previous two were good action arcade type games. They also had movie scenes in them after each level.

            Those might be for older children so the Nintendo might be a better choice. Some PS2 games are not all that good, but I guess all game systems are like that. :D

            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
            - Michael Moorcock

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for all the advice and tips guys, I appreciate it. :clap:

              Dee, I had a look at the Argos website and finally decided to order a handheld Gameboy Advance SP console for her. There were a few reasons for going that way in the end:

              1) She'd like a portable device she can play in the car and other places,
              2) She doesn't need a DVD player so that ruled out the PS2 and/or Xbox.
              3) It's a Limited Edition Pink GBA,
              4) GBAs use a cartridge rather than a CD or DVD, so hopefully the games are less prone to scruffs and scratches. (She has a LeadPad 'book' that also uses cartridges so she's already familiar with them.)
              5) Buying cartridges on eBay (hopefully) means there's less worry of wondering whether they'll play or not (I've had some PC discs that wouldn't play due to scratches and stuff).
              6) It's pink,
              7) It's cheaper than a GameCube (آ£70 vs آ£90)
              8 ) It's compatible with a GameCube console and can be used (with the appropriate connector) as a Controller if/when we buy a GC console.
              9) Argos had a 'bundle' offer where you got a آ£15 game and an آ£20 'Expansion Kit' (includes in-car charger, headphones, ergonomic hand-grip, and carry-case) and up to آ£30 off the final price, so all-in-all it was 'just' under آ£80.
              10) With GameCube coming to its 'End-of-Life' phase, I'm hoping that people who buy the new Nintendo console to replace the GC will off-load their old consoles on eBay once they buy the 'Revolution' (or whatever it's called).
              11) Did I mention it was pink? ;)

              I got a Finding Nemo game, since she likes the film and I don't think she'll find it too hard (seeing as it's suitable for 3 yrs+). My wife was surprised by how small the GBA is, but I think it will be big enough for a 5-yr old.

              The only thing now is whether she has to wait until Christmas for it or have it earlier. She's been going through a rough patch at (primary) school recently and her self-confidence has taken a battering, so my wife and I are thinking that maybe it will do her more good if she has it a little bit sooner.
              _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
              _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
              _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
              _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by demos99
                The only thing now is whether she has to wait until Christmas for it or have it earlier. She's been going through a rough patch at (primary) school recently and her self-confidence has taken a battering, so my wife and I are thinking that maybe it will do her more good if she has it a little bit sooner.
                May I suggest a more advanced version of LeapPad instead?
                The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
                  Originally posted by demos99
                  The only thing now is whether she has to wait until Christmas for it or have it earlier. She's been going through a rough patch at (primary) school recently and her self-confidence has taken a battering, so my wife and I are thinking that maybe it will do her more good if she has it a little bit sooner.
                  May I suggest a more advanced version of LeapPad instead?
                  Well, yes there is that, - I guess it will have to be 'as well as' now rather than instead of (since I've gone and bought the GBA).

                  Don't know why I didn't think of that before. :lol:

                  My wife had a meeting this morning with the Deputy-head about H______'s problems at school and it was (surprisingly) quite productive. Things were fine last year when H. was in the Reception year, but the school changed the structure of teaching this year and have mixed up Year 1 and Year 2 children in (supposedly) same ability classes. 'Cos H. was in the top of her Reception class she's been put in with lots of Year 2 children (she's Yr 1 herself) and she doesn't yet understand that she's not supposed to be 'top dog' in her new class yet. She's also quite intimidated by the older children. However, the school won't move her down a 'stream' because they don't think she'll be stretched by the work if that happens, which I'm inclined to agree with.

                  Matters aren't improved by having a teacher who shouts and screams at the children when they get things wrong or don't do what they're supposed to in time. My wife helps out as a 'teaching assistant' in our daughter's class on Thursday so she's seen at first hand what's been going on, and she thinks words must have been had with the teacher because this afternoon the 'verbals' had stopped. (Of course, we'll have to see if it lasts.) It's been agreed that the deputy will 'mentor' H. and make sure that she feels comfortable and confident in her surroundings, so at least we now feel that the school is taking positive steps to help H. get over these current problems.

                  As a result of all the problems at school this term, our Doctor diagnosed H. with Stress at the beginning of this week, which he reckons is a contributing factor the behavioural problems (ie shouting, hitting, biting) she's been displaying at home. We've been running a 'Good Chart/Bad Chart' at home to try and encourage her to be better behaved - and it's not that she's a terror or anything, but when she gets frustrated she doesn't know how to handle that frustration, and as a result she usually makes herself more upset - but we've been advised that we should focus more on 'good behaviour' than continually highlighting when she's been bad.

                  We'll see how it goes, but hopefully we'll have enough support structures in place to help H. get through all this. [broken link]
                  Last edited by Rothgo; 04-23-2010, 04:13 AM.
                  _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                  _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                  _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                  _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by demos99
                    As a result of all the problems at school this term, our Doctor diagnosed H. with Stress at the beginning of this week, which he reckons is a contributing factor the behavioural problems (ie shouting, hitting, biting) she's been displaying at home. We've been running a 'Good Chart/Bad Chart' at home to try and encourage her to be better behaved - and it's not that she's a terror or anything, but when she gets frustrated she doesn't know how to handle that frustration, and as a result she usually makes herself more upset - but we've been advised that we should focus more on 'good behaviour' than continually highlighting when she's been bad.
                    It's too bad she's been observing some of the behaviour demonstrated by an authority figure. I suggested the LeapPad because it might help in cultivating the right kind of concentration, without an autority such as yourself appearing to be a distraction during "game time". I try my best to remember that a reward is a reward when you present it as such. ;-)
                    The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Perhaps a retrospective of game consoles would be helpful. http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...605&q=nintendo
                      The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I hope your daughter's situation at school improves. It sounds like you're a really caring parent though.

                        Game advice:
                        For the SP, I'd say that the Mario games are great for all ages. I'd also point out that the GB SP is backwards compatible with almost all older Game Boy games, so Game Boy Color and plain Game Boy games should work on it, with very few exceptions. Some of those older games are quite good and can probably be found for very small amounts of money. I'm actually rather into videogames, so I could probably go on and on, but I'll try and be (relatively) concise.

                        Some good websites to check out: (These are more for you to look at than anyone else... I don't know if your daughter can read at all, and some of these websites could definitely be inappropriate for children).

                        -Gamefaqs.com: This site provides FAQ's and walkthroughs for literally thousands of games. It also has reader reviews and message boards, though both have very low standards of literacy. I suggest this site because it can provide help if your daughter ever gets "stuck" in a game.

                        -Gamespot.com, 1UP.com: Major game reviews/news websites, lots of material your daughter shouldn't be looking at, but that might help you decide what's right for her.

                        -GamesAreFun.com: Smaller site with fewer reviews, but I think it's one of the best game sites around.

                        -Gamerankings.com: Index of game reviews from all over.

                        I hope this has been of help to you. If you have any questions, just ask.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks Keele, that's very helpful. I'd spotted that the SP was backwards-compatible with the older games, which was another influencing factor in my final decision. Quite a few shops that sell games also have a 'second-hand' basket with older titles at reduced prices. Guess I'll be adding some extra eBay catagories to my bookmarks as well though. :)
                          _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                          _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                          _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                          _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Also nice thing about the GBA, which i still play curled up in bed before (some Tactic games before snoozing) is the rechargable battery - that alone saves you money on having to buy AA batteries every day, just teach to recharge it at night and by morning, it'll have a 6-hr battery life. :D

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My experience, oups ! just to say that my daughter (19 years old) had a SNES when ~10, which she used to play Mario, Zelda , also she played on Game Boy ( the cartridge to plug-in is a good thing for little kids) ; the other good reason for having a GameBoy-like console is you don't need a TV monitor, instead of a PS or Xbx, it lets you able to watch tv with no "it's my time to have the TV" 'No !" "Ouinnnnn" ! When my baby grows up (faster than it seemed) she switched to PC games (RPG). At present video games became no longer her cup of tea since the time she has a boy-friend.
                              For my boy (13) the thing is rather different, from the moment he could grasp a pad or a mouse he is addict to every kind of video games, PC and Xbox recently. It's more fun to compete so we play together ( and the carrots are cooked rapidly for me with my sausage-like fingers).
                              For my own I'm seduced by the Xbox console instead of PC, I see never again the blue screen of death, it's not remind to you every time you install a new soft to upgrade 50,000 dll's , then it doesn't work with the former applis, then the drivers are not good , Grrrr !!
                              The games cost 60€ here in France,so we must slow down our eagerness. My son and I have been playing KUF, KOTOR, Ninja Gaiden, Ghost Recon, Rainbow, ...personnally I found Silent Hill,or Fatal Frame, pretty good games.. I plan to invest in a high flow rate ADSL to play on the internet, and Xbox 2 is coming up soon , but my wife is looking at me with the "dark eyes" (actually she has dark eyes ) !! because she doesn't want to have two "otakus" (total video game "junkies") at home !

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