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Take A Virtual Load Off With These Games As Vacations

KevinG4
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Posted July 1, 2010 - By Kevin Kelly





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Take A Virtual Load Off With These Games As Vacations

The Fourth of July often turns into a mini-vacation for a lot of people as they load up the car and drive to the beach, lake, river, or nearby creek in order to frolic around in the sun. But that means you have to deal with the hassle of sunburn, insects, whiny children, and overcooked hamburgers. You told Uncle Hank it was ready to be flipped, but did he listen? No. Now you're eating a charred disc and fending off killer mosquitoes.

Instead of dealing with that mess, just take a virtual vacation. It's much cheaper, will be more relaxing, and won't leave sand in very uncomfortable places. Unless you have a pretty filthy couch already. Want something that won't leave your heart rate pounding while you seek cover from incoming fire, or have you trying to blast as many zombies as you can in order to stay alive? Keep your pulse low, and focus on your inner chi with these simple, relaxing games.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 Launch Trailer »


We know: there have been a ton of LEGO games based on popular properties like Star Wars and Indiana Jones already, and they're cute and simple and blah blah blah. This time, we really mean it. The whimsy of the first four Harry Potter movies has been crammed into one game, and this game appears on just about every platform you can imagine. It'll probably even run on your grandma's air conditioner from 1957. While it might seem like a small title, there's a ton of different stuff to collect, and you can play as one of 167 different characters. Expecto Patronum, sucka.

Endless Ocean 2 Trailer »


Why go to the ocean when the ocean can come to you? Forget the expensive gear, the tedious training, and worrying about running out of air when you're forty feet below the surface. Now you can do it all from the comfort of your living room. In this sequel to the very beautiful Endless Ocean, you will actually have to worry about sharks biting your ass from time to time, but luckily you're armed with a tranquilizing Pulsar that can slow them down, allowing you a chance to escape. There's a ton of sea life to look at, you can swim with dolphins, collect sunken treasure, and even take pictures of your dives and record them on an SD card. Update your Facebook profile with those and everyone will believe you did it for realsies.
 

Flower Trailer »


"I'm a hardcore gamer! I like fraggin' noobs and dancing in their guts! Popping heads off at 600 yards? That's what I'm all about! RAGE! KILL! DESTR ... waitaminute. What's this? A flower petal gently wafting on a breeze? Holy crap, this is for puss ... dammit, I love this." That was what happened the first time I played Flower. The game won me over in about five minutes. It is simply gorgeous, easy to play, has beautiful music in it, and provides nothing but pure enjoyment. It's like a virtual trip to a spa, minus the massage. At least your eyes, ears, and brain will appreciate it. For total relaxation, dive into Flower. And if you like Flower, check out fl0w as well. ThatGameCompany's Jenova Chen worked on it as a thesis project when he was a student, and it's beautiful as well.

 

Katamari Forever Galaxy-Sized Trailer »


While not quite as amazing as Katamari Damacy simply because the introduction of that title was a real "WOW!" moment in the world of gaming. Any sequel just can't be as jaw-dropping because you know what the concept is. But Katamari Forever shakes thing up bit by adding new moves and having the player bring color into the world. While it was also more enjoyable than the Xbox 360 outing Beautiful Katamari, it would have benefitted from some online multiplayer action. But who cares about that, right? This is your vacation. You don't need to share it. But if you want to, you can treat your friends to local multiplayer. There's just something relaxing about rolling junk up into a big, giant ball. Maybe a therapist can explain that one.

Peggle, The Addicting Puzzle Game Review »


Like LEGO Harry Potter, Peggle appears on just about every platform you can imagine. The iPhone version alone has cost me countless hours of productivity. That's just a testament to ... sorry, I had to go play for a few minutes. Where was I? Oh yeah, Peggle. If a Pachinko machine had a baby with a video game console that was owned by a ten-year-old girl who is obsessed with unicorns and fairies. The result isn't a freakish baby mutation, but rather ... Peggle. The simple, addictive gameplay and presentation puts your brain in some sort of a delight coma that you can't escape from. Nor should you want to. Then once you're done with Peggle, move on to Peggle Nights where the fun continues once the sun goes down.
 

Dead or Alive Paradise First 15 »


 
For many people, the 4th of July might mean independence for our nation, but for a lot of others it means girls in American flag bikinis. Which, as we all basically know, just means boobs. Speaking of boobs, there is a series of game that exists solely to show off boob-jiggling physics, and this game is a port of the Xbox 360 sequel Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. Only now, as the publisher puts it, you have "Paradise in the palm of your hand." Ew. Since Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball doesn't appear to be backward compatible on the Xbox 36, this is the best way for you to enjoy bouncing beach volleyball. There are a bunch of mindless minigames, and girls in barely-there swimwear. Tasteless, yet mind-numbing.

 

So what do you like to play to relax? What's on your gaming calendar for this weekend that doesn't involve guns, explosions, and fragging?

Take A Virtual Load Off With These Games As Vacations
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