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The Best Video Games For the Family on The 4th of July

SwiderMan

Posted July 4, 2012 - By Matt Swider







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The Best Video Games For the Family on The 4th of July

Playing video games with family on the 4th of July is safe, legal and condoned by your housing authority.

The same can’t be said about the fireworks that are probably banned in your city and the charcoal grill that will get you hassled by your landlord bright and early on Thursday morning. You could trade that M-80 in for lame sparklers or bring the BBQ party indoors, but we think that sharing with your family and friends your video game dependence is the best way to celebrate this day of independence.

Turns out we have a list, nay a signed document, of ten family-friendly video games for freedom-loving families.

Kinect Disneyland Adventures


Kinect Disneyland Adventures
Disneyland is especially magical during the 4th of July thanks to the theme park’s elaborate parades and brilliant fireworks -- Mickey Mouse has a permit to set them off right above Cinderella's Castle. Not as magical? With the holiday crowds and long wait-times. Kinect Disneyland Adventures for Xbox 360 is a great alternative for the entire family; it’s faster than Fast Pass and has a fireworks mini-game to boot. The rest of its 18 mini-games are based off of the attractions, new and old, from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters to Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. Best of all, it’s all located in your living room. No chance of a live-action National Lampoon’s Family Vacation sequel in your future.

Kinect Disneyland Adventures is the latest game in a long line of video games with fireworks that you should check out.

The Best Video Games For the Family on The 4th of July


Big Buck Hunter Pro
Nothing says America better than loading the family up with a pair of shotguns and goin’ huntin’. You can do exactly that without leaving your cousin/sister’s house in the Nintendo Wii or Plug ‘N Play version of the arcade classic, Big Buck Hunter Pro. And since this here pump-action rifle game can be played on one of them fancy video game machines, you don’t need a pickup truck to haul away the six different types of trophies. The moose, deer, elk, antelope, caribou, and bighorn sheep are all stored right there on the teevee.

You will, however, need to buy a second gun to get the most fun out of this game. The bundle for Wii comes with a single shotgun, so either buying two versions of the bundle or tracking down a friend with the game is your only choice with that system. Otherwise, go with the simpler Plug ‘N Play version, which does have a two-pack and is more widely available in department stores.

LEGO Batman 2


LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
There are now more than ten licensed LEGO video games and yet the film/toy mash-ups haven’t gotten old yet. We liked the LEGOified versions of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean, but the latest game, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, has to be our favorite. That’s because it contains a playable Superman (complete with the John Williams Superman theme in addition to Danny Elfman’s classic 90s Batman scores), and this sequel has voice acting for all its characters. The presentation and Superman’s appropriate red-and-blue spandex make it an enjoyable July 4th pick for any superhero-loving family.

The Best Video Games For the Family on The 4th of July

Sly Cooper Collection
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, the 4th Sly Cooper game, won’t be ready for the 4th of July, but its developer, Sanzaru Games, did release a remake the first three games by the way of The Sly Collection for PS3. It includes Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, Sly 2: Band of Thieves and Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. These slick-playing, stealth-platform games have been retrofitted with 720p HD graphics, 3D TV support, and Move controller compatibility. But all three games were already among the best action-platform games on the PS2. You’re just getting them with more polish and a cheaper price. In Sly Cooper’s mind, that’s such a good deal he’d consider it a steal.

Don’t let Sly’s thieving ways fool you, though. He’s family-friendly and steals back from the bad guys, and not in an OJ Simpson kind of way. If you don’t have time to buy the Sly Collection in stores before the holiday festivities, you can always purchase each one separately via the PlayStation Store. It’s worth whatever wait-time the always-unpredictable PSN download queue puts you through.

The Best Video Games For the Family on The 4th of July


Buzz: Quiz TV
You have the day off, so the last thing you want to do is learn something new. But we swear that testing your existing knowledge in Buzz: Quiz TV for PS3 will be a lot of fun for the entire family. This multiple-choice brainteaser game asks the right questions in which the answers are always on the tip of your tongue. They’re not too hard and not too easy. But it's the fact that the bundled version of this game comes with four wireless Buzz controllers that allow you to guess the answers and a gauntlet of ridiculous modes to make the rounds chaotic. For example, being the first to correctly answer in the Pie Fight round enables you to select the player who will (if correctly timed) receive a pie to the face and lose points. That could be you if you don’t time the button press just right.

Buzz: Quiz TV supports up to eight players if you have another set of four Buzz controllers and an extra wireless dongle. If you don’t, try pairing up into teams. It always works just as well. In fact, hearing other player teams whisper back and forth makes the question guessing even more frenzied.

New Super Mario Bros. Help System Has Real Name:


New Super Mario Bros. Wii
A familiar-looking game like New Super Mario Bros. Wii won’t scare away everyone in your family because they’ve seen 2D Mario games before and know that the characters need to go left to right. They won’t be afraid to pick up the Wii controller because it seems simple enough, but they won’t be able to put down the controller for the opposite reason: because its chaotic fun. That's when you’ll realize that four players bouncing off of each other and dying a million times through nine worlds and 88 levels means that your family is going to be playing this one so long that it’ll eventually be called Old Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Split/Second


Split/Second
Explosions via illegal fireworks aren’t for the kids, but explosions via arcade racer Split/Second are Disney-approved. This addictive game goes as far as to feature a thin plotline declaring the cars as part of a popular TV stunt show and say that the opponent-smashing environmental explosions are just special effects. Sure. But when we build up our powerplay meter enough to cause a 747 crash land on everyone in front of us, we’re just thinking about sweet, sweet revenge. There are only two downsides to Split/Second: it’s two players locally (eight online) and Disney disbanded the studio instead of making the planned sequel. This one-of-a-kind, adrenaline-pumping arcade racer and its DLC are all we’re going to get from Black Rock Studio.

Dance Central 2 E3 Preview -- This Is How We Do It


Dance Central 2
Hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken, ribs, steak, and potato and macaroni salad (neither of which are actual healthy salads). You’re pretty much due for a colonoscopy and a workout following a 4th of July BBQ. Dance Central 2 can help with the latter (we’re not sure we’d want to play any video game that claims to achieve the former) and now this Kinect game is available as a download via the Xbox Live Marketplace. Harmonix, the developer behind the first Guitar Hero games and Rock Band franchise, added simultaneous two-player dancing to this sequel, and it’s drop-in and drop-out, which is ideal for parties such as yours. Really, it’s one of the best games you can get for Kinect, until Dance Central 3 comes out.

Super Smash Bros For The Wii U And 3DS Don't Have A Dev Teams Yet


Super Smash Bros. Brawl
What better way is there to bring the family together than to spend the 4th of July tearing each other apart as Nintendo characters? That’s pretty much the premise we’re proposing for you in suggesting Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. Yes, the game is nearly four years old now, but the controls are easy to pick-up, there are almost three dozen characters choose from and it’s lighthearted enough to get a Teen rating. Any real fights that break out due to “unfair” tactics, however, are like online interactions: not rated by the ESRB. You’re on your own. We would’ve suggested PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royal, but that PlayStation-mascot fighting game is still a couple of months away. Next 4th of July, maybe.

The Best Video Games For the Family on The 4th of July


Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
The 2012 Olympics don’t begin until the end of the month, but Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog have been in London since late last year as part of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games for Wii. This version of the game features 20 Nintendo and Sega characters competing in different Olympic mini-games as well as looser “Dream” Event and a new Party Mode. We found the latter game types, which have little to do with the Olympics, to be like the opening ceremonies -- a lot more fun than the official games themselves. No matter, this game is four players, fit for the family and better than the duo’s Beijing outing.

Playing a video game that’s supposed to be based in London (but still thankfully refers to Big Ben as Big Ben) while celebrating America’s independence from that capital’s country is a bit ironic. No matter. This game and the nine others give you the freedom to ring in the 4th of July holiday the opposite of how King George III wanted: any way you and your family want to.

The Best Video Games For the Family on The 4th of July
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