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Top Five Video Game Vacation Spots
by Andrew Testerman

May is drawing to a close, and here at GGTL, summer is beating at our doors with Mjolnir-esque intensity. Three sweet months of R&R are imminent, but, being gamers, we don’t want to waste our leisure time in the ordinary, boring travel spots, and neither should you. As such, we’ve assembled a list of five video game vacation destinations for you to visit instead of the usual, yearly trip to Bristol.

1: Crocodile Isle – Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (Virtual Console – 800 Wii Points)

A good, balanced vacation boasts a wide variety of activities to partake in. Crocodile Island offers a whole host of things to do across six distinct locations. History buffs will enjoy touring the island’s authentic Kremling galleon, as well as one of Crocodile Isle’s many historic castles (be careful of any low ceilings). Thrill seekers can visit the local amusement park, Krazy Kremland, or the haunted manor in Gloomy Gulch (still genuinely haunted!). Steadfast adventurers can explore Crocodile Isle’s natural volcano setting, or discover the deep jungle antics of the Lost World. Forget the factories and mine shafts of previous vacations—Crocodile Isle is the spot you’ll really go ape over.

2: Paradise City – Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box (PSN, Steam – $19.99)

Motor enthusiasts looking for a summer getaway won’t find a better spot than Paradise City. Leisurely cruise through the bustling streets, stopping by the stadium for a Wildcats game, or check out the Naval Yard for a bit of sight-seeing. Unwind by driving through Paradise City’s many hills and mountains, or stop by Silver Lake for a restful soak. There’s even a tropical island destination right across the suspension bridge! The best way to take in the sights? An aerial view, of course — courtesy of Paradise City’s many jumps and ramps.

3: Rapture – BioShock (Xbox Live Games on Demand, Steam - $19.99)

Forget a condo by the ocean — how about a condo in the ocean? For those who want to spend their holiday in peace and quiet, the ocean floor city of Rapture offers a quality, 1950s art deco style that’s sure to please even the most jaded art fan. Enjoy Rapture’s many gambling and hotel districts, and gaze in awe at the sub-Pacific setting. Management has let things go a little in the past few years, but it’s not like the place can just fall apart overnight, right?

4: Uncharted Micronesian island – Far Cry (Steam - $9.99)

Palm tree, blue skies, cool ocean breeze, gently crashing surf, the sound of bullets whizzing by your head — Far Cry’s small archipelago truly has everything for a relaxing vacation. You’ll never gain a better appreciation for the island’s lovely foliage than as you stalk through it, desperately avoiding your enemy’s line of sight. Drink in the sights from one the island’s many vistas, then give that mercenary who’s in your sights a permanent vacation of his own. How about a nice ride on a jet-ski ride downriver? Just make sure to watch out for any incoming rockets! After vacationing to Far Cry’s tiny, mercenary-run island, you’ll wonder why you never went sooner.

5: Treasure Trove Cove – Banjo-Kazooie (Xbox Live Arcade - 1200 Microsoft Points)

Ahoy there! If your ideal vacation has you combing the depths for buried treasure, look no further than Treasure Trove Cove. Sail with Captain Blubber, captain of the Salty Hippo and all-around crybaby, as he searches for sunken booty, but be sure to watch out for sharks. Dance a jaunty beat to the island’s steel drum rhythms as you roam the beach collecting shells — some may be bigger than others! For something a bit more scenic, visit the island’s lighthouse and gaze at the unfortunately-low draw distance of the environment. It’s a pirate’s life in Treasure Trove Cove, so prepare to have your timbers shivered like nobody’s business.

Any gaming spot you’re booking with your travel agent this year? Sound off in the comments! The summer’s young, and there’s plenty of time for even more travel...

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- Andrew Testerman

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