Shopping for the holidays is quite a scary event. It has nothing to do with the reoccurring riotous events on Black Friday all in the vein of saving a buck or two – though those are frightening to say the least. The true horror lies within people’s choices of games to buy their children or another loved one.
I have seen it all too often. My heart cringes each year as I stand in line at Best Buy watching a thoughtful grandmother looking in the bargain bin for a game near the checkout registers. She doesn’t pick up the latest Mario, Skylanders toys or Call of Duty. No. Instead, she picks out something akin to the horror you see below: Imagine Part Babyz.
Don’t be that grandparent. Be the one who wins the imaginary, unofficial trophy labeled as “Best Grandma/Gramps/Mom/Dad” by scoring some sweet gaming swag for the people you love.
How do you go about embarking on this perilous shopping quest? Well, we here at Analog Addiction would really appreciate it if you began by reading this holiday buyer’s guide. From games to toys and clothing, you will likely find something on here your recipient will enjoy unwrapping Christmas morning whether it’s under the tree or stuffed in a stocking.
Now let’s get started!
It’s hard to claim yourself as a geek if you don’t have some kind of novelty showing your citizenship to Geekdom. Snag some of these toys to show off your inner geek.
It may not be advertised well on their website, but GameStop has its own toy section pertaining to a huge variety of video game related toys and figures from NECA. From Gears of War Lancer replicas to Pacific Rim actions figures, there are a ton of options to choose from. To see an an even bigger list of toys from GameStop, click here.
These bad boys are worth every dollar. With popular headphones like Beats, which command a crazy $300-plus price tag at the cost of the brand name. These headphones are all the quality without the overpriced brand name. They are some of the best headphones you can get for under 200$. They are studio quality, so the audio is clean and detailed, which makes it perfect for gaming. Listening to the bullets fly past you in Battlefield 4, or the terrifying screeches of the infected in The Last of Us is an absolute delight. Everything is so clear, and they are also incredibly comfortable, which makes them ideal for long gaming sessions. But they are well-equipped for listening to music without the overpowering bass and a nicely balanced configuration makes your favourite songs sound even better.
How can you make something like drinking even better? Having the Decepticon logo etched into your glass is a surefire way to do it! Many other designs are also available.
For all of you Doctor Who fans out there (and there’s a lot of you), why not spruce up your Christmas with some Doctor Who Tardis string lights? They’re great for a party or if you just love Doctor Who.
Donkey Kong is one of the most beloved video game characters of all time which makes this gift a guaranteed hit. Regardless of whether the recipient is eight or 38, there will always be room for the big gorilla.
Apparently the future is already here with this virtual keyboard. Using Bluetooth tech, this keyboard can be projected onto any flat surface. It also doubles as a mouse, and is compatible with many iterations of Windows, iOS, Android and Blackberry operating systems. It only weighs 7 ounces, too!
If you are using a membrane keyboard, get yourself to the closest computer store and do yourself a favour by buying a mechanical keyboard. Not only do you get that nice clicky sound that everyone loves, but you can actually notice how much quicker you type. Aside from the general mechanic keyboard pros, this keyboard offers a variety of things. You can switch between five different gaming profiles, which you can manually set up for different styled games. You may have macros for World of Warcraft on the green profile with a completely different one on the red profile. It makes switching settings between games a breeze. You also have five macro keys at the type which you can configure at your own desire. Not only are the features good, the keyboard itself looks badass. It is a nice chunky, sturdy keyboard illuminated with blue LED’s beneath each key.
We’ve all played an RPG or two, so we can all certainly appreciate the importance of health and/or mana replenishment. For a large number of people, coffee and tea perform similar functions which makes it the perfect gift for the thirsty geek in your life.
There is certainly no shortage of geeky coasters available for purchase, but these happen to resemble the dungeon items from A Link to the Past. Maybe you’d prefer a set of weapon-themed coasters or the Triforce and the various medallions? Those are available as well and can be purchased here.
You can never have too many Mass Effect action figures of your favorite characters. It’s a good thing these are on clearance at ThinkGeek as well because now you can assemble the entire Normandy crew at a lower price!
Ever wanted to smell like the Blue Bomber? Of course you have! Actually, people really have wondered about this. With this air freshener, fans of the Mega Man series were asked to share what they thought of Mega Man’s personality, and from there, the scent of Mega Man was put into this air freshener. Perhaps it smells like lilacs?
Even Mega Man needs to recharge on occasion, so obviously you do as well. While Dr. Wily may not be running rampant, these flasks will ensure that if he ever does wreak havoc, you’ll be prepared.
The wonders of science are everywhere, including your kitchen. Mixing and matching things to come up with the ultimate final product sounds a lot like chemistry, right? While the cake might be a lie, this Aperture Science logo spatula isn’t. Does this mean pancakes are lies, too?
Everyone should own a deck of cards. How can you make sure your deck stands out from all of the generic styles? Take the opportunity to display your gaming side and whip out a pack of Silent Hill themed cards!
We may like cube-shaped objects like the Nintendo Gamecube, but plain ole ice cubs are flat-out boring. With the Space Invaders ice cube tray, the little space ships can invade your sipping cup and turn it into a cool drink.
Star Wars Battlefront may be a way off, but luckily it’s always acceptable to buy Star Wars merchandise. Always. That’s where this set of Han Solo in carbonite ice-cube trays come in. Simply pour water (or chocolate if you have a sweet tooth) in them, stick them in the freezer and wait a few hours. Bada bing bada boom! You have Han Solo in imitation ice (or chocolate)! There’s also a Death Star mold from the same retailer, so take your pick.
We may love games, but we also love to show our passion for them. These articles of clothing are a sure-fire way inform people on your passion for arguably the greatest thing on the planet.
You know what this world (and maybe other worlds?) lack? Shirts for one of the strangest, yet natural hybrids in video game history: Kingdom Hearts. Every aspect in this shirt’s design shows what the series is all about.
While there are an increasingly large number of variations on this shirt style, the Creeper variant is arguably one of the most iconic. With the widespread success of Minecraft, you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t understand the reference.
Who says you can’t inject a formal event with some gamer memorabilia? Small enough to remain subtle, iconic enough to stand out to other gamers, and the fact that they glow in the dark greatly reduces your chance of misplacing them.
I Beat The Water Temple Without A Guide (T-shirt)
Ah, the infamous Water Temple from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It’s true what they say in the stories: no man ever walks out of that place sane… unless they have a guide. If you’re one of the crazy ones that has completed the Water Temple without guidance, you’ve earned this.
Joel and Ellie Vs. the WORLD (T-shirt)
Although the design of this shirt contains a comedic tone that couldn’t be more opposite to the game itself, it’s still a pretty awesome mashup, which combines Scott Pilgrim and PlayStation 3’s exclusive title The Last of Us. Overall though, it sticks true to protagonists Joel and Ellie’s relationship incredibly well. Speaking of which, check out our review on The Last of Us.
Do you know a Sonic fan with pierced ears? These handmade earrings measure approximately an inch long (not including the hooks), ensuring that they are visible, but not taking over the lovely lady’s face.
Return to Battle (T-shirt)
According to this article from 2012, before 343 Industries took the Halo helm, gamers cultivated 136 billion kills and played 235,182 years across the Halo franchise. With that said, you probably know that one person who has put at least one percent of that time into the series, so why not get them this shirt for the holidays?
Now come on, who wouldn’t want to wake up in the morning and dress like a Jedi? Well now you can if you buy the Star Wars Jedi bathrobe. You can now strut around the house in the trademark brown hooded robes all you want.
(Warning: does not come with force powers)
Water Electricity Earth Fire (T-shirt)
Feel that nostalgia coursing through your vains? Even after several hundred Pokemon have come into existence, those who have been there since the beginning – even if it was for a short ride – still get excited when they see the original Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue and Pokemon Yellow (and for those who live in Japan, Pokemon Green) starters. Get this shirt, which shows off the first starting Pokemon Squirtle, Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Charmander respectively.
Will the Circle Be Unbroken (T-shirt)
Few games will ever have plots as deep and complex as the Bioshock games, and Bioshock Infinite is not exempt from this factor. The best thing about this shirt is you won’t be torn with a choice between a Bioshock or Bioshock Infinite shirt because they’re both on there. It’s a packaged deal! Oh, and be sure to check out our review of Bioshock Infinite.
Video Games (of course!)
Now, we could spend another entire article talking about the games we think you should play. Seriously… we could, but we won’t. If you’re out and confused on what game to get someone, these suggestions could point you in the right direction.
Traveller’s Tales (TT) Games has a huge portfolio of LEGO games. From Star Wars and Indiana Jones to Batman and Lord of the Rings, TT Games has created LEGO games based on many well-known franchises. Marvel is the next franchise receiving the LEGO treatment. LEGO Marvel Superheroes is just like every other LEGO game: entertaining, relaxing, and heaps of fun. Whether you are playing by yourself or with family this Christmas, LEGO Marvel Superheroes is the perfect holiday experience.
The quality of the recent Rayman games to come from Ubisoft can rival the ginormous Super Mario Bros. games, and perhaps better in some ways. Rayman Legends is an incredibly fun platformer anyone can easily get into. It features gorgeous artistic visuals, four-player co-op (five if you own a Wii U), tight controls, zany humor and tons of things to do. In fact, it’s one of the few games Analog Addiction has dubbed with a perfect score, so you know it has to be good. It’s also quite difficult to miss out on playing this game too because it’s available for the Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Vita, and, as recently announced, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Annual releases are becoming all too common in the gaming industry, and Remember Me steps out of that formulaic pattern. Playing as a Memory Hunter named Nilin in a futuristic Paris, you have lost your memory and must discover who you were and why a corporation wants you dead. Memories are power, and Remember Me experiments with this idea with great success. Read our review of Remember Me here.
There’s a reason the digital video game store Steam is called Steam; it’s because of the red hot sales on PC games they host quite often. But with hundreds of selections to roam through, it’s a bit difficult deciding which games to buy. Well, we’re here to tell you which games are worthy of your cold hard cash.
(Disclaimer: that’s not actually the reason Steam is called Steam)
Yes, you can finish Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons in four hours tops. No, the game doesn’t feature a multiplayer, nor any other modes – be them offline or on – besides its campaign. That being said, Starbreeze Studios’ latest title is one of the most touching adventures in recent memory. It’s a sometimes dark, but generally lighthearted journey of two brothers in search of their father’s salvation. It’ll make you laugh, but it’ll also definitely make you cry. Brothers represents the definition of short, but immensely sweet. Check out our review of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons here.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger really puts the wild into the wild west, and shows you don’t need a full-blown sequel to right all the wrongs of your predecessor. Above all else, the game’s story helps Gunslinger create interesting and different outcomes to scenarios, which is a big plus for the game. Couple this with strong shooting mechanics, fun levels to play in, a new-game-plus mode which maintains all your past experience, and you’ll be playing Call of Juarez: Gunslinger for quite some time. Check out our Call of Juarez: Gunslinger review here and read a conversation on the game between two AA editors here.
Dust: An Elysian Tail is an amazing experience that shouldn’t be missed by anyone. It’s gorgeous, it has loveable characters, great voice-acting, fast and fluid combat and an amazing soundtrack. It’s also quite long for a $15 game. Sure, no game is perfect, but what Dust presents here is something absolutely worthy of everyone’s time and money. Read our review on Dust: An Elysian Tail here, or an editor’s second opinion, here.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing features an elegant combat system, an intriguing companion, interesting side-missions, beautiful graphics, and it can be quite long if you choose to play on higher difficulties. For its $15 price tag, you can’t go wrong with joining Van and Katarina’s resistance! Check out our review of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing here.
PayDay 2 is an enjoyable co-op game, featuring a still-kinda-rarely-executed premise. It’s complex, giving you tons of customization features. It has quite a few scenarios for you to tackle. Its randomness means you’ll need to play each level multiple times to see all its ins and outs. It also features a fantastic soundtrack, which is sure to get your blood pumping with excitement. PayDay 2 represents the definition of a sequel done right! Read our review of Payday 2 here.
Black Friday Deals
If you’re a parent or grandparent, you’ve likely heard your little youngsters talk about that one special video game at least three times every 15 minutes without fail. While we can’t tell you if that game will be on sale or not, we can at least point you to some of the Black Friday deals on video games, and wish you the best of luck in finding that game. Just click on the images below to go to the store’s Black Friday pages. (Source: IGN Wikis)
If you have the spare coin$$$…
There’s no need to get eye drops. You read that correctly.
For a “mere” $84,850 United States dollars, you can own your very own video game store in Lewisburg, Penn.! If you have no business experience, there’s no need to worry. According to the item’s eBay page, the sellers will “be there every step of the way to ensure that when the time comes to cut the umbilical cord, you will be completely ready and able to carry on the daily tasks of being a business owner and reap the rewards.” From there, they go on to list why this is a good investment.
Phew. I was worried it might be shady!
(Note: Local pick-up only. The store cannot actually be shipped to you.)
Do you have any geeky gifts you’re getting someone? Is there some nerdy present out there in vast landscapes of the internet you want? Let us know in the comments section below, and have a happy holiday from all the guys at AA!
Robbie Key is the Nintendo editor for Analog Addiction, entertainment editor for the Pine Log newspaper at Stephen F. Austin State University, news editor for Worlds Factory and blogger for IGN. Follow his completely relevant Twitter updates, watch his awesomtacular YouTube videos, and view his LinkedIn profile.