NYMG Holiday Wish List
It’s that time of year again when all young (and not so young) gamers hearts turn to gifting. With Black Friday just mere days away we have brought our collective minds to the table to come up with some gifting ideas for the techie minded, fledglings, or wannabes in your life. We like to think that we have created a little something for everyone. we have split the list up into three categories: “Care and Feeding of Your Gamer” (for the adult gamers), “Care and Feeding of Your Future Gamer” (for the youngins), and “Care and Feeding of Your Technophile” (for the techies who may not be into gaming, or are so into gaming that they already have all the good stuff). And a NYMG t-shirt is always a great stocking stuffer. Enjoy!
Care and Feeding of Your Gamer
The Mass Effect Trilogy: Available for XBox 360, PS3, and PC, this gift is 5 years in the making. Now you can get the entire Mass Effect trilogy in one package for the low price of $60. Now your gamer can spend hours playing Fem or Bro-Shep and saving the universe.
The Walking Dead Collection: Available for XBox 360, PS3, and PC. Arguably the best episodic game ever made. I must play for any gamer who loves The Walking Dead television series or zombies period. This one is being released just in time for the Christmas season. It’s truly a steal for $30.
Afterglow Wireless Headset: If you don’t own a headset yet and don’t want to spend hundreds on a pair of Turtle Beach or Tritton, this headset is for you. Three different sound settings, a cool sleek look, and they’re only $89.99! This is actually on my personal holiday list.
Rockstar Games Collection: Edition 1: Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, L.A. Noire, and Midnight Club: LA Complete Edition all packaged in one for $59.99, need I say more?
CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme 1348 Desktop: Okay, this one is a doozy, but if you don’t have a PC that’s gaming ready nor the time to build yourself a custom gaming PC this is the way to go. Newegg discounted this bad boy $200 for the month of November making it even more affordable at $799.99. High-end PC gaming with great reviews, this could be a great gift to yourself or your family. Note: The most recent pricing on this is up to $999.99, but it is still a great build and price for convenience.
World of Warcraft, Mists of Pandaria: I know what you’re all thinking: how could you do that to someone you love? While WoW is very addictive, it also has never been easier to play. If you know a gamer who has never experienced WoW, you could get them the game or a game card. I have been playing WoW for a long time, and the most recent version is the least time-sucking of all the versions. You can play on your own, with friends, or with strangers. And you no longer have to dedicate your whole life to the game to get decent gear. Join the online sensation.
Xcom: Enemy Unknown: This is one of the most fun turn-based strategy games I have ever played. It has base building, resource management, space management, aliens, futuristic weapons, murder, and so much more. What else could you possibly want from a game? I think I’ve only gone out on a limb a few times for games (Tiny Bang Story, for one), and this is definitely one of those games. In fact, it’s difficult to take the time to write this blog because I want to be playing Xcom.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Ok, so I know that cool people thought the Modern Warfare games were far superior to Black Ops. But, 100% of the hardcore (by hardcore, I mean those who dedicated significant amounts of their free time to the game) that I know all preferred Black Ops. Black Ops II DELIVERS. It has the 24/7 Nuketown Moshpit. It has a new, more fully rounded zombie mode (which, btw, if my favorite part of the new one next to Nuketown 2025). All the confusing, over the top BS that we saw in Modern Warfare III is gone and we get back to what really matters: murder.
Care and Feeding of Your Future Gamer (kids 0-3, 4-8-, 8-12, 12-16)
Nintendo DSi: For about $130 you can pick up a Nintendo DSi for your fledgling gamer. These are great for gamers 3 and up. There are many great games to be had to teach colors, numbers, shapes, and letters as well as your usual games for strict entertainment.
Lego Batman 2/Lego Lord of the Rings: This latest generation of Lego games just keeps getting better. The voice acting just adds to greatness of the game. The use of lego characters means no blood and the characters just disassemble when they are beaten so it’s a lot less violent for the little ones and you can go back and look at the cut scenes just for fun. Batman 2 lets you play not only as Batman but the other DC superheroes as well. LOTR brings Tolkien to life even for little ones who are too young to read the novels or for the graphic depictions in the films.
Kinect Sesame Street TV/Kinect Nat Geo TV: Two new offerings for the Kinect that put your child in full length episodes of Sesame Street and National Geographic while giving them the opportunity to interact with muppets and animals. Multiple players on screen are supported so a parent can play alongside a younger child to help them get the hang of it or siblings can play together. Sesame Street is great for kids as young as 2 or 3 who may noot yet be into National Geographic and I can definitely see Nat Geo being a draw for children for an older age range. DLC adds more episodes to the games after your little gamer has played through the original episodes.
Xbox 360 4gb system: Maybe your future gamer is on the brink of becoming a full fledged gamer. Upgrading to the 360 now may seem silly as the next generation of consoles will be out in the next year or so, but with a deal like this you can definitely get your money’s worth. $206 for the 4gb system and if you’re worried about memory pick up a 32gb flash drive to be formatted for use on the 360!
Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the 3DS: Kids love Mario and stickers, put them together and you have a great game for kids of any age. This game uses the 3D feature to full effect, making the environments look great instead of just an afterthought.
Scribblenauts Unlimited: Another great game for kids available on the 3DS or the WiiU if you pre-ordered one. Your kids will have fun playing this game and it’s an enriching experience for them as well.
Solar 2: This is a PC game, running about $10. This game is a twist on classic Alien Invaders-style games that have the space ship destroying the comets and planets. In this game, you begin as a comet and try to absorb other comets until you become big enough to be classified as a planet. Once a planet, you try to absorb more things in the universe until you collapse into a star. And there are fun/very challenging missions in between.
New Super Mario Brothers 2: I don’t have a 3ds, but Sam was nice enough to let me play hers for awhile so I got a taste of this awesome game. For those who don’t enjoy the classic Super Mario Bros style, then this game isn’t for you. It is more like a continuation of the Wii version rather than a new, self-contained game. But, if you enjoy the classic Mario and the Wii version, then you will love this.
Skylanders Giants: Maybe I just wanted to put this on the list because I STILL don’t own Skylanders. I also know a few people thinking about buying it for their kids. This is a great game for kids because it’s not too violent while still having enough action that kids don’t feel cheated. It’s rare that you can find a game that is enticing for kids but still appropriate. And this is one. Maybe someone will buy it for me for Christmas too…
Care and Feeding of Your Technophile
Kindle Fire HD: Starting at $199, the Fire is a deal for readers, casual gamers, and children. The latest version of the Fire OS include Kindle Free Time which allows you to not only set ratings limits on apps and videos, but also to set time limits on each category separately. Free Time even allows you to create profiles for multiple family members so that everyone can have age appropriate content.
iPad: With the minis starting at $329 and the full sized versions starting at $499, the iPad is still my tablet of choice because of the sheer number of apps available in the Apple AppStore.
Blu-ray Player with Media Apps: A good wi-fi blu-ray player can be a handy all-in-one machine. They can play blu-ray discs, stream content from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and more and there is no monthly fee (like XBL). So for the techie who doesn’t have a console this is a great alternative and a good one can be had for less than $100.
Google Nexus 7: Want a tablet but can’t afford an iPad? The Nexus 7 has everything you’d need in a tablet and it’s only $249 for 32gb of memory. The screen is 7″ so it’s very comparable to the new iPad mini, especially if you support the Google Play marketplace!
Celluon Magic Cube: If you love advanced technology and showing off to your friends than this is definitely the gift for you. The Celluon Magic Cube projects a laser keyboard (!!) and then detects movement above each of the projected keys. How cool? Pricey for a party trick, but for $130 you’ll never have to blow the dust out of your keyboard again.
Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera: For the techie and/or photographer in your family. This camera has great reviews and is pretty affordable for a DSLR at $476. It will also be available at Sam’s Club on Black Friday packaged with a 8-55mm Lens, a 55-200mm Lens, the DSLR Bag, and a 16GB SDHC Card for $629!
Sony’s Wireless Headset: I spent a long time deciding which headset I would get, and I finally decided on this set. And I don’t regret it. They are really comfortable, the sound quality is great, and the mic works really well. They’re spendy, but if your gamer is in the market for a headset for their PC or their PS3, then check them out.
Xbox 360 Points: This is a great way to get your gamer something they want, without having to detective around their stash to find out what they own. They can buy themselves apps, indie games, AAA titles, and more.
Playstation Network Giftcard: The Playstation Network just redid their entire store, and they added a ton of retro games. Plus, no one wants to give their credit card information to Sony, so this is a way to help keep your technophile safe and allow them to download some cool games.