When it comes to gift shopping, the wide world of electronic entertainment can be daunting at best, paralyzingly indecipherable at worst. This guide is a comprehensive list of can’t-miss gifts for the gamers on your holiday shopping list along with online-only deals that will save you some scratch.
THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY VIDEO GAME GIFT GUIDE | PART 3
Missed out on some of these savings? Plenty of online retailers will be running price drops and sales through December. Check out some of these reputable sites:
For the Nintendo DS, 3DS and Sony PlayStation Vita
Gravity Rush | PSVita
This visually stunning action game is the first Vita title that really shows what the handheld can do. Players control gravity to traverse between the floating, blasted levels and get the drop on enemies in combat — all at breakneck speeds. With a visual style inspired by Japanese animation and slick, psychedelic cutscenes, this one's for the action anime fans.
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!! | DS/3DS
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance | 3DS
The menagerie of iconic Disney characters mashed up with memorable heroes and villains from two decades' worth of games from beloved RPG maker Square-Enix — what's not to love? After years of spin-offs, this is the first direct sequel to 2006's "Kingdom Hearts 2" and is a killer addition to the growing Nintendo 3DS library. No one does RPGs like Square-Enix and the nostalgia from meeting and fighting alongside your favorite Disney characters in the “Kingdom Hearts” universe makes it endearing to gamers of all ages.
LittleBigPlanet Vita | PSVita
Pokémon Black & White Version 2 | DS/3DS
This Japanese role-playing game giant continues to enthrall new generations of young gamers with its simple-to-learn yet complex-to-master mechanics ... and merchandise and spin-offs. After more than 10 years and 500 new Pokémon to catch, battle and trade, its popularity speaks for itself.
DIGITAL STOCKING STUFFERS ($20 and under)
A downloadable add-on for one of the biggest games of 2011 and the hottest independently developed games of 2012
FTL: Faster Than Light | PC
A wholly original offering from a small team of independent developers, "FTL" is strategic, real-time space combat in a way you haven't seen before. Players must take an intrepid crew of humans and aliens aboard a customizable, upgradeable ship, learn to manage ship energy and resources while making their way across the galaxy with evil rebel ships close behind. Trekkies and "Firefly" fans will really appreciate this one.
Hotline Miami | PC
Journey | PS3 (PSN)
Exactly as the title implies, this sweeping, colorful gem of a game is about a pilgrimage players take across seemingly endless miles of desert. The only hint of a direction travelers have are the looming spires of a city which rests somewhere far on the hazy horizon. With online play through the PlayStation Network, two gamers can encounter each other as they explore the alien wilderness and cooperate to solve puzzles. Its vibrant landscapes and characters, along with its fresh presentation, put this in the running for most unique game of 2012.
Angry Birds Space HD | iOS/Android
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Dragonborn Add-On | XB360 (XBLA)
A couple of downloadable add-ons and countless Game of the Year awards later, "Elder Scrolls" fans are getting the most robust expansion yet for the series' fifth installment, which is set in the Nordic land of Skyrim. In "Dragonborn," players must travel to the frigid island Solstheim — a place longtime fans of the series may recognize. A new story arc, new powers for the player and rideable dragons (rideable dragons!) make this a no-brainer for any "Skyrim" owner.
Are America's biggest alcohol brands targeting the country's underage youth?
Underage drinkers - those between the ages of 18 and 20, most specifically - are more heavily exposed to printed alcohol advertisements than any other age group, according to a new study. And it's America's biggest booze companies that could be to blame.
Auto recalls break single-year US record with six months to go
With six months left in 2014, automakers have already recalled more vehicles in the United States than in any other year on record.
Mobile web siphoning revenue from U.S. cities as landlines fade
Tweeting, Facebooking, Skyping smartphone users are costing U.S. states and cities revenue as taxes rooted in old-fashioned telephone service fail to keep up with the Internet era.
More than one in every 10 vehicles on the road has been recalled since January
It's becoming the year of the recall: Automakers have recalled more than 28 million vehicles in the United States this year — more than one in 10 vehicles on the road — putting the industry on track to trample the 2004 record of 30.8 million.
Hospitals using consumer purchase data for information on patient health
Information compiled by data brokers from public records and credit card transactions can reveal where a person shops, the food they buy, and whether they smoke. The largest hospital chain in the Carolinas is plugging data for 2 million people into algorithms designed to identify high-risk patients, while Pennsylvania's biggest system uses household and demographic data.
Limit dies on New York's soda size
Michael R. Bloomberg's plan to limit the size of sodas in New York City, one of the most aggressive and controversial public health initiatives in recent memory, effectively died Thursday.
Americans falling out of love with shopping malls
Abandoned malls are hot: The Dead Malls Enthusiasts Facebook group boasts almost 14,000 members; a Google search of "dead malls" produces 5.7 million results; and the desolate interiors of these unused retailing meccas keep making cameos in thrillers and horror films.
Cattle at record signals higher beef costs for July 4th grillers
Cattle futures extended a rally to a record as Americans are gearing up to pay the most ever for beef served at barbecues over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Higher airfare, crowded planes likely to linger after summer
Air travelers are paying more to fly in the U.S. this summer on crowded planes as carriers keep capacity tight, conditions passengers will have to get used to beyond the vacation period.
Distracted? 3 desktop apps to save you from yourself
While we normally share mobile apps, this week's "special edition" piece includes three desktop apps to save your distracted self from social media scrolling, constant email checking and general lack of focus.
- More Consumer Headlines
- Are America's biggest alcohol brands targeting the country's underage youth?