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.
E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say
The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.
Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states
Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.
Millions of Android phones, tablets vulnerable to Heartbleed bug
Millions of smartphones and tablets running Google's Android operating system have the Heartbleed software bug, in a sign of how broadly the flaw extends beyond the Web and into consumer devices.
Brakes, steering and...spiders? What's behind the latest auto recalls
11 million vehicles have already been recalled in 2014 for everything from power steering failure to vulnerability to spider attack.
Check out the full list of 2014 recalls.
Amazon introduces Fire TV to challenge Apple in living rooms
Amazon.com Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is stepping up efforts to win over customers in their living rooms with a $99 TV box for watching digitally delivered shows and movies, challenging Apple's TV device.
The logic of Facebook's multibillion-dollar shopping spree
Yet again, Facebook has spent a gaudy sum of money to buy a hot startup. This time, it's virtual reality pioneer Oculus VR, at a purchase price of $2 billion. And don't be surprised if Mark Zuckerberg continues on his buying spree.
Poor aren't alone in living check to check
When you hear the term "paycheck to paycheck," you probably think of low-income households struggling to make ends meet. That's even the title of a new HBO documentary highlighting the plight of America's working poor.
Frigid U.S. weather means highest power prices since '08
Freezing temperatures gripping the eastern U.S. will result in the highest electricity prices in six years for consumers in Boston, Dallas and San Francisco.
VIDEO | First month of Colorado pot legalization brought in $2M in tax revenue
The first month of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado brought in about $2 million in tax revenue, the first indicator of the earning potential of the U.S.’s premier legal pot market.
Five things you should know about the Netflix-Comcast deal
Now Comcast and Netflix have announced that they will directly interconnect their networks, rather than having Netflix traffic flow first through a third-party network. With this, another layer of Internet architecture - interconnection and peering - is under the microscope.
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