When it comes to gift shopping, the wide world of electronic gaming can be daunting if the only controller you’re used to just changes channels. This guide is a comprehensive list of can’t-miss gifts for the gamers on your holiday shopping list - made up of the year’s most highly acclaimed video game releases and Black Friday and online-only deals that will save you some scratch.
Part II | For the younger crowd
Prices were gathered via PriceGrabber.com and Black Friday ads. All deals are accurate as of publication.
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:
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch | PS3
Few modern games contain as much charm as Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. It's no surprise the game has stolen hearts - it's a collaboration between Dragon Quest developer Level-5 and the internationally acclaimed Studio Ghibli, responsible for such classic landmarks of Japanese animated cinema as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and Grave of the Fireflies. Ni no Kuni triumphantly fuses the bright and vivid animation style of anime luminary Hayao Miyazaki with tried-and-true role-playing fantasy elements. A guaranteed hit for young gamers.
Skylanders SWAP Force | X360/XOne/PS3/PS4/3DS
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds | 3DS
The Legend of Zelda has been a household name since the mid-80s - older gamers likely grew up with the 8- and 16-bit iterations. In A Link Between Worlds, Nintendo poetically revisits the world of the widely acclaimed SNES game A Link to the Past, with a few twists that take advantage of the 3DS handheld's depth of field: The titular hero Link can turn himself into a painting to solve puzzles and navigate the familiar kingdom of Hyrule in fresh ways. Gaming website Polygon.com called it "The best Zelda game of the last 20 years." How can you go wrong?
Fire Emblem: Awakening | 3DS
Pokémon X & Y | 3DS
With a new Nintendo handheld comes the newest iteration of what could be Nintendo's most lucrative franchise to date. Aside from new monsters to catch, trade and train for battle, Pokémon X & Y - two versions of the same game offering different varieties of Pokémon for players to trade - adds a new "Fairy" Pokémon type, which will have an advantage against other players' "Dragon"-type Pokémon, and a separate minigame, "Pokémon-Amie", which lets players fawn over their magical critters and form stronger bonds. Kids love Pokémon - this one is a sure bet.
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?