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November 30, 2012

The Ultimate Holiday Video Game Gift Guide | Part 3

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.


Prices were gathered via and Google Shopping. 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:



For the Nintendo DS, 3DS and Sony PlayStation Vita

Gravity Rush | PSVita

  • Action/Platformer
  • Rating: T 13+
  • MSRP: $39.99

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

  • 2-D side-scrolling/Platformer
  • Rating: E 10
  • MSRP: $29.99

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance | 3DS

  • Action/RPG
  • Rating: E 10+
  • MSRP: $39.99

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

  • 2-D side-scrolling/Platformer
  • Rating: E 10+
  • MSRP: $39.99

Pokémon Black & White Version 2 | DS/3DS

  • Turn-based RPG
  • Rating: E 10+
  • MSRP: $39.99

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.


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

  • Real-time strategy/RPG
  • Not Rated (Mild sci-fi violence)
  • Price: $10

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

  • Action/Shooter
  • Not Rated (Extremely graphic violence, mild language)
  • Price: $9.99

This game is intense. A cerebral, trippy and narrative-driven thrill ride, "Hotline Miami" comes way out of left field. The difficulty is frustrating yet immensely rewarding and players collect masks that grant special abilities and open up new solutions to the levels. Gameplay consists of clearing buildings full of armed goons using only the weapons scattered about and the fastest of reflexes while the visceral and fluid combat is charged by pulsing 80s-flavored electronic house beats. Although there are few characters in "Hotline Miami", the most recurring is the explicit violence and gore. Gifters be wary! Not to be missed by the hard-boiled action movie crowd.

Journey | PS3 (PSN)

  • Adventure
  • Rating: E 10+
  • Price: $14.99

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

  • Puzzle
  • Not Rated (Mild cartoon violence)
  • Price: $0.99

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Dragonborn Add-On | XB360 (XBLA)

  • Open-world RPG
  • Rating: M 17+
  • Price: 1,600 Microsoft Points ($19.99)
  • Release Date: Dec. 4

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.

CONTINUE? 9... 8... 7...

Check out the other two parts of our Ultimate Holiday Video Game Gift Guide here:

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