The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 29, 2013

The Ultimate Holiday Video Game Gift Guide | Part II

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.

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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:

Amazon.com Newegg.com TigerDirect.com
Overstock.com Buy.com Frys.com

 

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch | PS3

  • Role-playing
  • Rating: E 10+
  • MSRP: $19.99
  • Perfect for: Fans of Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro or anyone who enjoys heartwarming animated fantasy epics

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.

Gamestop: $14.99

Skylanders SWAP Force | X360/XOne/PS3/PS4/3DS

  • Action/Adventure
  • Rating: E 10+
  • MSRP: $74.99 for starter pack; New characters and packs range from $9.99 to $24.99
  • Perfect for: Collectors or young gamers who also love action figures
Best Buy: Buy two Skylanders SWAP Force characters, get one free (X360/PS3/Wii/3DS)
Toys R Us: $40 off Wii U Skylanders SWAP Force Bundle ($259.99)/All starter packs 50% off ($37.49) In-store
Amazon: $49.99 (X360) (XOne) (PS3) (PS4) (Wii) (Wii U) (3DS)

 

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds | 3DS

  • Action/Role-playing
  • Rating: E 10+
  • MSRP: $39.99
  • Perfect for: Fans of the series or any gamer looking for an instant classic on the 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

  • Strategy/Role-playing
  • Rating: T 13+
  • MSRP: $39.99
  • Perfect for: The thinking gamer or anyone who enjoys tactical, chess-like play

Pokémon X & Y | 3DS

  • Role-playing
  • Rating: E 10+
  • MSRP: $39.99
  • Perfect for: Fans of the series or gamers who would enjoy collecting and battling a menagerie of virtual pets

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.

Wal-Mart: Get two free Pokémon-themed styli and game holder

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