With Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa right around the corner, Dec 24th - January 1st, December 25, and December 26th - January 1st respectively, gift giving season is about to kick into full gear. If you are a last minute shopper like a lot of us you are probably racking your brain on what to get that special gamer in your life (or yourself). Fear not. Here are a few recommendations in no particular order on what they might like.
Random Games on Steam
Have you ever spent time looking at games on Steam that no one you know has heard of? It’s pretty fun and you can find some gems for less than 50 cents. One such game is Labyronia which according to its listing is inspired by every great JRPG that was made in the 90s. For under five bucks you can give your 10 closest friends the gift of obscurity. With a list of titles such a Caveman World: Mountains of Unga Boonga, and Diehard Dungeon you are bound to hit on one that is so bad it’s actually a little teeny tiny bit good, maybe.
This is probably one of the hottest gifts of the season. Good luck actually finding one but if you do for $60 this is a tremendous value. The nostalgia is strong with this one. Castlevania I&II, Final Fantasy, Kid Icarus, Super Mario Bros 1-3, Metroid, Zelda I&II and that’s only one third of the games that come with it! This is easily my favorite item on the list. You can also save games at any point with save states so you no longer have to worry about dying on a long run in a dungeon with not a lot of built in save points along the way. This makes those old classics a little less frustrating.
This is a NES Classic aka the NES Mini. Good luck finding one but if you do feel free to mail it to Rob.
Loot Gaming Box
Boxes have become all the rage over the past few years, and not just for collectibles. Razors, snacks, clothes, fragrances, you name it there is someone peddling a box for it. The fine people behind Loot Crate have come up a box aimed squarely at gamers, the Loot Gaming box. Clever name ain’t it? If you have someone on your list that likes collectibles this might be a great idea. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home and can order and have it shipped directly to their abode while never leaving your PJs. Though you can do most of your shopping online these days regardless of the holidays.
Loot Gaming sent me a box for the month of December and I have mixed impressions of what came inside. If you only buy one the box is going to set you back around $30 USD. I imagine that’s even more if you live outside of the continental United States. My box had 6 items total. A double sided poster, a pin, a letter opener that was a Castlevania sword, two figurines, and a long sleeve T-shirt. You’ll have to select the size of T-shirt you want when you sign up for the box. Of the lot the letter opener is probably my favorite item. It has some nice details on the blade of the sword. One figurine is Ammy from Okamiden and is nicerly done. The other figurine is of Morrigan from Dragon Age and looks terrible. It’s a Titan’s Vinyl Figure and if I never see another one in my life I’ll be okay. Not only is it ugly as sin the item that it’s supposed to hold in its hand constantly falls out. The pin represents a coin and ties the theme of the box together. In this case it is mythic, not to be confused with the former developer, this is mythic the concept. It has a gryphon stamped into it. I liked the look of the shirt but the fit left something to be desired. While it fit okay throughout the chest and the midsection the sleeves were ridiculously skinny. Pinocchio would have struggled with this around the forearms. If you are looking for a way to make yourself look buff for the holidays this is the shirt for you. Overall this doesn’t seem like a bad value for $30 but most of the items, except for the most ardent of collectors, will just end up as junk on a shelf needing dusted once in a while. But I guess the same could be said for most gifts judging by the toy pile in the bottom of my kids’ closets.
These are quick, easy, and when you can’t figure out what to get someone just let them figure it out themselves. It’s a little more personal than cash and still says I thought of you, but doesn’t put you into regift territory. Can’t decide between Final Fantasy XV or The Last Guardian? Let them choose for themselves. Amazon is typically my fall back. GameStop are also nice. If you want to make them actually get out of the house and do something else other than game you can get them a movie card and hope they actually go see one. I’d suggest Fandango over a theater specific gift card like AMC or Cinemark simply because you can use a Fandango card on tickets for any of those theaters but AMC isn’t going to take your Cinemark card and vice versa.
That’s a short list to hopefully help you stave off some frustration and not but too big of a ding in your pocketbook. If you have some suggestions to make sure to list them in the comments below. Let’s crowdsource the gift ideas.