2017 Holiday Gift Guides: Video Games

Video games galore are always in stores at the holidays. Many titles have special downloadable content (DLC), add-ons, accessories and special promotions (exclusive goodies for pre-ordering, etc.). You should also consider different editions and versions. (Note: check for release dates, which are always subject to change, as well as different available versions (standard, collector’s, etc.) and formats (e.g. Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation, Xbox, etc.).

Redbox offers many games like the red hot Madden NFL 18… wait, what’s a Redbox you say? They are those big red box stations in over 40,000 supermarkets, restaurant and shopping locations where you can rent physical copies of movies ($1.50) and games ($3 a night). Users can easily sign-up for an account online and even reserve movies and games for easy pick-up. Get the Redbox app from Google Play (for Android) and the App Store (for iOS).  The app helps you locate the nearest location, reserve movies for pickup later in the day, and watch trailers and read up on movies to decide which one you want to watch.

Few music scores from games are as memorable as in the Final Fantasy series. Now you can enjoy this 4-Disc set FINAL FANTASY XV (Original Video Game Soundtrack), featuring music by Yoko Shimomura with over 90 songs performed by Video Game Orchestra & Força Choir.

Football is in full force and the Mutant Football League – the wildest, goriest, most outrageous football game ever complete with online multiplayer action! With origins from the 1993 SEGA Genesis game, the game modes and feature include:

  • Two player online or four player local multiplayer gives you the choice to clobber one another or team up and crush opposing miscreants.
  • Choose from 18 teams made up of blood thirsty, wisecracking Skeletal Deadheads, Armored Bruiserbots, Criminal Aliens, Mutated Humans and Monstrous Orcs.
  • NBA Jam and NFL Blitz hall of fame commentator, Tim Kitzrow gives unforgettable, adult-oriented play-by play commentary for every game.
  • Use Dirty Tricks during game play to Bribe the Ref, throw Bombs, or equip Shotguns and Chainsaws to your players to inflict maximum carnage against the unsuspecting competition for real difference-making moments!
  • 18 unique fields across the league offer landmines, booby traps, fire pits, toxic moats and buzz saws as fun but deadly obstacles

DragonBall Xenoverse 2 continues the action packed fighting game series on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch in a new hub and new multiplayer experiences. The  Nintendo Switch specific controls and functionality, players will be able to execute famous moves using the Joy Con Motion Controls. Players will also be able to join friends on the Switch through an exclusive six-player local play mode.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus continues BJ “Terror-Billy” Blazkowicz’s adventures as resistance fighters battle the villianeous Nazis in America as players get an expanded weapons arsenal in this thrilling first-person shooter action game.

dishonored2In Arkane Studios’ Dishonored 2 you can plays as Empress Emily Kaldwin or the royal protector, Corvo Attano among several sleath/action scenarios. This story responds to your choices, leading to intriguing outcomes, as you play through each of the game’s hand-crafted missions.

Want a more customized Dishonored gaming experience? Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is an affordable, stand-alone Dishonored 2 expansion that arms players with supernatural abilities, gadgets, and weapons among new adventures including heists, treasure hunting, and underground fight clubs.

fallout4exp

Fallout 4 is an amazing game (also in a Game of the Year Edition and Game of the Year Pip-Boy Edition that includes the fully updated original game plus all the six add-on packs) with immense entertainment possibilities that players can customize any way they like. Fallout 4: Game of the Year includes the fully updated original game plus all the six add-on packs. Experience story narratives, huge scale, side quests, extra content and item collection like never before as players survive after a nuclear war. This open world one player action/role-playing game has replay value through the roof with a nice mix of gameplay and options. New DLC includes Contraptions Workshop, Nuka-World and the Vault-Tec Workshop filled with great constructions tools plus more great narratives.

In Bethesda’s thriller actioner Prey, players get a unique perspective from a character on a space station orbiting the moon in the year 2032. Players must survive using the nearby tools, weapons, wits and mind-bending abilities.

Escape to the sunny, 25-acre French countryside courtesy of “Le Lac d’Or,” the latest DLC for Euro Fishing from Dovetail Games. For the first time ever, Euro Fishing fans can also catch koi carp, which will push a player’s fishing skills in exciting new ways. Available on on Windows PC, the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One. Dovetail Games will release a new season pass featuring three DLC items, the first DLC being “Le Lac d’Or,” followed by two more DLCs to follow early in 2018. Purchase the season pass for $24.99, saving $7.98 over the cost of the three individual DLCs altogether.

Racers will love Gear.Club Unlimited that feature an authentic world of cars where players can make them even more powerful and competitive with upgrades and unique customizations – from the bodywork to the engine!

Looking for unique gaming experiences catered to your choices? What Remains of Edith Finch is a wonderful first-person narrative adventure game developed by Giant Sparrow (The Unfinished Swan) and published by Annapurna Interactive. Available on Mac, PlayStation 4 and PC, What Remains of Edith Finch gives players a memorable journey filled with mystery, tragedy and creative imagination. This game presents a collection of short stories about a seemingly cursed family on Orcas Island in Washington State.

The amazing Life is Strange series continues with Before the Storm, which will launch the last of three episodes very soon (episodes 1 and 2 out now). Players’ choices affect this episodic graphic adventure that also includes challenges in problem solving, spatial awareness and logic. Get the Deluxe Edition for all three episodes, bonus “Farewell” episode (played as character Max), three interchangeable outfits and mixtape mode that lets players customize music into a special playlist. This prequel to Life Is Strange focuses on the sixteen-year-old Chloe Price character.

Young ones can take a break with LEGO Worlds, which now has a Nintendo Switch version. A Monsters DLC pack and Classic Space DLC are also available.

Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure debuts on the Nintendo Switch console. This Telltale Series game features a player-focused story that includes all five episodes of Season One and all three episodes of the Adventure Pass. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series features five episodes on Android, Mac, iOS, PC, PS4 and XB1 and Batman: The Enemy Within – The Telltale Series (PC, PS4, XB1) also has  five episodes.

blockcityminecraft

The 256-page resource book Block City: Incredible Minecraft Worlds: How to Build Like a Minecraft Master gives Minecrafters a great resource to help create and define their builds and worlds. Gamers become architects, designers, and artists in this fantastic visual world played by tens of millions of people all over the world.

The amazing, award-winning shooter SUPERHOT is now on PS4 and is already available on PC and in virtual reality modes. This instant-hit combines intense gunplay, distinctive style, and time-bending gameplay.

Toast covers make game consoles, laptops, tablets, smartphones and other devices look even better with real wood veneer covers in ash, walnut, ebony and bamboo for the Nintendo Switch as well as many offering for other gaming consoles. Players can also get some premiere laser-etched customization ranging from a gaming handle to a video game design. These amazingly sharp covers are easy-to-install and remove (if necessary) plus a convenient “Butterfingers” replacement policy for the rare occasion when users might mess up the instructions.

gamesirgamepad

Gamesir G3s Gamepad multi-platform portable game controller features double shock vibration and a rechargeable battery for 18 hours of play time, the G3s Gamepad is perfect for playing games wirelessly while traveling with smartphones and tablets through Bluetooth 4.0, as well as wired with the PlayStation 3 when at home. Compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, and PS3, the G3s features a high-speed 32-bit MCU chip for the highest gaming sensitivity and accuracy.

Namco Museum has hit the Nintendo Switch with great single and multiplayer experiences including PAC-MAN, Dig Dug, Galaga, Rolling Thunder and PAC-MAN VS., a four-player game based on the PAC-MAN series originally created by Toru Iwatani.

“Temperature. Lifeform prosperity/extinction. Location.”

Birthdays the Beginning presents an engaging simulation/sandbox fantasy game where players celebrate each creation they produce from a single-cell organism. This one-player, PlayStation 4 game (also available on PC) from legendary creator Mr. Yasuhiro Wada (TOYBOX Inc., creator of Harvest Moon) begins with cube-shaped worlds as players eventually create well-varied lifeforms beginning from single cells.

Producers kick-off the game’s narrative as players read “Grandpa’s Book” then embark on a mysterious journey. Next, players complete the initial in-game tutorial (highly recommended) with their guide Navi who provides instructions and helps the Avatar who looks like a cross among a fairy, Ultraman and a Power Ranger.

Players can expect some basic scientific rules to apply throughout this fun game, but developers allow for some unique situations. It’s also helpful, but not necessary, to have some scientific knowledge especially in species/organism names.

All game versions include a 20-page World Guide Booklet that helps players manage time, make colorful creations, and build environments plus your HP (health point) resources/energy required for most actions.

Those objectives provide compelling challenges as developers minimize any pressure or tension. Decision making pays off with well-informed choices instead of antagonists that destroys creations (natural disasters, etc.). Players need the right conditions and must balance several elements, but mainly temperature, conditions (terrain height, etc.) and location.

Don’t miss the indie game Perception, a tense psychological first-person narrative where the game’s protagonist Cassie must use echolocation to navigate and take action through the Estate at Echo Bluff as players use every sound to create the visuals. Supernatural elements, timeline flashbacks and many other elements permeate this incredible experience.

Thimbleweed Park  is an mystery adventure game set in 1987 from the original creators of Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island. Players can interchange among characters including the two main federal agents, a washed-up insult clown, and an aspiring game developer while solving puzzles and ultimately the mysterious events occurring in this unique town.

Perception provides genuine thrills, intrigue and excitement as players explore a mysterious house as a young blind woman who depends on her razor-sharp hearing to solve an ancient mystery and survive the forces that pursue her.

Neurovoider is a great retro, action-shooter that’s easy to pick up and play, but challenging to conquer. Enjoy co-op play (up to four players) or grind through the levels individually that features outstanding music.

Retro fans will love the interactive horror movie spoof Night Trap (limited physical copies on PC, PS4 and XB1; also available digitally, additional features), which is the game that prompted the creation of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB).  Set at a slumber party amid impending doom from invading vampires. Players set special color coded traps for the baddies to save the innocent. Originally produced for approximately $1.5 million and filmed in 1986 for the Sega CD console, PC and Mac.

The digitally exclusive basketball games NBA Playgrounds (Switch, PC, PS4, & XB1) and 3on3 Freestyle (free exclusive for PS4) battle it out on the courts. PlayGrounds features 30 NBA teams plus retired NBA players featuring solo, local, online and worldwide tournament play modes while the arcade style Freestyle has strong co-op gameplay, a smooth substitution system, fictional settings/characters and interchangeable outfits/accessories for the male & female players.

Seasons After Fall (PC, PS4, XB1) is a 2D platform-puzzler game where players take on the role of a wild fox with the ability to change the seasons at will in this special journey adventure.

Small Radios, Big Televisions (PC, PS4) lets players explore virtual worlds and challenge their perceptions and sense of control amid a unique storyline with a retro tone.

Tour de France 2017 (PS4, XB1) lets players discover , experience all the passion of Le Tour de France and conquer the coveted yellow jersey where teamplay is key in this premier cycling event.

The PC exclusive Offensive Combat: Redux! has fast, rude humor in a FPS game that doesn’t take itself seriously. Players can enjoy crazy skills, weapons, actions and special customizations. Multiplayer modes include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Exploration, and Bot Mode plus more content on the way.

In hockey’s premier game NHL 18, players get a new expansion draft feature and expanded franchise mode.

Get Even (PS4, XB1) is a first-person shooter and psychological thriller, where players are Cole Black, an ice-cold mercenary and hired gun who wakes up in a mysterious asylum with most of his memory wiped away and a special headset as challenges, discoveries and revelations fill this mysterious experience.

Expect a unique experiences in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on Xbox One where 100 people must survive on a huge island while PlayStation 4 players can enjoy the racer Gran Turismo Sport. Need for Speed Payback marks the return of this fast-paced racer game series.

The exclusive PS4 platformer sequel Knack 2 and Destiny 2 aim to be some of the biggest releases that players will love. Players can also enjoy Star Wars Battlefront II, Assassin’s Creed Origins and Call of Duty WWII. Warriors can also look for the Battlefield 1 Turning Tides (third expansion pack), Sonic ForcesXenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors and Middle-earth: Shadow of War – Slaughter Tribe expansion.

Final Fantasy XV expands with Comrades, a multiplayer expansion for PS4 and XB1 while a new Civilization expansion hits PC, Mac and Linux. Virtual reality and Nintendo Switch versions of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim modernize this modern classic with unique experiences. Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon release for the Nintendo 3DS along with Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.

The amazing platform adventure game Rayman Legends Definitive Edition has new features like kung foot Tournament mode, touchscreen controls and wireless local multiplayer with up to four players.

ONE PIECE: Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition is an enhanced edition of the game based on the beloved anime, One Piece, and is filled with Luffy and the pirate crew on adventures and satisfying battles.. This version features a variable 60fps framerate, a full 1080p resolution, and over 40 pieces of downloadable content included.

The Sims 4 debuts on consoles while the fashion focused Style Savvy series continues on the Nintendo 3DS with the fourth installment Style Savvy: Styling Star. Try your luck at running the U.S. government using current data with Government Simulator.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 (PC, PS3, PS4, XB1, Xbox 360) will feature ‘Where Legends Are Made,’ the return of PES, with an unparalleled gameplay experience. Strategic Dribbling, Real Touch+ and new set pieces take the unrivaled soccer experience to the next level. New lighting, reworked player models, and animations covering everything from facial expressions to body movement to bring the game to life.

Nintendo 3DS players can try the side-scrolling shooter Metroid: Samus Returns that features brand new “Aeion” energy abilities, powerful Melee counterattack, and 360-degree Free aim mode. Players can also check out the fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Just Dance 2018 and NBA 2K18.

Pokken Tournament Dx is a best-selling Nintendo Switch exclusive and check out the soccer…er, football giant FIFA 18LEGO Dimensions continues expansions with Team and Fun packs from The Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans Go!, and Beetlejuice Fun Pack. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is also available along with  The BioShock: 10th Anniversary Collector’s Edition is available on the PS4 and Xbox One as L.A. Noire hits the next generation consoles as well, including the Nintendo Switch.

Look for Super Mario Odyssey on the Switch as well while the hit racer-sport game Rocket League will launch a Switch version with new Battle-Cars based on Mario, Luigi and Samus Aran’s gunship from the Metroid series and more.

Super Beat Sports is a great music party game with fast-paced co-op and competitive fun for players of all ages. Based on the original Beat Sports, this fun game has many Switch-exclusive features, including a totally new mini-game (Rhythm Racket), local multiplayer support for up to four players, improved UI, and a variety of bonus songs, costumes, bats and more. There is also a new Pro Mode for each mini game, introducing a challenge worthy of even the most rhythm-hardened veterans. Players get a variety of colorful levels, songs, characters, costumes and bats to customize your experience as you swing, volley and hit to the beat. With support for motion controls and HD Rumble using the Joy-Con™, each swing feels unique as you make your way through more than 100 levels, all running at 60 frames per second on Nintendo Switch in TV, tabletop and handheld modes.

The Nintendo Switch has been great entertainment edition so far with a solid battery life (over six hours; non-removable) and approximate three hour charge time (put in sleep mode for best results). The big 720p capacitive touchscreen (over 6 inches diagonally) does not quite reach tablet size, but upgrades most phone screen sizes. The screen also has a brightness sensor that enhances view when playing outdoors…that’s right – not only will you get active playing the Switch, but you can get outdoors (at least on the porch or your favorite neighborhood hangout) as well.

We easily switched gameplay among three setups: the portable handheld, big screen (in dock then view on TV) and table top (stand sold separately). Since the charger (USB Type-C) is located on the console’s bottom, it’s best to charge on the dock at the end of the day, which is fine for us since we don’t usually play more than six hours in one day. Winter is on the way, but if you get a very rare Nintendo Switch game freeze it can be quickly solved by taking the memory card out then re-inserting (holding the power button didn’t work).

Other big gaming hardware won’t be hard to find with the SNES (Super Nintendo) Classic Edition, Xbox One X/S, PlayStation 4 Slim/Pro and you can even pre-order Atari’s…Ataribox on December 14! While you wait, try the Atari Flashback 8 Gold Activision Edition from Walmart.com and and soon expanding to other retailers. This Atari new console features over 130 Atari 2600 titles with 39 Activision classics including Pitfall!, River Raid, Freeway, Enduro, Kaboom!, Chopper Command and Decathlon.

 

SteelSeries also has the APEX M750 mechanical gaming keyboard featuring aerospace aluminum, chat options, exclusive Apps, and a special audio visualizer that syncs with the illumination lighting with any music or playlist.

Need a powerful gaming desktop PC? The MSI Infinite line has several configurations among the standard two 3.5” HDD and three 2.5” SSD/HDD bays, 64GB of RAM and an easily upgradable graphics card mounted vertically.

Need a great screen? AOC has you covered with their 27-inch C2789FH8 monitor with a curved full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution VA panel with fast 60Hz refresh rate. The impressive ultra slim design also features thin gold legs and an almost borderless frame. Users also get  several different inputs, including one VGA and one HDMI for connectivity for all users’ high-quality digital video and audio devices plus AMD FreeSync technology for a seamless synchronization of GPU and monitor refresh rates, without sacrificing performance. And the price? Perfect at $249.99 (MSRP) and even less on Amazon. Also available on Newegg.

It’s great to get in on the latest technology, especially if it’s fun. The DigiBit wearable body action drive gaming system for mobile devices can be used anywhere indoors or out and connects to devices wirelessly without using Wifi or data. Look for this amazing to release later this year and check out their current Kickstarter campaign that also includes exclusive access/deals – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1039276273/digibit-is-wearable-active-fun-for-your-mobile-dev.

DigiBit works with existing smart devices, using a patent-pending wireless communication system that does not require Wifi, 3G, LTE or any Internet or data connection, making it truly portable.

Save those gift cards for games like Monster Hunter: World that will be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One globally on January 26, 2018. A PC release will follow at a later date.

Enjoy your holiday game time!

*Note – this site is an Amazon affiliate. So, if you click from our links and buy this product (or any product on Amazon), I do receive a few pennies on your purchases. Thanks for your support.

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