Got someone on your list who’s always got to have the latest and greatest tech and the most awesome toys, or are you looking for some extra-cool things to ask Santa for as we edge closer to the big day? We’ve got some of the best of the best here in our Gift Guide for 2013.
Tech and gadgetry
Cool stuff- everybody loves it! If there’s a gamer (or even a non-gamer) who doesn’t love a good techie toy or gadgety goodie, I’ve yet to meet them. Here are our picks for the gadget-lovers amongst us:
We’ve reviewed and featured some of the best headsets on the market here on BG this past year. Any of them would make a solid giftable for that audiophile gamer or music fan on your list who likes a little privacy when enjoying their auditory stimulation.
- The Steelseries Siberia Elite is a great wired choice and looks every so stylish with its glowing ear cups too. It’s like a rave… for your ears!
- Also from Steelseries, the Flux In-Ear Pro’s are some very cool earbuds that feature memory foam inserts to perfectly fit the insides of your canals. Best for tunes, these’ll also work just fine for mobile or handheld games.
- If you’re looking for a great all-around headset for pretty much everything on the market, you can’t go wrong with the TRITTON Pro+ 5.1 Surround Headset. Yes, it’s wired, but it’s a pretty complete audio solution too and will rock your socks right out of the box.
Aside from those, MadCatz has adapted it’s Kunai line for the Wii U (which can be a pain to get a good headset for), hardware maker Sharkoon has launched it’s own official line of cans and Skullcandy’s newest line of ear-blasters have some really edgy designs and will work with just about everything.
PC Gaming gear
PC gamers are as picky a lot as is humanly possible- but that’s par for the course when you put as much time and energy into your hobby as they do. You don’t see console gamers actually making their systems after all… not that they actually could. Maybe that’s a bad analogy (or whatever), but the bottom line is that we’ve got a heaping helping of great PC gaming gear for your perusal up next.
- A4Tech may not be a household name, but their Headshot Gaming Mouse is a pretty great option for gamers looking for pinpoint accuracy and lightning quick movement.
- MadCatz’ RAT line of mice is second to none, and the new more mobile-minded RAT M is almost as great as it’s desktop brethren- not that you couldn’t use it on your desktop if you wanted to.
- Mionix has quietly been making some very cool PC gaming peripherals for a little while now. The NAOS 8200 might take a little getting used to, form wise, but it’s golden for gaming and even pretty great for desktop work. If you’re into that.
- Gaming keyboards can be a little hit or miss at times, but MadCatz’ STRIKE 5 and STRIKE 7 are the creme de’la creme of ‘em. Either one makes for one of the most cutting edge and flat out impressive desktop setups you’ll ever see.
Of course, the hardware gifting possibilities don’t stop there for gamers as there’s a glut of cool stuff not he market this year, not the least of which are a pair of new consoles.
- Both the Xbox One and PS4 are fantastic pieces of hardware that have gamers very excited this Holiday season. Unlike years past, it seems like both consoles are available to buy- if you know where and when to look for them. Walmart will have PS4′s in stock this coming Sunday and Toys R Us, GameStop, Amazon and Best Buy have all had sporadic shipments of both systems over the month or so since they started hitting retail. If you can get one to give, these are maybe the biggest can’t misses of the season.
- Don’t want/need/feel like having a big new box under the TV this year? Maybe a micro-console is the way to go. These new, small form-factor consoles are all the rage this year and some of them are downright awesome. MadCatz’ MOJO, the Gamestick and Snakebyte Vyper are all super-neat and running on Android, will scratch that gaming itch for those who want a backup entertainment source or are just looking for something new.
- And don’t forget about the Wii U this Holiday either. Nintendo’s latest might be a bit of an underdog, but it’s just starting to hit its stride with a some great titles and one of the very best games of 2013 with Super Mario 3D World. There are also a bunch of new bundle packs with the system and Zelda, Skylanders or Mario games packed-in this year- mighty tempting for the Nintendo fan’s out there who haven’t bit yet.
- And speaking of bundles, the Nintendo 3DS has some great bundle packs out there too. Nintendo’s handheld is arguably the best way to game on the go available right now and you can find specially deco’d 3DS’ packed in with either A Link Between Worlds or Mario & Luigi: Dream Team out there in the wild right now.
- For that uber-gamer who has everything though, something like the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro might be the way to go. Especially if you’ve got someone who likes to show off on your hands, the Roxio is great for recording gameplay and streaming to Twitch, which is popular with the kids right now I understand.
- Want to get some gaming goodies for that special someone or buddy, but don’t want to break the bank? KontrolFreek’s series of gamepad enhancers is golden. These little guys pop onto the analog thumbsticks of controllers that you or your giftee already own and ‘upgrade’ them into something else entirely. Especially great if you’ve got a FPS gamer on the old list.
- While we’re on the subject, if you know an iOS (or Android for that matter) gamer, then you probably know a gamer who’s been frustrated at one time or another with the touchscreen interface of the handsets. Well, scratch that issue off the list with the debut of the MOGA Ace Power. This little guy takes advantage of the new controller compatibility built into Apple’s iOS 7 to make mobile games feel more like console games than ever before. *Android version available
What’s a holiday without a few toys to unwrap?
Apologies to Jack Nicholson, right here. There are a ton of awesome collectables out there associated with gaming from high-end replicas to books and more. Here’s a few of our favorites that can’t miss for fans this year.
- TriForce is one of those companies that impresses at first glance and then just keeps on impressing till you buy something… or ten things. True showpieces for any collection, Triforce’s replicas come in a multitude of flavors and from some of the biggest games of all time including Gears of War and now Injustice: Gods Among Us. They’re premium in scale, detail and yes- pricing, but there’s no finer way to top off a collection than one of their pieces.
- Have a big time LEGO fan on your list? Go visit Brick Warriors and peep their unique line of LEGO-compatable accessories and board games. Want to dress up a mini-figure like a Gear from Gears of War? How about decking a few toughened warriors out in Spartan dress from ancient Greece? And did someone say Mass Effect? Seriously, all this and more is waiting on the site, so go check it out.
- If you know someone who’s into Universal Monsters, Marvel Comics, classic films, Star Trek, Star Wars or pretty much anything else; Diamond Select Toys probably has a product that’d be oh-so perfect for them. DST makes some exceptionally cool stuff all year round, too much to list here actually so we’ve taken the liberty to add everything from our coverage of DST to one little listing that you can find right here. You’re welcome. Most comic and specialty stores carry or can order the goods for you by the way, just hustle if you want your stuff by the 25th as ordering usually takes about a week’s time.
- Did you know that there are actually a good number of pretty terrific books on the market that’d suit any gamer just fine? Stuff like Borderlands and companies like Capcom all have tomes on the shelves that are pretty impressive reads or just as coffee table books for any gaming pad. Also, if you missed out on Dark Horse Comics Hyrule Historia or know a fan who did- it’s a gift even Ganon would love getting.
One of the most popular art forms of the day, comic books have come a long, long way over the years and this year brought a bunch of impressive and mature reads from more than a few publishers. Remember too that, while some of the books that you’re about to see are single issues, buying them as gifts has really never been easier as comiXology has thousands of comic books in digital format (that you can read on a computer or most tablets) and gifting a subscription is super easy- go here for that.
- This could probably go for almost everything by Valiant Comics, but Eternal Warrior, one of their newest, is a fantastic action epic with one of the coolest new characters in comics.
- If you’re looking for a mature superhero story with a very unique storyline, Buzzkill by Dark Horse Comics is your target.
- The Star Wars by Dark Horse Comics is the printing of the first draft of what would become George Lucas’ epic. It’s really different, but that’s why it’s so much fun.
- Criminal Macabre: Final Night by Dark Horse Comics is a can’t miss graphic novel. Period. Vampires (no sparkles anywhere), ghouls and one tough as nails, pulp-style hero at the center.
- DC Comics Absolute editions are some of the coolest all-inclusive volumes around. The deluxe format series tells the main story lines from some of the biggest events and mini-series that the publisher has produced over the years. Need some suggestions? Might we recommend Batman: The Long Halloween and Absolute Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War?
As we mentioned too, comiXology gift cards or gift cards for Marvel, DC or any other publisher make for great stocking-stuffers- and can be a lot easier to track down that physical books. Though I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add in that I always think it’s the actual book that makes for the better presentation. I likes me some page-flipping.
Games, games and more games
Of course, since this is Brutal Gamer, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend some actual video games for gifting or getting this year. 2013 was a terrific year for gamers with tons of great titles to choose from. Here’s some of what we thought were the very best of the year.
*Where a game is available on multiple systems, we’ve noted it as such next to the review link.
- Völgarr the Viking Review
- Total War: Rome 2 (PC) Review
- Spelunky (PC) Review
- Papers, Please (PC) Review
- Divinity: Dragon Commander (PC) Review
- Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine (PC) Review
- GRID 2 (PC) Review *Multi
- Victoria II: Heart of Darkness (PC) Review
- StarCraft II: Heart Of The Swarm (PC) Review
- Need for Speed Rivals (PC/360) Review *Multi
- Call of Duty: Ghosts (Xbox One) Review *Multi
- Battlefield 4 (XBO) Re-Review *Multi
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Xbox 360) Review *Multi
- Skylanders SwapForce (Xbox 360) Review *Multi
- Diablo 3 (360) Review *Multi
- Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox 360) Review *Multi
- Rayman Legends (Xbox 360) Review *Multi
- Saints Row IV (Xbox 360) Review *Multi
- Metro: Last Light (Xbox 360) Review *Multi
- BioShock Infinite (Xbox 360) Review *Multi
- Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360) Review
- Star Wars Pinball (Xbox 360) Review *Multi
- Resogun (PS4) Review
- Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut (PS3) Review
- Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness (PS3) Review
- Hotline Miami (PS Vita) Review *Multi
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS) Review
- Super Mario 3D World (Wii U) Review
- Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U) Review
As you may have noticed, some of the games on this list are of the digital variety, much like the comics printed above. Same rules go too, if you can’t find it in a store, eGift cards are available for all the major online console storefronts including Steam on the PC and they make for just as solid a gift as comiXology cards.
So there you have it, our niftiest gift picks for Holiday time 2013! Whether you’re into comics, games or tech- there’s something for pretty much everybody on there. So happy shopping, happy buying and Happy Holiday!
Don’t go too crazy okay?