Hot on the heels of the recent 3DS system software update, Nintendo has given their Club Nintendo website a bit of a makeover. In addition to a little visual sprucing up, they’ve also added a number of actual games to the list of rewards that club members can spend their coins on.
EXCLUSIVE! I wasn’t even on VGH33, so MY list of gift ideas for “obsessive gamers and pop-culture geeks” is ALL NEW CONTENT. Now that I’ve pumped you up with an unnecessarily high level of hype, let’s get to the list. Should any of these great gifts pique your interest, just follow the links to find out more.
Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth ($10-$15)
Books are a form of entertainment that are printed on paper. You simply open the cover and begin reading the words that are printed on the page. Pretty radical concept, I know. Don’t worry though, you can ease into books by reading ones that are based on games! Some of my favorite games are the ones that (I think) have a strong narrative, so it makes sense that they’d be prime candidates for novelization. I don’t know much about the Uncharted book or the author, but I love the story in the games, so why not? If Uncharted isn’t quite your cup of tea, I’ve also heard good things about Dead Space: Martyr and Bioshock: Rapture.
Hey hey everyone! It’s time for my list of awesome stuff to get
me your special loved ones for Christmas! Instead of attaching images of the products themselves, I decided to let YOU dear reader know exactly how I would react if you bought me each item. Let us commence!
5. Movies/TV: Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Bluray set ($50 USD): I’m a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, so when the release date for the totally expected Extended Blu-rays was announced I circled the date on my Calender. Of course once I saw the MSRP of the set, I proceeded to burn my calendar with some lighter fluid and matches. Thankfully, the price of the set has come down to a reasonable $50 and will even ship for free from Amazon. So who is going to do a back to back to back Lotr marathon this year? I sure am! Fly, you fools (to amazon.com to buy it)!
Editor’s note: If you’re reading this on Friday or during the day on Saturday, you’ve still got time to fulfill our biggest holiday wish: Send us your feedback for our year-end show!
VGH #33 introduced 2011’s Ultimate VGH Holiday Shopping Guide and as promised on the show, we’ll all be posting expanded versions of our wishlists here on the blog. Randy kicked it off today, so be sure to check out his list if you haven’t already. We’ll be posting the rest next week, so keep an eye out!
As promised on VGH33, here is my expanded list of gift ideas for the “obsessive gamers and pop-culture geeks” on your shopping list. Each is Linked to a site where you can find out more about the items and, in most cases, even buy them.
5. Alien Vault: The Definitive Story of Making the Film ($21)
This hardbound-and-slipcovered book traces the original Alien movie from concept to pop-culture phenomenon. There’s a ton of never-before-seen material inside, including Ridley Scott’s storyboards, H.R. Giger’s alien concept art, and Polaroids taken on the set. Nearly every sci-fi/horror hybrid over the last 30 years has borrowed elements from Alien; this gorgeous (and surprisingly cheap book) promises to show where it all began.
4. PlayStation Wireless Stereo Headset ($99)
Earlier this year, Sony introduced it’s own entry into the high-end gaming headset market and it’s been earning positive reviews ever since. It syncs up easily with your PS3 and provides 10+ hours of battery life with Dolby 7.1-quality sound. It includes a built in mic for multiplayer gaming but is also a great buy for folks who like to watch noisy action movies on Blu-ray.
3. Atari Arcade iPad Controller ($60 plus the cost of an iPad)
Atari’s Greatest Hits app ($10)
This is, essentially, a glorified dock for your iPad. The reason I included it here, though, is because it’s got a joystick and 4 clicky arcade buttons built in. Add the Atari’s Greatest Hits app and you’ve got access to 100 classic video games like Missile Command, Asteroids, Centipede, Tempest, etc. The downside? The controller only works with this one app, at least for now. If you’re shopping for a retro-gaming connoisseur, though, (and they already have an iPad) this would make an awesome gift.
2. CD Box Sets:
U2’s “Achtung Baby” Uber Edition ($440)
Smashing Pumpkins’ “Gish” and “Siamese Dream” ($25 each)
The Smiths’ “Complete” ($65)
Music is probably one of the only things in the world that I obsess over as much as gaming, which makes these new box sets from three of my favorite 80’s and 90’s band must-haves. U2’s set is ridiculous: it includes 6 CDs, 4 DVDs, 2 LPs, 5 7-inch singles, and a reproduction of Bono’s famous “Fly” sunglasses. The Pumpkins’ sets are more modestly priced and includes additional discs of outtakes, demos, and even some re-recorded B-sides. The Smiths’ set doesn’t provide much that’s new to hardcore fans but the packaging is brilliant: each album is reproduced on vinyl-style slipcovers with original artwork. Put it in your ears!
1. Nook Tablet ($250)
“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline ($12)
“Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter” by Tom Bissell ($12)
“All Your Base are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Video Games Conquered Pop Culture” by Harold Goldberg ($12)
Some very cool new books about gaming culture have come out this year and these three are definitely among the most interesting and creative. To take it one step further, I’d recommend reading them on Barnes and Noble’s new Nook Tablet, their rival to Amazon’s Kindle Fire and, in my experience, the superior product. The new Nook features a gorgeous 7″ HD screen, a super-fast dual-core processor, as well as Pandora, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and B&N’s massive e-book library. Gamers will also appreciate access to games via the Android Market. Plus, it’s a really sexy little device!
Stay tuned throughout next week for gift ideas from everyone on the Video Game Hangover Team. Happy Holidays!
Stuff this down your chimney! This week, we’ve assembled the Ultimate VGH Holiday Shopping Guide for the obsessive gamers and pop-culture geeks on your list. We’ve also got Viewer Mail, our weekly Hangovers, and we’ll wrap things up with Last Call.
We checked out the new Xbox 360 dashboard update yesterday, now take a look at the official Xbox Live app for iOS!
Come along as I give you a rundown of some of the new features! (Watch it on the YouTube page if you want to view in HD.)
It’s Mario Kart 7 week! The last big release of the year (provided you’re not devoting your life to Star Wars: The Old Republic in a couple weeks) zoomed onto shelves this Sunday, and I’ve been playing it a ton since then. You won’t find any odd mechanics like doubled-up drivers or motorcycles in this edition of Nintendo’s classic kart racer–they’ve opted to play it safe and give the 3DS a more traditional Kart. I’m totally fine with that.
Check out our very first video review!
Video Game Hangover host, Paul Sandhu reviews one of this years biggest games.
Does Skyrim hold up to the scrutiny of someone that hasn’t been a fan of past Bethesda games?
Intro and Outro credits music – Jeremy Soule – Skyrim Main Theme: Buy the Skyrim 4 disc soundtrack @ http://directsong.com
Also, Paul wants to hear from YOU about your adventures in Skyrim. Got an interesting Skyrim story? Let us know in the comments!
Thanks for watching!
For more info on how VGH approaches game reviews, please read our reviews philosophy.
VGH operators are standing by to take your call! Well, technically it’s Google Voice and we want you to leave a message, so I guess nothing about that statement was true.
If you haven’t heard, VGH is going to record an entirely listener-centric year-end special. Call 682-999-VGH1 (682-999-8441) and leave us a message with your comments, questions, and discussion topics and we’ll be featuring a bunch on the show! Though we’d love for everyone to leave us voicemail, textual submissions are also welcome.
The end of the year is rapidly approaching and we’re preparing a special episode to wrap up the first season of Video Game Hangover, but we want your help! We love hearing your responses to our weekly topics, and for this episode we’ll be reading and responding to listener questions and comments throughout the show. If you have a question or topic you want discussed on the air, now’s your chance to send it in. Want to know who’s Paul’s second-favorite Canadian game developer? Is all that metal in Randy’s face for real? We’ll be answering anything (within reason), so feel free to get creative.
There are a few ways to submit your question or comment. If you want to actually be played on the air, you can leave us a Google Voice message by calling 682-999-VGH1 (682-999-8441). (Long distance charges may apply.) If you don’t need to be heard or just don’t feel like calling, you can always message us on Twitter (@vghangover), send an email to email@example.com, or just leave your questions in the comments below.
Whatever method you choose, make sure to send your message by the morning of this Saturday, December 10th to ensure we’ll receive it in time.
Thanks to all our listeners for all your support this year, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
Editors Note: I’ve been so busy lately, alternating between stuffing my face and being drunk that I never got around to posting this last Friday like I’d originally intended to. I hope you’ll forgive me.
These past couple of weeks have seen the high-profile releases of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Saints Row: The Third and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. At this point, almost all of the major fall titles have made their way to store shelves, so we gamers are just filthy with choices of games to play. SO MANY GAMES. Thankfully, this last stretch of the year is the perfect time to start working on all our leftovers.
Read on to see what the VGH crew have been playing lately:
Is the brunt of the Fall releases over? (I secretly hope not, because if I can’t complain about all the games coming out I’ll have to figure out some other way to introduce these posts.) Anyway, it’s definitely waning but we still have a few more big releases left in the year. So what are they?
The biggest this week is undoubtedly The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for (what else?) the Wii. If you already listened to Episode 30, you know it’s a bit controversial among the VGH crew for its decision to use only motion controls, but I’m optimistic. Nintendo says they’ve prepared a cool, 1:1 swordfighting experience, and I want to see how well that works. I found the waggle-laden sword action in 2006’s Zelda: Twilight Princess to be pretty pointless, so at the very least this should be more engaging.
It was inevitable that I’d eventually have to feature Namco’s Ace Combat here in BGM Mode, since Ace Combat 5‘s soundtrack was directly responsible for piqing my interest in the series. Actually, Soulcalibur–another Namco game–also deserves some credit; after countless hours spent playing SC2 and 3 and enjoying the catchy and bombastic soundtracks, I started looking for more work from the series’ main composers, Junichi Nakatsuru and Keiki Kobayashi. As it turned out, they both worked together on the Ace Combat series, along with Tetsukazu Nakanishi. Somehow I settled on Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, picked up the soundtrack, and–after being totally blown away–finally played the game.
Eventually I made my way through each of the PlayStation 2 installments, and while their quality went up and down, the soundtracks were consistently excellent. Here are a few of the most memorable tracks, starting with Ace Combat 04, from all the way back in 2001, and wrapping up with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, which just came out last month.
There’s simply too damn many good games out this time of year. If you’re one of the crazy types (like some of us…) who try to play them all, it can be a pretty expensive proposition – in terms of both time and money. Luckily, Amazon has thrown us a bone which should help a little bit in the money department.
Veteran’s Day, National Metal Day, Skyrim day, 11/11/11. There’s a lot of shit going on today.