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Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2011: Video Games
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Hunter Camp   |  
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Holiday Geek Gift Guide: Video Games

Put on your coats and caps, everybody! There’s pine needles on the living room floor, snow on the ground, and a scent of cinnamon in the air. Your dogs and cats are tearing apart wrapping paper, your family’s in town, and you can’t stop drinking eggnog for some reason. That could only mean one thing, folks, it’s the nondescript religious holiday season! And that means that it’s time to go into credit card debt so that you can show those closest to you that you care, you know? And to make it a little bit easier on you guys, we here at Geeks of Doom have been shoveling our driveways so that we can deliver to you this, The Holiday Geek Gift Guide! The best gifts possible for the geeks on you gift-giving list!

Got a gamer on your holiday list? Well this list is for you! Or, if you are a gamer with limited funds, this list is also for you! It’s a list of a lot of the most popular and revered games of the year, and in the interest of full disclosure, I have not played any of these, but I want to. I’ve got all these games on my Christmas list, so I’m sure someone you know will want one of these, as well. So, let’s get to it! Here’s a list of some of the hottest games of 2011!

L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire (Standard – PS3 | XBOX 360, The Complete Edition – PS3 | XBOX 360 | PC): L.A. Noire is an intensively detailed detective game. Rumored for years, this Rockstar game was originally set to be a PS3 exclusive when it was first announced. However, with time, more focus went to the game and ultimately it was multi-platform. It was one of the most anticipated games of 2011, and if you’re to believe reviewers, it was well deserving. It’s a story based in Los Angeles during 1947, and from what I understand, it’s done perfectly. In L.A. Noire, you play detective solving cases inspired by real crimes. I’ve wanted to play this game for years, and I hope someone’s getting this for me.

inFAMOUS 2

inFAMOUS 2 (Standard Edition | Hero Edition – PS3): inFAMOUS was one of my favorite games of 2009. It was one of the few non-RPGs where your story progressed depending on your actions. You could either be hero or villain. Want to save someone getting mugged? +1 to hero. Want to kill both of them and take their money? That’s okay, too, but you’re destined for villainy! I chose to play as the hero, because with awesome lightening powers, I just feel mean if I’m taking it out on innocent bystanders. This game is the second installment of the franchise, and I assume it’s pretty much the same thing as the first game, only in a different city, but that’s just fine by me. The first game was awesome, so I can’t wait to see what the second has in store.

Uncharted 3

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Standard Edition | Collector’s Edition – PS3): Uncharted 2 was one of the best games I’ve played. Period. Part two was a vast improvement from the first game, and I can only hope that the third will do the same. Although, I have to have some doubts based on the fact that the second was so incredibly good. But there’s only one way to find out, and that’s by giving it a shot. So, I’m not saying that it will be anywhere near as good as the previous installments, but if it’s anything like the previous games, then it’s most likely one of the best games of the year. I’m dying to see the rest of Drake’s story, so I can’t wait to get my hands on this game.

Arkham City

Batman: Arkham City (Standard Edition – PS3 | XBOX 360 | PC, Collector’s Edition – PS3 | XBOX 360): Where, oh where do I begin with this game? How about the fact that it’s absolutely killing me that I haven’t played it yet? Because it totally. How about that I’ve been wanting to play this game from the second I finished Arkham Asylum? Jeez…. It’s been like torture not playing this game, it totally has been. So, anyway, let’s talk about the game. Following the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum, The Joker’s formula has made it’s way to Gotham City, and since the asylum has been shut down for the time being, a portion of Gotham has been dedicated to house the criminals from Arkham in what is called Arkham City. It’s a Batman game based in the city made by the creators of the best superhero game of all time. I’m seriously dying to play this and crouch on the tops of buildings next to some gargoyles. So, someone please get it for me! I want the Collector’s Edition, by the way. It’s got the soundtrack (which is awesome), a Batman statue, an art book and a lot of other really awesome stuff. Get it for me!

Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Standard Edition – PS3 | XBOX 360 | Wii | PC | DS, Hardened Edition – PS3 | XBOX 360): Although I’ve gotten to a point with Modern Warfare where it’s just about too real for me, there are plenty of people that do not feel the same way, and if someone got this for me, I’d still play the Hell out of it. I mean, it’s the most popular game of 2011, and there’s no way that’s without reason. It’s pretty much THE first person shooter franchise for gamers these days, so if you know a fps-gamer, and I’m willing to bet you do, make sure and pick this up for them if they don’t already have it. And if they do, totally grab ‘em the Hardened Edition. I’m sure they’ll love that.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii): I’m so sad. I forgot about this games release and I sold my Wii because I never used it. But believe me, had I remembered, there’s no way I would have gotten rid of it. No way (well, probably would have anyway, but still!). The last few Legend of Zelda games have been my favorites the years they came out, and it is without question my favorite video game franchise of all time. Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, The Windwaker and Twilight Princess were all amazing video games, and the follow up to Twilight Princess absolutely has to be amazing. Twilight Princess was one of the first games for the Wii, and it was awesome even though it was developed for Nintendo’s previous GameCube console. So, given the fact that it was made for the Wii, there’s no way this game will be bad. So, if you’ve got a Wii or know somebody with a Wii, make sure to pick this game up. And if you or someone you love doesn’t have a Wii, the black and red editions are finally available in the US.

Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Standard Edition – PS3 | XBOX 360 | PC, Collector’s Edition – PS3 | XBOX 360 | PC): I am not the biggest RPG guy. Heck, I’m not even the smallest RPG guy, but I know plenty of people that are. In fact, I had a roommate in college who was a die-hard RPG dude. Every second that he had between classes and studio sessions were spent on our X Box playing The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. He loved that game, and set it was the best RPG that he had played up until that point. So, when I heard “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” I thought of him immediately. And based on the reaction to this game online, people are absolutely loving it. It seems to be another game in the vain of previous releases as it will take up every bit of free time you have, and make you really happy about that fact. Take note that I could be completely wrong about this game, but that’s only because I don’t know what I’m talking about. But people that like these kinds of games seem to love this game.

Gears of War 3

Gears of War 3 (Standard Edition | Limited Edition | Epic Edition – X Box 360): One of the most popular and anticipated video game franchises on the X Box 360 is Gears of War, it’s one of the two X Box exclusives that people are certain to buy the video game console for. It’s more or less a lot of the same continent in each game, but the voice acting, and game mechanics are absolute fantastic. Playing with friends in all of the different multiplayer modes are why you play this game. I’ve spent many a night fighting of the horde to be the last man standing. It’s an absolute blast to play, so I definitely suggest this game to anyone that enjoys playing games with others, whether online or in person. In fact, I feel terrible that I haven’t gotten the chance to play it yet.

Halo: Combat Evolved

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (XBOX 360): Halo is one of the most important games of all time. When it was released, Halo: Combat Evolved was ground breaking. It was one of the first games for the newly released X Box, and it introduced millions to the concept of a first person shooter. And with that, the title became synonymous with the FPS format and so did the X Box. Tournaments were created, franchises were built, factions arose! It became one of the most popular franchises of all time, and that’s also with reason. It was the most fun I had playing video games with friends at the time, and it went on to give me an undying love for the Halo franchise, so when Microsoft announced an updated anniversary edition of Halo, my nostalgia sense was tingling. The game is at it’s heart a good game. So, even without nostalgia glasses, it will hold up in a critic’s mind. They’ve gone back and tweaked a lot including updating the graphics to a current HD standard, expanded map selection, and XBL capability. It’s hard to grasp that things like that were not an option at a certain time, but basically, this edition is like if the first Halo game had come out now. And I would love to give this as much time as I gave the first one.

Saints Row: The Third

Saint’s Row: The Third (Standard Edition – PS3 | XBOX 360 | PC, Platinum Pack Collector’s Edition – PS3 | XBOX 360): Saint’s Row is traditionally an all out, over the top, crazy video game that’s filled with gangs and violence. And it does so without offering any apologies. And that’s why people love it. People often compare the Grand Theft Auto franchise to Saint’s Row, but I’d have to argue against that. Saint’s Row is what gamers and naysayers want Grand Theft Auto to be. GTA offers a lot of development to make a realistic story in the most realistic sort of environments that deal with hard mafia and gang crime. Saint’s Row throws caution to the wind and gives its players the chance to have a blast with no regrets. I really want to get into playing this game because it’s a perfect time killer for anyone who just needs to blow off some steam.

WWE '12

WWE ‘12 (PS3 | XBOX 360 | Wii): I am an absolutely huge wrestling game fanatic, and the WWE games have always been top notch. I’ve played and owned pretty much all of their Smackdown and then Smackdown VS. Raw video game series, and they’ve always been fun. And there’s always vast improvement every couple of years. Until this year. From what I’ve seen of WWE ’12, it’s the most realistic and detailed wrestling game of all time. There have always been limitations on what you could do with certain kinds of matches, but again, from what I’ve seen, pretty much anything is possible. The create-a-wrestler is at it’s best with so much potential to create almost anyone you could think of (even Spider-Man and Batman), and now you can even create your own arena. Miss WCW Nitro? Forget about it, it’s in the game. I’m a wrestling fan, and this game is perfect for any wrestling fan with a video game system, but even if you’re not, it’s a high impact game that plays out just like a fighting game. You can’t shoot flames out of your hands, but you can do an Anaconda Vice! Seriously though, you probably know someone who loves or even tolerates professional wrestling, so pick this up for them. I know I want it.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic (Standard Edition, Collector’s Bundle — PC): When it comes to MMOs, even those who don’t play them know that the top dog is World of Warcraft. Many have tried to dethrone the king, all have failed. But now comes a new MMO that has a real chance at taking over: BioWare and Electronic Art’s Star Wars: The Old Republic. The game promises to deliver everything we love about MMOs and more, all set in the Star Wars universe. With two million users already checking out the beta, it’s becoming clear that many a geek will leap at the opportunity to basically live in this world they love so much, but will you?

AMAZON SHIPPING INFORMATION

If you’re ordering through Amazon.com in the United States, here’s their ordering deadlines for delivery on or before Christmas Eve (12/24) for items in-stock shipped to physical addresses within the United States and marked “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com” or “Fulfilled by Amazon.com.”

December 15th – FREE Super Saver Shipping* [Last full day to order]
December 19th – Standard Shipping [Last full day to order]
December 20th – Two-Day Shipping (FREE with Amazon Prime), Last full day to order
December 21st – Two-Day Shipping (FREE with Amazon Prime) – Order as late as 8pm PST (varies by item); One-Day Shipping ($3.99 with Amazon Prime) Last full day to order
December 22nd – One-Day Shipping ($3.99 per item with Amazon Prime). Order as late as 4:30pm PST [varies by item]
December 23rd – Last-Minute Christmas Delivery ($9.99/item with Amazon Prime) While available (varies by item)
December 24th – ($3.99/item with Amazon Prime) While available (select cities, varies by item)
December 25th – Christmas Day: Email and printable gift cards can be sent immediately, at any time.

For more details about local delivery, see the Christmas Ordering Deadlines For U.S. Shipments page.

*Super Saver Shipping is FREE on orders $25 and over.

Remember, if all else fails, there’s also the Amazon.com Gift Card, you can have emailed to the recipient (arrives immediately) or you can print out the gift card at home and give it to the intended that way. If you order in enough time, you can get the physical gift card sent to you.

Here’s the list of our 2011 Guides:

Comic Books (Part 1)

Comic Books (Part 2)

Video Games

DVDs & Blu-rays

Batman Edition

More Guides to come this week.

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