Last minute shoppers, unite! Black Friday and Cyber Monday are long gone, and we know that you’re still thinking of some final Christmas and Chanukah gifts. If your intended giftees are anything like us at AIPT they’re probably a smidge hard to shop for, given that they likely have disposable income and buy themselves nerdy crap on impulse like a grocery shopper snags a copy of the Enquirer. Still, there’s hope out there, as we’ve pulled together some of the best options to slide into a stocking or pop into a blue and white box, so you don’t have to try to find a gift at a gas station on the highway. Check our our suggestions below:
Patrick – AIPT Gaming Editor:
Switcher! (Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt – Nintendo Switch): Anyone who’s been reading the site for awhile knows of my deep and concerning love for all things Witcher – but portable Witcher? Switcher? God it’s good.
Yeah it’s not a resolution monster like my Xbox One X, but it’s Geralt on the go, slaying monsters while you slay a commute or a long flight – and with the insane amount of hours I put into this back on Xbox, this will be a perfect time killer for quite awhile to come. If you’re very focused on graphics/jaggies – you will notice the Switch chugging at times, especially in Novigrad. Overall, it’s still one of the best games I’ve played, and if you have someone who wants a nuanced morality option RPG, there’s nothing better on the market.
Link’s Awakening: I played the original Link’s Awakening back in junior high on a classic Gameboy, and thought it was a fun entry into the ongoing series. I then promptly forgot about it as Link to the Past was by far a bigger stand-out for me, until they re-released it for the Game Boy Color, where it was promptly overshadowed by Oracle of Ages and Seasons.
Finally, as the first Zelda entry after the amazing release that was Breath of the Wild, Awakening is finally getting a moment in the spotlight. It feels like a palate cleansing, bite-sized entry, in-between what I can only imagine are two huge releases – but the charm of the plot, the adorable art style, and the surprisingly complex dungeons all make this shine. After missing the underground exploration so ubiqutious to the series in BoTW, Link’s Awakening brings players back to the true roots of the series, and is delightful the entire time. Also, for those Mom’s and Dad’s out there – it’s a perfect game to play through with your kids, as they can follow the plot and love the character designs.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: Easily my game of the year – only because Witcher 3 isn’t really eligible – Sekiro is a love letter to my style of gaming. Oddly complex lore, incredibly tight fighting controls, brutal difficulty, all wrapped up in a game with bosses so hard you’re exhausted after you beat them? Absolute gem.
This game is absolutely not for everyone, and subsequent discussions about the nature of difficulty in gaming and disabled players added to the discussion of – if a game is just really hard, does that make it better? In Sekiro’s case, I’d argue that the difficulty absolutely adds a flavor to what is otherwise an excellent playing experience. The controls are so well tightened that our protagonist feels like Spider-man with a sword. Also the blocking/parry mechanic is the best that From Software has ever done, giving every play-through a real shot at every enemy’s weak point. Finally the progression of repetitive blocking and fighting means that an enemy that dominated you in early stages is a total breeze by endgame – because you as a player are better, not your character.
The Switch is a massive success story for Nintendo, but if you’re a Mom or Dad, the thought of putting a $300 dollar console in your kids grubby and very droppy hands might give you some pause. Enter, the Nintendo Switch Lite:
A hundred dollars cheaper, with no TV connection option, and permanently connected joy-cons, the Lite feels like the kid switch edition, or the “Don’t let the kid play Witcher 3 and see the graphic sex with succubi” edition. This is a good choice to add to a household with a normal switch as well, as the possibilities of local multiplayer become more engaging without some poor sucker being stuck with a single joy-con. The picture above is the limited Pokemon Sword/Shield edition, which looks like a very attraction option for those tiny Pikachu obsessed ones living in your house.
Nathaniel – AIPT Movie Editor:
The Outer Worlds: How good is The Outer Worlds? I look for excuses to play it longer. Why stop to eat, use the bathroom, or sleep when I can finish just one more quest?
Obsidian’s latest role playing game is a homage to old school RPGs with the right amount of modern improvements. The characters are excellent and the options seem to be limitless. Excellent storytelling with plenty of homages and probably the funniest script of the year. Did I mention it’s fun?
Persona 5: I have been going on about this game for almost three years now. Why would I suggest a 2017 Japanese RPG for a gift in 2019? One, because it is awesome. More importantly, Persona 5 Royal releases on March 31 of 2020.
If you know someone who cannot wait to play P5 before Royal comes out, this is their chance. Royal is basically just the director’s cut of the original. P5 can be found for around $25, which is an absolute steal.
Hulu Subscription – It may sound weird to see Hulu on a gaming gift guide, but hear me out. One of the best parts about the Outer Worlds is the copious amounts of fan service.
Firefly and Futurama are probably the two things referenced most in the game. While the in jokes are funny on their own, watching the shows and getting the full context makes them that much funnier. (There is also a mediocre Persona 5 anime that fans can watch on Hulu.)
Good luck shoppers – the above options are great additions to any gaming nerd’s library…but make sure to keep the gift receipts. If we already own one of the above, we’ll secretly trade it in to help pay for Cyberpunk 2077 when it drops.
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