When it comes to gift shopping, the wide world of electronic entertainment can be daunting at best, paralyzingly indecipherable at worst. This guide is a comprehensive list of can’t-miss gifts for the gamers on your holiday shopping list along with online-only deals that will save you some scratch.
THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY VIDEO GAME GIFT GUIDE | PART 3
Missed out on some of these savings? Plenty of online retailers will be running price drops and sales through December. Check out some of these reputable sites:
For the Nintendo DS, 3DS and Sony PlayStation Vita
Gravity Rush | PSVita
This visually stunning action game is the first Vita title that really shows what the handheld can do. Players control gravity to traverse between the floating, blasted levels and get the drop on enemies in combat — all at breakneck speeds. With a visual style inspired by Japanese animation and slick, psychedelic cutscenes, this one's for the action anime fans.
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!! | DS/3DS
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance | 3DS
The menagerie of iconic Disney characters mashed up with memorable heroes and villains from two decades' worth of games from beloved RPG maker Square-Enix — what's not to love? After years of spin-offs, this is the first direct sequel to 2006's "Kingdom Hearts 2" and is a killer addition to the growing Nintendo 3DS library. No one does RPGs like Square-Enix and the nostalgia from meeting and fighting alongside your favorite Disney characters in the “Kingdom Hearts” universe makes it endearing to gamers of all ages.
LittleBigPlanet Vita | PSVita
Pokémon Black & White Version 2 | DS/3DS
This Japanese role-playing game giant continues to enthrall new generations of young gamers with its simple-to-learn yet complex-to-master mechanics ... and merchandise and spin-offs. After more than 10 years and 500 new Pokémon to catch, battle and trade, its popularity speaks for itself.
DIGITAL STOCKING STUFFERS ($20 and under)
A downloadable add-on for one of the biggest games of 2011 and the hottest independently developed games of 2012
FTL: Faster Than Light | PC
A wholly original offering from a small team of independent developers, "FTL" is strategic, real-time space combat in a way you haven't seen before. Players must take an intrepid crew of humans and aliens aboard a customizable, upgradeable ship, learn to manage ship energy and resources while making their way across the galaxy with evil rebel ships close behind. Trekkies and "Firefly" fans will really appreciate this one.
Hotline Miami | PC
Journey | PS3 (PSN)
Exactly as the title implies, this sweeping, colorful gem of a game is about a pilgrimage players take across seemingly endless miles of desert. The only hint of a direction travelers have are the looming spires of a city which rests somewhere far on the hazy horizon. With online play through the PlayStation Network, two gamers can encounter each other as they explore the alien wilderness and cooperate to solve puzzles. Its vibrant landscapes and characters, along with its fresh presentation, put this in the running for most unique game of 2012.
Angry Birds Space HD | iOS/Android
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Dragonborn Add-On | XB360 (XBLA)
A couple of downloadable add-ons and countless Game of the Year awards later, "Elder Scrolls" fans are getting the most robust expansion yet for the series' fifth installment, which is set in the Nordic land of Skyrim. In "Dragonborn," players must travel to the frigid island Solstheim — a place longtime fans of the series may recognize. A new story arc, new powers for the player and rideable dragons (rideable dragons!) make this a no-brainer for any "Skyrim" owner.
VIDEO | Sci-Fi expo connects with fans
The Force is strong with Casey Bassett.
In two years of feverish planning and laborious love, the 24-year-old has roughly tripled the size of his homegrown geek convention, Sci-Fi Valley Con, being held this year at the Jaffa Shrine in Altoona. Today is the 2013 convention’s final day.
VIDEO | Deer gets on, off city bus
A CamTran bus picked up an unscheduled passenger on Tuesday evening – a white-tailed deer.
VIDEO | Bards behind bars
In the latest endeavor for Brian Murphy, the 33–room Grand Midway Hotel in Windber might be refitted to become a penitentiary – a commune for delinquents, but specifically for delinquent writers. He calls it “Writer’s Jail,” and it serves the artistic community by forcing writers to do the one thing they often cannot bring themselves to do: Actually write.
Internet sales tax bill to hit roadblock in House
A bill to require Internet shoppers to pay sales taxes for online purchases may be cruising through the Senate but it will soon hit a roadblock in the House.
Setting standards for cyber sharing
A cybersecurity bill that riled privacy advocates when it was approved in the U.S. House of Representatives last week is looking like a non-starter in the Senate this week. And both opponents and proponents say its best chance at resurrection is to put a leash on exactly what types of information companies can share.
VIDEO | Drill provides glimpse of reality: Responders stage grim demonstration of accident scene
Police, fire and EMS responders from Patton and Carrolltown rushed to Cambria Heights High School Thursday afternoon, responding to a call that detailed a two-vehicle accident with entrapment.
Although it was a drill, designed to be a graphic depiction of what happens when unsafe driving practices lead to a wreck, the message sent to the dozens of students surrounding the scene was clear.
New app helps Icelanders avoid accidental incest
You meet someone, there's chemistry, and then come the introductory questions: What's your name? Come here often? Are you my cousin?
In Iceland, a country with a population of 320,000 where most everyone is distantly related, inadvertently kissing cousins is a real risk.
A new smartphone app is on hand to help Icelanders avoid accidental incest.
In Boston manhunt, online detectives flourish
The intensive manhunt for the bombers behind the deadly Boston Marathon attacks didn't take place only on the streets with professional police officers and SWAT teams. In an era of digital interactivity, it also unfolded around the country from laptops and desk chairs filled with regular folks.
Senate bill jeopardizes tax-free online shopping
States could force Internet retailers to collect sales taxes under a bill that overwhelmingly passed a test vote in the Senate Monday.
VIDEO | Historic theater now only a memory
Dozens of Gallitzin residents young and old gathered on a brisk Saturday morning to watch the historic Victoria Theater along Jackson Street come down.
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- VIDEO | Sci-Fi expo connects with fans