‘Star Wars’ gear tops gifts for gamers
This holiday season in gaming, like at the multiplex, is all about “Star Wars.”
As anticipation builds for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” due December 18, gamers young and old have no shortage of new “Star Wars”-related products to choose from — from controllers and headsets to games and accessories.
As always, make sure you know the player’s tastes before you shop. There are a lot of well-known titles, but they aren’t right for everyone. And no one wants to be the person who gave the gaming equivalent of the ugly sweater.
Here are some gift suggestions for the gamers in your life.
‘Star Wars’ stuff
The new game “Disney Infinity 3.0” lets young Padawans explore “Star Wars” environments and interact with iconic characters from the movies. Three different playsets from the “Star Wars” franchise will let them play with old favorites, such as Han Solo and Chewbacca and go on adventures with “Force Awakens” heroes such as Rey and Finn.
The game comes in a starter pack that includes collectible action figures that can be scanned into the game for use in gameplay — letting young gamers create their own stories through the magic of their imaginations.
Accessory company PowerA makes storage globes and themed carrying cases so these figures can be safely put away (and not get stepped on) or carried to a friend’s house for co-op playing in “Disney Infinity 3.0.”
For Jedi Masters and Sith Lords, Sony and EA DICE have bundled the new “Star Wars Battlefront” game with a customized 500 GB PlayStation 4 console and wireless controller inspired by Darth Vader. The limited-edition package contains vouchers for four other “Star Wars” games, making this a great gift for the Jedi warrior on your list.
If your master or lord seeks deeper immersion, “Star Wars’-themed gaming headsets from Turtle Beach let them show their colors as a sandtrooper or X-Wing pilot. Both headsets can be used with consoles or PCs.
The “Lego Dimensions” game lets younger gamers explore the many worlds of the Lego universes while freeing their hands from a controller for a few moments to build Lego figures and vehicles. The game includes characters from 16 different franchises — from “Back to the Future” to DC Comics’ Batman — offering something for everyone to enjoy.
Nintendo’s in-game characters, called amiibo, do double duty as iconic collectible figurines that can also be imported into games for the Wii U and portable 3DS platforms. Many new figures will be coming out before the end of the year — including an oversized Woolly Yoshi — for use in old games such as “Super Smash Bros.” or such newer titles as “Mario Tennis Ultra Smash” and “Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival.”
A Wii U “Super Mario Maker” bundle comes with comes with an 8-bit Mario amiibo along with the Wii U console and a download code for the “Super Mario Maker” game.
Race-car fans will love the Anki Overdrive system, which puts the power of racing in your hands. You can lay out a customizable track that allows toy races, controlled by your smartphone, to duel each in a speedy game of cat and mouse. Think of slot racing, but with powerful weapons, speed boosts and no slots.
Microsoft is offering many holiday deals, most notably a 1TB Xbox One limited edition console bundled with the new “Halo 5: Guardians” game. Jam-packed with extras, the console boasts metallic blue accents and military insignias that will let “Halo” fans show off their loyalty with pride, no matter what game they are playing.
If that gamer on your list wants to take their skills to the next level, pro-style accessories will help them achieve their goals. The Xbox One Elite wireless controller features fully customizable buttons and paddles with interchangeable D-pads and analog sticks. It works with the Xbox One console, of course, but also feels at home with PC gaming.
If your gamer likes to broadcast their gameplay on platforms such as Twitch, microphones and headphones from Blue will make them sound great while letting them hear every nuance. Lola headphones seal over the ear for high fidelity sound, while the Yeti microphone is perfect for recording a podcast with a roomful of others.
Of course, good games are always great gifts. The best will provide hours and hours of entertainment for players and their families.
“Fallout 4” puts players in a post-apocalyptic Massachusetts and forces them to lead civilization back from the brink of oblivion. “Rise of the Tomb Raider” is a prequel story about everyone’s favorite young archeologist, Lara Croft, and lets gamers learn how she got started.
If the shooter-game enthusiast in your life doesn’t already have this futuristic game, “Call of Duty: Black Ops III” is a fine choice. And if the past is more their liking, “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate” puts players in 1860s London for the latest face-off between the Assassins and the Templars.
Finally, for the young gamer on your list: Both “Yoshi’s Woolly World” for the Wii U or “Yo-Kai Watch,” a popular cartoon made into a game for the Nintendo 3DS, should keep them engaged for hours.