Welcome to the Dorkly Holiday Gift Guide 2014! We'll be adding things and updating through the rest of the holiday season! Have a suggestion? Leave a comment below, or send an email to general [at] dorkly [dot] com.
The two big multiplayer FPS games this fall were Call of Duty and Halo: The Master Chief Collection - but, of the two, our recommendation goes to Call of Duty. One, it actually works (Halo has been woefully broken since release); and two, it's probably the most fun (and different) entry in the series since Black Ops 2. The maps are great, the gameplay is solid, and Kevin Spacey gives a ridiculously-fun performance in the campaign. Also? EXO-ZOMBIES ARE COMING IN 2015:
"The best CoD multiplayer in years thanks to new movement mechanics and loot drops." - TotalBiscuit
"The way Sledgehammer has integrated its enhanced abilities and choices into every aspect of how we fight went above and beyond." - IGN
Where To Get It:
While many were (rightfully) underwhelmed by Assassin's Creed Unity, there was another assassination-focused game released that brought new life to the genre, and took pretty much everyone by surprise: Shadow of Mordor. The Nemesis System adds a wonderful new level of nuance to this type of game, and the tiny details and abilities throughout the game make it something truly special, if you're looking for a great single-player experience.
Note: If you're getting this, get the next gen version - the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are significant steps down.
Smash Bros. for the Wii U is finally out, and it's an insanely fun experience (if you own a Wii U, that is, the odds of which aren't very good). It's fast-paced, filled with fun characters, and tons of great stages. Plus, 8 player Smash is insane and ridiculous, but still a wonderful addition to the traditional formula. If you can manage it, find a Gamecube Controller Adapter and play with old GC controllers. And now with Amiibos, you can train your own computer players to suit your individual style and skillset.
Tales of the Borderlands may be the best edition of Borderlands yet - taking the framework of other Telltale games (The Walking Dead, A Wolf Among Us) but with the humor and universe of Borderlands, it's a fresh and different take on Pandora and vault-hunting.
One of the most large-scale and goofy takes on the Marvel universe yet, LEGO proves that they should pretty much be the only people making licensed games these days. Filled with more characters than you can begin to imagine, you get to explore a huge world (including a massive New York City) and toy around with tons of characters (and all of their powers) as you play through another solidly made LEGO game.
Jazzpunk is an extremely, extremely weird and funny game that's....sorta hard to describe well.
"It's a rare, but fantastic thing to find a game that feels like the result of a singular artistic vision. To find one that also happens to be a genuinely comic vision is like tripping over a unicorn." -GiantBomb
Nintendo 3DS XL with New Super Mario Bros. 2 Pre-Installed at Wal-Mart: $150
Unreal Complete Series on GoG.com: $8
Wii U 32GB Bundle - Includes Mario Kart 8 and Nintendo Land at Wal-Mart: $300
Titanfall on Origin: $5
Buy 1, Get 40% Off Another Wii U Game at Best Buy: Various
The first phase of Marvel's Cinematic Universe (available with the uber-cool briefcase packaging) is available on the cheap now - coming with all the Marvel movies through 2012's The Avengers.
Where To Buy It:
Community Seasons 1-5 on Amazon: 50-78% off per season
Farscape: The Complete Series: $51.50
Breaking Bad: The Complete Series: $75.00
If you have even a passing interest in comics and Marvel, you should get this. It's the perfect introduction to the larger world of Marvel - the cosmic scale characters, Doctor Strange, and - most importantly - Thanos. But really, it's great because it involves virtually every corner of the Marvelverse for the biggest threat ever faced. With the upcoming Infinity War Avengers films, expect the Marvel Cinematic Universe to draw heavily on this glorious comic event. It's thrilling, beautifully-drawn, and one of the best comics stories ever told.
A Song of Ice and Fire: Books 1 - 5 on Amazon: $30
Marvel Encyclopedia on Amazon: $26.90
Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture: $4 hardcover, $11 paperback
Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered the World: $10 on Kindle
How do you not own Settlers of Catan? Buy Settlers of Catan - it's a very simple game to learn, and very fun to play.
LootCrate's a fun thing that could really only exist in the internet age - every month, you get a box filled with mystery...and also filled with neat geek-centric shirts, toys, and more.
Because Nerf guns went and got so much cooler while we were busy growing up. And, really, it's pretty nice to have a Nerf gun laying around the house, just in case.
It's CRAZY that Marvel didn't have a dancing Baby Groot figure (that actually danced) ready to go as soon as Guardians of the Galaxy was released - yet here we are. And while they have an official dancing Groot in the works, it looks like a pretty shoddily-put together product right now, so if you wanna spend money on a real dancing tree-Vin Diesel, might be best to wait a bit for a more quality product to come out.
In the meantime, Funko's Dancing Groot is solid - well-designed, cute, and reasonably priced. Of course, it doesn't dance, but just pretend this is from the part where Drax is staring at him.
This is the perfect item to place on a desk or coffee table, and invite a friend to try out. I mean, it's an easier prank to pull than trying to get them ask what "updog" is.
Yep, you read that right - the starship hijacked by Khan (back during his "wrath" period) has been replica'd. Know a world-class Star Trek geek who's still licking their wounds in this post-JJ Abrams world? Well, it's hard to imagine a more perfect gift, so long as you're willing to shell out some SERIOUS darseks.
Where You Can Get It:
We still have months and months of waiting until the new season of Game of Thrones - what are you supposed to be sitting on in the meantime?! The answer should be pretty obvious: The Iron Throne. But, like, a replica, because that thing would be really uncomfortable if it was made out of real swords.
Where To Get Them: