GameZone's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide for Gamers - Books and Comics
Gamers occasionally like to put down the controller and read… about video games! Crazy, I know, but when you’re passionate about two different hobbies, it makes sense to want to combine them whenever possible.
Below are some hot ideas for what to buy that bookworm-ish gamer on your holiday shopping list -- or at least someone who appreciates pretty pictures.
The Art of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Black Flag, the fourth main entry in Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed action-adventure series, is no doubt going to be one of the hottest purchases this season -- especially since it will be available on both of the new next-gen consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Titan Books has a great art book that details the gorgeous, expansive locations and designs from the game, and it comes in two forms: a standard edition ($35) and a limited edition ($60) with a slipcase and signed art prints. Nice.
The Last of Us: American Dreams
Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us was one of the highest-rated games and PlayStation 3 exclusives this year. With the downloadable content expansion Left Behind arriving in early 2014, you’ll want to learn a little more about Ellie’s friend Riley, who appears in The Last of Us: American Dreams ($17) from Dark Horse Comics. It’s a prequel comic set before the events of the main game, and the art by Faith Erin Hicks is awesomely stylish.
Stay Awhile and Listen: How Two Blizzards Unleashed Diablo and Forged a Video Game Empire - Book 1
Diablo 3 is a Blizzard’s massive action role-playing game -- one that people have waited years for -- and since launch, it has recovered from the troubles of auction houses and server errors. As of September, non-PC gamers can enjoy a greatly improved version on consoles, including the PlayStation 4 next year. But for those who want to better understand the history, Stay Awhile and Listen – Book 1 ($10) by David L. Craddock is an excellent resource full of anecdotes and accessible language that’s light on the boring facts and dates. It’s available as an e-book for multiple formats.
Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon
Finally, the adventures of Crazy Dave! Fans of the ridiculously popular Plants vs. Zombies tower-defense series (chances are you know at least one) can’t resist having this on their bookshelf. In the comic Lawnmageddon ($10) from Dark Horse, the nonsensical inventor Crazy Dave (the guy who wears a pot on his head in the games) helps his niece, Patrice, and adventurer Nate Timely defend against an undeadly neighborhood invasion.
Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus "Notch" Persson and the Game that Changed Everything
Minecraft is internet-famous, and the PC sandbox game has made creator Markus “Notch” Persson a multi-millionaire. Seriously, just count the number of “re-created in Minecraft” posts out there. In Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale ($17), authors Daniel Goldberg, Linus Larsson and Jennifer Hawkins have laid out the story behind the sensation and its equally iconic developer, whose company, Mojang, is all about fun.
World of Warcraft: Ultimate Visual Guide
One of the most successful massively multiplayer online RPGs around is World of Warcraft, which has been running since 2004, and there’s no doubting its influence in the industry. Now its whole universe is contained in one book: the World of Warcraft: Ultimate Visual Guide ($30) from DK Publishing. Whatever future lies ahead for the MMO, this book captures why it’ll always be special.
Fables Deluxe Edition
Last year, Telltale Games won Game of the Year awards for its take on The Walking Dead. Now, Telltale is adapting Fables from DC Comics in an episodic adventure series called The Wolf Among Us, and fans are going to want to catch up on some reading. DC Comics has seven hardcover collections currently available. The first Fables Deluxe Edition ($30) contains the original 10 issues of Bill Willingham’s beloved mature series about exiled fairy-tale characters.
With the eighth generation of consoles underway, we’re experiencing history in the making. To appreciate where we are, we have to look back at how we got here. Dream Worlds (between $10 and $50 depending on version) by design historian Zoya Street examines Sega’s last console, the Dreamcast, and delves into the creation of three groundbreaking games: Skies of Arcadia, Phantasy Star Online and Shenmue. It’s a perfect buy for anyone who cherishes the classic days of gaming or wants to learn more about why they matter.
Dark Souls: Design Works
If there’s one game nobody can shut up about, it’s Dark Souls, the action role-playing game from developer From Software and the spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls. A sequel is due in March next year, which means the Dark Souls: Design Works ($40) art collection from Udon Entertainment is the perfect gift to help the series’ masochistic, hardcore players survive the wait.
Ghosts in the Machine
Here’s a fun stocking stuffer for the every-gamer: Ghosts in the Machine (between $5 and $10) is an anthology of 13 short stories from journalists and artists about gaming’s “worst and weirdest problems” that double as its “most humanizing attributes.” In other words, games and all their imperfections are a reflection of life, and this explores how.
Be sure to check out all of the other awesome gifts, games and consoles in GameZone's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide for Gamers (Click on the image below).