Holiday Gift Guide 1: Let’s Get Physical!

It’s been quite interesting living in an all-too digital world and seeing how gifting has changed for many folks who go that route with nearly every purchase. Me? I like giving and receiving actual product for the most part unless it’s a case where the only way to get something is via a code voucher of some sort. That said, I feel kind of bad for kids raised in this era where some parents or other tech-savvy adults seem to hate on the very idea of handing a kid something nicely wrapped that’s NOT another gift card that devalues over time if not used up for a place they’ll never visit in person. So, in the interest of getting you out of the house and offline for oh, maybe an hour or two, I’m tossing a few suggestions your way (which are also available in digital form if you like).

Lego Worlds PS4_NALEGO Worlds (PC/PS4/Xbox One/Switch)- Ever-busy developer TT Games pulls out all the stops in this great sandbox game that’s packed with content and a ton of freedom once you get past the tutorial and early story missions. This is one of those great family games that’s so much fun to play you’ll want to sneak in some time alone once that kid is asleep.

On the other hand, you’d very likely want to play this with your kid or at least have a second controller handy as the game supports up to 2 players in either online or offline modes. Hours will zip by when this is on, but at least you won’t need to worry about stepping on loose LEGO pieces or having the family pet making them disappear after they smack part of what you’ve built under the sofa.

 

Crash Bandicoot PS4_NACrash Bandicoot N. Sane Game & Sock Bundle Pack (PS4)- Can’t decide on getting games or socks for the holidays? Got a relative who auto-buys you socks because he or she has zero clue about games? Why not get BOTH with this bundle of completely remastered PS1 classics that include the first three games in the series lovingly reworked by Vicarious Visions with tons of new HD specific features?

Between the redone visuals, the ability to play as Coco Bandicoot in all three games and a bunch of great stuff only those true masters of unlocking will get to see (yes, the games are as challenging as ever)l you get SOCKS you’ll probably actually wear at some point. But don’t try and stuff those stockings on the box with the game, as that would make for weird gift to receive and probably stretch out one of those socks in the process.

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As Always, TT Games Has A LEGO Up On The Competition

 

 

For my money (and most likely yours, if you’re also a fan of their work), London-based TT Games is one of the most reliable game developers working today. Working with their own proprietary engines, their long line of licensed LEGO games has brought millions of players of all ages far too much fun for their money. The great thing about a LEGO game is you know on one level what you’re getting, but where you go with what you get is completely up to you. WB Games bought three of the newest LEGO titles to NYC along with a few folks from TT Games to show press and a bunch of lucky kids what’s headed their way in 2017 and yes, the operative word here was FUN (and lots of it).
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Some Batman Day Stuff To Drive You Batty

batman day 2015

So, it’s Batman Day tomorrow and yes, a few (well, more than a few) sites are having some nice sales on some fun to funky items. I’ll give a shout out to a handful below:

Mezco Batman Day Sale

MezcoToyz is offering up an awesome deal of mystery randomness with its 1-day ONLY Batman themed Mystery Box. $19.39 (yes, the year Bats first appeared in comics)nets you a box that will contain assorted Batman and DC Comics related merchandise. You may get something common,but you may also snag something super-rare and guaranteed to have the Joker pop by with a can of Smilex gas while you’re sleeping. Hey, he collects toys too… at your expense, of course! This sale runs from 12:01 AM on September 26th to 12:01 AM on September 27th and yes, supplies are LIMITED. Oh, and if you’ll be in NYC for the event, make sure to visit Mezco at New York Comic Con (booth 1754).

BatmanCover LEGO Batman 3 Complete Bundle

If you prefer something a bit more interactive, Bundle Stars has you covered with two cool Bat-bundles of PC games with the Caped Crusaders and friends. Ten bucks nets you the first three Batman: Arkham games along with three huge DLC packs or Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham plus SEVEN nice DLC packs.

Meanwhile, the PlayStation Store, Sony is running a Batman Day sale on a slew of Barman titles for the PS3, PS4 and Vita. Boogie on over to that link above and let your wallet fly around the room for a minute before you wring it out until it’s all dried up and you’re buried in more than enough Bat-games to keep you occupied and out of trouble for quite some time. Or IN trouble because you’ve stopped going to work and have taken to wearing a cape, boots and utility belt you’ve designed on those trips to the bathroom. Remember to duck when you throw that homemade Batarang for the first time, as it’ll swing back and crack you upside the head before you can react.

I suppose you can do some reading as well, but I’ll let you poke around online for assorted sales. I do know DC Comics is doing something fun (as always) I haven’t read a decent Batman comic in ages, so I’m kind of need to do some poking around myself. Hmmm… it looks as if I’ll be hitting up the library here tomorrow or a nearby comic shop for a few freebies.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham: TT Games’ Next One Will Be Out Of This World…

LB3BG Cover MultiLEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is coming to PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/PS Vita, Xbox One/Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PC on November 11, 2014. That’s pretty much all you need to know as TT Games and WBIE have absolutely MASTERED the art of whipping out a LEGO game to mostly rave notices and delivering the goods with a family-friendly set of titles that have infinite replay value and make for instant “BUY ME!” purchases whether as gifts for oneself or a bunch of lucky kids.

Seriously, all you need are a couple of controllers and anyone can have a total blast. for the longest time, the LEGO series has been a “pick up and play” festival and with each installment, TT Games has been adding neat stuff like fully voiced characters, bigger maps to explore and loads of additional costumes, characters and plenty of hidden secrets for those willing to play until they fine everything.  Oh, and here’s a word from Braniac and a few pals in case you’re showing any form of disinterest in this one:

Yeah, soooo… don’t let the Joker put the earth in his pants (ewww!)… BUY THIS GAME when it comes out and knock some sense into that ever-grinning nut-job, I say!

LEGO The Hobbit In Stores Today: CG Plastic Playground Beats CG Movie FX Any Day of the Week…

 
While I’m not a huge fan of the fantasy amusement park thrill rides that are The Hobbit films, TT Games has never let me down with their takes on the Lord of the Rings franchise and a bunch of other games they’ve done up with the full on LEGO treatment. While production values have been beefed up considerably since the first LEGO games, the same sense of silliness and all-out fun is intact, as is drop-in drop-out co-op play, loads of secrets and probably so many characters to play as that the game’s replay value is way off the charts if you’re one of those folks who wants to see it all and doesn’t care how long it takes to unlock everything. Anyway, this one’s available NOW for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS and PC, so round up the family and go grab a copy, I say…

Crow Pie Chronicles (Or I’m Glad To Be Wrong About): The Lego Movie

 
YUM! I said I’d eat a crow pie if I was wrong about The Lego Movie not sucking and yep, I’m a man of my word, although I had to substitute some of my not yet world famous chicken for “crow” and a few slices of whole grain bread for “pie”. Anyway, it’s good to see this one netting nice notices so now I need to see it at some point and make sure all those critics weren’t sucking in the happy gas WB pumped into those free screenings I didn’t get an invite to (boo!). Since I’ve been ignoring the film for the most part, I’m going in blind other than what I’ve seen on those TV spots popping up all over the place every few seconds. I still think it’ll be well over the heads of anyone over ten years old who won’t get all the references and in-jokes, but that’s probably me underestimating the kids of the hipsters and boomers taking them to see this.

 
And wait, wha-whaaaat? There’s a video game based on the film as well? I did predict this last year or earlier, but I’m actually surprised that there was one made because that’s just TOO meta at the end of the day. Anyway, you KNOW a movie is going to be worth seeing when Fox News has a shit fit about it for all the wrong reasons. They seem to believe that a movie made to get people to run out and spend money to see it (and the tie in toys AND the game that’s made for the same purpose) is somehow teaching kids to be “anti-capitalist” (wha-whaaaat?)… despite the OBVIOUS hundreds of millions this will rake in for a few big corporations. As the kids say, DERP.

Yeah, they’re quite stupid over there and I wish they’d stop it. But it’s interesting watching them hang themselves by their own rope every day they keep the blood pressure of their viewership headed through the roof over trifling nonsense. Perhaps they all need to chill for a bit and actually go see some of the stuff they bitch and moan about as bad for Amurrrrica? That would be my prescription…

The Lego Movie Videogame Trailer: Meta Enough For You? My Mind Left An Hour Ago…

Okay. It’s a video game based on a movie about toys including many that have been the subject of entire video games. Well, at least TT Games (the folks who’ve made all those successful LEGO video games for the last few years) is on the case and what’s here will no doubt LOOK and PLAY fantastically. I’m just still not at all sold on the need for a LEGO movie, period. Yeah, yeah – it’s going to be chock full of in jokes and references up the wazoo and sure, I did chuckle a bit when watching this trailer.

However, given that LEGO fans have made more interesting (and less celebrity-filled) movies for less money (a whole lot less money that what this is costing not counting the marketing), my inner cynic has been activated for close to a year ever since I got wind of the film being made. Oh, I’m SURE this will make its money back quickly worldwide, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be a hollow shell of an experience if it’s missing even what amounts to a plastic heart at the center no matter how many writers try to slap in some sappy moments to make you tear up a wee bit. In any event, the game should either do fine or really confuse the easily confused with too many game systems, as it’s being released on no fewer than EIGHT platforms (what, NO Wii version?!). Seriously. The funniest part of the trailer for me was seeing all those game packages at the end. Collectors alert, indeed!

Eh, we’ll see what happens – maybe I just need a hug or something…

Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Set To “Rescue” Wii U This Spring…

LB2 WiiU 2D 0a Not that Nintendo’s recently released system “needs” rescuing (nope, not at all, folks – it just needs a few less paid industry skeptics and doomsayers, many of which are or seem to be people who’ve yet to touch a controller). Anyway, TT Games’ best work to date was last years super-smash of epic proportions and it’s finally headed to the Wii U with the same stellar visuals and tight, fun (and funny) family-friendly gameplay intact.

I want this for the GamePad playability and the chance to show it off to folks who haven’t seen it yet on the console as a potential system seller. Given the success of the other versions, this one seems to be a total no-brainer purchase for any Wii U owner looking for a fun (and lengthy) chunk of high quality (and laugh-packed) action with style to spare. I’ll run a gallery if for you guys and gals to ogle if and when WB shoots me over some screens…

Marvel Finally Gets The LEGO Treatment Later This Year

Lego_MarvelSuperHeroes

TT Games is back at work on another new licensed LEGO game, but this time it’s an all Marvel title set to hit no fewer than seven consoles (PC, PS3, Vita, Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS) by the end of the year. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes will be set initially in a stylized Lego New York City before spreading out into other locations familiar to comics fans and according to the press release, “offers an original storyline in which Nick Fury calls upon Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Wolverine and other heroes spanning the Marvel Universe to save Earth from such threats as the vengeance of Loki and the hunger of Galactus, Devourer of the Worlds.”

Right now, that’s the sole image for the game above, but that’s going to change soon enough, folks. Expect this family-friendly superhero fun blast sometime in Fall 2013.