I’m a little short on the violent-ish ideas. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, I’m a goddamn peaceful man. Still, these select goodies are more good than evil, and each gets my nod of approval this holiday season.
A VERY VIOLENT CHRISTMAS
I gave a JT Splatmaster z200 shotgun to my 11-year-old nephew for his birthday last month and dare I say I won the prize for bestest gift ever. Within minutes, the thing was loaded, targets hung (1 comes with the gun, we made others quickly out of the cardboard from beer cases), and a line had formed behind the birthday boy to compete in an impromptu shooting competitive. I won, hitting all three targets with three pulls of the trigger in six seconds flat. I’m no fan of guns, or of an excessively violent modern society, but damn if this wasn’t fun! Read my full review of the JT Splatmaster here.
What else do I need to say about Skylanders? The best co-operative game for families that we’ve ever played (that doesn’t say a whole lot, I’ll admit, but seriously, Skylanders Giants is every bit as brilliant as its big brother Spyro’s Adventure.) This game breaks down gender walls with innovative girl characters who kick ass and who even young boys like playing with on screen. The cartoon violence has yet to turn my daughters into monsters, so Activision must have the calibration of such violent gameplay figured out perfectly.
We’ve long been fans of the micro-robotic toy company. These new battle bots will elevate their already wildly popular toys to another level as the bots strap on attack gear and do battle to the *death*. Having seen this Battle Stadium live and in person, I can tell you how much fun there is waiting to be had, and how brilliantly designed the arena is. Also, the fact that the losing Hexbug Warrior gets shut down temporarily is a neat touch to actually declare a winner.
I’m not publishing a separate Very Video Game Christmas gift guide, so I am going to put one more here. Now, this isn’t a game that we have or would really ever consider buying BUT I played Transformers Prime on the Wii U before either was released and Oh. My. God. was it loud, violent, and insanely cool (what is happening to me??). The action is non-stop and heart-pounding, especially with the volume cranked up on a flat screen LCD TV, as you literally pound villains over the their vehicular heads. I mean, you can beat them into submission, which, frankly, is way better than standing back and shooting them! Of course, I needed assistance from a very patient Activision employee to figure out the proper combination of buttons to push to make this happen, but that is because I’m a dufus. If you dig the Transformers movies and action figures, and have or will be getting the Wii U, you must get Transformers Prime.
Like with everything else in the OWTK 2012 Gift Guides, many of the products highlighted above can be found cheaper locally, and maybe even at a local small toy seller. But in case not, or in case you don’t want to leave your home and deal with the bad park jobs and general rudeness of others, here’s some Amazon linky love to make things easier for you.
(OWTK will get some cash kickbacks should you buy anything from Amazon through these links, which helps keep this thing afloat. So thank you!)