GameSkinny's 2016 Gift Guide For Your Gamer Grad

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Graduation is just around the corner (or has already happened) at most colleges nationwide, so if you haven't gotten your gamer grad a great gift yet, don't worry. GameSkinny has you covered. Here is our curated, artisanal, locally sourced, bespoke list of the absolute best graduation gifts for gamers in 2016.

Overwatch

Where To Buy: Buyoverwatch.com; Amazon

Rating/Store Rating: N/A

Price: $39.99/$59.99+

There are very few things that can alleviate the stress of crushing student loan debt quite like shooting the crap out of other people online.

Overwatch has just finished an open beta period, and is set to launch on May 24. If the beta period is anything to go by, Overwatch is going to be something special. On a basic level, it's a team based shooter in the vein of Team Fortress 2, but the sheer number of characters, and the fact that each of them feels completely distinct because of their abilities sets it apart. Your grad can pretty much play the game however they want to. As an added bonus, most PCs should be able to run it, and it's available on PS4 and Xbox One as well.

Multiple editions of the game are available-- the base game, available through PlayOverwatch.com, is just $40, while Amazon has the Origins Edition available, as well as a Collector's edition listed (but not in stock currently). The Origins Edition, at $60, includes in-game skins for Overwatch as well as Overwatch-themed extras for other Blizzard games like World of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm. The Collector's Edition throws in an art book, soundtrack, and a statue of Soldier: 76.

Samsung Gear VR & MOGA Power Bluetooth Controller

Where To Buy: Amazon (Gear VR; MOGA Power Controller)

Rating/Store Rating: 4.5/5 (Gear VR); 4/5 (MOGA Power Controller)

Price: $99.99 (Gear VR); $20.63/$49.99 (MOGA Power Controllers)

Sure, depending on your budget (and your grad's PC specs), an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive might be a flashier entry point into the world of virtual reality, but both the Rift and Vive, in addition to being expensive on their own, require pretty state-of-the-art PCs to run. Even if you can afford either as a gift, your grad might have to spend hundreds of dollars on their own rig to make sure the headsets run smoothly.

Given the fact that it works with most Galaxy phones (The S6 and S7, both of their Edge models, as well as the Note 5) and its simple plug-and-play design, the Gear VR really is the perfect entryway into virtual reality. The price point of $99 doesn't hurt either. If your grad already has one of these phones, it's almost a no-brainer.

The one thing to note is that, in order to play most games, a bluetooth controller is required. GameSkinny recommends the MOGA Hero and Pro Power controllers, but a full list of compatible controllers can be found here (as well as a handy FAQ for new users!).

Push Start: The Art Of Video Games

Where To Buy: Amazon

Rating/Store Rating: 4.5/5

Price: $42.65

This is a perfect coffee table book for your hipper-than-thou graduate. Featuring 380 pages of screenshots from classic video games, history, and pixel art, it is a wonderful conversation piece. The book itself was written by Stephen Guenzel, a professor of media theory in Berlin, so he knows what he's talking about.

As an added bonus, hidden in the back of this book is a vinyl record containing songs and remixes from classic video games. It's guaranteed to please any gamer, regardless of whether or not they went to Brown.

Humble Monthly Bundle Subscription

Where To Buy: Humble Bundle Store

Rating/Store Rating: N/A

Price: $12/mo

This is just a great idea. With the influx of geek and gamer subscription boxes in the market now, the geniuses behind the Humble Bundles, rotating collections of games bought at a discount price, thought to get in on the action.

The Humble Monthly bundle is a subscription service available for $12 per month that delivers curated game bundles to your grad's inbox every month. They're not shovelware either. Last month's bundle included AAA games like Mad Max as well as indie darlings like Galak-Z. Since its inception a few months ago, the average MSRP of titles in each monthly bundle has hovered around $150. Not bad for $12 per month. And hey, 5% of proceeds go to charity too, so not only are you giving to your grad, you're giving back to the community. 

 

Antlion ModMic

Where To Buy: Amazon

Rating/Store Rating: 4.5/5

Price: $49.99 (w/o mute functionality); $54.99 (w/ mute functionality)

For the PC gamer grad in your life, a microphone is pretty much a necessity for coordinating tactical strikes on enemy bases, or simply shouting profanity at 12-year olds who beat them at Counter-Strike

The Antlion ModMic is designed for people who already have a pair of headphones they love to use. Its selling point is that you can instantly mount the ModMic to any pair of headphones and easily turn it into a fully-fledged headset perfect for gaming, podcasting, recording, or streaming on Twitch. The sound quality is great, and in terms of convenience, it can't be beat. All you have to do is stick a magnet to your headphones, then the microphone can be pulled on and off at will.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Where To Buy: Amazon

Rating/Store Rating: 5/5

Price: $59.99/$79.99/$119.99

By now, you're probably familiar with the Indiana Jones-style adventures of Nathan Drake. Uncharted 4 has already garnered a slew of positive reviews and is now sitting comfortably with a Metacritic score of 94. And though video game reviewers often disagree on many things, the resounding consensus is that, above all, Uncharted 4 is exhilarating and just plain fun. Isn't that what video games are all about?

This game is likely going to become a must-own for all PS4 users in the near future, so if your grad has one, make sure they're not missing out.

For those of you looking to spend a bit more, Amazon has 2 special editions of the game in stock. The Special Edition includes an exclusive steelbook case, as well as an art book, sticker sheet, and some in-game currency. The Collector's Edition includes all that, plus exclusive multiplayer skins and items, as well as a 12" Nathan Drake statue.

Kill Screen Magazine Subscription

Where To Buy: Kill Screen

Rating/Store Rating: N/A

Price: $80/yr

Your grad might still be mourning the death of Nintendo Power, and the decline of print video gaming media in general, so why not fill the void with a subscription to a new video gaming quarterly?

Kill Screen Magazine, in addition to standard reviews and breaking news coverage, features beautiful art and prose in every single one of its issues. They are dedicated to providing what they call "beautiful" gaming coverage, and they absolutely follow through in this regard. Their writing on games is rooted in culture, and in the wonderful ways that gaming and fandom interacts with the world at large. Plus, each print issue also comes complete with a digital edition formatted for most major ebook readers. What more could you ask for?

Geek-Art: An Anthology

Where To Buy: Amazon

Rating/Store Rating: 5/5

Price: $30.52

Tailor made for your grad who minored in Art History, Geek-Art is unlike most other gaming art books on the market today. Instead of showing off screenshots from classic games, this book features over 750 images created by almost 100 artists worldwide. 

The images themselves are interpretations, artist renditions of characters and moments beloved by geek culture. The book, as a whole, is a celebration of fandom in general, and honestly, is something that no video game fan with even a passing interest in the arts should be without.

Published May. 10th 2016

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RobotsFightingDinosaurs is unlockable by beating the game on Very Hard difficulty without losing a life. You must then defeat him to unlock him for Arcade and Versus modes.


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