The Tough Customer's 2019 Gaming Gift Guide
The holiday season is upon us! If you're anything like me, then you've probably procrastinated on all the hectic running around and gift buying, waiting until the last minute.
If you're struggling to find that perfect gift this year, we've compiled a shortlist of the best gifts to purchase those gaming and tech enthusiasts in your life. We'll take a look at everything from video games, to gaming hardware and tech that'll brighten up the lives of those closest to you.
Without further ado, here is The Tough Customer's 2019 Gift Guide for your consideration.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice starts us off this year's guide. The FromSoftware game has been critically acclaimed since its release on March 22nd and had recently been given the accolades of Game of the Year at this year’s Game Awards.
Sekiro is set in a 16th century Japan and will see players slash their way through a myriad of enemies and combative creatures. Like recent FromSoftware games, Sekiro has a fairly complex and difficult gameplay loop. However, overcoming obstacles is incredibly satisfying and will give players hours upon hours of rewarding gameplay to complete.
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
This year, Xbox released a new and improved Elite controller for the Xbox One console family. The Elite Series 2 has improved many aspects of the first Elite controller.
The Elite Series 2 now features adjustable tension thumbsticks, a wraparound rubberized grip for the player’s palms, and Bluetooth connectivity. In addition, the Elite Series 2 has maintained the short-hair trigger locks, customizable button mapping, and rear paddles for additional customization and easy access.
Xbox’s Elite controllers have been the pinnacle of customization when it comes to game console controllers. The quality of life features has only been improved on with the new iteration and should speak to those looking for a beefier, well-rounded controller for their Xbox or PC.
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is available for $229.99 CAD
Hideo Kojima’s latest game, Death Stranding, has befuddled and astounded players when it released on November 8th. This PlayStation 4 exclusive game is still hot out of the oven from Kojima’s new studio, Kojima Productions. It features a star-studded cast including Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Troy Baker, Lea Seydoux, and Lindsay Wagner.
Step into the shoes of Sam Porter Bridges, played by Reedus as he travels across the post-apocalyptic United States to connect remaining cities to a new network as you deliver packages along the way. You’ll come face-to-face with other-worldly beings, and have to protect your cargo from damage and weather conditions.
While Death Stranding may not be everyone’s cup of tea, those looking for an experimental game with new mechanics, and a killer soundtrack should be happy they found a copy under their tree this year.
Death Stranding is currently available on PlayStation 4.
The Marvel Book
As we’re planted in the drought of Marvel movies and eagerly await Square Enix’s Avengers game, DK Canada has your fix for Marvel content this holiday season. The Marvel Book is a compilation of tentpole stories and overviews of some of the lesser-known cogs in the Marvel machine.
The Marvel Book is an easy-to-read guide to getting caught up on the never-ending source material of the MCU. Reading through the pages, you'll learn some interesting factoids on beloved characters such as Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Luke Cage, and Blade (brush up before his MCU debut). It is also packed with artwork straight from the comics.
Ghost Recon Backpack
Fans of Ubisoft’s latest title, Ghost Recon Breakpoint will surely adore the Ghost Recon Backpack, which looks like it’s been ripped straight from the game. The black 100% polyester backpack has a sizeable 11’ ’x 19’’ laptop sleeve and two smaller pockets on the front and side. The main compartment has a camo design on the interior and features a webbing band + flap Velcro pocket for your phone.
You’ll also find a Ghost skull patch on the front and mesh padding on the rear with a chest clip to alleviate back strain. Ubisoft is also offering free Ghost Recon Wildlands pins with the purchase of the backpack.
Speaking of Ubisoft, the publisher released its Netflix-style gaming subscription service earlier this year, Uplay+. If you have an avid Ubisoft fan in your life that plays games on PC, Uplay+ will grant unlimited access to over 100+ games from the studio.
Currently, Uplay+ supports hit titles such as Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, The Division 2, Rainbow Six Siege, and the aforementioned Ghost Recon Breakpoint. They’ll also have access to Watch Dogs Legion later next year when the game officially launches.
Uplay+ is available for $19.99/month.
Hue Play Light Bar
One of the revolutionary things to come into my life this year was the Hue Play light. This easy-to-setup smart light can be placed behind your TV or PC monitor and accentuate the screen’s lighting effects.
Using your smartphone, you can choose between 16 million colour tones to match the games your playing and the content you’re watching. It’s surprisingly intuitive and works quite well even when external light hits the room.
When used with your PC, you can access the Hue Play Sync desktop app and have the light automatically pair with the colours and brightness of what’s currently on your screen. Unfortunately, it’s the one feature lacking from TV use. However, setting the lights manually will still enrich and immerse you in whatever is on screen.
Nintendo released a newer, smaller version of its flagship Nintendo console. The Nintendo Switch Lite is a portable-only model, but still supports a long list of incredible high-quality games.
Nintendo made a few revisions when the company decided to offer a scaled-down model.
As the Switch Lite is only playable as handheld, Joy-Cons are unable to be removed, so keep in mind that any party games relying on multiplayer or the removal of Joy-Cons may not be supported. However, the D-pad has been improved. Nintendo swapped out the four-button layout and replaced it with a dedicated D-pad. Although the screen is a bit smaller to fall in line with the portability functions, the Switch Lite’s battery is improved, giving players a few extra hours of play.
Currently, the Switch Lite is available in yellow, grey, and turquoise and is available for $259.99 CAD.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
If you’re looking for the perfect game for someone a bit younger, or a game the whole family can enjoy, look no further than Luigi’s Mansion 3. Luigi is back to his old ghost-busting shenanigans, only this time, he’s trapped in a spectre-filled hotel.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is one of the most charming games I’ve played this year. The subtle humour will crack you up time and time again. The game has improved on many gameplay elements of the franchise while sticking to what makes the series so special. In addition, the game also features couch co-op so two people can get in on the puzzle solving and suck up the many enemy ghosts found in the hotel halls.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is available on Nintendo Switch.
Google Nest Hub
Finally, rounding off the list is Google Nest Hub. It is the perfect gift for anyone building out their catalogue of smart home devices. Improving the functionality of Google Home, the Nest Hub has voice controls for all your smart devices and can remotely control your Chromecast.
With the available 7" touch display, Nest Hub can also serve as a digital frame, and show visuals when asking weather and traffic conditions. You can also watch and play videos from YouTube Music, or sync it with your Spotify account.
Google Nest Hub is easy to set up and add additional devices from the Google Home app. Compile all smart home devices into one tool to make life much more easier. Google Home is available for 169.99 CAD
That's all for The Tough Customer's 2019 Gift Guide. Have a wonderful holiday season. Eat good food and play some good games!