Tag Archives: christmas-gifts

Top 5 Bargain Video Games for Christmas

Geek!This is Daz’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

There are great bargains in older games. Even though they are old they still fall in the must-have category. Here are my top 5 choices:

  1. Call of Duty 4 – Although a year old it still stands miles above the rest and the recently released Call of Duty World at War stands on par if not worse if going back to World War II wasn’t your thing. The single player sets you during the modern day and uses a cinematic feel which is fantastically engrossing and to get those hard earned veteran achievements you’ll be playing it many times over. Although the single player is great it’s the multiplayer which takes Call of Duty into its own and truly excels. With the best leveling up system I’ve seen on a console shooter to date, the ranking up from private to corporal is enjoyable. The ability to customize your characters perks and special powers extends beyond the normal weapon selection. Honestly this game is still tremendously popular both offline and online, some people are actually coming back from COD: World at War, and if you’re into some proper first person shooting action then this is the game to get this Christmas.
  2. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga – Gosh, this one may be controversial depending on how much you cherish your childhood memories but you can’t doubt the success of the Lego games series. This year has seen the release of Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Batman but they all lead back to the Lego Star Wars series. I recommend getting the Complete Saga version as that gives you all 6 episodes on one disc. Even as a die hard Star Wars fan, I enjoyed this game. Don’t get me wrong; realism isn’t top of the list but it doesn’t disappoint in the enjoyment factor and keeps strictly to the storyline. Seeing those special moments recreated in Lego will make you laugh. Out of all the games on this list I think Lego Star Wars will take the longest for you to complete 100%; because of the way it’s been made you’ll have to play the game several times over to get the special treats. By earning studs you’ll be able to unlock characters so you can see once and for all what it would have been like if Mace Windu had magically been able to fight Emperor Palpatine to the death at the end of Return of the Jedi. These hypothetical situations are fun to play out but this game will appeal to not only fans of the Star Wars phenomenon but also anyone looking for something different this Christmas.
  3. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock – If you haven’t been part of the Guitar Hero craze you’ve been lying under a rock far too long. Last years release was the kick start to the music gaming revolution and has truly expanded with new Guitar Hero and Rock Band games going on sale this year. But that doesn’t pull away from the fact that this was a good game. To be honest the game hasn’t changed radically from Guitar Hero II. The only changes come in music tracks and instrument options. The basic premise is to feel like a rock star and play along with tracks by hitting the notes at the right time. It sounds easy but it gets hard quickly. Looking back, the songs aren’t going to be quite as up to date as you’d like but the famous tracks will be there to rock on too. With some money spent in the Xbox Live Marketplace you can update your tunes to something more modern. Remember you’ll need the guitar with this game to play properly as it’s not worth just using the controller. If you’re not at all interested in music I would steer clear of this.
  4. Rainbow Six Vegas 2 – This sequel wasn’t as much a new game, just as an expansion to the first. There was no major changes just slight graphical appearances which, in my opinion, appeared a bit better in HD than the prequel. But that’s not a bad thing; the original was such a good hit, putting you in the role of an elite anti-terrorist squad. Rainbow Six Vegas 2 builds on the success of duck-and-cover shooting as well as the team commands which seem quite easy to order and the missions are overall fun to complete. Set in and around the outskirts of Las Vegas, the environments aren’t repeated often but can seem bland. The multiplayer part of the game shares a similar leveling system as COD 4; they have a more cautious approach than the running and gunning of COD. This game requires patience during the single player campaign as well as multiplayer; but if you’re after that it can provide you with a thorough experience.
  5. Assassins Creed – This makes my list on wow factor alone. Given the single player is quite short, Assassins Creed amazes people on it’s scale. There is a huge virtual map of four cities set during the time of the Crusades and never has history been so much fun as you play an assassin fighting against the Christian Crusaders, the Muslims and any evil force. Although over a year old the graphics hold up giving truly amazing views from the top of buildings; for once you just stop and stare in a video game as you try and point out things on the horizon. However that is just small compared to what makes this game a must play – the movement system is immense albeit easy. It doesn’t take long to get used to and you’ll be jumping across buildings and free running around ancient Jerusalem before you can say “Kill that infidel!” The implementation is very streamlined and makes simple running on the ground quite boring. Overall an entertaining game in an otherwise unexploited era but won’t be on your played list for long.

Finding the Right Christmas Gift

Geek!This is CharlB’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

The Holiday season is here! This is when the stress begins to find the perfect Christmas gift.

I know the excitement of waking up Christmas morning; searching under the tree, hoping the gift you open is the one you have been hoping for. I know I am not the only one who dreads opening the gifts from the distant aunts and friends of the family, who give the “I don’t know them very well” filler gifts. Everyone likes to receive things like Chia Pets, Clappers and all the other “As seen on TV” gifts for Christmas, right? Of course not! The question I ask is, “Why would you give someone a gift you would place in the circular file?” Every year I have a problem finding the perfect Christmas gifts for the individuals in my family and friends. The conversation always begins like this, “What do you want for Christmas?” The usual response is, “Oh I don’t know, you know what I like, just get me whatever.”

I am tired of all the guess work behind this JOYOUS gift giving season. This year, I am a sucker to the merchants no longer. I will not buy just any old run of the mill gift, just so I can say I my shopping list is complete. Instead of asking everyone what they would like this year, I have searched the web and found some very useful websites to help me find the perfect gift for each individual on my list.

Many gift websites are similar, and each sports a very “user friendly” interface. Every one of them asks a series of similar questions:

  • General Questions
  • Occasion: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa
  • Gender or Who the gift is for: Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, etc.
  • Age Group: Goes form 0 – 65 and over
  • Interests

From there it will give you the option to select pricing, a list of categories (Clothing, Electronics, etc.) or pages of potential gifts. Some of the sites allow you to purchase the item directly from the site and the others will direct you to a different site were the item can be purchased.

My favorite site? Findgift.com – this site is simply amazing! When you are finished with the general questions you will get a list of over 1000 potential gift ideas and 20 different categories! There the website presents you gifts far beyond your imagination. The next step is to click on the item you want and it directs you to the website where it can be purchased. I went shopping for most of my family members in a matter of minutes. This year there will be no money WASTED on the “circular file” gifts.

And after you find the gift you’re looking for don’t forget to check our coupon site to and save even more money:

  • 1-800-Flowers
  • 1-800-Get-Lens
  • 3Balls.com
  • Abebooks
  • Absolute Home
  • ABT Electronics
  • ACDSee
  • Ace Hardware
  • ACLens
  • Acronis
  • Adidas
  • Adobe
  • Aeropostale
  • Alienware
  • Alloy
  • Altrec
  • Apple
  • Apple Bottoms
  • Artbeads
  • Audible
  • Avenue
  • B&H Photo
  • BabyAge
  • Baby Center
  • Baby Phat
  • Baby Universe
  • Backcountry
  • Banana Republic
  • Bare Necessities
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Baseball Rampage
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Beauty.com
  • Bed Bath Store
  • Bellacor
  • Best Buy
  • BitDefender
  • Blockbuster
  • Bloomingdales
  • Boaters World
  • Boden
  • BookCloseouts
  • Books-A-Million
  • Borders
  • Boscovs
  • Bose
  • Bowflex
  • Brookstone
  • Brooks Brothers
  • Buckle
  • Buy.com
  • Buy Costumes
  • Cabelas
  • Calendars.com
  • Calumet Photo
  • Canadian Coupons
  • Carbonite Coupons
  • Celebrate Express
  • Cell Phone Shop
  • Chapters
  • Checks Unlimited
  • Childrens Place
  • Circuit City
  • CompUSA
  • Computer Associates
  • Cooking.com
  • Corel
  • Crayola
  • CyberCucina
  • Cyberlink
  • Dale & Thomas Popcorn
  • Dans Chocolates
  • Dean and Deluca
  • Delias
  • Dell
  • Dell Canada
  • Dell Home
  • Dell Small Business
  • Dell UK
  • Dicks Sporting Goods
  • Discovery Store
  • Disney Shopping
  • Domestications
  • Dragon Software
  • Drugstore.com
  • Dunham Sports
  • Dyscern
  • eBags
  • eCost
  • Eddie Bauer
  • eLUXURY
  • ESET
  • Expedia
  • Family Christian Stores
  • Famous Footwear
  • FashionBug
  • Fathead
  • Figleaves
  • FinishLine
  • Footsmart
  • Franklin Covey
  • Gaiam
  • GameDuell
  • Gamepass
  • Gamestop
  • Gap
  • Gardens Alive
  • Geeks.com
  • GelaSkins
  • Ghirardelli
  • Giftbaskets.com
  • GigaGolf
  • GoDaddy
  • Godiva
  • Golfballs.com
  • Golfsmith
  • Greenloop
  • Guitar Center
  • Guitar Hero
  • Hallmark
  • Hammacher Schlemmer
  • HandHeldItems
  • Hickory Farms
  • HomeClick
  • Home Depot
  • Hotwire
  • HP
  • HP Home
  • HSN
  • Ice.com
  • iFloor
  • iFrogz
  • iGourmet
  • In The Swim
  • Inhabit
  • InstrumentPro
  • Invisible Shield
  • iPod
  • iPod Touch
  • iPod Touch Cases
  • iRobot
  • iStockPhoto
  • JensonUSA
  • Joann
  • Joes Sports
  • Jos A Bank
  • Junonia
  • Karmaloop
  • Kaspersky
  • Knet Golf
  • Kodak
  • Kodak Gallery
  • Kodak Store
  • Kodak Zi6
  • Kohls
  • Lamps Plus
  • Lancome
  • Lands End
  • Lane Bryant
  • LCD Monitors
  • Lenovo
  • Lids
  • Lillian Vernon
  • Limoges Jewelry
  • Linens-N-Things
  • Little Giant Ladder
  • Logitech
  • LostGolfBalls
  • Luggage OnLine
  • Mac Connection
  • Mac Minis
  • MacMall
  • Macys
  • Match.com
  • McAfee
  • Microsoft
  • Mighty Leaf Tea
  • Mikasa
  • Mondera
  • Moosejaw
  • Musicians Friend
  • Mwave
  • National Geographic Store
  • Netflix
  • Network Magic
  • NewEgg
  • NewEgg Daily Deals
  • NFL Shop
  • Nordstrom
  • Nutrisystem
  • Office Depot
  • OfficeMax
  • Old Navy
  • Onecall
  • onSale
  • Orbitz
  • Oriental Trading Company
  • Origins
  • Overstock
  • PacSun
  • Palm
  • Payless
  • Peapod
  • Peet’s Coffee
  • PetCareRX
  • PhotoWorks
  • Pinnacle Software
  • Pogo Stylus
  • Proflowers
  • QuickBooks
  • Radio Shack
  • RazorGator
  • RedEnvelope
  • REI
  • Rhapsody
  • Ritz Camera
  • Rockler
  • Rosetta Stone
  • Ross Simons
  • Roxio
  • Rugman
  • Sears
  • Second Act
  • Sharper Image
  • Shindigz
  • ShinyWhiteBox
  • Shoebuy
  • Shoes.com
  • Shop4Tech
  • Shop NBC
  • ShopNBC
  • ShopPBS
  • Shutterfly
  • Sierra Trading Post
  • Silhouettes
  • Sirius
  • Skinstore
  • Skype
  • Slingbox
  • SmartBargains
  • Smith & Noble
  • Smith Micro
  • Snapfish
  • Sony
  • Sonystyle
  • Spirit Halloween Store
  • Sports Authority
  • Staples
  • Sun & Ski Sports
  • Symantec
  • Szul
  • Target
  • Telescope.com
  • The Body Shop
  • The Company Store
  • The Nickelodeon Shop Coupons
  • TheNerds.net
  • ThinkGeek
  • Tiger Direct
  • TigerDirect.ca
  • Timberland
  • TinyPrints
  • TiVo
  • Tool King
  • Toshiba
  • ToysRUs
  • Trading Post
  • Travelocity
  • Trend Micro
  • United Shades
  • Vanns
  • Verizon
  • Vermont Country Store
  • VisionDirect
  • VistaPrint
  • VMware Fusion
  • Walmart
  • Webroot
  • Weight Watchers
  • West Marine
  • Wine.com
  • Yves Rocher
  • Zales
  • Zappos
  • Zirh
  • ZipZoomFly
  • The Light Night Before Christmas

    Oh, what a wonderful Christmas Eve we had – with Ponzi’s aunt and uncle, and our good friend Brandon Paddock. It was a quiet evening, for the most part. We had dinner, exchanged a few gifts, decked the ficus with a single string of lights (as we didn’t get a Christmas tree this year), and reminisced about Christmases past. When it was just the two of us together, Ponzi and I made a halfhearted attempt at exchanging gifts and whatnot – although most of her gifts are to be acquired after our honeymoon. I can only assume that everybody out there had a good night, too – merry and bright and all that jazz.