Well, the holidays are upon us once again, dear readers. Why, it seems like only last year ago that we were meeting in this very same spot for this very same reason. We don't know about you, but for many of us, the holiday season is fraught with frustration and doubt as you desperately try to find the perfect gift for your family and friends while simultaneously trying to figure out just what material possessions you need to finally make your life complete. Of course, in the true spirit of the season, I know the good-hearted readers of The Escapist are hoping mostly for things like World PeaceTM, but just in case Goodwill to Men is backordered at Amazon, we thought we'd offer up some alternate gift suggestions for those special people in your life.
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Doctor Who Fifth Season on Blu-Ray
There once was a time when I thought no-one could possibly top David Tennant as the new Dr. Who, yet Matt Smith has proven to be my favorite Time Lord yet. His hair is ridiculous, his bow tie is cool, his assistant is both sassy and Scottish. Not all of the episodes from this season of Dr. Who are winners - The Vampires of Venice is weak despite is gorgeous scenery, and Vincent and The Doctor is scattered at best - but the return of River Song, and those mysterious cracks in the universe more than make up for the season's few missteps. Amy Pond is perhaps the best companion our dear Doctor has ever had, the feisty equal that Rose, Martha, and Donna could never quite be. Current sci fi on TV seems to be obsessed with grit and gloom; thank goodness we have the Doctor to remind us that sometimes it can be a good old-fashioned romp, complete with Fez.
Kneel Before Zod Poster
Last Exit to Nowhere recognizes that some folks would prefer to declare their nerdiness in more subtle ways than simply sporting a t-shirt festooned with a 1-Up mushroom. For them, there is this tasteful poster featuring the commanding, yet classy General Zod from Superman 2. It's elegant, dramatic, and the perfect addition to any office, living room, or dorm - just be prepared for the inevitable arguments about whether or not Zod went out like a bitch. City bus and minions not included. (LEtN promises the design will be coming on a shirt soon.) Update: Looks like they've made good on their promise.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
If you look in Lara Croft's high school yearbook, you'll see she was voted "most likely to be stuck in an endless stream of crappy games," a title she has worn with increasing sadness over the years. The original Tomb Raider games made her an icon, then subsequent titles made her such a joke that you'd be forgiven for assuming that the downloadable Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was more of the same.
Fortunately for our dear Ms. Croft, GoL takes everything that was great about the Tomb Raider games - the ancient ruins crammed with puzzles, the fanciful enemies and the sweet, sweet loot - and ditches everything else. The isometric viewpoint can make some of the platforming a bit awkward, but the deep customization, sprawling levels and sheer spectacle more than make up for it. It's not every day you trigger ancient spike traps to take down a fire-breathing T-Rex that's been resurrected by a malevlolent god, after all. Guardian of Light also has fantastic co-op (local or online), which makes it perfect for holiday get-togethers. It's cheap, it's brilliant, and you won't even have to leave your house to get it.