December is the time of year when gift-giving is on our minds as we hunt for the perfect presents for friends and family. If you are seeking gifts for the comic lovers or gaming fan in your life, the Gemstone staff would like to offer some interesting suggestions of games, trades and graphic novels that they might enjoy. This week’s selections come courtesy of our Assistant Editor, Carrie Wood.
Avalon Hill; $75.00
The “legacy” style of board game has become more popular than ever over the last few years, thanks largely due to the accessibility of titles like Pandemic Legacy. Betrayal at House on the Hill and its Dungeons & Dragons-inspired spinoff, Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate, are some of my favorite board games out there to begin with, so it should come as no surprise that Betrayal Legacy would have immediately caught my eye.
This game contains a prologue and 13 chapters that make up the campaign, with 52 possible haunts available. The story told across these chapters is that of the titular house from the original game, beginning back in 1666 and continuing through to 2004. Your choices made in these chapters, true to legacy gameplay, will permanently impact how the remaining story is finished up, and no two boxes of Betrayal Legacy will tell the same story. While this is certainly a hefty box, it’s definitely one I’d consider a must for any board gaming aficionado.
The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia
Dark Horse; $39.99
I really don’t get sick of these big Zelda hardcovers, and this might be my favorite yet. Following up on Hyrule Historia and Art & Artifacts, this book is an absolutely exhaustive guide to the entire franchise, and contains all sorts of great information that even the most hardcore Nintendo fan might not know.
From the entire history of the worlds of the games to painstakingly detailed descriptions of all of the key items from across the franchise, this book is really the definitive guide to just about everything Zelda. I personally own the Deluxe Edition, which is a bit more expensive, but is designed to look like the original game’s iconic gold NES cartridge and even comes with a to-scale cart sleeve and an extra “instruction booklet” with additional material.
Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More
With the Captain Marvel movie arriving in just a few more months, there’s no better time than right now to refresh your knowledge of Carol Danvers and her journey to becoming the next big entry in the MCU.
While she’s had a number of big-time storylines before and since this particular trade paperback, I’ve always been pretty partial to Kelly Sue DeConnick’s writing in general, and I think the film gives off similar vibes that her 2014 run did. It’s just a really solid story and this book in particular is a great jumping-on point for Captain Marvel stories in general for MCU fans who don’t keep up with the comics in a regular fashion. Carol's cinematic debut is perhaps a little overdue at this point, and this book contains the sort of heartfelt storytelling (balanced, of course, with plenty of action) that proves how worthy she is to join the Avengers on-screen in 2019.
HG101 Digest Vol. 3: The Guide to Retro Horror
Hardcore Gaming 101; $17.99
For the sake of transparency, let me preface this by saying that I’ve worked with this book’s main author, Kurt Kalata, on various projects in the past. But even if I didn’t have a working relationship with him, I’d still definitely recommend this book to any horror fan out there – even if you’re not much into video games.
The horror genre at large is obviously extremely diverse, and to have a book that delves into the history and background of some obvious choices (such as Splatterhouse or Ghosts’n’Goblins) in addition to some less-than-obvious ones (Project Firestart, Sweet Home, and others), is just a really cool thing to have. Kurt and his co-authors have a proven history of doing some incredible research when it comes to these books, and this one is no different. Contemporary horror games have been able to make use of technology such as VR to create truly terrifying experiences, but a book like this that goes back to the roots of video gaming is a super cool read if for no other reason than to see how far we’ve come.
Editor’s note: And of course we hope you'll consider our books for your holiday gift-giving needs as well, including The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #48, The Overstreet Price Guide to Star Wars Collectibles, The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Tabletop Games, The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Horror, The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Concert Posters, The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Video Games, The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Movie Posters, The Overstreet Guide To Cosplay, The Overstreet Guide To Grading Comics, The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Comic & Animation Art, and The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Comics.