Gobbledygeek Gift Guide 2011

On the new episode of Gobbledygeek, Paul and AJ told you about all the things you should buy this Christmas season, and now here’s a comprehensive guide! (Including a few items that weren’t even mentioned on the show.)

Note: Most links and prices are from Amazon.


READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline

Hands down one of the best science fiction books I’ve read in recent memory. It’s like my admittedly overdeveloped nostalgia gland were milked and distilled onto the page. This book is my geeky, pop-culture DNA printed in ink. ~ Paul

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Listen to Episode 77, “Buy, Buy, Buy”

Gobbledygeek episode 77, “Buy, Buy, Buy,” is available for listening or download right here.

If there’s anything we learned from A Charlie Brown Christmas, it’s that Christmas has become far too commercialized and that the true spirit of Christmas isn’t in the gifts that you receive. So, going entirely against that lesson from our childhoods, we’ve concocted the second annual Gobbledygeek Gift Guide! We’ll clue you into everything you should buy for that nerd in your life, be they into movies (The Tree of Life! Hanna!), music (Nirvana! Pink Floyd!), games (Arkham City! Skyrim!), or more. We also leaven all the cynical buying and spending with genuine, heartfelt appreciations of the movies We Bought a Zoo, Hugo, and The Muppets, plus some Formspring questions and an e-mail.

Next: We continue our Christmas celebration with a discussion of Gremlins. Because who doesn’t like to think of Phoebe Cates’ dad getting stuck in the chimney when they’re putting up the tree?

(Show notes for “Buy, Buy, Buy.”)

‘Batman: Arkham City’ Review: Who Has the Last Laugh?

When Batman: Arkham Asylum was released in 2009, it was nothing short of a revolution for superhero video games. Before, there had been a handful of great superhero games, but most of them had been arcade side-scrollers or team brawlers (Activision’s first Spider-Man game is a notable exception). Arkham Asylum, however, placed you so fully in Bruce Wayne’s combat boots that it actually felt as if you got to know the hero better just by pushing some buttons and toggling an analog stick. Not only did you battle some of the Dark Knight’s greatest villains, you also sneaked around in the shadows, stealthily taking out bad guys before they even noticed you were upon them. The mix of fighting-and-hiding was extremely addictive and felt like the reinvention of an entire genre.

At the time, it would have been ridiculous to look at Arkham Asylum and go, “Great game, but look at all that untapped potential!” After having played Arkham City, though, it’s a reasonable reaction. Almost everything that was great about the first game has been refined, perfected, and expanded to create the most immersive superhero game yet released. The most obvious example is the fact that you can actually explore the vastness of Arkham City itself. One of the joys of the original was exploring the asylum grounds, but now that a portion of Gotham has been cordoned off as one big looney bin, you can glide past skyscrapers and swing from building to building. Whenever you get frustrated with a side mission or tire of beating down thugs, you can revel in the simple pleasure of zipping around the city, an exhilarating experience in and of itself.

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Listen to Episode 74, “Occupy Arkham City or, Batman Is the 1%”

Gobbledygeek episode 74, “Occupy Arkham City or, Batman Is the 1%,” is available for listening or download right here.

This week, the boys get their Bat on, discussing the new video game Batman: Arkham City and the new animated film Batman: Year One. Does Arkham City improve on Arkham Asylum? Does Kevin Conroy have the greatest batvoice ever? Is Year One a faithful adaptation of Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s comic book? Does Bryan Cranston make for a great Jim Gordon? These questions, and many more, are answered in the affirmative. Plus, a reader e-mail and some Formspring questions, including what may be the last “oeuvre” question ever.

Next: Paul and AJ meet up for GobbleCon 2011!

(Show notes for “Occupy Arkham City or, Batman Is the 1%.”)

Listen to Episode 73, “Where We’re Going, We Won’t Need Clothes”

I'm so blind I can't even watch this movie. Whew. Bullet dodged.

Gobbledygeek episode 73, “Where We’re Going, We Won’t Need Clothes,” is available for listening or download right here.

For the final week of Gobbledyween, Paul revisits Paul W.S. Anderson’s magnum opus Event Horizon for the first time since theaters and AJ watches it for the very first time. Also probably the last. You see, it’s not very good. Unlike The Evil Dead, The Thing, and Dawn of the Dead, this one’s not so much a classic, but the boys still mine some discussion and humor from the proceedings. They also ponder the philosophical query: does one need clothes? As always, there are some Formspring questions to round things out.

Next: it’s a Bat-stravaganza as we tackle Batman: Arkham City and the new Batman: Year One animated film.

(Show notes for “Where We’re Going, We Won’t Need Clothes.”)

Batman: Arkham City proves, “This Ain’t No Place for No Hero”

In 2009, Rocksteady Studios hit it out of the park with their multi-platform phenomenon BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM. Now we get our first official look at gameplay footage to the follow-up, ARKHAM CITY (October 18, 2011 for U.S. Xbox 360, PS3, and PC) in the newest trailer.

Hugo Strange. Two-Face. Harley. Catwoman. Some new Bat-fu moves. And of course… the Joker. All set to the grooves of “Short Change Hero” by The Heavy.

Obviously we haven’t seen the third Bat film yet, or the other 99.9% of this game. But I’d be beyond thrilled if the next Nolanverse entry were half as badass as Arkham Asylum looks to be.