Valentine's Day Gift Guide: 8 Gaming Presents For That Special Someone
By Tamoor Hussain | @tamoorh on
Valentine's Day is fast approaching--it's now just a day away--and if you're the kind of person who likes to get into the spirit of calendar-mandated love, you'll no doubt be thinking about what gifts you can purchase for that special someone in your life. Sure, you could opt for the ol' low-effort Valentine's Day survival kit of flowers and chocolate, but why not consider something a little more fun? Something video game-related, because there's nothing more fun than video games. NOTHING.
The good thing about this approach is that, between the games, digital store credit, accessories, and plethora of merch, it's pretty easy to find a gift that's either cool, quirky, or useful. So, we've put together a list of potential gift ideas that you can either pick up or use as inspiration. And, to make things a little more worth your while, each entry in this gallery will also include an interesting fact related to Valentine's Day, so you can also give the gift of knowledge. Because there's nothing more attractive than knowledge. NOTHING.
Store credit might sound like a lazy gift but in reality it is anything but. If you think about it, store credit empowers the subject of your affection to pick something that interests them--it's consumer freedom in the form of digital currency. We live in a world where a small but immensely powerful Japanese lady has taught us to seek out the things that spark joy, while politely but ruthlessly casting out everything that does not. With that in mind, you don't want to risk buying a game for someone that they either already have or have no interest in playing--that's a Marie Kondo no-no. Instead, you can do the smart thing by grabbing a gift card and letting your giftee pick something that's certain to spark joy in their life.
Fun fact: Traditionally, it was considered to be bad luck to sign a Valentine's Day card with your name. Play it safe this year and keep it anonymous, even if the other person knows it's you.
It's You And Me, I Know It's My Destiny!
Depending on your perspective, Pokemon can be about many things. To some, it might just seem like it's all about catching and collecting monsters, then battling them against each other in a kind of fantasy dog-fighting scenario that's absolutely fine because it's institutionalized on a global scale and generally accepted by everyone in the world to be an unobjectionable norm, but doesn't truly consider the feelings of the individual monsters in a way that meaningfully factors in their autonomy.
To others, however, Pokemon is about friendship. It's about finding a companion that you can develop a deep bond with. It's about learning to trust and rely on one another and accept them for who or what they are--faults and all. And the same can be said of love, which means a Pokemon-related gift is very appropriate for Valentine's Day
Fortunately, you have a lot of options when it comes to Poke-gifts, but we reckon we've found the perfect one: Hearts Take Flight Pokemon pins. The official Pokemon Center currently has an adorable pack of these pins and greeting card, and they're a cute, low-cost way of showing someone you care. It's Eevee and Pikachu in a hot air balloon along with the phrase, "You lift me up"--it's adorable.
Fun fact: In Finland, Valentine's Day is actually called Friend's Day, and is more focused on remembering and appreciating friends, instead of just people you have a romantic interest in.
It Takes Two To Tango
As storytelling in video games becomes more ambitious so does the subject matter they cover. Take romance, for example. Gone are the days when your love interests and relationships are defined and directed by the creators of a game. Now we get to choose the virtual avatars we shower with our affection, and there are an abundance of video games available for you to pick from if the idea of wooing game characters makes your heart flutter.
You might think this isn't a great Valentine's Day gift idea, but if you treat it as a multiplayer experience where you and another person play together, it becomes a shared experience that will bring you closer. There are few things in this world that inspire affection like watching two pigeons fall in love in Hatoful Boyfriend. Nothing will get your passions fired up like seeing Geralt and Yennefer doing it on a unicorn. You'll never know a high like the one you'll get when you convince Garrus to do some calibrations on you. Do you even know what love is until you've shared a carrot with a horse that has an anime boy's head? No, you don't.
Anyways, here are a few titles that have some good romance-oriented gameplay.
Fun fact: As well as being Valentine's Day, February 14 is also memorable as the day when Alexander Fleming introduced penicillin back in 1929.
Until The End of Time
The Legend of Zelda's Triforce is made up of three triangles representing power, courage, and wisdom. What you may not know is that the middle is empty because it shows that, when you have those three attributes, love emerges from within. You probably didn't know this because we just made it up and it's 100% untrue, but it sounded pretty good, right?
Regardless, since his very first adventure back in 1986, the Triforce has been a symbol of Link's heroism and his unrelenting devotion to Princess Zelda. And although Nintendo is yet to officially confirm whether she's into it, there's still a kind of nice sentiment there. And it's one that you can attempt to explain to your valentine when you present them with 24 karat gold plated necklace of the iconic Triforce.
Of course, if said person is actually a fan of The Legend of Zelda, you're in business, as it's a pretty nice-looking bit of jewelry that represents one of the greatest video game franchises of all time. Alternatively, you can go for a gold version of the legendary Hylian Shield. If they're not into Zelda, maybe they're actually not worth it? Just putting that out there.
Fun fact: Both Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray applied for patents for the telephone on February 14, 1876. They were both too busy trying to revolutionize communication to think about getting laid.
As those of us who have had to watch a Genji break formation to Swift Strike behind enemy lines and burn his ult in a desperate, poorly timed attempt to get some kills can attest to, communication is the key to any successful partnership.
When people talk there's a meeting of minds, a harmonization of hopes, and a synchronization of ambitions. That might be so that they can build a life together and live happily ever after, or it could be to push the damn payload beyond the first bend on Route 66 without feeding the enemy for half the game.
Communicating is connecting, which makes the Razer Meka Headset a fantastic gift, especially if you're buying for an Overwatch fan. This particular headset is modelled after D.Va's in-game headset, with its angular design and protruding antenna evoking her mech. It has an omnidirectional mic, in-line controls, and leatherette on-ear cushions for comfort--a functional, stylish way to ensure you're always on the same page with your valentine.
Fun fact: The oldest love poem in the world was discovered by archaeologists in Nippur, Iraq. It was etched into a clay and is called "The Love Song for Shu-Sin." It was written by an Ancient Sumerian, and the Sumerians are recognized as being the first people to develop a written language.
The Color Of Love
The best presents are the ones that show you've been thoughtful. Anyone can rock up to a store and pick up something off a shelf, and if you're doing that you should keep a hold of that receipt just in case. However, if you add a personal touch to your gift, you'll have something that is both unique and memorable. One quick and easy way to do this is to get your valentine a custom controller. More specifically, a custom Xbox One controller (also usable on PC) because Microsoft has made getting one of those pretty darn easy.
Xbox Design Labs has quite a robust set of tools that will let you craft controllers suited to the person you're buying for. You can opt for unique color configurations and specify how individual components such as the analogue sticks, buttons, triggers, bumpers, directional buttons, back, and face look. There are solid colours, blends, camo, and various other interesting styles.
Or, if you really want to, you can pick the logo for an NFL franchise and put that on a controller. We recommend really thinking about that one though as NFL logos on a controller are kind of like getting the tattoo of your current partner's name: risky. Anyways, custom controllers are cool. Maybe get one.
Fun fact: February 15, the day after Valentine's Day, is Singles Awareness Day (SAD). We do not recommend you use this information on a date.
Flowers are a curse and the fact that we're conditioned to think they're an essential component of Valentine's Day is a conspiracy perpetuated by Big Flower. Sure, they may look pretty, but when you're given them you're effectively having responsibility thrust upon you. Those colorful plants require constant care and attention, and even when you give them that they wither away and die anyway--just like all of my relationships.
Thankfully, there's a way to get a your valentine a flower and not burden them with a month's worth of upkeep-related tasks. How, you ask? Well, why not get them the greatest flower of them all: Piranha Plant. More specifically, get them a Piranha Plant Amiibo, which will require no additional taking care of as it's made of some sort of plastic.
Admittedly, the Amiibo might not smell amazing or whatever, but let's be real, flowers smell okay for at most a day; the Piranha plant is going to look like a badass deadly killer forever. Better yet, when you tap it on your Nintendo Switch you'll probably get something good in the game you're playing. If you smoosh an actual flower onto your screen you'll just leave gross plant residue behind, and who wants that? In summary, real flowers are crap, Piranha Plant Amiibo is better.
Fun fact: Venus, the Roman goddess of love, favoured the red rose, and it is believed this is why it's so closely linked with love.
Sometimes it can feel like your relationship is stuck in a cycle--as if you're stumbling through an unending darkness, not sure of yourself, your purpose, and the place others have within your life. You're desperately searching for just a tiny ember floating in the darkness, a faint light that will guide you the warm embrace of a roaring, life- and love-giving fire. Well, that's basically what Dark Souls is and if any of that made sense to you or you've heard your valentine spout similar nonsense, well then boy do we have a great gift for you.
Fangamer is currently doing a three-pack of Amiibo-like figures for the first entry in From Software's Dark Souls series. The Heroes of Lordran series features Solaire, Oscar, and Siegmeyer. Each one is four inches tall and has a nice amount of detail on the model. They make for fantastic desk ornaments, or you can keep them by your bedside and give them all a little kiss before you nod off like I do.
Fun fact: YOU DON'T NEED A SPECIFIC DAY TO SHOW LOVE AND AFFECTION TO SOMEONE.