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Author: Subject: Christmas video game memories
the goon
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posted on 12-24-2018 at 04:40 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Christmas video game memories

Since Christmas is just two days away, I thought I'd post a thread to discuss and reminisce about any video game memories that are directly tied into the holiday. Growing up, my brother the gooker and I always received at least one or two games most years, and thus there are certain games that I strongly associate with Christmas. Kind of like how people like to watch certain movies or listen to certain music to get them in the holiday spirit, there are certain games I like to play every year in December just because they always get me in the holiday mood.

I also have a weirdly photographic memory about the games/systems we got each year:

1991: The SNES, along with Super Mario World and F-Zero
1994: Donkey Kong Country and Final Fantasy III
1995: Donkey Kong Country 2 and Chrono Trigger
1996: The N64, along with Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64
1997: Diddy Kong Racing
1999: Donkey Kong 64 and WrestleMania 2000
2000: Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and Banjo-Tooie

And it's funny, because even though none of the games I listed above are Christmas-themed, it's pretty much impossible for me to play any of them and not get warm and fuzzy feelings of being on winter break from school and doing nothing but playing video games all day and night.

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salmonjunkie
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posted on 12-24-2018 at 09:02 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Me and my brother had a few great video game Christmas memories

The NES in 1986 with Super Mario Brothers and Kung Fu

In 1987 or 1988, my grandfather visited us from Minnesota. We thought he was getting Super Mario Bros 2 for us for Christmas. We got Top Gun instead. I promise we were bratty jerks about it.

Still, fuck the Top Gun game. Landing was a bitch.

Me and my brother might have gotten Game Boys one year, but I honestly don't remember if it was a Christmas gift or not.

The Sega Genesis in 1989 with Altered Beast and Ghouls N Ghosts.

I honestly don't remember any other Christmas video game gifts. Like, I know I got Rocksmith a few years back and barely played it.

I got GTA San Andreas from my sister the year that came out, but it was the year I started getting really serious with the band I was in, and I actually never put it in the PS2 to play it, ever.

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CVD39
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posted on 12-24-2018 at 10:56 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
^^^^San Andreas mightve been the greatest GTA game. I know theyre not for everyone, but that story was pretty great.
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the goon
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posted on 12-24-2018 at 08:55 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by salmonjunkie
Me and my brother might have gotten Game Boys one year, but I honestly don't remember if it was a Christmas gift or not.


Damn, totally forgot about the Gameboy. My parents got my brother and I one for Christmas in 1989, along with a copy of Super Mario Land. I still remember sitting on the couch and playing it on Christmas morning with the little earbud headphones that came packed in with the system.

Another one I forgot to mention was getting Solaris for the Atari 2600 (anybody remember that game?) for Christmas in either 1986 or 1987. That must have been right before my family got a NES, as I'm pretty sure that was the last Atari game we ever got.

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punkerhardcore
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posted on 12-26-2018 at 03:17 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Seeing as I'm pretty much the same age as Goon/Gooker, I'm guessing a lot of our Christmas game memories are fairly similar.

I guess my dad bought an Atari 2600 for the family for Christmas in 1983. I was too young to remember that one, though. I do remember having the system and playing it, though.


I got an NES in 1987... I definitely remember that one. I spent that whole day, and the rest of that year's Christmas break, playing SMB and Metroid.

1992 was Genesis. I was all about Sega at that point, as my neighbors had gotten one earlier that year and Sonic became an obsession. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. that year and lost myself to Sonic 1 & 2.

I got a Game Gear in 1993. Obviously that one didn't get as much mileage as the home systems, I still had a good amount of fun with that thing over the next couple years. There were a few hidden gems for it, at least.

I got a Saturn in 1995. I was one of the few people who desperately wanted one of these instead of a PlayStation. Again, I was super into Sega by then, and since I was still playing the hell out of the Genesis, I wanted to stay loyal to Sega.

[Edited on 12-26-2018 by punkerhardcore]





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the goon
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posted on 12-26-2018 at 06:00 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by punkerhardcore
1992 was Genesis. I was all about Sega at that point, as my neighbors had gotten one earlier that year and Sonic became an obsession. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. that year and lost myself to Sonic 1 & 2.


The year my brother and I got the SNES, my best friend (who lived right across the street) got a Genesis. That made for a pretty epic few days of gaming, playing Super Mario World and F-Zero at my house and then going over to his house to binge on Sonic.

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salmonjunkie
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posted on 12-26-2018 at 07:40 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CVD39
^^^^San Andreas mightve been the greatest GTA game. I know theyre not for everyone, but that story was pretty great.


It probably was. I loved III and Vice City (but never finished Vice City. ), I had so much hype for San Andreas. Being set in LA, all the 90s gangsta rap. The size of the map. I even opened it the day I got it and looked at the map that came with the instruction booklet and everything. I would've played it that night if I wasn't at my folks house for Christmas. Then I got home and immediately my priorities changed. Pretty much from that point on for a long long time, I didn't let myself play any games that seemed like it would be a huge time investment. I also never played another RPG again after that. By the time I was able to sit down and spend a lot of time on a video game, my PS2 was buried somewhere in my folks' garage and I had bought a PS3.

I always tell myself I'll go back and play that one day (and to go back and finally beat Vice City), but it still hasn't happened. I really don't think it ever will.

[Edited on 12-26-2018 by salmonjunkie]

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gobbledygooker
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posted on 12-26-2018 at 10:38 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Originally posted by salmonjunkie
quote:



I always tell myself I'll go back and play that one day (and to go back and finally beat Vice City), but it still hasn't happened. I really don't think it ever will.

[Edited on 12-26-2018 by salmonjunkie]


As someone who was a late-comer to GTA (GTA IV was my first one) I bought Vice City on PSN on a whim for like $5.00 on a flash sale probably about a year ago after hearing all of the well-deserved accolades it received back in the day. I stuck with it for a few weeks but the controls are just SOOOO dated at this point that I just couldn't keep it going. Especially with my already-limited game time and actual NEW games staring me in the face.

Just to steer this thread back to the topic-in-question, growing up with Goon, I echo all of his sentiments on the below minus Diddy Kong Racing. Didn't that game kinda suck?

[Edited on 12-26-2018 by gobbledygooker]





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the goon
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posted on 12-27-2018 at 04:23 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gobbledygooker
Just to steer this thread back to the topic-in-question, growing up with Goon, I echo all of his sentiments on the below minus Diddy Kong Racing. Didn't that game kinda suck?


Diddy Kong Racing was good, but I did always like Mario Kart 64 better (not to mention the cast of mostly generic characters did kind of suck). Though there must have been a drought of quality N64 titles during Christmas of 1997 if that's the only game we received.





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Cherokee Jack
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posted on 12-27-2018 at 06:06 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Diddy Kong Racing was...ok. Never played it as a kid, but when I bought a used N64 several years back and was picking up games that I remembered fondly, my wife was telling me about how she loved that one way back when, so I bought it. Maybe Id have liked it more as a kid, but after ~20 years of Mario Kart it felt way too plain, generic and generallly slow for a racing game. Off the top of my head the only characters I can remember (because I think they were the only ones I recognized at all) are Diddy, Banjo and Conker, and even with them there was no real personality or anything that felt different about using them.

And looking at a Wikipedia article with a chronological list of N64 games, yeah 1997 was relatively thin year for marquee/first party titles. Goldeneye (releases in August) was the big one, then there was Diddy, and that was about it until Ocarina of Time in late 98 and the first Mario Party in early 99.





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gobbledygooker
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posted on 12-27-2018 at 06:52 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I think that was Diddy Kong Racing's main problem is that the Mario Kart games were just SO awesome that it really had it's work cut out for it doing anything better or even comparable.

Super Mario World, Mario 64, Donkey Kong Country, and F-Zero are probably my fondest Christmas gaming memories. I hear some of the music in those games and it still reminds me of some awesome Christmases.

I don't even recall getting Wrestlemania 2000 for Christmas but that one is notable because it was fucking AWESOME sitting in a dorm room in college and playing three of my friends in that game for hours at a time (and WCW/NWO Revenge before then).





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G. Jonah Jameson
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posted on 12-28-2018 at 03:46 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
1989 would be when we got the NES, with Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt/World Class Track Meet combination. Mario was what got me to ask my parents for the system, but I remember being very entertained by World Class Track Meet, too. I still have the console and the cart, and as far as I know both still work, though the WCTM pad is long gone and hell if I can ever find the Zapper. I don't have vivid memories of any subsequent NES game Christmas gifts; I'm sure I got Dick Tracy in 1990 and Ski or Die in maybe 1991 or 1992, but I don't specifically recall anything about the experience of playing either on Christmas Day.

In 1991, I asked for an SNES, but some Target employee convinced my parents to get me a Sega Genesis instead. Who knows what his motivation was. It came with Sonic the Hedgehog, which was enormously entertaining, and a whole new experience as I'd literally never played a Genesis before (I'd goofed around on an in-store SNES a handful of times). I'm sure I got Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in 1992, which was even better, if a little more frustrating in places. I probably got Ballz for Christmas 1994, and that one was really cool at first but got old fast.

I'd also bought an SNES with my own money in 1994, and believe I got Final Fantasy III for Christmas that year, which is still my favorite game of all time. It was great, obviously, though it definitely taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of reading the manual before playing a new game -- a rule I still follow to this day (or, at least, to roughly five years ago, the last time I got a new game).

Now, in 1995, I asked for and got a PlayStation. The only game I got with it, and the only game I owned for the next year (though I sure rented a shitload), was Battle Arena Toshinden, a forgettable fighter-with-weapons that had a really easy-to-get-used-to strategy and some fantastic music. Honestly, the music quality probably made more of an impression with me as anything else. In 1996, I got Myst (which I didn't ask for and was bored to death by) and Final Fantasy VII (which I was super amped about, but the disc didn't work, and I was most depressed). I would've gotten the mediocre WWE War Zone in 1998, then the outstanding Final Fantasy IX in 2000. The latter was my freshman year of college, and I remember putting as much time as possible into FFIX that Christmas break because I didn't expect to get the chance to play it much when I went back to school (jRPGs weren't quite as cool as, say, Mario Kart 64 in the freshman dorms).

2001 was the PlayStation 2, with WWF SmackDown!: Just Bring it (highly entertaining, if poorly made in a lot of ways) and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (amazing). MGS2 is a fun memory; I played it nonstop (besides work) for a week and got all the way to the Metal Gear RAY fight. As I was wading through the endless cutscene between that and the final battle, I realized it was roughly 9:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve and I hadn't bothered to make any plans because I'd been so fixated on MGS2. So I made a desperate plea on AOL Instant Messenger for any suggestions, made it to a friend's apartment by about 10:15, got drunk as quickly as possible, somehow ended up at a party across the hall with a bunch of cheerleaders, and managed to make out with the one non-cheerleader while my friends laughed at me. She later called me at my dorm and my roommate told her I was dead. I don't have a lot of specific memories, but then I would've gotten WWE SmackDown!: Here Comes the Pain in 2003 and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater in 2004.

It gets kind of fuzzy after that. My wife and I got a Wii sometime in the 2009-11 range, and that was a lot of fun -- deliberately duffing it in Mario Kart so she could occasionally win, knocking her off platforms in New Super Mario Bros. just to be a dick, playing Punch-Out!! until my arms ached like hell because I had no upper-body strength and wasn't used to video games requiring physical exertion. I got a way-late PlayStation 3 in 2012 so I could finally play Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots after avoiding spoilers for years, and it was totally worth it. The last new game I got for Christmas was Dragon's Crown in 2014, and I got bored with it with astonishing speed (and I had a one-month-old baby at that point, so that didn't help).

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CamstunPWG187
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posted on 12-31-2018 at 08:39 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
In 1994, on Christmas Eve, my brothers and I snuck upstairs and took every single video game our mother had wrapped up for us, and playedbthem all through the night. Now, we DID have a few more gofts, but my mom was absolutely furious.

Some of the games we played (and nearly beat) that night:

-Donkey Kong Country
-Sonic 3 and Knuckles
-Mega Man X
-Maximum Carnage

Heavy hitters that season, for sure.

I came home from some Christmas Even shoppikg and saw my brothers playing DKC and was all wtf, how?! And they told me how they were taking our old Genesis/SNES boxes and matching then up against the presents to see what is what. Then we would slightly scratch the wrapping paper and see what the font was.

7 year-old me was floored by such Hooligan behavior on Christmas, but I wasnt about to be the uncool kid.

In 2001, I got a GameCube and Pikmin, Super Monkey Ball, Rogue Leader, and Smash Bros. Melee and played video games from 6 AM until 2-3 AM. That was an intense day of playing video games nonstop. It was mostly Smash, but I still loved everything else.

[Edited on 12-31-2018 by CamstunPWG187]

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posted on 3-8-2019 at 07:59 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
We weren't an overly wealthy family; probably lower middle class... never wanting for anything, but generally had to save up for big stuff kinda deal, so I'm perplexed as to how we came to have literally dozens of Atari games when I was a kid. Does anyone remember how much they were? I googled it and it sounds like some were like $80+ and others post prices at like $15 (if it's the latter that might explain the box o' games, but even still $15 in early 80's was enough).

Anyway I remember getting Pitfall II for Christmas one year... pretty repetitive by today's standards, but the whole family loved the shit out of it.

I got my first NES around 89 or 90 for Christmas... I couldn't remember quite when but I remembered that one kid in our group got a Genesis which dropped in 89, while the rest of us got NES's... We all rocked out to the Mario bros/Duck Hunt edition (mine came with the game and the light gun) while the Genesis kid had Moonwalker to play... which while really cool compared to the repetitiveness of Mario and seemed lightyears ahead in graphics, still strikes me as a bizarre game that featured Jackson running around fighting bad guys and saving kids. Oh some other kid I knew, but was more a friend of a friend got a Turbo Graphix 16... Splatterhouse seemed awesome.

I dined out pretty regularly on the burgeoning video game rental market at video stores, but over subsequent Christmases netted a few games; The big one's you'd expect from the early days; Double Dragon, Mega Man's, several more Mario's (not 2 for some reason, but definitely 3... which funny aside story I actually got to play as a stand up arcade game well before it dropped on the NES... I played it at the Western Fair; so I'm assuming it was part of either a hype building promo, or maybe a fan thing to build hype for the Wizard movie). I think I got it for my birthday, but I was one of the many kids who got the old Nintendo power subscription just to get Dragon Warrior.

A year or two later my dad (My parents divorced years before) sprung for the Genesis for me and my sister... Definitely some Altered Beast and Mortal Kombat action going on there. Oh and a game I still miss but caused lots of frustration back then; ECCO the dolphin.

I still feel a bit bad that he plunked down a bunch of cash for it, but the year after that my dad got my sister and I the Sega CD add on to the Genesis... Sewer Shark was fun, and so was some Sherlock Holmes game... Definitely a system ahead of it's time, and one that probably would have been more successful if they could've gotten a few more developers on board.

I can't quite remember when but my mom got me a Playstation... Metal Gear Solid, NHL, and the WWE Smackdown games are probably the standouts... By that point the wrestling games were more for my brother and I.

I kind of veered off from video games by that point for a while... I inherited some of my brothers older systems as he upgraded; Game Cube and PS2 and outside of a hockey or wrestling probably just rented games more.

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salmonjunkie
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posted on 3-8-2019 at 04:55 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Re: Diddy Kong Racing.

I've never played it and don't mean to blast on it in any way, but with Mario Kart being the clear bar-setter of this genre ever since the very first one, why do people even play any of the other Kart Racing games. There seems to be one for every major IP - Sonic, Pac-Man, etc. I understand it for systems that aren't Nintendo systems, but why even have a Kart racing game on an NES system when Mario Kart is out there?

I'm guessing Diddy Kong was good, but was it a different enough experience where you could play it and not think "this is fun, but I'd rather play Mario Kart."? And outside of Mario Kart, did these sell well?

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posted on 3-9-2019 at 02:11 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
My best Xmas Video Game memory is one of my favorite Xmas memories -period-.

I don't remember exactly what year, because I'm old, but it was the year I got Link To The Past AND a Super Nintendo Entertainment System out of the blue. I wasn't expecting it at ALL, and my parents nonchalantly pulled the "oh, there's one more box, but I think it's the one we put your new sweater in" gimmick on me. So I opened it and lost my frigging mind. And then I spent the rest of the day/week/month (and most of the next couple of years) basking in every last pixel of the 16-bit gloriousness.

[Edited on 3-9-2019 by Count Zero]

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the goon
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posted on 3-9-2019 at 09:21 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by salmonjunkie
I'm guessing Diddy Kong was good, but was it a different enough experience where you could play it and not think "this is fun, but I'd rather play Mario Kart."?


I think that Diddy Kong Racing did enough different things to not be considered a complete Mario Kart clone. Namely, you could race in planes and hovercrafts in addition to the standard karts, it had a story mode, and there were boss fights. And while I did overall prefer Mario Kart 64, Diddy Kong Racing was fun and different enough that it was worth it to own both.

And funnily enough, there's a Nintendo podcast I like to listen to called Nintendo Nostalgia and they dedicated a whole episode to the Mario Kart 64 vs Diddy Kong Racing debate about a year ago (one of the hosts is a big fan of Diddy Kong Racing and Rare in general, but Mario Kart 64 was ultimately declared to be the better game by the guest host they had judging the debate).

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posted on 4-25-2019 at 12:20 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Bump, as I just got this thread.

I think Im Thai/Punker/Goon/Gookers general age. We definitely got an Atari 5200 sometime in the 80s, and I think the initial games we got for Christmas were Space Invaders and Super Breakout, with maybe Centipede and Pitfall 2 for other Christmases. I definitely remember getting Popeye for Chanukah one year.

We also had a Commodore 64, for which we got Ultima IV for Christmas, an amazing game that we played for months and never beat. Winter Games was another one.

We definitely got a Nintendo in 89, I think. I remember one year I wanted TMNT but got Blaster Master instead. I remember being really pissed off about it, but my parents picked correctly - Blaster Master is still to date one of the best games Ive ever played.

At that point, I was buying my own systems and games and slowly phasing out of gaming, so no more holiday presents.

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