25 Games of Christmas: Part 5

Now we approach the final 5 games of the 25 games of Christmas.  This has been a really fun thing to write.  I enjoy waxing nostalgia on video games and Christmas, so these series of posts fit me like a glove.  These last 5 games are games that probably have the strongest tie to Christmas for me.  They are titles that, when mentioned, instantly remind of Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  Rotting my brain at great cost to my parents and Santa Clause.

5. Twisted Metal

The year I got my Playstaton was the year I would finally catch up on all the games I had read about and missed out on.  Twisted Metal was definitely at the top of that list.  I can remember being enamored by the oddly shaped box and the crazy looking flame-headed clown on the cover.  I had to have this crazy looking game.  I kinda knew what I was getting into prior to playing it and I loved playing the battle mode in Mario Kart, so I was pretty stoked to get it from my brother that year.  The game seemed perfectly fit for a Christmas present for an 11 year old boy.  Stupid over the top characters? Check. Corny metal soundtrack? Check. Meaningless carnage and destruction? Check. And best of all, the game even had some Chistmas themed levels!  This game provided the bulk of the multi-player fun with my friend down the street that Christmas break.  Looking back though, I probably should have just asked for Twisted Metal 2 since it was about the same price at the time.

4: Vectorman

Vectorman was a rare occurrence when I didn’t know much about the game I was asking for Christmas.  I still wanted it more than any other game that year.  Something about the modern looking green robot hero and the shiny cardboard box at the Sears display case really attracted me.  You can really see the excitement on my face on our video tape of that Christmas Eve.  I couldn’t hardly contain myself to finally open this game, and find out what Vectorman was all about.  Turns out what Vectorman was all about, isn’t all that memorable.  The game was a good looking, decent action game.  I think the coolest thing about it for me at the time was that the final boss was inside a giant tornado.

3. Super Mario Bros./Duckhunt

Now we’re reaching back, way back.  All the way back to the beginning when this little obsession of mine started.  I don’t remember much about my first encounter with a video game.  What I do remember is images, pieces of a moment in time.  I can remember our old wood panel, 13 channel 80’s television hooked up on the hearth that morning.  We had the new NES hooked up on the floor beside as me and my brother (possibly my sister) marveled at this new Mario thing.  I can also remember the start up display before each level having a picture of little Mario with the flower power colors of red and white.  Something that we all know as simple impossible, but for many years after I searched for a way to play that game that would validate my odd memory of it.  I don’t have much to say about Mario besides the fact that this was the game that started it all for me (and many other children of the 80s).

2. Wii Sports

For one Christmas Eve, I lived a Nintendo commercial.  I was so pumped about this new motion controller technology that I pretty much bored everyone who came in my path with information on the Wii.  That included my family and by Christmas Eve, I had them in quite a fervor to play this new fangled contraction as well.  Immediately after opening presents, we tore open the Wii box and hooked it up to the television.  There aren’t many Christmas’ that are as memorable as this one.  We spent many hours bowling, boxing and playing golf with the weirdest gaming console I had ever come in contact with.  I also had to drag the console to whatever other Christmas gathering I was going to that year, so that others could experience in the sheer bliss that was playing Wii Sports for the first time.  I played so much Wii sports in the little span of time that I could go the rest of my life without ever touching it again.

1: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

This is the granddaddy of all Christmas presents.  I was hyped up for Ocarina of Time about 3 Christmases before I finally got it.  I can remember in the Spring I told my mom that the only thing I wanted for my birthday that year was a promise that she would get me The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Christmas that year after it came out.  She said no and that I was crazy.  That didn’t stop her from pre-ordering me the game from Electronics Boutique.  I was so psyched to finally play Ocarina of Time.  I had followed this game for years up to this point, the hype meter was completely off the chart.  A few days before Christmas break that year a friend of mine found the manual for the game at the gym in school.  She gave it to me because she knew what a complete and utter nerd I was.  I spent the better part of the next week pouring over the manual and taking in every scrap of information about the game.  I was fully prepared for everything the game threw at me the moment I hit the power button.  This game was such a monumental event for me, I hooked my Nintendo 64 on the TV downstairs so my whole family could watch.  This magnificent game had to be witnessed by all in my young mind.  I can remember my dad watching me play on Christmas day and looking slightly annoyed.  He asked me what this game was about, what was I doing in it.  I told him that I was an elf named Link and I had to save the world from the evil Ganon and free Princess Zelda.  He then asked me why I was running around this small village.  I told him that I had to complete this series of things for this woman in town to get a bottle.  He then asked me what getting a bottle had to do with saving the world.  I didn’t have an answer for him them but I think if he asked me now I would reply with “EVERYTHING”.

And that concludes my long exhaustive list on how freaking spoiled rotten I was as a child.  I used to be sort of ashamed of this face, but now I embrace it and wouldn’t have replaced it for anyone else’ childhood.  I hope anyone that is reading this has a very Merry Christmas and that its filled with things that truly spoil you as well.

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