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GN Podcast #504

GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - Your favorite holiday games

My internet was spotty at best when I came back to the site to take over. This pushed my usual update session back a bit, hence my very early morning return! Sorry about the delay, my friends. See you again in a few, short hours!

When the holidays come around, most people find multiple ways to get into the spirit of the season. You'll see Xmas lights strewn all about houses, holiday-themed music is pumped into every store and radio station you can find, and clothing becomes a lot more festive and cheery. All that is well and good, but us gamers need something more!

There's certainly no shortage of video games out there that have a Christmas or holiday theme to them. That's not to say that these themed games are fantastic, but there are indeed a few that aren't just quick cash-ins. What's better than enjoying the holiday season with a video game that pays tribute to it?

I always have one game that reminds me of Christmas, even though the game itself isn't tied to the holiday in any way. For Christmas one year, I received a brand-new copy of Donkey Kong Country. I vividly remember watching a full half-hour presentation on QVC all about Donkey Kong Country. The people demoing it had no idea what they were doing, but I didn't care. I wanted that game SO bad! Thankfully Santa heard my cries and dropped it off Christmas morn.

Sure, there are some snow-themed levels in there, but that's about as close as you'll get to anything holiday related. It's just the memory of getting that game on Christmas that will always tie it to the holidays for me. Do you have a game that reminds you of the holidays or pays tribute to the season? Leave a comment and let us know!

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18 total comments (View all)
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 07:57

Ever since animal crossing on the gamecube, it's always felt like an extra awesome christmas with that series. I just love playing those games in that time. It's usually when I go back to my town, pick all my weeds, and just take in the season with my cabin theme and Festive Tree and everything. Can't wait to play out my holiday cheer in the next installment next year!
No Avatar
20 Dec 2012 08:10

The "Winters" theme music and town from Earthbound.

Other than that it's stuff I got/played at Christmas.
--Donkey Kong on Colecovision
--Super Mario Bros on NES
--I believe I also got Castlevania, Zelda, and Metroid at Christmas, and Metroid definitely reminds me of January snow/ice days where school was closed and my friend came over so we could find every nook and cranny in the game.

I think Strider on Genesis goes in that category too, although I never owned a 16 bit console until the late 90s.

For a lot of the above, just the audio and/or music is enough to remind me of that time and the season/holiday.

Later it was games somebody got and that we all played (my half-brother and two step-brothers and I) as a group at Christmas:
--the first Halo
--Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Of course, then there's Unreal Tournament, which at Christmas 1999 we were just discovering. It dominated gaming time for almost two years.
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 10:35

For me it will always be Zelda. Probably because I got Link's Awakening and a GBC one year, Ocarina the next.

After that (sometime later on, I sat out of games during the Cube era) it was Phantom Hourglass and then Spirit Tracks, both at Christmas. Also, I finally got around to Twilight Princess during Christmas one year. It was like old times playing Ocarina, I dragged the Wii and all to my grandparents and played it at night.

And this exact time one year ago I took a week off (or rather I work for myself and just made the time) to play Skyward Sword in one giant go. I played that game like it was my job for 8 or 9 hours a day. It was one of the greatest experiences.

Zelda games always seem to coincide with the end of the year and usually that's the only time I get any real time to play a game as in-depth as a Zelda game. I don't want to play it in a couple half hour bursts; I want to play it for huge chunks of time and really get myself lost in it.

One Christmas I had dislocated my shoulder. I had to wear a sling. To make things a little better I tucked my GBA SP in the sling and played Link's Awakening all the time.

In fact, with Link's Awakening, I got it that one Christmas ('98 I think) and it was 10 years later, to the day, that I beat it. Arm in a sling.
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 10:52

I remember Playing WWE Wrestlemania 2000 a lot more then any other christmas time game
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 10:56

ooooh. I got my GameBoy at Christmas 91 (11 years of age then) so Tetris on that thing sure was fun :)

In 94 I got Final Fantasy 6 (3) and I think that is my most cherished X-mas game ever. So many good memories of one of the best, in my opinion, games ever. And that it starts in a Northern winter landscape and I was in Norway at the time (I am from Norway but I lived in Hungary at the time, but was on vacation), the music, story and in general the atmosphere of the game AND the Norwegian X-mas is something that will stay with me for a long, long time.
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 11:15

Well my biggest Christmas let's see here: I remember Twilight Princess from Christmas 2006.
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 11:25

I don't know that I have any actual Christmas themed games, but plenty that involve winter.

Mario/Sonic at the Winter Olympics
Silent Hill Shattered Memories
Grubbins on Ice DLC for Costume Quest
Santa is playable in Joe Danger 2 and makes all levels snow.
Snow levels in 70% of my games

Big Christmas memories though...

1. When I got my Gameboy, packed with Link's Awakening. That was amazing... ah man.

2. Got my SEGA Genesis packed with Sonic 3 & Sub-Terrainia. :3

3. Got my N64 with Ocarina of Time. GREAT CHRISTMAS? OR GREATEST CHRISTMAS?

I've gotten a lot of cool Christmas games. Arkham City and Asylum a previous year, Darkside Chronicles, Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions, Tingle's Balloon Fight I believe was an X-mas gift, and a lot as a kid and growing up. I can't remember them all. Only the most recent and console-based ones stand out.

If I am not mistaken, I believe this Christmas is going to be pretty damn cool.
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 11:36

Just today i was thinking about that wonderful xmas morning when i awoke to find a SNES waiting for me..oh so long ago. This time of year always makes me want to fire up Mario World because of the immense impact it made on me the first time i laid eyes on the beuatiful graphics and experienced the flawless gameplay. It is always nice to know there are others out there with similar memories.
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 11:50

For me it would have to be Super Mario 64 because the N64 came out in September of '96 and three months later I got the system for Christmas. I would've gotten it at launch, but my mom wanted me to have it as my big gift to unwrap for Christmas. And of course I got SM64 with it and remember very vividly playing that over Christmas break.

We had a big snow storm that year too and so I remember thinking how cool it was to play the snow level with the snowman star puzzle and then look out side and see all the snow and the snowman I made. Aaaaah, It's the little things like that.
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20 Dec 2012 12:35

Super mario 64 will forever remind me of christmas.
I remember me and my older brother getting an N64 with Super mario 64 from my dad at xmas in '97.
Such good memories of that game :D
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 12:52

I would have to agree with some of the games listed above reminding me of the holidays. But probably my FAVORITE holiday game of all time would be the original Pikmin. I have been gaming for a long time, and have had plenty of fantastic holiday gaming experiences. But when I popped pikmin into the cube on that fateful morning, and started playing, my mind was blown and I have since played the game every holiday season. Its fantastic because you can beat it in a few days without too much time commitment and it is fun every time to try and knock a day or two off of your record. Thanks for sharing everyone!
No Avatar
20 Dec 2012 13:14

My favorite Christmas games came courtesy of Wii ware and the Virtual Console. This was back in 2009 and 2010 when I was an active member of VGChartz. There was a guy there that went by the user name of Noname. He decided to start a Secret Santa exchange for Nintendo fans. Anyone who wanted to participate had to send him a PM with your information which included your Friend Code, types of controllers, and our game data base had to be up to date. The game data base showed icons of the systems you owned or had owned and icons of games that you own, owned, or enjoyed playing. It’s used by your Secret Santa to determine what type of game to by for you.

I was really excited at the time especially when I looked at my Tiny Tim’s game database to see that he enjoyed Mario and the metroid series. Two of the games that I had wanted to play for so long were Super Metroid and Super Mario RPG. I purchased those games as soon as they were available on the VC. Now I had an opportunity to share my joy with someone else. This felt special to me. My Secret Santa sent me Paper Mario for the N64 and Lost Winds. I was very excited for Paper Mario since I became a fan of that series on the Gamecube with Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. Lost Winds was a surprise. I had not been paying attention to what was available on Wii Ware at the time. I enjoyed the game very much. The next year my Secret Santa sent me two BitTrip games. Again I had never thought about purchasing those games but I enjoyed playing them. Overall, that Gift exchanged opened me up to playing games that I may have never purchased.
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 14:27

I guess mine would be Pokemon Firered.

The only Xmas game I have probably played is Animal Crossing.
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 14:35

Easy. Tetris. I'll never forget Christmas morning 1989, getting up at the butt crack of dawn and finding my new Gameboy waiting for me under the tree. Later that morning I opened a copy of Super Mario Land, but Tetris was the surprising and amazing first Gameboy game I plugged away at. Packing that game in with the Gameboy was truly a stroke of brilliance from Nintendo.
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 14:48

My best Christmas, when I was in 8th grade, was getting Earthbound. I have a pretty awesome story for it, as well -- I had rented the game about a month and a half prior and had gotten fairly far (so it seemed for me), I believe in the middle of Fourside. Now, because it was a rental, I certainly couldn't retain my save, so I used this weird SNES device called the GameSaver Plus. Basically, it was a Save State machine that let you hit Start and R to save, and Start and L to reload, if I remember correctly.

Anyway, I wasn't about to go a month and a half without using my Super Nintendo, so I figured out that because the GameSaver was powered by the SNES AC, then led it's OWN AC into the SNES as a passthrough, if I simply kept the GameSaver plugged in but left it OUT of the SNES cartridge slot, it would still function as a saving device. So, I kept it plugged in through the power source but was able to still play my SNES until Christmas, and when I ended up getting the game, I immediately ran up to my room, plugged the unit into the slot, threw in my Earthbound and re-loaded the game, right where I was early November. I ran to a phone, saved the game, and everything was fine.

Though, if there had been a power outage or surge or anything of the sort, that would've been the END of my file. Now, that wouldn't be a big deal, but mid 90's young Sack would've been a MESS.

Either way, happy ending, and I still have all my EB stuff around, used, loved, and working. :)
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 15:08

My favorite holiday gift? My Wii U with 2 games. I just got it because I passed the first semester of Nursing. I couldn't play for month and right now I can enjoy my well deserved time off.
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 15:11

Let's see...

I got a GBC and Pokemon Silver for one Christmas.

I got a GBA and Super Mario Advance: 1 for another Christmas.

Between the two I would say I was more excited for the GBC and Pokemon combo because I was such a fan of the series, but the other one wasn't too shabby either. I honestly can't remember about my other Christmas presents that much. These two years though, I remembered right away.
User avatar
20 Dec 2012 15:55

animal crossing city foke, when i saw it, i was like OMG ITS AWESOME! but we were to poor, but that last gift i got x-mas 2009, was accf! i whent to my wii and played the night away

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