Round Table: Holiday Gaming Memories

The staff take a look back on some of their fondest game-related holiday memories.

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 12/21/2013 15:00 1 Comment     ShareThis

Favorite Holiday Gifts Round Table

For many of us, Christmastime is synonymous with video games. Whether it be waking up to find a new console sitting beneath the Christmas tree, waiting to be unwrapped, or enjoying a few multiplayer games with friends and family, the holidays are the perfect time of the year to share some quality gaming time with loved ones. With Christmas less than a week away, a few Dojo staffers take a look back on some of their fondest holiday gaming memories.

Anthony Vigna

My best holiday present has got to be my N64, hands down! To this day, I still vividly remember it sitting next to my Christmas tree in a giant, wrapped box. Because I always find myself gravitating towards really large presents, my curiosity exploded upon seeing it for the first time. I couldn’t start opening presents until everyone in my house woke up, though, so I just sat there and shook the box for hours in an attempt to figure out what it was. When I finally opened it, I was shocked and ecstatic. Granted, I was nowhere near the level of the infamous Nintendo 64 kid upon unwrapping it, but I was excited nonetheless! After all, this was my first home Nintendo console!

The first game I played on it was Super Mario 64. I was so used to the 2D gaming I had on my Sega Genesis and Gameboy at the time, so jumping into the third dimension blew my mind. I remember being so amazed by the large scope of Bob-omb Battlefield when I first played the level, while also being enamored by the ridiculously catchy tune that went along with it. The experience I had was pure gaming ecstasy, and I’m sure that others on the staff, like Robert Marrujo, could attest to having similar feelings as well!

Kyle England

Sadly it seems that as you get older, the holiday season becomes less magical. As a kid, it was always incredibly tough to wait until Christmas to find out what presents you were getting. And then, once the gifts and games were in your hands, it was like a brand new world opened. Those were the days, being able to zone out and play games all the way through the school break.

I first got a GameCube for Christmas in 2003, a couple years after release. Still, I couldn’t be happier, as I’d positively ached for a new Nintendo console at every gift giving event. I was stuck playing N64 while all my friends were going wild in Super Mario Sunshine. So when I unwrapped a GameCube that year, it was beyond amazing. All I could play was the included Zelda’s Collector’s Edition that day, but it didn’t matter at all. I started my first ever experience with Majora’s Mask and had a blast. However, I didn’t get a memory card until halfway through January, so my early ‘Cube adventures consisted of constant resets and unsaved games. The GameCube ended up being the only console I owned that generation, and it was my dear friend until 2007 when I got my hands on a Wii. Today, that jet black GameCube still sits under my TV, decked out in full Game Boy Player armor. He’s suffered some damage to the disc tray, but still works as good as ever. I’d never neglect my original systems, not ever!

Another great holiday would have to be winter of 2006. Everyone was scrambling to get a Wii, and my search for one was unsuccessful for many months. So, I went right ahead and got The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on GameCube with my Christmas money. What a game. The reason this sticks out so much in my memory is because I totally binge-played Twilight Princess. Several years worth of hypes and delays had prepared me for this time. I ended up staying up many nights playing Zelda, and by the time school started back the first week of January, I had gotten to the final boss. I’ll forevermore associate the taste of Mint Chocolate Chip Pop Tarts with that game as well, because I ate my way through an entire box at some point between Arbiter’s Grounds and City in the Sky. I don’t think you can even buy that flavor anymore, but I’ll never forget the taste, the smell, and the Zelda memories of those Pop Tarts.

Robert Marrujo

Oh, this is such a loaded topic. Too many gifts, too many memories. I guess for gifts, it’s a tie between getting my 20th Anniversary Game Boy Micro and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The Micro was special because I honestly thought I was never going to own one. Ocarina, of course, is self-explanatory; the game rocked my world the second I plugged it in.

I don’t have a real standout memory from Christmas that revolves around Nintendo. Not anything really interesting, at least. Instead, I’m going to draw on my Wii U Experience gaming triumph with my sister. It was in SF, and we were picked to go and preview Wii U before it launched. There was a speedrun contest for New Super Mario Bros. U, where pairs competed to be number one. Angela and I entered, with me using a Wii Remote and her the GamePad.

Being arrogant, I told here not to interfere with the touch screen (I’m the Mario pro between us), and we tied for first with another duo. During the face-off, in maybe the greatest twist of fate ever, the team we tied with bombed and all Angela and I had to do was get to the end. Here’s the twist though; I almost fell to my death during a cakewalk victory run! The reason we won? Angela used the touch screen to make a platform barely in time to save me! It was epic, amazing, and I will never question gameplay help from my sister again. Merry Christmas, Nintendojo readers!

Marc Deschamps

It’s really hard for me to think about Christmas without thinking about gaming, as well. Since I was just a kid, I can remember finding Nintendo related gifts beneath the tree. From consoles like Super Nintendo, to the stuffed Mario from Applause that I still own, my parents have always reinforced my love of gaming at Christmastime. I’ve always been particularly fond of the great games that I didn’t ask for, as well. Super Metroid, NHL Hitz 2003 and Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition were all games that I ended up loving, despite not asking for. I guess my mom has a great eye for video games!

Pokémon Red/Blue Screen Oak

Out of all my Christmas gaming memories, not one has left a bigger impact than Christmas 1998. The copy of Pokémon Red and Pocket Pikachu found beneath the tree that year would change the way that I enjoyed gaming forever. While I’ve talked about it on the website before, one thing that I’ve never mentioned is another massive gift I received that year: a Sony PlayStation. I hadn’t asked for the console, but my mom surprised us that year with it. The thing is… that shiny new PlayStation? It took a backseat to an 8-bit game on a system that had spent the last couple years gathering dust underneath my bed. I would come to appreciate Sony’s system a lot more when the magnificent Legend of Legaia released the following summer, but Pokémon Red reinforced just how much Nintendo could capture my imagination. It led to a stronger interest in gaming in general, and I simply wouldn’t be here writing for this very website if not for that game.

What are some of your favorite holiday gaming memories? Share them with us in the comments!

One Response to “Round Table: Holiday Gaming Memories”

  • 678 points
    amishpyrate says...

    Christmas of 1990 was mine. My sisters and I got a NES. The were so excited and I and being four at the time I had no clue what it was but I could tell from my sisters that it was a big deal. That was the day i discovered Nintendo

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