The holidays are now upon us and it’s finally the time when a whole bunch of new games out… all at once. Not only is this a time for gamers to pad their shelves for the upcoming year, but for a majority of gamers there is also more spare time than normal to enjoy some extra gaming time. Some spend this time alone, trying to get away from the unnerving dread and loneliness of the season, while others bask in multiplayer games with their friends and family. I happen to lean more towards the alone game time as my parents don’t play and I have no siblings to smash in Mario Party. I’m sure many people have different experiences while gaming though the holidays and these are the some of the games that our writers here at BagoGames have a special fondness for during the Holiday Season.
For some reason I’ve linked the Elder Scrolls games to my holiday seasons, for the past ten years Oblivion or Skyrim has made their way into my Xbox 360 so that I can dabble in the gorgeous worlds. I remember playing Oblivion off and on for years just because of how huge the game was and what really would get me is The Sunrise of Flutes, as you slowly walked through the fields. That tune was so perfect and relaxing and somehow it’s always reminded me of the holidays. Having my in game home be FrostCrag Spire also made the world of Oblivion that much more cozy. I remember walking my character around my candle lit library and wishing a place like this truly existed. The snow on the ground sealed the deal. Even with all the evil lurking in the game, I could boot up my save and relax in my home and have it immediately feel like the holidays. Skyrim joined its earlier brother in the holiday link as well. I’m pretty sure it was the snow and landscape of Skyrim that made me think of the holidays, but also the shops and the houses that just had this homey Christmas feel to them. I haven’t played Skyrim yet this year. I’m hoping to play the remastered edition but sadly Santa hasn’t dropped that off under my tree just yet.
A game that reminds me of the holidays is Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King. I remember playing it with my dad when I was about 13 or 14. We worked together on the bosses we faced, ransacked all the houses for loot and thoroughly enjoyed the charming story with Yangus, Jessica, and the gang. It was a great moment, and it’s a classic game in my eyes. Developed by Level-5, the game keeps giving twists and turns within the story, constantly adds new mechanics, and has a gorgeous art style from Dragonball artist Akira Toriyama. The music of Dragon Quest VIII was composed by Koichi Sugiyama and it’s enchanting with its sweeping strings and beautiful brass. Tracks like the open world music of Strange World, Travelling Wagon, the town theme, and Over The Sorrow are oozing with personality and a Studio Ghibli-esque feel. It gives me those Holiday inklings. If you are a JRPG fan, you have to play this game, and now’s the perfect time. I also cannot wait for the 3DS version to arrive this January. I wish it was coming out this month.
– Chris Penwell
When the snow begins to fall from the sky, naturally you’ll want to play something relevant. Something that speaks to you on a personal level. A yearly event that reminds you of the true spirit of Christmas. That’s right. It’s time to blow off the dust on your PS1, load up eBay and find the video game that is able to remind you of the true nature of Christmas: Die Hard Trilogy. That is until you play it and you quickly remember why it’s the best Christmas film and not the best Christmas game. The vehicle part (With A Vengeance) handles like a trolley with hideously unforgivable difficulty. The light-gun part Die Harder is well… a light-gun game from the PS1 era and therefore not very great. Even the best part, the original Christmas treat Die Hard, is a tedious hide-and-go-seek with dwindling health. Yeah, maybe just watch the movie instead, which truly is a Christmas classic.
– Kailan May
For obvious reasons, video games have always been a huge part of Christmas since I was a child. Regardless of what toys or clothes I may have found under the tree, any video game or console I received was always my top priority after all the unwrapping was done. I’ll never forget when my sister and I unwrapped our NES on Christmas morning of 1988 and how it nearly broke my brain when I realized I’d be able to play TMNT or Duck Hunt whenever I wanted. Rivaling that moment would have to be Christmas of 1993 when I received a Sega Genesis, along with Mortal Kombat, Jurassic Park (which I was obsessed with at the time) and Sonic 2. While its visuals and controls have aged quite poorly, I’ll never forget sitting in my room, in my pajamas late Christmas afternoon, blown away by the realism of Medal of Honor on PS1. Happy Holidays, fellow gamers. May your days be merry, bright and filled with equally fond gaming memories.
The holidays remind me of comfort and so I like to play stuff that helps amplify that comfort. I grew up in Michigan and even though I prefer Tulsa since my Wife and I moved her to be close to her parents and an actual functioning economy, I still will always miss a huge part of that Michigan winter. I’ll never miss having to potentially die for four months out of the year but there’s something so lovely and refreshing about coming in from 15 degree weather and a blistering wind chill and taking solace in video games. I’ll never forget the feeling of kicking snow off my jeans, changing into wool socks or slippers (or both, yo), and tip toeing around the wet spots on the carpet (my brothers didn’t share the same idea as I did at keeping carpet dry in winter) to my room to get lost in a world while watching the snow fall from out my window. RPGs have always been one of my favorites. It differs depending on when you ask me because I also just love platformers and shooters but man … there’s something surreal about getting lost in a different world. It’s these games I find the most enjoyment in during most of the year but ESPECIALLY the winter months. I normally replay some favorites so it’s hard to just pick one so just bear with me. Mass Effect, Fallout 3/New Vegas, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I & II are definitely my go to games for the winter months but if I had to narrow it down further I wouldn’t really be able to. I love the magic and wonder of the sprawling universe of the Mass Effect games (especially the second entry!), the somehow not barren wasteland of the Fallout games, and the mysterious and eerie opening of KotOR II. This winter I’m getting lost in a game I’ve never played but always wanted to while still maintaining my tradition. This winter I’m playing the GOTY edition of Oblivion that I just got for 5 bucks from my local game shop. I can’t wait to get lost in a world while I watch the real world succumb to the cold and crumble as trees and grass dies while somehow being more beautiful than the majority of life. But not as beautiful as KotOR II because that game is the best.
– Josh Nichols
What games do you enjoy during the Holidays? Let us know in the comments we want to enjoy what you enjoy. Feel free to let us know in the comments or on Twitter @bagogames. We all hope you have a great holiday season with friends, family, and some great video games too.