A Pile of Christmas
This time last year, I shared some Christmas, video game memories. This year I thought I’d illustrate my nostalgia with the most festive of pictures, featuring the consoles and games of Christmas past. My wife was a little confused when she saw me arranging the above collection under the tree, but she was happy to let me get on with it once I’d explained that the Saturn was not her surprise Christmas gift.
The Master System 2 was my first console, pictured here with Sonic the Hedgehog and Alex Kidd in Miracle World built-in. It might have had the pause button on the power base, but it was still a wonderful little console and a great introduction to the world of video games. The Mega Drive followed a Christmas or two later, paired with Sonic 2 and Street Fighter 2 Championship Edition. Thus began my tortuous relationship with the beat-em-up genre.
Due to SEGA’s inability to properly manage a home console, I was forced to sell my original Saturn less than two years after receiving it one Christmas in the mid-90’s, to fund the purchase of a console that had not been discontinued. Pictured instead is one of my Japanese units, including versions of the games that came with my original, UK bundle: Sega Rally, Virtua Fighter 2, Alien Trilogy and Olympic Soccer. Virtua Cop 2 and gun followed the next Christmas, continuing my love affair with toy guns at an age where I should’ve been more interested in playing spin the bottle and drinking cheap booze.
I have fond memories of updating rosters on NBA Live 2000 on Christmas morning 1999, before starting a full season with my Phoenix Suns. Two or three years later, and I was going through a similar process with Smackdown Just Bring It, creating as many shitty wrestlers as possible before starting up the career mode. The Gameboy SP with Final Fantasy Tactics Advance arrived pre-Japan, at a time when my interest in video games had begun to wane. The Super Famicom represents my first video game Christmas away from home. Back in 2005, and having just arrived in Japan, my new housemates and I bought each other retro consoles in an effort to replace the items we’d left behind in our home countries.
The retro plastic has since been removed and the Christmas tree returned to normal, though the wife is still giving me slightly weird looks, and I’ll soon be settling down to a few drinks and a round of Christmas Nights. Once the presents and feasting is over, I’ll be posting my Best and Worst of 2012 sometime before the New Year. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the most memorable, forgettable and Binary Domain games of the year, spread across a variety of categories, and running at least 1000 words too long.
Have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy the holidays