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Games to play on winter vacation

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:06 am
by noiseredux
In the past my wife and I have played various winter/Christmas themed games while on vacation during the holidays. I don't know that we'll have as much time for gaming this season, but I thought I'd at least start a thread to get some cool suggestions and maybe spread the idea on to others. Please use this thread to post your picks for fun games that fit the theme.

In the past we've played stuff like Santa Clause Is Coming To Town (Wii) which was not really great, but not bad; The Grinch (DC) which was... okay, and things like that. But creativity is key. Something like Sonic & Mario at the Winter Olympics would surely fit the bill. I've got an N64 copy of 1080 Avalanche I haven't played yet, so that's a good candidate.

But yeah. Let's talk about winter and Christmas games. Post pics, tell us about your experience with the games, etc.

Re: Games to play on winter vacation

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:30 am
by prfsnl_gmr
The Grinch for the GBC is supposed to be really good. Just FYI.

Re: Games to play on winter vacation

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:15 pm
by Nemoide
Deathsmiles II is a pretty fantastic Christmas game that deserves more of a following. I only played through it a few times and am planning on playing more this December. It might not be QUITE as good as the first one, but it's still solid!

Winter/Christmas NiGHTS is a pretty special game on the Saturn. At its heart, it's a demo, so there's not TOO much too do, but I really like all the bonus content it's overflowing with. An especially nice feature is it can read the A-Life data from the main game so you can browse your Nightmaren. If you're a hardcore NiGHTS fan, it's a must-own.

Re: Games to play on winter vacation

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:21 pm
by Ack
The answer is obviously ClayFighter 63 1/3 on your new Nintendo 64.


Re: Games to play on winter vacation

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:19 pm
by Segata
Lost Planet.

EX Troopers is a more arcadey game. A spinoff of Lost Planet and can import it on PS3 for cheap. It's in all Japanese but it's so easy to play any way you still get the gist of the story and the game points to what you need to do. It's really imported friendly and a great third-person shooter and a really light-hearted game. Great OST as well. One of my fave PS3 games.

Both games take place in snowy environments.

For Christmas itself? Blue Stinger on Dreamcast.

Re: Games to play on winter vacation

Posted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:58 pm
by TheEagleXIII
James Pond II: Codename Robocod (MD/Genesis) sees the main villain take over Santa's Workshop and is super Christmassy themed right from the start. I was never a huge fan of the James Pond games so I don't know how deep into the game the theme runs, but my understanding is that it does. I think the game itself has a good reputation too from what I've heard.

There's a few games based on movies that, whilst not strictly Christmas films, are still Christmassy. Like Batman Returns (MD/Genesis, SNES), Home Alone 1 & 2 (MD/Genesis, NES, SNES). I can't speak for the quality of any of them (although I do remember Home Alone 2 getting ripped into by AVGN), but the first Home Alone game on MD/Genesis has you placing traps in houses around Kevin's neighbourhood to foil the Wet Bandits. I've only played it super briefly, so I'm not sure if the homes are decorated for Christmas, but when traveling between them Kevin rides on a sled through snow covered streets; I've heard some good things about it. I guess there's also Die Hard Trilogy on PS1 but I don't remember any of the Christmas stuff carrying over.

Following the obvious Winter Sports theme, two games from my childhood on the Mega Drive are Lillehammer '94 and Winter Challenge, and were both kinda frustrating in their own unique ways, but Winter Olympic games were sparse back then! Another obvious choice are Snowboarding games – Cool Boarders series on PS1 (I had the fourth one and was never a big fan, but it was ok back then) and the SSX series (SSX Tricky on PS2 remains one of my favourite games ever). One of my other favourite winter sport games that I rarely hear get talked about is Sled Storm on PS1; maybe it was the uniqueness of a snowmobile racing game back then, maybe it was the remixed Rob Zombie soundtrack, or maybe just cos I won the game in a Kellogg's Corn Flakes random prize draw and didn't expect it to be good, but I really enjoyed it :lol:

Going with just the winter theme in other games, there's the Bomberman-like Pepenga Pengo (or just Pengo) on MD/Genesis where a penguin replaces Bomberman and ice blocks replace bombs. Its on my list to play someday and I've heard decent things about it. Also on Mega Drive is Scooby-Doo Mystery, it's a point and click adventure/mystery game with two scenarios, one of which takes place in a snowy hotel/cabin/lodge; it's another I plan to check out simply because the art style is exactly like the cartoons but I've heard mixed things about it.

I've just realised the next two games I got for Christmas on PS1 in '99, which may be swaying me a bit, but dammit I personally still count them, regardless of that bias! :lol: First is South Park, which, yeah isn't great and is especially not great if you're not a fan of the show, but like the show everywhere is covered in snow. Second is Mission: Impossible which is bookended by missions in Siberia (I think) but, to be fair, I think the entire middle of the game has nothing remotely wintery about it. Its either my own seasonal nostalgia, or the first and last missions being snowy that convince me the rest of the game is taking place during winter. It also doesn't have a great reputation, but I enjoyed it at the time. Arguably the N64 versions of both are slightly... less-bad.

An obvious PS1 choice is MGS, even if the moments in the snow are limited.

I can think of a few other games that had the occasional snowy or Christmas level, but I'm not sure if you're after games with just an occasional winter level?

Totally cool idea for gaming over the holidays, though :) I usually get my Christmas gaming feels from games/demos I remember playing around winter/Christmas. Or movie-license games from films that I either saw for the first time at Christmas or that were commonly on TV at Christmas. So like another thing about the Mission: Impossible game was, coincidentally, that very same Christmas I got the game, the movie was on TV on Boxing Day (and being the BBC, they promoted all their upcoming movie over Christmas constantly until the New Year, so the promo for it was driven into my brain every day for a month) So a similar feeling happens to me with the Alien movies/games, and the original Italian Job always seemed to be on TV around Christmas in the UK so naturally the PS1 game used to feel like one to play around then.

Are there any other criteria along those lines that might broaden the scope a bit? I never realised how few options there were until I properly thought about it :)

Re: Games to play on winter vacation

Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:59 am
by noiseredux
to some degree it's probably a personal thing like with your demos you mentioned. For instance, I've been playing Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers on GBA the past couple days merely because I associate those movies with Christmas 'break'.

Re: Games to play on winter vacation

Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:11 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
Gotta do dem hot dog aerials.

Re: Games to play on winter vacation

Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:00 am
by noiseredux

Y'know, I've been a fan of comic books since I could read. As a kid, I was more a Marvel fan than DC. I mean Marvel had the X-Men and Avengers and Spider-Man and just so much good stuff. DC seemed... I don't know. Less cool to me at the time. Except for Batman. Batman was huge. And that first Tim Burton movie hit at such a formative age for me. I was eight years old. I can't even tell you how many times I read the Batman issue of Nintendo Power.

I tell you this because it's almost weird to me how little I've kept up with comic book video games. I mean, I try. But there's just so many games to play. I remember when Arkham Asylum was released back in the day and my wife and I both thought it looked amazing. But we only owned a Wii at the time so we had no way to play it. Bummer.

Some years later I'd finally get around to playing Arkham Asylum, but I think I ended up distracted about halfway through. Like I said, there's just too many good games out there battling for my attention. But given the critical praise for these Arkham games, it IS really weird that I've not gotten around to them more.

Which brings us to the fact that I've been a total sucker for exploring the Wii U library this year. It was such a cool and forward thinking (and misunderstood) (and poorly marketed) system. Though the library is small - roughly 160 physical games in the US - the ratio of good games seems really high within that small library. There's a lot of ports of solid "big games" on the Wii U; the sort of stuff that Wii owners had missed out on in the generation prior.

I was looking for a good game to play on winter vacation, post-Thanksgiving. And guess what I stumbled upon? It turns out that Arkham Origins takes place on Christmas Eve! Perfect!

My wife fell asleep early last night, so I started this one up. As a note, it DOES have Off-TV play but oddly, you can't enable this on the gamepad. You have to start the game on TV, or figure out the combination of button presses to navigate the menu blindly. Which I did. Ugh.

But guess what? Arkham Origins is AWESOME! Oh my goodness, what a great game. It's the usual sort of action-beat-em-up stuff but it's also got some investigation stuff and an open world Gotham (on Christmas Eve!). It's great. I'm having a blast just exploring Gotham, swinging from building to building and breaking up crimes and advancing the story and leveling up and... ugh, it's so good. I played two and a half hours last night and I didn't want to stop (but I was getting tired, y'all. My daughter is six months old right now. I'm always tired haha).

I also feel like there's a Metal Gear Solid vibe here a bit. Like, the game knows it's a game. And there's some weird moments that highlight this. There was a part where I was breaking up an underground fight club organized by the Penguin and I have to face off against Electrocutioner and it looked like this MASSIVE boss battle was about to start up and I just gave him one kick to the head and knocked him out. It should have been anticlimactic but instead it felt funny and awesome that the game sort of tricked my expectations.

This game rules. The setting is great, the voice acting is solid, the cast of characters is fun, and the exploration is satisfying. I'm looking forward to getting back to it. It's a perfect game for winter vacation.

Re: Games to play on winter vacation

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:24 am
by Jagosaurus
Blue Stinger on DC takes place during Christmas. Holiday music is in the background as you shoot mutant zombies. It's a "Christmas game" like Die Hard & Gremlins are "Christmas movies" 8). I also received the game when it was new as a Christmas gift!


Here's 4 more memorable snow/winter moments for me. You can get to these worlds/levels quickly. Could be good with limited time.




If Zool wasn't abstract enough... get ya some Treasure Mountain.