The Games of Christmas Past

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

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RonnieT
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The Games of Christmas Past

Post by RonnieT » Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:45 am

A little comment in another thread got me thinking of all the games I've received for Xmas over the years, and the memories of Xmas past! Highpoints included...

Star Raiders on Atari VCS - ok, technically this wasn't an Xmas present, I got it for New Years from guilt-stricken parents who were going out for the evening and leaving me with my grandparents;) But for those not old enough to remember, this was the first game I'd ever played with came with a perhiperal - a touch pad which plugged into the second port of the VCS, giving you (what seemed at the time) incredible "space ship" style controls - you could toggle your shields, maps, sights, hit hyperspace... it was just the bollocks;) Think I spent the entire night glued to the telly.

Yars Revenge on Atari VCS - My love of the arcades meant that pretty much all the games I had on my Atari were arcade conversions (bar Combat, but as that was a 2 player game only, and I was an only child...) but there was something about the game that made me stick it on my Xmas list... Ended up the first time outside an arcade that I played a game which got me "in the zone" - the sort of game you just play, not conciously thinking about what you're doing, pulling off moves, shots, and high-scoring shenanagins that, if you paused to actually think about what you were doing, would never be possible!

Manic Miner on Spectrum - I had a 16K Spectrum early on, which was chipped during the year to 48K. However, the process wasn't completely successful, which resulted in most 48K games failing to load or crashing. Which mean that although I had a copy of Manic Miner, it died the instant you lost a life. Imagine the months of waiting for it to load, just to play for a few brief seconds before having to start the entire process all over again. So when a NEW, fulling working 48K Speccy arrived, Xmas day was completely devoted to the game; aside from dinner, it was pretty much constant playing, the pressure even greater as we were leaving for a Xmas holiday the following day (given choice between skiing and Manic Miner, I know I'd have happily stayed at home)

Nintendo Super Scope 6 - yep, I know this is far, far, far from a classic game, but it was my reintroduction to gaming after years in the wilderness;) Having completely missed the entire evolution of home computers from 8 to 16 bit I was amazed at the quality of the games and, despite looking no doubt like a suitable candidate for a room with padded walls, spend a large proportion of Xmas squinting one-eyed through a plastic bazooka at the telly!

Goldeneye - having spent most of the year playing multiplayer Marathon on the Macs at work (now there was a game...) I'd sort of discounted that a FPS on console could be good. Still, I'd picked up a few good reviews of the game, so thought it might while away an hour or two. Nope, just like Manic Miner, it ate the entire day. And the next. And the next...



So how did the rest of you waste Xmas pasts ?
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Hungry Horace
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Post by Hungry Horace » Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:15 am

Good post, Ronnie. Always good to see it was not just me wasting my Xmas days with games!

Here are a few of my favourites:

1981/2: Grandstand handleld/table games. Caveman, Munch Man, Snoopy Tennis Game and Watch, Flyer BMX. In these years, my relatives seemed to all get the idea (after endles hints from myself) to get me 'electronic games'. I was forbidden from playing them until after dinner, but the minute I had gobbled down the last portion of Xmas pudding, I dove straight for the chair in the corner, covered myself with a blanket to marvel at the 'fantastic' lit graphics and promptly got told after five minutes to 'turn that noisy thing off or take it upstairs.' By Boxing Day, my 'noisy games' were banned from the lounge outright. I ask you...BUY me the games, and then complain when the sounds irritate them...

1984: Speccy +, with some original games, and a C90 of 'backed up' *cough* games from a friend with a Speccy. My dad promply descended on it, just to 'test it out', and proceeded to play Jet Set Willy, Manic Miner and Sabre Wulf for what felt like the rest of the day. I was happy to navigate and draw crude maps, and even my mum had a few games, which was hilarious. You know the way that mothers play games: 'Does this kill me? Oh...', 'What does this reset button do? Oh...'.

1989: NES: I suspect by this point my parents had 'wised up' to my Xmas day weakness for games, and rather sadistically let me open the console and NOT give me the games until the afternoon. I spent most of the morning clutching the joypad and just imagining. A friend of mine living in the same road as myself also got an NES that year, and the clever thing was that his and my parents were friends, so we both got different games as presents, so we could swap. Genius! We spent the entire length of Boxing Day is his dining room playing Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt, being brought pop and crisps on an hourly basis by his mother. One of the happiest days I can remember.

I've probably bored you all enough already. It's dead at work today, as you can probably tell...
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Dizrythmia
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Post by Dizrythmia » Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:23 am

My parents were never ones for buying me video games for Christmas. they had this THING against them...... I'm sure many of you know what I mean..... There were a couple of years where this was the exception.

1990 - Amstrad CPC: Double Dragon 1 & the Domark Heroes compilation pack

1992 - Gameboy: Simpsons - Escape from Camp Deadly & Terminator 2

That's it from family. A friend gave me a Megadrive with Sonic 2 a couple of years ago :)

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Post by merman » Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:34 am

GALAXY TWINVADER, a tabletop game from Grandstand. The invaders had two parts, so needed two shots to kill.

Then a couple of years later we got the Commodore 64 for Christmas; although it arrived early, problems with the powerpack meant it was the New Year before we actually got to use it :(

Since then I have tended to buy games with my Christmas money, rather than ask for them.

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Post by revgiblet » Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:47 am

I don't remember / can't be bothered to figure out the years but my gaming experiences at Christmas have tended to be positive. Like merman I ask for money now to avoid "Ahhh...Army Men! How did you know? Yes, yes, I'm sure the man in the shop said it was very good" moments.

As far as I can remember here they are...

Vic 20 - one Christmas I got a pack of five games that were rip-offs of classic arcade games like Scramble and so on. That tape was brilliant!

C64 - some of my best Christmas moments are with this. When I was still young enough to actually be so excited about Christmas that I woke up early I would power up the C64 in my room and, hours later, actually slightly resent the fact that it was time get on with the day. Aside from getting the C64 itself, some of my best Christmas presents were...

Getting Ghosts n' Goblins and Skyfox.

Getting a compilation pack called 'Solid Gold' (I think) which included Gauntlet, Gauntlet The Deeper Dungeons, Infiltrator, Winter Games and Ace of Aces. That was a great pack, only spoilt by the fact that Gauntlet wouldn't load.

Atari ST - Getting ATF II the same year my brother bought me Ninja Rabbits. One out of two isn't bad.

Good memories.

Like Dizrythmia I think my parents never liked buying me or seeing me get games for Christmas. They once got so worried about the amount of time I was playing on my C64 that my dad sneakily removed the fuse from the plug to try and trick me into thinking it was broken. Normally I would have fallen for this, but I was so gutted that I did the unthinkable and tried to fix something myself - despite knowing nothing about electronics or the inner workings of the machine. The first thing I did was open the plug and see the missing fuse. I went and reported this to my dad, naively thinking that it had nothing to do with him. He guiltily confessed and repaired the plug. I celebrated by loading up Barbarian 2.

:lol:
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Post by Kaptain_Von » Fri Dec 23, 2005 5:37 am

A few of the more notable ones:

1978 - I opened my main present from mum and dad to discover a handheld space invaders machine. It was the sort of thing that was advertised in the back of the Sunday mirror. It looked like a miniature arcade cabinet but in an unbecoming shade of poo brown with two triangular buttons, one each side and a red button in the middle. The screen consisted of a plastic overlay with space invaders printed on it behind which LEDs lit up. Nowadays it sounds rubbish but that was the best Christmas present ever when I got it and was played to death. Even better it also played a primitive version of breakout too. I blame that brown plastic box of electrickery for my lifelong love of games.

1983 - The year of Firefox F-7. Another unexpected present and a great game. Unfortunately I got good at it all too quickly and by boxing day had beaten it by working out the timings of each wave based on the noises it made much to my parents chagrin.

1985 - My gran was always good for decent presents and that year she gave me the 'Now Games' compilation and 'Commando'. I spent most of Christmas day huddled over my Spectrum playing 'Commando' and much of Boxing day failing miserably at 'Brian Bloodaxe'.

2004 - Mrs Von has had a lot to put up with as I have filled my attic gamesroom with assorted stuff but in 2004 she showed she really doesn't mind by presenting me with what can only be described as the best retro Christmas ever. There were US Gold compilations I did not have, a Namco plug 'n' play joystick, Atari and Activision retro compilations, Strikers 1945 1 and 2 and Bubble Bobble for my GBA. Top stuff.
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Re:

Post by roberthazelby » Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:02 am

Dizrythmia wrote:My parents were never ones for buying me video games for Christmas. they had this THING against them...... I'm sure many of you know what I mean.....
*laughs* My parents were exactly the same, but they did get me a few computer related bits and pieces over the years. Some highlights include:

- Christmas 1985 - A year of me begging my parents to buy me Knightlore (after realising I couldn't copy my friend's copy) finally paid off when Christmas morning came, and amongst the stash was one of Ultimate's finest titles. I think I spent the rest of the day in front of the Spectrum playing this. Even my Transformers were neglected.

- Christmas 1987 - I'd wanted a Phillips Moving Sound 'Ghetto Blaster' for months after seeing the yellow one my mate had. I was over the moon when I found I had this Christmas Day. The first thing I did with it was copy Mastertronic's 'Rescue' I'd been borrowing from a friend, and spent the rest of the day playing that whilst listening to my collection of 'Now' and 'Hits' albums.

- Christmas 1989 - Having had a Spectrum 48k since 1982 I'd spent the last year or so bugging my folks for a Spectrum +2, so to find a Spectrum +3 there was a real thrill. 5 visits to Toys R Us later to get replacement machines because the sound was distorted (I eventually gave up returning the machines, and only in later years did I discover it was a manufacturing flaw of the +3) certainly added to the 'fun'.

- Christmas 1990 - Having suffered a burglary in October whilst I was on half-term holiday with the folks I'd used my batch of insurance money to put towards an Amiga 500. The Amiga arrived early December, and I had a few games to play on it, but really wanted James Pond after seeing it running in a shop. My mum ordered it from Software City in the hope that it would arrive before Christmas. In the end it arrived the day after Boxing Day, so the rest of the hols were spent playing that.

Happy days.

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Re:

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:53 am

merman wrote:GALAXY TWINVADER, a tabletop game from Grandstand. The invaders had two parts, so needed two shots to kill.
Yay, finally I meet another Galaxy Twinvaders owner.

I'm sorely tempted to get another of these, mine was eventually binned after many years of abuse as the joystick packed in. If I'd known about the contacts I could have fixed it :(

I loved the fact that this game counted its levels using symbols, all the way to 200.

I assume you could loop it through 200 levels so it started over? I'd regularly spend hours doing that, looping it a couple of times in a row. Of course doing so meant you'd loop the scoreboard several times as its maximum was ridiculously low.
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Post by yakmag » Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:20 am

Xmas 1983 - received first computer cbm64 and a copy of krystals of zong happy days!!

Xmas 1984 - Ghostbusters, raid over moscow, dt decathlon, trollie wallie yippee!!!

There then followed a drought as my parents thought buying me games was not 'good for my development'.

Fast forward to xmas 2004, built my own mamae cabinet YAY!!! :P to all parents!!!

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Re:

Post by merman » Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:25 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:
merman wrote:GALAXY TWINVADER, a tabletop game from Grandstand. The invaders had two parts, so needed two shots to kill.
Yay, finally I meet another Galaxy Twinvaders owner.

I'm sorely tempted to get another of these, mine was eventually binned after many years of abuse as the joystick packed in. If I'd known about the contacts I could have fixed it :(

I loved the fact that this game counted its levels using symbols, all the way to 200.

I assume you could loop it through 200 levels so it started over? I'd regularly spend hours doing that, looping it a couple of times in a row. Of course doing so meant you'd loop the scoreboard several times as its maximum was ridiculously low.
I did loop it once, but then the joystick on mine actually BROKE. Didn't have any glue to fix it, went in the bin years ago :(

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Post by Voidoid » Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:42 pm

Unknown year, late eighties: Atari XEGS with Bug Hunt, Pacman and some other games. Only my second experience of games, after a coin-op machine. Hasn't really left a strong impression on my memory.

1991: Commodore 64, the package that came with the cartridge from the C64GS (with the excellent Flimbo's Quest), plus Head Over Heels and Joe Blade. The birth of an addiction.

1992: Lots of C64 games including Winter Camp, Turbocharge and the Chart Attack compilation.

Late nineties, not sure of the year: I bought a friend's old Spectrum with games collection a few weeks before Christmas. I spent all of Christmas Eve playing Barbarian or something.
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Re: The Games of Christmas Past

Post by greenberet79 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:17 am

What an old thread! Still got me thinking, here are my three highlights (dates are guesswork) -

1985 (or 86, can't quite remember) - Spectrum 48k, Space Raiders. And it begins! My first ever computer, and my first ever game. Life would never be the same again!

1990 - Game Gear. All my mates had Game Boys, but I NEEDED the Game Gear, I'd become fixated with it! Cue Sonic 1, Monaco Grand Prix and Shinobi.

1991 (or 2?) - SNES, with Super Mario World. Not a Christmas Day gift, but something I bought a couple of days after Christmas with money I'd gotten. Bought from Woolworths! Mum thought I was wasting my money (it was about £150 I think). But goddam, Mario World was AMAZING. Throw in Super Tennis and it was a Christmas to remember.

Good times!
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Re: The Games of Christmas Past

Post by TwoHeadedBoy » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:30 am

Heh, you're on a roll with the necromancing today, Mr. Beret!

From what I can remember:

1993- Mega Drive II with Sonic 2, and my cousins got a Mega Drive II with Aladdin, and my neighbor got a Mega Drive II with Mega Games I. Fun times!
1994- The Lion King for that Mega Drive.
1996- Sonic 3D for the Mega Drive.
1997- Tiger game.com!
1999- Neo Geo Pocket Color with Puzzle Bobble Mini.
2000- Dreamcast with ChuChu Rocket, Sonic Adventure, Virtua Striker and Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation.
2006- Xbox with SSX Tricky, SNK Vs. Capcom Chaos and Simpsons Road Rage.
2010- Red Dead Redemption.
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Re: The Games of Christmas Past

Post by pyroxian » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:43 am

Christmas '83 - got a Donkey Kong Game & Watch and some wristwatch/game thing - spent the rest of the day sitting on the steps of the swimming pool (was in SA, and it was about 37 degrees that summer), playing them :)

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Re: The Games of Christmas Past

Post by greenberet79 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:30 am

TwoHeadedBoy wrote:Heh, you're on a roll with the necromancing today, Mr. Beret!
Tis the season!
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