Unwrapping our favorite holiday gaming memories: GameCube, Pokémon, and more

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The holidays tin beryllium a typical (or stressful) time. In a best-case scenario, it intends getting to walk immoderate clip pinch loved ones and soaking successful immoderate lukewarm vibes astatine nan extremity of a hectic year. Holidays for illustration Christmas are astir much than gift-giving; they’re nan uncommon moments successful immoderate fixed twelvemonth wherever it feels for illustration bid connected Earth could beryllium possible.

But, of course, nan presents don’t hurt. Memorable gifts tin create formative memories for kids and adults alike. That’s nan full premise of nan classic A Christmas Story, which builds a coming-of-age communicative astir a coveted Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB gun. Some presents return connected a symbolic quality, whether they get kids willing successful thing that will 1 time go portion of their profession aliases bring them person to their family.

This Christmas, I’ve asked nan Digital Trends gaming squad to stock immoderate reflections connected nan astir memorable video crippled gifts they’ve ever received. The pursuing anecdotes aren’t conscionable humblebrags astir cool presents; there’s meaning down each gift. Some would let them to yet spot themselves represented successful gaming, while others would inadvertently lead them to a profession successful it. In nan end, it really is nan thought that counts.

Giovanni Colantonio, Section Lead

A Nintendo GameCube sits connected a array pinch Luigi's Mansion.Nintendo

When I was a wee child, I was thing of a Nintendo fanboy. I sewage caught up successful nan console wars of my property and was connected nan frontlines erstwhile nan GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox went caput to caput successful 2001. During that naïve time, I had made Xbox my nemesis for nary evident reason. My father, ever nan jokester, would twist nan weapon connected Christmas greeting successful 2001 erstwhile he’d wrap a console-sized container and spot a printed-out Xbox logo connected apical of it. Considering that I was waiting to unwrap a GameCube that morning, I was furious. Thankfully, I’d get 1 astatine nan extremity of nan morning, on pinch Pikmin and Super Smash Bros. Melee. It’s a cherished time I still retrieve arsenic I stared astatine my aged surviving room TV successful wonderment each day.

That representation sticks pinch maine coming arsenic heated console wars proceed to rage on. I’m much mature now and cognize not to beryllium a “fan” of immoderate company. I ain each strategy and person nary affectional attachment to any; they’re conscionable devices that tally games. Still, I retrieve what it was for illustration to beryllium successful that headspace and really my begetter efficaciously pranked maine astir specified a ridiculous allegiance arsenic a kid. So this Christmas, I nonstop retired lukewarm wishes to each nan “Sony Ponies” and “Xbots.” I wish you good connected your ain coming-of-age travel arsenic you study to abstracted yourself from nan brands and corporations vying to specify your personality.

And if you’re a grown big who still believes successful nan console wars, hold until I show you astir this Santa Claus guy.

Tomas Franzese, Staff Writer

The original Xbox sits connected a table.Microsoft

I beryllium my emotion of gaming almost wholly to Christmas gifts I’ve received successful my lifetime. While I don’t retrieve precisely erstwhile I sewage my Game Boy Advance aliases Nintendo DS increasing up, I still retrieve getting an Xbox bundled pinch NCAA Football 2005 and Top Spin for Christmas 1 year. Chosen by my dada because he publication that it was nan astir powerful of nan crippled consoles presently connected nan market, this was my first existent vulnerability to console gaming. The adjacent year, I sewage nan original Lego Star Wars and Star Wars Battlefront II, nan second of which is still my favourite crippled of each time.

These gifts cemented my emotion of gaming astatine an early age, and moreover though my parents did not cognize it astatine nan clip — I deliberation my mom was really against my relative and maine getting an Xbox — it began nan domino effect that would consequence successful maine penning astir nan video crippled manufacture arsenic my profession (I’ll return that printed-out Xbox logo now, Giovanni).

Jacob Roach, Senior Computing Staff Writer

The Nintendo Wii stands tall.Nintendo

I learned astatine an early property that asking for games for Christmas was a speedy measurement to extremity up pinch a stack of shovelware from Kohl’s. There was 1 twelvemonth I knew precisely what I wanted, though: nan Nintendo Wii. Any unfortunate psyche looking for nan console astir nan holidays successful 2006 knows really difficult it was to find 1 successful stock. The Wii was dynamite, and they couldn’t enactment successful stock.

I asked anyway, pooling together gift budgets from a fistful of family members but ne'er expecting it really to show up. Then, a fewer days earlier Christmas, I walked into my surviving room to my mom mounting nan console up earlier school. It turns retired my mom had a friend who worked connected a motortruck doing deliveries to a section Best Buy, and she was capable to get an wrong way into picking up 1 of nan consoles earlier they ever deed nan shelf.

Over nan vacation break, I was hooked to Wii Sports, without a interest astir immoderate different crippled disposable connected nan level (it was slim pickings astir launch). I yet moved on, picking Twilight Princess, Super Mario Galaxy, Brawl, and moreover a batch of AA releases (shoutout to The Conduit). The Wii was truthful impactful connected maine that I moreover started penning mock reviews of games, hoping 1 time to onshore a occupation doing conscionable that. And present I am. So, thanks, mom.

Carli Velocci, Gaming Contributor

A Wii Fit container sits connected a blank background.Nintendo

As an big who writes astir video games for a living, my puerility experiences pinch them were excessively sporadic to beryllium impactful successful nan measurement they are for galore writers. Video games weren’t for me aliases my sister arsenic overmuch arsenic they were for nan family aliases my begetter (whose emotion of video games extended only to his PC driving simulator, which lasted for astir a year). That didn’t alteration successful 2007 erstwhile we were amazed pinch a Wii for nan Christmas holiday.

I grew up successful a family that was very focused connected weight, and we didn’t ever return nan healthiest approaches. My mom bought maine Dance Dance Revolution for nan PS2 on pinch a squishy mat, not truthful I could person nosy but because nan news told her it was bully exercise. And if you remember, 2007 and 2008 was nan twelvemonth of Wii Fit, specifically Wii Sports. Sure, my location now had a Wii, but it was mostly truthful we could play virtual bowling and do immoderate easy yoga pinch nan Wii Fit Trainer. My narration pinch these movement-based video games wasn’t nan healthiest for a while. I would travel location aft schoolhouse and play 45 minutes of Wii Fit. It’s a coagulated habit, but it was done for nan incorrect reasons.

Thankfully, that did change, and quickly. Because, arsenic it turns out, Wii Sports and Wii Fit are not only bully video games, but they’re benignant successful their attack to fitness. Wii Sports caught connected among children and successful nursing homes because it had wide entreaty (everybody loves clone sports!) and wasn’t prohibitively challenging. That meant maine aliases my sister could play it, but truthful could my mom, who dealt pinch chronic pain. During a clip erstwhile we did a fewer activities arsenic a family, it offered thing we could each do.

Wii Fit is akin successful that it didn’t propulsion you into aggravated workouts disconnected nan bat, but nan crippled was besides ne'er astir losing weight aliases doing nan toughest moves for bragging rights. The Wii Fit Trainer is simply a soft beingness that congratulates you for moreover nan astir basal moves. No matter really galore minutes you do, they’ll show you that you did a bully job. This is an ethos I’ve not only taken into adulthood during my fittingness journey, but it showed that video games could connection experiences I ne'er expected.

So successful 2007, measurement later than immoderate of my peers, I learned that games were benignant of cool, actually. And I someway dedicated my life to covering them arsenic a result.

Cristina Alexander, Gaming Contributor

Sora, Mickey, Goofy, and much successful Kingdom Hearts 2.Square Enix

In 2006, my first twelvemonth of mediate school, I was hip-deep into anime and wanted Kingdom Hearts for Christmas. I was eager to dip my toes into nan series, arsenic I loved nan thought of anime characters (in this case, Final Fantasy characters) interacting pinch my favourite Disney icons. My relative Mikey, a freshman successful precocious schoolhouse astatine nan time, highly recommended Kingdom Hearts 2 because it’s amended than nan first game, going by nan grounds of his classmates.

Come Christmas Day, I unwrapped my rectangular coming to find a transcript of Kingdom Hearts 2, its iridescent screen glistening underneath nan South Florida sunlight beaming done nan surviving room window. I couldn’t hold to commencement playing it connected my PS2, but since my family and I were flying to New York immediately, I had to hold different week.

Once I sewage location aft New Year’s, I popped nan Kingdom Hearts 2 disc into nan PS2, turned up Sanctuary by Hikaru Utada (who had go my favourite J-Pop creator good earlier then) arsenic nan opening cutscene gave nan recap of nan first crippled and Chain of Memories. I quickly sank into nan game’s story, from Roxas discovering he’s nan Nobody of Sora trapped successful a virtual simulation of Twilight Town to Sora awakening from his year-long slumber on pinch Donald and Goofy successful nan existent Twilight Town aft merging pinch Roxas and going disconnected connected a travel to find Riku and Kairi erstwhile more, caller wardrobe and all.

Kingdom Hearts 2 was nan astir impactful gaming Christmas gift for maine because it taught maine that sometimes it’s amended to commencement a crippled bid pinch a sequel than pinch nan original game. A decade later, erstwhile I played Kingdom Hearts Final Mix successful Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 Remix in college, I came to admit my relative doing maine a favour by having maine commencement nan bid pinch nan 2nd crippled than nan first one, arsenic nan controls and gameplay successful nan sequel are much user-friendly. Thanks, Mikey.

Jesse Lennox, Gaming Contributor

Characters conflict successful DragonballZ Budokai 2.Atari

I can’t callback my nonstop age, but 1 cardinal twelvemonth occurred erstwhile I was still taking my Christmas database very seriously. This was 1 of conscionable 2 aliases 3 times successful a twelvemonth wherever I could count connected getting a caller game, truthful I had to prime carefully. That year, nan prime was easy: Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3. Like truthful galore others, I was exposed to nan anime done Toonami and instantly became enamored. I already owned nan first crippled and, contempt really basal it was, loved to beryllium capable to play arsenic those larger-than-life characters finally. Perhaps successful an effort to propulsion maine disconnected nan trail, my mother mentioned that I shouldn’t beryllium expecting “that Dragon Ball game” because it was excessively violent. That only made maine much judge I would beryllium seeing it nether nan tree.

When that fateful greeting arrived, I instantly recognized nan unmistakable style of a PS2 container wrapped beneath nan tree. I didn’t spell consecutive for it, parsing retired immoderate different gifts first to build up to my “big” one. When it was yet time, and I pulled disconnected nan paper, and I could laic eyes connected nan box, my bosom sank. What I held successful my manus was nary different than Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2. I don’t cognize if it was a misunderstanding of my list, a elemental correction astatine nan store, aliases what, but I had very specifically not wanted 2. That introduction was arsenic antithetical to 3 arsenic possible, trading successful open-world exploration for a committee game-style design. Sure, they were some fighters astatine nan extremity of nan day, but I wanted to alert astir nan Dragon Ball world!

I felt my bosom and excitement sink, but besides my mother’s eyes connected me. I didn’t want to disappoint her by making her consciousness for illustration she fto maine down, truthful I did my champion to look excited and dress it was nan crippled I wanted. On immoderate level, moreover arsenic a somewhat young kid, I understood Christmas wasn’t really astir getting precisely what you wanted, but emotion bully making personification other happy and creating lukewarm memories together. I’m judge it wouldn’t person ruined nan day, but I still wanted to effort and make my mom consciousness for illustration she did correct by me. Because, successful truthful galore ways, she did.

I played nan crippled each greeting and made judge ne'er to waste it to this day. Thank you, mom, for Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2: a crippled I dislike but a representation I cherish.

Deangelo Epps, Gaming Contributor

A Nintendo Wii U gamepad level connected a table.Nintendo

I was astir 15 aliases 16 during my past large Christmas, truthful I knew nan days erstwhile I’d get an water of presents were astir complete for me. In 2012, I was fresh to get my hopes up for 1 last awesome gift: nan Nintendo Wii U. An ironic wish successful hindsight, I know, but I’ve ever loved and still emotion nan Wii U now.

I retrieve waking up that greeting and conscionable waiting to spot it. I opened coming aft present, slow moving retired of religion that I’d spot my Wii U. Were my dreams of playing it pinch my siblings connected Christmas Day over? When my parents said, “Hey, I deliberation there’s 1 much coming successful nan closet we forgot,” I couldn’t judge my ears. I’m judge if you’ve seen A Christmas Story, you tin conjecture what was successful nan closet waiting for me.

I rushed to unfastened nan doorway and saw my achromatic Wii U. I couldn’t extremity smiling for nan remainder of nan day. All I retrieve from past connected was hours of playing Bayonetta 2 and Nintendo Land (the champion Nintendo pack-in crippled ever) pinch my siblings. That representation ever comes to mind erstwhile I deliberation of Christmas, and I can’t thief but emotion my family that overmuch much whenever it aliases nan Wii U comes up. I wish my Gamepad didn’t break a fewer years backmost truthful I could really spell down representation lane.

Jess Reyes, Gaming Contributor

A banner image advertises Pokémon Crystal.Nintendo

Back successful nan early 2000s, I didn’t person nan net to regularly update maine connected my favourite gaming franchises, but I someway recovered retired astir Pokémon Crystal. Christmas was an juncture to inquire for thing big, truthful I told my dada this was my prime for nan year. Pokémon was nan first gaming franchise I really enjoyed. I didn’t attraction to inquire erstwhile Galaga 2 aliases nan adjacent Donkey Kong would travel out, but Pokémon Yellow (along pinch nan anime) had maine reasoning astir those pouch monsters measurement longer than different games. My parents already talented my sister and maine Pokémon Silver and Gold, but she didn’t play them. I played some of them for nan exclusives and traded betwixt our 2 Game Boys.

My dada asked maine what was truthful important astir Pokémon Crystal. I explained that it had this woman (Crystal) arsenic nan main characteristic alternatively of nan accustomed dude that players control. I wasn’t reasoning thing heavy astir women’s representation, but I felt excited astir yet playing a Pokémon crippled arsenic a girl. Just for illustration me.

I don’t really retrieve really I sold him connected that pitch. When you deliberation astir it, it’s really conscionable nan aforesaid crippled but pinch a woman and a fewer exclusive Pokémon. Still, I went downstairs connected Christmas Day to unwrap a transcript of Pokémon Crystal. I booted it up connected my Game Boy, reset it until I sewage a female Totodile (you know, for Daycare reasons), and started my 3rd travel done Johto.

Moral of nan story: Women! They matter!

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