Roundtable – What Are You Playing This Christmas?

We’ve been a bit quiet this month, but it’s just that time of year. We’re on the home stretch now, with Christmas Eve tomorrow and a nice break to follow, which means more time for games! We hope you enjoy this video we’ve put together (or if you prefer it in writing, we’ve got that too).

Let us know in the comments which games you’ll be playing this Christmas.

When it comes to family gaming at Christmas time, nothing beats Mario Kart. You already can’t stand your family, so why not just go ahead and destroy those relationships by dropping a banana peel in their face, or crushing their dreams with a blue shell right before the finish line? And to top it all off, you didn’t even get them a present this year.

Okay, so I’m a bit of a grinch, but I still love a good multiplayer game during the holidays. Like I said, you can’t go wrong with Mario Kart, no matter which platform. Pull the N64 out of the attic and let that nostalgia flow.

If you’re feeling a bit more “out with the old, in with the new”, Mario Kart 8 is the complete package, with 48 courses and 36 characters when you have all of the DLC (which is more than fairly priced). A bit of couch co-op with friends is always good fun in the holidays as well. I’d highly recommend Borderlands 2 or the console version of Diablo III.

Gonna break the mold a bit with this one, but I just love online gaming during Christmas. There’s an air of joy around December in online communities. When the dust settles, and the competitiveness passes, we all just want to blow off some steam with some new (cheap!) games; to escape the stress and bustle of Christmas.

In particular, I always look forward to Christmas patches. Little things like limited edition skins in Overwatch, maps changing to have snow and Christmas trees, Counter Strike: Global Offensive adding Christmas sweaters to chickens. I love events like World of Warcraft’s Feast of Winterveil, and EVE Online’s advent-calander like gift boxes. I could go on and on, but really; put a Christmas tree in a game and I’m happy, I love that sort of thing! Spice it up with some snow and I’m set for the rest of the month. Chrismas-ifying my favourite online worlds makes me so happy!

Christmas is such a social time, and I love that the online games I play embrace that.

During the Christmas Holidays I usually try to get through a few games that I’ve started but not finished during the year, and that varies year to year. Sometimes I’ll pick up a few things from the Steam sale, sometimes I’ll get a few things for Christmas that I’ll play, but usually I’m just trying to get through something that I haven’t finished.

This year it’ll be Tales of Xillia, which I bought last year and played the first act of, and then didn’t get through it. So that’s what I’m going to be focusing on over the Christmas break. And it’s a good thing too because RPGs need a lot of time and I need to sort of get myself immersed. It’s really hard to do that when you’ve got to go to work the next day and you’ve only got a couple of hours (at most) each night.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

I play a variety of games during Christmas, ranging from triple-A to indie titles. Though I usually aim to plough through the ridiculous backlog of titles I have yet to play, rather than buying new games. Christmas time can get busy, so during the holidays I most enjoy playing shorter story driven experiences. These titles provide more manageable play sessions, but are still able to create a strong impact.

This Christmas I’m planning on playing story heavy games that I’ve missed over the year like INSIDE and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. I’ll also continue to play my multiplayer staples, including Overwatch, Rocket League and Uncharted 4.

Throughout my childhood, my fondest Christmas memories have involved spending time with my two elder siblings. This has generally involved playing boardgames and Nintendo video games, a tradition that began with the N64 and continues to this day with the Wii U. Whilst this has involved a wide range of games, the one series that we inevitably revisit each year is Mario Party, which for us still remains the ultimate local multiplayer experience full of backstabbing and ruthless shenanigans.

Mario Party 4 in particular was played over consecutive Christmases after it first released. While we have played other entries such as the original hand-destroying Mario Party and Mario Party 2 to death, we will never forget the moment when a AI-controlled Wario on ‘Easy’ difficulty somehow managed to prevail over the three of us and win a round of Mario Party 4, due to all of us being preoccupied with the requisite sibling infighting.

Because after all, Christmas is personified by Bowser appearing and redistributing everyone’s wealth, right?

1997 Christmas, little did I know, I was to receive my very first current generation console: the Nintendo 64, along with a copy of Diddy Kong Racing. I was ecstatic to say the least. 1998 followed up in even stronger fashion as I got to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Unboxing that was the pinnacle of Christmas video game presents.

Reflecting on all of that, Christmas is a time where you can have a little bit more flexibility and relaxation, and you can really dig down on the games that you’ve been meaning to play – the games you actually really want to play, that you’ve been looking forward to having that clear time to play. So this year I’m going to be playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I’ve been playing it for a little while now in bits and pieces and I’m really getting stuck into it. It’s a great game. I’m hoping this downtime from the holiday break will give me a chance to hopefully finish it.

I might play the Gwent beta as well. I have got an invite and I’ve been meaning to play, but as with my usual schedule of time constraint, it’s been hard to make time to play it.

Anyway, that’s it for my Christmas play-time. Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season and having a good, well deserved break. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas from the Heroes of Play!

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