Editorial: Gaming My Way Through Another Holiday

The holidays are approaching, and for me, this means games. I do not do it deliberately, nor consciously, but somehow in the weeks surrounding the Christmas holidays, I tend to fixate on games with particular intensity. Sometimes I even finish games. This trend is due partially to the fact that, growing up, Christmas was when I received my must-have games as gifts. Some of these titles are Final Fantasy 7, Xenogears, Lunar: SSC and Metal Gear Solid. I’d anticipated the unwrapping of these games for weeks and months beforehand, so it was natural for me to obsessively play through them. Another contributing factor, though, is my uncanny ability to fall ill in December, to the point where all I want t do is flake out on my bed with a game controller. Now, after so many years of intended and unintended repetition, playing games is as much a part of my holiday experience as my Grandmother’s meat pies, Christmas mass, and visiting friends and family.

Lately, as you may or may not have noticed (you may not, because most of you have not known me long) I have shied away from gaming. It has, literally, been years since I have finished a game. I have been drawn back to books, television, and films more now. I have skipped out on WoW raids in order to read Twilight, set aside the RPG of the moment to spend all weekend with friends watching nerdy Sci Fi DVDs. Yet I just know that come December, when it becomes colder and therefore more annoying to go out, when my friends are busy with family, and I am just feeling more reclusive and insular, I know that I will head back to the console for more than the 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there that I spend now.

So what ever shall I be playing this Christmas?

Santa Lusipurr wants YOU to play Valkyria Chronicles this holiday
I will not be able to resist the lure of Assassins Creed, and if I like it, I will likely finish it. I will also be playing my fair share of Dragon Age: Origins on my PC, though that game is so epic, I know I will not finish it this decade. I am also sure that I will continue my playthrough of Final Fantasy 9 with renewed vigor. It is my game of choice when I am under the weather. I vividly remember doing nothing for days last year, except play that game and eat my way through holiday leftovers. Finally, I hope to finish Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. Simply because it is too excellent a game to remain incomplete for long, and I am bound and determined to play it when the urge to seriously game hits me.

How about you guys? Many of you will probably be on holidays from work and school, unlike me who will be working extended hours. How will you nerdily (totally a word now) fill your time?

As an aside, Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating this week. I am not, alas. I am at work, being paid to do next to nothing.Alas!


  1. I’ve found that DA:O is epic enough to make me determined to finish it, even if I stay up til 3 on a work night. We will see how that dedication holds up when Icecrown is released though.

  2. We play board games. This year Space Hulk, and Tennhauser.

  3. @Lane: Ooh, if I kill Arthas, d’you think that will count as “finishing” a game for me? :)

    @Underdog: Board games are awesome. My friends and I play board games when we go camping at the cottage. So they remind me of summer more than Christmas. :)

  4. Up to three on a worknight? That’s turning in early!
    Although I don’t have to be at work until 1pm.

  5. I’ll finally beat Persona 3 FES. I originally bought the first Persona 3, got halfway through, bought FES, got halfway to where I was before, and then burnt out. this unfinished game is particularly annoying ’cause I’ve beaten Persona 4.


  6. @Breaka: So are you saying you already beat FES or you’re determined to beat it? As much as I love the Persona games, I can totally understand getting worn out playing through them. especially if it’s a section you’re already played before. Personally, I’m not sure if I could go back to playing 3 or FES after playing 4, just because of all the gameplay improvements they’ve added

    @Ethos: Your hours are crazy

    @Lane: They have Dragon Age on Steam the other day for $37 and I couldn’t resist, so I’ve been playing through that as well. I’m only a few hours in so far (just past Ostagar), but it does seem very enjoyable. My only problem at present is I need more party members to talk to!

    @Ginia: Unfortunately, since graduation I haven’t really taken a much time off around the holidays, and what I do take is usually spent on family stuff. I really miss the days when I could sit down and just play a game for several days straight without even bothering to get dressed. I’m honestly considering just taking off the week FFXIII comes out, if nothing else so I can get that experience again. Best of luck in your gaming endeavors, though, and I hope you enjoy it to the fullest (except, maybe with slightly more frequent showers. For my girlfriend’s sake).

  7. I am totally going to beat Uncharted 2, hopefully before I head back to Michigan for the holidays. I also would like to beat Borderlands, or at least level up to a point where I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

    Ginia! Let’s make a pact to beat more games. United we stand, divided we suck!

  8. @DG: Taking time off is an excellent idea, and helps curb the temptation to call in sick with some mysterious infection on release week. I took a week off with Wrath of the Lich King launched and was very, very happy. I spent a week solid playing (with suitable breaks for food, baths and socialization). Dooo eeet.

    @Eric: Good idea. ^_^
    OK I’m gonna finish Disgaea this year! Or at least finish it before I start Vagrant Story. No, no… I’ll just finish it this year. Yeah! Gonna do it!

  9. @Darth – I’m determined to beat it. I got 1/2way through P3 Classic, transferred my data over, had to start over, and was only able to get 1/4way through P3 FES. this angers me. also, I’m actually one of those who like P3 more than P4. I don’t know why they took sneaking, outside of battle orders, and death out (well, death I can sorta understand…). but the pacing is so horrible in P3 it makes it difficult to finish it. also in P4 I could just beat most dungeons in one in game day so I was done with it but this isn’t possible in P3. I’ve got Sabin’s problem of loving half the game and tolerating the other half.

  10. goddamn html… the italics were supposed to end after over for anyone who cares.


  11. There were just so many games coming out and so much work to do that I will probably play the games I bought last month! No time to buy new ones, unfortunately.

    So I will probably play a lot of Demon’s Souls on the PS3, since no matter what I can’t stop playing this one. And Modern Warfare 2 and Fifa 10 on the 360.

  12. @Cesar: I know the feeling. Stupid jobs, always getting in the way.

    @Breaka: I, too, prefer P3 to P4 (although I’ll say P4 is leaps and bounds better from a gameplay prospective), but I’ll agree about the pacing issues, especially on a second playthrough. Best of luck on finishing that, though, cause I really do like the ending of The Journey. The Answer is a MAJOR grindfest, though, so just have a few podcasts on hand to deal with that (also, no compendium! WTF?!?).

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