Well, it looks like this column covering weekly video game releases (that only kicked off last week!) has already hit a wall. See, there are no games coming out this week. None. The fat old man with boots of black has scared off all the releases, and you’re all probably too broke to buy anything more, anyway.
So in the interests of giving you something to get you through this day (if you’re not going to be stuck among the hordes of last minute gift-buying assholes like I will be), here’s a list of some Christmas-themed video games for your Holiday fix.
I know what you’re saying. "But Alex, there are no good Christmas games!"
And you’re right… I’m going to stretch a bit here, and this is in no way a comprehensive list. Perhaps someday someone will make an incredible Santa Claus-starring game (preferably with lots of ultra-violence and a death metal soundtrack) but that day is long off.
Christmas Lemmings, aka Holiday Lemmings. (PC)
There were actually four of these games on the PC, released yearly from 1991 to 1994. The first two were four-level demos and free, the later two had 16 levels each and were available in stores. The only difference to the original game is the holiday-themed levels and the fact that the Lemmings wear Santa suits, which makes it all the more entertaining when the little simpletons run to their deaths. It really never does get old- and you can check this game out online here.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge (Xbox, PS2)
Remember when this movie was cool? You know, before the Hot Topic kids ruined it and they made action figures, lunch boxes, and vaginal douches for every goddamn character? Well, this was another part of the inexplicable tie-in marketing, a video that acted as a direct sequel (of sorts) to the movie. The only problem was that it ended up being a pretty repetitive platformer. It’s not a horrible game in any way, it’s just not a fantastic one. It’s still loads better than the GBA version that was released, that was actually a prequel to the movie. For a better Jack Skellington appearance you’re better off playing either Kingdom Hearts.
Christmas Jetpack (PC)
This game got loads of play in my childhood. Like Christmas Lemmings, it was basically just a graphically revamped version of the original game. You’re Santa, strapped to a jetpack, grabbing up presents and avoiding enemies. it’s simple but damn fun. Jetpack was one of the first games with a level editor that I can remember- you can get it online right here.
This was a two level expansion pack of Nights: Into Dreams that was released back on the Saturn. It was a giveaway and bundled with issues of Next Generatartion Magaazine, and used the Saturn’s clock to change the game depending on the date. In December "Christmas mode" came out, with everyone all dressed up and new music playing.
Yeah, this is another cosmetic change only, but it was an awesome giveaway, and a nice (but failed) try by Sega to get Nights into more houses. Good luck finding a copy of this… emulation is probably your best bet to try this out. Not that I’m condoning it.
Lego Star Wars II (Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, PSP)
Yeah, you probably didn’t know, but Santa fought against the Empire.
In Lego Star Wars II they included Santa as a playable character, and damn if it isn’t entertaining seeing this bearded figure jumping around with a lightsaber. Sure, it doesn’t change anything else in the game, but I defy you to see this and not get a little twinge of that Christmas spirit.
Santa Clause 3 (GBA)
Fuck any of you that let Santa Clause get two sequels. Not only are you promoting Tim Allen’s career, you’re helping aid a generation of retards who think Claus is spelled with an E.
What can you do, Martin Short? Commit seppuku.
Seriously though, man, what went wrong? Was it Glick? It was, wasn’t it? That stupid one note character was your downfall. You went from starring in Innerspace to Santa Clause 3. I weep for the future.
Yeah, this doesn’t have anything to do with the video game but if you think I’m stupid enough to play it you’ve got issues, pal.
Santa Claus Saves the Earth (Playstation, GBA)
I have no idea what this game is, but that title’s too great not to include. I’m assuming he saved the Earth sometime after fighting off those dastardly Martians (and their long noses)
That screenshot sure is a mystery, though. Why has Santa got strange vials of colored liquids on the top left? And what’s with the tomato? And is that candle levitating a medic kit? What’s going on in this crazy world?
Elf Bowling 1 & 2 (DS)
Getting this for Christmas is the videogame equivalent of getting a lump of coal. Actually, scratch that, this is the videogame equivalent of having your father jump into your bed on Christmas eve to put visions of gumdrops inside your mouth.
The biggest problem, besides the fact that bowling elves loses its charm after about the first frame? It’s available for free on the PC, and always has been. Besides the very limited touch-screen support there’s nothing new here, and it’s pretty sad that people actually paid money for this title. The saddest part of all is that the 3rd installment in the Elf Bowling series (I feel dirty for saying that) is supposedly heads above the others, which are basically the same game. Course, it’s not on this cart. No one’s been naughty enough to deserve this.
So now, I’ll just wish you all a Merry Christmas, hope you get all the good games you deserve, and end off with a music video.
It just ain’t Christmas without Bob Rivers. Have a good one, folks.