The magic of a real holiday game

The magic of a real holiday game

There is a general idea at the PT office about what a holiday games is, but we realized that we don’t all have the same criteria. It’s definitely the basics, but we’re all craving something different this holiday season. Saying “holiday game” when you’re British makes it sound like playing Uno when it’s raining in Lloret de Mar, so…

Yes, so what are the basics? Well, a Christmas game is definitely not a game with glitter in it. It’s a game we can play with family or friends – whoever we choose to spend time with – in front of the TV or curled up in a ball on the couch without feeling the need to hear all the sound or pay real attention to someone. dramatic story (mostly). But that’s not all.

In reality, the holiday season can be a bit tough, even if it’s about getting together. It all depends on who you are and what your situation is. Maybe the perfect vacation video game is an escape, or maybe it’s one you can share with a group. It can be whatever!

So, instead of worrying about creating clear, defining barriers of what can and can’t be a holiday game — you can find that in our Switch Christmas games guide — let’s just talk about a few. What is the Pocket Tactics team picking for this Christmas?

Holiday game: a large vampire with red eyes in art for vampire survivors.  It's just their big old head staring straight ahead with long black hair trailing and a raised collar.  Really scary.

Well, for me, I’m going to play [redacted] mostly constant. I can’t wait to tell you all about [redacted], it’s going to be so much fun. Oh, and I’ll check out the new graphics in The Witcher 3, do some more Fallout: New Vegas over the cloud (with an excellent controller you can learn about in our Nacon MG-X Pro for iPhone review), and maybe finally give Vampire Survivors a chance.

For me, the perfect Christmas video game is one that gives me a nice distraction from a very small house full of very, definitely grown-up people. There’s also going to be a one-year-old there this year – which of course is wonderful – but it might get a little noisy…

Our head honcho Ruby is, well, completely predictable: “This holiday, much like any other, I plan to play the original Final Fantasy VII on the Nintendo Switch. I can almost play this game blindfolded and I love just turning off my brain and joining Cloud and the crew as they save the world from destruction.”

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Holiday game: the blonde hair and big buster sword of Cloud from FFVII in the foreground, staring up at the mako reactor in the distance.  It's a giant, cyberpunk power station thing, all lit up in blue.

I think the last time she mentioned FFVII she said she’s already played it three times this year? Jeez. Still, she has a rough plan to diversify a bit, sort of: “If I can plow through VII in time, I might also do some FFVIII, IX, or X if I don’t get any other new toys occupying my short attention span.”

And it seems comfort food is the port of call for others at PT this holiday season, with Connor choosing a game close to my heart as a classic connoisseur: “This Christmas I plan to spend as much time as humanly possible catching up with Zagreus, Megaera and the beautiful Dusa as I hack and slash my way through Hades for what I can only assume is the thousandth time.

“Like Sisyphus, despite having the ability to do anything else, I’d like to linger in the dark depths of the underworld thanks to a gameplay loop that I still can’t get enough of, some of the best dialogue in modern games , and a lovely puppy named Cerberus. Bring on the holidays in hell.” All I’m saying is, I don’t think Sisyphus had a choice, but still… big up Cerberus!

Holiday Games: art from Hades showing the main character, half-chest exposed, slicing around with skulls on his knees and looking pretty cool, with a large figure of a blonde woman faded into the background.

The same applies to Daz, who shows PT as a team with good taste: “I will play two games during the holidays, both starting with H! I recently started Harvestella and I think the relaxing farming vibes will be the perfect way to spend my time. The other is Hades, which is a bit of the opposite. I’m just excited for Hades II!”

I remember when they showed off Hades II at my good friend Geoff ‘Jefferson’ Keighley’s The Game Awards. I honked and I shouted. I just howled at the television. I yelled, “why didn’t they call it Lady Hades?!” Then I yelled, “why not just Lades?!?” I was alone in this room. Regardless…

Our deputy Kayleigh has the same idea as me, and pops into the continent to catch up with her one true love: “Who doesn’t love a dash of fun monster killing throughout the holidays? That’s why The Witcher 3 is the game I play every Christmas, a juicy world, fantastic story and lovely witches come together to give me a cozy winter feeling. Plus you get to spend this time of year with loved ones, and since Geralt is my husband, I feel like we should spend some quality time together.”

Holiday game: a large open plain seen from a grassy hill in Genshin Impact, with a blonde woman looking off into the distance at a tall mountain in a lightly cloudy blue sky.

One of our resident Genshin Impact experts, Tilly, continues her Teyvat travels this time around: “During the holidays, of course, I’ll be playing a lot of Genshin Impact – but I’ll be playing it every day anyway. When I’m not bashing hillichurls, adding primogems to my Genshin Impact Alhaitham fund, and getting ready for the Lantern Rite, I’ll be spending my time with Dragon Quest Treasures.”

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As PT reviewer, Tilly has spent a lot of time on it and has a lot of praise: “This silly little game is the most fun I’ve had in ages. Curling up by the fire and grabbing your motley crew of monsters to hunt for treasure is the perfect no-man’s-land pastime between Christmas and New Year.” I highly recommend checking out our Dragon Quest Treasures review if you’re thinking of picking it up for a little Christmas treat.

That’s not all for Tilly, though: “Oh, and I’ll also check in with Disney Dreamlight Valley’s Scrooge every day to see what party furniture I can get.” What a packed schedule, while I’m just going to stuff my face with chocolate playing [redacted] and [redacted] alone. (Sorry, I don’t know why I made that joke twice, I’m just running out of steam…).

Holiday game: two figures with snowballs in Disney Dreamlight Valley art with Stitch from Lilo and Stitch standing below on the ice with a large castle in the background.

However, Tilly is not the only Genshin man in the PT crew; Holly has similar ideas: “After a wild Christmas with my whole family, I’m planning to isolate myself and build the new characters that I’ll be pulling for on Genshin Impact, such as the best hydro character in the game, Kamisato Ayato. Or maybe I’ll restart The Witcher 3 for a celebratory journey with Geralt on my shiny new PlayStation.”

Wait, let me get out my biggest calculator and do some even bigger math. Currently, Hades has two votes, Genshin Impact has two votes, and The Witcher 3 has three votes (fittingly!). Let’s see if our Nintendo lover can tip the scales at all…

That Ninty lover is Nathan, who has what I personally think is the most Christmassy choice on the list: “The Mario series is perfect for Christmas, whether it’s the stars adorning every corner, the countless snow or ice levels, or the jovial music – and maybe there’s even an inherent link in my brain because I wanted Mario games for Christmas so many times…” (Ben’s note: the first game I got for Christmas was Super Mario Land!).

Holiday Games: art for Super Mario Galaxy showing the red and blue plumber from large creatures from the series, as a Pirhana plant.

However, it’s not just childhood nostalgia. Nathan believes the garish Italian shares qualities with the super-powered Santa himself: “The big mustachioed man feels as indicative of the holiday season as old Santa himself, so the holiday break is the perfect time to revisit the timeless Mario series.” I mean, he wears red, so fair enough, right?

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“Every year when I’m not bogged down by review deadlines, or trying to beat a game to avoid spoilers, I treat myself to a good whiskey and make Old Fashioneds like I’m Tom Cruise in Cocktail and turn on an old-timey Mazza game .” I know I’m going for Negronis this year (but don’t tell my mom).

Nathan also has a clear game plan: “This year I plan to play Super Mario Galaxy again, which is definitely the most Christmas-themed game in Mario’s oeuvre, and maybe take a quick trip to Isle Delfino if I find time . Don’t forget to wish on a star, so hopefully Nintendo gives us Super Mario Galaxy 2 (the best Mario game) on Switch one day soon.”

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You know, I think the real reason why Super Mario Galaxy feels so perfect for the Christmas season is because of the absolutely beautiful, bubbly, playful and light world music. It’s a damn Disney song in the wintry cold of space. It is beautiful. And it sure feels like the end of the Christmas movie when it all starts. I’ve left the ten hour version above for anyone who needs a good vibe.

And with that, it looks like the most planned game is The Witcher 3. And who can blame us, right? The Witcher 3 on Switch is easily the best way to experience the game. Everyone knows this. Us portable video game fans at Pocket Tactics will definitely only be playing The Switcher 3. Definitely not downloading it on Xbox Series X. Promise.

Anyway, happy holidays to all the video game lovers out there. We’ve had an amazing year here at Pocket Tactics, and we hope you’ve had an amazing year with us. See you in the new year when we can finally tell you all about [redacted]… (crack, me really didn’t want to make that joke three times…).

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