Earlier this week saw the first part of FANDOM’s rundown of the best, in some cases worst, and in many, the weirdest Christmas themed videogames ever made. Here’s our second offering, which takes in The World’s Greatest Detective, a semi-blasphemous joke about Jesus, an aquatic secret agent and a man firing rockets at snowmen. Don’t you just love videogames?
ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY CONSOLE GAVE TO ME… [MUMBLE MUMBLE MUMBLE I’M BATMAN]!
Much like Die Hard, Gremlins and come to think of it, Tim Burton’s second Batman movie, 1992’s Batman Returns, are three of the best ever Christmas movies, just by virtue of being set at Christmastime, 2013’s Batman: Arkham Origins is one of the best Christmas videogames. Set in the twenty-four hours between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it doesn’t come anywhere near being the best of the Arkham games – notably, it was the first in the series not to be developed by series creators Rocksteady Studios, WB Games Montréal taking the reins this time around – but it’s still got a lot to offer (most prominently, some of The Dark Knight’s most underutilised foes; Black Mask, Copperhead, Electrocutioner). Gotham looks surprisingly pretty – in the same way a frog might look pretty if you daubed lipstick on it – during the festive season, too.
ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY CONSOLE GAVE TO ME… A BANJO PLAYING BEAR AND A WISECRACKING BIRD, WHICH MADE A RIGHT OLD MESS OF MY STOCKING, I’LL BE HONEST WITH YOU!
Much is said at this time of the year about remembering the true spirit of Christmas, and while somewhere within the cosmos we’re most likely getting a frowned at by the little baby Jesus for saying this, we think the true spirit of the season can be found in a bear and a bird rolling around a 64-bit landscape. Seriously, what says peace and love louder than these two creatures, from different strata of life on earth, coming together to fight evil like they do in the 1998 classic platformer Banjo-Kazooie? But aside from this heart-warming tale of interspecies cooperation, Rare’s game makes this list thanks to the inclusion of the snowy level Freezeezy Peek, which features, amongst other things, an extremely rude walrus.
ON THE NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY CONSOLE GAVE TO ME… MERRY CHRISTMAS, YA FILTHY ANIMALS!
Fittingly for a film as popular as the 1990 John Hughes written comedy Home Alone was (in the U.S. it was the highest grossing live action comedy until as recently as 2011 when The Hangover Part II surpassed it) here’s absolutely loads of Home Alone videogames, of varying quality. The best was probably the original, for a device that still makes gamers of a ‘certain pedigree’ dewey eyed, the Commodore Amiga. In it, you had an hour to boobytrap your house before the arrival of The Wet Bandits, WITH HILAROUS CONSEQUENCES. Quite brilliantly, just last week the YouTube channel Cinemassacre had Macauley Culkin – Kevin McCallister in the film and the 1992 sequel – sit down and review all of the games that spun out of the franchise. Spoiler: he wasn’t keen.
ON THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY CONSOLE GAVE TO ME… THE NAME’S, POND. JAMES POND!
Someday, once the radiation has died down, aliens will arrive on earth, search through the debris of humanities time as the prominent species on the planet and find a tattered copy of Electronic Arts 1990 platformer James Pond. Their heads will then explode, much like they do in the 1996 movie Mars Attacks!, such will be their disbelief that such a strange thing ever happened. Released a year after the first Sonic The Hedgehog game, nine after Super Mario Bros, James Pond 2: Robocod is the sequel from a year later and encapsulates an era where everyone was looking for the next platforming icon. The game itself concerns the titular underwater agent, tasked with a mission to save Santa from the clutches of his longtime nemesis Dr. Maybe. James might not have offered much for Mario nor Sonic to concern themselves with, but this very strange game is a decent legacy to leave.
ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY CONSOLE GAVE TO ME… THE LATE, NOT PARTICULARLY GREAT DUKE NUKEM!
Speaking of faded icons, 1996’s pioneering (don’t @ us) FPS Duke Nukem 3D saw the titular lunk attempting to save Los Angeles from invading aliens, doing so in a strip club, a sushi bar, Area 51 and the moon. So far, so frustrated-nineties-developer-who’d-never-been-on-a-date. But why does gaming’s macho king make this Christmas-themed list you ask? Well, released the subsequent year, Duke Nukem 3D’s Nuclear Winter expansion pack allowed you to viciously murder elves, snowmen, as well as destroying Christmas tree tanks, all enroute to saving Santa (who has been brainwashed by aliens, obviously, because this is a Duke Nukem game).
It was a pretty lazy release by publisher WizardWorks, seeing two levels from the full game (Red Light District and Hollywood Holocaust) reskinned as snowy scenes. But let’s say that again; the game allowed you to viciously murder elves and snowmen, which, we think you’ll agree, will always – always! – be a better option than the Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special.
ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY CONSOLE GAVE TO ME… POWER ARMOR!
Finally, a little treat that might have passed many of you by, contained within 2015’s forever underrated Fallout 4. Yes, if you wait until December 25th (which you can keep track of by viewing your Pip-Boy, it’s in the lower left-hand corner) you’ll find that the former Fenway Park, located within Diamond City, will be decked out in Christmas garb. Nothing more to it than that – don’t expect any Christmas themed missions and what’s not – but it’s nice to know that even centuries into the future, when we’re living in constant fear of Yao Guai and radiation poisoning, we’ll still be able to enjoy this most festive of traditions. Roast Molerat for dinner? Merry Christmas gamers!
Missed the first part? Don’t worry, we’ve got you.