Well, another 5 days and it’s Christmas. Do you remember what is was like to be a kid, how the entire month of December seemed like one big exciting buildup to what would be waiting for you under the tree?
Of course lets also get down to it and say that Christmas has always been a great time for video games. Christmas is that key holiday when a lot of kids got their consoles. I got an Atari 7800 (that ended up not working) and my NES both on Christmas. Not to mention my first real PC, and a gaggle of Atari 2600, NES, Commodore 64, and PC games over the years.
Now my 7800, and NES were both complete surprises to me so I never anticipated them under the tree. The PC on the other hand, hell yeah! No I know a lot of you are saying “a computer, that ain’t retro gaming!”. Well to me it is since PC gaming back then was so different as were the games, and how they were presented.
To me the PC meant access to the internet, and of course flight sims. As you may no from previous posts a lot of my gaming both on Atari 2600 and NES was and attempt to get a flying experience, and I think we all know Top Gun, and Afterburner on the NES aren’t exactly flight sims in the truest sense.
Besides my PC (which was just a picture of it in a small box that day) there were also some great flight Sims under the tree too. F-117A Nighthawk by Microprose, and Strike Commander by Origin-Electronic Arts. In retrospect they were still more video game then flight sim, but the combination of a multi-function joystick, mouse, and keyboard to control the aircraft certainly make it feel more realistic.
But, this article is about the anticipation right? Even though I was a teenager there was still that optimism and hope for what Christmas would yield that year. “Are they getting me a computer? Is it in the house? Did they get me games? Will I be playing it Christmas evening?”, these were all questions in my excited head. Just that pit in your stomach excitement you get as a kid, you know that same feeling that you get as a young man when it comes to asking a girl out?
This Christmas anticipation is a huge part of our collective retro-gaming experience. We all had it happen at one time or another.
So what about you? Was there a video game, or console that you anticipated under the tree? Did you get it? If so what was it?
Anyway readers Merry Christmas! I will see you again after the holiday.