News Article

This Video Brings Back Festive Sega Memories of the '90s

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

When new games dominated letters to Santa

We suspect many know what we mean when referencing "the Nintendo 64 kids", a short video that showed the excitement that a new games console could prompt on Christmas Day. Naturally a games console is for life — or at least a generation — and there are plenty of Holiday seasons when games for our favourite systems are on the top of our wishlists.

If we can be allowed some reminiscing, receiving games as gifts in the '90s was perhaps a little different from today, as we often knew comparatively little about what was coming. Understanding of a game could be based on a couple of magazine articles, the occasional TV advert, playground gossip and little more, so there was sense of exploration and adventure when unwrapping these presents; containing enthusiasm to fire them up was tough. The '90s — certainly the first half — were also typified by the Nintendo vs. Sega battle, and as the two companies are now BFFs, we have no qualms around showing just how much Sega could excite young gamers of the era.

Below is a compilation of moments from the childhood of Tyler Esposito — not only was he hyped by new games for the Genesis and even the Sega CD, but his parents were savvy and awesome enough to give him boxes of older games for previous systems, which seemed to excite Esposito as much as the shiny new titles.

This video was put together in honour of Esposito's father, who filmed these home videos and whose "love of video games and more importantly, me, made all this possible".

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User Comments (75)



Marakuto said:

I'm having a big flashback right now with when I unwrapped games and systems on Christmas day. Oh the memories of being a child are flooding back in me when I was jumping in happiness and running around the house. This video is spectacular and shows how awesome it was as a child and even now when you got that game(s) you've wanted to play. R.I.P. to the uploader's father, though.



sadsack777 said:

this is true love for games in the 90s as farthers of today wish it could be like this again miss them days so bad



Pichubby said:

I remember my first game system... Cried so hard when I got SMS and Mario kart DD, along with the GameCube... the only one that got close to that was the 3ds, after my mum had asked me to pick out the best games for my bro, she also got it and them for me.



Damo said:

Amazing! That kid was so lucky. I still remember pulling the wrapping off my Mega Drive, and thinking the games were VHS cases!



unrandomsam said:

Last game I remember being bought was a Link to the Past for the SNES. (Started getting imports not long after which stopped me bothering to ask for them due to hassle for my parents).



ericwithcheese2 said:

I love this video! It reminds me of being a kid and being excited for Christmas morning - although I never got near the amount of games this kid did. Haha. Nice tribute to his father.



andreoni79 said:

I'm so old that I used to ask only Lego for Christmas; I was 4 when NES arrived, but cartridge were so expensive that I started playing VG only in the early '90s...



FabioSMASH said:

Games used to be magical. Now, it seems, they're all just taken for granted or instantly overshadowed by the next "big thing" or are simply ripped to pieces by the masses no matter how amazing they may be.



WaveBoy said:

That video was amazing. I never got close to getting that many games, be it on the NES, Genesis & SNES for christmas during the golden age of gaming, especially towards the end of the video were it became a total sega meltdown. They really went all out! I'd get about 2 or 3 games for christmas at the most, lost somewhere in a massive amazing pile of awesome Toys(TMNT, Ghostbusters ect) & Boardgames.
Little Nemo the Dreamaster was the NES-christmas present for moizy' that ultimately stands out the most. And don't even get me started on Sonic Pinball and Ren & Stimpy that came afterwards Black coal would of been more pleasing. lol

Anyhoo, it pains me to say that my family doesn't have any vintage christmas footage of us opening presents, just a giant pile of pictures. better than nothing i suppose. But photo's just don't touch a trinket of the early years caught on camera.



DerpSandwich said:

I still remember tearing open my Sega Genesis with Sonic 2 and Sonic and Knuckles. There's certainly a magic that has largely left the game industry. Heck, just the fact that I'm referring to it as an industry says something about it, doesn't it?



tigermask said:

@DerpSandwich I got Sonic 2 and Revenge of Shinobi with my Mega Drive. I could spend ages rattling on with anecdotes but I'll bombard them on my wife. My uncle and I had this Game Master trailer video that we watched at least 3 times a week before we had Mega Drives. I was so hyped, even Greendog looked good!



J-Manix98 said:

I remember my first Gameboy Color. I was so psyched about that one! And I still have it...



DerpSandwich said:

@tigermask It's funny, I don't even remember how I knew about the Genesis or any games at all for that matter. I don't remember commercials. Maybe I saw something in the store... But for the most part I only remember wanting it and getting it. Weird.



Jimmy_G_Buckets said:

My fondest Chrismas moment still is when my mom surprised me with Castlevania 2: Simons Quest. After repeatedly telling me that she looked all over for it and couldn't find it anywhere, she came through in the end. The greatest lie ever told to me. The quality of the game is debatable but the feeling of opening that game up... She's passed on now but every Christmas Day when my boy opens his mostly anticipated game, the memory of that moment with Castlevania 2 enters my mind each time.



Yanchamaru said:

The greatest gift I ever unwrapped for Christmas was a Sega Genesis that came bundled with Streets of Rage 2



WaveBoy said:


It's all about Game sales, following the same Safe tired trend to make a quick buck, turning video games into interactive movies with scripted explosions, including save points every 5 minutes while consistently holding your hand throughout the stubble warrior riddled post apocalyptic dreary brown & grey lifeless world with an endless supply of childish violence and tons of goopy blood for the kiddies to enjoy with Kindergarten inspired diffiuclty PLUS BroShooting it up with your XbotBuddies while fiddling your thumbs on plastic mushroom tipped clunky dual sticks and screaming foul doo doo launguage on your head set these days. Yeah, i know....It's not all like that. It's just the primary focus on realism & Violence that's getting to me..

Yup, the magics gone....Well, if you're playing on anything outside of Nintendo.

Anybody else hear about Sega Orbis? Seems like there's a chance that Sega may be getting back into the console race. If so, i will Streets of RAGE and go Monkey Ball bananas! Day one buy for this little Christmas froggy.



DerpSandwich said:

@CountWavula Tell me about it, Nintendo's the only company that still has some magic left, and even that's fading. Well, indie devs are really what's revitalizing the industry. Unbridled creativity is bringing the magic back.



Luna-Harmony said:

Quackshot megadrive ! wooooo i wish they would bring that out on wiiu eshop or psn. Quackshot was mindblowing at the time.
Woooweeeee what a collection of games that kid got.



WaveBoy said:

Nintendo retained that Magic and then some with the Wii imo, I'm in love with that little whimsical console. It was the next BOOM that the industry needed when the focus was primarily on making 3D games look prettier with the Dreamcast/PS2/XBOX/Gamecube and then the PS3 & XBOX 360. 3D gaming wise, I went from a saturn, PS1, N64(i didn't give the console a fair shake however), Dreamcast and then to a Gamecube....And by the mid point of the GCN era i was getting bored of it all. I needed something more, just a new way to experience these games and holy batman the Wii delivered and then some. PLUS we got the VC & retro revival with amazing sequels like Mega man 9, Castlevania The Adventure ReBirth ect ect. DS was just fantastic as well.

But you're right, nintendo's magic is fading with the Wii U.....

Heck, look at the Nintendo games, 95% of them are predictable safe sequels. Most of which are still great games, but the magic is simply put fading and it's fading because they're not creating NEW exciting franchises or at least dipping back into some of their more obscure, like StarTropics & Iceclimbers and punch-Out!! ect. They're just going with sales and they're presentation skills have fallen to the waste side Vs the stuff that came out in the 80's and early to mid 90's....With the exception of some of their recent 3DS commercials, A Link between worlds possibly being one of the best.

But yup, they can't afford to screw around at this point, which is why i'm afraid we'll never see something like Punch-Out!! U or even a new Wario Land game. At least the Wii U gamepad is pretty darn cool, not the revolution that was the wii remote, but still pretty cool nonetheless AND i applaud nintendo again for doing something different and innovative rather than going with the same stale traditionallly controlled trype that the PS3 & One are doing AGAIN. boring times.

The golden age of gaming (NES & SNES with a splash of Genesis) was golden for so many reasons, and one of the biggest reasons is because we were seeing brand new franchises being born let and right. flash forward years later and we're now stuck on sequal island.

Sorry for the silly sea of text. lol You get me going and it's hard for me to stop haha.



DerpSandwich said:

@CountWavula Yeah, I definitely had a lot of warm tinglies with the Wii. Booting up Twilight Princess for the first time was the last time I've felt like a kid on Christmas morning. I think one of Nintendo's problems is that they're actually REMOVING some of the magic in order to make their games more accessible and streamlined. They used to just make games however they wanted, but now everything's got to be polished and clean and plain looking, and there really can't be any story or anything particularly unique or risky. Just some solid gameplay concepts and nothing more. Just look at something like Donkey Kong Country. The old ones had a very unique aesthetic that was a little grittier and could be a bit more ambient and atmospheric. Donkey Kong Country Returns is fantastic, and oozing with charm, but that whole "feel" of the old games is gone. Now it's just smooth, cartoony, silly fun. But that's just one example.



timp29 said:

There's some great games in there.

I hope I was that cute when unwrapping my games back in the day

Actually I imagine when I unwrapped Super Street Fighter II on the SNES I probably lost it.



MAB said:

When you look back at the awesome catalogue of games on SEGA systems only then do you understand they had the best Sports, Platformers, Strategy, War, Shooters, RPGs, Racing, Fighting & Movie licensed gems money could buy... All we have now is the Nintendo Mario box and MicroSony GTA stations with their libraries of mundane filler



Subie98 said:

I remember getting most new systems for Christmas or birthday, after ps2 it stopped. My family spoiled me. I was very fortunate. I somehow managed to get my wii u in feb for my bday from my wife and mother. The Christmas that stands out the most for me was when snes came out.



timp29 said:

I kinda miss gaming pre internet. I got all my news from GamePro and other magazines. Also every time you played a game you had no idea what to expect and could just play the game on its merits rather than with all the associated hype and expectation that modern marketing brings. The big exception to this was of course Nintendo advertising Mario Bros 3 in the movie the Wizard, that was revolutionary for its time.

Magical Nintendo moments for me probably started with Zelda II. I begged my mom for it because it was gold and had a sword on the front... therefore it must have been cool and then well... future Zelda games up to Twilight Princess have had that same magical quality for me.

But to be honest, as much as I love Nintendo, The Last Ninja back on Commodore 64 made me a gamer for life . Hence my avatar...

Going back and playing these games now is pretty cringe worthy but the nostalgia is always fun (someone mentions Simon's Quest above haha. I played that too and was too young to know the words AVGN uses, but realise now that pretty much all those same issues ticked me off too).



WaveBoy said:

Agreed. I guess you could say Nintendo games these days are looking so polished to the point of looking plastic...Everything is suffering from some sort of Wallpaper syndrome and nintendo is losing it's way in terms of having more of an organic art style and gravitating more towards being mechanical.... with the NSMB. series taking the number spot.

I want to see daring risky art direction, Kirby's Epic Yarn and Wario Land Shake it! as of late(i guess you could say?) have been pretty neat! Nothing so far has really stood out on the Wii U with the exception of maybe The Wonderful 101. Super Mario 3D World's may be beautiful, but it's the same stuff you'd come to expect and it's not really pushing the graphical envolope either...I'm surprised that Nintendo couldn't even get NSMB.Wii U running in 1080p, the visuals in that are only just enough to make it qualified as next gen material. And i know what you mean about the older DKCountry games, Retro studious should of went with something similar to the unique standout SNES visuals but they've instead opted for regular boring 3D graphics.

I want to see the next 2D mario made out of clay, would be fitting for something quirky like a true sequel to Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.



DerpSandwich said:

@CountWavula Yeah, Epic Yarn was a great example of doing something different, but then they went and gimped the game by making it too easy so kids could play it! It's like they lost the ability to give us the whole package anymore. Skyward Sword disappointed me in that way too. Twilight Princess was atmospheric and interesting, Wind Waker was stylish and colorful, but SS was just kind of bland and plasticy, like the worst of both worlds.

When Brawl came out, remember how awesome Mario looked in his awesomely textured overalls? Now Mario is just made of plastic, like you said, even though he's made the move to HD. It's like, come on, Nintendo. We want to see some cool stuff. Not just shiny stuff.



Subie98 said:

@timp29 I remember gamepro, nintendo power and electronic gaming monthly. I got all my news that way too. It was great. Sometimes things dont always change for the best.



Doobie said:

I want to see how sad he would get if he opened something like a football or a sweater.



Deadstanley said:

@DerpSandwich I would live month to month just for the next Nintendo Power, and I remember being disappointed when it didn't cover games I was interested in. I've rekindled those old feelings a little bit by downloading digital scans of those old magazines and storing them on my Kindle Fire. It feels so nostalgic to sit there and flip through the magazine.

Reading Nintendo Power nowadays, I realize how poorly written it was. Maybe it was that or just that they understood their target was children. The writing was simplistic, the humor very bland, and the contests... did people actually win those?



IceRod said:

@MAB aka Mad Aussie Bloke, first off, why did you change your name? To throw off the scent of those who hate your troll-ish posts? Second, we get it, you are a Sega fan first and Nintendo second. On top of that you don't think the 3DS is that great. The problem is, your opinions are just that: yours. The 3DS is already easily the best handheld Nintendo has ever put out and continues to amaze. I personally loved the Sega Genesis, but objectively the SNES still had a better games library, the best of all time in fact in my (and many other people's) opinion. Very few people will put the Genesis library in the top five of systems' libraries, although obviously you are an exception. But again it is your opinion. Yes, it is too bad Sega went out of business, but you should be thankful that Nintendo has systems that Sega can release its new games for, which pale greatly in comparison to Sega's '90s output, but I digress. The bottom line is you shouldn't be putting down Nintendo, or Sony and Microsoft for that matter, just because Sega is not around any more. They had their chance with the Sega Saturn and the Dreamcast, and they blew it. You coming on half of the articles on this site and praising almighty Sega and putting down the other companies is fanboyism at its worst, annoying, and just comes off as sour grapes.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Yea, I'd say it was probably the family-friendly route they were following, the NOA staff was involved after all. When Future took over they kept things clean, just not NOA happy fun time clean. Its funny though, the 80s/early-90s ones weren't as bad.

By the way, what are you using to read those scans on your Kindle Fire? I've been looking for a file reader to do the exact same thing.



MAB said:

Real gamers like the kid in this video would disagree with your hatred towards the almighty SEGA



IceRod said:

@MAB Did you actually read my post? I loved the Sega Genesis, and I have enjoyed several games over the years on Sega systems (the Shining Forces, Sonics, Phantasy Stars, Shinobis, and even some of the licensed games like Aladdin, Quackshot, etc.). Sega is definitely a shadow of what it used to be, and you insulting the 3DS and its games every chance you get is not going to change that....



DerpSandwich said:

@Deadstanley I remember I had a huge box of Nintendo Power magazines for years after I stopped collecting them. Eventually I just had to toss them though. Good times with them, it was always a good day when I'd come home from school and find a new issue sitting on my pillow. I kind of wish I'd tried to find someone who wanted them, but I really didn't want to go through all that.



Genesaur said:

Wow, so weird to see such lacking excitement for Shinobi III. That game is the best.



CureDolly said:

The magic isn't gone. There are wonderful, beautiful new things. Just don't take too much notice of all the cynicism and whining on the internet and enjoy the magic! I know I do!

This is going to be a wonderful Christmas!



Mr_Nose said:

Always loved Sega the most. There were, and still are, only two true legends in the home console world, Sega and Nintendo. Microsoft and Sony will never be of the same calibur. When Sega left the hardware business, gaming lost some of it's heart. only then did I appreciate Nintendo as the remaining legend left in the field. If it weren't for Nintendo, I'd go full-on retro.



LetsGoRetro said:


I truly feel sorry for you if you believe the Genesis had better RPGs or platformers than snes, lol. Come on man, really? In RPGs, snes is a+ to genesis' f+, and in platformers it's an a+ to a b. Please list your genesis rpgs that come close to ff2, ff3, chrono trigger, secret of mana, secret of evermore, super mario rpg, bof 1 n 2, lufia 1 n 2, etc etc etc. Genesis had only one superior category over snes, and thats sports games. while i was never into racing games, i hear genesis was the goto for those, too.



electrolite77 said:

Even if his folks picked them games up cheap there's some classics in there-Strider, Shinobi 3, Psycho Fox.

Though the less said about Bug! the better....



WhiteTrashGuy said:

That's just how it was back then. I was in middle school and high school during the 90s and I remember my friend selling move lists at school for MK2 that he had made on his computer after it had come out in the arcade. I still have mine. That was during my 6th grade. Back then gaming was this cult-like hobby (same thing with movies) where video gamers and pen & paper gamers were on the same playing field. It was a niche, and those of us in the know took our hobbies seriously. That is where the term gamer came from and as such is why I now call myself a hardcore gamer. My love of games is not bound by system or genre, whether on console, handheld, pc, or in an arcade. I don't just play MADDEN and GEARS OF WAR and call myself a gamer. I look for new ideas and gameplay that spark the imagination, such is why I support Nintendo, because they still have that magic touch for innovating the ways this hobby is perceived and interacted with. I am surprised how excited I was to get my WiiU at launch, but am so underwhelmed by the PS4 and XB1. I will switch to Sony this gen for my 2nd system, but ultimately buy a PS4 out of necessity to facilitate this hobby I have loved since 1983.



Zodiak13 said:

Well, other than displaying a very spoiled kid, it was kind of cool to watch how excited this kid got. Glad to say I will stick with Nintendo, and wherever they go I will follow. PS4 and XB1 is just more of the same, and I'm no dudebro gamer. There is a very small chance I will get a PS4, but only if 5 RPG's that I really want come out for it. It would be cool if something new came out that got me excited as well, but I doubt that will happen. One good thing of the current state of gaming, is I spend way less money these days because there is very little I want to play on the market, and almost all of it is on a Nintendo system. At least Tales of Xillia and Dragon's Crown gave me something non-Nintendo to buy.



warlordovblood said:

Man the i remember those days. The only time i have recieved that many games was last christmas when my wife surprised me with like 8 nes games for my collection. It also happened to be games that i had loved when i was younger and had been looking for for years. I almost cried with excitement lol.



LetsGoRetro said:

If that was in response to me, then YES, that was definitely humo(u)r. "In response to your inquiry of which rpg's of the genesis were better than the snes ones you named, I present you with a video of 2 kids explaining why the 17th best platformer on snes had better graphics on the Genesis version. Now that's humo(u)r!



Mr_Nose said:

@LetsGoRetro Here's a good list... ( with screenshots. )
Sega had me at the first Phantasy Star on the Master System. I was never into the super deformed, only seeing one party member on the world map, Final Fantasy games. And it all came together in Phantasy Star IV, my all-time favorite Genny RPG.

Here's a good action/platform list, with a number of honorable mentions...
For me, games like the Shinobi series ( and the incredible 'Shadow Dancer' ), not to mention Eswat, basically anything team Shinobi did, Wonder Boy, The Valis Series ( anything Renovation did ) and a slew of others, made Genesis my favorite 16 bit console.



Mr_Nose said:

And yes, I am the official spokesperson for MAB now, and throughout his appearances in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

I'm also the poster child for retroactive abortions.



WaveBoy said:

Ok, this is where I'm going to have to disagree. Mario's model in Brawl looked pretty weak imo....they gave him this edgier darker look with too much unecessary realistic etching detail in his overalls. he Looks MILES better SSB.U, they gave him a more vibrant colorful look, which he's always had in every traditional super mario game he's been in. As for skyward sword i absolutely adore it's art direction, it's almost like A link to the past had a crayola meltdown and went 3D. t's just beautiful, almost surreal-like and i commend nintendo for doing something different. I prefer it much more over Twilight Princess's more realistic green & muddy barren visuals.



DerpSandwich said:

@CountWavula I would have liked Skyward Sword's visuals more if the "paint" style was used more in the game. Instead it just felt like anything far away looked like a painting (if just to mask the bad draw distance) and everything else had no soul to it. If stuff looked like paintings up close as well I would have thought it was awesome, but the way it is it just turned out boring to me. I'm glad a lot of other people enjoyed it though.



MAB said:

@Mr_Nose Yeah, but none of that matters because it is our opinion... Though I find humour in people that think I'm posting directly at their opinions, as you could imagine



Ichiban said:

Sega bought Atlus, major respect for that. Nintendo could have, but theyre too cheap (and dumb) They remind me of Haggis Mchaggis from Ren & Stimpy. Sega now owns the rights to the best, and most unique RPG's in the industry. Man it still urks me that a company with fairly limited funds was able to scoop up Atlus, while Nintendo sat arounds picking fleas out of each others hair.



MAB said:

People forget that SEGA & ATLUS made some great RPGs on the Genesis... These companies already had a good relationship back in the day but ya'll don't know that because of the whole Nintendo fanboy thang




TingLz said:

@MeowGravy Why does it really matter? Sega's been kissing Nintendo's foots lately anyway. Also, Sega Sammy is a holding company, so they are more qualified to acquire Atlus. And they have a higher Revenue rate.



Bender said:

@MAB Aw man, thanks for reminding me about ol centy!!!! I don't understand why people are so upset about Sega buying Atlus, since Sega is letting Atlus do their own thing. Hopefully with Nintendo, Sega, and Atlus all being in partnership we can see some Atlus RPGs on the Wii U Etrian Odyssey or Shin Megami Tensei anyone? Heck, a Persona title would be great too!



KingMike said:

Well, he got Dynamite Headdy and Contra Hard Corps, so that's at least 1994. If you could find a store in America that still had Master System games, they'd probably have been willing to just give them away.

Although I did get a couple good games for Christmas like Kid Dracula and Illusion of Gaia (said I didn't get DKC but glad I at least got another good game), I also got games like Monopoly and Bart's Nightmare for SNES (though on the plus side, the year I got Monopoly, I also got a Zelda: ALttP guide from my uncle, making it kind of useless unless my parents got me the game later )



Deadstanley said:

@Zombie_Barioth I downloaded them from RetroMags. They came preformatted such that the files are named <page#>.png. When you get the files, dump them into a directory under the Kindle's "pictures" folder. The pages will appear grouped within the Kindle UI. From there, you can either:

A) Use the Kindle's built in photo viewer. Located the group of "photo" which will represent the issue of the magazine. Open any page and then you can swipe left and right to change pages.

B) I also use "File Manager", a free app you can get from the Amazon store. It's not as smooth in swiping between pages as the built in viewer is, but gives you niftier file system options, and more useful for organizing, say, multiple .mp4 formatted episodes from a TV show (if you put that sort of thing on your Kindle)



Zombie_Barioth said:

Retromags is the first thing that came to mind, thats where I get mine too. I didn't think to try the photo viewer though. Thanks, I'll give i t a try.



Darknyht said:

Part of the reason there is a pile of Master System games (at least if this was in the US as it sounds) was that the Master System was discontinued quickly in NA. My 1992, there were no new games here and most likely those all came from a yard sale.

Still to pick up that many games in single year was all sorts of awesome.

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