As regular readers will know, each Saturday we all get together to discuss our weekend gaming plans and see what our fellow community members are up to. This week is a little different, however, with many of us taking a little time away to celebrate the holidays and enjoy time with friends or family, or even taking some much-needed alone time for a bit of peace and quiet.
As such, this week's 'What Are You Playing?' feature is dedicated to the holidays, all wrapped up in a super-special bumper edition. Feel free to read through the Nintendo Life team's entries, and then tell us about your own plans via the poll and comments below. Enjoy!
Alex Olney, video producer
Christmas eh? What's all that about? Well, for me it'll be mostly tucking into some lovely Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but since it's that time of year when my family gets together, you can be sure I'll be making an exception for something.
That something is the N64. It's not the first console I or my brother (Simon) owned, that honour goes to the SEGA Master System, but the N64 was what we primarily grew up with after Si won it in a competition in the Beano. I mean, I was the one told him that there were actually 30 Party Rings and not 29 like he thought, but it's not like I'm going to bang on about it on a public article or anything.
So we'll be hooking up the old beast and no doubt playing the snot out of things like Mario Kart 64, and perhaps even something like Wetrix, all in gloriously bad 50Hz on a modern flatscreen with significant input lag on composite devices. What else says 'Christmas' more than that?
Speaking of which, here's hoping you all have the most splendid times imaginable this season! Whatever you celebrate, whenever you celebrate it, make it a cracking one for me all right?
Darren Calvert, operations director
As Christmas is a time for spending with the family, I’m sure I’ll be having lots of games of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with my munchkins aged 7 and 10. They’ve been practising tirelessly since it came out on the Switch earlier this month, so I’m sure I will get beaten mercilessly as I resort to button-mashing to survive.
When the wider family come over, I’m sure we’ll be having a few games of Super Mario Party to pass the time with the kids. It’s a lot more fun than Monopoly anyway. I’m hoping we can find time for lots of races together in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also, I’m quietly confident of holding my own in Mario Kart still. After a few laps of Sherbet Land we’ll all be in the festive mood. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
Dom Reseigh-Lincoln, reviewer
This Christmas I'll be taking a well-earned break, but that doesn't mean I won't be catching up or completing some of the games I've missed on Nintendo Switch. So I'll be finishing up Manticore: Galaxy on Fire, Attack on Titan 2 and Armello. I'll likely be returning to my two portable loves - Paladins and Warframe - while continuing to shoot hoops and grind for VC in NBA 2K19. I'm nothing if not productive. Merry Christmas, all!
Gavin Lane, contributing writer
Christmas used to be a time to sit down with something shiny and new, but now it’s my chance to flush the backlog and catch up with things I missed throughout the year – Switch has made that list quite substantial in 2018! So, while I’ll be dipping into Overcooked 2’s free DLC with the family, I’ll hopefully get to chill the beans with Firewatch and ABZU once everyone is snoozing after overindulging on mince pies. I’m also determined to start Wolfenstein II so I can polish off those spoiler-filled GOTY podcasts that have been languishing unplayed on my phone since 2017 before tucking into this year’s editions!
Have a great one everybody!
Glen Fox, guides editor
So I haven't had much chance to play my Switch the past few months, as I've been an absolute heathen and have been mildly addicted to Black Ops 4, Elder Scrolls Online, and Guild Wars 2. I'm going away for Christmas though, so will have my trusty Switch to keep me company.
I've missed a couple of gems that I'd like to dig into, like Pokémon: Let's Go, Warframe, and Hollow Knight. No, I simply don't like Smash Bros. so I won't be playing that – it's just the way it is. No doubt I'll double-dip into Splatoon 2 and stuff like that too.
This is also my last one of these as I'm leaving Nintendo Life in January to pursue a different line of work. I'd like to say a huge thank you to the supportive and lovely staff, and to the readers who make this site and community as awesome as it is. It's been a pleasure writing for you all and I'm sure you'll see my name crop up occasionally as freelance. Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Gonçalo Lopes, contributing writer
As 2018 comes to an end, you will find me doing the most cliché possible Nintendo thing one would expect: plugging in my SNES Classic and enjoying some sweet retro-gaming sessions for the holidays. The Super Nintendo reminds me of simpler times, exquisite memories, family and friends who are no longer among us. I honour all of those with a big smile from ear to ear you will rarely find among adults nowadays, caused by such simple pleasures as completing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, finishing F-Zero on Master difficulty, enjoying the soundtrack in Secret of Mana, turning Dracula do dust in Super Castlevania IV or just replaying the ice levels of Donkey Kong Country over and over again. Oh yes, I will also re-watch Die Hard between SNES gaming sessions! Maybe this time Hans gets away with it...
This was yet another incredible year as part of the Nintendo Life crew, one I could never have imagined in my wildest optimistic expectations. I do not know what the future holds in 2019 (hopefully a new F-Zero to go along with Metroid Prime 4), so allow me to take this opportunity to wish YOU, fellow gamer reading these humble words: Happy Holidays, tons of awesome video games, and all the joys this life has to offer.
Liam Doolan, news reporter
This Christmas I intend to play a lot of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!. When I'm not in either of these games, I’ll be attempting to wrap up multiple other titles before 2018 comes to an end. This includes Diablo III: Eternal Collection, Katamari Damacy Reroll and my most recent eShop purchase, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero.
As none of these games are actually Christmas-themed, I’ll have to go elsewhere for my appropriately-themed fix. Maybe Rocket League’s Frosty Fest will be able to help me out. Else I’ll build a snowman in Minecraft.
Ryan Craddock, staff writer
As horrifying as the concept sounds, I'll likely be spending the majority of my Christmas break away from games for once - even working here at the Nintendo Life Factory of Dreams and Magic™ can take its toll after a while. Having said that, I have been working towards unlocking as many Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters as possible for any potential games with family when I go to visit, so I doubt my gaming break will last for long.
Similarly, I've already planned to pack Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Party, and maybe even Pokémon, Let's Go, Eevee! for the odd multiplayer session (or in Pokémon's case, just to show off my collection). Now that I think about it, it doesn't sound like I'm having a break from gaming at all, does it? Ah well... Happy holidays, everyone!
Steve Bowling, US editor
The holiday means we have a long break ahead and things will be a little quieter than usual. For me, that means it's time to sink my teeth into some of the Switch's more time-consuming games. Over the holiday I'll be playing Octopath Traveler and Valkyria Chronicles 4. I've been curious about Octopath since its reveal and have somehow managed to remain spoiler free so far, but I have a feeling I'll be working on both of these games well into the new year.
Which games are you playing over Christmas? (1,089 votes)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Mario Party
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Manticore: Galaxy on Fire
Attack on Titan 2
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Secret of Mana
Super Castlevania IV
Donkey Kong Country
Diablo III: Eternal Collection
Katamari Damacy Reroll
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
Valkyria Chronicles 4
Something else (comment below)
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As always, thanks for reading! Make sure to leave a vote in the poll above and a comment below with your gaming choices over the holidays. Whatever you plan to do this year, we hope you have a wonderful time!