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It’s time to celebrate the Christmas/ Chanukah/ Kwanza/ Festivus Holiday season, so all around Cinema Blend we’re enjoying Twelve Days of Christmas. Yes, we know traditionally the “12 days” start with Christmas, but we plan on being celebrated out by that time, so we’re pushing the twelve days leading up to the holiday.

Here in Blend Games we’re celebrating by counting down by reliving some of our favorite holiday gaming memories, in an effort to boost your Christmas spirit. There’s nothing quite like finding a new game console under the tree. So without further ado:

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

An Oddworld Miracle

By the time I was in high school it was pretty well decided that I no longer was to ask for toys for Christmas. In my house “toys” was a blanket term for any entertainment item that wasn’t movies or related to movies. This included video games and video game systems. So when the original XBox dropped its price to $150 in 2004 I was in college making it was even more taboo.

Having only played Playstation 2 for the previous three years, I was deprived of one of my favorite franchises: Oddworld. The move of Munch’s Oddysee to XBox was a real punch to the gut for me. Being a starving college student I couldn’t afford a new system, and with the urge to purchase Microsoft’s giant concrete block getting stronger, I knew that this would be the best time. I started putting money aside.

$150 doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but back then I would save for a month to go out to eat with my friends. The idea of putting aside enough money to pay out $150 plus $20 for the only game I really wanted to play seemed ludicrous. However, I knew that if I were going to play the entire quintology, I’d need to move away from my PS2 and towards this strange new system that had controllers the size of a kitten.

The monthly meals were changed from Nepalese to Noodles and some of my other unnecessary monthly expenses stopped. The money was to be saved until I was able to afford to live and purchase the system with game. This venture led me well into the holiday season.

My parents noticed what I was doing; they had heard me talking about the system in previous years and knew how distraught I was over Oddworld Inhabitants switching platforms. On top of it Oddworld was one of the few games that my father still enjoyed watching people play. This was something he wouldn’t admit until last year.

I was well on my way to my goal when something happened. A car accident I had been in earlier in the year left no real signs aside from a few dents, but in November my Ford Escort started hemorrhaging gasoline when parked. The cause was a dislodged fuel line that was aggravated from months of driving that would need to be replaced. The cost to fix it was just over $200 with a discount. My goal was no longer in view.

Christmas came and went and I could have cared less because my goal was not reached and there was nothing I really wanted under the tree, until two days after. The tree hadn’t come down and a few days before I was getting ready to go back to college with my fixed car there were two more boxes under the tree. They were for me.

My father looked on approvingly as I sat all day, upstairs in the family room, navigating through Oddworld as Munch. Not many video games have ever found their way under my tree, but most specifically I’ll never forget the Christmas I was brought an Oddworld Christmas miracle.

Read all of Cinema Blend's 12 Days of Christmas features in other sections by clicking here.

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