Happy December and merry Listmas everyone! That’s right, our favorite list-filled celebration is back once more for 2016, and we’re looking to make our most list-tastic event yet! Just like in years past, we’re challenging our fellow bloggers out there to join us and post lists for anything and everything gaming ! They could be about the best characters, the coolest levels, even something like the top 5 villian mustaches in gaming (if you were so inclined)! Just tag it with #Listmas2016 and we’ll find it and add it to our master Listmas List for all the world to see (or you know, the people who visit here regularly)! We’ve got from now until from now until December 31st, so let’s get listing everyone! As for me, I think I’d like to start things off with a look at some of my favorite snow/holiday themed levels.
I’ve talked about snowy levels once before for Listmas, but there are so many fun variations of them out there that I just had to return to them this year. There’s no particular order here, just snowy levels that are either exceptionally fun, festive or both!
Sherbet Land – Mario Kart 64
(video by YouTube user: DeafDudes RetroGaming)
Sherbet Land was originally an honorable mention suggested in the comments for my original snowy levels posts. I was tempted to leave it at that, but I recently had the chance to play this level in Mario Kart 64 and realized that it had to be included. It is, after all, the classic ice level. When you think of the words “ice” and “racing”, Sherbet Land is probably what jumps into your head. It’s got the ice, it’s got the (excellent) music, and it’s got all the fun of always ramming into those stupid penguins NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU TRY NOT TO!! Uh, I mean…it even has those cute penguins from Super Mario 64, which could even tie this track back to Cool, Cool, Mountain. All you need to complete the
frustration fun of Sherbet Land is a few friends and some warm snacks!
Winter/Christmas Eve – Animal Crossing: City Folk
(video by YouTube user: jvgsjeff)
While Animal Crossing doesn’t have levels, it does have calendar-based seasons and events. Winter in Animal Crossing has always been special in and of itself with its unique weathers, music, and activities. Yup, every Animal Crossing player out there knows that once that snow starts falling our chances for Snowman furniture have come once again. The highlight of Animal Crossing’s winter has to be the Christmas event though. Christmas means a visit from Jingle, and a visit from Jingle means, you guessed it, Jingle furniture! Oh boy, my house is going to look so festive after this! Decorating possibilities aside, there’s almost no other time in the Animal Crossing year where it’s quite so much fun to walk around your village and just take in the sights and music.
Ice Cap Zone – Sonic 3
(Video by YouTube user: NTxC)
In what other level can you go from enjoying some intense snowboarding action to platforming your way through what is arguably the most dangerous ice cave out there? The answer is none, because Ice Cap Zone is the only level in gaming that lets you do that. Aside from sporting what might be one of the catchiest themes ever to come out of the Sonic series, Ice Cap Zone is Sonic at it’s best. It’s fast, it’s dangerous, and it can defeat even the most skillful players if they aren’t careful. There’s not a whole lot of slip-sliding around due to the ice, but when you’re moving at Sonic’s speed, perhaps maintaining traction is for the best.
Heart of Ice – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
(Video by YouTube user: HassanAlHajry)
The Uncharted games are filled with so many incredible places and moments that it could have a list unto itself. However, there’s something about the ruins in the”Heart of Ice” chapter from Uncharted 2 that has always made it stand out somehow. Maybe it’s the sweeping mountain views. Maybe it’s the claustrophobic feeling that comes from literally hanging around in what is essentially a giant ice cave. Maybe it’s all of that plus the feeling of awe that walking around its impossible mountain ruins inspires. It’s brain-bendingly fun, heart-stopplingly exciting, and just downright mysterious. This is a place that you know could never exist, but you well and truly wish it could (well, minus the very real risk of death that is).
Assault on the Control Room – Halo: Combat Evolved
(Video by YouTube user: TheReclaimer2557)
I wanted to include “Halo” from Halo 3 in this spot since it sports a nice wintry location for the first portion of the mission, but I ultimately decided that this is the quintessential snow mission of the Halo series. “Halo” is great and all, but the majority of the mission is an extended escape sequence over the collapsing Halo ring superstructure. Not very wintry at all. Nope, “Assault on the Control Room” has to win here because you spend the bulk of your time fighting your way across the snowy tundra. It a stage with no time limit and lets you play the way you want. Do you just want to power your way through in a Scorpion tank? Do it! Do you want to take your time, proceed on foot, and take in all the secrets and scenery as you clear the Covenant from your path? Go for it! This mission is a winter wonderland of endless combat possibilities, all you have to do is play it!
Bonus: Donkey Kong Country 3’s Holiday Mini-games!
(Video by YouTube user: GameXplain)
I just couldn’t let another Listmas go by without mentioning this one. Essentially, DKC3 has several secrets you can access by typing in different words at the file-naming part of starting a new game (after entering in a certain button combination). If you enter “Merry” here, it’ll change all of the mini-games and give them a more festive feel! Instead of bananas, you’ll be collecting ornaments and presents, and you’ll do it all to a brand new and quite festive piece of music. It’s a secret that will definitely get you into the spirit of the season!
And with that Listmas 2016 is hereby begun! Happy listing everyone! Oh, and don’t forget to share your favorite winter levels down below!