Ben's 12 Days of Christmas Memories - Day 10: The Year with the 3DS

Christmas of 2011 was also special to me. I didn't get anything major, but I just have a lot of fond memories from that year. I was basically half way done with college, I was enjoying working at the bakery a lot more, and gaming wise I was trying a lot of new things. That was the year I started playing Resident Evil for example, and it was also the year I opened Netto's Game Room. Yep that's right, this place opened up 8 years ago. It was just a good year for me, and when Christmas came around there were quite a few things I really wanted.

The time spent working up to Christmas was pretty great. I was helping out at the bakery getting things ready for the big rush, but when I was at home the 3DS had my full attention. That was back when Swap Note also first released, and for whatever reason I was addicted to drawing things and sending them to people I hardly knew. My goal was to unlock as much stationary as possible, but I had more fun just answering questions and what not. It was like a mini social network, and a precursor to what would eventually become the Miiverse. This wasn't the only thing I was "playing" on 3DS however, as I also had a copy of the newer Resident Evil Mercenaries 3D.

This game was a lot of fun, and is sadly never talked about. It was a "full" version of the Mercenaries mode from Resident Evil, and featured stages from both RE4 and 5 to play through. Each stage had multiple missions for you to complete, and by doing so you could unlock different skills and abilities to equip to your characters. I remember using Claire, because Leon wasn't included in the game, and equipping her with a lightning melee power up. She could use her machine gun to stun an infected, and then melee them to send them flying in an explosion of electricity -- which in return killed all enemies in the area. It was a lot of fun playing this way, but what made it even better was the online co-op.

(Also came with this cool demo for Revelations!)

Whenever I wasn't at the bakery or on Swap Note, I was playing Mercs 3D online with a friend of mine named Derek. The two of us decided that we would complete every mission in the game with the highest rank possible, and unlock all of the in game achievements while doing so. This wasn't an easy task considering you had to basically chain kill every single enemy in each stage, but somehow we managed. Each day we'd get on for an hour or so to play, and by the time Christmas Eve arrived we had finally finished. It took a lot of work, but we somehow managed to reach our goal. The only down side to that was the fact that it was over. Sure we could've ran through the game with different characters, but there were other things on the way that would keep us busy instead.

Once Christmas came it was similar to the past year. I put some things on a list I wanted, that list got passed out, and everyone just bought whatever. Of course I was more involved with Christmas as well considering I was working at the bakery, so I did the same thing as what everyone else did for me. Christmas Eve we met up at my grandma's house once again (like we used to in the old days), ate dinner, exchanged presents, and then went home. I got a few gift cards, and my grandparents gave me the Splinter Cell collection for PS3. (I'm really not that good at those games.) Overall it was a pretty nice night. Then Christmas came.

As expected, this Christmas wasn't as big as ones that came before (I was no longer a kid, and we also had new family members to buy for), but it was still really nice. That was the year I bought my mom her first tablet (a Nook), and my parents got me Mario Kart 7, the Metal Gear Solid Collection, Need for Speed The Run, and Rayman Origins. Actually it was quite a lot! Rayman was a favorite of mine from Christmas past so it was really nice getting a new game of his, and the MGS Collection came with the updated version of MGS3, and an HD version of Peace Walker! Both were games I had never gotten to play, so I was pretty happy to get my hands on them. Mario Kart 7 I was a little iffy on to tell the truth, but this game is how I ended up spending most of my Christmas Vacation.

You see that year a lot of my other friends (including Derek) got Mario Kart 7 as well, and it featured drop in drop out multiplayer just as Mario Kart DS and Wii had. This meant any of us could start a game, and then the others could join in at any time. We all spent hours playing this game. Winning races, ranking up, unlocking new parts for our karts, etc. It was just a lot of fun! The game was packed full of content, and it was something that would last me for the years that followed. Then it got replaced by Mario Kart 8, which I didn't like anywhere near as much... Oh well, I guess that's what happens. (At least 8 Deluxe was better!)

Overall that Christmas was a really fun one. I had a lot of fun buying for other people as well! It was the first year I really had enough money to do so, and it's something I've continued to enjoy in the years since.

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