You rent, you play it, you beat it, and you move on....
...Or you didn't move on, you didn't beat it, and you kept on wanting to play it and eventually, you got it.
Or maybe there was a cool accessory that you wanted that. Or maybe there was a game you had beaten on easy, but wanted to beat on hard mode so you could get the "real" ending. Whatever the case was, when the weekend after Thanksgiving would roll around, my folks would want Christmas lists from us kids, and those lists meant a chance to possibly get video games.
When I was a kid I would spend hours poring over Christmas catalogs from toy stores, electronics emporiums, and any other retailer who sold video games. I would hunt down advertised games that I'd beaten, games that I had enjoyed, and games that seemed like a deal and that I would probably enjoy playing. My folks weren't independently wealthy, and I was too young to get a job so Christmas was the time when I was likely to get the most games. So when making a wish list, I wanted to up the chances of getting something by making sure it was a game that I knew was likely to last a while.
As an adult looking back, there are a so many games I wish I would have asked for when I was a kid. I hope I don't sound greedy saying that, because I'm not saying that I would have asked for everything under the sun that had a Nintendo Seal of Approval slapped on the cover---It's just that there were a number of games I beat when I rented them, and figured were off limits when it came to asking. Why expect someone to pay good money for something that I had already seen the ending credit scrawl for? You overcome a challenge, and then move on, right? And since whatever games I got were just nice surprises, they were gifts after all, I wanted to ensure the game was something fresh and fun. Something that either couldn't be beaten, like the puzzle game Yoshi's Cookie, or a game that would likely take a while to beat, such as River City Ransom.
All new 2000 character password system!
As an aside, games like River City Ransom were practically like buying an RPG as far as younger me was concerned, what with the ridiculously long password system and the way you could level up your characters. On top of that, it was a two player game which meant my brother and I had to have time off together to play it, so that would further stretch the amount of time a game would last. Usually what dominated my stocking and under the tree unwrapping time were games like Paperboy and Klax though. I don't regret that one bit just to be clear. I love the games I got and still do. Playing through Paperboy and losing hours on Klax still is a lot of fun to me. Just...there are times I wish that I had gotten Ducktales as a kid. Such a phenomenal gem, and if I had gotten it as a kid, I would have the manual and box still in all likelihood. Mega Man frustrated me so much, and I ended up beating the game because I wanted to have that badge of honor. Now if I want to beat it again, and not as part of an "Anniversary Collection," I'd have to shell out roughly 70 bucks. I'm an adult, I could afford it now I guess...
But dang do I kick myself for not asking for it as a Christmas gift back in the day.
I never sold a one of my Nintendo games that I got for Christmas. All the games that my brother and I played as a kid are still in the collection today. It has been a great deal of fun over the years to plug in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade and remember the hours my brother and I spent playing it. Great times were had by all, and some of my fondest memories were of gathering around the Nintendo during Christmas afternoon to try out the new games. Though I may occasionally lament not having gotten certain games back in the day, I can't imagine not having any of the carts from the collection of games I consider the "family collection." Whenever Black Friday rolls around, I remember those days and what it was like to try and pick just the right game.