Hello good readers and welcome to your early Christmas present! That’s right, this is December’s Top 5 and here we are going to be looking at which items from video games would make the most useless and rubbish Christmas presents. Sound random? Well…ok it is but who cares, it’s CHRISTMAS!
Before getting into the list, I just want to give a quick shout out to the blogger who (indirectly) inspired me to write this post. That blogger is the fantastic Chris from Overthinker Y, who has recently written FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS IN 30 DAYS for NaNoWriMo and got published in awesome online games magazine Obilisk. Chris suggested (quite some time ago) that I do a Top 5 on ‘The Most Useless Items in Video Games’ and since it is December I decided to give this idea the inevitable Christmas twist by imagining that these items are all sitting under your Christmas tree…
Fingers crossed you don’t receive any of these gifts for real!
Shining Coins (Bloodborne)
A stash of shining coins under the Christmas tree can only mean one thing. CHOCOLATE! Or actually, they could be real money. Sadly in this case they are shining coins straight out of Yarnham and as such they have no perceptible use.
Just what exactly is the point? The best thing about shining coins is that they sell for about four blood echoes. The second best thing about them is that after a while you stop finding them so regularly. The first time I picked one up I was all like “ooh, shining coin that sounds exciting”, but no, it isn’t, it is depressingly much more exciting if it is turned into four measly blood echoes.
Ok, so they do actually have a purpose – which is to mark a path to stop you getting lost. However, just as this is unnecessary in the game (in the single player version at least), it is also unnecessary in real life. I mean, our mobile phones can tell us where we are and where we’ve been just fine! Totally useless. Give me chocolate coins any day.
See also: Pebbles
Common Core Crystal (Xenoblade Chronicles 2)
Ooh, how exciting! You open up your next present and it’s a shiny crystal! Not only is it a shiny crystal, but it’s a shiny crystal you can, erm, resonate with?
I don’t really know what that means but despite the fact it may be pretty, it is also pretty useless. In real life receiving any core crystal has its problems. For one thing, I’m not sure if humans in this universe can resonate with core crystals, which in the game results in the creation of the living weapons (and fun companions) called Blades. Even in the game only certain characters are able to resonate with them and those who cannot are badly injured when they try. I’m guessing that isn’t really what you want on Christmas day. Even if it does work and a Blade appears, what exactly are you going to do with them? I mean, there won’t be room for them at the dinner table and what if they don’t like Doctor Who?
Saying they are completely useless in-game is a bit of a lie. Near the start of the game common core crystals are probably going to be vital. However, for the vast majority of the game you just collect them… and collect them… and collect them… until you are at your limit. They will sit in your inventory for the whole game because you’ll pick up enough rare and legendary core crystals to make using common ones pointless (unless you are a hardcore completionist).
In the real world, I guess you could put it on your mantelpiece with all that other junk, but that just means you’ll have to dust it…
Specks of Dust (Thimbleweed Park)
…especially if the next gift you receive is an intricately wrapped collection of specks of dust. Now these wonders are truly useless. Like, actually completely useless (oh whatever, unlocking achievements doesn’t count). But who playing a point & click adventure can ever resist picking stuff up?
Possibly the worst gift ever, the only possible use for these in a real life situation is to demonstrate the AMAZING sucky power of a vacuum cleaner. Even then I feel the demonstration would be over too quickly. If you do find someone has bought (?) some specks of dust for you this Christmas I’d advise checking around the tree to see if they’ve also bought you a sexy new Dyson. Because who doesn’t appreciate receiving household cleaning items from their loved ones?
Rocket Skates (ToeJam & Earl)
Receiving roller skates for Christmas was a big thing for me. I absolutely loved rolling round the streets, they gave me a sense of freedom (and speed) that boring old walking just didn’t. Wheels, as used in popular transportation devices such as bikes, cars and yes – roller skates – are pretty cool and do the job effectively. Rockets on the other hand? Not so much. Yes it might seem cool when you rip into the box and see that you’ve got some rocket skates, but the problem is that unless you know they are coming, you will automatically equip them without considering concepts like ‘time’ and ‘space’. When you automatically equip them in your living room, or on most levels of ToeJam and Earl, bad things happen. Stuff gets broken, you might get injured or set someone dear to you on fire, you might fall off the world. You know, that kind of thing.
In ToeJam and Earl terms they do have one actual use as they can help you cross large bodies of water without drowning. However this is only useful once you know which of your collected presents are the rocket skates. Before you know which present is which you will almost certainly die upon opening them as you shoot off over the edge. Whilst falling, you may want to look back wistfully wondering why the present couldn’t have been a fudge sunday instead.
Be safe this Christmas folks – avoid rocket skates!
Bacchus’s Wine (Final Fantasy XII)
Wine! Who doesn’t want to receive wine at Christmas (k, I know some people don’t, but go with me on this stereotype)? Wine is a great present, particularly in situations like secret santa where you may not know that much about the person, except that they were casually sipping a glass of rosé at the last forced-fun staff shindig.
However, if you receive some Bacchus’s wine this Christmas then I would recommend leaving it well alone, possibly even flushing it down the nearest toilet. Particularly if you are at an office party…
You’ve heard of an ‘angry drunk’ right? Well a sip of Bacchus’s wine will get you there fast! In game, drinking it casts Berserk. Whilst Berserk ups physical strength and makes attacks super powerful, it also takes away the ability to control the character’s actions and they just attack attack attack. Whilst you’ll probably still have enough sense to not attack your friends, there is always that one person at work you don’t like, and aren’t all of those god damn cousins that you can’t stand coming for Christmas this year? Well if you don’t want to make any of these difficult relationships worse, I’d strongly advise keeping away from the stuff or you might be decking more than just the halls this Christmas.
So, what do you think? Worst Christmas presents ever? Why not suggest some better ones by using the comment box below.
Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!