The name’s Burkey… Heathen Burkey

GoldenEye 007 (1997)

There seems to be a strange phenomenon in life whereby the most major and far-reaching decisions tend to be left in the lap of children, while the decisions made by adults are of no consequence at all, or you never had that much agency in the first place. You might think that marriage, or buying a house are earth-moving decisions on your part. But it’s society that makes this decision for you, if you’re really being honest with yourself.

That momentous decision to have kids? Oh come on, how many of us were accidents? Even if you’re too careful for accidents, and you want to reproduce, then it’s still not your decision, that’s your genes acting on your behalf. And as you get older, it’s not like you’ll be the one deciding when you’re going to shuffle off to a home, which one you’ll even go to, and when to pull the plug at the end of it all. It seems to me that the older you get, the less you get to decide.

Continue reading “The name’s Burkey… Heathen Burkey”

Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 20)

Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 20)

There comes a time in every man’s life when he realises that it’s over, beyond any shadow of a doubt. Generally, this is when a man walks into the baby section of a department store for the first time and realises he now needs to appear knowledgeable about their baby’s health.

You may not know what to ask for when you’re in there, but fear not because I’m about to take you on a tour through the Pokémon Gen 4 Baby section. You should recognise some of the faces – they look just like your mates twenty years ago, back when you all used to have a booming social life.



Just like you can always hear church bells no matter where you are, so too will you always seem to find yourself stuck in battle against a Bronzong. I know you’re laughing if you have a Fire-type but do you realise how rare these are in Sinnoh? You’d best get used to seeing the words “It’s not very effective…” coming up. Are you beginning to suspect that I’m not all that I’m cracked up to be battling? Well, it took you long enough to figure it out. I like Bronzong’s design, his is definitely a face that only a mother could love, but as gong bells go, he looks very smart. Difficult to put away in battle, good stats, useful moves, there’s a lot to say for Bronzong’s presence in battle. There are definitely echoes of Metagross in this thing. But the trouble with echoes of course is that you can’t hear the bell end.


Again I’m not sure what purpose Bonsly exists to serve. I don’t think I’d ever be the type of individual who’d be into bonsai, although the trees themselves do look nice. And I’m all about self-therapy, though I usually practice that in the shower. But if you take a scissors to Bonsly, they’ll bounce off remmeber, because this isn’t a little tree – it’s a rock pretending to be a trick, like you may have once pathetically pretended that a rock was your pet. So it’s imitation therapy, in the same way that non-alcoholic beer is. Really, what’s the point?

Mime Jr.

You may not know this, but Mr. Mime is my son. I first picked one up in Pokémon Go, and the resemblance was obvious – this was my long lost son alright. I shipped him off to live with the delectable Delia Ketchun, and what do you know, I’m a grandfather. Talk about wiping Professor Oak’s eye. I doubt Mime Jr. is any kind of reasonable performer yet, similar to how when a little cousin tries to show you magic tricksa and you can still see the corners of the card they palmed, but you go along with it and pretend to befooled, just to be nice. I tell you this -if you don’t react to my grandson’s miming tricks with an acceptable level of shock and wonderment, then I’ll make sure you you’re on the list. And when little Mime Jr. gets a wee bit older, I’mm ake sure he comes to find you to give you a jolly good Doubleslapping.


Perhaps the intention here was to show us all that Chansey wasn’t always fat. Perhaps she’d been snacking on her own eggs too much, and jut got larger and larger. Disgusting as that though is, let’s park it for a second and talk about Happiny. Well, you probably know already that Chansey and Blissey are almost better off not attacking, but have the HP to chew on enemy assaults for days on end – especially when you consider how slowly the HP gauge travels in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Happiny is just a less extreme version of this, which means she’s useless, but she is at least cute, I can’t deny that.


I’m not sure how, but this wee fella went on to become my favourite of all Pokémon. Perhaps it’s down to Chatot’s wonderful design, with its music note heid and metronome tail. It might be that I love parrots, enough to not just want one for myself but also to find the idea of keeping them cooped up in tight cages abhorrent. I’m also a big fan of yet another feature that Game Freak conjured up and just as quickly scrapped – Chatot’s Chatter move, and its cry, which you can record your own version of. Of course, as you’d expect you can scream all the F-bombs you wnat into your DS mic, but they thought of that one – the end result just comes out garbled anyway. Maybe my admiration for Chatot isn’t any of that at all, but everything to do with its cheeky demeanour and jovial attitude. Why, the darn birb is just like me! I have to concede though, I don’t lap Chatot up for its battling ability, which is decidedly below par. Easy prety for Staraptor, Swellow, even Pidgeotto. But Chatot makes one hell of a mascot, especially if you can train him to hurl abuse at your foes.


Honestly, it’s not as mean as it appears. It can be tricky to track down, its in-game lore makes about a million references to the number 108 which probably means death (don’t they all) and it’s got a frightful Ghost-Dark type pairing which, for a time at least, gave it no proper weaknesses. What should seal the deal is that the lovely Cynthia, who I’ll go on to mention several more times, uses Spiritomb in battle. But strictly speaking its stats aren’t top notch, it’s not that durable and it’s even a little bit ugly. I know you can’t call a lord of the underworld ugly, or whatever this thing is. But it doesn’t intimidate me into silence either. If you use Spiritomb in battle, I fear it may let you down. You don’t wanna be let down, do you? That’s the undertaker’s job.


When the going gets tough, the smart look up Garchomp. Long time players of Pokémon Gen 4 will know all about this thing, especially when Cynthia’s own Chompy shoves a Critical Hit Earthquake down your Luxray’s throat. Even if you whack it back with moves it’s supposedly weak to, Garchomp will swallow them gladly and ask for more. There’s always a moment of sheer panic, dread even, when the opponent sends one of these things in. So no nonsense is Garchomp that he doesn’t bother having a Shiny form, or at least I can’t tell any difference between the two. Normally this would actually be a negative, but do you see how someone as alpha as Garchomp turns these things around into positives? This thing is an aircraft carrier on legs, a nuclear sub in the skies, a stealth bomber on the water. It is death incarnate, an overwhelming force of Poké nature, and should be considered for any tieam you make. Except maybe the cute team.


Here he is, the annoying, spoiled, fat child on your street, now immortalised in a Pokémon game. Eventually there was always gonna be a Pokémon who spilled ice cream all over your comic books and gave you the ghastly third-party controller whenever you visited his mansion to play video games. But I never imagined it would be a relative of Snorlax’s that would break your heart like this. Fortunately, unlike the portly child who always popped up when you didn’t need him, Munchlax has notoriously been a very tricky customer to track down. It’s easier now of course – internet for all plebs will do that – but if you want to forget that Munchlax ever happened, then I don’t blame you. After all, that’s what Snorlax did, or how else could he sleep (18?) hours a day with a young son?


Everyone remembers the teacher’s pet. I should know, I was one, although strangely enough not that many people remember me. Lucario was the teacher’s pet, the breakout character, the subject of more than one film and it even got that ultimate stamp of approval – inclusion in several Smash Bros games. It’s decent in battle too of course, though if you’re expecting it to turn around and talk to you… well, maybe it can.


I cannot advise using Hippowdon in battle. Oh sure, it looks imposing, it’s got presence, I’m sure its starts are at a good standard, no problems there. But have you ever witnessed a hippo farting? I was once close – sadly a bit too close – to a hippopotamus giving it full beans. First came the noise, a cacophony of anal belching from the deepest depts of hell, like Louis Armstrong stretching and yawning, amplified by a thousand. The next phenomenon was visual, a veritable cyclone of grass, leaves, dirt, and I’d have to say some other brown particles of uncomfortably familiar origin, swept up in a rectal tornado being helped along by the hippo’s swinging tail like some sort of foul bellows. The last assault on the sesnse was the smel, which hit us harder than any running chage the hippo could have mustered, the type of stench that sticks to your clohtes, clots in your hair, preys on your soul. Hope I’ve painted you a good enough picture there. Now tell me, do you fancy dealing with that fifty times per battle? You’re gonna be right behind Hippowdon remeember, just like with Stuntank. And don’t think I’m exaggerating wit those fifty trumps either – those tasty Pokéblocks can give you terrible gas.


If you ask me, thus should have been a legendary of some sort. I’m aware that were absolutely awash with legendaries at this stage, which means that none of them are truly legendary. But I could definitely see drapion as one of the few outright Evil pokemom, a legendary hidden in the deepest recess of some awful cave. When you do encounter him, at somethimg like level 80, you find drapion is strong enough to poison you with no cure, leaving you to walk around slowly,losing 1hp every 4 steps until you finally keel over and die. Little scorpions are terrifying enough as it is; tributes to fallouts giant radscorpions like drapiom are a whole new level of horror. (did fhestis use this? He was a mean mother). Catch one for your team now, even if it’s not a legendary, and use it to wreak havoc. Just for God’s sake don’t let it get loose, you wouldn’t want this fella under your bed. He’s loyal to noone


Generally there’d be a lot to like about Toxicroak. It looks the business, properly mean, with typing and stats to match. And you’ve probably heard about those ungodly frogs, the colourful ones, who carry enough poison to kill a man at a thousand paces. Seriously, some of those boys will leave you a shaking, sweat-sodden mess on the floor, minutes away from death. Toxicroak’s got all the ingredients, but there’s one reason why I really can’t abide by him, and that’s the fact that every time he appeared in te anime, he’d do his utmost to stop Brock from copping off with a girl (invariably Nurse Joy or Officer Jenny). This is the same Brock, the same sound bloke who shelters and feeds Toxicroak, and the mutinous frog responds by stinging the hand that feeds him. Therefore use Toxicroak ony if you’re married, or not liable to stray. After all, he’s got a real habit of being a poison thorn in your side.


You may recall in my writeup for Victreebel I described how I have a bit of a primal fear of venus fly traps. Of course, I later learned how small they really are, but when the missus mentioned that we ought to get one to combat the nine million bugs who like to use our house as a party spot, I started to get the sweats again. You take an enormous venus fly trap that hurtles through the air like Carnivine, big enough to snap your head off, and you’ve got one hell of a mean Pokémon. I’m not going to use one on my team, same as I’m not going to risk having a venus fly trap plant in my house. If you’re a lot less of a wetty than me though, then I say extend a hand out to Carnivine. Just don’t be surprised if you don’t get it back.

To Be Continued!

The Student… hold your Form Baton in your right hand, and the box of wine with your left…

WarioWare: Smooth Moves (2007)

I’m fully aware that children may be reading this, so I hate to advocate mind-altering drugs here, but I just want to say that I am thankful to alcohol for many varied reasons. In general, all it’s ever done for me is make me shouty, belligerent, uninhibited, free-spending, giggly, light-headed and stupid. And for all of that, I’ll be forever grateful for its existece.

You see, I know you’ll find this hard to believe but I used to be a dreadful stick in the mud. If ever a moment passed when I wasn’t at the top of my mental game, I would feel embarrassed. Do you know what this left me as? An overly studious, financially conscious bore who wouldn’t have known what a girl was if one came up and… well, not sat on me, but you know what I mean. 

Continue reading “The Student… hold your Form Baton in your right hand, and the box of wine with your left…”

Never bring a white van to a go-kart track

Mario Kart 64 (1997)

In around 150 AD, after several years of labour and study, Claudius Ptolemy completed his Cosmographia, his long-studied understanding of the geography of Europe and the world. Beginning in 1308 and finishing in 1320, Dante produced his masterful magnum opus, the Divine Comedy. And in this year of our lord, Burkey presents to you his much anticipated treatise of the worst types of road users.

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There’s plenty to click, and it’s not much of a drag either

Mario & Wario (1993)

To this day, I still can’t decide whether or not I like mice. I’m not talking about computer mice, to which I’m fairly ambivalent. I’m certainly a lot more ambivalent about them than an old boss of mine who was from an age before computers, and therefore distrusted them immensely. He’d pull the old wired mouse around his desk like he was trying to start a lawnmower, and he only ever called it “the rat” in a low grunt. You’ll know the difference between mice and rats if your cats ever bring them in, that’s for sure. Here’s a tip – rats are a bit more chewy.

Continue reading “There’s plenty to click, and it’s not much of a drag either”

Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 19)

Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 19)

Never mind their Switch remakes, the release dates of the original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl definitely makes a lot of us feel old. Perhaps it’s because the DS they were released on finally had a goddam backlight, so gamers too tight to shell out for a GBA SP could play at nighttime. But the Gen 4 games seemed so new and modern at the time, who would have ever thought they’d be several Generations ago now?

We’ve already gone through the usual staples – the starters, the common bird, the rodent. But with the likes of Infernape, Staraptor and Bidoof, Generation 4 has worked wonders so far. It’s after this point that each Generation strays away from the template and goes off to do its own thing, like an enfant terrible who’s just discovered tattoos and piercings. What kind of zoomer designs will Gen 4 come up with?

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A parting nuclear blast from the man who trolled the world


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015)

Witnessing the barbarism of March 2020, with people suplexing one another to secure toilet roll for themselves, a steadfast refusal to wear a facemask and a whole load of misinformation spreading even faster than the Coronavirus itself, it really brings home to me the chilling thought that mankind isn’t quite as adept at combating world-ending threats as American disaster movies have always told us.

Now let’s imagine for a moment that the circumstances were far more immediate and severe – it’s the US president’s last day in office, and his legacy hasn’t yet been cemented in his own mind. So he presses the nuclear button against, oh, let’s say Russia for old time’s sake. Putin, who’s seen it all before in his 50 year stint as President, dismounts from his trusty bear at once and immediately retaliates. That’s USA and USSR, ah, the Russian Federation, out of the picture already.

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Sonic dies on his arse again!

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 (2010 / 2012)

There area lot of things out there which aren’t worthy of their name, you know. It’s like when you see a tabloid newspaper headline about a footballer involved in underage spitroasting and they mention an “England ace”. You’ve never even heard of this guy, much less seen him have an “ace” performance. But this description generates hate and bile which ultimately is what sells papers.

Or used to sell them, when newspapers had their day in the Sun. Now, thankfully, they are an irrelevance. I’ve bought one newspaper in the last ten years, and that was just to put down on the floor before painting the bedroom. Even if Page 3 still existed, there wouldn’t be much incentive anymore – I’ve got better smut in my front pocket.

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tedious intro, which made me start to worry. But the game recovers well, despite its

Zelda Twilight Princess

Legend of Zelda, The: Twilight Princess (2006)

Who’d be a professional game reviewer? It seems like it’d be jolly good fun, fun enough for me to do in my spare time. The problem, as always, is the legions of online complainers who think they know better. Case in point, the remakes of Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald being given a 7.8 by IGN, with a snappy negative bullet point of “too much water”. Maybe that’s correct, but I thought the remakes were excellent. Presumably the nine billion Pokémon fans worldwide though so too, because they’ve been ripping into IGN for that one ever since.

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 18)

Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 18)

Welcome to the fourth Generation of Pokémon, where Fire-types were thin on the ground, the Champions and high-level Trainers were getting sexier and the action came to you across two, count ’em, two screens. Twice the screens had to mean twice the Poké Power, right? Well, below we’ll look at pretty much teh same old stereotypes – the three starters, the birb, the Normal annoyer, and the bugs. But listen, don’t panic, because it won’t be all that long before we get to proper big-hitters like Chatot.

Continue reading “Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 18)”