Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 13)

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 13)

I’ll say this for the Generation 3 lineup of Mons, it’s certainly diverse. In this piece alone, we’ll go from Rule 34 bait to sumo wrestlers to Digimon rocks to mushroom Ryu from Street Fighterses. It’s a litte bit more than 3 Magnemites stuck together or a mega pile of sludge, know what I mean? Mind you, the originality does fall down a little by the time we get to Azurill.

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The Wii Remote can be many things, but I never knew it could be a glockenspiel

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Wii Music (2008)

Never one to miss a bragging opportunity, I can tell you that I was once a well-respected member of a band. Unfortunately it wasn’t the type of band where four unlikely lads come together with whatever instruments they can conjure up, and loudly wail butchered versions of Clash songs from their garage to get the bohemian girls onside.

No, mine was the school band, and I wouldn’t have had a choice anyway – I was conscripted. The band leader was also my teacher, a regimental Kerryman who could never accept you giving it less than 100% for the band. If you weren’t giving it socks when you put your lips behind the tin whistle, he sussed you out straight away, got all ruddy-faced and shouty and asked you what the hell was going on.

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The moustache saved him four tenths a lap

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Nigel Mansell’s World Championship Racing (1992 / 1993)

When people ask me who my favourite Formula 1 driver is, to a man (because women never seem interested in asking) they are all amazed when I say Nigel Mansell. By any measure, he is a terrible choice. Why not someone like Nelson Piquet? He was wild, and said what he want. What about Niki Lauda, God rest him, who came back from the dead in 1976? And James Hunt, whose reputation precedes him. Or, from the modern day, big fan favourites like Kimi and Daniel Ricciardo. Stacked up against these characters, Our Nige’s famously boring persona gets magnified and made to look all the more dreary. So why him?

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Nobody dresses up like Frankenstein’s Monster anymore

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Castlevania (1988)

So what’s happened to all the good horror films, then? I wasn’t around for the 1970s, which is probably just as well because I’d have slipping in my own stools at some of the films. If it wasn’t Invasion of the Body Snatchers, it was The Exorcist. Actually, I watched The Exorcist at a far too young age, since me and my pals had heard it was the scariest movie ever made – but honestly, it’s fine.

It’s dated really, the effects and all. I won’t pretend our dungarees didn’t crumple a bit at the scene where she legs it down the stairs crab-style and makes this horrendous sound, blood going everywhere. But honestly, we’d all blown away something just like it in Resident Evil 2 that very day. We handled The Exorcist better than my mother and her pal who snuck into the cinema to watch it, anyway – the moment Tubular Bells started up, they screamed to high heaven and ran out the door.

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6 of Gaming’s Scariest Creatures

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6 of Gaming’s Scariest Creatures (2019)

Regular readers of these pieces will doubtless be amazed to learn that I’m not always so alpha. Yes, I may often cross the road without waiting for the green man or looking both ways. I’ve swallowed my chewing gum more times than I’d care to mention. I’m even tough enough not to blink at this time of year when fireworks are constantly exploding overhead or shooting straight towards my head. You’ve never met me, I hope, but we can probably both agree that I’m by far the bravest man you know – until it comes to games.

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 12)

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 12)

The third Generation of Pokémon announced itself onto the Game Boy Advance with triumphant trumpet blasts. No really, 40% of the games is the trumpety soundtrack, and the other 60% is water if IGN are to be believed. When it came to adding new Pokémon, Gen 3 didn’t take the same timid approach of barely tipping its toes into the water like Gen 2 did, with all of its Gen 1 babies and evolutions. No, the new guys in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald are present right the way through, with plenty of Legendaries, but even more water Pokémon. There’s also Tropius, and I can’t wait until we get on to that thing. As always though, we must start with the starters.

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Confusing memories of load times, dangerous polygons, demo discs and Croc

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PlayStation 1 (1996)

For almost the entire duration of the Nintendo 64’s lifespan in Europe, from the not-so-lengthy 1997 to 2001, I was all over the weekly Nintendo magazines. I had made the conscious decision to get a Nintendo 64 over a PlayStation 1, see. And it was entirely my decision, because I was 6 years old and bratty, so my older brother had to do as I said and ask for the correct console from Santa for Christmas. Never mind that every single one of his friends was getting the much-vaunted PS1, little Burkey wanted the N64 for its Nintendo franchises and he was about ready to befoul his pants if Father Christmas didn’t do the biz.

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Top 7 Legend of Zelda Items

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The Top 7 Legend of Zelda Items (2019)

Being one of Nintendo’s most popular and profitable franchises must be like becoming a made man in the gangster movies – every door gets opened for you. Such is the case for The Legend of Zelda, a series that’s had so much love and affection poured into it over the past 25 years that it makes you wonder whether the developers even look at their husbands, wives and kids the same way.

When you’re discussing games, particularly retro games, with other members of the gaming crème de la crème over expensive cocktails, it’s obligatory to mention one of the games of the Zelda series at some stage – it shows that you have at least a tiny clue. But you gotta be careful to get things right, for many’s the time a young hotshot gamer found themselves blackballed from swanky establishments for thinking that Zelda was the guy you played as.

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If I answer the phone to you, consider yourself privileged

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Mega Man X5 (2001)

People are always asking me why I never answer the phone when they ring. Isn’t that obvious? In my book, calling somebody is probably the most selfish everyday thing you can do. It’s as if the caller is telling you, “stop everything you’re doing, you have to talk only to me now”.

If your number comes up as one of my saved contacts, you should know that you have about a 20% chance of being answered. If it’s a number that I don’t have saved, I shall let it ring out and Google it later. I may then ring back if there’s potentially something good in it for me, or pat myself on the back for my vigilance if it’s dodgy. And if it’s a private number, or from Botswana, you can forget about it entirely – waste of time.

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 11)

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 11)

This bumper edition of the now universally famous Pokémon Team piece brings us to the end of the Johto times, before Game Freak ushered in the Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald era with a blaze of trumpets. It is 100% nostalgia talking and it makes me a damn fool, but for me, Generation II of Pokémon brought with them the last truly great games in the series – it’s been, not downhill ever since but it’s been a bit of a lower plateau, and I don’t mean the Indigo one. The villains were still a bit sinister, there was that sense of mystery as the internet wasn’t ubiquitous, and it even bundled Kanto into the bargain. For Generation VIII, Game Freak, you give me a massive Pokémon world with non-linearity, at least 16 badges to earn and maybe even the ability to visit one or two previous regions. Then I just might be interested!

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