Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 14)

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 14)

Toerags, Titanics and thunderous crying – it’s a pretty diverse range of emotions below, to match the pretty diverse range of Pokémon available to you in the Hoenn region. Don’t count your chickens now, because there’s still a zillion water Pokémon to get through in the Hoenn Dex. And in later regions, we obviously have to acquaint ourselves with the fact that there are rubbish bags, ice creams and carkeys all vying for a spot on our team. Next to guys like those, your Minuns and your Volbeats don’t look so bad, do they…? Ah, don’t answer that.

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The castle costs a fortune but the Succubus comes free

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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)

I always said that if I won the lotto I wouldn’t be overly extravagant about it. Don’t get me wrong, I hate when there’s a massive Euromillions win, €190 million squids and the winners aren’t virile, attractive young man like me (yes, me). No, it’s always Mary (73) and Joe (75) and they say it won’t change them and they’ll still work every day on the farm and all that rubbish.

What?! Joe, this is your big chance, and your heart hasn’t got much pump left. Get out there to Vegas and throw thousands of dollars on every spin of the roulette table. Keep the drinks and drugs coming, and even if you blow through a hundred thousand in a night, you’ve zillions left in reserve. That’ll have the “dancing girls” round your hotel room quick as well.

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If only they’d dropped Mario cartridges on Pearl Harbour instead

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Super Mario Bros. (1987)

I won’t bore you to death on the whole video game crash, blah blah blah, E.T. wrecked the whole thing and all of that other stuff. History was the most boring of school subjects as we know, and anyway, the whole event is pretty much the first thing a prospective gaming YouTuber searches for on Wikipedia, before delivering a webcam filmed lecture about it with jumpy editing. Suffice to say, we had an awful lot of terrible “games” (and I’m talking, less impressive than interactive DVD menus) in the late 70s and early 80s.

I’m not just talking about clag that delivers less than 5 seconds of enjoyment either. Even ‘clag’ is too weak a word for games like Custer’s Revenge, or Beat ‘Em and Eat ‘Em. It was this kind of rubbish that was being sold, morse code graphics and all, into households at premium rates. Eventually the poor old gaming camel took one too many straws to the back, that straw being E.T., and over it went. Electronic TV games were a fad that had come, stank up the place a bit, and now they were gone.

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Top 5 NES Games

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Burkey’s Top 5 NES Games (2019)

The NES, the first bastion of retro goodness – its lively 8-bit chiptunes are as homely as tea by the fire and an Easy Sunday roast. The NES has almost become the retro badge of honour, or even the acid test: you may remember playing Streets of Rage or Tekken against friends, and laugh with a trace of embarrassment to others about it years later. But those games simply don’t dig deep enough into the retro enclaves. A question has to be asked to separate the retro-enthusiast wheat from the chaff: are u old skool enuf for NES?

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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 little 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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