Mario sleepwalks us through another money-printing cookie cutter

New Super Mario Bros. 2 (2012)

I’m trying to remember the last time I put absolutely no effort into something, but I couldn’t be bothered engaging my memory for long enough to uncover it. I think you can already tell where I’m going with this piece, but I will say, it’s a wonderful feeling when you go past caring and just decided to drop out completely.

I had that with college, you know, and it was really just a natural progression. The timetable they gave me was something ridiculous like only 11 hours a week, which I took as licence not to turn up at all. After all, the less teaching hours there are, the easier it is to cram. We’d get to exam time and I’d see all these triers and achievers stressing out like crazy. I never really liked the feeling of being stressed, so I just never bothered putting myself under any of it. Besides, I don’t think colleges can fail you anyway, so long as you turn up on the last day. Turning up was, after all, the bare minimum, and I’m always happy to do the bare minimum.

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Not every game on the Wii is an eyesore, y’know

Super Paper Mario (2007)

In your best Michael Caine voice, repeat after me – I wear eyeglasses, spectacles. Not a lot of people know that. But it’s true, and I know a lot of people will sympathise with me on this, but I’ve always felt that I look a bit of a dweebenheimer, or a bit of a prat indeed, wearing my glasses. I’m usually a form over fashion type of guy, but vanity and self-consciousness trumps all.

For this reason, I’ve always been perfectly happy to go out in public without my glasses, which essentially meant I’ve never been able to see anyone else’s face. And that really is a small price to pay; so long as I continue looking good, a bit of social embarrassment is always worth it.

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Life at 50%, it’s a tale of cruel destiny

Tales of Destiny (1998)

You think some of the worst things about getting old will be losing your sight and your hearing, but I have nothing to fear anymore because actually, I’m 50% deaf already. No, really, I haven’t had this measured or diagnosed officially, but think about it: I’ve spent an awful long time listening to the Donkey Kong Country soundtracks at alarming volumes through my noise-cancelling headphones, prissy health warnings be damned. I haven’t cursed myself with tinnitus just yet, but I’ve definitely picked up some selective hearing.

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Get off that couch, lazy bum, and spindash your way to 5K

Sonic Advance (2002)

The long summer days are rolling in, and you know what that means – it’s a return to exercise. Of course, by this time it’s too late for the summer bod; I’m very committed to avoiding that each and every year. Still, motivation and ambition are fleeting things, and sometimes you just get this burst to get out there and be the best you can be.

I’ll be honest, always my primary motivation for exercise and weight loss is to look good naked – or probably you could say that’s a nice side-effect to my real objective, which is to impress the knickers off women. But you see, being a happily committed man as I am means that this type of motivation is at rock bottom.

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Kirby gives the Nintendo 64 an Irish Goodbye

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (2001)

What’s your drink choice, then? I’m including teetotallers in this, not that I meet many, but one’s drink choice often says a lot about one’s personality. And I’ve gone through a good number of drink combinations in my time. Right from the off, as in when I was a very small child, it was full fat Coca-Cola day and night. Isn’t that desperate? Lord knows what the tooth fairy must have made of it. I wouldn’t even give full fat Coke to a thirsty dog these days.

No, for soft drinks I seem to favour Coke Zero, and by “favour” I mean I could drink three or four cans of the stuff a day without slowing down. When the fitness regime comes back around, as it does for a few weeks every year, then I do try to cut down. I hardly think it’s any much healthier than regular Coke either, but the calorie count can’t be beat.

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The moment it was all over, for F1 and F-Zero

F-Zero Climax (2004)

I know every F1 fan has their own idea of when the sport went into terminal decline. I know I do, and still I tune in every week. But when classic circuits start getting chopped up, or chopped from the calendar altogether, in favour of armpits like Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, then the writing’s on the wall – and with their human rights records, that message may be written in blood.

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The console may be a car crash, but woolly Yoshi’s on cruise control

Yoshi’s Woolly World (2015)

It’s funny how a game can remind you of a particular time in your life. Some of the best nappies I ever wore came when I’d used to play Super Mario Kart, particularly when I’d turn our Super Nintendo on at full volume at 2 o’clock in the morning, awaking my brother with one hell of a start.

Then, at some point in the late 90s, I got some sort of horrific abscess in my mouth. Perhaps to placate me and my disgusting swollen mouth , my parents bought me GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64, which famously featured an abscess-afflicted Pierce Brosnan on the front cover. Well, OK, it was just a strange photo, but it’s funny how these things stuck with you. Funnier still how violent games like that make for a great childhood.

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Marth steps out of the shadows and into another remake

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (2008)

Hollywood’s gotten itself into a creative funk again, and but for the presence of a hundred thousand Marvel and Disney films, made with the express purpose of giving these two creators more disposable cash than any piddly old first world country, there isn’t much to see in the cinema.

Well, that’s not fully true: there are a bunch of remakes for you to “treat” your eyes to. I even hear rumblings that they want to redo The Breakfast Club. Simply impossible – how do you catch lightning in a bottle twice? The kids would be on their phones all day, secretly capturing videos of each other to post publicly in humiliating fashion for the victims, and that would be that. God, I’m glad the phones weren’t smart when I was in school.

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Can Burkey end world hunger and keep the Ivy open in 1,300 words?

Kirby’s Dream Land 2 (1995)

Reports indicate that the sit-down restaurant trade finds itself facing difficulties in staying viable, owing to fast-food deliveries, prices, and greater interest in home cooking. We all want to be viable, don’t we? But this sounds like pretty grim stuff. Not to worry though, you know me as a problem solver, don’t you? Therefore I’ll present my ideas to shake up the restaurateur industry, and I’ll even sort out world hunger in the process.

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Internet access and online transactions, they’ve got the gaming landscape torn apart

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country (2018)

There I am scrolling through the game shop – I could have just said the PS Store but let’s face it, this is happening on the Nintendo eShop and the Microsoft Store as well – and there’s all kinds of deluxe editions and add-ons and all sorts that make it difficult to even find the game you’re shopping for anymore. So you dive into one such deluxe listing, to see what kind of game you’re getting for a cool €129.99. It must come with free fellatio, right? A paid trip to that dimly lit Asian massage parlour down the road?

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