The property market is a Wild, Wild, Wild, Wild World

Animal Crossing: Wild World (2006)

Almost every bet or prediction I’ve ever made in my life has turned out to be a turkey, you know, which is why I don’t go to betting shops, I don’t play the lotto, and I certainly don’t eat Rowntrees Randoms. To wit, I’ve been predicting, or perhaps more accurately praying, for a drop in house prices for, oh, almost ten years. But oh no, every force in the housing market is out to get old Burkey, so up those houses go.

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Some liquid crystal games you could set your watch to

Game & Watch (1980)

You know, when you think about it, you can pretty well make a game out of anything. Many’s the time, before ubiquitous internet, when we would have raindrop races, betting on which raindrop would reach the bottom of the window first. Would you call that a misspent youth?

Well, if you wanna talk youth, here’s a game you could try with your kids – have them stand against a wall and put a fiver between their noses and the wall, telling ‘em that whoever breaks first gets nothing, and the other kid keeps the two fivers. That one was a classic, and it probably still works if you can find some physical cash, and a child deprived of that most basic of human rights, the iPad.

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Keeping your television safe – we play so you don’t have to

Wii Play (2006)

It’s time for me to go shopping for a new idiot box. I don’t watch an awful lot of telly these days, really. When I was younger, it was a different story – first in the morning’s run was Nick Jr., which I was slightly too old for, but Blue from Blue’s Clues and the Face weren’t to know that. Then it was over to the big boy Nickelodeon for some classic cartoon fare – Doug, Hey Arnold, Rugrats, then a quick commute to Cartoon Network for the unmissable Ed, Edd n Eddy, Dexter’s Laboratory and Johnny Bravo, before drifting on back to Nick for Kenan and Kel and Sabrina.

When all that was done, it was a taped episode of Pokemon or two, if I had time. And then topping it off, a beautiful treat of two classic Simpsons episodes and one episode of the Fresh Prince between 6 and 7PM on BBC2. At this point I was usually run out of the room, no more TV for me. That was the peril of having only one good TV in the house with decent channels, unless you counted our old black-and-white portable, which I didn’t. God, you’d think I was talking to you from the 1960s, wouldn’t you?

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Winging it with Peter and the pre-promotes

Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (1996)

I’m here today to call BS on a piece of conventional wisdom that I keep seeing repeated everywhere, and that’s this idea that everyone around you is winging it to some extent, that nobody really knows what’s going on and we’re all just trying to get by. I’m sorry, but that is one enormous coping mechanism, probably designed to make you feel better, or smarter, about yourself. A couple of jobs ago, this was brought home to me; I’d thought of myself as fairly intelligent, which isn’t too arrogant or self-deluded right? Don’t we all like to think that of ourselves?

But in this job, in an office of about 50 people I was fone of about four imbeciles, and I most certainly wasn’t just “getting by”, nor was everyone else just winging it and pretending to know the score. What I’m getting at here is that if you’re’ not sharp, then in most cases you shall be found out very quickly, and just see what happens if you call the person sacking you a blagger.

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Another rumble in the concrete jungle with this bad monkey wasn’t part of the plan

Donkey Kong (1994)

I’m gonna come right out and say it: planning is for losers. You can try and plan out every aspect of your life and meticulously try to follow it, but what is it all worth? Any plan has to be realistic and measurable, and that’s where things become depressing. Get married at age 25, kids at age 30, divorced by age 40, first suicide attempt age 45, incontinent by age 60. Good luck trying to plan against all that.

It’s also a well known fact that the best holidays, trips and nights out are spontaneous, unplanned. If you start planning these things, you’ll just fall into the mundane, the safe bets. Leave it all up to chance and that’s when things get interesting.

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Enjoy the sound of chewing tinfoil, as Sonic goes down the drain

Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball (1993)

I’ve come to the conclusion that I hate pinball. Saying such a thing would have been considered sacrilege in the 90s, or 80s, or basically any other decade without widespread internet access. The idea of a pinball table is great… in theory. As a form of entertainment found in the arcade, it leans much more heavily towards a mechanical rather than a computer operation.

This is good, at least, because it means the whole thing will never become non-functional thanks to some stupid glitch or file error – it’s far more likely to be that the skeletons’s head is stuck in the closed position. It’s a double-edged flipper though, because unfortunately pinball technicians are in about as short supply as stained glass designers for Notre Dame cathedral, so it ain’t ever getting fixed.

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Get in Kirby’s belly and enjoy the gastronomic ride, while it lasts

Kirby’s Dream Land (1992)

We all like a big feed of unhealthy food, don’t we? Well, have you ever eaten so much junk food all at once that all of the grease begins to coagulate, and you actually have to clear your throat? I wouldn’t be surprised if that was just me, because I’m just gonna say it now: if I wasn’t so ruddy health-conscious, and such a strict adherer to my fitness regime, I honestly think I could defeat any food challenge you throw at me.

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Super Smash Bros Pub Fight Tier List (Part 11)

Super Smash Bros Pub Fight Tier List (Part 11)

It’s been pretty emotional, and stressful to the body too, you know. I have to sit down and imagine what it would be like if I was relying on, say, Sonic the Hedgehog, to bail me out of a pub pagger. And if he can’t, I have to imagine what it’s like to get a clump in the head off the biggest, most boozed up nutter at the forefront of the aggro. To do this, I hit myself in the head as hard as I can while screaming for help from the Ice Climbers. You can call it method writing.

So you needn’t be too sad about these pieces coming to a conclusion, because it’s all a load of nonsense anyway and there probably isn’t a single character in Smash Bros Ultimate who sitting alongside won’t get you targeted and bullied, apart maybe from Snake.  And one of these days, you never know, I may do a tier-list for every single Smash Bros song based on their suitability to a pub Spotify playlist. Would you read that…?

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Those very early NES games… they’re not ones you get the bug for

Donkey Kong 3 (1983)

Bugs, bugs, bugs… I’m telling you, they’re everywhere. It might even be that my house is bugged with listening devices – actually, I already know it is, I’m typing this on my phone right now. But I’m not talking about electronics here – I’m on about our constant struggle to keep human supremacy over our fellow partaker in earth’s space: insects.

It’s obviously difficult for even the most ennui-affected, do-nothing professor to actually verify this, but we understand that there are 200 million insects for every single person on earth. Are you serious?! My calculator breaks when I try to multiply 200 million by 7 billion. Well, strictly speaking that’s not true, but it starts giving me the letter “e” instead which obviously stands for error. But I think we can surmise that, if those insects ever did put all their differences aside, banded together and took us on… well, I’m plenty tough, but I ain’t tough enough to take on 200 million in a row, am I?

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Mystery of the menus, curse of the cursors, the death of design

Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (1994)

I don’t know if we’ve just become spoilt by the wealth of apps and online services available nowadays, but is it my imagination or are user interfaces and user experiences getting worse and worse? Strangely, it also seems to me that there’s a growing abundance of money in UX / UI Designer jobs. Perhaps this means they’re throwing more money than in God’s wallet at the problem, but it’s still to no avail.

You take the video streaming services, and we pretty much have them all as we’re awful couch potatoes. Well, you try and search for something on Netflix and you can forget it. The search function is slow, sometimes difficult to find, and the thing you’re searching for is either not there (but here are dreadful knock-offs, a classic Netflix move. Or your desired result is buried beneath a load of child porn-enabling series and other bleeding heart liberal rubbish.

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