Every game developer is just one bad day away from being mean

Super Mario Bros The Lost Levels

Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels (1986)

Every now and then in your working life you’ll run upon a person who is just unrelenting. The type of person who wakes up, runs into the bathroom and smiles at the mirror, just to get it over with for the day. You can get them in school and college too, but it’s in work where people aren’t under any pretenses to be nice to you anymore. I’m the type of person who gives these grouchy gits concessions – I try to understand them, get a bit of craic going with them, make excuses for their infuriating behaviour. Then they still rebuff me and I’m left feeling like a pilchard.

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6 Pokémon You Wouldn’t Want in Real Life

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6 Pokémon You Wouldn’t Want in Real Life (2019)

Any player of Pokémon has surely had a near nerdgasm at that fantastic idea of Pokémon being real. Even if it were just Pidgeys flying into your garden and eating Caterpies, you’d still lap it up. Even if these things already happen in nature, it’s all a bit mundane for you – why can’t there be 15-foot long blue worms living in the water that turn into humungous orange dragons if you feed them enough candies?

And why can’t there be a bee the size of a small child? Or an enormous squid that can take down buildings? But no – we have to get our Responsible Caps on, every once in a while. It just wouldn’t do if every Pokémon were real. Some of them are just downright dangerous, even in David Attenborough’s hands, never mind a snotty 10-year-old child. Here, we take a look at a full team of six Pokémon that one wouldn’t fancy the hassle of keeping in real life. Keep in mind that all six of these hail from the primitive first Generation of Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow. I have to cater for the casuals sometimes, don’t I?

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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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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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A scientific calculator is no match for exploding Koopas

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Super Mario Land (1990)

When I revisited Super Mario Land not long back, I thought I was playing a calculator, never mind a Game Boy. We had to buy scientific calculators in school in order to keep up with some of the ridiculous maths stuff that was coming our way – things likes xs, ys, and many other letters. I ask, what was wrong with numbers? Then there was sins, tans and coses… we were getting hit by these daily, and even our shiny new calculators couldn’t deal with whatever on earth an asymptote was. But I used to be seething with envy at our school colleagues in the US, who had access to Texas Instruments calculators, machines which I’m led to believe are the Rolls-Royces of computation and arithmetic. We really were deprived schoolchildren. 

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 10)

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 10)

It turns out that Pokémon Sword, Shield and Battering Ram won’t have all 1,000 or so Pokémon available to catch, and the nerds don’t like it one bit. I don’t like it either, because it means my favourite Pokémon, Chatot, is almost certainly for the chop. My decision to buy the game may very well rest on whether a wise-cracking 3D parrot makes it into the game. If he doesn’t, then unfortunately Game Freak have lost themselves a customer this time round – and you can picture me as Homer Simpson, shouting that to Moe at the height of the Flaming Moe craze. The real question is, how many of the forgotten Johto boys, girls and Shuckles will make it over?

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 8)

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 8)

As we make more headway through the Gold and Silver part of our irreverent Pokémon review, we finish off some babies, which sadly isn’t as violent as I’ve made it sound; we take a nature-themed turn and see how a cotton plant, a sunflower and a fake tree hold up in battle; and finally, Pokémon gets an honest-to-God green frog as part of its lineup. Which is great and all, but when’s the quokka Pokémon due?

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Marty McFly never had to perform as many space-time errands as Link

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Legend of Zelda, The: Oracle of Ages (2001)

I’ve already done a spiel on the changing of the seasons in my look at The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. In it, I mentioned how Ireland pretty well has two seasons, cold and less cold, and lately we seem to be getting hit by an awful lot of storms and genuinely lethal weather. After all, picture yourself in a rural cottage, ready to sit down by the fire with a hearty mug of tea. Then suddenly the wind of the gods blows all your roof-tiles away and spits a load of asbestos in your face.

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In Ireland, it’s either winter or it’s not

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Legend of Zelda, The: Oracle of Seasons (2001)

Here in Ireland, we don’t get seasons, so much as we get a yearlong cacophony of grey clouds and rain, that may be punctured by the sun for a rare two week stint in the month of July before normal service resumes. The winter lasts six times as long as what would be our summer, which means all of spring is swallowed up in freezing mornings as well, and autumn is a brief 10 day window of leaves being crunched under your feet wherever you go, but it’s still freezing.

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 4)

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 4)

We’re through the looking-glass now. The original 151 Pokémon are considered iconic, but there’s a few monsters on here that you won’t have remembered until pointed out to you. Seaking, I’m talking about Seaking here. Maybe Seadra too, since it’s been overshadowed by its evolution. You couldn’t move for the Normal, Water and Poison types in Gen 1, you know. But if you wanted a Ghost or a Dragon type? A viable Bug type? A Rock type that could stand up to Water Gun? Stop fooling around. Continue reading “Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 4)”