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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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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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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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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The Many Jobs of Mario (2019)
Now in his thirties, and still exhibiting no signs of a mid-life crisis, it’s not beyond the remit of a talented man like Mario to have had many different job titles and roles behind him. Actually, you’d have to say that some of Mario’s travails throughout his glittering life are so wild and out there, that him entering a go-kart tournament against his eternal enemy Bowser is now entirely normal. A man so travelled and so adept surely can’t escape the romantic attention of the Princess much longer, can he? All the same, given the rate he goes through jobs, you’d think Mario would be able to afford better clothes than his patchy dungarees.
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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 9)
You may already know this, but fairly recently an old prototype of what would go on to be Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal was found and shared on the internet for the world’s Pokéanoraks (that’s me and you) to enjoy. In there, you had a whole host of Pokémon designs that never saw the light of day, including pre-evolutions for Meowth, Vulpix, Doduo and more. There was a kind of metal condom Pokémon that was allegedly Ditto’s evolution. And you won’t believe what Porygon2 was slated to look like.
Some of the Pokémon below were present in that beta prototype, with some surreal changes. There was a poison Umbreon, a Girafarig that really did look like CatDog, and Wobbuffet never happened. Can you imagine a reality like that, with no Wobbuffet? That would have solved all of our problems.
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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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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 7)
Sometimes I get the feeling that the Marketing and Business Analyst chaps working for Nintendo and Game Freak graduated at the bottom of their class – a real ‘shame brought on the family’ effort. I suppose the zillions of yen acquired by Nintendo sort of makes that a nonsense statement, but they’re certainly prone to some crazy decisions. Still, even the most spoonfed, thicko graduate would have worked out that the Pokémon gravy train was becoming absolutely jammed with passengers.
After 3 mainline games in Red, Blue and Yellow plus spinoffs, a booming Trading Card Game and all kinds of merchandise, fans were still baying for more. Everyone and their grandmother had a Pokémon game (and if your grandmother didn’t, then have words). So what better way to exploit this market than with a whole new ‘Generation’ of Pokémon?
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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 6)
It’s the denouement of the Kanto leg of our quest for a world-beating Pokémon team. And get this – we’re getting so desperate at this stage that we’re looking at reviving fossils and lumping them all together into a Jurassic All-Star team. How desperate is that?! But it’s not all bad news – we’ve got all of the Legendaries of the Kanto region here, waiting for due inspection, and they’re bound to be quite powerful. It’s a bit of a scrub move to seriously use a Legendary in your team though, don’t you think? Well, be that as it may, if you didn’t put Mewtwo at the very top of your lineup back in the day, you were guaranteed trouble. You were just asking to be taken down to the basement, Pulp Fiction style, and left to wait there, bound and gagged, until the gimp came out. Mewtwo was the gimp, and frighteningly good at what he did.
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Super Smash Bros Pub Fight Tier List (Part 9)
We’re knee-deep in Smash Bros Ultimate now, and not a Waluigi in sight. Well, he’s still there as an Assist Trophy, ten years on. You can beat up the Assist Trophies in this particular game, and it’s probably a good thing too because some of them are mighty overpowered and downright annoying – just ask anyone who’s gone up against the Sheriff. As for the fighters themselves, Part 9 of our Pub hubbub here sees some of the wildest additions to the series possible, including Ridley finally making his debut. Not forgetting King K. Rool into the bargain as well. But what about the classic farmer from Harvest Moon, Pete. Where’s he?
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