Throw 25 Pesetas in and feel the Fury

Fatal Fury: King of Fighters (1991)

It must be nice to live in luxury, I thought to meself, as I sat back and loaded up the Metal Slug Anthology. I’d dropped fifty or sixty bones on that in 2006 for the Wii version when I was new to the series. Come 2020, I bought it again, this time on PS4 for a measly fiver. A fiver, for seven games, at least some of which used to come in their own dedicated arcade cabinets with some of the loveliest hand-drawn graphics you’ve ever seen. Posers like me can go on about how you practically need to sell a kidney to be a retro collector these days. But never mind the original, physical copies; if all you want in your life is the 1s and 0s, then it don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

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Ryu, Ken and the Peanuts Parents’ Association are ready to rumble

Street Fighter (1987)

I don’t embarrass easily, which any one who has ever seen me after a few gargles will know. But when my very awkward childhood is brought up, I find myself going as red as a well smacked arse. You know, I suppose when it’s written down, my childhood of eating coins and cigarettes and being obsessed with traffic lights and wandering around naked is all very funny, but when it’s said to me and brought up in polite company it doesn’t half get embarrassing. But that’s probably the same for everyone right? Right…?

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He’s the rotten apple of the nasty Kong’s eye

Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)

I know it’s coming, by God, I know it’s coming. I’m like the gorilla in that Dairy Milk ad, sitting and waiting on the drum-kit as Phil Collins lilts through the air, before everything comes crashing down. I’m talking about the biological clock of course, and how madly it begins to tick. It’s not my own clock, of course, my tadpoles are good for life. But the missus you see, the bells toll for her. She tells me now, “no kids”, “I like being able to hand them back” and all that game.

Don’t listen to all that, this is all just designed to trap young bucks like you and I into settling down. Then, before you know it, you’re changing nappies because you’re a “modern man”. Then you’re losing an absolute fortune. Then, you’re almost as much of a disappointment to your unruly child as they are to you. God, they might even bring the police home, or worse, someone who supports your favourite team’s biggest rivals. 

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The King of Iron Fist Tournament, it’s just a YouTube nutshell video away

Tekken (1994)

I’ve decided that I’ve been emasculated for too long and that I’m finally going to become a man. I’m not too far away either, I’ve ticked off quite a few of the other boxes, almost got a full house on manly bingo. I can drive, I can grow a beard, I’ve even had sex. They all took an awful long time for me to get there, and even now they only occur under very special circumstances. The only string missing to my masculine bow nowadays is the trickiest of all to master – DIY.

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Man’s been popping pills since 1980, and it ain’t never done him no harm

Pac-Man (1980)

I hate to say it, but the day is rapidly coming for me when nightclubs will no longer be an acceptable place for me to show my face at. That said, I’m not writing off the possibility that I might win an explosion of money in my fifties, and take my suitcase of money down to the local club to shant it up with the local dollies.

Or better still, instead of spending my retirement measuring out what little money I finish up with, I could get my whole pension and go out in a drug-fuelled blaze of glory. For one night only, that might be acceptable. But until then, I can probably count my remaining nightclub appearances on two hands.

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Beer, boobs, hospitals and punctuality. Does it get more German than that?

Double Dragon (1990)

I’m well versed in hospitals, you know. I don’t mean medical hospitals – dreadful places, you know. Full of death, and suffering, and the nurses are nowhere near as up for it as several video tapes from my youth had led me to believe. I did have cause to visit a general hospital in my adult years, in order to have a flap of skin cut off the end of my gentleman’s area.

And I was gutted, you know, as that was the only bill I ever paid in full and I still ended up getting cut off. I was unlikely to get the blind circumciser at least – that guy got the sack. At least my surgeon wasn’t money hungry anyway; some of those guys are only in it for the tips.

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Don’t be a sitting duck – tool up with the NES Zapper and get hunting

duckhunt2

Duck Hunt (1987)

I’m gonna let you in on a secret that makes me look equal parts softy and petty: I had to block someone from my social media sites because they kept presenting photos of ducks that they’d shot on hunting trips. You already know that I all but crumbled when given a gun to shoot, so there’s no way I could turn a shooter on a nice little ducky. We once had to dissect a sheep’s heart in Biology class and I couldn’t even hack the idea of putting a knife into it. So how could I give both barrels to little Huey, Dewey or Louie?

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Billy Mitchell is the Machiavellian villain of our times

donkeykongarcade

Donkey Kong (1981)

I’m not destined to be a great Donkey Kong player. In fact I’m probably a bit of a disgrace to the name of Donkey Kong. My first bad high score came when I was playing through Donkey Kong 64 and it became apparent that in order to beat the game, I’d have to beat an arcade perfect Donkey Kong conversion. Not only that, but I’d actually have to beat it twice, with one life each time, and it was harder the second time round. This is where I recorded my second bad high score, and my third, all the way through to my seven hundred and fifth, after which I burst into tears of failure. And I honestly can’t remember any other game ever making me do that.

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You are the disappointment your parents feared

 

dragonslair

Dragon’s Lair (1992)

It’s a terrible truth that applies to us all: everything in life is disappointing. Everything. It’s typical cynicism from me, I know, but you’ve got to be aware, and you’ve got to be prepared. I bet you’ve been disappointed by friends and family countless times. Your exam results probably fell way short of your expectations. Or if they didn’t, you picked a heartbreaking thing to do with them, like law or medicine or lion-taming. It’ll lash rain on your wedding day. And your children will be disappointments too, even down to their gender and unashamedly ginger hair.

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I’ll have you know I’m a Bunhole expert

 

marblemadness

Marble Madness  (1989)

I’m not exactly sure when those stubborn little roundy things called marbles were at the height of their popularity, but as ever, the Wikipedia page on the subject throws up a huge amount of information. Did you know that over 12 million of the little fellas are produced daily? Call me cynical, but I’m sure that even with an automated process, we could put that manpower and raw material into some other, far more worthy venture. Like perhaps the materials involved in making marbles could be used to put a big roof on those sly Icelandic volcanoes. Or maybe they could be used in creating power suits for when those same robots follow Skynet’s example and turn bad – they’re tough enough little objects, after all.

Another repository of marble info and goodness, landofmarbles.com, tells us of various “fun” marble games that deprived children can play. The site, well worth checking out for its wonderful GeoCities throwback design, shows us via crude 1980s schoolbook diagrams how to play Puggy, Skelly, Bunhole, and my personal favourite based on its name, Boss-Out.

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