Horrifying times lie ahead for the vampire hunter who lets himself go

Castlevania 64 (1999)

So is it true what they say, about comparison being the thief of joy? Maybe, but how else are you gonna get ahead in life? I always had myself down as a not particularly competitive guy, happy enough to be laidback. And yet my quickness to jealousy and my complete inability to be happy for other people’s fortunes can only lead me to conclude that I must always be the best at everything, better than everyone else, and nothing else will do. Ain’t I a stinker?

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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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Get the collectathon on like Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong 64 (1999)

When you’re part of the squeezed middle like me, you’ll know all about not having enough money to buy a house, though you’ll probably have plenty of disposable income otherwise. You could save your hard-earned cash towards property prices, but why bother? They only ever go up, so you have already lost that battle.

You’re not gonna keep up with it. So why not spend your money building a collection of something instead? With any luck, you might be able to sell your completed collection for top dollar in twenty years’ time, which is conveniently around the time you’ll finally be able to buy that house.

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Frenzy on the freeway, it’s a good Mario game spoiled

Mario Golf (1999)

There’s only one thing that golf fanatics like me are after, of course, and that’s the coveted green jacket you get for winning the Masters. So listen up, prole, here’s how you do it.

Right, first hole, par 4, the green is 350 yards away which is a few football pitches, and you’re not sure you could even walk that distance unassisted.

But no matter because you’ve got your caddy alongside you, who will helpfully double as a chauffeur to bring you around on one of those nifty golf carts. Your first job is to drive the ball as much as possible, which of course means using your driver. You might at this point attempt to grab your caddy by the ankles, walk him towards the first tee, wheelbarrow style, and use him as a club to strike the ball with. After all, he’s your driver, right?

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Gotta learn it all; it might be the toughest Pokémon battle there is

Pokémon Stadium 2 (2001)

Alright, before we go any further, I want you to answer one thing: are you any good at Pokémon battles? Obviously if you say ‘no’, then you can get off this page immediately. That’ll be the end of it, I will not pursue you, I will not point and laugh at you. If you say you have a bit of battling ability, then I’ll have to cast a suspicious eye over you. Can you back that up? Did you make your fair share of other children cry, in playground Link Cable battles? Are you Mewtwo, or Mewpoo? Machoke, or Majoke? Hitmonchan, or Hitmonsham? You get the idea.

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Everyone’s got a plan until they get mauled by the bear

Banjo-Kazooie (1998)

Do you plan everything in your life? I certainly don’t. Life is at its most fun when it’s unplanned, spontaneous. I truly believe this can be applied to all facets of life. You may have found yourself holidaying with some awful people who try to plan everything to the letter. Distressingly, they bring in the use of something called an itinerary. I know, sounds like something for itinerants, but it’s worse than that. At 10 AM, we do this, at 12 noon we do that, it’ll involve walking 100 kilometres a day and if you wanna sit down and rest your little booties, forget it.

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If you and your mother wanna have yourself a time…

South Park (1999)

It’s always a bit of a laugh when parents try to censor your viewing and playing habits. Alright, there’s some extreme stuff out there that kids shouldn’t be watching, but it’s always a great thrill for kids when they hear their parents swear, and doubly so when they get to the age when it becomes acceptable for them to swear around their parents. I can’t imagine trying to regulate a kid’s mobile phone in this day and age, not when the kids tend to be more tech savvy than the adults and are usually able to find a way around it.

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Ladies and gentlemen, class and decorum have left the building

Animal Crossing (2004)

Just like you can never really know what your workmates are gonna be like until you’re deeply entrenched in the low-pay grind with them, it’s pretty difficult to consciously choose your neighbours. Mind you, in this day and age you can at least go onto local neighbourhood watch pages on social media and do a quick search for the street or estate you plan to move into. If there’s barely any mentions of your desired area on there, then your children will be able to practice the dulcimer and eat their activated almonds in peace. But if your finger gets tired scrolling through all of the reports of anti-social behaviour, your home life will shape up like a scene from the Walking Dead.

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I’m the best penalty taker in the world… on paper

Paper Mario (2001)

So, do you have a happiest memory in your life? Maybe I’m just depressed, but for me, it’s harder than one might think to come up with memories or days that stick out as being overwhelmingly happy ones. I know we’re supposed to say our wedding days, or the day we graduated from college or something. Or the moment we lost our virginity. But what sticks out ahead of all these is usually a particularly great night out with all your pals present – or even better, a pizza fuelled house party where everyone’s there.

Harry Potter enthusiasts will know that the method of combating the Dementor creatures is to conjure up a very happy memory, and somehow turn that memory into a spirit animal that chases the shadowy demons of depression away. I remember reading that and thinking that I’d be bang in trouble if I ever needed to do that. Ask yourself, what moment would you draw from?

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A short story without much fun is something truly criminal

Yoshi’s Story (1998)

I’ve got to come clean with you today – I’m a no good criminal. Actually, I’m no stranger to breaking the law: I’ve pirated just about every form of media you can think of. I’ve even got Virtual Boy ROMs on my computer, for heaven’s sake. I’ve downloaded – and watched – Mean Girls and The Notebook. I’m not sure if you want to know any more about my depraved downloading habits, but one thing I’ll tell you – my conscience is clear.

After all, when downloading films and music, I’m only taking a bit of money out of the pockets of those fine upstanding fellas like Harvey Weinstein. Today though, I have to confess to something a bit more grave: renting games and not returning them on time.

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