Life at 50%, it’s a tale of cruel destiny

Tales of Destiny (1998)

You think some of the worst things about getting old will be losing your sight and your hearing, but I have nothing to fear anymore because actually, I’m 50% deaf already. No, really, I haven’t had this measured or diagnosed officially, but think about it: I’ve spent an awful long time listening to the Donkey Kong Country soundtracks at alarming volumes through my noise-cancelling headphones, prissy health warnings be damned. I haven’t cursed myself with tinnitus just yet, but I’ve definitely picked up some selective hearing.

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Mega Man X’s final exam just about scrapes a pass – could do better

Mega Man X8 (2005)

I’ve always felt I had a decent head for numbers and cash figures, so long as they’re my own assets. One of my favourite hobbies as a child was counting money, quite literally sifting through every single scabby coin I had and sorting them all out, getting all of that lovely coin poison all over my hands. No way was I gonna make a career out of it, though – I speak with accountants every so often and, when they’re not chasing tight-arsed suppliers for stray tenners, they spend the rest of their time studying for exams.

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Nothing like jobhunting to make heroes feel like zeroes

Sonic Heroes (2004)

I’m on the job hunt again, which is an almost unbeatable way to sap your self-confidence. Probably online dating is worse for morale, but at least if you’ve got a bit about you, you can have several dates, buddies and bits on the side. With a job, having more than one means you’ve probably got all kinds of debts to your name, and you’re a much harder worker than me.

Generally you want one job, if even that; if you’re lucky enough to be in a country with a generous dole, then I genuinely don’t mind you taking my taxes, so long as you’re good stuff, you know, not a scrote, not lacking flair. And if you’re a creative type, have a double week on me.

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Load up Age of Empires II, and I promise you won’t beheading towards defeat

Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings (1999)

Alright, hands up who’s a sore loser? Today I’m too brow-beaten by life and accepting of mediocrity to really care anymore, but I used to be a right screaming shit back in the day. I distinctly remember playing a relaxing game of chess with my brother, no pressure or tension at all, except for my self-professed young grandmaster status getting in the way and letting my ego get the better of me. It looked like I had the game won, until – wouldn’t you know it – I fell right into the trap.

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It’s seventh hell in the third dimension for Mega Man X

Mega Man X7 (2004)

I’ve been bang into falls from graces lately – looking at bright stars, and how it all came crashing down around them in spectaular fashion, all too devastating and all too soon. How about Mike Tyson, who shook up the world almost as much as Ali did at age 18, even earning the ultimate accolade of being the subject of a Nintendo game. Few people have managed that. Popeye, to name just one rare example. Give it a few years and old Tyson was a convicted rapist, wasn’t he, with a penchant for ear biting and on his way to the first of several bankruptcies. He still puts his hands on a few quid though, so it’s not all bad.

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I, Burkey, do take you, Goku, to be my lawfully wedded Saiyan

dragon quest 5

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (1992)

It seems I never get invited to weddings – I’ve only been invited to two in my life, and neither time was I of drinking age, which is no good. Wedding rates in Ireland are going down, too. Small wonder: the last thing you want to end up having is that type of marriage where you’ve gone out, found someone you ended up hating and bought them a house. Worse than that, you’ll go on to lose this house in a particularly messy divorce that you’ll be asked about at each and every family gathering you get guilted into attending.

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Do you think James Bond ever had to walk to Gate 999?

007 nightfire

James Bond 007: Nightfire (2002)

I was once told that a big advantage of working in the corporate retail environment is that “you get to meet new and interesting people every day”. I’m sorry, but to me, that is hell on earth. It was bad enough speaking to them over the phone. I couldn’t imagine having hateful negotiations with suppliers and wholesalers in my office, while they pretend to enjoy being in my company, alls so I can cut 2 cent off the price of a box of tablespoons so my department would save a hundred quid extra that month.

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Pepe, turn the game console off right now

metal_gear_solid_2_logo

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2002)

Memes have a lot to answer for, you know. I admit that I never saw the potential harm they could do, back in the days of the incessant le rage comics and whatever other rubbish Reddit were proud of. And now look – any fool can slap the Impact font onto some non-descript photo or Simpsons scene and think they’ve got a top meme, just waiting to go viral. Your parents are now sharing memes on WhatsApp, for God’s sake. We even have a meme US President.

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R-Type is the series that says goodbye to everyone at a party twice

rtypefinal

R-Type Final (2004)

A performer needs to know when to bow out. There’s nothing worse than seeing an aged, washed-up athlete who just won’t admit it to themselves that they have reached ‘The End’. Their legs have gone, mentally they’re no longer that vital step or two ahead, they can no longer last the distance. No matter how prime an athlete they once were, time eventually caught up to them, as it always does. They just haven’t accepted that cruel fact yet.

It’s not just the sportspeople either – it seems all of show business suffers from a reluctance to accept that their day in the sun is long over. This has to be true, otherwise the Rolling Stones wouldn’t have embarked on their sixth Worldwide Farewell Tour. They even came to Ireland, for God’s sake. And as my grandad always observed, they only come here when they’re finished.

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Here in Ireland, we have the not so beautiful Gaelic games

gaelic games football logo

Gaelic Games Football (2005)

Whenever people laugh at me for buying Ashes Cricket for the PS3, I’m quick to remind them that my plight is much worse than that, for I own Gaelic Games Football for the PlayStation 2. The PS2 by my conservative estimate has around 400,000 games in its library. I don’t know how any mad fool could ever hope to collect each and every single one of them, and you can be sure that there are plenty of people out there with more money than sense attempting to do exactly that. FIFAs 2001 through 2014 in a row must look great on the shelves I suppose. My takeaway from all this is that game development for the PS2 must have been as easy to get into and as accessible as fetish pornography, and the unfortunate end result of this is that some Irish programmers out there got on the turps and decided it was a great idea to make a Gaelic Football game.

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