Fuss from the bus, pain from the train… Public transport? It’s a load of monkey business

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble (1996)

Life without a car suits a recluse like me down to the ground, you know, but it is quickly getting impractical. I never much liked driving anyway – even though the car I was driving was worth precisely nothing, naught, nada, I still felt I was only ever seconds or metres away from a cash that would have bankrupted me, or at least made the insurers laugh at me down the phone like when Patrick Bateman tries to book Dorsia.

Actually, it wasn’t just the money, or even the aggravation associated with trying to swap insurance details with a not-particularly-law-abiding chap twice my size. No, if I’d gotten into a wreck with that car, it would have opened up like a tin of beans. From that day forward, I would become half-metal, half-man, or more accurately I’d need a coffin shaped like a swastika to be able to fit inside.

Continue reading “Fuss from the bus, pain from the train… Public transport? It’s a load of monkey business”

Platforming in the shape of a lovely coconut cream-pie

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (1995)

Look, I know perfectly well why we don’t see any cartoons based on video games anymore; because they’re nearly always terrible. I’d say some of the early 90s Mario cartoons were exceptions, but after that, what have you got? A Zelda that gave Link a voice, which wouldn’t have been a disaster if his voice wasn’t the type you overhear in McDonald’s that makes you start grinding your teeth in rage. A Kirby anime and an F-Zero anime that had about 50 quid an episode behind them, and if you were one of those freaks who preferred dubbed to subbed then you were out of luck.

A Street Fighter cartoon with some hilarious animation and drawing, although the famous M. Bison “Yes, yes!” scene was top-drawer. A Battletoads pilot that never got off the ground. Are any one of these unmissable yet? Perfectly memeable of course, but don’t you watch cartoons for the intricate plot and deep characterisation? What do you mean, you only watch it for the swimsuit episodes…?

Continue reading “Platforming in the shape of a lovely coconut cream-pie”

Winging it with Peter and the pre-promotes

Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (1996)

I’m here today to call BS on a piece of conventional wisdom that I keep seeing repeated everywhere, and that’s this idea that everyone around you is winging it to some extent, that nobody really knows what’s going on and we’re all just trying to get by. I’m sorry, but that is one enormous coping mechanism, probably designed to make you feel better, or smarter, about yourself. A couple of jobs ago, this was brought home to me; I’d thought of myself as fairly intelligent, which isn’t too arrogant or self-deluded right? Don’t we all like to think that of ourselves?

But in this job, in an office of about 50 people I was fone of about four imbeciles, and I most certainly wasn’t just “getting by”, nor was everyone else just winging it and pretending to know the score. What I’m getting at here is that if you’re’ not sharp, then in most cases you shall be found out very quickly, and just see what happens if you call the person sacking you a blagger.

Continue reading “Winging it with Peter and the pre-promotes”

Mystery of the menus, curse of the cursors, the death of design

Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (1994)

I don’t know if we’ve just become spoilt by the wealth of apps and online services available nowadays, but is it my imagination or are user interfaces and user experiences getting worse and worse? Strangely, it also seems to me that there’s a growing abundance of money in UX / UI Designer jobs. Perhaps this means they’re throwing more money than in God’s wallet at the problem, but it’s still to no avail.

You take the video streaming services, and we pretty much have them all as we’re awful couch potatoes. Well, you try and search for something on Netflix and you can forget it. The search function is slow, sometimes difficult to find, and the thing you’re searching for is either not there (but here are dreadful knock-offs, a classic Netflix move. Or your desired result is buried beneath a load of child porn-enabling series and other bleeding heart liberal rubbish.

Continue reading “Mystery of the menus, curse of the cursors, the death of design”

Using your SNES as a learning tool? I must be missing the point

Mario is Missing! (1993)

If you’re anything like me, then you’ll have been living your life dodging as much responsibility as humanly possible. After all, what good can possibly come out of having responsibility? Talk about putting an enormous target on your back, and inviting mouthbreathers to come up and take their best shot at you. Putting yourself in the hot seat may confer you with riches, adulation and fame – but it won’t be long before someone tries to knock you off your perch, or worse, they all come to you looking for a clue. And who needs that kind of pressure?

Continue reading “Using your SNES as a learning tool? I must be missing the point”

Trust me when I say, there’s no reason to time-travel back to ’93

Mario’s Time Machine (1993)

There’s one very simple, selfish reason why I don’t want time-travel to be invented; because it just wrecks all credibility in any given story. Honestly, if fiction has taught us anything, it’s that if you introduce time travel to your book, film or pornographic magazine, there’s no coming back from it. They did time travel in Harry Potter, and it was a nonsense, all kinds of new plot holes everywhere until J.K. Rowling sensibly had the Time Turners destroyed entirely.

They brought time travel into Artemis Fowl as well, although this was a few books after the initial craze had died down, and the Disney-backed film was so badly thought out that time travel may even have saved it, if we could have only gone back in time and destroyed the workprints first.

Continue reading “Trust me when I say, there’s no reason to time-travel back to ’93”

There’s plenty to click, and it’s not much of a drag either

Mario & Wario (1993)

To this day, I still can’t decide whether or not I like mice. I’m not talking about computer mice, to which I’m fairly ambivalent. I’m certainly a lot more ambivalent about them than an old boss of mine who was from an age before computers, and therefore distrusted them immensely. He’d pull the old wired mouse around his desk like he was trying to start a lawnmower, and he only ever called it “the rat” in a low grunt. You’ll know the difference between mice and rats if your cats ever bring them in, that’s for sure. Here’s a tip – rats are a bit more chewy.

Continue reading “There’s plenty to click, and it’s not much of a drag either”

Europe has been suffering a ninja brain drain, ever since the 1990s

ninja gaiden

Ninja Gaiden (1989)

I’ve got a new scourge on my plate this time, readers, and that’s LinkedIn. It’s somehow ingrained itself as the thinking person’s social media, somewhere that’s far removed from those ridiculously unfunny impression videos posted by inexplicably popular creators, the types of videos that’ll get shared to you several times a day.

You wouldn’t have watched them when they were emailed to you on a slow day in the office, and you’re certainly not going to watch them now when they’re ten minutes long and clogging up your WhatsApp. No, LinkedIn brings us an altogether more contemptible sight – the humblebragger.

Continue reading “Europe has been suffering a ninja brain drain, ever since the 1990s”

Either you’re a Mega Man, or it’ll be the Bass that got away

Mega Man & Bass (2003)

Men live in their own delusions, you know, because it’s the only thing that keeps us from giving up. This really comes to the fore when you’ve got a new woman in your sights. You fancy a bit of her, and in your deluded state, you think that you’ve got a chance. But why would you? She will have bundles of interest from all kinds of male suitors, so what sets you apart from the pack? Nice guy? Unblemished record of holding doors open? You even open your wallet to buy them a drink every now and then? All well and good,lad, but you’re gonna need a bit more than that.

Continue reading “Either you’re a Mega Man, or it’ll be the Bass that got away”

Yes, she was Luke’s sister, but that gold bikini…

Super_Return_of_the_Jedi_(USA,Europe)

Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1995)

I’d always felt that Star Wars: Return of the Jedi got a bit of a raw deal. There was no Internet or any other poison like that in 1983, but I still can’t imagine what kind of hype must have been bubbling for this film, a film tasked with bringing the Star Wars series to a boil, after A New Hope stuck the kettle on and The Empire Strikes Back turned up the heat.

You’re trying to wrap up two films that floored viewers when they came out, and you’re tasked with bringing everything to a close. The audience will naturally be disappointed by the film’s presence itself, in that it’s the last one and there’s not gonna be any more Star Wars. So much for all that, eh?

Continue reading “Yes, she was Luke’s sister, but that gold bikini…”