Find an emotional support animal and let’s go to the city

Animal Crossing: City Folk (2008)

I’ve never set much store by social norms, conventions and rules, but one thing I never mess around with holiday traditions. There is a strict age and marital status protocol to follow when it comes to booking holidays. When you’re about 18 or 19 years old, or some other age when you’re young, dumb and full of you-know-what, it’s perfectly acceptable for you to go on what’s classically known as the knacker holiday.

This means all the lads flying away together to Ibiza, or Marmaris or Ayia Napa or whatever the chav locale du jour is, 250 quid all in for seven or ten nights in a sweaty shoebox, where it’s vodka in the room, beers at all hours, quick bit of dinner and then away on to the foam party. And if by the grace of God one of you manages to pull, then all the lads will shuffle rooms to give you a bit of alone time with Khrystyna. After that, and after taking a midnight wazz that comes worryingly close to setting the bathroom towels on fire, you’re back on it the next day to smash it. Sounds swell, eh? Great days, and anyone who lived them will miss them.

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Fancy a Wii whack in the head, old sport?

Wii Sports (2006)

They always manage to get you, do advertisers. We think of advertisers as snake oil salesmen, wearing suits that almost seem to shine. A lot of them tend to look incredibly young, perhaps on a Patrick Bateman morning routine, except their demeanour is impossibly sleazy. They’d never in a million years make a sale, you’d think.

And yet some of them, the best ones, the only ones worth a damn, they prove incredibly adept at delving into your psyche and, crucially, making away with your hard earned cash. Think of a younger, much less foul-mouthed Ricky Roma and you’ll get near to the stereotype.

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Sudden Belly Syndrome, it could happen to anyone…

Wii Fit

Wii Fit (2008)

Have you ever just woken up fat? I guess it’s possible that you were fat anyway, but it was weight that you knew about. This time however, it’s unknown mass – just fat that seems to appear and makes your shirt unflattering. It goes beyond a mere bloating, and it even happens after you’ve been eating less, not more.

I tend to be in harmony with my body in most aspects, especially when I need it to get sick or if my brain has had a big feed of alcohol, checked out and now I need my bandy legs and blurred eyes to get me home safe. Bring weight, macros, calories, metabolism and all sorts into the mix though, and my corps is as stumped as a Greek doing his tax return.

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Keeping your television safe – we play so you don’t have to

Wii Play (2006)

It’s time for me to go shopping for a new idiot box. I don’t watch an awful lot of telly these days, really. When I was younger, it was a different story – first in the morning’s run was Nick Jr., which I was slightly too old for, but Blue from Blue’s Clues and the Face weren’t to know that. Then it was over to the big boy Nickelodeon for some classic cartoon fare – Doug, Hey Arnold, Rugrats, then a quick commute to Cartoon Network for the unmissable Ed, Edd n Eddy, Dexter’s Laboratory and Johnny Bravo, before drifting on back to Nick for Kenan and Kel and Sabrina.

When all that was done, it was a taped episode of Pokemon or two, if I had time. And then topping it off, a beautiful treat of two classic Simpsons episodes and one episode of the Fresh Prince between 6 and 7PM on BBC2. At this point I was usually run out of the room, no more TV for me. That was the peril of having only one good TV in the house with decent channels, unless you counted our old black-and-white portable, which I didn’t. God, you’d think I was talking to you from the 1960s, wouldn’t you?

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Virtual grasscutting? What am I, The Lawnmower Man?!

No More Heroes (2008)

I just want to put it on the record that I absolutely despise cutting the grass. I think I could like it, if I had one of those sit-down lawnmowers that I could just swing out of, almost rallying it through my heavily undulating garden. Perhaps I could even rig up some rope pulley system, attach it to the steering wheel, fall asleep and have it mow the lawn in a nice, automated circular pattern. It beats having to push your pathetic little banger-mower against the Amazon rainforest anyway.

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Could it have all gone differently for Brazil, if they’d had Wario up front…?

Mario Strikers Charged Football (2007)

I have my own theory on football obsession, or soccer to you sceptic Septics. Being crazy into football when you’re a young kid and teenager is absolutely no problem at all, it’s quite understandable. And even as you get longer in the tooth, football is always handy as a universal men’s language, something to awkwardly discuss at surface level with the other henpecked dads at the next kid’s birthday party you both get bullied into attending.

I must say though, and here’s my theory – if you’re over the age of say, 20 or 21, and you’re still obsessed with football, to the point that your team getting a bad result ruins your entire weekend, then I’m sorry, but this is an admittance that you have absolutely no sex life. After all, there’s better things to be doing of a Saturday and Sunday. And let’s face it, you’re probably a plastic supporter of a mega-club anyway, which means you might as well be watching the share price battle between Coca-Cola versus Pepsi – and at least those two don’t change their ingredients every six months.

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Mario and his meatballs, they just keep tasting better and better

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010)

Look, it’s the 21st century now, so it’s not completely wetty for a man to do the cooking anymore. At least, that’s what my many, many self-help books tell me. Well, I don’t like it, but I’ll have to go along with it. Anything to keep the old tummy from rumbling. And you know, naturally I’d be perfectly happy to subsist off white bread and chicken all day and every day, with a few pints mixed in.

Unfortunately, you come to regret that one healthwise. I don’t mean that these foodstuffs will make my heart seize up or explode; that outcome is inevitable anyway. I’m far more worried about being subjected to that you-really-should-know-better-at-your-age tone from my doctor, which is worse than any other form of social shaming. This unhealthy diet ain’t making me look any better in my tartan-coloured stockings and old-boy suspenders either, which really ought to be addressed.

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The Student… hold your Form Baton in your right hand, and the box of wine with your left…

WarioWare: Smooth Moves (2007)

I’m fully aware that children may be reading this, so I hate to advocate mind-altering drugs here, but I just want to say that I am thankful to alcohol for many varied reasons. In general, all it’s ever done for me is make me shouty, belligerent, uninhibited, free-spending, giggly, light-headed and stupid. And for all of that, I’ll be forever grateful for its existece.

You see, I know you’ll find this hard to believe but I used to be a dreadful stick in the mud. If ever a moment passed when I wasn’t at the top of my mental game, I would feel embarrassed. Do you know what this left me as? An overly studious, financially conscious bore who wouldn’t have known what a girl was if one came up and… well, not sat on me, but you know what I mean. 

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Sonic dies on his arse again!

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 (2010 / 2012)

There area lot of things out there which aren’t worthy of their name, you know. It’s like when you see a tabloid newspaper headline about a footballer involved in underage spitroasting and they mention an “England ace”. You’ve never even heard of this guy, much less seen him have an “ace” performance. But this description generates hate and bile which ultimately is what sells papers.

Or used to sell them, when newspapers had their day in the Sun. Now, thankfully, they are an irrelevance. I’ve bought one newspaper in the last ten years, and that was just to put down on the floor before painting the bedroom. Even if Page 3 still existed, there wouldn’t be much incentive anymore – I’ve got better smut in my front pocket.

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tedious intro, which made me start to worry. But the game recovers well, despite its

Zelda Twilight Princess

Legend of Zelda, The: Twilight Princess (2006)

Who’d be a professional game reviewer? It seems like it’d be jolly good fun, fun enough for me to do in my spare time. The problem, as always, is the legions of online complainers who think they know better. Case in point, the remakes of Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald being given a 7.8 by IGN, with a snappy negative bullet point of “too much water”. Maybe that’s correct, but I thought the remakes were excellent. Presumably the nine billion Pokémon fans worldwide though so too, because they’ve been ripping into IGN for that one ever since.

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