Middle-aged monkeys moving to Mark Morrison’s music

Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010)

God, they warned me this would happen. I’m 32 this year and, while mercifully I haven’t degraded to a broken down ould fossil like some, and I’ve even managed to hold on to most of my hair, I can admit it – time is speeding up for me at a bloody alarming rate. It won’t be long now until I’ve got tubes up my nice, hairs in my ears and God knows what up my bum, and I’m racing towards the light, thinking “where did my life go…?”

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Within this tired hedgehog beats the heart of a low-res werewolf

Sonic Unleashed (2008)

Alright, are you a day bird or a night owl? I’ve always been a creature of the night for various reasons, most of them either vain or alcoholic in nature. Let’s talk about my day disadvantages – first of all, I work during the day, and when you get to the dead of winter, then daylight hours are consumed by work entirely. I have before threatened to go full Travis Bickle and go cabbing at night-time, but I’d probably just get wound up too much by 200 decibel hen parties and end up on a murderous rampage. You sort of want to avoid that kind of thing, if you care about your social status.

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Not every game on the Wii is an eyesore, y’know

Super Paper Mario (2007)

In your best Michael Caine voice, repeat after me – I wear eyeglasses, spectacles. Not a lot of people know that. But it’s true, and I know a lot of people will sympathise with me on this, but I’ve always felt that I look a bit of a dweebenheimer, or a bit of a prat indeed, wearing my glasses. I’m usually a form over fashion type of guy, but vanity and self-consciousness trumps all.

For this reason, I’ve always been perfectly happy to go out in public without my glasses, which essentially meant I’ve never been able to see anyone else’s face. And that really is a small price to pay; so long as I continue looking good, a bit of social embarrassment is always worth it.

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Paddy Irishman, Paddy Englishman and Paddy Scotsman go down to the boxing ring, and…

Punch-Out Wii (2009)

Look, can we get one thing straight? National stereotypes are fantastic fun. I’m allowed to say that, because I’m Irish, and we’re the butt of every joke and stereotype in the book. You’ve heard about the Irish electrician who was called in to fix the electric chair at Sing Sing, don’t you? He came out afterwards and said it was a good thing they called him, because that thing was a death-trap.

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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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