Live the life of a raccoon, this time in fuzzy 3D

Super Mario 3D Land (2011)

I think we’re all prone to those most dastardly bursts of motivation that strike every so often. You’ll just be sat there, another completely listless, fruitless, pointless day, when you suddenly realise that you are wasting your life and you won’t get another. This could frighten even the most inert sloth into action, and these moments can be triggered by all kinds of menacing sources. These days, you usually get jolted by social media, but that’s something I avoid as much as possible these days so as not to have it rubbed in my face by the Joneses – I suggest you do likewise.

It’s our pesky brains that are to blame, I’m sure of it, secreting some miserable hormone that makes us hate ourselves for not having achieved anything that day. We shouldn’t worry though; I imagine by the time we all hit 40, we’ll realise that, whatever we wanted out of life, it’s not gonna happen for us and we can just become a husk until we’re gracefully told to retire, and go off and die like an old dog.

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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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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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Nothing as sacred as sisterly love, straight to the stones

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (2005)

You know, when a woman walks into the room, I look the other way. When she looks at me, I look at her shoes, trying not to catch her chest on the way down. If she talks to me, I go full clam. I know, I know, you wouldn’t expect a thunderchad like me to let himself down on the big stage like that, but why are you surprised? There were no girls in my schools. No girls in my chess clubs. No girls in the pro Pokémon trading card circuits. And certainly no girls in my house, apart from my mother, but she hardly counts now does she?

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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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It’s the same old story – when it’s a mobile game, it’s time to run, run, run

Super Mario Run (2016)

Let it be known – I am all about McDonald’s. Oh sure, if you’re in polite company and you want to appear like you’re not a total oik, then you might feel the social need to write off McDonald’s in public. But you should resist that temptation. McDonald’s is great, and if there’s any Maccy-D’s decrier out there who disagrees with me, then I’d challenge them to join me for a fest of 20 Chicken Nuggets, whether they’re drunk or not, and we’ll see if they still think the company is a wash. Just don’t tell them where the nuggets come from though, if they should ask. Eating chicken meat from the wing, thigh or breast is fine. From the floor or the slopbucket, not so much.

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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.

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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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Matchmakers these days may find themselves in for a rude Awakening

Fire Emblem Awakening (2013)

I saw a chart the other day which suggested that, as of 2018, almost 40% of people met their partners online, up from the 0.1% of high-tech loonies who did so in 1990. Of course this increase has taken a chunk out of the figures of those couples who met through mutual friends, a figure which has declined to 20% and is still plummeting.

This is a bit of a shame for me, as I’ve always seemed to have a knack for matchmaking. There seemed to be a time when I was always the bridesmaid and never the bride, setting up relationships but never getting an old consolation snog myself, a sort of sweetener for the deal. Don’t they say that the art of good business is being a good middleman? That’s where the returns are, or so you’d think.

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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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