A wild Ian Beale draws near! Phil Mitchell attacks with the Toilet Flush! Critical Hit!

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Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (2001)

And now for something completely different, something that might shock and frighten you: I like to watch soaps. It’s probably unwise of me to jump into soap discussion alongside mature women, but it’s always a good talking point, right? The show just always goes on with soaps, and the lure of watching the mundane on television seems to be incredibly strong for humans – see Big Brother, Jersey Shore, Love Island and their derivatives for other depressing examples.

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I’m dreaming of a heroic adventure, just like the ones we used to know…

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Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie (1995)

I’m just back off a week of annual leave, but I don’t even get to have a pathetic attempt at a tan to brag about, as I was cooped up in rainy Ireland for the week. Both the Irish and Greek governments aren’t entertaining the idea of me travelling on Hellenic booze cruises, and Vegas isn’t exactly enticing right now. Something to do with a virus. Is that nanny state-ism in action or what?

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

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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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Save the world from scaldy monsters? I will in me hole

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Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen (1990)

Accents are a weird and wonderful thing. What I can never get over is how you only need to book it down the road before your own homely accent becomes strange and foreign – I’ve read before that in the UK, there’s an entirely different accent every 25km. So you’ll be going on your usual Sunday morning half-marathon, and then suddenly you find yourself surrounded by people speaking in this alien creole. And it’s a linguistic rule, perhaps written on an Ogham stone somewhere, that says “where there be accents, there be slang”.

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When I find a chav paradise I like, I stick with it

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Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation (1992)

People often talk about what’s in their bucket list, this bucket presumably being the one that we’ll all eventually kick. Top of most peoples’ lists is ‘travelling around the world’, which I find extraordinary. I’m a miserable old sod as you well know, but this travel the world thing was never for me. To be honest, with the exception of Japan, New York and maybe Vegas for a laugh, I’ve done just about all the places I wanted to. Australia, where I have to wrestle with spiders? China, where God knows what’ll happen next? African safari, where I might get eaten by lions, or far more embarrassingly, giraffes? No no, that ain’t for me.

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Second prize is a set of Copper Knives, third prize is you’re dead

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Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line (1987)

I see someone thousands of miles away from me won the Euromillions again. A hundred million quid, if you don’t mind. The lucky sod. They’ll probably end up being unnecessarily frugal with it too, or worse than that, they won’t even give up their job. Can you believe how many people say that they’d keep working if they won the big prize? Well, it’s easy to look all noble by saying that, but talk is pretty cheap, isn’t it? Especially after you’ve won yourself a nine-figure bank account.

Even if you were a diligent little worker, happy to slave away at your desk for the rest of your young life (and in that case, why even play the lotto?) you can’t tell me that you’d hang on to your job just for something to do. The first little bit of nonsense that comes your way, whether that’s a snotty email or a pilchard colleague or a broken piece of software or a manager with no understanding, you’ll be straight out that door. No ifs, no buts. The only thing uncertain is whether or not you decide to defecate on your boss’s desk before you say sayonara to your impoverished colleagues for the last time.

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Nowt like a bit of grinding to make you go all hard-headed

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Dragon Quest (1986)

Now please believe me: I’d love to spend my days and nights playing only the very best games, the champagne titles, properly sinking 200 or more hours into your Witchers, your GTAs, your Breath of the Wilds, even your Saints Rows. Alas, I’m cursed to play games from all walks of life. I’ve got this first world problem of owning too many games consoles, which means that I’ve got access to a wide range of games, and that’s before you even get to emulators. So when you see that I’ve written a piece on the original Dragon Quest, AKA Dragon Warrior, I know you want to tut, roll your eyes and ask why I’ve bothered. Well, put it this way – at least you can press Back, or you can read on and be finished in a few minutes. Dragon Quest 1 took seven hours from me.

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