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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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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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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Looking for a puzzler on the go? Just take your Pic

Mario’s Picross (1995)

You know you’re getting pretty goshdarned by-gum old when you’re getting a bit excited by puzzles. I’ve been well into the cryptic crosswords lately, the easy ones of course. My brain nearly melted right out of my ears the last time I tried to tackle a Guardian cryptic. Talk about hard, just how many viagras can you stuff down a crossword puzzle’s throat? Enough to give it a stiff neck, that’s what.

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I’m the best penalty taker in the world… on paper

Paper Mario (2001)

So, do you have a happiest memory in your life? Maybe I’m just depressed, but for me, it’s harder than one might think to come up with memories or days that stick out as being overwhelmingly happy ones. I know we’re supposed to say our wedding days, or the day we graduated from college or something. Or the moment we lost our virginity. But what sticks out ahead of all these is usually a particularly great night out with all your pals present – or even better, a pizza fuelled house party where everyone’s there.

Harry Potter enthusiasts will know that the method of combating the Dementor creatures is to conjure up a very happy memory, and somehow turn that memory into a spirit animal that chases the shadowy demons of depression away. I remember reading that and thinking that I’d be bang in trouble if I ever needed to do that. Ask yourself, what moment would you draw from?

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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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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.

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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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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.

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It’s a nice little slice of Mario to have in your back pocket

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (1993)

There’s a bit of a verbal phenomenon that I need to tell you about. This could be a global one or merely just an Irish one, I’m not entirely sure, but I can tell you that “little” is one of the most devastating words in the English language, especially if it’s directed your way by a woman. And I don’t mean if she’s being direct about the size of your organ – after all, not every organ plays in a cathedral – I’m talking about the patronising use of “little”.

Case in point, say you’ve got a particularly socially unacceptable hobby, Dungeons and Dragons perhaps, or rugby. Obviously you’re meticulous about hiding this unfortunate fact when necessary, but it’s a tough charade to maintain. Eventually, you’ll be careless for only a few seconds and suddenly, somehow, a girl finds out about your hopeless indiscretion. Being nice and genuine and friendly as she is, she asks you about your hobby. “Oh, you’re into little Dungeons and Dragons, aren’t you?”

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