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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Burkey’s waiting patiently for a Pokémon game where you don’t have to talk to anyone

Pokémon Sun and Moon (2016)

No psychiatrist has ever managed to catch me and pin me to their long sofa yet, and if I valued my continued liberty to live my life outside of an asylum, then I’d better keep it that way. I will give you one psychological nugget (surprisingly not the best type of nugget out there) though. Not because I’m terribly arrogant enough to believe you really care what’s going on in my head, not at all. It’s just to give the police a bit of a clue if ever I’m wanted for murder.

Simply put, I am introverted to an incredible degree. Anyone with any level of introversion will recognise at once the idea of recharging one’s batteries after social interactions. Being introverted doesn’t mean you have to be a shrinking wallflower, a strong and silent type or even, God forbid, a boring prat. You can be the life and soul of the party if you like, but you better believe you’ll need that recharge period, that blessed bit of alone time when it comes.

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Come along for a guided tour down a gradual Pokédecline

Pokémon X and Y (2013)

I have to wonder what it’s like for those famous people who have completely outgrown their friend group on their way to greatness. It’s happened to me a lot, actually. That is, people around me go on to find success and meanwhile I’m still finding farts funny, especially when I wake myself up with them.

There must be some dreadfully awkward scenarios where the superstar becomes temporarily embarrassed; after having been whisked away into the world of fame and fortune and adulation, they suddenly have to re-face their old childhood.

All those embarrassing moments, when the ordinaries treated you like a peer, all coming back to haunt you at once. Take noted treacherous Sassenach Graham Norton for example. He’s actually from the same neck of the woods as me, but he’d never tell you this himself. In fact, if you transported him right now to my hometown, you’d probably hear the screams from space.

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Spitting, hitting, and a portable chance to feel the fury

Pokémon Pinball (2000)

Personally I’ve always been a pretty placid type of guy. There’s been a few occasions when I’ve had a healthy fill of drink and lost the run of myself, of course. But otherwise, I’d always regarded losing one’s temper as something that a grown adult shouldn’t do. At least, you shouldn’t throw the head with other people, people who are generally doing their best for you.

I’d say that inanimate objects are fair game for taking out your anger though, so the next time you bang your leg on the table, or your computer is breaking your heart, do feel free to slap or boot it into oblivion. And if anyone complains, just tell them Burkey told you it was OK.

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 20)

Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 20)

There comes a time in every man’s life when he realises that it’s over, beyond any shadow of a doubt. Generally, this is when a man walks into the baby section of a department store for the first time and realises he now needs to appear knowledgeable about their baby’s health.

You may not know what to ask for when you’re in there, but fear not because I’m about to take you on a tour through the Pokémon Gen 4 Baby section. You should recognise some of the faces – they look just like your mates twenty years ago, back when you all used to have a booming social life.

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Unless you’re bold as brass, just ask Santa for a trumpet instead

Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald (2003 / 2005)

There were quite a lot of things I didn’t do in 2020, and losing weight was probably one of them, though I hate to say it. One thing I managed to avoid for the whole year, by virtue of not getting to go on any holidays, is that I never set foot in any swimming pools. I do quite literally mean setting foot, as in dipping my toes into the pool.

I could never properly dive into one, because even at the age of 30 I still haven’t learned to swim. Am I embarrassed? Certainly not – as long as my killer summer bod looks good, who cares where the strumpets get to observe it?

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I always knew Pokémon cards would dominate the economy

pokemontcgPokémon Trading Card Game (2000)

It’s just crazy how quickly a popular fad can take a young generation by storm. Even in the late 1990s, I’ve seen pogs, marbles, conkers, slaps, Royal Rumbles, knife fights, games based on the IRA and co-ordinated sexual assault all gain huge popularity among my young contemporaries. But the reach of all of these rather popular things, even the IRA games at the height of all that bother, never got anywhere near as widespread as that infernal cash-machine known as Pokémon.

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We’re all lucky that Japanese Blofeld was away on annual leave

 

pkmnsnap

Pokémon Snap (2000)

You don’t need a scrub like me to tell you, the insecure mess reading this, that life is inherently unfair. Neither you nor me were blessed from birth with an elite sporting ability, or with model good looks, or some other form of unique ‘talent’ to separate us from the mouthbreathers – or better still, to have been born into aristocracy. Imagine that?! But no, not us. I hope, then, that you and I can share this tentative sort of bottom-feeding bond, in that we as people were both pretty much finished before we ever really got started, and this “life” we’re currently living now is the very best we can hope for.

Eddie Hitler had it right when he told us that life was about: you get born, you keep your head down, and then you die – if you’re lucky. Mediocrity is something that we just have to get used to, or so conventional wisdom tells us. I suppose you sometimes get some special snowflakes who become just a little bit uppity and console both themselves and their own doomed existence by posting “artistic” pictures of “inspirational” quotes on Facebook, for the viewing benefit of nobody in particular. Can’t knock these people for effort – what are you without effort? But I think, on the whole, we’ve resigned ourselves to our dismal fates, and any stroke of good luck that does come our way is rightly met with either indifference or a suspicious shrug of the shoulders.

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