Kirby finally made me stop wearing my mother’s clothes

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Kirby Super Star (1997)

When I was doing gaming videos with my pal in a desperate attempt to find YouTube popularity, I made the observation that I’d rather be caught wearing my mother’s clothes than have someone walk in on me playing a Kirby game. I can gleefully tell all you Kirby lovers out there that my partner did not immediately frown and slap me for making such a cretinous comment. Quite the opposite actually – he laughed, I laughed, we patted each other on the back and our anti-Kirby circlejerk continued.

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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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Iron Mike’s gonna rip out your heart and feed it to the racists

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Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (1987)

They say sport is the great equaliser, and when it’s as accessible and universal as football, I have to agree. And give sport its dues, it helped break down a lot of race barriers. You’ll still get bananas thrown onto football pitches by knuckle-dragger fans. But as moronic as that is, how does that stack up against Muhammad Ali standing up to the white United States government and telling them he had no quarrel with them Viet Cong?

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It’s nice to look after the environment, but give us back our plastic straws

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Sonic CD (1993)

I know the environment is on a collision course to apocalypse land and that we’re killing the icecaps, and wringing turtles’ necks with six pack plastic rings. But what do you want me to do about it? Vote for the Green Party?! No chance. You leave it to them, and we’d all be stuck going to work in an ass and cart. They’d make us ration the amount of times we can flush the toilet each day. And fancy a straw or two for your freshly made G&T at the end of a long week? They’ll have you hauled over the non-GM coals and set alight with free-range fire.

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My dear Dr. Jekyll has several personalities, and they’re all terrible

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1989) 

The ‘Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ is no strange case at all. We all know the ending by now, of course, since it’s become a byword for every bipolar ex you’ve ever been with. The novella itself isn’t much to write home about. It’s nineteenth century, and set in Victorian London, so it’s all stiff upper lips and gollys, and my butler’s given me the incorrect fork for my liver and onions.

“Crivvens, Mr. Utterson, mayhaps I heard you ruminating in the drawing room” “I say, I wonder why you seem to be associated with a monstrous individual?” “Pray we shall speak no more of this” “I understand, old friend, though I don’t seem to be able to put two and two together for love nor farthings” – all that lark.

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In his first foray into Maths and Stats, Mario graduates with honours

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Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996)

I spent my college years wandering about in this kind of cynical trance, like Holden Caulfield. Didn’t really have anywhere to go, anyone to meet, so I just sat about writing and listening to music instead. Even if I’d studied or attended lectures, it’d have hardly made a difference anyway. I went to a ‘prestigious’ university, see. And they can’t fail you.

Maybe if you don’t turn up or if you vomit crayon wax all over the exam paper, you’ll score a big fat zero. But write your exam number down, blindly fill in some of the multi-choice questions, regurgitate parts of your earlier assignments that only barely passed anyway, and you’ve pretty much nailed it. See, if they were to fail you, then you’d go down as a negative statistic, harming the college’s reputation that bit more, domestically as well as internationally. And you know what that means? Lowered funding, something more unspeakable to an educational institution than Voldemort and Macbeth combined.

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Pepe, turn the game console off right now

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Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2002)

Memes have a lot to answer for, you know. I admit that I never saw the potential harm they could do, back in the days of the incessant le rage comics and whatever other rubbish Reddit were proud of. And now look – any fool can slap the Impact font onto some non-descript photo or Simpsons scene and think they’ve got a top meme, just waiting to go viral. Your parents are now sharing memes on WhatsApp, for God’s sake. We even have a meme US President.

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Put me in your best high heels, and I’d do no better

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Metroid (1988)

I saw a recent picture of Heather Locklear the other day and it was a sad sight, readers, a sad sight. You get this idea in your head that someone like Heather would be what you’d call ‘infinitely attractive’. As in, even after a thousand years, with the polar ice caps fully melted and we’re living in Water World, you’d still get Heather herself cutting about and looking head and shoulders above everybody else. I must sadly report that these days she’s a bit of a mess of collagen, puppy fat and wrinkly eyes, and her bolt is well and truly shot. I suppose it’s an unfortunate fact of life – everybody eventually declines with age. Everybody except Kylie, of course.

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The castle costs a fortune but the Succubus comes free

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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)

I always said that if I won the lotto I wouldn’t be overly extravagant about it. Don’t get me wrong, I hate when there’s a massive Euromillions win, €190 million squids and the winners aren’t virile, attractive young man like me (yes, me). No, it’s always Mary (73) and Joe (75) and they say it won’t change them and they’ll still work every day on the farm and all that rubbish.

What?! Joe, this is your big chance, and your heart hasn’t got much pump left. Get out there to Vegas and throw thousands of dollars on every spin of the roulette table. Keep the drinks and drugs coming, and even if you blow through a hundred thousand in a night, you’ve zillions left in reserve. That’ll have the “dancing girls” round your hotel room quick as well.

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If only they’d dropped Mario cartridges on Pearl Harbour instead

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Super Mario Bros. (1987)

I won’t bore you to death on the whole video game crash, blah blah blah, E.T. wrecked the whole thing and all of that other stuff. History was the most boring of school subjects as we know, and anyway, the whole event is pretty much the first thing a prospective gaming YouTuber searches for on Wikipedia, before delivering a webcam filmed lecture about it with jumpy editing. Suffice to say, we had an awful lot of terrible “games” (and I’m talking, less impressive than interactive DVD menus) in the late 70s and early 80s.

I’m not just talking about clag that delivers less than 5 seconds of enjoyment either. Even ‘clag’ is too weak a word for games like Custer’s Revenge, or Beat ‘Em and Eat ‘Em. It was this kind of rubbish that was being sold, morse code graphics and all, into households at premium rates. Eventually the poor old gaming camel took one too many straws to the back, that straw being E.T., and over it went. Electronic TV games were a fad that had come, stank up the place a bit, and now they were gone.

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