It doesn’t matter if I fire blanks, I’ll still miss

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Doom (1993)

Up until now, I’ve always felt somewhat unqualified to talk about shooter games. Yes, I was able to write about Perfect Dark, but that was moreso because the protagonist is a lady. And I know quite a bit about ladies, having tipped my fedora towards many in my time. I’ve also gotten up to some other pretty manly pursuits, like flying planes and bombing it around in go-karts and doing arts and crafts. What I had never done before, however, was fire a gun.

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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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Modern cinema… you will never find a more wretched hive of superhero films and unnecessary remakes

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Super Star Wars (1993)

It’s strange for me to admit, as a man who loves films, but I don’t bother with the cinema anymore. I’ve only been to the cinema three times in the last four years, and that was to see three Star Wars films, Episodes 7, 8 and 9. That’s the God’s honest. It’s not even the cost associated with going either – yes, I’m a tight sod and I’d even pick up copper coins if I dropped them on the ground, but a tenner or fifteen quid for a cinema ticket is fine. I don’t tend to go in for the truck container of popcorn or the vat of Coca-Cola either, which cuts costs bigly.

No, the thing that stops me from going to the cinema is that sitting in a darkened room watching a screen for a couple of hours will just send me to sleep. Also, the last time I burst open a tinny during the film some of the parents looked at me funny. That happened to me while going to see Toy Story 3, so I wasn’t going to repeat that for Toy Story 4. 

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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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Every game developer is just one bad day away from being mean

Super Mario Bros The Lost Levels

Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels (1986)

Every now and then in your working life you’ll run upon a person who is just unrelenting. The type of person who wakes up, runs into the bathroom and smiles at the mirror, just to get it over with for the day. You can get them in school and college too, but it’s in work where people aren’t under any pretenses to be nice to you anymore. I’m the type of person who gives these grouchy gits concessions – I try to understand them, get a bit of craic going with them, make excuses for their infuriating behaviour. Then they still rebuff me and I’m left feeling like a pilchard.

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Lesson one of chatting girls up – don’t lose your bottles

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Super R-Type (1992)

In any of life’s endeavours, you can make bundles of progress and be just about to seal the deal when one little mistake, one tiny spanner in the wrench, causes the whole enterprise to blow up in your face in spectacular fashion and leave you with naught. I know this feeling only too well.

At the risk of alienating myself from my missus and buying myself, oh, about nine years on the sofa, I tried to chat up girls once upon a time. I wasn’t much good at it. I’d only do it when I was near catatonic with drink, and at that stage anything coming out of my mouth more closely resembled a tortured hyena trying to scream bible verses in Afrikaans. But sometimes, it might only happen once or twice in your life, a golden and almost unbelievable opportunity falls into your lap. And in a darkened corner of that night’s den of iniquity, hovering just at the periphery of our round table full of drinks, there she was.

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Peppa Pig is OK, but kids are missing out on Joe Perry’s Spiderman theme

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Final Fantasy V (1992)

I don’t mean to be the type of old fart that goes on about what the kids are missing out on, but let me ask this: are Saturday morning cartoons a thing anymore? Christ, is sitting your child in front of the telly a thing anymore? I can see neo-parents going “OK Google, put Peppa Pig on for 4 hours,” a child entirely raised by Google, morning noon and night. A great symbiotic relationship, actually: the child gets an always-on nanny. And as for Google, look at all that data they’re getting, from the cradle to the grave!

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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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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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