Who’s that green dragon, propping up the bar, gone all topsy-turvy?

Yoshi Topsy-Turvy (2005)

Another advance warning for you this time, I’m about to hit you with some student-level banter, but goodness gracious me, a drinking career is getting tougher and tougher to maintain these days. Of course, I was completely done out of 18 months of social lubrication due to Covid-19, although let’s face it, I was already well over the hill by that stage. And it’s not like I wasn’t practicing the home gargles throughout that period. I’ve always been a strong advocate of that time-honoured money-saving drinking technique.

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Horrifying times lie ahead for the vampire hunter who lets himself go

Castlevania 64 (1999)

So is it true what they say, about comparison being the thief of joy? Maybe, but how else are you gonna get ahead in life? I always had myself down as a not particularly competitive guy, happy enough to be laidback. And yet my quickness to jealousy and my complete inability to be happy for other people’s fortunes can only lead me to conclude that I must always be the best at everything, better than everyone else, and nothing else will do. Ain’t I a stinker?

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One boy’s brave mission to supply every home on the street with toilet paper

Paperboy (1985 / 1991)

I’m sorry, but have you used the Internet lately? You go onto a website these days and you’re lucky if you can see any of the content. All the GDPR Suits are in your face with notices asking you for your cookies. What? Those are my cookies, you hungry e-whores, so get your own.

You get the feeling as well that this is something you really should be taking more notice of, like the app permissions on your phone. Click “Accept All” at your peril, because when your credit card details get harvested, milked for quite literally all you’re worth, your financial assailant will be perfectly entitled to point out that you gave them the express permission to do it.

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How can you have a new Street Fighter game and not include Zack Morris…?

Street Fighter III: New Generation (1997)

Picture the scene: you’re a young lad on summer holidays from school and, glory be, you’ve got the house to yourself for once. That brings with it the big sitting room telly, quite a powerful thing to have bestowed unto you. You’re straight onto Nickelodeon – because when you’re blessed with a glorious afternoon like this, the best thing to do is to waste it. But all good things come to a screeching halt eventually, don’t they? You’re going through Nickelodeon, Disney, Cartoon Network, even old Boomerang, but the very best on TV is – yep, you guessed it – Saved by the Bell: The New Class.

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Mario sleepwalks us through another money-printing cookie cutter

New Super Mario Bros. 2 (2012)

I’m trying to remember the last time I put absolutely no effort into something, but I couldn’t be bothered engaging my memory for long enough to uncover it. I think you can already tell where I’m going with this piece, but I will say, it’s a wonderful feeling when you go past caring and just decided to drop out completely.

I had that with college, you know, and it was really just a natural progression. The timetable they gave me was something ridiculous like only 11 hours a week, which I took as licence not to turn up at all. After all, the less teaching hours there are, the easier it is to cram. We’d get to exam time and I’d see all these triers and achievers stressing out like crazy. I never really liked the feeling of being stressed, so I just never bothered putting myself under any of it. Besides, I don’t think colleges can fail you anyway, so long as you turn up on the last day. Turning up was, after all, the bare minimum, and I’m always happy to do the bare minimum.

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Not every game on the Wii is an eyesore, y’know

Super Paper Mario (2007)

In your best Michael Caine voice, repeat after me – I wear eyeglasses, spectacles. Not a lot of people know that. But it’s true, and I know a lot of people will sympathise with me on this, but I’ve always felt that I look a bit of a dweebenheimer, or a bit of a prat indeed, wearing my glasses. I’m usually a form over fashion type of guy, but vanity and self-consciousness trumps all.

For this reason, I’ve always been perfectly happy to go out in public without my glasses, which essentially meant I’ve never been able to see anyone else’s face. And that really is a small price to pay; so long as I continue looking good, a bit of social embarrassment is always worth it.

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Life at 50%, it’s a tale of cruel destiny

Tales of Destiny (1998)

You think some of the worst things about getting old will be losing your sight and your hearing, but I have nothing to fear anymore because actually, I’m 50% deaf already. No, really, I haven’t had this measured or diagnosed officially, but think about it: I’ve spent an awful long time listening to the Donkey Kong Country soundtracks at alarming volumes through my noise-cancelling headphones, prissy health warnings be damned. I haven’t cursed myself with tinnitus just yet, but I’ve definitely picked up some selective hearing.

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Get off that couch, lazy bum, and spindash your way to 5K

Sonic Advance (2002)

The long summer days are rolling in, and you know what that means – it’s a return to exercise. Of course, by this time it’s too late for the summer bod; I’m very committed to avoiding that each and every year. Still, motivation and ambition are fleeting things, and sometimes you just get this burst to get out there and be the best you can be.

I’ll be honest, always my primary motivation for exercise and weight loss is to look good naked – or probably you could say that’s a nice side-effect to my real objective, which is to impress the knickers off women. But you see, being a happily committed man as I am means that this type of motivation is at rock bottom.

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Kirby gives the Nintendo 64 an Irish Goodbye

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (2001)

What’s your drink choice, then? I’m including teetotallers in this, not that I meet many, but one’s drink choice often says a lot about one’s personality. And I’ve gone through a good number of drink combinations in my time. Right from the off, as in when I was a very small child, it was full fat Coca-Cola day and night. Isn’t that desperate? Lord knows what the tooth fairy must have made of it. I wouldn’t even give full fat Coke to a thirsty dog these days.

No, for soft drinks I seem to favour Coke Zero, and by “favour” I mean I could drink three or four cans of the stuff a day without slowing down. When the fitness regime comes back around, as it does for a few weeks every year, then I do try to cut down. I hardly think it’s any much healthier than regular Coke either, but the calorie count can’t be beat.

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The moment it was all over, for F1 and F-Zero

F-Zero Climax (2004)

I know every F1 fan has their own idea of when the sport went into terminal decline. I know I do, and still I tune in every week. But when classic circuits start getting chopped up, or chopped from the calendar altogether, in favour of armpits like Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, then the writing’s on the wall – and with their human rights records, that message may be written in blood.

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