Another rumble in the concrete jungle with this bad monkey wasn’t part of the plan

Donkey Kong (1994)

I’m gonna come right out and say it: planning is for losers. You can try and plan out every aspect of your life and meticulously try to follow it, but what is it all worth? Any plan has to be realistic and measurable, and that’s where things become depressing. Get married at age 25, kids at age 30, divorced by age 40, first suicide attempt age 45, incontinent by age 60. Good luck trying to plan against all that.

It’s also a well known fact that the best holidays, trips and nights out are spontaneous, unplanned. If you start planning these things, you’ll just fall into the mundane, the safe bets. Leave it all up to chance and that’s when things get interesting.

Continue reading “Another rumble in the concrete jungle with this bad monkey wasn’t part of the plan”

Those very early NES games… they’re not ones you get the bug for

Donkey Kong 3 (1983)

Bugs, bugs, bugs… I’m telling you, they’re everywhere. It might even be that my house is bugged with listening devices – actually, I already know it is, I’m typing this on my phone right now. But I’m not talking about electronics here – I’m on about our constant struggle to keep human supremacy over our fellow partaker in earth’s space: insects.

It’s obviously difficult for even the most ennui-affected, do-nothing professor to actually verify this, but we understand that there are 200 million insects for every single person on earth. Are you serious?! My calculator breaks when I try to multiply 200 million by 7 billion. Well, strictly speaking that’s not true, but it starts giving me the letter “e” instead which obviously stands for error. But I think we can surmise that, if those insects ever did put all their differences aside, banded together and took us on… well, I’m plenty tough, but I ain’t tough enough to take on 200 million in a row, am I?

Continue reading “Those very early NES games… they’re not ones you get the bug for”

He’s the rotten apple of the nasty Kong’s eye

Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)

I know it’s coming, by God, I know it’s coming. I’m like the gorilla in that Dairy Milk ad, sitting and waiting on the drum-kit as Phil Collins lilts through the air, before everything comes crashing down. I’m talking about the biological clock of course, and how madly it begins to tick. It’s not my own clock, of course, my tadpoles are good for life. But the missus you see, the bells toll for her. She tells me now, “no kids”, “I like being able to hand them back” and all that game.

Don’t listen to all that, this is all just designed to trap young bucks like you and I into settling down. Then, before you know it, you’re changing nappies because you’re a “modern man”. Then you’re losing an absolute fortune. Then, you’re almost as much of a disappointment to your unruly child as they are to you. God, they might even bring the police home, or worse, someone who supports your favourite team’s biggest rivals. 

Continue reading “He’s the rotten apple of the nasty Kong’s eye”

Beating the lockdown drum until there’s no more air in it

Donkey Konga (2004)

Looking back on a miserable 2020, I have to say it’s pretty impressive that my family and I were in lockdown for several months now and we never ended up killing each other. Now, I didn’t have it as bad as others; there were four of us living in the house and we all generally kept to ourselves anyway, until hostile lunchtimes and dinnertimes of course.

Continue reading “Beating the lockdown drum until there’s no more air in it”

The Many Jobs of Mario

MARIO JOBS LOGO

The Many Jobs of Mario (2019)

Now in his thirties, and still exhibiting no signs of a mid-life crisis, it’s not beyond the remit of a talented man like Mario to have had many different job titles and roles behind him. Actually, you’d have to say that some of Mario’s travails throughout his glittering life are so wild and out there, that him entering a go-kart tournament against his eternal enemy Bowser is now entirely normal. A man so travelled and so adept surely can’t escape the romantic attention of the Princess much longer, can he? All the same, given the rate he goes through jobs, you’d think Mario would be able to afford better clothes than his patchy dungarees.

Continue reading “The Many Jobs of Mario”

I coulda been a game dev contender

Donkey_Kong_Country_logo

Donkey Kong Country (1994)

Game design. The one thing that we’ve always wanted to do. Well, not all of us. Most young lads growing up wanted to be footballers or astronauts of course, but I was aware of my limitations early. As a result, even in my most wildly unrealistic fantasies, I was still essentially a no-name code monkey. Isn’t that sad?

Continue reading “I coulda been a game dev contender”

Billy Mitchell is the Machiavellian villain of our times

donkeykongarcade

Donkey Kong (1981)

I’m not destined to be a great Donkey Kong player. In fact I’m probably a bit of a disgrace to the name of Donkey Kong. My first bad high score came when I was playing through Donkey Kong 64 and it became apparent that in order to beat the game, I’d have to beat an arcade perfect Donkey Kong conversion. Not only that, but I’d actually have to beat it twice, with one life each time, and it was harder the second time round. This is where I recorded my second bad high score, and my third, all the way through to my seven hundred and fifth, after which I burst into tears of failure. And I honestly can’t remember any other game ever making me do that.

Continue reading “Billy Mitchell is the Machiavellian villain of our times”

6 of Gaming’s Most Depressing Game Over Screens

game over screen banner

of Gaming’s Most Depressing Game Over Screens (2014)

I don’t care how good a retro gamer you are, every single one of us has had to choke down the indignity of witnessing the Game Over screen in games – the more dull-witted gamers have probably had to suffer this embarrassment time and time again. NES-era Game Over screens tended to be simple white-text-on-black-background affairs and more often than not were plagued with some questionable grammar (even apart from “Game Over” itself, as if that phrase makes any sense).

But as games became more imaginative and interactive, the Game Over screens followed suit. Here are six of the more depressing retro Game Over screens that many of us have had to sit through before we could endeavour to try again. Whichever of the games on this list you’ve played, you’ve probably seen the Game Over screen to it at least a dozen times. Enjoy!

Continue reading “6 of Gaming’s Most Depressing Game Over Screens”