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?

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Mystery of the menus, curse of the cursors, the death of design

Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (1994)

I don’t know if we’ve just become spoilt by the wealth of apps and online services available nowadays, but is it my imagination or are user interfaces and user experiences getting worse and worse? Strangely, it also seems to me that there’s a growing abundance of money in UX / UI Designer jobs. Perhaps this means they’re throwing more money than in God’s wallet at the problem, but it’s still to no avail.

You take the video streaming services, and we pretty much have them all as we’re awful couch potatoes. Well, you try and search for something on Netflix and you can forget it. The search function is slow, sometimes difficult to find, and the thing you’re searching for is either not there (but here are dreadful knock-offs, a classic Netflix move. Or your desired result is buried beneath a load of child porn-enabling series and other bleeding heart liberal rubbish.

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A war’s brewing, you say? The country’s on fire? I ain’t your guy, then

Fire Emblem Gaiden (1992)

It’s all going nuts again. Geopolitically, I mean. Of course, even that sentence doesn’t date this piece too badly – a headline like “Tensions mount in Middle East” could be on any online news outlet since the mid 90s and still be relevant. For today’s purposes, let’s just say that the Taliban are at it again. I wonder if they’ll still be at it in 20 years time? Or will there even be a 20 years time, because it gives you a right frightenener down the jacksy when those boys are at it, America and Russia are responding (the UK tries to pop up but deliberately gets ignored) and then suddenly fingers begin hovering over the big red button.

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Ask Snake to get you tartan paint, rubber nails or a Diet Guinness and see how he does

Metal Gear (1987) (NES)

I’ll tell you what’s an underrated feeling, and that’s the feeling of being comfortable and settled in your job. I’m going to impart some employment wisdom to you here, although you probably ought to keep in mind that I was once the most unemployable man in Ireland, and anytime I touch a computer I seem to trash it somehow.

Firstly, it seems to be a pretty established fact now that if you want to maximise your career earnings, you need to leave your job every 1.5 or 2 years – the increases you’ll get as starting wages elsewhere will far outstrip whatever raises your current employers will give you.

Continue reading “Ask Snake to get you tartan paint, rubber nails or a Diet Guinness and see how he does”

In an alternate timeline, I’d be Prince Burkey

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light (1990)

I know you never believe me when I come out with things like this, but I am actually descended from nobility. That’s right: I have blue blood, and you may well be wondering, if that’s the case Burkey, then why is it that you’re tight with money? Why were you on the dole? Why do you never exercise any kind of power, and why are you not inbred?

Well, perhaps some people would contest that last one. But I have a perfectly good answer to every one of these rebuttals, and unfortunately it’s that old devil at work again: organized religion.

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A good night’s sleep is an adult’s greatest fantasy

FFIII_logo

Final Fantasy III (1990)

Like a lot of people out there, I’m a fool to myself almost every night. No, for once I’m not talking about self-debasement – I’m talking about sleep, and that’s deprivation, not depravation. And I know you’ll sympathise with me; will have experienced that terrible moment in life, when you finally decide to try for some sleep, you set your phone alarm and it tell you, “Alarm set for 2 hours and 32 minutes from now”.

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Learning languages ain’t easy, so don’t beat yourself up over it

Final Fantasy 2

Final Fantasy II (1988)

Still looking for a New Year’s resolution? Learning to speak and write in foreign languages is a pursuit most noble, you know. It’s a sure-fire way to broaden your pathetic, shallow mind. For language learning purposes, there are all kinds of devices you can make use of that’ll make you a proverbial polyglot.

In the old days you’d have to use books, which is never ideal. That’s what they keep trying to do in schools, and school is the last place you want to try learning a language in. Case in point, I tried learning Irish for 13 years in school, and French for 6 years, and what can I show for it?

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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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Somebody crowbarred a love story into this card collecting RPG

ff8-logo

Final Fantasy VIII (1999)

A year ago, when I was doing up a piece on classic gaming couples for CHUNK.ie and The R.A.G.E. for St. Valentine’s Day, I was actually struggling pretty badly. Yes, there were a whole host of tantalising will-they-won’t-theys like Link and Zelda. There were also friend-zone jobs like Mario and the Princess, and even a rare reversal with Sonic the Hedgehog and Amy Rose. And there’s even pairings that eventually turned sour, like Snake and Meryl. But proper romantic love stories? They were quite tough to shoot my arrow through.

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