Some of the games in this series ain’t worth the Paper they’re programmed on

paper mario 1000 year door

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (2004)

I’ve hustled a few quid here and there from writing, but never so much that I might be able to embark on a career vomiting out pages and subjecting gazillions of readers to my creative mind. You have to want to do it, for the love of the craft rather than for the money and all that. They say you need to write over one million words before you get anywhere near good at being a scribe, right? Well, I’ve written in excess of that – mostly about myself or worldly woes in my journal. But I’ve also put myself at the cutting edge of games journalism on this site by revewing games that came out over 30 years ago. Whaddaya mean, no-one cares anymore?

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Between group projects and cuck fantasies, I know which one I’d take

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Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003)

“OK, class, get into groups of 3 or 4” – words from a teacher more fearsome than the usual guff they give you. I didn’t mind being told by the teacher that I had detention, or that I was to see them after class, or that the lock on the boy’s changing room was double-bolted and I could scream as loud as I liked because nobody was coming to help me. But teamwork? Find a group of people willing to come together and work in harmony? Leave it out. It’s always a dreadful affair – if the teacher places you into random groups, you could be put alongside a group of drongos, or worse still, ambitious people who are hunting to get an A+. And they’ll get that goddam A+ if it means slitting your throat from ear to ear.

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We don’t need new games anymore – remake Uniracers and you’ll send us home singing

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Legend of Zelda, The: The Wind Waker HD (2013)

An awful long time ago, I did a write-up on Wind Waker GameCube, or more accurately a 5,000 word dissertation. It was fairly stuffy, and in it I mostly spoke about how the graphics actually added a nice bit of whimsy and the story and plot was pleasant when you met big bad Ganon, but crucially some pilchard left a few dungeons out.

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Burkey longs for the days of emos

 

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Shadow the Hedgehog (2005)

When I was a teenager, I’m afraid to say that I was just too boring and practical to get suckered into what we esteemed sociologists like to call “subcultures”. No phases or fads or trends for me. Whether through choice or not, I was destined not to take part and I went my own fruitless way instead.
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Super Smash Bros Pub Fight Tier List (Part 1)

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Super Smash Bros Pub Fight Tier List (Part 1)

Feature, 15/09/14

They say you shouldn’t believe in tiers in the Smash Bros games, but let’s face it – they exist. Why else would Fox be the person you turn to on Final Destination, with not a single item to be seen? If you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, then you’re obviously not up on your Smash Bros. And I wouldn’t blame you, because it’s some pretty competitive, in-depth stuff, and all of that frightens me. It really does! I’m not at all interested in how well Dankey Kang does against Metal Knight on the Pokeymon Stadium level or how good Charmanderzard is at fighting against Browser – none of that means much to me.

I’d much prefer to rate the characters in more practical terms, by assessing how they’d do in a real fight. In particular: how would they do in the classic throwdown that is the pub brawl? You know the ones I mean: a few comments have been taken exception to, a couple of punches are thrown, glasses start to fly and there’s Begbie steaming in early doors.

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Focus your mind. Sharpen your senses. Swap your controller port. Metal Gear Solid

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Metal Gear Solid (1999)

A stealth-based game? Well, they may be an ideal cup of tea for some people, but usually I can do without. Who wants to lose a game when they get seen, when you can have an action-packed, frantic shootout and blast your way out instead? The Metal Gear Solid games tend to be a different story altogether though, what with their flagrant disregard for the fourth wall and their US-based madcap plots from frustrated-film-director-turned-Americophile Hideo Kojima.

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Pikmin (Long)

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Pikmin (2002)

Review, 19/06/13

The following review is based on the Nintendo GameCube version of the game.

INTRO

I remember the launch of the Nintendo GameCube very well, and just couldn’t wait to try it out. Graphics far removed from those limited polygons of the Nintendo 64, the polygons that still heavily impressed us at the time. A whole treat of fabulous and diverse looking new games was in store for us in the beginning, including Luigi’s Mansion, Super Smash Bros. Melee and Rogue Squadron II. Even the long overdue change from cartridge format to disc gave us cause to celebrate.

Those games were all well and good, but gamers looking for the signature Nintendo charm might not have been fully impressed with Luigi’s Mansion, especially considering its shortness and the timeless Mario launch titles of previous Nintendo consoles. Super Smash Bros. Melee, as well as other franchise entries like Metroid Prime, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Super Mario Sunshine, were a ways away. With the console fighting to gain ground from the beginning, it would take a gentle nurturing from Nintendo to ensure that the GameCube would be able to fight against the Xbox and the Sony PlayStation 2.

Up stepped Pikmin, a most unusual looking game, originally looked upon as a strange gardening simulator. Founded on the doomed beginnings of the fabled Super Mario 128, when Pikmin was showed to the world during E3 in 2001 gamers saw a low key strategy title that seemed almost quaint. It looked like something that would surely be dismissed as a novelty upon release – a whimsical tech demo and not much else. But with the fabulous Shigeru Miyamoto producing, would such an assumption prove to be folly? Would Pikmin emerge as one of the finest early lights of the underrated GameCube?

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Legend of Zelda, The: The Wind Waker (Long)

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Legend of Zelda, The: The Wind Waker (2003)

Review, 05/11/12

INTRO

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was released for the Nintendo GameCube in Europe on 3rd May 2003. Following the immense success of previous Zelda games, including A Link to the Past, Link’s Awakening and Ocarina of Time, fans eagerly anticipated the latest instalment in the series for the Nintendo Dolphin, newly dubbed the GameCube.

To demonstrate the power of their upcoming console, a Zelda tech demo was shown as part of Nintendo’s exposition during the SpaceWorld show in the year 2000. It featured a short swordfight between the adult incarnation of Link and Ganondorf, showcasing realistic graphics much improved from the blocky polygons featured in the previous two 3D Zelda games, Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, both released for the Nintendo 64.

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