Pikmin

Pikmin (2002)

So how do you know when you’re old? You could go off physical signs, but they can be misleading. After all, unexplained pains in muscle and joints? I’ve had them all my life, or at least since I turned 18. It tends to happen to me only after nights out, which only adds to the mystery. But in reality, although I read about people turning 30 and suddenly getting all kinds of aches and pains, I just have to wonder how decrepit they are. Having grey hair is another obvious symbol of elderhood, but again, I’ve confounded follicle science by having greys since I was 15 [link to starwing?] and you could never accuse me of being 16 going on 60, could you?

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Nothing like jobhunting to make heroes feel like zeroes

Sonic Heroes (2004)

I’m on the job hunt again, which is an almost unbeatable way to sap your self-confidence. Probably online dating is worse for morale, but at least if you’ve got a bit about you, you can have several dates, buddies and bits on the side. With a job, having more than one means you’ve probably got all kinds of debts to your name, and you’re a much harder worker than me.

Generally you want one job, if even that; if you’re lucky enough to be in a country with a generous dole, then I genuinely don’t mind you taking my taxes, so long as you’re good stuff, you know, not a scrote, not lacking flair. And if you’re a creative type, have a double week on me.

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Ladies and gentlemen, class and decorum have left the building

Animal Crossing (2004)

Just like you can never really know what your workmates are gonna be like until you’re deeply entrenched in the low-pay grind with them, it’s pretty difficult to consciously choose your neighbours. Mind you, in this day and age you can at least go onto local neighbourhood watch pages on social media and do a quick search for the street or estate you plan to move into. If there’s barely any mentions of your desired area on there, then your children will be able to practice the dulcimer and eat their activated almonds in peace. But if your finger gets tired scrolling through all of the reports of anti-social behaviour, your home life will shape up like a scene from the Walking Dead.

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Toffee breaks ’em down, whether they’re solid or frail

sonic adventure

Sonic Adventure (1999)

I’ve done it. I survived my recent set of trips to the dentist, the first in about 8 years. Nothing short of a medical emergency brings a man back to the dentist after 8 years, but things got desperate. Not to disgust you too much, but one of my fillings popped out of my mouth, with the telltale ping of an M1 Garand. Well, it wasn’t so dramatic as that, but it’s a bloody weird feeling when it happens.

I wasn’t too bothered with that, though. I’m a hard man, of course, so any sort of discomfort from my teeth was just something to be treated like a pitiful challenge to my godlike body. A computer not doing what it’s told, an email that I wouldn’t answer, a teeny electric shock from an appliance. Something that a man needs to be bigger than.

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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.

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Saunter in, beat the pros, grab the cash and wavedash outta there

smash bros melee

Super Smash Bros. Melee (2002)

You may not believe it, but the website is dead. That’s what all of us top tech bods are saying. Not just that, but mobile apps are dead too. The cinema is dead. Buying music, that’s dead. Pubs are dead. And as for using your voice to talk to people – that’s well into rigor mortis.

I don’t personally believe any of this, of course, but it’s sweeping statements like these that grab attention in marketing headlines, and they might just fool some gullible CEOs into dropping money on unproven new technology. Well, whatever about all that, it is my sad duty to inform you that the ever-popular GameCube game, Super Smash Bros Melee, is also dead.

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Dear Nintendo, I’ve got some rather nicer things to say about your product…

f zero gx

F-Zero GX (2003)

Hate to demoralise you so early in the week, but I’m here to tell you that you might as well not bother making an effort in life. You gotta work things out ahead of time – on a sliding scale of hours spent, versus the probability that your hard work will be recognised and rewarded, where do you stand? And having worked this out, surely the best course of action is to find that sweetspot where you can get the most reward for the least amount of effort. Ever a man to put my theories into practice, and in one of my shrewder moves, I took this approach to writing my disseration in my final year of college.

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The sun? It’s a gamer’s worst nightmare

Super_Mario_Sunshine_logo

Super Mario Sunshine (2002)

Looks like I ain’t going on a sun holiday this year, thanks to that dreaded c-word. No, not cancer, something contagious. And by the looks of it, it’ll take the contagious to go away. Not that my skin’s gonna notice a lack of Greek sun anyway, since I’m usually white as a sheet going over, and I tend to cover myself with this incredible spray sunscreen that keeps the sun off my back, and off my head, shoulders, knees and toes. Net result is that I come home with a few red streaks, at worst. It’s not always rosy for me though – one time, I got sunburned boobies, and then I really knew all about it.

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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

Mario_Kart_Double_Dash

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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