Red-Faced Neckbeard, standing by

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (2002)

Well, I’ve officially lost count of all the Star Wars spin-offs. Of course it’s nothing new, once the nerds got hooked in the 70s and 80s, it was expanding faster than Mark Hamill’s waistline in the late 90s. And speaking of the late 90s, I’ll give you a little original trilogy memory that’ll mean nothing to you really, because why would you care about someone else’s nostalgia, but you might find it slightly cosy.

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Samus as a Suicide Girl, it’s all I ever wanted

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004)

I shouldn’t ask this for fear of summoning them to my doorstep, like Beetlejuice, but where have all the good goths gone? I’m not talking about your posing e-girls, these days now good for a depraved bit of onanism but not much more. It used to be that you could go to some central location in a city, in Dublin’s case the old Central Bank, and find a gaggle of them hanging about, smoking, not going to school and talking about nonconformity. Bloody great, I say.

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An Irish Air Show… it was never gonna be an assault on the senses

Star Fox Assault (2005)

I’m not a World War II historian – you should generally avoid such people like the plague – but I do at least know that Spitfire pilots tended not to disappoint when it came to fulfilling their duties, and the boys in the Hawker Hurricanes didn’t put up a poor show in front of the Bosh either. But I’m afraid to say that they, along with the much vaunted British Red Arrows, have let us all down.

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Ahh, the GameCube… little… purple… different… better

Nintendo GameCube (2002)

I try to make these pieces as relatable as I can, you know, and that really is the key word. Let’s face it, if I told you all about how I was the most popular kid at school, a jocknerd if you like, you wouldn’t find any relevance in what I had to say, would you? But if I tell you I was a loser socially, but the brainy stand-out in an ocean of intellectual pygmies around me, you’d find yourself nodding along in agreement, wouldn’t you?

Perhaps not, but I’ll try to strike as many chords with you as possible. After all, in a world of trends and memes, the biggest crime is to be different. And it seems we’re all used to putting on different faces, moulding ourselves into entirely different personalities, in order to play well with whoever we happen to be speaking to. How else can I be a working professional, while still laughing at farts and giving it the usual locker room talk with the lads?

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Keep your chin up and maintain your radiance, even as the job market Crits you

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (2005)

We’re at that time again, fellow lemmings, time that I left my job to get a new one. For a start, I can tell you that I’ve never subscribed to this whole theory of never leaving a job unless you’ve something else lined up. I suppose there’s that mature fear where you’ll turn out to be a wee bit less of a tantalising employment prospect than you had thought, which is always a hefty blow. Not to mention it makes the mortgage payment look about ten times bigger.

But you can’t tell me that you just become immediately unemployable on the Friday afternoon that you finish up. The last job I left, no sooner had I given a fairly rubbish speech than I was out the door and in a car, booting to the airport for a drunken weekend in one of my favourite cities, Liverpool. When I got home on the Sunday, I was able to sleep through the Monday while the other plankton had to go to work. It was great – I felt like Ferris Bueller.

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I’ll Pik minimum work over maximum backache

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. What, do we all just collapse past a certain age? I don’t know, I’m in my 30s now and I feel fine. Having grey hair is another obvious symbol of elderhood, but again, I’ve confounded follicle science by having greys since I was 15. And you could never accuse me of being 16 going on 60, could you?

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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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