Start your holidays right with a gyros platter and a dragonfruit mojito

Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! (1999)

We could all do with a holiday, that’s for sure. That’s true at any time of year though, isn’t it? A holiday should be designed to destress you, but if you ain’t careful, then there’s a lot about holidaymaking that can distress you instead. Get your holiday booking very wrong, and it’ll make you wonder why you didn’t just hide behind your papers at work instead, where everything made sense and the teabags didn’t have strings on them.

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Like random encounters, the Swedish girls were coming at us thick and fast

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Tales of Phantasia (1995)

You have me down as an uncultured oik, I know you do, so it’ll probably surprise the hell out of you when I tell you that I’m pretty well-versed in Norse mythology. No, really, I know all about that Thor fella, and he had a hammer that did something with lightning or somesuch. Something that made him overpowered, anyway.

I’m not altogether happy with Thor, Chris Hemsworth or any hammer user, if truth be told, because he ended up inventing Thursdays, and Thursdays are my busiest day in work. A bit arrogant too I find, naming a day after himself. Why don’t we get Supermansday?

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Top Ten puppy dogs Eminem was too afraid to diss

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PaRappa the Rapper (1997)

Ah, the things we do to try and impress a woman. When I learned that my wouldbe missus was a big Red Hot Chili Peppers fan, I thought I was in. All I’d have to do is reference California and drugs a million times, and I’d get a result, right? Well, it took a bit more than that. Any old fool can reference the classics., but being as simpering as I was, I had to go deeper.

So, I downloaded all of their albums (she wasn’t to know of this piracy), obscure B-sides and all, and proceeded to try and learn the lyrics of every single one. I’d put together one big playlist, then start a long endurance race on Gran Turismo or a full-length race in F1 2013 and try to become an RHCP expert by osmosis. How thirsty is that?

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Uh-oh! The gravy train have started to move!

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Mega Man X6 (2002)

A lot of people, when you ask them how their day in work was, tell you that they did “nothing”. Actually, they’ll say the same thing when you ask them what they did last night or what they’re doing for their upcoming 37th birthday. But “nothing” is always something, even if that just entails sitting there, faffing about like a pudgy potato and watching Netflix. And would you believe me if I told you that I once had a job where I was paid full whack for doing absolutely nothing, besides watching whatever I wanted?

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Confusing memories of load times, dangerous polygons, demo discs and Croc

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PlayStation 1 (1996)

For almost the entire duration of the Nintendo 64’s lifespan in Europe, from the not-so-lengthy 1997 to 2001, I was all over the weekly Nintendo magazines. I had made the conscious decision to get a Nintendo 64 over a PlayStation 1, see. And it was entirely my decision, because I was 6 years old and bratty, so my older brother had to do as I said and ask for the correct console from Santa for Christmas. Never mind that every single one of his friends was getting the much-vaunted PS1, little Burkey wanted the N64 for its Nintendo franchises and he was about ready to befoul his pants if Father Christmas didn’t do the biz.

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Take your pick between the Phony GreyStation, the Dreampants, and grey cartridges

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Nintendo 64 (1996 / 1997)

My first experience with the Nintendo 64 console, way back when in Christmas ’97, was fairly inauspicious. For a start, I’m sure my older brother harboured some secret resentment about gettin gone, given that just about everyone else in his school peer group were getting or had already gotten PlayStations. And there is no section of society more judgmental, more better placed to finish you socially, then your schoolyard fellows. I wasn’t embarrassed at all, in fact I was chuffed. But what did set off some humiliation for me that fateful day was my quite literally ham-fisted attempts to hold the controller.

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Alpha males are born, not manufactured in robotic laboratories

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Mega Man X4 (1997)

It’s a competitive time to be a man, and you might be well aware that there’s nothing more fragile than the male ego. As a man, you may have had occasions in your life where you found yourself at risk of looking small or weak, and you had to fight back – like those impassioned little terrier dogs you see causing a ruckus, or when Napoleon started running amuck in Europe. And as a woman, you may have borne witness to your boyfriend making a right show of himself, after some well-hung hunk tried to chat you up. A man lives in fear that the bigger fish, the more dominant alpha male, will be along very shortly to prey on him. And when it happens, you just have to take your licks.

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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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