The US Air Force keeps writing checks my body can’t cash

R-Type Delta

R-Type Delta (1999)

Bored on the job, I decided to investigate the possibility of a career change. I was therefore looking up the requirements to be a jet fighter pilot and bloody hell, the list was as long as your arm. I ask, do they want an air force or not? You’ll end up with nobody up there and the battle for air supremacy will be lost if you keep up that carry on. I’ve got more runner-up and participation medals than you can imagine, so clearly I’m a pretty qualified guy. But these Air Force heavies, all they wanna do is exclude you.

Continue reading “The US Air Force keeps writing checks my body can’t cash”

The castle costs a fortune but the Succubus comes free

CastlevaniaSOTN2

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)

I always said that if I won the lotto I wouldn’t be overly extravagant about it. Don’t get me wrong, I hate when there’s a massive Euromillions win, €190 million squids and the winners aren’t virile, attractive young man like me (yes, me). No, it’s always Mary (73) and Joe (75) and they say it won’t change them and they’ll still work every day on the farm and all that rubbish.

What?! Joe, this is your big chance, and your heart hasn’t got much pump left. Get out there to Vegas and throw thousands of dollars on every spin of the roulette table. Keep the drinks and drugs coming, and even if you blow through a hundred thousand in a night, you’ve zillions left in reserve. That’ll have the “dancing girls” round your hotel room quick as well.

Continue reading “The castle costs a fortune but the Succubus comes free”

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

ps1 logo

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.

Continue reading “Confusing memories of load times, dangerous polygons, demo discs and Croc”

If I answer the phone to you, consider yourself privileged

Mega Man X5 Logo

Mega Man X5 (2001)

People are always asking me why I never answer the phone when they ring. Isn’t that obvious? In my book, calling somebody is probably the most selfish everyday thing you can do. It’s as if the caller is telling you, “stop everything you’re doing, you have to talk only to me now”.

If your number comes up as one of my saved contacts, you should know that you have about a 20% chance of being answered. If it’s a number that I don’t have saved, I shall let it ring out and Google it later. I may then ring back if there’s potentially something good in it for me, or pat myself on the back for my vigilance if it’s dodgy. And if it’s a private number, or from Botswana, you can forget about it entirely – waste of time.

Continue reading “If I answer the phone to you, consider yourself privileged”

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

Nintendo_64_Logo

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.

Continue reading “Take your pick between the Phony GreyStation, the Dreampants, and grey cartridges”

Alpha males are born, not manufactured in robotic laboratories

Mega_Man_X4_logo

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.

Continue reading “Alpha males are born, not manufactured in robotic laboratories”

R-Type is the series that says goodbye to everyone at a party twice

rtypefinal

R-Type Final (2004)

A performer needs to know when to bow out. There’s nothing worse than seeing an aged, washed-up athlete who just won’t admit it to themselves that they have reached ‘The End’. Their legs have gone, mentally they’re no longer that vital step or two ahead, they can no longer last the distance. No matter how prime an athlete they once were, time eventually caught up to them, as it always does. They just haven’t accepted that cruel fact yet.

It’s not just the sportspeople either – it seems all of show business suffers from a reluctance to accept that their day in the sun is long over. This has to be true, otherwise the Rolling Stones wouldn’t have embarked on their sixth Worldwide Farewell Tour. They even came to Ireland, for God’s sake. And as my grandad always observed, they only come here when they’re finished.

Continue reading “R-Type is the series that says goodbye to everyone at a party twice”

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.

Continue reading “Somebody crowbarred a love story into this card collecting RPG”

I spend every hangover chasing the purple dragon

SpyroTheDragonLogo

Spyro the Dragon (1998)

It’s the Halloween period, which can mean one of three things. To little children, it’s an almost too good to be true tale of free sweeties for doing just about nothing at all bar making yourself look silly in a costume for an hour or two. And for older adults, it represents buying two truckloads of sweets from the local wholesalers, only to do your best not to answer the door anyway, or at least frantically try to delegate the grand task to someone else.

Continue reading “I spend every hangover chasing the purple dragon”

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

mgs logo

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.

Continue reading “Focus your mind. Sharpen your senses. Swap your controller port. Metal Gear Solid”