Iron Mike’s gonna rip out your heart and feed it to the racists

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Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (1987)

They say sport is the great equaliser, and when it’s as accessible and universal as football, I have to agree. And give sport its dues, it helped break down a lot of race barriers. You’ll still get bananas thrown onto football pitches by knuckle-dragger fans. But as moronic as that is, how does that stack up against Muhammad Ali standing up to the white United States government and telling them he had no quarrel with them Viet Cong?

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Top 5 NES Games

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Burkey’s Top 5 NES Games (2019)

The NES, the first bastion of retro goodness – its lively 8-bit chiptunes are as homely as tea by the fire and an Easy Sunday roast. The NES has almost become the retro badge of honour, or even the acid test: you may remember playing Streets of Rage or Tekken against friends, and laugh with a trace of embarrassment to others about it years later. But those games simply don’t dig deep enough into the retro enclaves. A question has to be asked to separate the retro-enthusiast wheat from the chaff: are u old skool enuf for NES?

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The French sip wine, the Germans wear 80s clothes. The Irish fight each other

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Super Punch-Out!! (1995)

I’m Irish, which means boxing is in my blood. I’ve never actually stepped into the ring mind you, or done anything remotely like boxing training. I couldn’t even eat that foul pitcher full of egg yolks like Rocky does in that one film.

I can run a little bit, which would surely be useful when I come up against some opponent 3 times my size and hailing from a country with a Human Development Index ranking 4 times worse than Ireland’s. Whether that’s me running towards the opponent or running to safety well away from him, I’ll let you be the judge of.

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It was knee-high water that killed the Old West for good

 

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Red Dead Redemption (2010)

When a sequel is so good that its predecessor scarcely even warrants a mention, you usually know you’re on to a winner – it indicates that the first particular oeuvre was probably successful enough to warrant a sequel, but that this sequel is so good that it can stand alone and laugh mightily at any wouldbe challengers.

You’d hardly even know that The Silence of the Lambs was a sequel (both in film-form to Manhunter and in book format to Red Dragon). And what of Street Fighter 1? It exists, you know. But if this sudden revelation gives you an increasingly frothing desire to seek out and play that dirge, I can save you time by telling you simply not to bother. Just go and bounce your head off a massive subwoofer for a bit until all you can hear is nasty static and high-pitched squeals of terror – you’ll get the same effect as playing the original Street Fighter, more or less.

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