Pop quiz, hotshot – there’s a moon about to flatten your borough. What do you do?

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Legend of Zelda, The: Majora’s Mask 3D (2015)

So here’s your story prompt – you’re sat on the loo, taking care of business and picking your nose at the same time. Then it happens: a red alert warning pops up on your phone, screaming at you and informing you that an enormous meteor will impact Earth in three days’ time, and the cataclysmic smash will engulf us all. It’s a good thing you were sat on the throne, because this revelation’s really got things moving for you down there. It’s no false alarm like the nuclear scare that Hawaii had a couple of years ago either, this is a bona fide apocalypse you’ve got on your hands. What’s your next step?

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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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6 of Gaming’s Scariest Creatures

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6 of Gaming’s Scariest Creatures (2019)

Regular readers of these pieces will doubtless be amazed to learn that I’m not always so alpha. Yes, I may often cross the road without waiting for the green man or looking both ways. I’ve swallowed my chewing gum more times than I’d care to mention. I’m even tough enough not to blink at this time of year when fireworks are constantly exploding overhead or shooting straight towards my head. You’ve never met me, I hope, but we can probably both agree that I’m by far the bravest man you know – until it comes to games.

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Top 7 Legend of Zelda Items

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The Top 7 Legend of Zelda Items (2019)

Being one of Nintendo’s most popular and profitable franchises must be like becoming a made man in the gangster movies – every door gets opened for you. Such is the case for The Legend of Zelda, a series that’s had so much love and affection poured into it over the past 25 years that it makes you wonder whether the developers even look at their husbands, wives and kids the same way.

When you’re discussing games, particularly retro games, with other members of the gaming crème de la crème over expensive cocktails, it’s obligatory to mention one of the games of the Zelda series at some stage – it shows that you have at least a tiny clue. But you gotta be careful to get things right, for many’s the time a young hotshot gamer found themselves blackballed from swanky establishments for thinking that Zelda was the guy you played as.

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How would Bokoblins and Gorons have done in World War I?

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Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (2018)

The other day I was reading about World War 1 casualties in the final days of the conflict, and bloody hellfire. It was the old Hundred Days Offensive, that frightful last rush where the British front decided “Bugger to it all, chaps. Let’s bloody well finish the Gerrys,” to which the French faction gave a hearty “on hohn hohn” laugh and squealed, “Formidable!”

The Germans caught wind of this plan, and for three months they all ran at each other and drove tanks at each other until Germany finally cried for mercy. The net result? Over two million marked casualties. Many were captured, but the majority were killed, and all in the length of a summer’s holiday from school. With numbers like that, you can’t even imagine the face of a typical British or French or German or Austro-Hungarian fighting man, too young to be on a battlefield, but too old not to fight for his country. That nutter Stalin was right, it really is just a statistic.

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Marty McFly never had to perform as many space-time errands as Link

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Legend of Zelda, The: Oracle of Ages (2001)

I’ve already done a spiel on the changing of the seasons in my look at The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. In it, I mentioned how Ireland pretty well has two seasons, cold and less cold, and lately we seem to be getting hit by an awful lot of storms and genuinely lethal weather. After all, picture yourself in a rural cottage, ready to sit down by the fire with a hearty mug of tea. Then suddenly the wind of the gods blows all your roof-tiles away and spits a load of asbestos in your face.

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We don’t need new games anymore – remake Uniracers and you’ll send us home singing

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Legend of Zelda, The: The Wind Waker HD (2013)

An awful long time ago, I did a write-up on Wind Waker GameCube, or more accurately a 5,000 word dissertation. It was fairly stuffy, and in it I mostly spoke about how the graphics actually added a nice bit of whimsy and the story and plot was pleasant when you met big bad Ganon, but crucially some pilchard left a few dungeons out.

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In Ireland, it’s either winter or it’s not

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Legend of Zelda, The: Oracle of Seasons (2001)

Here in Ireland, we don’t get seasons, so much as we get a yearlong cacophony of grey clouds and rain, that may be punctured by the sun for a rare two week stint in the month of July before normal service resumes. The winter lasts six times as long as what would be our summer, which means all of spring is swallowed up in freezing mornings as well, and autumn is a brief 10 day window of leaves being crunched under your feet wherever you go, but it’s still freezing.

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It looks like Toon Link’s gone the same way as penmanship

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Legend of Zelda, The: Phantom Hourglass (2007)

I’m often described as being “differently abled”, something I always take umbrage with. After all, I do apply for the Special Olympics every four years, but I get snubbed every time. And I can’t join the regular circuit of the Olympics either, because my 100-metre times don’t especially measure up and Ireland is, unfortunately, a member of the drugs governing body WADA. But I know that I do have one physical ailment that sets my life back considerably, and that’s the fact that I’m left-handed.

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Seven years might seem a long time, but try an 18-month delay

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Legend of Zelda, The: Ocarina of Time (1998)

What a difference seven years makes. If I take a look back at my life seven years ago, it features me sitting in college doing nothing, after which I’d go to the pub or go somewhere to eat, then go home, play some games, harass a few women by text, and do it all again the next day. Now though? I go to work, do little… then go to the pub… somewhere to eat… hmmm, even the harassment still features. So maybe I have to be somewhat less profound here and conclude that, after seven years, nowt has changed for me. Which is just the way I like it.

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