The monsters of depression, anxiety and self-loathing? Believe me, they’re no myths

kid icarus of myths

Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (1992)

We’ve had a lowest ebb, all of us, even if we came from a life of refinement and privilege. And unfortunately, not all of us make it out of our funk. There’s someone dying of suicide out there every 40 seconds. And according to the WHO, it’s possible that for every one of those adults taking their lives, there could be more than 20 others attempting it. What we can’t know is how many people are or have ever contemplated doing the irreversible.

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Save the world from scaldy monsters? I will in me hole

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Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen (1990)

Accents are a weird and wonderful thing. What I can never get over is how you only need to book it down the road before your own homely accent becomes strange and foreign – I’ve read before that in the UK, there’s an entirely different accent every 25km. So you’ll be going on your usual Sunday morning half-marathon, and then suddenly you find yourself surrounded by people speaking in this alien creole. And it’s a linguistic rule, perhaps written on an Ogham stone somewhere, that says “where there be accents, there be slang”.

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A seminal RPG! But, only find it in America of North and the Moonland Isle

Final Fantasy 4

Final Fantasy IV (SNES) (1991)

Did you know that you change your friends every seven years? That’s right, one day you’re out playing football on the road and a bit of Tip the Can for good measure, and the next moment (well, over the next seven years), they’re just left sitting on your Facebook friends list gathering more and more cobwebs. Actually, Facebook is last century’s buzz, isn’t it?

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Has a mal-attended Pictochat room ever downed a plane?

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Nintendo DS (2005)

I’m not going to start going at you about whatever the deal is with airline food, but if we’re ever gonna be allowed back on planes again without crowds of curtain-twitchers judging us and denouncing us as Satan, then we’ll have to think like travellers again. It’ll be back to sniffing out the best last minute deals, making that dicey decision about whether or not you really need to spend a tenner on travel insurance. And above all else, you need to make sure you have the right entertainment for the plane journeys themselves.

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You’ve had one drink too many, forgotten all your training and it’s Earth’s doomsday tomorrow – welcome to The Fear…

R-Type III

R-Type III: The Third Lightning (1994)

I ain’t exactly the memory man. I’ve been starting to get mild blackouts when drinking now, or brownouts as I call them, which is pretty worrying. After all, I could be out there battering folks three times my size and taking home their moll girlfriends afterwards, and I wouldn’t even remember any of it. Actually that kind of thing only happens in my wilder dreams, that special kind of feverish dream that you get when you go to bed drunk.

Then you wake up the next morning, and depending on how big that porcupine in your head is, you’ll either forget more and more of the divilment that occurred the previous night, or worse than that, you’ll remember some of the more questionable stuff you’re guilty of. You’re afraid to check your phone and you know that casting your mind back will only incriminate you. You’ve ended up with that terrible feeling that they call The Fear.

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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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Glancing blows and racing certainties with the Belmont in blue

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Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (1993)

It’s the worst feeling in the world for a man. No, I’m not talking about a Mitre Mouldmaster football, taken full force into the ghoulies on a bitterly cold day, which is heartbreaking enough. I’m not even talking about that very same scenario except this time the football just gives you a glancing blow, which is somehow even more painful. No, I’m talking about being emasculated.

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Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, look where my Chatot was

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Pokémon Sword & Shield (2019)

Many enthusiastic youths fancy themselves as stayers on the quest to become a professional sportspersonmember, but very few make it. The journey to the top takes immense sacrifice, more than a bit of luck, and some God-given talent. A hefty bank account wouldn’t hurt either. Even then, you might still get hacked down before your prime. For every marquee athlete, there’s hundreds who have chanced it all, only to fail and end up with nothing but a hard luck story. Well, that’s not fully true: some of the more fortunate ones might have stolen a peek at a now-famous sportsman’s tackle in the showers, giving them a story to tell for the rest of their lives.

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Nintendo blast open-world gaming’s eardrums with a double-necked Flying V

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Legend of Zelda, The: Breath of the Wild (2017)

Can a man get away with crying? Especially in front of his girlfriend. Men are often being told they should feel able to open up about their emotions, but I wonder. Am I now emasculated for life? Forever to be dismissed as a blubbing wreck with no bottle? Will even the children point and laugh at me? I’ll have to buy a muscle-suit and wear it at all times just to counteract that event, maybe with three smokes in my mouth too.

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It’s terrible. Who’d expect underwear cartridge bandits in this day and age?

super mario bros 2

Super Mario Bros. 2 (1989)

Burkey enthusiasts among you may be interested to note that Super Mario Advance is the one and only game I’ve ever lost. That’s not lost as in given away, in a similar vein to when you give a hoody to a girl and you’re much too unassertive and conscious of your social standing to ask for it back, I’m talking about misplacing the game and never, ever finding it. I’d love to know what I did to it, where it could be now. If only there was some sort of tracking device I could have used back in 2001 – if there was, I’d have put it on everything.

After all, what if someone had stolen it from me? And I was able to track down the guy who did it? Wouldn’t that be a plot-twist? I sometimes read about people having their entire collections stolen, or oftentimes stolen and sold on by their older brothers to buy drugs. For God’s sake, we’re talking SNES collections with Chrono Trigger and EarthBound, here. If that happened to me, I think I’d go on a rampage. I’m serious, I couldn’t be held responsible for my actions.

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