Top 5 Gaming Valentines (2021)
St. Valentine’s Day is one of those obstacles that everyone has to get past, unfortunately – a day of painful reminders for the singletons, and an absolute minefield for those of us actually in a relationship. Still, I’m sure we all lap up a good romance in fiction, and that extends to gaming – even if the beau and the belle are little more than 8-bit pixels. Whether you live for February 14th, or whether you can’t wait for the whole rigmarole to be over, our look at five of gaming’s power couples should help get you in the Valentine’s mood.
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Top 5 Retro Final Bosses (2020)
You’ve shelled out your hard-earned cash on a brand-spanking new game, gotten through the first few levels, built up your skill and routed all the henchmen. Now all that stands between you and that satisfying, sweet release of the credits screen is the dastardly Final Boss. Yes, it’s tough to even think of any game that doesn’t boast some sort of a final foe for you to defeat – and in the case of most games, particularly in days gone by, the Final Boss was the biggest showpiece of the entire caper.
Wouldn’t you feel short-changed if you took down a load of megabosses, and fought your way to the end of a challenging run-and-gun game, only to be confronted with a teensy pushover of a last opponent? You couldn’t have ended Street Fighter 2 by fighting Dhalsim, could you? In the case of final bosses, bigger and meaner is definitely better. Here, we take a look at the Top 5 Retro Final Bosses, showing that even primitive hardware can throw up some of the most cataclysmic battles ever.
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Super Smash Bros Pub Fight Tier List (Part 10)
You don’t need me to tell you that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been an absolute triumph, a hugely ambitious project in a series that boggles and reboggles its fans with the sheer scope of all the features included. Well, an even more ambitious project was also set to draw to a close – namely my Smash Bros Pub Tier List (but of course).
But then – wouldn’t you know it – more DLC has been announced, meaning that all of the Fighter’s Pack #1 guys, girls and bears below are already old hat. Can you believe that? Actually, what I can’t believe is how quickly I flexed my stubborn attitude on downloadable content, and bought it. Whereas previously, if it wasn’t on the disc or cartridge or cassette tape then I either stole it or didn’t want to know. But now I’m on my knees in front of Sakurai-san, waiting for him to finish. Ah, finish the second Fighter’s Pack, that is. Continue reading “Super Smash Bros Pub Fight Tier List (Part 10)”
Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 16)
Back to our trip of Hoenn, and we’re at that stage of the Pokédex that’s usually the most obscure: the beginning of the Dex is your starters, the common bird, the Rattata equivalent, and maybe a cute Pikaclone or two. The last section of the Regional Dex is where the mascot Legendaries, the Dragonite, and maybe some evolutions from previous Generations live. You don’t tend to forget about those guys.
Right before the heaps of Legendary Pokémon that Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald foisted on us is the likely lads below, with some of them quite a bit more forgettable than others. We’re talking chameleons, ghosties, and giant ice heads today. You can’t knock Hoenn for its variety, can you?
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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 15)
I’ll say this for Generation 3, they sure gave us a whole heap of new Pokémon, over 130 new boys and girls and Claydols to get acquainted with. And unlike Generation 2, which barely even showed you a nipslip of its new Pokémon, Hoenn invited you backstage to a strip show with everything on display.
Everywhere you looked it was bouncing Spoinks and smooth Lunatones and horny Solrocks and thick Wailords. It threw its Pokémon in your face until you couldn’t breathe, and the Gen 1 Pokémon waiting for you at home suddenly looked so bookish and librarian and frumpy in comparison. You know what I mean?
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8 Gruesome Ways to Die in Gaming (2019)
It’s true – game characters die all the time, and sometimes you just can’t do a gosh darn thing about it. Still, being shuffled off this mortal coil isn’t that much of a bummer for them. Almost unfairly, they’ll always simply start over from a checkpoint or save point. Or at worst, back at the level’s beginning. Unless it’s that crazy mech game Steel Batallion, then death might very well be death. But other than that…
No, death for a gaming character tends to be merely a slap on the wrist in this day and age, but you had to look after your limited lives a lot more in retro games, especially when your poor characters suffered some pretty grisly fates. Even in some of the cutesiest games around, the methods of death could be fairly macabre, even if the designers didn’t mean them to be so. In true Christmas spirit, then, here are what I consider to be eight of the gruesomest, most alarming game deaths, in no particular order.
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6 Pokémon You Wouldn’t Want in Real Life (2019)
Any player of Pokémon has surely had a near nerdgasm at that fantastic idea of Pokémon being real. Even if it were just Pidgeys flying into your garden and eating Caterpies, you’d still lap it up. Even if these things already happen in nature, it’s all a bit mundane for you – why can’t there be 15-foot long blue worms living in the water that turn into humungous orange dragons if you feed them enough candies?
And why can’t there be a bee the size of a small child? Or an enormous squid that can take down buildings? But no – we have to get our Responsible Caps on, every once in a while. It just wouldn’t do if every Pokémon were real. Some of them are just downright dangerous, even in David Attenborough’s hands, never mind a snotty 10-year-old child. Here, we take a look at a full team of six Pokémon that one wouldn’t fancy the hassle of keeping in real life. Keep in mind that all six of these hail from the primitive first Generation of Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow. I have to cater for the casuals sometimes, don’t I?
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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 14)
Toerags, Titanics and thunderous crying – it’s a pretty diverse range of emotions below, to match the pretty diverse range of Pokémon available to you in the Hoenn region. Don’t count your chickens now, because there’s still a zillion water Pokémon to get through in the Hoenn Dex. And in later regions, we obviously have to acquaint ourselves with the fact that there are rubbish bags, ice creams and carkeys all vying for a spot on our team. Next to guys like those, your Minuns and your Volbeats don’t look so bad, do they…? Ah, don’t answer that.
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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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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 13)
I’ll say this for the Generation 3 lineup of Mons, it’s certainly diverse. In this piece alone, we’ll go from Rule 34 bait to sumo wrestlers to Digimon rocks to mushroom Ryu from Street Fighterses. It’s a little bit more than 3 Magnemites stuck together or a mega pile of sludge, know what I mean? Mind you, the originality does fall down a little by the time we get to Azurill.
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