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”.
Continue reading “Save the world from scaldy monsters? I will in me hole”
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.
Continue reading “It’s terrible. Who’d expect underwear cartridge bandits in this day and age?”
Duck Hunt (1987)
I’m gonna let you in on a secret that makes me look equal parts softy and petty: I had to block someone from my social media sites because they kept presenting photos of ducks that they’d shot on hunting trips. You already know that I all but crumbled when given a gun to shoot, so there’s no way I could turn a shooter on a nice little ducky. We once had to dissect a sheep’s heart in Biology class and I couldn’t even hack the idea of putting a knife into it. So how could I give both barrels to little Huey, Dewey or Louie?
Continue reading “Don’t be a sitting duck – tool up with the NES Zapper and get hunting”
Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation (1992)
People often talk about what’s in their bucket list, this bucket presumably being the one that we’ll all eventually kick. Top of most peoples’ lists is ‘travelling around the world’, which I find extraordinary. I’m a miserable old sod as you well know, but this travel the world thing was never for me. To be honest, with the exception of Japan, New York and maybe Vegas for a laugh, I’ve done just about all the places I wanted to. Australia, where I have to wrestle with spiders? China, where God knows what’ll happen next? African safari, where I might get eaten by lions, or far more embarrassingly, giraffes? No no, that ain’t for me.
Continue reading “When I find a chav paradise I like, I stick with it”
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES) (1990)
Let me set the scene: it’s Sunday evening, and you may well have had a bittova night last night. You’ve had yourself a decent old lunch to take the edge off a bit, but now it’s the main event and you ain’t cooking, no way. Now sometimes a Chinese will do you, and fair play if so. But tonight, it’s pizza. However, there’s that eternal dilemma with pizza – if you’re alone, then you can have it your way but you’ll always end up getting far too much and eating yourself into the bowels of regret. And trust me, they’re some bowels you don’t wanna eat your way into.
Continue reading “When the Sunday night fear kicks in, you know it’s Pizza Time”
Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line (1987)
I see someone thousands of miles away from me won the Euromillions again. A hundred million quid, if you don’t mind. The lucky sod. They’ll probably end up being unnecessarily frugal with it too, or worse than that, they won’t even give up their job. Can you believe how many people say that they’d keep working if they won the big prize? Well, it’s easy to look all noble by saying that, but talk is pretty cheap, isn’t it? Especially after you’ve won yourself a nine-figure bank account.
Even if you were a diligent little worker, happy to slave away at your desk for the rest of your young life (and in that case, why even play the lotto?) you can’t tell me that you’d hang on to your job just for something to do. The first little bit of nonsense that comes your way, whether that’s a snotty email or a pilchard colleague or a broken piece of software or a manager with no understanding, you’ll be straight out that door. No ifs, no buts. The only thing uncertain is whether or not you decide to defecate on your boss’s desk before you say sayonara to your impoverished colleagues for the last time.
Continue reading “Second prize is a set of Copper Knives, third prize is you’re dead”
Top Gun NES (1987)
I already outlined various reasons why I could never really cut it as a jet fighter pilot, and it’s not like I’ve suddenly developed perfect eyesight or sufficient backbone to get into the dreaded Helo Dunker. Those guys want near-perfect vision that’s uncorrected, so even if I did get them lasered, I wouldn’t be allowed in. But how could they possibly know? I would try to risk it, but I’d be afraid of getting caught and then Mr. Strickland would chew on my ass.
Continue reading “Burkey’s a wild card, flies by the seat of his pants. Totally unpredictable”
Final Fantasy (1987)
Sometimes I have to wonder how frustrating it must be to be a manager. Obviously, as I am an unambitious layabout, I haven’t got a staff to manage. But I do have extensive experience with Football Manager, which almost counts. There’s no need to overcomplicate management, because it’s a lot more simple than people realise.
Just have a think about what it’s like for sports managers, or better yet, put yourself in their shoes. You try to empathise with the players, get on the same psychological wavelength as them to make sure the big babies aren’t on the verge of bottling it. You prepare the team as well as possible, make sure they’re conditioned, make sure they’re fit. You lay out the full strategy against your next opponents, several times and as plainly as possible. Then your players go out and act like a bunch of pilchards doing whatever they like, and you’re left tearing your hair out. And in the end, guess who gets the bullet?
Continue reading “Black Mages are promoted to their level of incompetency”
Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels (1986)
Every now and then in your working life you’ll run upon a person who is just unrelenting. The type of person who wakes up, runs into the bathroom and smiles at the mirror, just to get it over with for the day. You can get them in school and college too, but it’s in work where people aren’t under any pretenses to be nice to you anymore. I’m the type of person who gives these grouchy gits concessions – I try to understand them, get a bit of craic going with them, make excuses for their infuriating behaviour. Then they still rebuff me and I’m left feeling like a pilchard.
Continue reading “Every game developer is just one bad day away from being mean”
Dragon Quest (1986)
Now please believe me: I’d love to spend my days and nights playing only the very best games, the champagne titles, properly sinking 200 or more hours into your Witchers, your GTAs, your Breath of the Wilds, even your Saints Rows. Alas, I’m cursed to play games from all walks of life. I’ve got this first world problem of owning too many games consoles, which means that I’ve got access to a wide range of games, and that’s before you even get to emulators. So when you see that I’ve written a piece on the original Dragon Quest, AKA Dragon Warrior, I know you want to tut, roll your eyes and ask why I’ve bothered. Well, put it this way – at least you can press Back, or you can read on and be finished in a few minutes. Dragon Quest 1 took seven hours from me.
Continue reading “Nowt like a bit of grinding to make you go all hard-headed”