Like random encounters, the Swedish girls were coming at us thick and fast

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Tales of Phantasia (1995)

You have me down as an uncultured oik, I know you do, so it’ll probably surprise the hell out of you when I tell you that I’m pretty well-versed in Norse mythology. No, really, I know all about that Thor fella, and he had a hammer that did something with lightning or somesuch. Something that made him overpowered, anyway.

I’m not altogether happy with Thor, Chris Hemsworth or any hammer user, if truth be told, because he ended up inventing Thursdays, and Thursdays are my busiest day in work. A bit arrogant too I find, naming a day after himself. Why don’t we get Supermansday?

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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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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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Uh-oh! The gravy train have started to move!

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Mega Man X6 (2002)

A lot of people, when you ask them how their day in work was, tell you that they did “nothing”. Actually, they’ll say the same thing when you ask them what they did last night or what they’re doing for their upcoming 37th birthday. But “nothing” is always something, even if that just entails sitting there, faffing about like a pudgy potato and watching Netflix. And would you believe me if I told you that I once had a job where I was paid full whack for doing absolutely nothing, besides watching whatever I wanted?

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Black Mages are promoted to their level of incompetency

Final Fantasy 1

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?

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Peppa Pig is OK, but kids are missing out on Joe Perry’s Spiderman theme

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Final Fantasy V (1992)

I don’t mean to be the type of old fart that goes on about what the kids are missing out on, but let me ask this: are Saturday morning cartoons a thing anymore? Christ, is sitting your child in front of the telly a thing anymore? I can see neo-parents going “OK Google, put Peppa Pig on for 4 hours,” a child entirely raised by Google, morning noon and night. A great symbiotic relationship, actually: the child gets an always-on nanny. And as for Google, look at all that data they’re getting, from the cradle to the grave!

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The US Air Force keeps writing checks my body can’t cash

R-Type Delta

R-Type Delta (1999)

Bored on the job, I decided to investigate the possibility of a career change. I was therefore looking up the requirements to be a jet fighter pilot and bloody hell, the list was as long as your arm. I ask, do they want an air force or not? You’ll end up with nobody up there and the battle for air supremacy will be lost if you keep up that carry on. I’ve got more runner-up and participation medals than you can imagine, so clearly I’m a pretty qualified guy. But these Air Force heavies, all they wanna do is exclude you.

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The castle costs a fortune but the Succubus comes free

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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)

I always said that if I won the lotto I wouldn’t be overly extravagant about it. Don’t get me wrong, I hate when there’s a massive Euromillions win, €190 million squids and the winners aren’t virile, attractive young man like me (yes, me). No, it’s always Mary (73) and Joe (75) and they say it won’t change them and they’ll still work every day on the farm and all that rubbish.

What?! Joe, this is your big chance, and your heart hasn’t got much pump left. Get out there to Vegas and throw thousands of dollars on every spin of the roulette table. Keep the drinks and drugs coming, and even if you blow through a hundred thousand in a night, you’ve zillions left in reserve. That’ll have the “dancing girls” round your hotel room quick as well.

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Confusing memories of load times, dangerous polygons, demo discs and Croc

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PlayStation 1 (1996)

For almost the entire duration of the Nintendo 64’s lifespan in Europe, from the not-so-lengthy 1997 to 2001, I was all over the weekly Nintendo magazines. I had made the conscious decision to get a Nintendo 64 over a PlayStation 1, see. And it was entirely my decision, because I was 6 years old and bratty, so my older brother had to do as I said and ask for the correct console from Santa for Christmas. Never mind that every single one of his friends was getting the much-vaunted PS1, little Burkey wanted the N64 for its Nintendo franchises and he was about ready to befoul his pants if Father Christmas didn’t do the biz.

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