Tag Archives: childhood

Tony Hawk stole my youth

I put on a game I have to review today and, on seeing its intro, was instantly reminded of how brilliant a time I had in Tokyo a couple of months ago. Corruption? Where? But yeah – the simplest of things conjuring up these vivid memories.

Canned, cold coffee (ohmygod it’s so delicious), confusing streets, me realising just how picky an eater I am, nasal girls dressed up  like six-year-olds trying to lure you down alleyways, Hell Boat, me turning down even more food, karaoke, secret smoking areas we walked for four miles (may be an exaggeration) to find, Akihabara being fucking weird – great times. All brought about from a game. Weird.

But it’s nothing compared to Tony Hawk’s. Reading something about it earlier today made me regress to my childhood/youthdom, and I’m still rolling through those formative years in my head right now

That game, along with Pro Evo (and to a lesser extent the Smackdown series), pretty much holds dominion over my youth. Countless days spent playing it with mates, sessions going through the whole night, hilarious new words invented for HORSE, the entire soundtrack being downloaded (very, very slowly on Napster) – it was the background to my adolescence.

And I was never actually that good at it.

It’s no surprise the songs from the first two games are littered about my iPod, picked up independently of each other over the years. They stick with you and they remind you of the game, and the game reminds you of Them Times Everyone Loves. I’m a better person now; I’m less awkward and more comfortable in who I am and what I can and can’t do. But that doesn’t stop part of me from missing Them Times Everyone Loves.

I would need to get better at the game, though.

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Warhammer, or: how I failed to be THAT kind of nerd

I’ve been playing Space Marine as I’m reviewing that badboy, and it’s had me thinking about how I failed to truly nail the nerdgasm that is Warhammer, Games Workshop and all that shit as a child.

See, I played Space Hulk on the Amiga and it made me happy. Why wouldn’t it? Giant armoured men shooting and punching Aliens rip-off Genestealers in the future, all sci-fi’d up the joint. Marvellous. I wanted in. It was based on a board game, for which I asked and – for a Christmas present – received.

That was where it all went wrong, really. While the tiny, paintable figures were cool as shit (and if you argue otherwise, you are a moron or a girl), I did not have the artistic inclination to make them look anything other than ‘slathered in yellow’, ‘doused in green’ or ‘saturated with red’. So that aspect – the obsessive, detailed painting – was out.

But that’s not the most important part – no, the most important part is the game, yeah? Yeah, apparently. But the fucking rules. Jesus. I mean, I still remember them because I studied them quite hard to try and figure out how to play the thing, but I always resorted to just rolling dice for moves and going “PEOW PEWO DUKKA DUKKA DUKKA” for combat, rather than spending Command Points (I think it cost one to turn 90 degrees). Eff that ess, as my tiny child’s brain said.

Thing is, my most favouritest videogame, UFO: Enemy Unknown, works on this exact movement points-based principle. Obviously I need animation and sound and mouse clicks to make me give a shit. Hmm.

Anyway, yeah, I also played ‘proper’ Warhammer 40k once, and it shocked me even more. It was a case of measuring movement – you were allowed to go five inches forwards, or something. It was honestly quite baffling at the time.

I also failed at enjoying any visit to Games Workshop ever, as I just didn’t fit in with this brand of nerd. Also the people who worked there (the one in Meadowhall, near the big Boots, next to the exit) were damn rude.

So I am sorry, nerdlingers. I never got into that whole thing, try as I might. I’m still one of you though – just in a different way. And if you have any tiny, (well-)painted men you want to donate my way I’d be happy to stand them next to my other stupid toys I have at work.

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Fireworks and the art of going BOOM! in the sky

Got halfway through this yesterday, booze, Empire Strikes Back and low battery got in the way of finishing it. Sozzer.

Think of things you loved as a child: the smell of fresh cut grass, cool, dewy morns, free cake. It was all great, clearly. One of the things a lot of young ‘uns liked seemed to be those flaming (tiny)tubes of gunpowder launched into the air for the seeming good of humanity. Or: fireworks. Those things you set fire to and watched explode. Yeah, them.

I watched some tonight – nothing amazing, just a barge on the sea throwing flaming cylinders into the sky so they can explode in a shower of coloured… stuff. It was alright, though not exactly on a par with THE BEST FIREWORKS SHOWS IN THE WORLD, like… umm… the ones I’ve never seen. It had colours, explosions and a variation in the type, colour and size of explosion that happened all over the sky. So yeah, that was alright.

Thing is, when I was a kid I was terrified of the bloody things, and I never understood how anyone could be anything but terrified. I mean, they were literally explosion shows, with explosions. Loud ones. Big bangs combined with the impending terror of another big bang never did bode well for tiny Ian.

While I’ve managed to get over that and can now successfully coo with delight at the slightest sign of any coloured explosives being launched into the sky, I do still retain some feelings of fear from my childhood. As such, if you see me flinching at a fireworks display, feel free to come over, point, laugh and say “hahaha, Ian was a child once!” BOOM!

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