The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was released to huge critical acclaim in 1998. Where you lived in the world exactly would dictate when, with Japan and North America releasing in November and Europe and other PAL regions having to wait a further month until December.

So here’s where you find me, on December 11th 1998 at 07:30 a.m. queuing outside of Woolworths in the pouring rain. I’d read copies were limited and I didn’t want to miss out so I got there as early as possible. I needn’t have worries, I was the only person there.

I’m going…

I was a committed Skyward Sword hater until the HD remaster for Nintendo Switch came along

Last year was Mario’s 35th birthday. And after the cards were taken down, the decorations tidied away, and the last of the cake (presumably baked by Peach) was eaten, gamers’ thoughts turned to the next Nintendo juggernaut that would celebrate a major anniversary: The Legend of Zelda.

Bear in mind that Nintendo doesn’t typically do a lot to celebrate these big franchise milestones (I’m looking at you, Super Mario All-Stars on Wii). That said, I was happy with the Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection that was received on Switch. …

I fell into running purely by chance

Source: Omar Ramadan, Pexels

As someone who played Sunday league football every weekend from the age of 15 through to 37, running without chasing a ball was alien to me.

In fact, it was something I actively disliked, something we were made to do for pre-season training. Often we’d meet at a pre-arranged destination and, after throwing our gear in someone’s car, would have to jog several miles to the football pitch as a warm-up. I never enjoyed it. Sure I understood how it helped with stamina, and I always complied but I was always happier training with a ball at my feet.


Can you remember a time before FIFA?

Much like the video game industry itself, the 1990s was also a time of great experimentation when it came to football/soccer games. I understand it’s called soccer in some parts of the world but I shall be calling it football from now on.

Long before FIFA won the virtual Premier League every season there were a great many pretenders to the throne, all vying for the chance to lift the trophy and be crowned “Best Football Game.” Here I want to look back at some of my favourites.

A trip down memory lane with the Spectrum and its extensive library of games

I can’t remember when my brother and I received our first Spectrum, but I remember the bundle of wires, unmarked cassettes, and dirty rubber-keyed computer. Its keyboard had letters rubbed off and one joystick was broken. It was a 48k Spectrum, and it had seen better days.

The Sinclair Spectrum made its debut in 1982 and was one of the first home computers in the UK. This hardware would play a key role in the development of video games and personal computers. To load up games, you needed to insert cassettes.

I asked my parents where this 48k Spectrum came…

The Wii U was Nintendo’s worst-selling game system, and yet it remains a truly magical experience

Let’s first address the elephant in the room: the Wii U was a commercial failure. It sold a measley 14 million units. To put that in context, the Wii (its predecessor) sold 101 million units and, as at the end of 2020, the Nintendo Switch (its successor) has sold over 70 million units (in under 3 years). The Wii U — released in November 2012 in two variants (a basic white 8GB system and a black 32GB pro model) — was Nintendo’s first foray into HD gaming.

Even the Wii U reveal event was a confusing mess. Was it a…

Nostalgia and tackling the challenges of our youth

Do you have a game you’ve never completed? Let me be more specific. I don’t mean a backlog; every gamer has a backlog. Last year alone I bought three physical and a bunch of digital Switch games, all of them either barely attempted or never played at all.

No, I’m talking about a game that you have (or have had) in your collection that you always wanted to complete. A game you like, maybe even love, but for some reason or other never got around to completing?

Over the years I’ve revisited most of the games of my youth that…

At the beginning of 2021 I hadn’t even heard of Medium.

I think I’ve always had a little creativity in me and over the past couple of years I’ve tried to find an outlet for it. I’ve tried streaming video games on Twitch, turned my hand to photography and also written one or two blogs for a couple of video gaming websites but Medium, never heard of it?

In January of this year (the 24th to be exact) on a cold Sunday morning I was up early getting ready to start work at 7am. It was a particularly frosty winter…

Remembering the forgotten game consoles of the 1990s

The decade between 1990 and the turn of the millennium was an amazing time to be a gamer. This virgin form of entertainment was nothing like the juggernaut of an industry we have today. It was a time of experimentation, where not all systems looked the same, and every console had its own unique joypad design. We started out the decade with Nintendo’s NES ruling the industry and Sega not too far behind. It ended with Sega throwing its last roll of the dice, Nintendo hanging onto practices of the past, and a young upstart from Sony wearing the king’s…

Sorry Mario, it’s not you, it’s me

The Nintendo GameCube sits awkwardly in my gaming history. Sitting between the much-loved N64 and Wii, I purchased my purple edition on launch day 2002 with copies of Luigi’s Mansion and International Superstar Soccer 2.

Looking back it had a tough act to follow for two reasons. Firstly, I bought my N64 in late 1997 with copies of Super Mario 64 and Superstar Soccer 64, two games I loved immensely and that set me on the path to being the Nintendo fan I am today. Luigi’s Mansion (as good a game as it is) is no Mario 64, and Superstar…

Andy Carrick

A veteran of many console wars. Rescuer of princesses, Slayer of demons, Runner of roads, Drinker of tea. Husband. Dad.

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