It must have been a heavy week last week because I slept for eleven hours Friday night/Saturday morning. It’s been a while since that last happened.

I restarted Alien Isolation on the Xbone – I think there’s some bile I’ve yet to spray over the flat. And just to add to the overall perversity and vicissitudes of fate, I cranked up the difficulty level to boot. That said, I’ve learned more than enough tactics to successfully navigate my way around the game, particularly compared to the first play through. Most of the deaths I’ve had have been by random chance rather than incompetence. Currently in the final stages of the game and after I’m finished, I might just start on GTA V (although there’s still the GTA IV expansion packs to wade through).

The conclusion of the recent DC Convergence storyline is effectively another potential reboot of the DC universe. I say potential as this would all depend on your point of view. Whilst the “Multiverse” is back in being, the slate has once again been wiped clean for…well let’s face it, for lazy, talentless editors to quietly concede that they are all out of ideas and so mess around with the gullibility of their readers. As my beleaguered housemate has heard me rant many times, it’s precisely this sort of garbage that puts me right off contemporary comic books, instead seeking refuge my older stuff. 

Speaking of which, it looks like the Munchkin run of comics is about to come to an end. Whilst they’re more British in style (shorter, independent stories rather than ongoing treatments), they’ve been quite quirky and highly readable. And the free Munchkin comic themed card that comes with each issue was a great bonus. Of course, I have nothing to base this on other than the fact there’s one more blank slot for the Munchkin cards. However, given the number of trading card and deck-building games out there, why do comic books not print up more freebies as a way to drum up more interest in the monthly titles rather than TPBs? 

Can’t believe it’s been twenty years since I left Stalag Woodhouse, twenty years since I sat my GCSEs (well, all of them bar Maths as I sat that early). I still haven’t had my final results from that damn school despite leaving them an SAE to post the certificates. And if I want the results…I have to pay huge amounts of money to the examination boards (I bet you I could DPA the information for free).

On average August days like today, I’m reminded of being a teenager, holed up in my bedroom playing whatever console or computer we had at the time with the curtains shut and a perpetually full glass of water by the table and weird sandwiches pilfered from the kitchen with whatever was lying around. For some reason, many of the earlier video games (8 and 16 bit) tended to have summer releases, presumably as a reward for hard work at school. I recall 1992 in particular – having a summer job doing…something but I recall what I did with the cash. WH Smiths, Sloane Square, downstairs to the little section that sold Commodore 64 games and buying one each week with my cash. I remember getting a copy of Emlyn Hughes International Soccer, the Dizzy games collection, one of Codemasters’ infamous Quattro sets – the one that included Little Puff. And then taking them home and playing them endlessly. Growing up in Chelsea Barracks and not knowing any of the kids in Broome or Butler House, it was all there was going on. 

That was something of a false economy – three days before I was due to go back to school, the male parent stepped on the C64 datasette breaking it in the process. Never bought a replacement and the C64 sat unused in my cupboard for almost eight years before I found another one at a car boot sale. Sadly, many of the tapes had degraded and the games were simply unplayable. The cartridges still worked (I only had three – International Soccer, Navy SEALS and Star Ranger) which was better than nowt. Unfortunately for him, my school blazer was left in the flat and we were in Nottingham so he had to drive down and pick it up…ha ha ha!

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