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Nuts ‘N’ Bolts: Volume 11

Phil came back from his holiday a tad earlier than expected. I’m pretty sure the neighbours didn’t appreciate 5 semi-naked men crouching in the bushes as Phil walked past our once occupied sun beds from his limousine. Nothing could prepare Jim for the unexpected visit either, as tea and biscuits showered the bear skinned carpet when Phil stuck his head round the door. The Turkish massage girl was promptly dismissed too.

Earlier in the week a mad rush to the top floor was made. Matt came running down into the room and excitedly told us of a couple over the road engaging in ‘an act of rambunctious fornication… with the curtains open!’ Stumbling up the stairs with TV, PS2 and EyeToy our team of normally calm reviewers struggle to position the camera with fast movements and excited giggles of laughter. Staring at the screen made us all make the grunting noise so commonly heard in single flats with Internet connections. The bloke over the road obviously had experience as he filled our 60-second slot on the video message with foreplay alone. ‘Unleash the beast’ he roared whilst ripping of his clothes like the Hulk before proceeding to beat his chest King Kong style beside his startled wife. We stared in awe. The next 30 minutes were spent with hardening trouser linings and heavy breathing, broken only by repeated attempts for Matt to put his hands where we could see them. By break time the sandwich guy turns up in which we slowly make our way down the stairs peering out of the windows on the landings. Tucking into corned beef baps and grinning from ear to ear we suddenly realise Jim is still upstairs. He comes down 15 minutes later, staggering slightly but showing a very wide smile. From the vantage point of the roof Jim was allowed a grandstand view of the long awaited ‘money shot’. He doesn’t stop talking about it all day.

After testing the video message capabilities of the EyeToy to the max we decide to try out the games. Wishi Washy was ruined by several attempts of writing ‘naughty words’ into the soap suds to no avail. Kung Foo grips our limited attention instead, and the accident just waiting to happen, er, happens. In the excitement our Elvis impersonator/moderator Brian proceeds to impress with various high kicks and punches until knocking my cup of coffee onto the floor. The team bursts into a round of spontaneous laughter for precisely 8.4 seconds, after which an email from Jim promptly arrives informing us all that the spontaneous laughter quotient for the day has expired. We all grumble for precisely 2.4 seconds before resuming to thwack ninjas. Later on we me and Brian have a heated row over the waste of possibly the best concoction of coffee ever know to man. Other staff members weep at the demise of the ‘Britains Greatest Lover’ mug and petition to bury our favourite beverage holder in the sacred grounds of Thunderbolt mansion.

Venturing into the female toilets Matt soon emerges with tales of a wall mounted device known as the Water Bunnie, apparently designed as a disposal point for sanitary towels. Unsure as to whether or not he’s just experienced an ‘erotic flashpoint’, Matt attempts to engage the team in a frank discussion as to the ‘arousal rating’ of a soiled tampon. Sophie is unimpressed. Rumours circle the office that the date is over until Sophie asks ‘what relationship?’ All eyes turn to a red faced Matt who hides behind his monitor.

Now every week we have a regular point and laugh. Last week was when Tony Blair attempted to wiggle out of the hole he dug himself into with the weapons of mass destruction. This week we had two (two!) to snigger over. First were Chris L’s dire attempts at review Whacked! on Xbox. Spelling and grammar went flying out of the window and in came the junk we learnt was wrong back in play school. “I’m sticking to sports games” he cried as we all wept “Oh god he isn’t going back to them is he?”. PAL (point and laugh) number 2 was Cherie Blair’s attempt at singing When I’m 64. “NNOOOOOO!” we all screamed. Antony dived out of the fourth floor window convinced his head was going to explode as we all rolled into balls and kissed our asses goodbye. “The Americans will never forgive us for this” we all whimpered.

Amongst all this tomfoolery we actually managed to get some work done. I pulled out all the stops and reviewed EyeToy: Play and YaBasic whilst chuckling away at my new book The Meaning Of Liff. Interesting fact of mine for the day went unnoticed as I told everyone the EyeToy review was written at 3 in the morning, apparently everyone was too busy attending their grandmothers funeral. “Funny” I said. “I thought she died when I needed you to come in when England played Argentina at World Cup 2002”. Shoulders are shrugged and the matter quickly forgotten. Oh well.
Our deputy editor Jim has been fairly busy this week. Bouts of rapturous laughter could be heard from his office as he played Perfect Ace, then started crying when Phil told him he was reviewing it. His heart can’t take it you know. Jim spent the rest of the week being uncharacteristically nice to us, no doubt trying to offload that gem of a tennis game onto a sucker.

Phil has been back for this week meaning we have to stay out of the sun whilst the rain edges ever closer. He hasn’t reviewed anything because he’s off to France for three weeks soon. The land where the phrase ‘chip on one’s shoulder’ originated from, for three weeks. Snigger. He’s been tempting us with stories of Cadet Camp, gun fights galore, night time invasions and singing ‘ging-gang-gooly-gooly’ round the camp fire. Sounds like fun to us.

Away from trying to convince his ‘ex’ otherwise about the tampon incident Matt has had his eyes glue to the GBA. Super Mario Advance 2, Donkey Kong Country and Yoshi’s Island were all defeated and rated by our man of passion and love. In the staff get-together in the pub after work Matt reportadly had more than his fair share of drink and confessed his undying love for everything that moves. We feel your pain oh man of passion.

Meanwhile our vixen of lady prowess Sophie stirred up GameCube fanboys by rating Zelda: The Wind Waker as “not the game it should have been”. It emerges that this special lady has big cajones whilst managing to stay feminine. Amazing. We all ask if we can have big hooters to grope whilst maintaining our masculinity. Cue a sigh she walks off. Most of us are still amazed Sophie puts up with it, you know, our manly sides.

Chris L has been having a nightmare of a week, asking every five minutes when the weekend is. The review that started this headache was Whacked! for the Xbox. Since then he has been in a depression leaving us trying decipher numerous grunts as to whether he needs feeding or not. When we got bored of rattling his cage it emerged that NBS was working on Outlaw Golf and Nascar Thunder 2003. Both sports games of course we pointed out before that saddened look crossed his face as he sank back into his chair. Sophie took the sad moment to heart and we had to literally push Matt into the room to console her. He came back out later saying he’d ‘scored’.
Meanwhile the other Chris, Mr P has been very quiet for the last few weeks but whipped the carpet from under us as he demanded opinions on his Unlimited Saga PS2 review. Plenty of the available staff were on hand to complement the quiet man on his achievement and most agreed it was what set Thunderbolt away from other games sites. Jim finally completed his take on Perfect Ace and cheered loudly in his office, which lifted the staff to ‘lets have a party’ mood. Tea and biscuits were handed round and we drunk hot beverages until the early hours. Chris P has now blended into the background with Jessie once again as they await to surprise us sometime in the near future. Freaky.

That lovely guy Josh reviewed the funny game that is American Football, funny in the way that it’s called football when clearly it’s rugby. Arguments from soccer/football loving outsiders were strong but once Josh pulled of his shirt and revealed those Arnie muscles we were all quick to agree that indeed soccer would be now known as soccer. We showed him. The two over-padded and over-celebrated ‘football’ games he reviewed were Madden NFL 2002 for the Xbox and the 2003 edition. He’s now in his corner playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. He won’t tell us what it’s like so I’m guessing we’ll have to wait. Chris did suggest ‘bringing him down’ until we pointed out the masculine build which gave Josh an unprecedented advantage over our puny bodies.

Still to lift his head from the GBA Matt has been unusually quiet. Perhaps he’s pondering which game to tackle next. Or does he have the stolen copy of Razzle hidden inside that magazine he hold so close to his face? You decide…

And me? Well there’s still Big Mutha Truckers, Seek and Destroy and Ape Escape2 to finish, a full 3 months after starting, but they’ve been put on hold in favour of EA’s .Cricket 2002. Making England great again is so much fun, but probably the best part of this title is it’s the only game around with a break for ‘lunch’ and ‘tea’. And they say footballers (sorry- ‘soccer players’) are pansies! A relationship pending with a special lady friend I’m chasing also ensure less time for play, but I just can’t wait to ‘unleash the beast’ in the bedroom.

News outside the office has been promising this week after the mouth-watering information and screenshots from PES3. Which reminds me, Phil get us (me) a review copy! Elsewhere those wacky boffins have been at work. With developers not content with making us, the gaming public, look like twats the Connect TV Snowboarder has been released. Connecting into the TV (no games console required) we can now perform ‘cool’ stunts in front of our friends in the safety of our own home. Jim was far from impressed as he attempted a vertical bollock-shifter and planted his face into the floor. We all laughed as our eldest member picked his embarrassed face from the carpet and promptly threw our newest peripheral out the window. The press release obviously lied and Jim wasn’t happy. Going back to sulk in his office we all chuckled at memories of the failed trick. Oh how we laughed. He he.

Well I’m off now to get some sleep after an all-nighter. Then the work begins all again tomorrow, in which I’ll try for a second successive time to make sense of a week spent lying in the sun. That’s if the sun ever comes out again. Rainy days…

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in June 2002.

Gentle persuasion

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