In a new low, Biffo and Gannon barely take a look at Tiger's Real Feel Tennis electronic game - and make you an offer that you'll probably want to refuse...
I've not been shy of expressing that I think virtual reality is flawed at its very core.
It doesn't matter how good it gets, the fundamental idea prevents it from ever becoming the society-consuming technology we've seen in so many sci-fi dystopias.
It's like... I dunno... inventing a dog dirt flavour ice cream; You can keep improving the flavour to make it more authentically dog dirt-tasting, but if people don't want to eat dog dirt-flavoured things then it's unlikely there's much you can do to change their minds.
Not even if, on some level, they're impressed that somebody has a) Had the audacity to make and sell a dog dirt-flavoured treat, and b) Managed to so accurately simulate the taste and texture.
That, for me, is why I've sort of been a VR-sceptic; even if they can solve my motion sickness, that doesn't change needing a space in my house where I'm not going to knock things over, or be filmed secretly by my amused family, who can then show me the video so that I can go into a 24-hour depression and start looking up liposuction clinics.
A product that makes me vomit AND a figure of fun AND insecure about my body? Sign me up!!!!?!!!
Digitiser may be but a blot on the pop cultural landscape, but there's one major contribution we probably made to video game culture: I'm pretty sure we were responsible for the creation of the terms "hardcore" and "casual" gamers.
You see, when I was at school, "casual" was a phrase to describe a stylish, if unchallenging, sort of person - floppy fringe, nice trousers, smart jumper and shirt, shiny shoes; nice boys and girls, basically - so it was part of my vocabulary. However, I had my mum, and her Tetris addiction specifically, in mind whenever I referred to casual gamers.
Casual/Hardcore has become so ubiquitous now that I hesitate to claim it came from me, but I can't think where else it might've started. Indeed, Digitiser used to use casual rather sneeringly, looking down our noses as those for whom gaming wasn't the be-all and end-all, and implying a certain elitism.
We never really meant it, or even particularly cared, but as the years wore on it became clear that there were those who really took it seriously. For them, there was a badge of honour in being a "hardcore" gamer - and everyone else was in some way deficient.
Even though the casuals were the ones with an actual life and families and that...
So, if we created the casual/hardcore terminology - which has since spread around the world - then I'm sorry. But - hey - it's okay: because now there aren't just two types of gamers.
According to gaming and esports analysts Newzoo, there are now as many as EIGHT types of gamer!
Steam games roundup – guest post by SUPER BAD ADVICE... with comments from Peter Gabriel!
"Noot noot! Hello everyone, I’m prog rock legend and latterday Colonel Sanders lookalike, P. Gabriel. I’m here today to talk to you about a subject I have no interest in at all – video games on the PC gaming service, Steam!
"In fact, I think they probably only asked me because I once had a hit with a song called Steam, so it might all be an administrative error.
"It wasn’t as good a song as Sledgehammer either, to be honest, but it did pay for me to make another 5 albums of world music no one bought. Anyway, on with the reviews and my showbiz goss! Nooooooot!"
Biffo and Gannon have a look at the Retro Electro miniature replica Sega Mega Drive, and take a terrifying diversion into the supernatural...
If you're coming to Digitiser Live on July 20th, and you're able to get along to Harrow Arts Centre early, the lovely David Walford is putting on a sort of "Digi Fringe" event - which he has kindly offered to sponsor - for teletext artists and others in the Digi community who might have something they want to showcase.
We'll have more information soon, but if you're interested in showing off something - a game, a website, anything - drop us a line and we'll pass your details onto David.
Also, while we're on the subject of Digi Live... one of the segments we're planning is a sort of Antique's Roadshow thing. So, if you've some weird old gaming-related tat you want to bring along for us to assess on stage, that would be this: highly awesome.
Please bring the tat, otherwise we'll have another 15 minutes to fill.
If you'd like to appear here, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone, or you've got a picture of a bin you wish to share, please send your filthy emails to this place here: email@example.com
Yes: you read that right. Shakedown: Hawaii, the sort-of-sequel to Retro City Rampage, is also available for the PS Vita. Why? Nobody knows.
It doesn't matter.
I've never been to Hawaii. I mean, why would I have been? It's really far away.
I have seen Lilo & Stitch, however, which is set in Hawaii, probably, so I feel like I've been there. Unfortunately, this still makes it hard to assess the authenticity of the Hawaii depicted in Shakedown: Hawaii. It mostly looks like your usual top-down city, but with a few more beaches and palm trees and that.
Trying to research some context for the game didn't help much either. I found out that leprosy used to be a bit of a thing there, snakes and billboards are banned, and the island of Oahu boasts the largest "pineapple maze" in the world. Impressive, given we all know how much competition there is for that particular world record!!!!!?!!!!!!
Also, there are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet, which is why the Hawaii's state fish, the "Humuhumunukunukuapuaʿa", reads like the result of somebody falling asleep on their keyboard.
The history of gaming is littered with the discarded, fusty, husks of good intentions.
Regrettably, Virtual Reality has been responsible for more misadventures than most, not least when you look at the noble, if ill-fated, efforts of Sega, Nintendo and Atari in that area.
Admittedly, Sega and Atari shelved their Mega Drive and Jaguar VR headsets before they could be given the kicking that was coming their way, but Nintendo forged ahead with its Virtual Boy to a deafening chorus of "WHYYYY?!"
Indeed, Sony was the first console manufacturer to get VR right, when it bunged-out the PSVR in 2016, but few remember that this wasn't Sony's first visit to the Virtual Reality buffet table...
Read on, moist rajah, for the important details.
In the latest Digitiser Mini, Biffo and Gannon review their latest terrible compilation console purchases, and discover a treasure trove of bizarre, bootleg, games - including Mario 14 and Sonic the Hedgehog for the NES!
It's a well known fact that Virtual Reality only made it properly into homes some two decades later than predicted. Indeed, at one point it looked as if both Sega and Atari were poised to launch VR headsets, but the technology never reached a point where either company felt it was a viable gamble.
Combined with the collapse and sale of Virtuality, even arcade-based VR disappeared, leading to the technology being shelved as far as gaming went.
However, what few of us recall is that home Virtual Reality did happen back in the 90s - sort of - in the form of the VictorMaxx Stuntmaster. This head-mounted display, released in the US in 1993, was compatible with both the Super NES and Sega Genesis.
Digitiser will be doing a review of this abomination on our YouTube channel in the not-too-distant, but today... the focus is on the Stuntmaster packaging.
Which, as you'll, was seemingly put together by what we can only presume was some drug-crazed, hyperactive, psychopath...
Biffo and Gannon play the 90s-tastic Electronic Fib Finder Extreme Game - and reveal their deepest, darkest, secrets...
Super Mario and the NES became such a phenomenon so quickly, that Nintendo initially adopted a 'make hay while the sun shines' approach - licensing out its character to almost any old idiot.
Published between 1990 and 1991, Nintendo Comics System was the result of a deal with Valiant Comics, and featured characters from Metroid, Zelda, and Captain N: The Game Master. Suffice to say, quality was variable, and certainly raised some questions - not least when you see some of the bizarre liberties Valiant took with Nintendo's most valuable properties.
Never is this more apparent than in the company's Super Mario Bros. titles... As we shall now investigate.
In case you missed it, I was on Barshens last week. It's just over an hour of me, lovely Ashens, and Barry Lewis, shooting the breeze and laughing a lot. I discuss a number of things that I rarely talk about, and it was nice to stay away from the usual Digitiser and gaming subjects.
Look - there it is up there!
And talking of me and Ashens, you can see us both on stage next month, along with Paul Gannon and Larry Bundy Jr, in a very special Digitiser edition of Steve McNeil's Video Game Game Show Show. It's an interactive evening of nonsense, and will feature myself, Stuart, and my Digi bredrin battling against one another on a bunch of old games.
I went to one of Steve's shows a couple of weeks ago, and the way they use the technology to let the audience play along is quite unlike anything else. Please come along on the 18th June if you can. Tickets here.
Sadly (for you, but not us) Digitiser Live is now sold out, but at least you now have a second chance to see us in The Flesh...
Let's do a letters page.
If you'd like to appear here, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone, please send your dank emails to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Waka-waka-waka, and so on and so forth.
Pac-Man, despite first appearing nearly 40 years ago, somehow remains one of the most iconic video game characters of all time. The combination of simple-but-challenging gameplay and near-perfect character design has ensured that the pill-crazed yellow freak remains as recognisable as Mickey Mouse, or The Throat Wizard.
Truth is, however, that the original Pac-Man has rarely been improved upon, and here's a rundown of every Pac-Man arcade game to demonstrate this point.
Pac to life,
Pac to reality,
Pac to the here and now,
Biffo and Gannon attempt to take a look at the failed Watara/Quickshot Supervision handheld console... and make repeated unfortunate references to light entertainment celebrities, haircuts and the like.
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