Festive acknowledgements! I am K-Max, the Christmas puck!
"Well, ain't he a whimsical imp? Don't he just make ya wanna smiiiiiile?"
As is tradition at this time of year, boys and girls across the known world are praying that a moist souvenir shall be bequeathed upon them by the being known as Bewhiskered Babak.
So damp are his souvenirs. So moist are they...
Soon I shall visit the children in their beds, and puzzle them with my warped contortions and strangled honks, before retreating to the comfort of my Noble Van.
Regardless, today is the most important Christmas day of all, for today is the day that I bestow upon you the traditional Digitiser Christmas Pant-Oh! This year: Farting (Sleeping) Beauty. All together now... He's behind you!
The Zodiac Killer!
Hello. I'm a popular comedian called The Man's Daddy. What are you all having for Christmas dinner? I know it is custom to ingest a heated turkeybird, but this year I thought I'd mix things up a bit, so I'm just going to lay in the garden face-down and wait for a worm. When one rises from the sod, I shall greet it thus: "Good afternoon, youngworm - and a Merry Christmas from all of us here on the surface! Yeah, noice. Well noice. Love it, mate."
Then I'm going to start screaming and sobbing and snapping my teeth, because it will have been the most subtle thing that has ever happened within the human world.
Something many families like to do at Christmas is laugh erratically at the tiny jokes they find inside a Christmas crackuss. Nobody knows who writes the jokes, or how they get inside the crackuss, but this year the mystery shall be partly solved. Please understand: this festive season, YOU shall be the one compelling the "funnies" into the "crackuss"!
That is, if you'll be so kind as to use my special Christmas crackuss jokes!
So anyway, I really hope you like them. Yeah, I really do. Hope you like my jokes. Well, anyway, bye then. Gotta go now. Yeah, bye. Bye, then. Hope you really like my jokes. Okay, bye.
Like the jokes, yeah?
Okay. Bye. Yeah, bye. Don't forget to like the jokes. Okay. Noice.
The gulf between really great retro game cover art and really bad retro game cover art never ceases to stagger me. I get that it was a different time, and that any arse who got a ZX Spectrum for Christmas could program and release a game, but man... it was pretty clear that possessing basic programming skills rarely went hand-in-hand with even rudimental graphic design ability.
Because it's always fun, here's a quick trawl through some more of the Spectrum's most graphic atrocities.
No Digitiser today unfortunately, due to profound/spooky exhaustion. But get this: it's Halloweeeeeeeen!
And while I have you, please send your emails for the Digitiser Friday Letters Page to firstname.lastname@example.org
Goodbye... or should that be... "GHOSTbye"...?
As something of connoisseur of poor, home computer-era, cover artwork, it has become clear to me that there is one genre of game with more than the usual share of terrible, inexplicable, or just plain wrong covers. That genre is this genre: the football game genre.
And I present for you now a gallery offering definitive proof of this fact.
SONY IS RELEASING A MINI PLAYSTATION, SO HERE's A BUNCH OF THINGS EVERY PLAYSTATION OWNER WILL REMEMBER
It was inevitable, but Sony has announced that it's copying Nintendo, and releasing a miniature version of its original PlayStation. The PlayStation Classic - due later this year - will arrive with 20 pre-loaded games (including Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, R4 Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3 and Wild Arms).
So, that's exciting, probably.
To celebrate this news, here are a bunch of things which anybody who owned a PlayStation will remember... WITH THEIR MINDS.
They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but we all do it. I mean, even if a tramp had the magical ability to bestow unlimited riches upon you in return for a kiss, it's unlikely you'd plant one on the mouth if his lips were smeared with dog dirt. Actually, I probably would do that. But anyway.
Sadly, video games have reached a point where there's a decent amount of work and skill and money that goes into today's unremarkable, identikit, game covers.
It wasn't always the case - as evidenced by this exhaustive gallery of the worst, most wrong-headed, and poorly-conceived Commodore 64 box art...
"Face front, true believers! It's your old pal Stan 'The Man' Lee here - creator of The Amazing Spider-Man (the less said about Steve Ditko the better)!
"I'm contractually obligated to make a cameo appearance in this list of semi-obscure Spidey games, but unfortunately I'm very busy cleaning out my car - so I hope you can bear with me while I get that done. It won't be a wasted exercise, though - I'm always coming up with ideas for new characters, and a good writer can take inspiration from almost anywhere!
"Please note - this is not an exhaustive list, so please don't go whinging that Maximum Carnage, or the Mega Drive games, or whatever, aren't in it. Excelsior!"
The Internet; we take it for granted now, but once upon a time - not so long ago - it was a brand new thing, and nobody really knew what you were meant to do with it. TV shows, magazines, and the producers of stock images, did their best to explain it back in the 90s, in a variety of bizarre ways. Shockingly, however, time would prove many of their predictions to be spot-on.
Here are 14 images from the 90s which succeeded in predicting what the Internet would become.
"Hey, everybody! Welcome to The Most Iconic Light Gun Shooters ever, sponsored by Le Spiced Bean Cafe. I'm Gulliver Sullivan, owner and chief barista here at Spiced Bean, and I'd like to offer you all a 10% discount on your next order of raw muffins.
"Just use the code 'spicedbeanlightgun20' when you come in and we'll fix you right up. Can't wait to see you guys! We just finished a refurb down here at Le Spiced Bean, and the joint is looking FRIGID! We stripped everything back to the raw brickwork, and It is deck, brah!
"But hey - enough of my hard-sell, let's get on and check out the most iconic light gun shoot 'em ups of all time! It's gonna be wack, yo!"
"Borag thungg, earthlings! I am Art Garfunkel, the folk singerman from Simon und Garfunkel. Why 'Art'? It's short for Artificial, because when I was born my parents thought I looked like some sort of weird mannequin of 'Garfield's uncle'. I still do! Ha ha.
"I shortened my name to Art because I really like art (paintings and that) and f'arts (smelly bum noise). This is why I've chosen to tell you about ten of the best-looking Sega Mega Drive games you've probably forgotten about, while also telling you about some of the best farts I ever did.
"I'm sure it's going to be a lot of fun, so here's to you, Tommy Robinson - racists love you more than you can know, woh woh woh!!"
"Hi, guys. Louis Pasteur here - the microbial fermentation dude! Do you remember when real-time strategy games were massive?
"I can't say I do - I mean, I died in 1895. However, I'm reliably informed that RTS games are still around, though the days when an RTS would be considered a major, triple-A, blockbuster release are long gone. You know: like rabies and anthrax are long gone, following my invention of the vaccines and stuff.
"I mean, I don't want to blow my own trumpet. I just worry that all my great work has been forgotten. Has it been forgotten? Please let me know in the comments. I hope I don't sound too needy!!!!
"Anyway. Look: here's a quick history of the evolution of this most point-and-clicky of genres. Remember to leave me a message in the comments, guys. Thanks, guys."
"Wotcha, pillocks! Gordon 'Swearing' Ramsay here. Unquestionably, The Bitmap Brothers were one of the highest profile game fakking studios in Britain during the late-80s and fakking 90s - one of the original 'rock star' games studios. This is why I've been asked to present this listicle - because I'm the original 'rock star' chef. Whatever that fakking means.
"Unfortunately, I recently opened a new boating lake, and some of the rental pedalos are staying out beyond their allotted fakking hire period. So, I'm going to have to try and sort that out while giving you a brief overview of The Bitmaps' history.
"Of course, the company's immediately identifiably, chunky, visual style - basically, no hard fakking edges - was matched by the quality of their fakking games. Rarely did the company dabble in the same genre more than once - beyond a sequel or two - and they were one of the few reasons fakking console owners looked enviously at the fakking Amiga.
"Alas, the Bitmaps - led by MD Mike Montgomery - haven't developed a brand new game since 2003 (though ports of some of its most iconic titles have appeared on smartphones). That's a fakking shame, in this era of homogenised triple-A releases.
"Here's a brief celebration of their finest fakking achievements. Come in number 9, your time is fakking up! Fakking liberty. Fakk's sake."
"Hello, everyone. I'm Feargal Sharkey. You probably remember me as the lead singer of The Undertones, and my 1985 solo hit, A Good Heart. I'm here today to... oh! Oh, fuck shit, guys! There's a fuckin' wasp in here!
"Typical. I always used to enjoy adventure games, and was hoping to lead you through this list of some of the greatest point-and-click adventures ever released.
"Unfortunately, it looks like now I'm going to have to spend the whole time dealing with this fuckin' wasp.
"...Stop telling me not to swear, mammy! There's a fuckin' wasp in here! God, I really hope it doesn't sting me on the fuckin' butthole!"
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