Biffo and Gannon take a look at the Hyperkin Smartboy - a device that turns your phone into a Game Boy! Also: Biffo performs his latest single...
I've written at length about my love of Star Wars. It's not a blind love - Star Wars isn't perfect, I had big issues with the ending of The Last Jedi, most of the novels and comics I can take or leave, and I think the prequels are just plain weird.
Yet it's a love that won't ever really fade, because it has been part of me since I was a child; the world building, the hardware, the sheer wealth of imagination. To me, it always felt so tactile and real, a world I could inhabit. With true love, we can forgive so much.
What I really want is the definitive Star Wars video game that we've never really had... and I'm not convinced, despite it receiving a broadly positive response off the back of its E3 showing, that Jedi Fallen Order is it.
Electronic Arts has, of course, spectacularly mishandled the Star Wars license. Battlefront was pretty good, but what everyone said they wanted was a single-player Star Wars game - one which told a story we could become invested in.
Instead, what we got was Battlefront 2, a multiplayer shooter that felt rushed, was stuffed to the uvula with loot boxes, and had a tacked-on single player mode that felt like an afterthought.
Amid all this, EA closed down the Star Wars game that was being created by Amy Hennig - the former creative director of Naughty Dog - which had very much looked to be the Star Wars game everyone was clamouring for.
And now we have Fallen Jedi, a "metroidvania" set five years after Revenge of the Sith, but looks very much in the vein of Force Unleashed; a two-game series that had its moments, but was ultimately rather forgettable.
Biffo and Gannon test out the vintage Nintendo Love Tester - with a little help from Larry Bundy Jr. Who does Biffo love the most? Will it be one of the boys... or his own wife?!? The answer may surprise you!
Next week, the entire Digitiser show team will be descending on London for Steve McNeil's interactive Video Game Game Show Show.
Myself, Larry, Paul and Octav1us will be joined on stage by none other than Ashens, who really shouldn't be slumming it with the likes of us. Tickets are almost sold out, but you can check here if you fancy coming along.
It'll be the perfect warm-up for Digitiser Live, which is just over a month away. Don't forget: there'll be a free event, Chunky Fringe, happening all afternoon before the main show. There'll be displays, and panels on classic Digitiser and Mr Biffo's Found Footage - featuring the likes of Mr Hairs and, once again, Ashens. More details can be found here.
If you weren't fortunate enough to get a ticket to Digitiser Live, drop us an email at email@example.com as we've had some returns, and so may be able to get you in. If not, we'll add you to a standby list. It is going to be awesome, probably.
I'm getting really stressed about it!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!?!!!!!!!!!!!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Biffo and Larry Bundy Jr aren't just super gorgeous YouTube presenters; they've also worked on video games! Here they discuss some of them, including Oni and Future Tactics for the PS2 - and even reveal how much they got paid!
In recent years, E3 has succeeded in blowing away the cobwebs of my jaded cynicism, but this year there's a real sense of ennui. We're at the arse-end of the current generation, and all the major games industry players seems to be holding their breath.
There have been big game announcements, but you've had to cherry-pick them from amid the detritus of DLC, mission packs, remakes, and spin-offs. It feels like we're treading water.
"Cloud gaming" is being whispered as being the next big thing, but there's such resistance to it among traditional audiences that everyone appears genuinely fearful of what might come next.
Gaming, it seems, is having its own Trump/Brexit moment; the future has suddenly become very unpredictable.
Here are some more of the biggest stories to come out from E3 so far.
UbiSoft's E3 presentation kicked off in earnest with a symphonic performance of the Assassin's Creed Odyssey score, previewing an upcoming musical tour. I mean, it was very nice and all that, but not really what anybody was there for.
Along the way there was an embarrassing dance sequence to mark the tenth anniversary of Just Dance - you could feel the rictus grins even on this side of a YouTube stream - and an unexpected appearance by a man from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
He was there to promote his upcoming Apple Plus TV show, Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet... in which he plays the creative director of a fantasy video game.
Yes: UbiSoft is getting into film and TV production. Because... why not?
In spite of all these distractions, UbiSoft still managed to show off some games, even if it was a more muted, perfunctory, presentation than it has put on in recent years.
Here are the big boiz you ought to know about.
Biffo and Gannon try out Tiger's handheld LCD Virtua Cop light gun game, and see if it's possible to play pinball by sense of smell alone...
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Something I'll give Bethesda credit for: the people they wheeled out onto their E3 stage were at least somewhat more relaxed than almost everyone at Microsoft's presentation.
There was a lot of being humble; admitting that the criticism they've received in the wake of Fallout 76 was "well-deserved"... there was a lot of thanking the fans, a lot of giving them credit for everything, and a lot of talking about their amazing global communities.
They couldn't exactly ignore the reception suffered by Fallout 76, so all credit to them for acknowledging it, even if they did try to put a positive spin on it. The big news? Human NPCs are coming back to Fallout 76.
Thanks for that, everyone!!!! You're all so amazing, and it's all down to you!!!!!!?!!!!
<WHOOPING, CHEERING, FOAMING AT THE MOUTH, ROCKING BACK AND FORTH>
Here are the other big Bethesda announcements.
It didn't help that, for me, Microsoft's E3 presentation suffered a weird lag, which made everyone who walked out on stage appear drunk. If anything, however, that actually improved matters, and lent a surreal, soporific, dream-like quality to an event that otherwise felt far too familiar with its blend of familiar game genres and PR-speak.
Admittedly, lessons have - to a point - long been learnt from previous years, and the focus was firmly on games. This didn't stop the stifled autocue reading, or Phil Spencer's self-satisfied swagger, or the number of games that were showcased with scarcely any actual gameplay shown. It didn't stop there being an enormous amount of hyperbole about the next Xbox console, and very little in the way of actual detail.
But we'll get to that.
Here are the main things I took away from Microsoft at E3; from Keanu Reeves to how much Phil Spencer reminds me of a corrupt prison guard.
There's not an enormous amount of news to tell you this week. I'm currently working on the live show, which is shaping up nicely. Gannon's away in Los Angeles, at some Ghostbusters fan convention. Who knows... he might even be filming a little something for Digitiser while he's out there?
The main thing that happened this week was I tweeted out some photos of myself in Chernobyl from 13 years ago, and everyone remarked how different I looked. Yes: it was 13 years ago! And my hair was shorter, and darker, and I didn't have the beard. Like most people, I'm more Dorien Green than Dorian Grey!!!!
That's actually a pretty good joke.
Off the back of this, I was briefly encouraged to finally post some pictures on my Instagram account, and then lost my nerve. What's the deal with Instagram? Why is it better than Twitter and Facebook, like everybody says? Don't you all feel a bit self-conscious documenting your lives with selfies and stuff? Explain it to me. Isn't it just a narcissism/nosiness feedback loop?
New Digi video this weekend! Okay, bye.
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: email@example.com
There have been several eras in gaming history which I regard as transitional.
In short; a generation where the host hardware couldn't quite keep up with the imagination of the games' creators. Don't get me wrong; the early-80s of the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 is my era - it's when I fell in love with games. Nonetheless, when I go back to play many of those games now, it's like trying to squash a duvet into a walnut.
I actually find the likes of Pong, and many earlier Atari 2600 games, far more playable than the vast majority of Speccy games - and I say that as somebody whose fondest gaming memories are all of that era.
When the NES and Master System took off, and the Atari ST and Amiga were released, it was the start of a golden era when games revelled in their 2D-ness, improving all the time across the 16-bit console era. Then CD-ROM happened, and it all went a bit wrong again. Developers experimented with interactive movies, and struggled to understand the best way to make 3D polygons work.
Go back and play something like Night Trap and it's horrible. Worse still, the original Tomb Raider simply doesn't hold up outside of the context of its era. Likewise Nintendo's Starfox.
It's why so many indie games default to that 16-bit golden age, with the flat pixels; the games of that time still hold up today, when so many either side do not.
And that is why it's so brave of Back In 1995 to evoke the spirit of the first PlayStation, a system which - for all its importance in the history of gaming - played host to some incredibly ugly games.
Biffo attempts to play Ultrawings on the Oculus Quest, but even getting his plane off the ground proves more than he's capable of doing... With guest hysterics from Larry Bundy Jr and Paul Gannon!
Social media: good thing or bad thing? It's a question that will likely never have a definitive answer, given that the engine of social media is humanity, with all its mix of good and bad.
My take? So long as you can remain one step removed from it, and don't let it become a replacement for a real life, social media shows us another side of who we are, filtered through tweets and Instagram posts. But... it's just one side - we're never going to get the whole picture of a person from their online persona.
Oddly, it's something I've really become aware of in the past few years. There are people I've met - YouTubers and their ilk - who are completely different in real life to how I perceived them from their public profile. We're complicated, multifaceted, beings, and just because someone might one day act a bit dickish online doesn't mean they are a dick.
We're not any one thing; who we are is a mix of our inner and outer selves, and... well... this is all getting a bit wanky.
"Hello, everyone. Black Francis here from the mega cool indie band The Pixies.
"Why are we cool? Well, I guess we do sort of crunchy guitar music, and we don't look like the traditional sort of polished pop group, and our album covers were all sort of a bit creepy and edgy, and we don't sell as many records as the biggest bands in the world... and it seems that's what counts as cool these days.
"Frankly (pun not intended), it baffles me, but I guess you could say we're perceived as having indie-tegrity! Trompe le Monde!
"You see, I love all things that could be considered indie; Indie-ana "Indy" Jones, indie-viduality, and indie-rect routes to places. Debaser! I also love indie video games - the type of game that is made by an independent developer. I like to give my favourite indie video games the Black Francis indie-dorsement. Monkey Gone To Heaven!
"Digitiser's Mr Biffo is going to take a look at some of the newest indie games to hit the scene, and I'm going to tell you whether or not they make the BF grade. Here Comes Your Man!"
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