And let us all hope for the best.
Moving on... there's a brand new Digi video coming this Sunday, and Eli Silverman will once again be joining Gannon and I, this time to look at a bunch of vintage Tomy games. I think it's a good 'un. Then next week... there won't be a video on Sunday. Instead, you'll be getting our bumper-length Christmas episode early, possibly Wednesday or Thursday, depending on when I get it finished.
Then I'll most likely take a break over Christmas.
Basically, it has been an enormous amount of work to the episode put together - far more than a regular episode, and it has taken far more work than I probably should've invested in it - but I want you all to have the chance to revel in its bounteous Christmassy nonsense before the big day. It has a bit of everything; the Beanus song! Fat Sow! Guest appearances! Found Footage! Retching!
Now, though... it's our penultimate Friday Letters Page before Christmas. Let's make next week's one a true festive jamboree.
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
What became of the Beautiful Boy? Did he choke on a goujon? Did somebody destroy his polystyrene host-body?
It's some voting day or something tomorrow. However, I cannot go out because I'm expecting a delivery via UPS "between 6am and 10pm", which is their window. That's not a window, that's a day. Also, if I did go out I'd probably be arrested or suchlike because of my knackered face.
I haven't sent a Friday Letter for quite a while. Why? Because of 'stuff'. Such is life but, whilst looking like the most grumpy man in existence right now I am actually quite content... apart from the UPS thing.
I can't actually remember what I've bought this time, so no real change there but it'll be something from China again no doubt.
I'm a broken man,
The greatest gift that I possess,
I thank the lord that I've been blessed,
With more of my share of,
Lots of Love
The Pink Oboe
PS. To be honest I haven't been blessed with more than my share at all, it's only a tiddle!
I'm sick of seeing people's faces contorted for context on related video thumbnails.
Not yours, just in general.
Reaction video: Some dufus is holding their mouth agape, unnaturally.
Review video: Some dufus is pulling a grimace, either an overly excited one, an overly concerned one, or overly inquisitive one.
Erm. That's it.
I'm sick of seeing people's stupid faces on thumbnails.
Why do they do it, I mean genuinely, is it something that is proven to generate clicks? It puts me off clicking on them, they give me the impression the video will not live up to the hype.
I installed a cat flap in the office because I sit in there and work a lot, and the cat (obviously...was I going to say hamster, confound the expectation, and from hence the humour would arise?) wants to be both in and out of the office at the same time. Like some weird experiment in time and space devised by yet another German nutter.
So now she enters happily via the flap, trilling her arrival; but refuses to go out the other way. I was wondering if you had any advice. I've tried tempted her with treats and things, but honestly she made it through once with a lot of coaxing and a worried look on her face and didn't emerge from the rose bushes for 37 minutes.
Also, carrying plasterboard through doorways, eee by jingo, my knuckles.
A thought as we near Christmas focusing on the religiosity of the event. I'd like to inform you that I have witnessed an actual apotheosis. The subject of many a renaissance painting. Let me tell you all about it even though apotheosis probably suits Easter better.
I'm not proud, I was young and stupid and followed the crowd but, we once bullied a kid in school because he had a 'long willy.'
The expression on his face at some point when we were all about 14... That was it, That moment right there. In English. Yes.
Anyway... training my cats to use their catflap was one of the most depressing periods of my life. Their litter tray was one of those covered ones, and the trick was to move it closer to the flap, little by little, and then one day put it the other side of the flap.
Anyway, because my cats are idiots... that took ages, which meant that they were using that horrible plastic poo-incubator for ages. Cleaning it out was horrific and traumatic, and I'm still not entirely over it.
Hi Mr Biff-OH
I'm jonesing for some Snakes content. Please indulge me, it's Christmas, etc etc.
As I write this it's election day, so if it gets published it will be the day after election day (Election Boxing Day). I'm not naive enough to hope we'll have woken up to a Labour victory, but maybe it'll not be a Tory landslide. It's been a long nine years and I'm honestly unsure I can take five more.
Anyway who would make the better PM, Spyro or Crash Bandicoot?
As for best PM out of Spyro and Crash? For my money it has to be Spyro, but let's face it... everyone would just vote for Crash. Actually no... they'd vote for Neo Cortex. POLITICS JOKE.
How is it that when I rage quit a game I want to destroy my keyboard, wring my gamepad so it looks like a cheese twist, or insert my mouse in the monitor?
Why do games affect us so damn much, especially if you're respawning or reloading and haven't 'lost' anything? Is it a wasted time thing? It's not like there's many games with 3 lives anymore, I could see getting annoyed if I had 50 levels left.
I don't know where I was going with this anymore.
What's your favourite meat?
Favourite meat? The bacon.
Dear Biffy Bifster of Digital Tizer,
I Hope you're well. I was just curious to know if you'll be making any more Found Footage stuffs in the new year? That there thing you did a time ago was right proper good and that.
Peace and lovings,
486) Now that it is out and seems to have met most people's expectations, is Shenmue the most successful crowdfunded game ever? I realise that it isn't truly crowdfunded thanks to Sony, and that Star Citizen has taken much more money, but it isn't out yet.
487) I haven't tried Google Stadia and have no plans to have an account in the short-term, as I don't see a strong reason to go for it yet, although I am sure that will change in time. I have read your reports on the technology and appreciate that it seems to work, at least in your region, but what do you think of the pricing policy where you are still buying games? Does that have to change for it to become a success?
488) If development of the next 'proper' Mario game was out-sourced by Nintendo, who would you like to handle it and what would they bring to the series?
489) Is scale the main limiting factor in games now? It strikes me that processing power, even without cloud-based systems, is now sufficient to create any play mechanic, which wasn't always true. It seems that sheer size or texture detail level is the main limiting factor.
490) Are games more vulnerable to the passing of time than music or films, at least in terms of how they seem to us now? Clearly there were technological limitations on artistic vision until fairly recently but even so, criticism of older games seems somewhat harsher to me than it does for films especially.
491) What was the best games-related Christmas gift that you have ever received?
492) Which, if any, Christmas-themed games or add-ons have you enjoyed?
493) Is 'Xbox Series X' a poor choice of name by Microsoft? I understand wanting to move away from the 'X-bone' contraction but this strikes me as confusing, just as Wii U was.
494) Some developers, regardless of how long their time in business is, seem particularly associated with a specific computer/console generation. I am struggling to think of a developer more associated with any machine than Sensible Software and the Amiga. What would you say?
495) Speaking of Sensible, has any developer ever had a stranger (albeit tongue in cheek) final original game than Sensible Trainspotting?
487) I think it's a mistake, and actually wrote about it yesterday. They have to either bring the price down, or find a way to adopt some sort of subscription-for-games model. I also think it needs some cheaper, smaller, indie games.
488) Nobody. I don't want anyone other than Nintendo making the main Mario games.
489) I think the only thing holding back games is what's practical in terms of manpower and budget. Big games require big teams, and huge amounts of money. Not everyone has that luxury.
490) Yeah, I'd agree with that. I do think there are peaks and troughs though; the Atari 2600 era broadly does okay... then in the early home computer era we got imaginations being too big for the games... it settled down in Atari ST/Amiga and console boom of the late 80s/early-90s... and - for me - the early CD-ROM era was again a bit transitional.
491) My Spectrum, without a shadow of a doubt.
492) I'm a sucker for a Christmas game. I loved Robocod, Christmas NiGHTS, Christmas Lemmings - even the godawful Home Alone Mega Drive game.
493) If that's what it ends up being called then it's a stupid name, but we'll see. I actually don't hate the name Wii U - and after everyone criticised the name Wii, only for it to go on to become a massive success, I think we were all a bit more reserved in our criticisms.
494) Yup. See also the Bitmap Brothers. And possibly Psygnosis.
495) Was Sensible Trainspotting really their final game, though? It was on a cover disk, so I dunno if it counts. Teams change so much, I'm more intrigued by where individuals end up. Like Matthew Smith's final game credit being Game Boy Scrabble.
Nearly there now, John, and then you can rest...
I’d love to hear Insincere Dave’s opinion on the election result, any chance you could phone him up for a quick sound bite?