Unfortunately, I've had to cancel my scheduled appearance. Suffice to say, I'm more than a bit gutted, but it is, sadly, unavoidable. I'm especially sorry to everyone who was hoping to see me there, and disappointed that I'm not able to hang out with everyone. That said, the rest of the Digitiser The Show hosts will be in attendance. See if you can get a selfie with them.
In other news, this - right here - is the penultimate Friday Letters Page. After next Friday I'll be taking a couple of weeks off to try and recuperate from what has been an unusually busy year, before launching into a busy - but Digi-centric - autumn. There are some jolly exciting things on the way...
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 filthy emails to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
I think this needs to be brought to the attention of not only the nation but to the entire planet: Why isn't Stoke on Trent featured on the BBC Weather website map?
This is a travesty and an injustice. Worksop and Grimsby are on there so why no Stoke?
Why am I so concerned with this? I don't live there. I think I went to university there once though, but I can't really remember much about those days because I was too busy playing guitar, drinking gin and having adult shenanigans with the ladies (specifically, the ones that also like gin and a lead guitarist).
I am getting fitter and that is all,
PS. If anyone is interested (which most people aren't these days) I'm now releasing two videos a week on my increasingly unpopular YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/gamingmill It'd be nice for people to look and subscribe and all that sort of thing. Oh, at 5:30pm (BST) on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Thank you for your recent list of excellent point and click adventures, they all look very nice. However, I must complain nevertheless! I pointed at these adventures and not one of them clicked! I am very disappointed.
Afternoon. Zealot-64 here.
I was only joking about reviewing Chameleon Twist in my last letter, but then I thought what if millions of N64 fans are waiting for it? Don’t worry: I turn it into a brilliant question at the end.
Chameleon Twist. Generic 3D platformer that makes the same mistakes as all the generic 3D platformers, but has a chameleon with an analogue controlled tongue. At least it’s short, the game not the tongue. Bad.
Chameleon Twist 2. Improves on all the mistakes of the first game by a tiny amount, but somehow makes the tongue bit worse. Bad 1/2.
Mario 64 was good though wasn’t it? It was pretty much the first 3D platformer and everything it tried it got right. Why did so many other 3D platformers fail to steal the things that made it work?
Is the demise of the 3D platformer because nobody could improve on Mario 64? Even Nintendo has never tried replicate the exact formula, or were they merely a passing fad and now we all like Call of Duty instead?
The best 3D platformers are the ones with the least platforms. Discuss.
In response to the latest Found Footage Update: IF YOU NEED REST, PLEASE GET REST.
Oh, and if have to mention something videogamey, ever since that article about games with fire, the Burning Rangers song has been looping through my head. I'm not even mad.
And, something, something Party of Five.
Sorry. I've not done one of these in a while!
Take it Easy
El Greenio Screenio
Dear Mr Bifocal,
Ages ago (before Found Footage) you floated the idea of getting crowd funding to write a book based on the Games of my Years articles. Given your somewhat mental workload do you think it'll ever happen? I have set aside several crisp five pound notes to donate to the cause. However, if it's some way off I can use them to pay the window cleaner.
So, never say never... but it's not on the cards for any time in the near future.
Just read that point-n-click article you did - which was a Feargal good read by the way - and by coincidence I have been mostly playing Broken Sword 5 on my PS4. It's great. There should be more Point-n-Click games.
When Broken Sword gets too difficult I go on GT-Sport, when that gets too difficult I go to bed.
Jim Leighton (Future World Darts Champion) x
I’ve not written for a while, and this is partly because I am somewhat vexed. I can not, for the life of me, find somewhere which does a decent croissant.
Costa, Pret A Manger, all the usual suspects you find in a town high street are just not doing the French pastry any justice. Either served up cold, room temperature, has a texture like a slice of bread. Or, in the case of Costa, charging an extra 45p for butter. All seem to be a bit too chewy for comfort.
All the best,
With all the hoo-haa in the gaming news about the portable Spectrum thing, I thought I'd express my puzzlement at people's continued love of old 8-bit micro games.
I was brought up with an Acorn Electron and then a C64. My overarching memory of these systems is waiting ages for them to load, even on disk, only for half the games to crash when a new area was loading or something.
When playing on my friend's Amstrad I mostly remember having to play games using keyboard controls, because the particular game we were playing didn't support their particular joystick. And although I do have fond memories of playing the Spectrum +3, with its nifty little disk drive and decent graphics, the older Spectrum games made my eyes hurt with their flickering.
All the time I was playing on these systems I dreamed of one day having a console with its instant loading game cards, joypads and excellent graphics. In the late 80s my dad borrowed a Master System from his friend, just for a week. It was like being visited by a sophisticated time travelling gaming machine. I was actually very sad when it had to go back.
I guess what I'm saying is, I understand the importance of the UK's micro computer history, but I'm not eager to ever revisit it.
Looking forward to the show.
1) What is your game-of-the-year so far? I would say God of War.
2) In your opinion, is re-playability (not a word, I know) more important now than in the past, or less so? Some games e.g. online games make me think it's more important, but the rise of Indie games-as-experiences makes me think it is less important than it once was.
3) Can you think of a game, or a section of one, that captures the frustration of everyday life as well as 'Geralt Goes to the Bank' in The Witcher 3?
2) It's all in the eye of the beholder really. I've never been big into replaying games. I like them as finite experiences. It's rare that I'll even download extra levels and that, once I've completed the core experience.
3) Hmm. Yeah. Which Grand Theft Auto game was it where you got fat if you ate too many hamburgers, and had to go to the gym to burn off the calories. San Andreas? Surely the most unnecessary and unwanted feature ever in an action game.