Yeah, well, as you'll have seen, the writing of that piece did its job in terms of releasing the big brown blockage I'd been clenching onto, as you've had a ton of written content since then, and I'm feeling much more cheery about everything.
Not least because I looked at the stats of the site again, and realised I'd been looking in the wrong place. Surprise: they're actually pretty healthy...!
So, all is well. The YouTube channel grows steadily (nudging ever closer to 13,000 subscribers), new Patrons continue to fund what we're trying to do, for which I thank them with all five of my loins, and we slide ever closer towards doing a follow-up to Digitiser The Show.
Yes: a follow-up. We're no longer thinking of this as Series 2, but something slightly, but significantly, different. Current working title is Digitiser Retro Legends.
What does this mean? I'll let you know once I've sorted out the bloody rewards for series 1.
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
Watching a video about wrestling recently (I can’t remember which), I came across this lovely lady:
I’m assuming that as you are seemingly in contact with The Man's Daddy perhaps you could clear this up? Also we have a family wedding coming up, does he do bookings or is he too much of a victim of his own success to take on such lowly events?
First off, I’m enjoying the Digitiser shorts you are doing. They’re rather nice and compact snippets. Almost better than the longer episodes, as they feel more like something I can dip into. Not seen the current one which seems to be all serious. I need to be in the right frame of mind to watch stuff on that topic.
Anyway, main letter subject: Sony has stopped Vita production, and that’s looking like the end for their hand held activities. A shame, as I like a portable game, and real proper controls are much better than those virtual things you get on phones and tablets.
Actually, I think I liked the PSP more than the Vita. That was a little more Heath-Robinson. There was a UMD drive, so it had a mechanical component. The camera (if you wanted one) was a bolt on extra. All this gave it a certain heft that I liked.
The Vita was a nice thing too. A little too light for my liking, but the screen on mine is gorgeous. The downside was the cost of memory cartridges. The price was phenomenal, so I never upped mine from the card that came with the bundle I bought.
So, unless the PS5 ends up as a hybrid like the Switch, it looks like Sony’s handhelds gaming will be via phones and god awful “virtual controllers”. I like a proper button, so I expect I’ll be passing on that.
You were actually due one of my mini documentary things this week, but I had a few technical issues with it (probably because it was about Amiga games)... so instead, that'll be up Tuesday, and you've Gannon, Larry and myself reading out a bunch of Fortnite and DOTA 2 jokes. And attempting to understand them.
Please like, share, and subsidise.
As for Sony doing a handheld thing... I can't see it ever happening, not least because - if you've read my articles this week about cloud-based gaming - the future is that you'll be able to play any game on almost any device with a screen. Which includes phones and that. So, why bother with a new standalone handheld, not least when their previous ones flopped like a flansy?
Firstly, just want to put a thank you out to all in the Digitiser crew for the the 'Why We Do Youtube' video... and well, everything else you all do. As someone who deals with anxiety and depression I always like to hear from people who turn things around into a positive as it helps me know that things can always get better.
But onto more game-centric things... if you could choose one company to get a Rare Replay style release that compiled all of their games with all the extra trimmings of history, trivia and various gubbins who would you choose? I'd personally like The Bitmap Brothers as they produced a large portion of my childhood gaming.
Once again thanks to all.
We might even do it naked!!!
Whatever happened to The Bitmap Brothers? I loved their art style. Compilation-wise... I dunno. Maybe a Capcom or Konami scrolling beat 'em up collection?
See my attached my pic of Miner Willy and Pacaman. Also I liek the Digitiser 'cos your not as shoutey as them there American gaming lot.
Yours, somewhere in darkest Merseyside.
I’m sending this so Postman Pat doesn’t burn my house down. Also, while I’m here, have you got a spare Megadrive 2 adapter I can have? I’ll swap it for a Curly Wurly and a Double Dip. Cheers.
Hello Bifton Suspension Bridge.
If we accept for a moment that Mario is the Beatles and Sonic the Stones, what other games/music comparisons would you care to make based on roughly the same alternative chronology (Pacman = Robert Johnson)?
My prog dabblings would no doubt pale into insignificance next to your own, but I would be interested in what you thought was the gaming equivalent of King Crimson...
Also, having recently made the 'sensible' (wrong) decision not to buy a next gen console just for Red Dead Redemption 2, consigning myself to at least another 9 months before it's a possibility, what's the longest you've waited to play a game on general release through reasons beyond your control, and do you think the wait enhanced or negated from the experience when you eventually 'got you hands on it'?
Voiced by Guides
Also, Dark Souls would be an impenetrable Brazilian thrash album.
Anyhow... I'm a sucker for being an early adopter, so it's rare that I wait for anything. I honestly can't think of a game I played ages after its initial release, and then loved. Certain Indie games on my Switch, maybe. They don't tend to age as badly as triple-A games, where it's all about the graphics, frankly.
In regard to your article this week regarding 10 Mostly Terrible Cartoons Based Upon Classic Video Games, it got me thinking if there were any others, and I remembered a bit of an oddity that was shown here very, very briefly nearly 15 years ago on small digital kid's channel Pop.
It's not based on a video game per se, but it's set in the world of video games, and I feel it's well worth a mention, just to see if it anyone else here remembers it.
Game Over was a 2004 CGI animated show (aimed mainly at teens and young adults), made by the producers of Third Rock From The Sun and That 70's Show, and it showed what video game characters do when we stop playing video games and their everyday lives. In particular, it followed the Smashenburn family, and their adventures in video games. Father Rip (voiced by Patrick Warburton from Family Guy) was a Grand Prix driver while mother Raquel (voiced by Lucy Liu from Kill Bill) was a secret agent.
It didn't last long, it was hyped to high heaven, and despite featuring blink-or-you'll-miss-em cameos from Crash Bandicoot and Abe from Oddworld, it was a massive flop and it was axed after 6 episodes, but looking back at it, you get what the makers were trying to go for. I don't know if you allow YouTube links on your letters page, if so here's episode 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I30BdN7teps if not, if you know where to look, you can get it on Amazon and/or eBay. (Delete as appropriate. )
It's concept does sound a lot like Wreck-It Ralph, which came along 8 years after Game Over finished, but Wreck-It-Ralph did it better, with more heart and invention. But, Game Over was just a bit ahead of it's time with it's overly ambitious concept, and it didn't know if it wanted to be for kids, or play to a more adult audience, it didn't help that the CGI animation looked dated for 2004, but I feel it deserves a look.
Watching it again, it could have been better, but it's one of those shows that's deserves a look. I don't know if you've seen it Mr. Biffo, but it's worth a mention, maybe a potential future subject for Digitiser perhaps?
Take care and keep up the good work!!
Stuart Kenny. Carlisle, UK
Do you remember this?
Ok then, what about Viva Hate? Do you think Vini Reilly's guitar work gelled with Morrissey's vocals?
David Davis (MP)
If you were to find yourself living in a video game universe, as a proper meat-based avatar and not just plopping around with a controller, what video game universe would you like it to be?
This is something I contemplate often while in the grips of insomnia. Part of me would go for Minecraft, but it would have to be in Creative mode so that I wouldn't starve or contract some hideous disease. Another part would go for Portal 2 because portal guns are cool, and not dying when you fall a great height is a boon when you're a bit cack-handed.
A small chunk would go for Half Life 2, purely for short-life-spanned shiggles.
What say you, Digibods?
That. Story of my life, mate.
The Stadia was announced on Tuesday, I like the idea of it, but will there be any developers interested? Especially when not many companies will have the technology to do next gen games?
From the BV Reviewer
P.S. Any more trumpet gags?
Plus, what the big idiots are failing to take into account is the size of Google. I literally just read somebody say that they're the underdog in the games industry. Stadia isn't so much a platform as it is a digital delivery and streaming service - and there's nobody bigger than Google in that respect. They own YouTube, for pity's sake!!
I’ve got my copy so I KNOW you must have YOURS, so where oh where is your review of 40 Winks on the N64?
To be honest I’m getting pretty sick of your refusal to acknowledge that the N64 is still an viable current generation console, I guess I’ll add that to your already rampant anti-Amiga/Tomb Raider/DC Movies agenda.
If you do not review it next week then I will be forced to do so myself (you will need to provide people a link to my geocities page).
YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, WELL.....YEAH.
Oh, and "Hello", Biffo.
BUT. Stadia, right? All well and good but YET AGAIN a major change in gaming happens WITHOUT BACK MOUNTED SMELL CANNISTERS CONNECTED TO FACE MOUNTED INHALATION MASKS.
WHEN, OH WHEN will we be able to play Sewage Plant 3000 or Silage Odyssey properly, dammit?
IT'S 2019, FOR THE LOVE OF BAGPUSS.
Laters, yeah? Laters, m8.
In your opinion, what's the most underrated console there's been?
I personally think the Gameboy Micro. It was absolutely tiny but still did the job, and was bloody adorable too.
It's a bit (a lot) sad that you got such a negative reaction to your article about the Google cloud gaming thingie; I thought it was fun to see you enthusiastic about something new in gaming because there often isn't much to be excited about these days, with the apparent complete lack of creativity and invention in console gaming. Maybe I'm projecting my own feelings there, a bit.
I mean, yeah, we will probably still get endless iterations of FIFA and Medal of Duty on this new service, but at least the service itself is something new. I'm not interested in buying any more consoles (except a Switch, maybe) so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.
I quite like the controller too. I've never been fond of the asymmetric analogue sticks arrangement everyone except Sony uses. It makes me uneasy for some reason. I know the look of a controller shouldn't sway my decision, but I chose the PS1 over the Saturn because it had black discs, so I clearly can't be trusted.
I also wanted to say that the WHY DO WE YOUTUBE? video from the other day was wonderful. As someone who struggles with a cocktail of mentalisms, including the dreaded Imposter Syndrome, it was good to see such honest discussion from people who have, if not overcome it, have succeeded despite it.
Anyway, keep up the good work, Biffster. You and your people are a breath of sane(ish) air in a sometimes bonkers community and we need you.
And another kind word about the deep-delve into our psyches. You are very welcome, Kelvin.
321) Google Stadia, or at least something like it is, unfortunately, likely to be the future of computer games delivery. Google has a habit of dumping technologies - as an aside, it's interesting to note that most of Alphabet's recent successes have all been from acquisitions - so I don't think success is guaranteed, but if not them, someone will make it work.
If I had to bet, I'd imagine it will be Microsoft or Amazon because of their cloud advantages but Sony might end up as the Kodak of the piece. Sony have done this for years with PlayStation Now - there are some conceptual differences with Stadia, I admit, but they are minor.
It is clear that Sony haven't pushed it, so as not to cannibalise PlayStation sales but that's what Kodak did with the digital camera and how did that work out? I can see it going either way at this stage. PlayStation Now could become the dominant streaming service or could be a footnote. How do you see Sony's service, in particular, going?
322) I have been playing recently the newest South Park game, which does a brilliant job of evoking the programme. What licensed game, for you, best captured its parent property?
323) What do you think is currently a more urgent problem to solve in computer games, loot boxes, or a lack of character diversity?
324) What, in your opinion, was the first game where the multiplayer aspect was the main reason for buying it?
325) Assuming that streaming is the future of games, what is the biggest mistake that the industry could make?
I've no idea how Sony will go about embracing it, but given that we know Microsoft is announcing their cloud solution in June... you can bet they're talking about it.
As indicated waaaay above, I actually think Amazon, Apple and Google have a better chance of success than Sony and Microsoft, because it changes the industry from being so much about hardware, to being more about delivering digital content. Which, obviously, Amazon, Apple and Google are already established in.
Again, another factor that massive, angry, idiots are failing to take into account.
More importantly, I think it's going throw greater emphasis and focus onto the games, rather than any hardware platform. Because there won't be a hardware platform. All of this is a good thing. Stop being stupid about it, stupid people.
322) In terms of the one which had the biggest impact on me (though looking back, it hasn't aged well) it has to be Star Wars Dark Forces. Them sound effects and music, brah!
323) Jeez. That's a big question! Those two things are very different issues. In terms of character diversity, the bigger issue is the awful bigots who struggle to accept diversity. Loot boxes = bad, obviously... but in terms of the wider picture, racial and gender equality surely has to be more important?
324) The first one, for me anyway, where I really, really embraced multiplayer was Mario Kart. Then Micro Machines. Then Goldeneye. Then Call of Duty 3. Those are probably the high points of my multiplayer experiences. All other multiplayer experiences are "toilet boys".
I mean, I've had lots of jolly good fun playing single player games with friends too - Jet Set Willy being one. And Championship Manager, though that was mainly because we were laughing at the names we gave the players.
"Ha ha! Stink Penis scored a goal!"
325) Thinking the minority of massive, angry, idiots, who fear change, won't just roll over and accept it.
So Battle Royale games, eh? They’re fantastic aren’t they? Running around picking up guns with names you don’t recognise, will never understand and can’t remember
. Picking up any old add-ons for the guns that you don’t recognise, will never understand and can’t remember. Running! Hiding! Not seeing anyone! Crouching and shooting at a bunch of pixels in the extreme distance that might or might not be another player. Is it? Yes it is!
There’s numbers falling off them! And they’re so small that whether or not I’m actually hitting the pixels that represent them is just luck. Running some more. Hiding some more. Is that the ring tightening? Oo-er! Better get moving!
What’s this? More guns with name you don’t recognise, will never understand and can’t remember! Great! Having such great fun! Is this someone in the distance or a bush? Can’t look now as that ring is getting tighter. Oo-er! Phew! Made it nice and safe.
Ok, now to shoot at that bunch of pixels in the extreme distance that might or might not be another player. No number falling of it so it’s probably a bush. Or a tree. Or a house. Or I’m just missing as it’s a bunch of pixels in the background. It’s so very far away and such a small bunch of pixels that I can’t tell.
Ah well, let’s get...
OH MY GOODNESS SOMEONE HAS JUST COME OUT OF NOWHERE AND SHOT ME AND NOW I’M DEAD.
That was massive fun! Time for another go!