I have a plan to do this, prior to possibly, probably, crowd-funding something new along similar lines. As I told my Patrons recently, I'm planning to take on a less paid work over the coming year, and part of the reason for that is I really want to focus on building the channel.
It feels like we've gained a degree of momentum, and though I think we're a long way from it ever bringing in anything like a real income, between us... events of the past 12 months have demonstrated that what I want and need more than anything is to work on stuff that makes me happy and fulfilled. Obviously I need to still be able to pay my mortgage, mind.
Where am I going with this? I dunno. Just to say, your support - whether it's through Patreon or Kickstarter, or by helping tell people about the channel - is appreciated. If you want me to keep doing more, and not work myself into an early grave... well, I can't do it without you.
That is all. LETTERS NOW.
If you want 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
The way Beanus talks has really reminded me of something, and it's taken me ages to work out what it is, but now I have and I am - as the kids say - shook. He's a little bit George off of Rainbow, and a little bit Zippy off of Rainbow.
Since it's been long established that Zippy off of Rainbow was in fact a sentient baked bean, I now find myself obsessed with the notion that Beanus is perhaps the unholy lovechild of these two 1970s children's TV faves. Could it be true?
Please please please give me the answer I crave.
I don't agree with your opinion on reviews, including your own. The best reviews tell you if you will find something to like, regardless of the reviewers final opinion.
Your review of Jedi fallen order basically said there's issues, but a deep love of Star Wars will cover some cracks.
I like classic Star Wars enough to let issues go, I'll check out that game when its cheaper.
A better example would be EDGE's review of Mario Kart Double Dash, which scored 5 out of 10. (For any readers unfamiliar with EDGE, this means average, like 7 out of 10 everywhere else)
They described the game and features well and compared it badly to Mario Kart 64. They described it well enough for me to think that's good for me, having not owned mk64, so I bought it and got years of fun.
In short, stop being so dismissive of yourself, you big hairy git.
Another big hairy git.
I guess it's also; I think a review should be entertaining in and of itself, and not simply just describe a game... or something....
Look, the main thing to take away from this is that I wrote that article last week and I can't remember what I said in it.
I've often wondered why there aren't more games based on cheese, I'd love a game where I'm one of those digestive-like crackers - the sweet ones - and you have to catch a piece of Morrison's Red Hot Dutch cheese.
Or you play a piece of Edam, driving about like in Driv3r shooting water biscuits.
Or a skydiving Leerdammer collecting shards of Jacob's crackers while flying through holes in family size cracker selection boxes, trying to land on a China plate on a doily.
An open world game where you navigate the blue/green roads in Stilton while using a bow and arrow to kill yeast microbes.
You could even put all these ideas in to one game, call it "Churn".
If you can pass these ideas on to the AAA publishers for me I'll give you a 20% cut of any sales.
So it's December again, Beanus made me pee a little and my wife didn't laugh once. Indeed, she left the room shaking her head. But we won't let that stop us, oh no - because December means, Christmas story time!
(Just to get into the Chrimble spirit a bit more, the entire scene below has a background soundtrack of atonal discordance, deep breathing, slow heartbeats etc)
Josh did it again! He always does! Instead of a tray of Morrison's Mince pies like the rest of us. He brought an 'organic' Panettone he'd made himself, with ingredients sourced from the Vegan shop in that there London.
Every year we are socially pressured into bringing something to a 'gathering' of forced jocularity, to celebrate another year as a wage slave. Josh loved these events, as he loved everything, tedious smiling ultra-runner. Self aggrandising holier than thou HR nu-male. Why does he get away with wearing jeans at work?!
I loathe him, and I loathe his sort. Whilst the rest of us are content to see the bars of the prison and aim for a pension, he was out 'making something of himself' and in doing so drove the knife into every one of our flaws. Like he was put on this planet to remind us that we are not exceptional, we are the herd.
The weak willed and easily lead fawned all over his bon-mots "oh yes, I 'always' use ghee instead of butter.... yes the raisins are ethically sourced" Listening to this banality I snapped and surreptitiously unleashed my intimate and forgotten knowledge of the reality of humanity.
With a smallish hand gesture, Josh dropped his organic fruity barollo all over the pretty white table cloth that Miriam had brought in to decorate the trestles. She didn't tell him they were a wedding gift, she just laughed and played with her hair. SHEEP.
He laughed it off, as he would, and the rest of the herd baa'd in agreement. So funny, so Josh. I had dropped a glass of water after a difficult mornings meetings and was scorned for my clumsiness.
Another gesture, Josh began to stumble over his words, further focusing my will his bon-mots became bon-whats? But the herd still guffawed "oh Josh, he's finally had one too many, ah ha ha ha ha haaaa!"
Josh joined in and 'coincidentally' laughed so hard he inhaled a piece of artisan quiche...the laughs became coughs became choking sobs, became panicked stumbling and clawing at his face. The spittle pouring forth, the eyes bulging.
"Oh my GOD! Somebody help him. Somebody please. Josh, just relax. Call 999... Josh, Josh"
A tray of sausage rolls was upended, the tree descended in slow motion, a symphony of shattering baubles. Beautiful, I played that moment back and forth endlessly.
The room faded, skin tones turned ashen, and the brightness obscured itself. Josh raised his head, a last look at the world, noticing there was one in the room wreathed in purple flame staring contentedly at the chaos he had wrought.
After years of fighting it, I'd learned that the Dark Ages were not so named due to an absence of history, they were named after good triumphed and the dark was driven under, but it's there if you look for it. Citalopram and Fluoxetine and the like are not there to protect us, they're there to protect them. They chemically suppress the demons, but some of us are meant to be demons, it's a balance. Good vs Evil, so it should always be. Good has had it too...well...good...for too long now.
I walked slowly over the broken glass, savouring the crunch, back and forth back and forth, the shards splitting my toes.
Merry Christmas everyone. If you or any of your loved ones are affected by any of issues highlights in this drama, please phone 111. ;-)
It's that time of year. Eggnog. Overpriced crap in stores. Cold weather, and the diseases it brings. Jack Frost nipping at your extremities. Rude, homicidal holiday shoppers....
ELF ON THE SHELF. Ours has... peculiar tastes.
Arnold J. Rimmer
The closest I ever got to making up something like that was telling my daughter not to look out of her bedroom window because it was "Duck Night". When she inevitably pulled back the curtains, I made my hand into the shape of a bird's beak, and thrust it at her going "QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!".
I thought it would be funny, but, with hindsight, her shrieking meltdown suggests it wasn't a good idea right before she went to sleep, and may have given her long-term psychological problems.
I've been so busy lately, what with Super Enquiry Simulator being strangely popular in Portugal and Spain, that I haven't made enough time for what really matters.
So, here's a new picture of my bins, for all the Digi bin-lovers out there! This is rather a candid snap, stains and all, but some people pay extra for that sort of thing.
Back in a moment, there's a van pulling up outside. Probably just another parcel for next door.
Any use for filling a gap somewhere in the letters page?
Looks like some artwork has been leaked confirming a Resident Evil 3 Remake. The article is over at Euro Gamer and can be read here for anyone interested:
Resident Evil 3 Remake cover art leaks ahead of official announcement.
When this does get developed and released one thing I most certainly want to see done with this remake is being able to play threw story mode with Nemesis and having an alternative ending. Hey, I can only dream can't I, Digitiser?
gamertag (gaz be rotten)
I wanted to write a brief note about my fond memories of the Amiga CD32. Not that it had a bum rap – it was objectively terrible - but I look warmly back on mine, and not only because I managed to sell it to Andrew Ferris for the £300 I paid for it to buy a PlayStation (despite it being commercially dead with no further games in the pipeline).
Whether it was completing D-Generation in one sitting with my friend Paul, playing the interminably dull yet somehow compelling Diggers, or playing a cover disk demo of Banshee for the hundredth time... I had fun with it.
I had many better games for my PlayStation I'm sure, but I don't really remember what they were. They might have been polished, 3D "experiences", but looking back they seem oddly sterile. The CD32 games, and by extension the Amiga games, of the time just had something about them. Perhaps it was a certain Britishness. I'll concede the CD32 was rubbish.
I'm just not sure the first PlayStation was all that, either. Anyway! What stuff from the past do you think is retrospectively over or underrated, or which you have feelings about that differ from the prevailing historic consensussssssss?
It's hard to say whether there's a thing that I recall differently to the consensus. I guess I never loved much in that first generation of 3D games; the PS1, Saturn and N64 were pioneering, but I sort of always felt we weren't quite there yet. It was similar to the home computer games of the 80s; they felt like the ideas were too ambitious for the technology, and it wasn't until the subsequent generation that the ideas and the hardware aligned.
So... that. I suppose.
I really, really enjoyed the unboxing post video. The slightly more casual atmosphere was really enjoyable - thank you for sharing it.
Happy December! I hope you have a wonderfully festive month.
It takes me roughly two days to edit one of our videos - how I was managing to do two a week earlier this year, and keep up daily posts on here, and do a job, and put on a live show, I'll never know (actually I do know: by burning out) - so it sort of has to be worth it in terms of the channel.
And worth it in terms of whether I'm going to enjoy editing it.
The tricky thing when we're opening post is how to make it interesting to more casual viewers, and it's hard because we never know what we're going to receive, and often it's just a load of random tat.
On YouTube, we're learning that it works best when there's one central idea per video; it was the challenge we faced with Digitiser The Show, which was a magazine format, and never really broke through. It has been underlined by the way our recent Ashens crisp-tasting videos have got a lot of traction.
A video that took almost no planning has done as well as a series that was so much hard work it nearly killed us.
The crisp tastings are much more straightforward and less manic than most of our videos - and, if I'm honest, less typical of the channel - but I guess they're an easier thing for people to wrap their head around (the jerky tasting was popular too).
I'm a bit surprised that the Bum-Bo/Beanus interview hasn't done better, but that might be because I labelled it wrongly; I shouldn't have mentioned Beanus, and just billed it as a straightforward interview with the game's creators. Again, though, I felt that would be disingenuous.
It's a ruddy minefield...
But! We'll see how this weekend's unboxing one does. It has Eli from Cheapshow and Barshens in it, I've labelled it as a "weird snack unboxing", and if it does well... I might take a look at the other ones.
Incidentally, there have been less posts on this site in the last couple of weeks, because I've been working on our Christmas special. One three-minute segment has taken me almost four days to edit... and it'll be a bit more magazine-y than most of our videos, so it's not like I've not learned my lesson.
Also: thank you for our Christmas cards, Chai!!
It’s pretty good isn’t it? The Jeremy Irons bits are hilariously dark.
J Is Manchild, Tunbridge Wells
Hello Lord Biffo!
It's been a while since I got myself involved with the letteringz recently, eh? Hmm, hope you've been keeping well though!
It's officially December now, so it's time for some festivity! I'll be spending my time this month downing as much coffee as possible and avoiding all who try to stand in my way of making everything a much, much more... interesting place, you could say.
That leads me to Asho's Big Boi Question Time: How will you be spending the holidays? Anything, in particular, you'll be hoping for?
Also, quick additional question (since I am a big idiot and keep forgetting to watch out for info): Is the PO Box still open and how many bean-related items have you received?
Have an excellent week, King Biffo.
In all honesty, I've sort of grown to dislike Christmas Day due to the amount of effort that goes into Christmas dinner, which is a meal I don't particularly enjoy apart from the pigs-in-blankets (or "bacon roll-ups" as my family calls them). We start preparing about 7am, and don't finish cleaning up the mess until about 4pm. It feels absurd and unnecessary and unfair, when all I want is for us to spend time with people, but the day just goes by in a blur.
When I think about it I get a bit irrationally angry. In fact, itt's one of the few things that I get really worked up about.
However... this year we've fewer people on Christmas Day to cater for, and because my step-daughters are Italian we're doing an Italian Christmas lunch, which is lasagne. It should be a lot less work.
Boxing Day we're catering for about 15 people, but we're doing a ham and a cold buffet, and people are bringing stuff, so - again - it'll be less work than a full Christmas meal.
I've also managed to wrangle some time off work before Christmas this year, thus the short of it is... I'm actually looking forward to it.
Also: the PO Box is still open, but please don't send anything until the new year. My house is full. I've actually got a skip outside at the moment, because I'm trying to get rid of a lot of the stuff I've acquired over the past three years of Digitiser and Mr Biffo's Found Footage, before Christmas happens.
On keyboards, it is convention to hold down the shift key to get an uppercase character.
However why has the colon got short shrift? The poor thing literally halves when given the upper case treatment.
Hollywood acting superstar Tom Hanks actually collects typewriters and he may be in the position to proffer some reasonable explanation for this; I would ask him about it but I don't have his email address, only yours.
PS. I do not wish to infer that Tom Hanks is an acting superstar, I think he is probably a superstar full time by now.
What's Digi's stance on sprites vs polys? I swear the older I get the more I appreciate a game using sprites. Is this dementia? Nostalgia? Brilliant artistic taste?
Also - if you don't mind a minimum 1850 case order, you could have Beanus brand Baked Beans - https://www.alibaba.com/showroom/private-label-canned-beans.html
And yes: beans. Every time I log into Twitter at the minute, I've been tagged in about 50 posts of "Beanus de Milo" or a picture of something bean-related. Yes: I get it. Beans exist.
And I thought it was bad when they were doing it with goujons.
Sir Biffo of the Digi World,
In this heightened state of readiness, where all things are scanned, prodded and poked, the gaming characters fraternity, must be able to form some sort of security firm or a rudimentary system of protection racket for everyone's safety.
Does it mean that Bowser and Dr Robotnik will be on the doors at some night club in Nuneaton called Chunkies?
Why also Sonic and Tales are reloading cash points around the Louth area, driving a battered old Ford Transit van with "Secure-it-all" painted badly on the side using one of those tester pots of paint you could get.
Mr T said he would sort out his own bin security himself.
All with Princess Peach and Toad doing the admin back at the office wondering why Lara Croft hasn't reported in guarding the National Gallery as of yet.
Plus also be smart, be safe, in an Alvin Stardust Public Information Film type of way as well! (Boxing's Joe Bugner or Human Perm Kevin Keegle, to substitute for Alvin if raining.)
Security Officer Bob Jobbies
Now I feel bad for mocking him.
Remember Christmas themed games like James Pond Robocod & Christmas Nights? You don’t get them anymore do you?
Anyway, here’s another Beanus pic, also Christmas themed. Hope you like it!
476) The jump between 16-bit systems and 32-bit - in my case from Amiga to Playstation - is arguably the most dramatic we will ever see. I remember playing a demo of WipEout 2097 and genuinely not believing what it was like. The only modern equivalent to me is trying VR for the first time. When you were a games journalist, was it obvious that the Playstation was going to have such a big impact, or did it take you by surprise?
477) How do you regard Sony's place in computer games history? Did they invent modern computer gaming?
478) What was the best thing that the original Playstation brought to computer games and what was the worst?
479) What is the most iconic Playstation game? Obviously I wouldn't say it's the best but I cannot think of anything I associate with PS1 more than Ridge Racer. WipEout maybe, but Ridge Racer could only have been on that system at that time.
480) As it's the 25th anniversary of the first Playstation, what are your five best moments related to it - it doesn't have to be only games.
477) I don't really give Sony that much credit. They built upon what came before, and they were instrumental in broadening the demographics, certainly. But as for them inventing modern gaming... nah. They just perfected how to sell it.
478) The best and worst are the same thing: polygons. It ushered in true 3D worlds... but it was also a bandwagon that everyone jumped on, regardless of whether they were ready to.
479) I too would say Ridge Racer, but I'd also argue for Tomb Raider and Resident Evil. Lara Croft, certainly, was synonymous with the PlayStation branding.
480) Good question! 1) Seeing a PlayStation display unit for the first time at a trade show, 2) Playing Tekken for the first time, 3) Playing music through it and playing around with the visualiser, 4) Black CDs...! They felt very futuristic, 5) Probably... playing Resident Evil, and jumping out of my skin at that bit where the you-know-what crashes through the window.
Loved the video with the Beanus interview, and I was wondering if this would become a regular feature?
I'd like to see Beanus do an interview with Hideo Kojima next, asking him lots of questions about beans as usual.
When he protests "This is too weird, I don't understand what's going on!" you can respond "Yeah? Now you know how everyone feels when they play one of your games!" before high-fiving Gannon, laughing uproariously and breaking the Skype connection.
The video would inevitably go viral and get you millions of new subscribers, and possibly your own late-night Channel 4 show like that bloke who reviews chicken shops. Fame and fortune await!
Yes, we would like to do more Beanus interviews. James Interactive, who co-created Bumbo, is a big Digi channel fan, and has offered to help us arrange some more interviews with other developers.
That said, the video hasn't done as well as we'd all hoped, so maybe less Beanus is better. Or maybe the Beanus bubble has burst! Or maybe people don't want to tune in expecting a serious interview which them gets undermined by a bloke raving about beans.
All the more reason to carry on doing it...
481) What's the best game that, for whatever reason, you never want to play again?
482) Is the apparent size of Cyberpunk 2077's map a sign that open-world games have reached their maximum usable size? Perhaps the next generation will use resources to pack more into similar sized game areas to today rather than making them bigger?
483) If Sony exited the computer games market (for some mysterious reason), who would benefit more, Nintendo or Microsoft?
484) Is Half Life: Alyx the potential 'killer app' for VR or is it too late to have as big an impact as it could have?
485) What is the most difficult game that you have completed? I don't like especially hard games myself. Strangely I didn't find Bloodborne too difficult and finished, but have been put off by the difficulty of many (supposedly) easier games. For example, I found one boss battle in Devil May Cry too hard so I just gave up.
482) I think there has to be a limit in terms of a game world's size, just because of what is practical in terms of what the developers can create, and what the player can see. Even something like GTAV, I know I've not seen everything. Also, didn't the Cyberpunk developers say that the map is misleading, because it expands vertically, with lots of different levels? I dunno.
483) I still don't see Nintendo as competitors to Sony, so I'd have to say Microsoft. Nintendo is just doing its thing regardless of trends.
484) I'll reserve judgement until I play it. I'm hopeful, given the series' pedigree, but we'll see whether it's just an extended demo or a full game.
485) Like you, I don't like games being too difficult. I'd actually say Breath of the Wild, not because it was difficult overall, but there were some difficulty spikes that nearly finished me off.
What have you asked Santa for? Have you been looking through the Argos catalogue and circling the items?
Everyone: BUY AN AIR FRYER.
I know Super Bad Advice already reviewed Horace for Digitiser, mostly because he was quite annoyed at me for not reading his review when I started talking about the game, but I would also like to review it so here is my review:
I love this game
Oh you BASTARD
This game is amazing
YOU COMPLETE AND UTTER SHIT
This is the best thing I've ever played in my life
YOU WORD BETWEEN CUNNING AND CUP IN THE DICTIONARY
I do not have the patience for pixel perfect jumpers that have slightly wonky controls sometimes and kill you if you even slightly mess up, but Horace was so utter beautifully brilliant I was hooked, even though it sometimes took me 40 minutes to kill a boss or 30 minutes of deaths to complete a single room. Because I HAVE to know what happens next, and I want to achieve that without going and watching the cutscenes online. Just when you're thinking you're fed up, it chucks another minigame or twist at you that is hilarious or compelling. It is ENDLESSLY INVENTIVE from start to finish.
I almost cried (but held it in admirably because it was all on stream and I'm a big boy).
I cleaned up one million things.
It's just been on sale but even at it's full price of £10.99 on Steam it is such incredible value for the love and effort that has been put into it that I will struggle to find another bargain that even compares.
BUY HORACE EVERYONE, IT IS A JOY AND WHAT GAMES SHOULD BE
ONE MILLION PIECES OF JUNK OUT OF ONE MILLION
I know that's more of a stream of consciousness guff than an actual piece of writing, but I thought everyone should know that I really like this game.
PS. if you want to look at me losing my mind completely I have a playlist of all of my streams of it here (warning: I SAY BAD WORDS A LOT IN IT): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCzWwpOOBkpbVN5XZMRIW5HvrK2wZPRiH
PPS. There's a Digitiser tribute hidden in the game that reviews the game that is basically making the same points SBA made, and it amused me greatly.
PPPS. OK BYE.
Anyway. That's it. Watch Digitiser on Sunday. It's more laid-back and chatty than usual, but also there's some electrocution in there, and unusual foods.