And the time is right,
Well, that's mah song!
If you've missed out on all my relentless plugging, tickets for Digitiser Live have been selling extremely well. We have released a few extra tickets, however, so if you are keen to attend this one-off evening of gaming lunacy, and have a drink with us afterwards, then click the image above. They're only £15! Think of the memories!
Right then. Best get on. We ended up getting more letters than we've ever had before...
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
I must say I am tickled pink about the upcoming Digi-Live show, but I have to ask - will Fat Sow be there? After the recent video, she's become my fave on the show!
I'm trying really hard not to give anything away about the live show, because I want it all to be a surprise on the night.
As it's Easter, why not have a reveal?
Seemingly out of nowhere, Sony this week bestowed upon Wired an interview in which they casually said the 'Next Gen Playstation' (just call it PS5 you nitwits) would have all manner of wonderful things which both gamers & especially GameDevs have been asking for for over a decade. The biggest (finally) being the almighty SSD.
Now you might think this isn't such a big deal - but it's the biggest shakeup in gaming hardware since Nintendo decided strap-on wands were cool. But you say "WaterWorm, it'll just make things load faster".
And to that I lavish a big slimy yes. Yes it will. As consumers we've been stuck with poor load times in console games for literally decades now. Game Devs spend most of their time at the end of a project just trying to get those old laptop harddrives in PS4 or XboxOne consoles to actually do something before we all grow old.
What's going to be interesting now, is what people will choose: The most powerful fastest backwards-compatible Playstation ever, or just stream your games from anything with a screen.
So I ask the mighty MrBiffo, is it even worth us buying a new mega-console in 2020 when streaming everything is just around the corner?
Yes, faster load times would be nice, but at this stage it's all sort of abstract and, well, doesn't - for me at least - have the same excitement as the sort of generational leaps we had in the past. Whereas, if I'm honest, a fully cloud-based platform does.
Yeah, come at me, bro!!!!
In conclusion: dunno.
I consider you to be on the side of the angels, though your sense of humour is a bit too Jackass for my liking sometimes. With your germphobia as discussed in the most recent Digi video in mind, I dare you to read about this PS4 controller: https://twitter.com/ceschiii/status/1117856674578980864
I read you every day. Past tense, obvs.
I saw that disgusting controller thing earlier in the week. So, yeah.
For those looking to save a bit of cash and get the newest games cheaper there is a cool website set up with some really excellent prices. CD Keys is pretty good to use even for Xbox Live/PSN subscriptions and with Easter coming up you can grab some pretty good deals. Heres the link
Get up to 90% off best selling video games | CDKeys.com
All the latest PC Games, CD Keys, Xbox Live and PSN Cards
Hope everyone finds this useful.
gamertag (gaz be rotten)
Hi. Some retro gaming content for you. I found Galaga in a hotel I was stopping at on holiday in Lowestoft this week, got the top score and dedicated my achievement to all the boys and girls at
Digitiser. Here is a terrible picture as proof.
I just got a massive ridiculous oversized cardboard box full of teeny tiny men and Nazis and frog-guys. That's right, Kickstarter-me-do, it's Hellboy the board game!
I've not played it yet, so it might be garbage, but I like me some board games as a alternative to vidja gamez every now and again. What say you? Roll any dice on the regs?
I've been playing a lot of Dropmix since I got it on the cheap last week, which is a fun sort of hybrid video/board game from the folks behind Rock Band. Worth a look if you like to make classic rock songs sound all hip hop and dubstep, but have limited actual music skills.
I remember I always like the odder board games in my youth. Stuff with a gimmick, as opposed to a standard Scrabble or Monopoly or whatever. I remember trawling round to get all those Atmosfear VHS tapes where you get to play against the out of work actors dressed as Zombies and the like.
And a game where it was like a Castle, and there was a glow in the dark skull that you dropped in the top that knocked people down? Something like that. Sort of a gothic Mouse Trap. Can't remember what it was called though...
Anyway. Happy Friday. Keep up the good work. More Fat Sow please. And so on.
I don't mind card-based games, I suppose, but I'd probably rather just have a nice chat.
Press reveal for something to chat about.
I'm having fun with the PS2 adverts, and I was wondering if any other types of game console ads work well with a random image on the Interwebs, as the Friday Letters Page is my only way of Stayin' Alive, also...
Nope, I've forgotten.
I got distracted by Fat Sow's teats on YouTube. They look painfully swollen. It's little wonder she's so grumpy.
Maybe some Savlon?
I am on holiday this week - thanks, Jesus - and as such had cause to be in an airport arcade. My 7 just-in-case pound coins were all well spent while “taking my infant son for a walk” (who coincidentally vomited over me during draft #1 of this email, delaying it by an hour or so).
Anyway: it was all pretty naff stuff and claw machines 2.0 (not sure what the proper term is for these now).
There was the one where you have to line up the scissors to cut a teasingly frayed rope and drop a prize, and the one where you try and fit a key-shaped pusher through a massive looking hole and knock a prize down. £2 spent there on failing to win a NES Mini, the rest on a sit-in Jurassic Park machine I hadn’t seen before, Mario Kart, and a crap generic racer I wish had been OutRun 2.
But the question: what is the best prize you’ve won in an arcade?
If you are looking for random letters, how about this one, hand delivered to the first house I bought with my now ex-husband. What we did not realise was the people who owned the house before us actually made fetish gear, and they had "parties" too...
Obviously remove the address...!
Firstly I would like to say I am really enjoying all the Digitiser episodes that are appearing almost regularly now. So glad to see.
Do I have a question? Well yes I do.Seeing the early details of the announced PS5 (assuming its called that) , how many more generations of console do you think we have before we have
complete parity between the main contenders Xbox and Playstation?
Looking forward to the live show. Can we bring fruit and veg to throw at Gannon though?
The Porridge King
Anyway. I'm not even sure if the PS5 thing can even be classed as a new generation, given that it feels more like the next evolution of the PS4 Pro than anything. I might be wrong - and, let's face it, even if I'm not somebody is going to tell me I'm wrong - but for my money we've already entered an era where Sony and Microsoft's machines are pretty much interchangeable.
And nobody is allowed to throw anything at Gannon ever. I dunno what's gone wrong there. You're meant to be on HIS side - not mine!
I would appreciate your opinion on whether the Wally Week games became less enjoyable in terms of gameplay as their ambition and complexity increased.
Also, Everyone's A Wally had this on the b-side:
I'm 48 and I'm genuinely excited to see the show... Crazy or what? ️
Daph B x
The show aside, it's just going to be nice to be in a room full of like-minded people. The atmosphere at Digifest and the Found Footage Premiere was lovely - there was real joy in the air - and we're going to have at least three times as many people there this time. I just hope I get the chance to speak to everyone.
If not, I'll just start a mass brawl.
You mentioned on the Twitter that you were sick of cynicism about what people enjoy, and I agreed that we should enjoy what we enjoy as long as it's not hurting anyone. Remember that? Ah, good times. We shall never see the like of those again because of POLITICS, right? Yeah? Topical.
I like the new She-ra. And I like the new Doctor Who, and about half of Red Dwarf. All of these things have attracted the cynics to moan and whine about "oh that's for KIDS," and "oh only VIRRRRGINS watch that," and "you are RUINING IT PLEASE STOP". But I like them. Oh and the new Star Wars. Yeah.
What are some things that you like that you want all the cynics to shut up about?
I'm a hypocrite, of course, because I'm sure I do it, and have done, and snark is part of Digi's USP, so I should probably expect it.
The obvious one for me is my like of Marillion, but criticism of them is now so expected and tiresome, and dull, and generally about 30 years out of date, that I'm kind of immune to it.
As for the Star Wars thing last weekend... Well, I'm not much of a fan of The Last Jedi, and I could bore you all with why, but I saw the trailer for the new one at the end of a very trying week, and I was feeling a bit vulnerable, and the relief that I'd liked the trailer, the promise that something I have grown up with is going to conclude in brilliant fashion, well... it got me right in the feels, and I got a bit teary.
Which has never happened to me before with a trailer for anything, but I think I'd just wanted something nice to happen. And it, for me, was a nice thing. And that's the risk you take when you criticise things that mean a lot to people; you don't know what it means to them personally in ways that are both small and big.
Star Wars runs through me. It has been a constant in my life since I was six years old. I'm not blind to its flaws - same as I'm not blind to the flaws of people I love. But it has been there for me throughout my life at trying times and then, last weekend, it was there once again.
I have been quite busy of late, because I got a new job, which meant I had to do a lot of work for the last weeks of my old job for some reason.
Now I've started my new job and it seems OK so far, so that's good. I've also bought new glasses, but they're all wonky so they're having to redo the lenses on them to make them hopefully not wonky. I hope it works because I'm tired of everything being wonky.
I'm afraid I haven't kept a count of how many poos I've done since I last wrote a letter to this page, but I've just done one now, and I did one this morning, so that's two.
I did two on Monday after I got to the hotel in Windsor. That was quite unusual for me for one evening, because normally it takes my guts a day or so to get over the anxiety of pooping in a new toilet, and the first poo is all stale and sticky and hard to push out because it's been in my bottom for too long.
This week then I estimate that so far I have done nine poos, which is probably about average for me, so it's nice that the new job hasn't caused enough stress to make my bum bum a runny brown horror.
LOVE AND KISSES
Congratulations on the new job, and - my my - what a lot of detail you've provided for us! Question: do you all have a poo schedule? As in; do you have a set time when you go, or does it just happen when it happens? I'm curious.
So have you been watching The Orville? It's that Star Trek-like programme from Seth McFarlane which in the second series seems to have moved away from being just an affectionate parody to being something more serious. A lot of stories recently have felt much more like a collection of "missing episodes" from The Next Generation.
It's Easter, or something. What's your favourite game with eggs in it?
Mine would most probably have to be Yoshi's Island. Them giant eggs you get from passing a Fat Shy Guy were quite something.
How does Yoshi do it?!
1) Have you ever done voicework on a game (even in cameo form)? If not, have you ever wanted to?
2) Having recently moved to sunny Manchester, I have had the joy (*cough*) of unpacking my belongings. It took no less than two months to get everything back out of packing boxes and crates, doing so around my work hours, which was not so fun.
However, in unpacking I realised that, somehow across the years of being a bargain hunter, I had acquired no less than three copies of Star Trek Invasion, and two copies each of Syphon Filter 2 and Cool Borders 2. Have you ever accidentally purchased a game twice or more unintentionally?
3) I used to have "go-to" games back in the day, games I could just boot up for half an hour at a time, play a little bit, and then put them back down. For a while that game for me was WWF Smackdown 2…
Although ten minutes of those half hour play sessions were spent on the bloody loading screens. More recently I have found it difficult to find recent games with the same kind of appeal, in that I feel that games increasingly seem to want the player invest their time heavily in long play sessions. Have you had any "go-to" games in the past (or present) which you just boot up for a quick blast?
4) What is the loveliest game you have ever had the pleasure to play? Mine is Child of Eden, especially the ending with the photograph tree… It totally does not bring a tear to my eye… No, really it doesn't… I'm not crying, you are… Aw heck, just pass me the tissues … *Sniff*
2) Oh man. Yes. I do it almost every single time I buy a game from Amazon. My wife is constantly sending stuff back that I've double-ordered. It's the curse of one-click impulse ordering.
3) It's why I love my Switch; it's perfect for quick, casual, play, because I only use it as a handheld, and there are loads of quick-fix indie games on there. Get one!
4) I'm not sure if any game has ever moved me to tears. I struggle with beauty in games, because I know it's artificial, and designed to manipulate our emotions. It's different if I'm watching, say, a documentary. We had that Netflix Our Planet thing on the other night, and a baby orangutang appeared on screen suddenly, and I got choked up for no good reason.
Again, as I say, been a trying couple of weeks.
When the focus of my gaming was the Eggsbox 360, it was a no brainer to have a Live subscription, 'cause I played multiplayer loads, even with Rando Calrissians and Martin Randos. Even when my friend list departed en-masse to the PS4, I kept Live 'cause the games on GwG were good.
However since Micrososoft's focus has shifted towards their admittedly excellent Gamepass service, the quality of freebies offered has plummeted and I rarely if ever switch on my One.
In the interim period I've taken on the mantle of reviews for a small indie site with a a PS4 focus, to the extent that the stifling lack of innovation in AAA titles leaves me entirely cold. RDR2: one trophy and done. The same with the obviously excellent Spider-Man.
As a result, my game focus has shifted entirely to indie fare and I see little point going for the previously worth having Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus subscription.
Also, my game of last year wasn't from the typical RDR2/God Of War/Spider-Man. It was the excellent Death Road To Canada that I went all-in on across all three current formats.
I'm enjoying Dangerous Driving more than anything else, regardless of how intrigued I am by Sekiro. I expect I'll buy From's opus eventually and abandon it for yet another half-arsed scrolling shooter.
Have a great pagan appropriation egg festival weekend.
Dear Mr Biffollow the Yellow Brick Road (sorry if I've used that one before)
What is your favourite video game horse?
Apologies for the poor quality of this letter. If I veer too close to Stewart N Hardy levels of banality please do let me know.
You asked for letters. I have nothing to say because I am at my boyfriend's house and am thus missing most of the retro gaming goings on because we're up to gay shenanigans.
However, I have played 26 hours of Pokemon Let's Go Eevee on my boyfriend's Switch between 2.30PM Monday and 10PM Thursday and can confirm VIDYA GAYUM GÜD.
That is all. Have fun. Don't let the bed goblins bite.
Chai (formerly @findmethewords)
My wife is expecting identical twins in about 10 weeks. What entertaining videogame names could we give them? We don't know if they're Mario Brothers or Giana Sisters so we need two names for both sexes.
Grumpy Gumphrey is a shit name so please don't suggest that.
Thus, in tribute to Pig-Nose and his brother, I insist you call them Kingsley and Pig-Nose.
Well some of us hardcore fans have been hanging out since about 1998 on IRC and it looks like we're finally gonna meet for the live Digitiser show this year.
To say I am looking forward to this is a MASSIVE understatement! Some being Southerners mean we've never met en masse, but it looks like it might finally happen, If this makes the whole atmosphere wierd I can only apologise in advance!
I don't really have anything of note to say (as usual!) so I might just leave it there - We know you've had a shit week and we're all here, so yeah, not like that helps or anything but there you go!
I am currently looking for a montior/TV to play my Spectrum +2 and Electron (NOT ELK!) on and if anyone in the comments has a good idea for what to get for me, please let me know!
Keep up the work, and yeah... we'll all see you soon and make you feel totally socially awkward! Looking forward to that!
Oddly, though, one of the things I'm most looking forward to is meeting people whose names I recognise from Twitter. I mean, I'm sure you're all going to be a bunch of weird freaks, and I'll feel like I need a wash afterwards, but yes... How often do you get the opportunity like this to be surrounded by hundreds of your own?
I was looking through my Facebook pictures for any gaming related stuff for your letters page, and I found an oddity here for you. I was in Vancouver in 2010, and I saw this game in an HMV there.
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader, America's version of Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old, which at the time was hosted on Sky One by Noel Edmonds, and - later on - a toned down Dick and Dom. This amused me, as OUR version didn't get the PlayStation 2 treatment, just for the Nintendo DS, which my Mum had.
Incidentally, the show is still on in America, unlike our version sadly, which had its 3 years before Sky pulled the plug. Noel Edmonds losing it around the same time didn't help. But still, I wonder what the American PS2 one was like compared to our DS one?
How are you? I am fine.
Here's a question you could answer if you choose to. Are there any games that you loved as a young gamer that you've tried to rekindle your passion for in your advanced state of cellular decay and found... nothing of value?
For me this is pretty much all games I played back in the 80s/90s when games were my life, and I should have been out using my innate gifts (1. Cracking figure, 2. Breathy voice, 3. Naturally rouged cheeks - I really was quite something back then) to further my experiences in the real world.
I can whip up enough nostalgic enthusiasm to sort out an emulator and some games, but actually playing them? 10 mins tops. I get bored. But that's true of new games too. My childhood pleasure is a locked room to which I no longer have the key.
Clearly that's not the case for you, but I wondered if it might be the case for some specific games and that might be something you'd be prepared to share?
Oh and if you're wondering why someone who doesn't enjoy retro games is here. Well, I just always liked your writing. It made me think that a career in journalism might be fun. It wasn't. But I still like your writing.
The point at which it changes for me is the console era. The NES and Master System both have some games which still hold up, and it gets better as you get into the SNES and Mega Drive era. Then it falls apart again a bit when 3D comes into it; some of the early N64 and PS1 games are wretched.
Following on from your look at those delightful mini consoles, I have to say that I love them! I can’t be dealing with a collection of old bits of piss-smelling/coloured hardware that need endless adapters to work on modern screens, and certainly don’t have the room for them either.
As you may not have picked up from previous drunken ramblings, me and Mr. J (the wife) live on a boat (with a door that looks like the Man's Daddy), and electrical power is something we have to make ourselves somehow, and store in these things called batteries.
Our primary system is 12v, and as much as I enjoy the shrunken nostalgic looks of these systems (and it’s actually quite easy the to flood them with your own preferred tat and not just the native systems games) this comes second to the fact that, as they run from USB, I can happily use these miniaturised machines without having to perform science and trickery to make 240v, or have to divert power from life support or shields.
But I am secretly looking forward to being able to plug in to some real electric so I can go back into my PS4 and play some new games again.
Do you also have a dog who wears a bandana around his neck? I bet you do. I bet you've got a little scruffy dog who wears a bandana.
I have a query about Fat Sow.
I've noticed when Fats insults Paul with things like "I'm so angry I could admire an orchard" or "You're like an piece of grass on top of a shelf" and the one involving a jam jar, it seemed to me that Fat Sow lives in a quent little English village as that seems to be his only point of reference.
Wouldn't surprise me if he next says:
"I would rather guess the weight of the cake then look at your stupid face, Paul" or "you're so old and shit youll be sponsored by the local national trust!" And "You're an appalling road work of cuntertudge!"
Anyway that's my fan theory.
Love the site videos and all the work. I even grew up watching ya stuff like My Parents Are Aliens. Is that weird?
No, it isn't weird at all that you grew up watching kids TV that I'd written. I'm sure you are not alone, as I've been doing it for 20 years now, since before I stopped writing Digitiser.
I'm your most dodgy of uncles.
Maybe loosely game related but....
Has the 'choose your own adventure' on Netflix already got out of hand? The Black Mirror: Bandersnatch special was fine and a bit special, but Bear Grylls you Vs Wild is rather lame. Yes you can make him eat s**t, but alas he does not die. Where is the fun in that?!
Not to mention that he wrestles a very obviously dummy crocodile, I cannot I feel but a little let down. If I, as a 30 something city dweller, will not learn what actually may kill me in a jungle scenario through a choose your own Netflix adventure, when will I?
The cat lady gamer aka Diane, 34, Manchester.
So they just announced another 10 games for this and they’re all pretty decent. As long as the emulation is great it’s looking to be the “Definitive” Sega Megadrive Collection.
Annnd then there’s that Capcom monstrosity they recently announced. Its like they announce on great thing and then announce an equally terrible thing to keep some sort of weird video game balance.
Well, not funny, but worth thinking about... maybe... uhhh... Game of Thrones is good and stuff right?
That Capcom thing is vile isn't it? An enormous waste of money, and it looks like a novelty coffin.
Also: I've only ever watched the first episode of Game of Thrones, and it was boring, and confusing, and had gratuitous nudity, and I decided it probably wasn't for me. Press reveal to see what I think it's like:
I was going to write some silly shit because I'm drunk and saw your tweet, but when I opened my email thing I read the Patreon email from this morning and it really of knocked it out of me. Just want to genuinely wish you the best even though I don't really know you (and I'm drunk).
But nevertheless... I spent the whole of yesterday getting emails from journalists asking me how she died, or to appear on news programmes to pay tribute, while getting awful people on Twitter implying I was somehow culpable in her death and had a guilty conscience, while simultaneously engaging in the heartbreaking task of going through scripts and changing them to remove the character. It was not a very pleasant day.
What are Drunk Daniel talking and I about? Well, if you support me on Patreon, you too can get lurid insights into my personal life.
331) Why is PlayStation Now the apparently forgotten streaming format, especially amongst the hype for Google, Apple and Microsoft's cloud offerings?
332) Which game had the least appropriate soundtrack? Not necessarily bad music, just the wrong music for the game.
333) Where would you rank Lemmings in terms of the great puzzle games? It is dated now, of course, but as you say with Space Invaders, it was near-perfect at the time.
334) While I think it is reviewed quite softly, I like my Switch and especially the 'community' aspect to it. Having said that, though, I don't know many more people who play local cooperative/competitive games because of it. We often hear about the impending death of single-player games, but are local multi-player games the real endangered species?
335) If you were awarding it for quality at the time, rather than how it plays now, what was the best Amiga game ever?
332) Not sure, but I'll tell you one that I'm currently finding really overbearing - Monster Boy on the Switch. It's a brilliant game, but the soundtrack feels like it's trying constantly to draw attention to itself.
333) I've not played Lemmings in years, so I dunno how qualified I am to say. This might not be popular, but I did find it a little overrated at the time. I'd just get into a panic with it. Great concept, though. In theory.
334) There has been a bit of a move in the last couple of years towards split-screen gaming coming back. A Way Out - which I've yet to play - had split-screen. As do the likes of Rocket League. Plus there are loads of local multi-player games on the Switch aren't there? That's half the reason Nintendo gave it that two-part controller.
335) Oh bloody hell. You're asking me, of all people, that question?! For me it's Cannon Fodder. Not the most graphically rich experience, but it was near-perfect gameplay.