If you've hated the series, and many have - apparently it's "too weird" - then give this a go, as it's quite, quite different. It has been put together in such a way that you don't need to have knowledge of all that has transpired beforehand (though doing so will make it a richer experience), and to be considerably more accessible.
Let me know what you think. I reckon it's pretty damn remarkable, and can't quite believe we made it in two days - albeit with a lot of pre-and-post-production - on a budget that just about covered the pizza orders.
And so, over the next few months - until I decide what I'll be doing for my next pet project - I'll be refocusing on Digi. If you'd like to support my work, don't forget that you can still donate via PayPal or become a Patreon backer. Once the dust has settled on FF, I'm going to try and overhaul Patreon to see what we can offer as an extra incentive.
If you would 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 early to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
A mini-review of the recent Mario Run update for my fellow Digitiser2000 letters page aficionados:
Mario Run was updated recently. A proper update, not an increase to the maximum Toad limit and extra tat for Kingdom Builder as before. Did anyone really need the Toad limit increased to 99,999? Anyway: 9 new levels (plus a bonus level) and a new mode, Remix 10.
Remix 10 runs you through ten short snippets of existing levels, with no time limit and three rainbow coins to collect on each. If you die, you simply skip to the next segment. It’s a bit trivial and tedious: despite really liking Mario Run and being a bit of a completionist, I can’t be arsed to unlock Princess Daisy by running through it 60 times.
The rainbow coins can be spent for a random Kingdom Builder item: who cares? You can play your iTunes library over the top of it too, if you prefer the Mushroom Kingdom to echo with the sound of your Greatest Hits albums.
To access the new World Star levels you need to complete various challenges in the old levels, 8 of which are trivial and one (400 coins on world 1-2, use Toad, practice your arse off) which is phone-smashingly hard.
The World Star levels are a nice mix with some new gameplay ideas, and took me an hour or two to collect all the bonus coins. The extra black coins let you access a bonus level of middling difficulty, which has a sadly final feel: I don’t think we’ll be seeing any more Mario Run content updates.
Verdict: Remix 10 is guff. The levels are all right if you don’t mind them being gated by, at least in one case, a fiendish challenge. Not the 4 extra worlds I’d like to have seen. If you’ve paid for the full game and deleted it, it’s worth downloading again.
Probably not worth buying Mario Run for if you weren’t interested first time round. But you should anyway so Nintendo make more mobile games for Switch-less plebs like me!
Are you familiar with Michel Thomas?
He’s a charming multilingual Frenchman with a ‘method’.
He’s great; he really is, and in a nutshell what he’s selling is this - don’t try because when you do, you use a different (wrong) part of your brain.
Great and very much like our little green friend, Master Yoda.
When you’re stumped by a puzzle, a boss or a series of jumps and then the following morning - hop, skip and jump - et voila. Wasn’t even trying.
I just finished Lumo and the feeling of accomplishment is profound; I very nearly smashed the telly and I also screeched FUCK at one point - it’s a bit tricky, you see!
I’ve also been playing Crash Bandicoot - unforgiving also but not as cool as Lumo…. but good.
Can you think of any games that took you to the edge, guy?
Last week I done sent in a picture of my guitar and that seemed to inspire a few other people to talk about guitars and music… and I actually had a request from Biscuits to hear me in action!
I don’t keep anything I’ve done - not through shame or anything; I just don’t! So I scoured the internet and found a couple of tracks that I played on: one I wrote and one I co-wrote but I’m playing guitar on both.
Shine Your Light - wrote the music for this about 20 years ago. It was originally a fairly boring acoustic song but I reworked it for electric guitar and turned it into a poppy rock number.
Strat straight into the desk (some Roland thing).
Jekyll & Hyde - I wrote the verse and the middle eight. I loved those dramatic sounding chords in the verse and thought they were worth making a song and dance over.
Les Paul through a cranked 50w Marshall.
I didn’t write any of the lyrics.
Mrtankthreat - these are definitely not going to be your cup of tea but for anyone that’s interested - here’s some music I made a long time ago in a county far, far away (Sunny Devon).
As Found Footage flies towards it's flatulence-filled finale, I just thought it worth noting how impressive this project has been, and how excellently it's expanded so much from it's original ambitions! You've done good matey. My only gripe - no appearance of the Snakes. Boooo! Manorak and DJ Trendy Peanut still blow my mind tho'.
Given that the Found Footage finale exposes a love of comedy, bums and sci-fi, it would be utterly REMISS of me to not try and plug my own comedy sci-fi project (that occasionally has bottom-based humour in it too). Lou Scannon! Sort of like Han Solo, but if Solo was a bit shit and swore more often. There's 8 (yes, 8!) issues of rib-cracking silliness available at http://www.atticstudios.website
Token gaming question - what's your take on the iOS remakes of Sonic 1 and 2 by Christian Whitehead? Personally I think they're superb updates with great features and reverence to the originals. I'd rather play 'em with a proper joypad though.
Anyways, looking forward to Sunday. It's going to be a helluva ride!
KRIS: "I really love you, you know."
KRIS'S LOVER: "Aw, that's so sweet."
KRIS: "Now give me a back rub."
Q: What is the best cub scouts badge to receive?
A: A badger.
Q: What is the rudest musical instrument?
A: A Pee-ano (A Piano)
Q: What is the name of the new Jason Bourne reboot?
Q: How many lives does a cat really have?
Q: What is the best way to ruin an otherwise pleasant Thursday afternoon?
A: Discovering how many lives your cherished family pet has.
Q: Who is James Bond's latest love interest?
A: May Consenta
Q: Why can't we hear Michelle Pfiefer in our bathroom?
A: She has a silent pee
Q: Who is Goujon John
A: I am Goujon John
Q: How do you make a Good Friday letters page
A: Execute the son of god.
Moccamocca Booth (Marc Booth)
I'm pretty much in the same camp as you when it comes to microtransactions. Don't want them, don't like them, won't pay.
They're present in the new South Park game, and while it's a little annoying to have advertising in a game I already paid full price for, well, I can ignore it. Even though I would like that Iron Man mask. I'm sure I'll get it at some point in the game though, right?
The thing that recently set my outrage gland spurting is the patent that Activision filed about microtransactions and matchmaking in multiplayer games.
The patent covers a mechanism for matching up players who have not bought certain items with players who have bought those items, as a way of saying, "Ooooh, what a fancy thing that player had! Wouldn't you like it too? It's only 50p. Go on, buy it. Buy it. BUY IT."
And, as with the costumes I could buy in the new South Park, of course, I won't buy them.
If they start matching non-buyers with buyers who have paid to unlock items that result in greater abilities, then things start getting annoying. We, the rational non-buyers, would be matched with the impulsive, borderline CHEATING buyers who have bought advantages. The non-buyers would have a degraded experience because they wanted to play the game they'd bought and nothing more.
This isn't the multiplayer experience that I want. I can see how it's the multiplayer experience that publishers want, because suddenly there's a huge incentive for you to buy stuff - you get matched with people who haven't bought the stuff and can whip them soundly.
Perhaps I'm being too much of a doomsayer. I fear I'm not though. I fear that this is the normalisation of the microtransation as a required part of "big publisher" multiplayer gaming.
I've never used microtransactions, or even much in the way of DLC - beyond buying the Battlefront season pass (which stuck in my throat somewhat) - and refuse to do so going forward. If more people did the same they might actually die out.
Dear Blue Tick,
I am writing you a letter because on Twitter you asked for people to write you letters. This means I don't have anything specific to write to you about so the foregoing is going to be a bit shit and unfocused but surely it's the thought that counts, right?
I was watching Outnumbered on Netflix the other day because I had seen Andy Hamilton on Have I got News for You and I liked Old Harry's Game and then I thought I should watch more of his stuff and now, thanks to the magic of the Internet, I can just watch whatever I want rather than going off and doing something more useful. In the first episode, within a couple of minutes, there is a shot of a TV and on that TV is Teletext.
The minute I saw that page I was transported back to reading Digitiser on my TV and it only brought back warm, fuzzy feelings of welcome nostalgia (and a slight semi). I did, in fact, read you every day and remain fully in awe of your ability to keep saying funny stuff.
I can stare at a partially composed Tweet for a looooong time before finally putting it out there and thinking "That is weak, so weak" and yet all I can remember from back then is laughing like a dick at the vast majority of your daily output.
So it would appear that this has effectively become a bit of a fawning fan boy letter rather than something about goujons which is where I thought it would go so I best end it with some form of get-out cynicism to end the awkwardness.
I LOVE YOU MANG.
Timothy Claypole (not that one)
I mean, the 2017 me feels there's enough negativity in the world without adding to it by insulting people because other people find it funny. But there's no denying it was part of why Digi was popular.
So, with that in mind... thanks for the nice words, you massive bell-hole. Now tell me how that feels.
And press reveal to see what your parents are up to.
I could drone on for ages about all my favourite Found Footage bits, but I note your plea for the more concise letter.
I liked the original Cheese Holes, and I was sad when I heard you weren't pleased with it. I'm really glad it got a rework and you kept it in, Stenny is perfect.
Can't wait for the finale, I'm very excited to watch it again. I'm hoping I'll be able to convince more people to actually watch it, the series hasn't exactly been a hit with my friends and family... I guess "it's not for everyone" as you say.
I was having a conversation elsewhere on the internet about how much The Last of Us sucks (that's objectively true by the way) and I guess inevitably the discussion turned to video game stories. I know you like a good story in a video game so I thought I'd share my thoughts and see what you think.
For a start I actually think video game stories get a bad press at times. The two examples I pulled up in my previous conversation were Eternal Darkness and Second Sight. What I think is the difference between those as opposed to TLoU however is that the gameplay informed the story and the story then facilitated the gameplay.
For example with Second Sight, I suspect that the core gameplay concept was arrived at first. The developers thought, we now have the technology to make a game where people get to have telekinetic powers now lets think of a story we can hang that gameplay on.
With The Last of Us I suspect the story came first and then they thought what kind of game can they build around it. If you took the story out of TLoU what would have though? It's a fairly generic stealth 'em up with incredibly linear level design. It's barely anymore interactive than a QTE.
To be honest I don't think much of the story either, It's a fairly cliched "adult forms reluctant relationship with child" set against an equally cliched zombie apocalypse. If it was a film and not a game it would be acknowledged as such but because video game stories have this (undeserved in my view) reputation and apparently the writing is step above the norm it gets lauded but it doesn't really serve the gameplay in any special way and nor did the gameplay inform the story.
Here's the thing though. Gameplay and Interactivity doesn't have to be all that. Heavy Rain was barely interactive and yet, somewhat surprisingly, I enjoyed that. However, the whole time I was playing I kept wondering why did it have to be computer graphics? It could have been even less interactive but more filmic.
A few years ago a got an email form PokerStars with a link to a variety of small mini games that were supposed to test some kind of poker skill. They don't seem to exist anymore but here's a lets play of one called The Poisoner https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwrlVz7Hhq8
It's only a short thing but I could easily see this idea being expanded on. In fact I recently watched a let's play of a game called Contradiction: Spot the Liar. It looked like great fun. Story wise it was about as cliched as TLoU but if developers like Naughty Dog or Quantic Dream are going to be more concerned with film-like story telling than having interesting gameplay mechanics why not go this route? I mean you can't get better graphics.
Well they're my thoughts. What do you reckon? Would that Contradiction game or another game in that style interest you?
For me what's clever about it isn't that it tells a deeply original story, or brings new types of gameplay, but that it makes you care about the characters, and it does that by keeping them as characters consistent within the gameplay. The characterisation doesn't begin and end at cutscenes - it spills into the body of the game. It's in everything from animation, to dialogue, to the reason they're doing what they're doing.
That, for me, making you care about the characters is entirely new in games - and something which, thus far, only Naughty Dog are nailing.
Press reveal to see where you live.
Important question for the Brannigan's Vortex group, how would you feel about us re-editing the episodes to try to piece things together?
And an important question to me personally: As I'm no longer the only person who holds The Man as their favourite character (shout out to the excellent Zoë Kirk-Robinson), might he ever have worked for Xenoxxx? (Fingers crossed, till they're white, for a reveal).
As you may recall I almost cosplayed something FF themed when coming to the premier but alas found myself short of time and energy and high on anxiety. For future reference, other than a pink beret, what would be recommended items for a Man cosplay?
1. I challenge you and the Digitiser readership to come up with a better games lookalike than Tommy Vercetti from GTA Vice City and the guy who played Joe Carter in Coronation Street.
2. In a recent article you argued that games developers have lost some creativity because of the huge computing power available to them or in other words they can do whatever they want to. While I don't totally agree I think that there is a degree of truth to it.
By way of comparison what games have you felt could have been better or even great were it not for the technological limitations of their time. Personally I'd nominate Fear Effect because the graphics and FMV backgrounds made the PS1 creak, Syndicate Wars, which could have had a 'live city' closer to a GTA and Nights Into Dreams on the Saturn.
3. If you could only have ever played the games from one of the big 3 territories i.e. Europe, USA or Japan, which would you choose and why?
4. What was the better arcade game, Daytona USA or Crazy Taxi?
2. Unnnnhhhh... I'd like a new version of the original Star Fox, which doesn't have the weird control system from the latest version.
3. Hmm. That's a toughie. I'm leaning towards the USA, due to all the nice first-person shooters, but... that excludes Nintendo's games. In conclusion: dunno.
4. Also a toughie. I have to say Daytona USA, because I really loved it. I mean, I enjoyed Crazy Taxi a lot, but Daytona holds a special place in my "hoolie".
There were just heaps of things to love about the final found footage-style ep of Found Footage; the funnies were among the funniest of the entire series, there were some corking surprises and spine-tingling revelations (the extended conspiracy sequences offered up the clearest evidence yet that whoever wins in the battle between Xenoxxx and Goujon John, it'll likely be very bad news indeed for our particular plane of reality).
And I got to be in it! You made me happier to have a pair of underpants superimposed on my head than I would ever have believed possible.
Y'know, I'm really going to miss tuning in for FF every Sunday. This series has been a blimmin' delight from start to finish, and my weeks will be altogether less weird without it.
But hey, there's still the stupendously swish-looking finale to look forward to, and it's greatly groovy to know that you're already mulling over ideas for future projects. It's been positively inspiring to see just how much you've achieved with this show (heck, I was even moved to comXe up ^% with a wPholGe b&acksXxXtory Xx for @ho<wX xXxxX XXXXXXXXXXXXX
3.1 ROM 40.068
Copyright © 1985-1993
All rights reserved
MS-A: Is this thing on? Testing, one two three. Hello?
MS-A: Ah, right. Digitiser. Best be quick, then.
MS-A: My name's Rambert Schmidt, former Xenoxxx language technician. I don't work for them now; this is largely because I don't have a body any more, and my mind's been trapped in your dimension for the past 25 years on the hard drive of a Commodore Amiga 1200. Long story.
MS-A: Anyway, when Mr Biffo started broadcasting his Found Footage tapes online, it woke me up. And I have to tell you: You need to keep watching.
MS-A: Seriously: It's really important. You need to watch the whole thing right to the end. It's the only way you'll understand just what's at stake. And maybe, just maybe, it'll help you avoid suffering a fate like mine.
MS-A: Oh, and don't trust Goujon John. His plans for multiversal domination taste BAD.
XXXXXXXXXXxXx xxXx XxX xXhJk xXaKlter*nate Xx ver>sion X of me. But anyway), and it'll be exciting to see where you go with your future film-making endeavours.
One thing's for sure: Whatever your next project is, I really hope you'll be able to involve the Asperger's Are Us chaps in some capacity.
Their contributions to Goujon Day were absolutely tremendous – Dadpellet and Burd Talk are two of the best sketches in the whole of FF, and the pitch-perfect performances of the AAU crew are a major factor in their success. I've never laughed so hard at a floating corpse, and I've seen loads.
Roll on Sunday and the conclusion to the FF saga! I suspect it's going to be rather spiffing.
Yours perfectly normally,
I bought some game via Steam recently. It was superb. I can't remember the name of it but it is, quite brilliant.
P.S. Love your stuff. I wish I was there.