It's Tuesday at 5pm, which can only mean one thing: we've managed to publish the Eurogamer.net Podcast on time on the right day for once! Thank you for your ears.
Through a locked gate, down a winding path and by a still pond a few miles outside of the leafy village of Twycross, England, a bonsai tree stands. It was a gift given to Rare by Shigeru Miyamoto, the most famous game designer in the world, as a thank-you for the game developer's critical and commercial success in creating games for Nintendo, the most famous game maker in the world.
This week marked the fifth anniversary of the release of one of my favourite Xbox 360 games ever made.
Viva Pinata was a cute and cuddly game where you planted seeds in a garden and then looked after the friendly animals who popped in to investigate the trees and plants that grew from them. There were 60 varieties to attract, each more delightful than the last, and as their ranks swelled you could sacrifice some to attract other, more exotic species in their place.
Of course, this week also marked the fifth anniversary of the emergence of another famous Xbox 360 series.
Stop clowning around; it really is bastardly cold out there. Still, it's good for one thing: keeping my PC from overheating. All I have to do is wrap up warm and open my window, then pop in one of these festively fantastic frolics and laugh away merrily - probably with a vat of mulled wine close-by to ensure I am well and truly smashed. I'm only giving it serious consideration because there are some games worth seriously considering.
According to Justin Cook, Viva Pinata's designer, they were just mucking about. "It's not a personal attack," he says, stifling a laugh. "It's just something funny that was happening at the time and, well, we thought..."
What do you get if you cross The Sims, Pokémon and Ground Force? A hundred million billion pounds, that's what.