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Max Payne 2001-07-27 Erik
Big thanks to Erik.

We can't remember exactly, but we hope we've never written anything about how stupid and bad Max Payne was going to be, because boy would we be embarrassed now. Don't get us wrong, it's really stupid. But it's definitely not bad. In fact, work on on our negative review is not going well mainly because the game's so good.

The one thing that we have been able to latch onto is that it'll probably take you longer to download the ISO than it will to solve it; the game's only ten hours from start to finish. That doesn't bother us too much, but we know that it's an important factor for many of our readers. I think reader George Broussard, owner of 3D Realms and publisher of Max Payne, said it best last September in this scathingly satirical update to his .plan file:

Email address: georgeb@finger.3drealms.com
Stardate: 09202000.11:45


Tuvok: Ensign, it's been a few hours since I asked you to
examine "Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force". Have you done

Ensign Nobody: Yes Sir, I have.

Tuvok: What is your assessment Ensign?

Ensign Nobody: Well, sir...may I speak freely?

Tuvok: Yes Ensign.

Ensign Nobody: I finished the game in 9 hours in normal
mode, with no cheats or skipping of cinematics. I also
got 4 soda's, relieved myself 3 times and checked email
a few times and mingled with co-workers. I even watched
all the way through the German voice credits Sir.

Tuvok: You have done well Ensign. Please get your gear
and weapons, practice on the Holodeck, mingle in the lounge
and I will call on you soon.

Ensign Nobody: Sir, yes Sir!

A few days later, he made the same point more clearly on PlanetCrap:

I'm all for shorter game with more quality that know when to quit...
But I'm sorry a 10 hour game sucks.

In a frankly unbelievable turn of events, Old Man Murray is now in the position of telling you a game is good, against the explicit negative testimony of the game's publisher.

Open Response To Playnet 2001-07-19 Chet
Good to see something works in WWII Online.

Date sent: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 20:49:18 UT
From: policies@playnet.com
To: chet@Oldmanmurray.com
Subject: Important Notice about your Game Name

Attention Playnet.com subscriber,
The WWII Online Game Name "nazisbob" that is registered to your account is
not valid under our Terms of Service.
Please follow the link provided below to change your WWII Online Game Name.
Failure to do so within 5 days will result in the assignment of a new WWII
Online Game Name.
Please note, this Game Name change does NOT effect your login information
to Playnet.com or WWII Online.
Change your Game Name here
If you feel your WWII Online Game Name is not in violation of Playnet.com's
Terms of Service, please gryf@playnet.com

gayhall.gif (25405 bytes)I am confused. I thought nazisbob was my login and my actual in-game name was evilnazi.   I can't be sure.  After your last patch, your game has gone back to being a computer rebooting simulator for me.

If this is my login - it doesn't even appear anywhere.  But good to see while you are yet to implement the promised persistent online world including ranking, player advancement, and naval warfare, you were able to get the name policy program running.

Here is your Naming Policy:

Names used on the Playnet service can vary from the ordinary to the fantastic. However we do ask that common sense be used while creating names for accounts.

The following types of names are unacceptable for use:
Profane, racist, obscene or rude names including swear words (all languages), obscene anatomical references, racial slurs as well as homonyms or “733t” versions of those words
Word combinations that when read aloud can be offensive
Proper names from history (Hitler, Goring, Churchill, Etc.)

Playnet employee names or callsigns (Rafter, Mo, Snail, Gryf, Killer, Etc.)
Trademarked names from other products or services
Any name that violates the spirit of the above rules

My name was Nazisbob. It is not profane or racist. It's not a proper name like Hitler. It's not even a homonym for Hitler, like Himmler.  I don't think it's one of your employee's names. Is it? Do you have a Nazi Bob working for you? Is it trademarked? Is Nazi Bob a brand of men's clothing in Germany? I thought it was clear - but please inform me if it is found to be otherwise. 

Also, I'd like to lodge an official complaint that one of your employees, "Killer", has a handle that could be insensitive to the families of children who have been killed.  "Mo" - another employee's callsign - is a derogatory term for homosexuals.  This is in especially bad taste, since, as you may remember, the main characters of your game made gays wear pink triangles while other undesirables were forced to display various dehumanizing badges such as yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers, and blue diamonds.

jewposter.jpg (3468 bytes)I don't think I am violating the spirit of global warfare in any way. Do you mean to tell me there were no Nazis in Germany during WWII? If I had picked a nickname like TankMan, that would be generic without reference to the country I was playing for.  Since going in I knew I was going to play the German side, I wanted a name that reflected that.   Because let's be honest, I bought your game because I wanted to kill some stinking Jews.   I was disappointed to see you did not include any concentration camps or Jewish ghetto areas in your game. I was going to write you and request those additions in the next patch.  I know you are striving for a realistic war game - what would Germany have been without the genocide starting with their occupation of Poland?  I saw Schindler's list - one of you is lying about what really happened in WWII.  Since you guys got all the different gears on the tanks right, I'm thinking it's probably Spielberg - he is a no good Jew after all.

gypsy.jpg (2641 bytes)And here I thought we were kindred spirits! You chose to make a game that glamorized one of the ugliest moments of mankind's recent history. With 6 million Jews, countless gays and gypsies killed directly by the Germans and even more Russian civilians killed by the war, I thought we were together.  When you make a game that features a real world event that had over 56 million deaths, I thought you had some balls.  I thought you loved hate, death and violence as much as me.  I had no that idea merely choosing one of the most common American names and the ruling political party of Germany at the time would upset you so much.  Is it that there were no Nazis named Bob?  Are you striving to keep the realism even in the naming policy?   What if I had named myself MarineBob?  I haven't gotten a notice about my in game name, evilnazi, is that okay?

gameplay.jpg (5671 bytes)With all this uproar over a Columbine game which only features the deaths of 15 students and faculty, I thought you were men among men to stand up and take the onslaught of outrage you knew would follow the release of your game.  If making a mod that only reenacts the basic layout of the Columbine scene creates public outcry, I was sure creating a world filled of hate and blood of millions would get someone's panties in a bunch.  Since no one has been outraged at the release of your game,  have you decided to get soft?

When I read the box while installing and then played the game, I  got excited.   I was sure we were alike - were both lying son of bitches!  There are no ships in the game, no persistent world, most of the weapons are missing.  If you had the balls to lie on the box and then on your website, I surely thought you would have the balls to include all of the excitement of WWII in the game.  Rounding up civilians, mass graves.  Where is the ethnic cleansing?  Will there at least be rape camps in the Pacific Theater?

boys.jpg (2968 bytes)When an objectionable name is discovered a member of the game management team will then notify the player who has the account that they have an objectionable name and ask for replacements for it. If there is no response within two days then the account will be made inactive until a suitable name has been decided upon by the player or 90 days elapses. If the account remains inactive for 90 days or more the account will be deleted along with all privileges earned through gameplay.

Considering you have yet to implement any advances, privilege, ranking, or any persistent world features in your game yet, even though it has been out for over a month, I am not that worried about this last bit.


PS - If you are going to assign a name for me, can you give me a cool hippie name like sunshine?

girl.jpg (4640 bytes)

OMM Adopts New Theme Song 2001-07-13 Erik
Thanks to Mark X.
In his last published interview, Erik hinted at our new corporate affiliation. As part of this plan to secure extra financing, OMM is getting a complete facelift next week. We can't divulge many details yet because all the paperwork hasn't been finalized, but we can at least reveal our new theme song (1.6MB). Enjoy. Seriously, go ahead - enjoy.

WW2 Online Scoop 2001-07-12 Erik
Thanks to an anonymous whistle blower.
We've often stolen content from other sites.  Luckily, I'm criminally blameless thanks to my Ownership Identity Disorder. Because of court-mandated hormone treatments in response to several public outbursts of my Murder Legality Dysphoria, I have no clear sense of who owns what, though I do now understand that homicide wasn't legalized in 1977.  The point I'm trying to make is that an anonymous reader sent us this link to all the juicy details of the new WW2 Online patch.

Stop Reading, Start Downloading 2001-07-05 Erik
Thanks to Steve B., Jason C., and the Russian Mob who may have programmed this demo.
Aside from the movie Mother's Day and the title of the movie Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid, I'm not a rabid fan of Troma Studios. What may change my opinion is this demo (230 MB) of their new game The Troma Project. Like most of their movies, it's an uneven mixture of inspired stupidity and regular stupidity. However, it has the world's greatest intro movie, along with an amazing tutorial. The game's narrated by Troma's founder Lloyd Kaufman, who, while explaining how to play, tries to divert your attention away from the fact that he's never played a game in his life - including this one - by swearing a lot. And it's a turn-based strategy game, which only makes the whole thing more obscene. Go, go, go.

True To Theme, Harley McGrew's Anarchy Online To Be Playable In Distant Future 2001-07-02 Erik
Thanks to Lum. Also thanks to this description of the Final Fantasy Movie: "Shes a passionate scientist with a ghost spore living in her chest, hes the gruff leader of a band of doomed space marines."
In 1973, before he became the Michael Crichton gamers know from Michael Crichton's Timeline, Michael Crichton wrote and directed a movie called Michael Crichton's Westworld. At the time, people scoffed at his cautionary tale of a persistent multiplayer role-playing fantasy world so poorly designed that everything that can go wrong does, such as players getting stabbed in the head to death. "Ridiculous!" they said. "It could never happen here!" they said. "In any case, more martinis and macrame pants!" they said, as, laughing, they blithely ignored Michael Chricton's warning and lounged around their cast-iron blackface lawn jockeys, which, thanks to the failure of Michael Chricton's Reconstruction, were popular at the time.

I don't think those people are laughing anymore - especially not in public about their blackface lawn jockeys. Last Thursday's release of Funcom's Harley McGrew's Anarchy Online brings Michael Chricton's nightmare vision one step closer to reality. Between the inexcusable, escalating incompetence on display in both WW2 and Anarchy Onlines, the question isn't if an mmorprogg will be released on a razor-sharp collector's disc that will accidently shoot out of your computer and into your neck, killing you, but if and when! How is such a deadly programming error possible? I don't know. I'm not a network engineer or game designer - much like all the people who created Anarchy Online. All I know is that Michael Crichton's been right up to this point and he says these games are eventually going to take lives and, the way things are going, I - for one and who's with me! - don't doubt it.

Because of commitments I made to a video game magazine under a pseudonym, I was forced to become an HMAO early adopter. I'm going to be straight with you for once in both our lives: in case you had any tiny inclination to go buy Harley McGrew's Anarchy Online, do not do it. Do not. I have spoken. It's broken to the point of unplayability. Instead of learning from each other's mistakes, these multiplayer games appear to be getting progressively worse at launch. It's a trend you shouldn't subsidize. And I shouldn't either. And I won't. And I invite you to join me. As always, one good way to express your displeasure is by registering a game at the International Game Registry.

If you still feel that you can't resist Harley McGrew's Anarchy Online, someone who I'd thank if I knew who it was has created a free service that's an accurate simulation of the HMAO experience. Click here to play. [4:30 pm: Even the simulation now appears to be broken - ed]

Up With People, Disabled Subhumans 2001-06-25 Erik
hanks to Junior Old Man Patrol Minister of Ethics Commitees, Xthlc. Here's a special preview of the answer to the first question from our upcoming FAQ about this news story: As a matter of fact, it does make me feel like a big man.
The Frederick, MD News Post reported last week that Thurmont resident Curtis L. Powell, Jr., 37, has finally scored over 400,000 points playing Ms. Pac Man, "considered by many game historians to be the best in the Pac-Man series. " Evidently unable to contact busy video game historians about other matters, the Post states that Mr. Powell is the first person to achieve such a high score, "to his knowledge".

Though the article is generally quite well researched, its author, Liz Boch, fails to provide one key detail regarding the achievement: whether or not Curtis L. Powell, Jr. is, in fact, retarded.  Without this piece of information, I can't decide whether the story is the funniest thing I've ever read or simply the most uplifting.  But regardless of whether we're laughing at him or, in case he's disabled, with whatever secret joy retarded people are always so happy about, the story stands as a testamant to our shared humanity.  And depending on Mr. Powell, Jr.'s mental faculties, it will also act as a constant reminder of either how embarrassed I am to still be playing video games or how mortififying it is that I could be beaten at Ms. Pac Man by a retard.  

If you haven't yet, go read the article.

One tragic footnote: Mr. Powell's future plans "to write a letter to Bally/Midway" were laid to rest Friday when Reuters reported that Midway is closing its arcade division.

Tragic footnote addendum: This screenshot of what happened when I tried to install the recently released second Battlecruiser Millennium demo:


Interview 2001-06-20 Erik
Thanks to the propaganda mill for the victimology wing of the Democratic party.
I get a lot of mail asking me what the story is behind the founding of OMM. It should come as no surprise to anyone other than the people who send me these requests that I don't answer any of this mail. Obscure gaming site The Armchair Empire caught me on a good day, I guess, because they asked a bunch of questions about the site, and I answered each one honestly and with absolutely no regard for people who might be offended by enthusiastic use of words such as 'cunt'. Click here.

Open Letter To You 2001-06-08 Chet
Chet's open resume for IGN with actual anti-whiner content.
It finally happened: I've had it with you whiny Internet bitches. If you're wondering whether I'm talking about you, look at the image to the right.  Do you see yourself pictured there?  If not, I'm talking about you.  And don't pretend you're the one wearing the dog head - that's me.  And if you're Erik or Levelord, I'm talking about you too.

Here's you: You have a long history of crying like a girl over games you paid for, rare foil collectible trading cards you paid for, Babylon-5 novels you paid for, and websites you technically paid for by having to resist the urge to shock the monkey. But you've really crossed the line this time. With the release of Valve's free Quake total conversion of Half-Life, and your subsequent complaining about that, you've finally transcended the Internet and are now a big floating space-crybaby.

There's a huge list of things to piss and moan about on the Internet.  But someone giving you a present is NOT on that list.  So to try to help everyone out, I'm going to suggest a couple of items that more clearly deserve your immediate indignation.

Sites advertising interracial porn that turns out to actually be black-on-black porn.  While it is true that blacks are a race different from my own, black on black porn is INTRAracial not INTERracial. Black on asian? Sure.  Black on Mexican?   Fine.  Black on Indian? I suppose. Race-neutral Mariah Carrey on anybody? Okay. But let's admit it; when you think interracial porn, you're picturing black on white or vice versa. Next time you come across black on black porn being sold as interracial - make sure to fire off a nasty email to loonyboi.

Another thing you might want to complain about on the Evil Avatar forums is sites promising "teens" and then including pictures of people twenty and over. I don't know what fucked up porn metric system these sites are using, but "teen" means 18 and 19 only. In some progressive countries it can go as low as 17.  But trust me, as a guy we want to look at those magical two years where you're still young and beautiful, but old enough to be legal.  Before the models' tits start to look like either long, skinny bags of sand or plastic mannequin breasts pointing to the stars.  This is a magical time.  If you're going to advertise it, don't trick us by showing grown women. 

On the other hand, there're a lot of "mature" sites that should be ashamed of themselves too.  At a lot of these places, you can't tell the "schoolgirls" from the "grannies".   All the women appear to be in their mid to late twenties, a sort of porn purgatory age so uninteresting that even the Japanese haven't bothered to create a fetish for it.   As far as I can tell, on some of these sites "mature" just means "worse tattoos". In my youth, I saw the most magical porn video ever: Ripples and Wrinkles.  All the scenes involved either old people (wrinkles) with a young person or fat people (ripples) with skinny folk. That tape delivered. The last scene was pure heaven - they actually found a fat old person. Considering most fat people die in their early 30s, this was a rare find, and since the tape delivered as advertised, well worth the price.  So when you're railing against porn on whatever shugashack is called now, make sure you reference Ripples and Wrinkles as an example of how much better things used to be.

A Road To E3 Recap 2001-06-04 Chet
Subtitled - 75 Screen Shots To Jump On the Screen Shot Bandwagon.
I went to E3, but I forgot to pay attention, so Erik will have to be the one who tries to talk about games or talk about not talking about games or even talk about hating games.  I am burned out on games. 

I went with Kthor to the Toy Convention in NYC earlier this year and that pretty much broke me.  It was the sixth consecutive year that I petitioned Hasbro to add a story to Monopoly.  How much fun can the game be without a story?  Who is that old man?  Why are the top hat and the shoe competing?  Once again, they denied my request.  I don't think boardgames will ever be half the widely accepted art movement that, say, German Expressionism is until somebody at Hasbro tries to stretch themselves a little.

Our Friend Kevin, who is scared of flying, driving and bike riding, rode a train to E3.  I'm not thrilled about flying, but I'm more terrified of having to sit next to someone and engage him in conversation for three days as we inch our way across the country.  So I have no desire to actually take a train.

Nobody ever gives us free games, but for some reason Microsoft has been bombarding Erik with copies of its new title Train Simulator.  The letter that comes with every copy advertises that the game places you "in the role of engineer or passenger".  So fat kids who can't stand the exertion of pretending to press the train's forward and backward buttons can choose to simply ride it.  Like I said, I find even the train riding experience to be a little too intense.  However, I do enjoy lying in bed with the lights off while somebody tells me a brief story about seeing a train once.   Unfortunately, Train Simulator doesn't offer this level of rigorously passive simulation yet. 

Utilizing the long, flat thrill coaster that is simulated train passengering, I recreated Kevin's trip to LA.  Here is my trip - and 75 screen shots from TrainSim.  It starts out slow but picks up after a bit.  Again, The link is over there ->             Link

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