Max Payne 2 and Asshole Physics
Despite the monumentally idiotic name, the original PC game Max Payne proved to be an incredible sleeper hit back in 2001 or whenever the hell it was released, demonstrating that a game can overcome cheesy dialogue, awful voice acting, a cliched and laughable plot line, and outrageously linear level design just as long as it features people getting shot in the face during slow motion sequences. I suppose I'm slightly biased because I despise third person shooter games and the concept of continually looking at somebody's ass while they run through concrete corridors and jump over hundreds upon thousands of shipping crates which have been scattered throughout various planets and dimensions for some unknown reason that only Baby Jesus can comprehend. Remedy Entertainment, the creators of Max Payne, also made the unfortunate mistake of hiring individuals who believe that "pressing the jump button and leaping over large holes which will kill you if you fail to leap over them properly" is a crucial aspect of gameplay, ranking up there in importance with the concept of having a Pope represent the Catholic church and making Old Navy commercials as painfully obnoxious as possible. Here's a little hint for all you up and coming aspiring game developers out there: just because you've included a button which makes your character jump doesn't mean that us gamers necessarily enjoy pressing this button. There are many other non-jump buttons that human beings would prefer to smash instead of the "jump" one, so perhaps you should entertain the idea of using these keys instead. I propose enacting a law which would result in lengthy jail time for any game publisher who releases a game that includes the following:
1) Jumping puzzles where the main character must leap from one platform to the next or else he'll fall into a giant pit full of mysterious darkness while producing a shrill screaming sound. If a jumping puzzle game is released and the developer includes bad guys which shoot at you and attempt to injure you during mid-jump, thereby directly causing you to miss the next platform and fall to your demise, then the authorities should be allowed to murder every single member of the developer's family, including their mentally retarded children.
2) Green colored lighting. The last time I saw any green colored lighting in an actual, non-video game real life situation was when I was at CompUSA and saw a computer playing a demo of Unreal 2. Outside of a disco hall, there are absolutely no locations in this plane of reality which feature predominant green colored lighting, and for a good reason: NOBODY LIKES GREEN COLORED LIGHTING. Hell, nobody likes any colored lighting, which can be demonstrated by going to the hardware store and noting the large quantity of white light bulbs. If I want to see stupid lights and colors flash around, I'll buy some LSD instead of a computer game.
3) Missions that revolve around protecting a brain-dead, cannon-fodder good guy who willingly moves into the trajectory of bullets in order to sustain damage to the face and frustrate you. I agree that this type of gameplay breaks up a monotonous "run and gun" series of levels which only require you to accurately remember which button makes your character shoot their gun and which button makes the game quit to the desktop, but you know what else can serve the same function? Spending 10 hours aggravating a live feral cat and then cramming it into your pants while beating it with clubs like an angry pinata. If you're making a game and you don't see any conceptual problem with including a level where the player must shoot enemies who are trying to murder a pixellated character with an IQ of -8, please consider my suggestion of including an angry feral cat with your game. Trust me, we'll enjoy it more.
Fortunately, Max Payne 2 doesn't feature too many of those offenses, although it does have really ridiculous dialogue which is supposed to be "film noir" but just sounds like a depressed goth grade school student who recently stole a thesaurus. These clunky, cliched lines were recited by paid professional voice actors who are definitely not professional but were probably still paid anyway. Then again, you'd probably have to fork out a lot of cash to convince somebody to seriously say, "I looked into the darkened, murky hole and the memories of those before me swam up into my brain like a grub burrowing into a rotting apple that fell from a diseased tree rife with pain and poison like a boar with AIDS dying alongside the bloodstained highway" when describing what the main character felt as he looked into his toilet. Now don't get me wrong here; I really enjoy Max Payne 2 and think it's an incredibly entertaining game. I simply wanted to shovel the negative parts out of the way so they could balance out what makes Max Payne 2 so damned wonderful: the Asshole Physics engine.
Zachary "Spokker Jones" Gutierrez and I came up with the term "Asshole Physics" when we were discussing the game and the physics models it employed. Basically there's a lot of crap you can knock over and kick around, including dead bodies, buckets, cans, and little sections of drywall which are standing around in the middle of rooms for no obvious reason. Zachary casually mentioned, "I have made it a point to knock over every fucking thing in that game. I am living out my fantasies of being a giant asshole," and I responded by stealing his "asshole" comment and claiming that I made it up. Thus "Asshole Physics" was born, a phrase used to describe the games where you can run around like an idiot, being a nuisance to everything and everyone you encounter. It's just like pretending you're playing Ultima Online, only there are a lot more buckets you can push around. I decided to write up a brief overview of my experiences with Max Payne 2 by highlighting this Asshole Physics system and explaining to you, the reader, how immersive it makes the environment and game in general.
I started off in the police dispatch room. As you can see, there was some chatterbox broad talking into a microphone and barking out the same instructions over and over to some unlucky bastard somewhere else, perhaps even as far away as the next room. You'll also notice that I took the liberty of pushing over one of the nice leather chairs to her left. I did this because I claimed the dispatch woman as "my territory" and I didn't want no slackjawed pig cops movin' in on my turf. This was my broad and ain't nobody gonna get in between me and her voluptuous, non-moving lips. I planned on slipping her ten inches of Payne once I figured out how to shove her out of the chair and repeatedly fall on her in such a fashion that my polygonal penis would enter some arbitrary hole in her body. Then I noticed a very large map on the wall and searched for a "YOU ARE HERE" icon to explain exactly where I was in relation to all the lines and colored objects festively adorning the wall map. I couldn't find any such indication, so I decided to leave and ask somebody else in the police station who might know. Before I left, I kicked around the chairs and made an absolute mess of the dispatch room, thanking Asshole Physics the entire time.
The front desk of the NYPD was a real hectic and happenin' place, what with the hectic lamp on a table and the hectic woman who was wearing a hat while using a computer. I approached her and attempted to ask exactly where in New York I was, but she gave me the cold shoulder and didn't say a word. Then I tried to make things easier by informing her that there was a large map in the next room she could use if she had difficulty explaining directions, but she still refused to provide me with the time of day. I even tried mashing the "use item" button over and over next to her, but she still wouldn't budge, even after I attempted to use her "item." This threw me into a fit of homicidal rage, as can be seen in the second picture where I am rolling around on the floor and causing my leg to pass through her arm like a drunk ghost. I tried to roll under her chair and push her over, but her eternal diligence and passionate police data entry prevented such a distraction. I decided to fight fire with fire by walking up to a computer console and doing my own data entry, so I pressed the "use item" key and Max Payne responded by hitting something with his thumb, thereby producing a series of clicking sounds. I was hoping the miracle of Asshole Physics would cause the keyboard to fly off the desk and hopefully impact itself into her skull, but I had to instead settle for a few weak keyboard clacking noises. All in a day's work!
Despite my slick data entry dance of lust, the front desk lady was unmoved. I was about to give up and move on to annoying people in the bathroom when suddenly I spied my opportunity: a trash can! Some poor fool had placed a waste can to the right of the desk, so I decided to prove my bravado by running into it as fast as I could, thereby knocking it over with my manly strength and speed and undoubtedly wooing the pants off that uppity bitch at the reception desk. Once again, the desk maven didn't even look up. I kicked the trash can over to the front of the desk and pretended like I was arresting it. "Hey desk lady," I stated confidently. "I'm Max Payne and I just arrested this trash can for a series of brutal murders and possibly rapes. You might say I'm a hero!" She was unmoved. In an act of desperation, I decided to propose marriage to the trash can, hopefully making the desk lady green with jealousy over my newfound love interest. No luck. She was indeed a tough nut to crack, like a testicle forged from pure titanium.
I left the front desk and spotted a sexy hooker hanging out on a nearby bench. If anybody wanted to have sex with me, it'd surely be a hooker! I didn't know how I would go about giving her cash to perform pixilated sexual favors, so I just assumed I could give her a SA Forums account in exchange for a blowjob. Let me tell you, there's nothing more erotic than offering somebody a SA Forums account. The broads love that kind of shit, trust me. I approached her and made this proposition on one knee, but as you can tell, she held no interest. Consumed with fury, I flew off the handle and tipped over (yet another) nearby trashcan who was apparently in town for the Annual Trashcan Convention. I actually tried to kick it into the face of the hooker, but Max Payne seemed to have difficulty navigating around the potted tree which was having extreme issues preventing it from existing in more than two dimensions at once. I ran into the bathroom and began flushing the toilets repeatedly so I could cost the New York Police hundreds of dollars in water bills. I'm not sure if this plan worked, as I didn't hang around in the bathroom long enough for their next utility billing cycle, but in my mind I like to pretend that it did.
I ran from the bathroom screaming in victory, at which point I proceeded to hump the American flag in a patriotic display of lusty liberty. I spotted a vending machine in the corner, so I pressed the "use item" key repeatedly and caused a series of soda cans to fly out of it. I tried to kick these cans over to the hooker so she might give me oral sex in exchange for a cola, but the cans kept flying in the wrong direction and resting alongside the wall. I came to the conclusion that in all likelihood, I was not going to get laid by any of the three females on the first floor, so I ascended the staircase and tried to get laid on the second floor.
There were a couple male police officers in the break room watching television. I decided to use Asshole Physics to annoy these two idiots by repeatedly turning off the television. They responded in frustration by turning the television back on again. Then I turned it off and they turned it back on. This emotional tug-of-war lasted for nearly three hours, with me repeatedly powering off the television and them powering it back on. Since this was a war I could never possibly win, I tried a different strategy: blocking the television with my shiny ass. This did not seem to affect the cops, so I began giving them a homosexual lap dance. They were not particularly aroused by my erotic shuffle of passion, so began rolling around like a dog who just found a fresh patch of poop in the grass. No response. I was clearly not using Asshole Physics correctly, so I decided to cut my losses and move on. Also note that the guy on the right has two coffee cups. What a fancy prick asshole.
I encountered a police officer questioning some suspect who committed an illegal crime of some sort, which is quite different from those legal crimes all the cool kids are committing these days. Not to be shown up in my own precinct, I began performing a series of highly acrobatic maneuvers on the cop's desk to let him know who's boss in this one horse town. The suspect was unfazed by my physical antics, so I continued to throw myself on the desk for a good half hour. The police officer ignored me, undoubtedly out of contempt and jealousy over my ability to walk around and not be physically bonded to a piece of uncomfortable office furniture. He and the suspect continued their conversation, but since I was too busy shouting and shrieking, I can't tell you what they were discussing. If I had to guess, I'd say it was something about feminine hygiene. Since everybody on the police force was content to ignore me and my pleas for attention, I turned to my only friend in the entire world: Stairbucket.
Stairbucket had taken up residency at the top of the stairway, where he can usually be found, unless of course he's somewhere else. He was resting next to a mop that was apparently welded to the wall, because I tried to repeatedly kick it over and the thing absolutely would not budge no matter how fast and furiously I ran into it. I tried shooting it and using peer pressure techniques that I saw on a particularly spicy ABC After School Special where the older kids convinced Fred Savage to smoke marijuana, but Wallmop refused to move. I think it was angry at me for choosing to seek company in the waiting arms of Stairbucket. To show my appreciation, I used Asshole Physics to shove Stairbucket down the steps. I pretended that it thanked me during its journey to the bottom of the stairway, which filled me with pride and joy for releasing the burdensome potential energy it had stored inside. I then proceeded to jump with joy in celebration of asshole physics freeing Stairbucket from its concrete tomb.
Truly this was a day of great accomplishments! Mark my words: Asshole Physics is truly the wave of the future. Soon games across the world will feature the ability to throw shit around, mess up people's homes, and generally be the biggest asshole possible. Until that day, we'll have to settle for kicking around trash cans in Max Payne 2.
WU-TANG CLAN AIN'T NOTHING TO FUCK WITH
Ryan "OMGWTFBBQ" Adams keeping it short and to the point this Tuesday.
Windows XP ships with a bevy of quiet, calm desktops for the average userís enjoyment. Actually, you could substitute "boring" and "benign" for quiet and calm and you'd reach the same conclusion: those desktops suck. So the SA Goons, who are champions of truth and justice and tequila decided to spice things up a bit. Like taco flavored kisses. For my Ben.