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Tycho / on Fri, Oct 17 2003 at 6:39 am

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I was desperate for information about Max Payne 2, so I called Gabe the moment they would let me turn my cell phone back on.  He’s already bored, finds the action listless and repetitive, and really, really wants Max Payne to Shut Up.  I grabbed it just to see for myself.  Who knows what that reflex is - to see another man disgusted by something, and say to yourself, “I want some of that.”

After playing it myself, I understand the issue.  Max Payne 2 is not really a different game from the first Max Payne.  I’ll deal with the narrative in a moment, but game-wise it is virtually identical.  So if you were already sick of Max Payne before it ended, like Gabe was, then you will be sick of Max Payne 2 even before it starts.  We certainly have what they are calling Bullet-Time 2.0, which is by all accounts a very nice Bullet-Time, but you will not be unfamiliar with it.  In addition to a color-change effect, this new bullet-time allows you to reload almost instantaneously - very nice for a sawed-off, with its two-shot payload.  You might have seen this spin thing Max does in videos of the game, and that’s what he’s doing.  Bullet-time also ramps up in effectiveness as you extinguish human life which is great for all you effectiveness fans out there.  I would liken the original Max Payne to a tuna fish sandwich.  If you have had your fill of tuna fish sandwiches, you will not find the sandwich any more appetizing if they bring you another tuna fish sandwich with a fancy deli toothpick in it.   

I craved the first game, and only recently reinstalled it to get back in the mood.  I loved the first Max Payne with the unwavering, bulletproof love I have for all kittens.  It’s intense and very masculine.  So when I install the new one and see environments crafted with adoration and a sense of architecture, I see textures and models that are just sick, and I shoot a man into a shelf which then collapses, I get the same feeling I had before back - the good feelings I remembered.  The graphical improvements, what I call fancy deli toothpicks, would be hard to overstate.  I will stand by a light sometimes and just move around to see the shine on the coat.   

The story that bores Gabe so intensely I am thus far perfectly satisfied with, but admittedly I wasn’t expecting much.  I’ve participated in a few fairly strange interactive cutscenes that are far less self-indulgent and more involving than the ones from the first game, I am satisfied that they have matured their storytelling technique based on what I’ve seen thus far.  I think I’ll go play it some more. 

The tools for Max Payne 2 will be out shortly, God willing we’ll get another Kung-Fu mod to enjoy the game with on the higher levels.

Having just returned from the NBA Ballers blingathon, the experience was psychotic enough that I can’t depict it at the moment.  If it is in my power to depict the scenario in a way you might find interesting I will do so come Monday.

Also, I’d read on WinInformant before I left that iTunes for Windows was imminent, and sure enough it’s there now.  I keep hearing it’s holy or whatever.

(CW)TB out.

there’s an infinity of possible worlds

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