Max Payne: I couldn't pun this any further.

scotth266

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Alrighty then kiddos. You've seen me shower praise on games so far, but now, now you get to feel my terribly efficient wrath. You see, I detest Max Payne. I got it off Steam for 10 dollars American, by all rights an extremely cheap price, and I'm still not sure that it was worth it.



For those of you unfamiliar with the "bullet hell" genre, look up some information on old-school games like Raiden. Also, a quick visit to this page [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQZuidKexBQ&feature=channel_page] ought to give you some sense of how ridiculously evil these games can get. Well, Max Payne feels like a bullet hell game stuck in a third-person shooter, and the result is madness in digital form.



Let me start off by saying that this game is broken. No literally, the game came broken the second it finished downloading off Steam, with no updates in sight. It wasn't even a small issue either: the bug either disabled the sound entirely, or made it sound like it was being played by an gramaphone possessed by Satan. Luckily, a quick trip to the Steam forums devoted to the game revealed a patch, but the devs won't get any credit for that from me: especially since this problem was in the CD format, and they've had plenty of time to fix it. It's not like I'm petty, but your average Joe wouldn't know what to do in that situation (other than wrestling the spikey elephant that is tech support), and thus I started this game up with the game already down a few points in my mind.



Developers, your laziness forces me to this level: a LOLcat is your punishment.

The "story" for Max Payne starts out strong: one of the few benefits to the game. You play as the titular hero Max Payne, your average cop and wannabe Boy Scout. Well, Max comes home to find his wife and infant child murdered, the victims of addicts of the latest drug in the Big Apple, known as Valkyr. Max promptly decides to join the DEA, in order to get his revenge on the drug's pushers, the Punchinello crime family. Some of the game's story is told through the in-game engine, while other bits are conveyed through comic book panels that pop up when you interact with important items. The panels are often fun to read: but for some reason in most of them Payne looks almost nothing like the in-game version of him. It's not really relevant, but it can be kinda unsettling. The voice-overs in the panels can be hit-or-miss, but I think that largely has to do with the lines that these poor actors are being given: some of them are annoying as hell. 90% of Max's lines tend to be either a grim metaphor or simile about the hellish nightmare that is New York, a pun or joke of some sort thrown at his opponents, or a statement about how he's gonna kill the next dumb shmuck in his way. It's supposed to add up to give you the "HARD CORE COP GONE OVER THE EDGE" feel, but in the end it just feels lacking in some fundamental way, and as such trying to empathize with Max is akin to trying to empathize with a rather disgruntled goldfish. Payne winds up being only halfway likeable due to the fact that his nemeses are all the literary spawn of Satan: all of them are complete douchebags out to ruin Max's already far too pitiful life.



While the story starts out strong, it quickly reveals itself to have more holes and be stretchier than a piece of putty molded to look like swiss cheese. Once you reach the end of the story it's as if the writers were attempting to commit harakiri by reading their own work. Every single person in this game winds up being tied to Max's revenge plans, save for his spunky female love interest that could be the sole entertainment value (other than Max's voice) in this game, no matter the cost to relevancy or continuity. To lay out the bare bones of the plot: Max kills a bunch of guys, only to find out that they're goons for X, who is working for Y, who is tied to company Z that is a front for pushing Valkyr, and Z is actually the remnants of a old military operation that was made to make the Captain America serum, but instead wound up making the Valkyr drug, and sent a fucking shipment of druggies(test subjects) to your house by accident. I only wish that I was joking about this: it's the stone cold truth.



What is with that shirt? And why does Max's face look like a steak? The world will never know...

While that might sound bad by itself, the true horror of Max Payne doesn't really set in until you get into the meat and potatoes of the game: actually running about NYC , taking down enough goons to fill several graveyards. This game's big tactic is slow-mo, but like most of this game the implemenation is a bit screwed. You only get two choices on how to use it: slow-mo dodging, or implementing bullet time. Having bullet time wastes a TON of your slow-mo gauge though, so 90% of the time slow-mo dodging should do the trick, right? WRONG. In fact, it's dubious as to whether or not using it at times is even worth it: it gives you more time to aim, but most of the time you'll fail to kill an enemy, hit the floor, and watch as he pumps you full of lead. Hell, a third of the time I would dodge into enemy fire by slow-dodging. What's even more asinine is the fact that you CAN WALK IN CIRCLES AROUND AN ENEMY or simply STAND STILL and it winds up being a 50-50 chance as to whether or not his AI is sharp enough to hit you. The amount of enemy fire reaches absurd levels far too often, and the player winds up paying the price for it. The whole mechanic feels like a layer of polish added to a rusty clock, and while it did need the shining, what it needed more was some oil.



That metaphor makes more sense when you understand how broken the enemies are. While the amount of damage they can take is certainly ok (for a game of this sort), it often feels as if they have far better guns than you, because they can wipe your health out in seconds on the EASIEST difficulty, which you have to play through first to unlock the harder ones. One would assume that you have a lot of health items then, right? Well, no. The pills that you get work over time: something that makes them near-useless in firefights, and the amount that they heal just doesn't feel like enough afterwards. Also, grenade traps are the biggest BULLSHIT that I've seen in a game recently. You can bet your bottom dollar that they pop up frequently, as any place that seems remotely unguarded is likely an explosive deathtrap. The enemies also have fighteningly ridiculous accuracy with them too: even if you don't die, you will take damage from them, unless you got lucky.



Look at your keyboard. See F9? Get friendly with it: it's the Quick-Load key.

To be honest, I went into this game not expecting much of a story, and thinking that it would be a nice way to spend my spare time. The time I squeezed out of Max Payne was about 10 hours(according to Steam), so at least you'll be getting your money's worth time-wise. All in all, Max Payne comes across as a bland, redundant romp filled with guns and fleshy things to kill. If you get this, you'll be dying more often than your enemies, and you'll be suffering through a script so hammy that the disc is practically composed of pork, but I tried to warn you. It's just your fault that you didn't listen to me.

Oh yeah, that's right: my bottom line. Do yourself a favor, and get yourself a good [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.108202#1817369] game with those 10 dollars.



Editors notes: I'll be doing Jade Empire or a manga mashup next week. I'm sorry that I keep forgetting to do JE, please don't flay me alive! I like my skin! Also, I'll be including a links to other reviews section from now on, so that people who enjoy reading my reviews don't have to muck about through my profile.

Indigo Prophecy [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.108202#1817369]
WarCraft 3 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.107685]
Fallout 3 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.105151#1683250]
Mirror's Edge [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.102291#1586312]

Double Notes: Added a review schedule of stuff I have in store for you all.

Braid
Splinter Cell
Jade Empire (I NEED TO DO THIS ALREADY, I've been stuck with this in my skull for several weeks.)
Hitman
World of Goo
The Longest Journey
Prince of Persia
Darwinia
Deus Ex
DEFCON
Beyond Good and Evil
Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War
STALKER
Far Cry
Team Fortress 2
Frontlines: Fuel of War
Full Spectrum Warrior
Titan Quest
and whatever the hell else I happen to get between then and now.

Also: I had a plan to do a manga mashup line: a series of short mini-reviews of mangas clustered together, at maybe 6-7 at a time. Clue me in as to where I should stick these in.

I have no plans to do movies though: I can't write in that style. It feels formal in some way. I'll only do cheeseballishly bad movies like the Dragonball one, or comic book movies, as those are the only movies that I can really get worked up about.
 

cainx10a

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Well, Max's face is actually the face of the story writer [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Lake], and yeah, he has this 'constipated' look which is oddly funny for the guy "looking to avenge his baby girl and wife".

And I will be honest and say, it's a matter of taste. I love the gun play mayhem of the first max payne, same for the second one: the crazy characters like Vlad and of course, everyone's favorite femme fatale "Mona Sax" =D.

And also, it's a damn old game, so by today's standards, it would be below average. But for it's time, it was a classic, that "stayed on our hdd like tar" (Random PC Gamer - as in the magazine PC Gamer, dude)

Edit: corrected a really silly error. My inglesh is not so good when am tired. > . >
 

pantsoffdanceoff

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Another game that downloads off steam with [b/]severe[/b] problems: Dues Ex.
I remember liking Max Payne, maybe it was just the fact it was my first M game so i felt badass. Imma gonna play it now (if I can find the CD) and see if this is the nostalgia talking.
 

scotth266

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cainx10a said:
And also, it's a damn all game, so by today's standards, it would be below average. But for it's time, it was a classic, that "stayed on our hdd like tar" (Random PC Gamer - as in the magazine PC Gamer, dude)
That's my reason for reviewing it: I wanted to see how it stacks up today. Some games can still be a blast to play, ages into the future. Max Payne... not so much.

pantsoffdanceoff said:
Another game that downloads off steam with [b/]severe[/b] problems: Dues Ex.
Huh. Funnily enough, that was also on my list of stuff to grab and review. Who'da thunk? Other cheap goodies I intend on doing when I have the time: Prince of Persia 1+2, Splinter Cell, and The Longest Journey.
 

The Madman

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Methinks you've completely missed the point of the story. I mean you're playing a game named Max Payne, I repeat for emphasis; MAX PAYNE! And expecting a serious story?

The entire thing is semi-serious parody. Always has been and the sequel is much the same. It makes fun of video-games with all sorts of 4th wall breaking scenario such as an entire brooding rant on how Max feels like a character in a game. And as such of course the plot is going to be convoluted, it's *meant* to be overly convoluted, have you ever watched an old film Noire movie? And no, Sin City doesn't count! Their plots are twisted to the point of being ridiculous, something Max Payne not only goes with but takes to the glorious extreme. May Payne himself is a walking talking cliche, that's all he's meant to be. Need I repeat his name yet again? Max. Payne. As in maximum pain. Clever no? So as a walking talking film noire cliche it's only natural he speaks in brooding monologues and cheesy pseudo poetry.

You seem to be trying to hold the games plot to serious standards, which is silly. I know Japanese comics or whatever are known to do that, look silly but try to be taken seriously. But this ain't that!

Plus isn't complaining about the visuals in a... 8 year old game now I believe? A bit pedantic? And chiding it for its overly simply slow-mo mechanics when Max Payne was THE game which pioneered the entire gameplay concept in the first place?

I know the game doesn't hold up that well to modern standards, but I can't but just feel you're taking this all in the wrong stride. Ah well! Good writing though.
 

scotth266

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The Madman said:
While I thank you for the compliment, I have to disagree with you on some points there. I know that the story isn't supposed to be all that great, I wasn't thinking it would be really. I just didn't expect it to be that bad. There's parody, which is still good while being clever, and then there's the level of Max Payne, which is dangerously cheesy. Great, now that cheetah's gonna be all up in my grill again...

Also, where did I chide the graphics? The steak line? That was intended to be a joke, as I try to never mention graphics in older game reviews and be serious unless it truly is unbearable how bad they are. And it rarely is for me :D

As for the slow-mo, I didn't chide it for being simple: just for being bad, and unnecessary.

But I'm glad you liked my writing and such. Not many people tend to leave comments on reviews, so every compliment does it's bit to make me continue writing.
 

The Madman

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Yeah but that could pretty much be Max Paynes subtitle: So cheesy it's dangerous.

Infact I think that's a pretty damn decent synopsis for the entire series: So cheesy it's dangerous!!!

Insert a couple explosions in the background, and have that voice actor who does the really deep dramatic voice say it, and BAM, you've pretty much summed up the entire Max Payne experience: Soooo cheesy.... *EXPLOSION* It's dangerous *Picture of Max Payne posing with gun*.

And ya know what? That's why I love Max Payne! So I stand by my opinion that you're just not really getting it. It just ain't yer type of game, but for people like me? Sex.
 

Rhayn

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Jul 8, 2008
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Ah, Max Payne... The first M rated game I played. I remember I had to cheat my way through it, since I couldn't handle it. There were some issues with that though, since I got stuck at a certain point. I had jumped out a window since it seemed the logical descision, and landed on the street. Now, I wasn't supposed to be there since I would've been killed by the fall, but I didn't know that.

I spent a good hour or so trying to find a way up again, until I realized what had to be done. "By the Godess, how could I be so dense?".

Nicely written review, too. I'm afraid I can't remember much about the game other than the previously described scenario, but it at least feels like you've taken a good shot at it.
 

scotth266

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The Madman said:
And ya know what? That's why I love Max Payne! So I stand by my opinion that you're just not really getting it. It just ain't yer type of game, but for people like me? Sex.
I guess I'll give you that some people like this sort of stuff... just not me :D

On that note, I can't really do racing games... they're just so irritating, especially because of rubber-banding AI. Guess everyone just has their little quirks.

Rhayn said:
I spent a good hour or so trying to find a way up again, until I realized what had to be done. "By the Godess, how could I be so dense?".

Nicely written review, too. I'm afraid I can't remember much about the game other than the previously described scenario, but it at least feels like you've taken a good shot at it.
Heh. I'm pretty sure everyone's had a moment like that in a game at least once.

But thanks for the compliments!
 

TsunamiWombat

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I was actually very fond of the original Max Payne's story, especially the resplendent norse references that juxtaposed a viking saga against a modern film noir. Max Payne is a by the numbers crime drama, except underneath it all it's about a Viking warrior seeking revenge- Max's Partner is Alex BALDER, who is shot at the beginning by B.B., whose obviously an unsaid sendup of Loki due to his duplicitous nature and his part in killing Balder.

The movie is distantly, about mortals being manipulated by the gods, and all of Max's problems are nothing so much as a hissy fight between Woden and Hel/Horne.

And then the second game throws it out for pure crime drama. Sigh.
 

scotth266

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TsunamiWombat said:
I was actually very fond of the original Max Payne's story, especially the resplendent norse references that juxtaposed a viking saga against a modern film noir. Max Payne is a by the numbers crime drama, except underneath it all it's about a Viking warrior seeking revenge- Max's Partner is Alex BALDER, who is shot at the beginning by B.B., whose obviously an unsaid sendup of Loki due to his duplicitous nature and his part in killing Balder.

The movie is distantly, about mortals being manipulated by the gods, and all of Max's problems are nothing so much as a hissy fight between Woden and Hel/Horne.

And then the second game throws it out for pure crime drama. Sigh.
Hilarious: I never noticed that there were Norse references. Though I am interested in playing the second one to see if the story is any better... or if they fixed the slow-mo.
 

GoblinOnFire

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you missed a point on the story bit: The reason the drugged up goons is sent to Max's house is because Max's wife has been snooping around in Horne's files, trying to uncover the evil behind the Valkyr drug. That's why!

I disagree on your critique of the story, as I see it for what it is: a grim, dark and bloody tribute to the noir genre.

Graphics, sure: They're dated. But not more than you mother! (Sorry, that came wrong)

And others have actually commented on the difference between storyboard Max and ingame Max.

Then again: 8 year old game. And last time I played it, it wasn't broken... So, maybe Steam screwed you over, and THAT's why you're so sore...

Or maybe (after reading through your review a few times, I think this is the case) You stink at Max Payne. You can't play for shit! Complaining about how hard it is and how you're punished for not moving when the enemy fires at you (duh!), and you cant figure out how to use bullet time properly!

I didn't read your other reviews, because I didn't give a shit.. ;-D
 

scotth266

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GoblinOnFire said:
you missed a point on the story bit: The reason the drugged up goons is sent to Max's house is because Max's wife has been snooping around in Horne's files, trying to uncover the evil behind the Valkyr drug. That's why!

I disagree on your critique of the story, as I see it for what it is: a grim, dark and bloody tribute to the noir genre.

Graphics, sure: They're dated. But not more than you mother! (Sorry, that came wrong)

And others have actually commented on the difference between storyboard Max and ingame Max.

Then again: 8 year old game. And last time I played it, it wasn't broken... So, maybe Steam screwed you over, and THAT's why you're so sore...

Or maybe (after reading through your review a few times, I think this is the case) You stink at Max Payne. You can't play for shit! Complaining about how hard it is and how you're punished for not moving when the enemy fires at you (duh!), and you cant figure out how to use bullet time properly!

I didn't read your other reviews, because I didn't give a shit.. ;-D
Ok then: your arguments about the story part of my reviews, as well as the joke about the graphics, have been covered in the other posts. I think that the story is still bad, even for a silly-send-up of the noir genre. And as far as the joke about the graphics goes in the caption, IT'S A JOKE, there for purposes of comedy. Also, what do you mean, the differences between the storyboard Max and game Max? You also tried to blame my opinions on the game on two things: first off, that the game was DOA (Uh, this is a SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM, hence it bears mentioning), and secondly, you claim that I suck at it. This is NEVER a valid argument when approaching a reviewer: it ALWAYS annoys them. Especially when they're extremely good at games, and typically have to play the harder modes for a real challenge. I play normal mode for my reviews though, because I try to approach things from the average Joe's perspective, and with this game on the DEFAULT setting I wound up hitting F9 as often as the fire button in some sections. THIS IS NOT GOOD DESIGN.

But to get back to your silly point: when enemies shoot at you, your first instinct should be to GTFOuttathere. It's videogame 101, for Pete's sake. Also, I tried lots of different ways of using bullet time. That's not even one of the things I complained about: the only thing that I even said about it was that the meter drains quickly when you use it. Therefore, you wind up using slo-mo jumps a lot. There would be nothing wrong with that in my book if the jumps worked right, but they don't.
 

Samurai Goomba

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Good review. I rarely actually sit down and read whole reviews on this website, so it speaks well of your writing talents that you made me care enough to finish your critique of Max Payne, a game which I had planned to play. I'll probably still pick it up on the Xbox, but I'm not expecting the best game in the world or anything.

Man, I need to review something... If only I had enough time to properly put a review together. Been forever since my first review. Oh well, college life.
 

GoblinOnFire

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Ok, where to start.
Storyboard Max versus in-game Max: What I meant: Other reviewers have noted the same; Max don't look the same.. This was not meant as critique, rather: "I agree, and others agree with you too".

Next: your gaming skills = my word against yours, really. Your gaming experience with MP must differ a lot from my experience with it. I loved the game and didn't find it extremely hard at all. Challenging, yes. Too hard? No. but then again: maybe we approach games differently.. How much do you enjoy quick time events?

Ok, what else? Oh yes! slo-mo jumps does the whole game, yes. Without that ability, this game would be a mediocre 3rd person shooter.

Finally: Did I annoy you when questioning your gaming skill? REALLY??? wow... I really didn't see that one coming. I laughed when I read "It always annoys them". so, you do this professionally? Really? wow again! I humbly apologize, oh great reviewer who's skill I shall never ever question again.

Get a grip, or buy a console.
 

scotth266

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Samurai Goomba said:
Good review. I rarely actually sit down and read whole reviews on this website, so it speaks well of your writing talents that you made me care enough to finish your critique of Max Payne, a game which I had planned to play. I'll probably still pick it up on the Xbox, but I'm not expecting the best game in the world or anything.

Man, I need to review something... If only I had enough time to properly put a review together. Been forever since my first review. Oh well, college life.
Thanks for reading the whole thing! I honestly think I've gotten a lot better at this since the Mirror's Edge review, which was my first. As for reviewing time/schedule stuff, I just write up one of these whenever the time presents itself. Once a week is a nice feel for my schedule: it gives me a break between games while still keeping things fresh in my mind. Also I have time for serious school stuff :D

GoblinOnFire said:
Ok, where to start.
Storyboard Max versus in-game Max: What I meant: Other reviewers have noted the same; Max don't look the same.. This was not meant as critique, rather: "I agree, and others agree with you too".

Next: your gaming skills = my word against yours, really. Your gaming experience with MP must differ a lot from my experience with it. I loved the game and didn't find it extremely hard at all. Challenging, yes. Too hard? No. but then again: maybe we approach games differently.. How much do you enjoy quick time events?

Ok, what else? Oh yes! slo-mo jumps does the whole game, yes. Without that ability, this game would be a mediocre 3rd person shooter.

Finally: Did I annoy you when questioning your gaming skill? REALLY??? wow... I really didn't see that one coming. I laughed when I read "It always annoys them". so, you do this professionally? Really? wow again! I humbly apologize, oh great reviewer who's skill I shall never ever question again.

Get a grip, or buy a console.
Well then, where to start. Firstly, I have a console. Two, in fact.

I'm glad that you agree with me that the storyboard Max and the game Max look different. That wasn't really a criticism of mine as much a curiosity though.

Yes, this game would be worse without the slow-mo, because that is (or was) it's unique thing that made it stand out, however the mechanic is badly implemented. This wouldn't be so much of an issue if the time-slowing gimmick wasn't such a big part of the game, but since it is central to Max Payne's gameplay, the whole thing starts to sag under pressure.

Oh, and quick-time events are ok, I can handle all but the most insane.

You're allowed to question me, humble peon. When I write a review, I am a critic of sorts, therefore if you ask me why I dislike something, I give you reasons. Hence why I try to respond to everyone who comments on my review threads and asks why I wrote something, like I am here. (PS, the first sentence was a joke. Not actually mocking you.)

As for my gaming skill... well, let's just say that about the only game series that consistently flummoxes me in difficulty terms would be Guitar Hero on Expert. Hell, Hard was hard enough boys. I don't need to wear my fingers to stubs...

So yeah. If you don't agree with me, that's your perogative. However, insulting me was not the way to go about trying to get me to change my opinion.
 

scotth266

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Graveking said:
never cared for the Max Payne games
You don't need to quote the whole review to get my attention, I swing through my non-dead review threads periodically :D Also, when quoting pictures, stick stuff in spoiler tags. It helps to reduce the clutter significantly. Just a tip.

quiet_samurai said:
Maybe because you bought a game that was released in 2000 or 2001?
Err... that has nothing to do with it. Christ, when was Myst/Legend of Zelda/Starcraft released? Games can be old, yet good. This one isn't, at least not in my opinion.
 

oliveira8

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scotth266 said:
quiet_samurai said:
Maybe because you bought a game that was released in 2000 or 2001?
Err... that has nothing to do with it. Christ, when was Myst/Legend of Zelda/Starcraft released? Games can be old, yet good. This one isn't, at least not in my opinion.
I'll go and say you bought the game in the wrong platform. :p I played both PC and the PS2 version and I gotta say...the game in the PS2 version is better.
 

scotth266

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oliveira8 said:
scotth266 said:
quiet_samurai said:
Maybe because you bought a game that was released in 2000 or 2001?
Err... that has nothing to do with it. Christ, when was Myst/Legend of Zelda/Starcraft released? Games can be old, yet good. This one isn't, at least not in my opinion.
I'll go and say you bought the game in the wrong platform. :p I played both PC and the PS2 version and I gotta say...the game in the PS2 version is better.
Hmmm. That might explain it. Perhaps they broke it while porting it to the PC. I mean, other than the sound issue. Also, is the sequel worth a swing? I almost hate to ask, but my integrity forbids that I instantly dismiss it... after all, it might suprise me.
 

oliveira8

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scotth266 said:
oliveira8 said:
scotth266 said:
quiet_samurai said:
Maybe because you bought a game that was released in 2000 or 2001?
Err... that has nothing to do with it. Christ, when was Myst/Legend of Zelda/Starcraft released? Games can be old, yet good. This one isn't, at least not in my opinion.
I'll go and say you bought the game in the wrong platform. :p I played both PC and the PS2 version and I gotta say...the game in the PS2 version is better.
Hmmm. That might explain it. Perhaps they broke it while porting it to the PC. I mean, other than the sound issue. Also, is the sequel worth a swing? I almost hate to ask, but my integrity forbids that I instantly dismiss it... after all, it might suprise me.
Its pretty much the same really.
 

scotth266

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oliveira8 said:
Its pretty much the same really.
Really? Nuts. I thought that it still looked interesting, and Max had a better shirt on... and I did want to wrap up those ANNOYING LOOSE ENDS that they dangled in front of me. But I guess that I'll trust you and stay away from MP2.

EDIT: Also, that was REALLY fast.
 

Blood_Lined

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Max Payne is OLD by now, and today's standards won't allow these things to exist in the quality games of today, but it was good back then, and I personally enjoyed the games. I also hear that a 3rd max payne is coming out soon, if so, I hope the title will meet with the standards of today.
 

Fightgarr

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I think your missing the fact that Max Payne is satirical. The entire thing was made to make fun of film noir. I loved Max Payne (oh and is $3 not $10 so wherever you got that price you got thoroughly taken for a ride). I didn't care that it was difficult because of a couple of flawed gameplay mechanics, it was one of the first of its kind: the John Woo-style shooter. Oh, and being the first game to implement bullet-time you could give it a break or some issues with the mechanics.
It would help to have a sense of humor about the situation too.
 

Clashero

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It seems from what I read that you might actually enjoy Max Payne 2. The pace of combat is completely different, and while you're pretty much guaranteed to at least get hurt when fighting 4 or more enemies at once, fighting 2 of them is easy and looks good. It solved every problem I had with the first one: painkillers are quicker and heal for more, and bullet time was completely improved (it regenerates over time, shootdodging doesn't consume it, and instead of slowing everything down, it only slows things around Max while he moves normally. The best part is that the more enemies you kill, the more obvious the effect will be, so instead of kill-painkiller-kill-painkiller, it's more killingspree-painkiller-kilingspree-killingspree).
 

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scotth266 said:
cainx10a said:
And also, it's a damn all game, so by today's standards, it would be below average. But for it's time, it was a classic, that "stayed on our hdd like tar" (Random PC Gamer - as in the magazine PC Gamer, dude)
That's my reason for reviewing it: I wanted to see how it stacks up today. Some games can still be a blast to play, ages into the future. Max Payne... not so much.

pantsoffdanceoff said:
Another game that downloads off steam with [b/]severe[/b] problems: Dues Ex.
Huh. Funnily enough, that was also on my list of stuff to grab and review. Who'da thunk? Other cheap goodies I intend on doing when I have the time: Prince of Persia 1+2, Splinter Cell, and The Longest Journey.
For the first part, true. No matter how they seem at the time, only a few games can still be fun (I was actually marveling recently at how fun Half Life still is).

As for the second, I do definitely recommend doing Splinter Cell (so long as you can ignore the propaganda inherent in any Tom Clancy game), it's one of my favorite series of all time. I'd recommend doing Chaos Theory, far and away the best of the series.
 

scotth266

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Good review. And I agree, you do die a lot, it became to the point I just stopped playing my rented copy it was so frustrating.
 

devildog1170

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scotth266 said:
cainx10a said:
And also, it's a damn all game, so by today's standards, it would be below average. But for it's time, it was a classic, that "stayed on our hdd like tar" (Random PC Gamer - as in the magazine PC Gamer, dude)
That's my reason for reviewing it: I wanted to see how it stacks up today. Some games can still be a blast to play, ages into the future. Max Payne... not so much.

pantsoffdanceoff said:
Another game that downloads off steam with [b/]severe[/b] problems: Dues Ex.
Huh. Funnily enough, that was also on my list of stuff to grab and review. Who'da thunk? Other cheap goodies I intend on doing when I have the time: Prince of Persia 1+2, Splinter Cell, and The Longest Journey.
what're you talking about? the game is still fun to play. I popped it in a few weeks ago and had a blast. Max Payne 1 and 2 were my games back in the summer.
 

scotth266

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Accurses! My post was lost to the dreaded lords of 404! Do it again...

Holy crow, a lot of people responded while I went out for a sandwich. Perhaps this will become a part of standard post-review posting procedures :D

Blood_Lined said:
Max Payne is OLD by now, and today's standards won't allow these things to exist in the quality games of today, but it was good back then, and I personally enjoyed the games. I also hear that a 3rd max payne is coming out soon, if so, I hope the title will meet with the standards of today.
From what I saw of it(box art), it looks very grim and moody. Sort of felt like the Splinter Cell Double Agent box art, but more rugged.


Fightgarr said:
I think your missing the fact that Max Payne is satirical. The entire thing was made to make fun of film noir. I loved Max Payne (oh and is $3 not $10 so wherever you got that price you got thoroughly taken for a ride). I didn't care that it was difficult because of a couple of flawed gameplay mechanics, it was one of the first of its kind: the John Woo-style shooter. Oh, and being the first game to implement bullet-time you could give it a break or some issues with the mechanics.
It would help to have a sense of humor about the situation too.
I grabbed it off Steam. I already mentioned that I know that it is satire, I just don't think it's that great at it. And I won't let it off easily for being the first Woo bullet fest game. That would be like forgiving Super Mario Bros. if it had been designed in the fashion of I Wanna Be The Guy.

That having been said, I'm glad that it pioneered something. I'm not gonna go easy on it though :D And I do have a sense of humor... try looking at my other stuff.

It's good to be semi-harsh on me though: it helps me realize the flaws I've got, so next time 'round the bend I can fix them.

Clashero said:
Hmmm... I'm actually considering playing the sequel. It looks like it could have some more appeal to me with your description... I guess I'll find a demo and stick it in my schedule somewhere so I can make a choice whether I will get it.

NoMoreSanity said:
Good review. And I agree, you do die a lot, it became to the point I just stopped playing my rented copy it was so frustrating.
You must have appreciated the last picture then. I searched Google for a picture of Max just dying in the game, but couldn't find anything. Then I searched for F9. That was on the first page, as part of a Toontown manual, of all things. Oh sweet irony, she loves me so...

devildog1170 said:
what're you talking about? the game is still fun to play. I popped it in a few weeks ago and had a blast. Max Payne 1 and 2 were my games back in the summer.
I have reasons for my criticisms. Read the review for more info :D

orannis62 said:
As for the second, I do definitely recommend doing Splinter Cell (so long as you can ignore the propaganda inherent in any Tom Clancy game), it's one of my favorite series of all time. I'd recommend doing Chaos Theory, far and away the best of the series.
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I just bumped SC back a slot in my current plans to review. It was a coin toss :D

That having been said: would you guys like me to stick my schedule for reviews in a spoiler tag at the bottom of my review? Then you can all bully me into doing things in a certain order, and I can get a nice feeling of giving the community what it wants. Granted, I'm not gonna be your slaves, but I'd like to give you all some input on what gets done.

Also: HOLY COW A LOT OF PEOPLE VEIWED THIS. Sorry for being so slack-jawed, it's my first review thread getting this many veiws... and all my old ones too!
 

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scotth266 said:
orannis62 said:
As for the second, I do definitely recommend doing Splinter Cell (so long as you can ignore the propaganda inherent in any Tom Clancy game), it's one of my favorite series of all time. I'd recommend doing Chaos Theory, far and away the best of the series.
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I just bumped SC back a slot in my current plans to review. It was a coin toss :D

That having been said: would you guys like me to stick my schedule for reviews in a spoiler tag at the bottom of my review? Then you can all bully me into doing things in a certain order, and I can get a nice feeling of giving the community what it wants. Granted, I'm not gonna be your slaves, but I'd like to give you all some input on what gets done.
Understandable, just so long as you do it at some point. I like it, but I'm curious to get hear some objective criticisms of it, maybe some things I missed or didn't care about.

Might as well put in a schedule, couldn't hurt. Worst come to worse, you can always delay if you can't meet it.
 

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orannis62 said:
Understandable, just so long as you do it at some point. I like it, but I'm curious to get hear some objective criticisms of it, maybe some things I missed or didn't care about.

Might as well put in a schedule, couldn't hurt. Worst come to worse, you can always delay if you can't meet it.
Don't worry, it only got bumped back one slot. It was a toss up between Braid, and SC with Hitman. And I'm not really concerned about meeting a schedule, as I do things on a semi-weekly basis, and college is wrapping up here, so I'll have more time than usual soon :D

I'll post up a simple schedule in just a minute.
 

TheDoctor455

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Yeah, when this game first came out for the consoles, I had absolutely no desire to play this game. But recently, I was asked to do a game review for a class on Max Payne (I kid you not). So I bought the PS2 version of it for $5. And I don't think it was worth even that. Now I will admit that I couldn't maintain what little interest I had in this game to get past part 1, so unless there's a magical "make the game better" button hidden somewhere further into the game, I will assume that the whole game is shit based on the first few hours.
 

songnar

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Cor's blood. I remember playing Max Payne back in '01 when it first came out on PS2. Good times. The matrix was still a new thing and bullet-time had never been done before. Alone, it wasn't all THAT great, but with my cousin playing too we had more fun with that game than a barrel of monkeys with a bushel of, erm... female monkeys!
 

Aries_Split

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scotth266 said:
cainx10a said:
And also, it's a damn all game, so by today's standards, it would be below average. But for it's time, it was a classic, that "stayed on our hdd like tar" (Random PC Gamer - as in the magazine PC Gamer, dude)
That's my reason for reviewing it: I wanted to see how it stacks up today. Some games can still be a blast to play, ages into the future. Max Payne... not so much.

pantsoffdanceoff said:
Another game that downloads off steam with [b/]severe[/b] problems: Dues Ex.
Huh. Funnily enough, that was also on my list of stuff to grab and review. Who'da thunk? Other cheap goodies I intend on doing when I have the time: Prince of Persia 1+2, Splinter Cell, and The Longest Journey.
Dude, try the second game. Waaaay better. And the story is wicked too.
 

scotth266

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TheDoctor455 said:
Well... No, no it didn't. I wouldn't call it shit though, rather I'd call it frustrating and not worth people's money these days (save for the ever-prescent nostalgia value).

songnar said:
Cor's blood. I remember playing Max Payne back in '01 when it first came out on PS2. Good times. The matrix was still a new thing and bullet-time had never been done before. Alone, it wasn't all THAT great, but with my cousin playing too we had more fun with that game than a barrel of monkeys with a bushel of, erm... female monkeys!
Falcon's punch, I remember those days, when I was seven years younger and much more foolish.

I could see this being an amusing group game actually. FUCK! I died! Bob, your turn... FUCK!

Also, schedule for future reviews is up! Have fun with it, and feel free to post reorganized versions so I can see what people want to get done first.
 

scotth266

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Aries_Split said:
Dude, try the second game. Waaaay better. And the story is wicked too.
Curses! Now the demo for the sequel goes on the queue for sure... Just work me to the bone why don't you :D
 

scotth266

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I loved Max Payne, at least the first game (haven't played the later ones)

Good review though... By the way, I'm pretty sure that when I had it on a DVD back in early 2000's, it had no sound bug.
 

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Gormourn said:
I loved Max Payne, at least the first game (haven't played the later ones)

Good review though... By the way, I'm pretty sure that when I had it on a DVD back in early 2000's, it had no sound bug.
I have to admit I don't know much about the sound bug's origin: all I know is that several people on the Steam Forums commented on how it was present in the CD version as well. Hence, I get irritated for getting a "busted" game when the devs have had plenty of time to fix it.
 

CptRumGuy

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While most of your criticisms are certainly understandable, it wasn't much of a deal-breaker for me. I agree with what was said earlier: it just doesn't work on a PC. It was definitely rough around the edges design-wise, I'll give you that. But I still had fun with it. You have to admit though, that was one of the coolest/most satisfying boss kills at the end. Even if it wasn't particularly difficult.
 

scotth266

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CptRumGuy said:
While most of your criticisms are certainly understandable, it wasn't much of a deal-breaker for me. I agree with what was said earlier: it just doesn't work on a PC. It was definitely rough around the edges design-wise, I'll give you that. But I still had fun with it. You have to admit though, that was one of the coolest/most satisfying boss kills at the end. Even if it wasn't particularly difficult.
Huh. That certainly is true... Thinking back on it, killing that *insert derogative term here* was very satisfying.

I keep hearing the argument being made that the console versions are better, in which case I have to say sorry for not mentioning early on that I was playing the PC version. I just thought it was kinda obvious with the last picture and all.
 

megalomania

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I know its annoying to have to patch a game before you even play it, but Max Payne is getting to the age where you might be having backwards compatibility if you are running a new system. So it might be a little presumptive to blame the developers for not optimising the game for hardware that wouldn't be out until 8 years after the release date...

Nice review though.
 

James Cassidy

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You think paying ten bucks is harsh? I wonder how much you would ***** when you realize that back in 2001 people payed $50 for it.

Max Payne is a game for people that look the norm. It is a game based on mind fuck and cryptic metaphors. The story is deep and if you think it is crap, I am afraid that you don;t get the deep impact it has

There is also some comedy in it like Vini Gognetti who makes me laugh every time. Also, shoot the speaker in the elevator in Luigi's Laundry and you will hear Max say "Thank you."

It is one of the better stories I have seen for a video game.
 

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Onyx Oblivion said:
I'm Max Payne!

Do you have a laxative?

I'm very constipated.
Buwhat? I think that's funny, but for some reason I can't get the joke.

megalomania said:
I know its annoying to have to patch a game before you even play it, but Max Payne is getting to the age where you might be having backwards compatibility if you are running a new system. So it might be a little presumptive to blame the developers for not optimising the game for hardware that wouldn't be out until 8 years after the release date...

Nice review though.
Glad that you liked it. As for the patch, I'm just wondering as to why it's been on Steam for so long without an update, or at least including the patch files with the install.

James Cassidy said:
My thoughts on the story have been pretty controversial for some reason. Oh well, it's just my opinion.
 

devildog1170

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scotth266 said:
Accurses! My post was lost to the dreaded lords of 404! Do it again...

Holy crow, a lot of people responded while I went out for a sandwich. Perhaps this will become a part of standard post-review posting procedures :D

Blood_Lined said:
Max Payne is OLD by now, and today's standards won't allow these things to exist in the quality games of today, but it was good back then, and I personally enjoyed the games. I also hear that a 3rd max payne is coming out soon, if so, I hope the title will meet with the standards of today.
From what I saw of it(box art), it looks very grim and moody. Sort of felt like the Splinter Cell Double Agent box art, but more rugged.


Fightgarr said:
I think your missing the fact that Max Payne is satirical. The entire thing was made to make fun of film noir. I loved Max Payne (oh and is $3 not $10 so wherever you got that price you got thoroughly taken for a ride). I didn't care that it was difficult because of a couple of flawed gameplay mechanics, it was one of the first of its kind: the John Woo-style shooter. Oh, and being the first game to implement bullet-time you could give it a break or some issues with the mechanics.
It would help to have a sense of humor about the situation too.
I grabbed it off Steam. I already mentioned that I know that it is satire, I just don't think it's that great at it. And I won't let it off easily for being the first Woo bullet fest game. That would be like forgiving Super Mario Bros. if it had been designed in the fashion of I Wanna Be The Guy.

That having been said, I'm glad that it pioneered something. I'm not gonna go easy on it though :D And I do have a sense of humor... try looking at my other stuff.

It's good to be semi-harsh on me though: it helps me realize the flaws I've got, so next time 'round the bend I can fix them.

Clashero said:
Hmmm... I'm actually considering playing the sequel. It looks like it could have some more appeal to me with your description... I guess I'll find a demo and stick it in my schedule somewhere so I can make a choice whether I will get it.

NoMoreSanity said:
Good review. And I agree, you do die a lot, it became to the point I just stopped playing my rented copy it was so frustrating.
You must have appreciated the last picture then. I searched Google for a picture of Max just dying in the game, but couldn't find anything. Then I searched for F9. That was on the first page, as part of a Toontown manual, of all things. Oh sweet irony, she loves me so...

devildog1170 said:
what're you talking about? the game is still fun to play. I popped it in a few weeks ago and had a blast. Max Payne 1 and 2 were my games back in the summer.
I have reasons for my criticisms. Read the review for more info :D

orannis62 said:
As for the second, I do definitely recommend doing Splinter Cell (so long as you can ignore the propaganda inherent in any Tom Clancy game), it's one of my favorite series of all time. I'd recommend doing Chaos Theory, far and away the best of the series.
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I just bumped SC back a slot in my current plans to review. It was a coin toss :D

That having been said: would you guys like me to stick my schedule for reviews in a spoiler tag at the bottom of my review? Then you can all bully me into doing things in a certain order, and I can get a nice feeling of giving the community what it wants. Granted, I'm not gonna be your slaves, but I'd like to give you all some input on what gets done.

Also: HOLY COW A LOT OF PEOPLE VEIWED THIS. Sorry for being so slack-jawed, it's my first review thread getting this many veiws... and all my old ones too!
I read the whole review, and you just seemed to cry about it being a game crime noir and that it was tough.
 

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devildog1170 said:
I read the whole review, and you just seemed to cry about it being a game crime noir and that it was tough.
First off: no need to quote the whole post to get my attention. It just wastes space. Not being a forum commado here, just some friendly advice :D

My complaint was that it was UNREASONABLY tough. I can deal with a challenge. This was more like a MASSACRE.

As for the noir bit: Like I've said in all the other posts before this one, the story was BAD. No matter what standpoint you look at it from, that's my opinion. If it was going for a noir storyline by itself, it could've used Law & Order plots tied together for better effect.

But whatever. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
 

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pantsoffdanceoff said:
Another game that downloads off steam with [b/]severe[/b] problems: Dues Ex.
I remember liking Max Payne, maybe it was just the fact it was my first M game so i felt badass. Imma gonna play it now (if I can find the CD) and see if this is the nostalgia talking.
You've been having problems with Deus Ex? What sort? When I got it off of steam, it ran fine.
 

devildog1170

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scotth266 said:
devildog1170 said:
I read the whole review, and you just seemed to cry about it being a game crime noir and that it was tough.
First off: no need to quote the whole post to get my attention. It just wastes space. Not being a forum commado here, just some friendly advice :D

My complaint was that it was UNREASONABLY tough. I can deal with a challenge. This was more like a MASSACRE.

As for the noir bit: Like I've said in all the other posts before this one, the story was BAD. No matter what standpoint you look at it from, that's my opinion. If it was going for a noir storyline by itself, it could've used Law & Order plots tied together for better effect.

But whatever. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
well then your opinion sucks ass. the game was not unreasonably tough. sure, it was tougher than today's game likes gears of war or killzone, but it wasnt a massacre. and the plot was fine for the game.
 

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devildog1170 said:
well then your opinion sucks ass. the game was not unreasonably tough. sure, it was tougher than today's game likes gears of war or killzone, but it wasnt a massacre. and the plot was fine for the game.
It's nice to see that you tolerate other's opinions so well. In case you didn't note, others also seemed to have trouble with the difficulty, so it's not just me. And I've been over the plot bit 10 times already. I thought it was bad. I call it like I see it.
 

pantsoffdanceoff

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Liverandbacon said:
pantsoffdanceoff said:
Another game that downloads off steam with [b/]severe[/b] problems: Dues Ex.
I remember liking Max Payne, maybe it was just the fact it was my first M game so i felt badass. Imma gonna play it now (if I can find the CD) and see if this is the nostalgia talking.
You've been having problems with Deus Ex? What sort? When I got it off of steam, it ran fine.
1st Install: Can't change weapons
2nd Install: No sound
3rd Install: Really byted sound
4th Install: Can't Change Weapons (again)
5th Install: I got it to work.
After all that though I really didn't give the game a chance.
 

scotth266

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pantsoffdanceoff said:
Liverandbacon said:
pantsoffdanceoff said:
Another game that downloads off steam with [b/]severe[/b] problems: Dues Ex.
I remember liking Max Payne, maybe it was just the fact it was my first M game so i felt badass. Imma gonna play it now (if I can find the CD) and see if this is the nostalgia talking.
You've been having problems with Deus Ex? What sort? When I got it off of steam, it ran fine.
1st Install: Can't change weapons
2nd Install: No sound
3rd Install: Really byted sound
4th Install: Can't Change Weapons (again)
5th Install: I got it to work.
After all that though I really didn't give the game a chance.
Shit... sounds like the gaunlet I ran through to get City Of Heroes to run :D
 

devildog1170

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scotth266 said:
Samurai Goomba said:
Good review. I rarely actually sit down and read whole reviews on this website, so it speaks well of your writing talents that you made me care enough to finish your critique of Max Payne, a game which I had planned to play. I'll probably still pick it up on the Xbox, but I'm not expecting the best game in the world or anything.

Man, I need to review something... If only I had enough time to properly put a review together. Been forever since my first review. Oh well, college life.
Thanks for reading the whole thing! I honestly think I've gotten a lot better at this since the Mirror's Edge review, which was my first. As for reviewing time/schedule stuff, I just write up one of these whenever the time presents itself. Once a week is a nice feel for my schedule: it gives me a break between games while still keeping things fresh in my mind. Also I have time for serious school stuff :D

GoblinOnFire said:
Ok, where to start.
Storyboard Max versus in-game Max: What I meant: Other reviewers have noted the same; Max don't look the same.. This was not meant as critique, rather: "I agree, and others agree with you too".

Next: your gaming skills = my word against yours, really. Your gaming experience with MP must differ a lot from my experience with it. I loved the game and didn't find it extremely hard at all. Challenging, yes. Too hard? No. but then again: maybe we approach games differently.. How much do you enjoy quick time events?

Ok, what else? Oh yes! slo-mo jumps does the whole game, yes. Without that ability, this game would be a mediocre 3rd person shooter.

Finally: Did I annoy you when questioning your gaming skill? REALLY??? wow... I really didn't see that one coming. I laughed when I read "It always annoys them". so, you do this professionally? Really? wow again! I humbly apologize, oh great reviewer who's skill I shall never ever question again.

Get a grip, or buy a console.
Well then, where to start. Firstly, I have a console. Two, in fact.

I'm glad that you agree with me that the storyboard Max and the game Max look different. That wasn't really a criticism of mine as much a curiosity though.

Yes, this game would be worse without the slow-mo, because that is (or was) it's unique thing that made it stand out, however the mechanic is badly implemented. This wouldn't be so much of an issue if the time-slowing gimmick wasn't such a big part of the game, but since it is central to Max Payne's gameplay, the whole thing starts to sag under pressure.

Oh, and quick-time events are ok, I can handle all but the most insane.

You're allowed to question me, humble peon. When I write a review, I am a critic of sorts, therefore if you ask me why I dislike something, I give you reasons. Hence why I try to respond to everyone who comments on my review threads and asks why I wrote something, like I am here. (PS, the first sentence was a joke. Not actually mocking you.)

As for my gaming skill... well, let's just say that about the only game series that consistently flummoxes me in difficulty terms would be Guitar Hero on Expert. Hell, Hard was hard enough boys. I don't need to wear my fingers to stubs...

So yeah. If you don't agree with me, that's your perogative. However, insulting me was not the way to go about trying to get me to change my opinion.
Actually, they really don't look that different. They're modeled by the same game, Sam Lake
 

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devildog1170 said:
Actually, they really don't look that different. They're modeled by the same game, Sam Lake
What are you talking about?
 

devildog1170

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scotth266 said:
devildog1170 said:
Actually, they really don't look that different. They're modeled by the same game, Sam Lake
What are you talking about?
Whoa my grammar just failed. I'm saying is, they can look different at some times, but they should look the same since Max Payne is modeled by Same Lake in the game and the graphic novel.