BLACK & WHITE

Saturday night, drunk and moshing, some prick salted my game with an elbow to the eye: Pretty stars, flashing lights, and I found myself on my ass in the unholy stew that is the punk rock dance floor. Beer, spit, sweat and Christ-knows-what-else soaked through the seat of my pants. Not for the first time, I regretted wearing no fucking underwear; as usual, I also wished I wasn't wearing any pants.

Blood running down my face, and pointy knees and jack boots whizzing past my head, I had a sudden realization: 

I'm still better off than when I was playing Black & White.

The Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game genre was "created" by Dune II, which I've basically chosen to take on faith, because I don't like Sting, and Kyle McLachlan plays a shitty Michelin Man; and that fucking chin!!  Anyway, so Dune II gave us resource management (i.e., gather stuff to make units out of), which, other than the addition of "true 3D," was the last true "innovation" to hit the genre.  Obviously, innovation takes on a whole new and less important definition when game publishers get done with it, but I'm getting to a point here, so get the fuck BACK here, bitch!!

Kyle McLachlan as
Paul Atreides in "Dune"

Check it out:  Playing an RTS basically means you have lots of little units, you tell them where to go, often what to do when they get there, and you build lots of other little units.  Typically, your ultimate goal is to win a contest of units against either (a) the computer, or (b) some prick you ran into on IRC or GameSpy.  These games are usually fascinating at the beginning, but then the deeper you get into the game, the more you find yourself digging up fluff.

The RTS takes too fucking long to play. Starcraft, with all its awards and accolades, ultimately comes down to building little units, and telling them where to go, ad nauseum. And, even though you know exactly what you're doing (building little guys), you still have to wait and stare at your computer while the game gyrates and builds the little guys.  This can -- and often does -- go on for hours.  Even games like Age of Empires are ultimately whack-shit, lame-ass pr0n star crap (blatant excuse for a balancing screenshot--beg your pardon).

One of the True Masters of the Incredibly Tedious Game is Peter Molyneux, who is clearly a child-rapist.  Actually, before posting this image, I had no idea he looked, well... like he does.  I strongly suspect that he's a felcher.  This effeminate prick of a game designer used to work for Bullfrog, and was responsible for creating the "God" sub-genre of RTS:  Populous was, as far as I know, his first big hit.  In it, played a god who had followers (units) who had babies (uh... subunits?) and they all built stuff -- and then you killed all the other units to win.

I was going to go into a history of games designed by Mr. Molyneux (that's an "O" sound, like the "O" of a puckered sphincter), but that'd be even more off-base than I usually get, so "fuck it," I sez.  That balding motherfucker gets one game review from King Fucking Mongo, and that's it.  One shot to the dome for his temerity.


Peter Molyneux:
child rapist?

 
A racist


A gangsta


A Belgian

So, we're talking about Black & White.  This game's been hyped long and hard for the past three years, but a lot of website readers are sort of oblivious, so maybe you haven't heard of it.

What would you expect?  Well, if I had never heard of it, I'd be expecting a fucking race riot.  A first-person shooter with player models based on Ku Klux Klansmen and gangsta rappers. Not sure what kind of realism we'd see, or how the story lines would differ; I mean, if you're the Klansman, what are your goals?  Do you find that your wife has run off with a Knee-grow, and your goal is to wipe the urban city centers clean of their scourge?  Would you also go off on Asians, or is that a stupid question, since the name is Black & White?  What about weapons?  What's the traditional blunderbuss for the God-fearing white supremacist?  A double-barrelled shotgun?  Or, would it be the FN P90, built by the Belgians, who everyone knows are the original KKK?  Are there lynchings?

And what about the gangsta?  Your homey got capped by some crackers in hoods, and you got a clip for the bitch that done it?  And what kind of clip is it, anyway?  The Tec-9, popular among the gangstas 'til the Feds outlawed it after 101 California?  Or, the more classicly-styled AK-47?  Are there drive-bys?

If you were expecting anything like that, you'd be fucking wrong!!  Because the game is about one thing:  Raising units.

However, Mollynew has cleverly made two games out of one -- not only does the player amass a horde of little units, he gets to make a single unit bigger!!  This almost threw me for a loop, but I figured out the trick in plenty of time. I was not in the least bit thrown by Moliuegnu.  I'm a professional fucking game reviewer!!  You can't fade me!

There was a big stink about the artificial intelligence in Black & White: progressive learning, postive/negative reinforcement, etc.  It's all shit, and lots of it.  Maybe the first time your creature takes a dump on a villager's house, you'll get a laugh out of it, or the first time you pet your creature in its groin and it makes homophobic gestures at you, your inner bigot will thrill with delight, but let's break it on down now:


Mr. Roboto:
"I will -- chck chck chck -- fade you, fleshling!"


Screen caps from the game you should be reading about now but are not.

A $50.00 Tamagotchi with an RTS worked in is not a game. Speaking of $50.00 -- which is what I, in my usual CrackHead manner, foolishly ran out and spent to be "one of the first to own this revolutionary new game" -- I have to mention the box:

The box cover of Black & White has one of those bumpy surfaces, like uh... say, one of those science-fiction books, where the author's name is all lumpy, so you can really feel what the book is going to read like. Think braille for people with advanced font knowledge.

Well, I'm here to tell you that the high art of reading lumpy book covers can easily be transferred to the fucking study of motherfucking bumpy video game box covers!!  The knowledge I have gained is easily worth the 50 clams I shelled out to get it. I shit you not, my brother.

Anyway, that's what this guy at Fry's was saying -- and he had a fucking tie, so I'm inclined to believe him; he had to go carry some boxes, though, so I wasn't able to get anymore information from him.

My take on the lumpy cover of Black & White was that the game would have a very smooth side to it, with a high-gloss, but that the other side would be a little rougher, like sandpaper, but made out of cardboard.  But getting to the game:

I had the clear impression that my character would be a gay lion.  Okay, that last one came from looking at a picture in the box.  See my picture of my gay lion? Rahr!


WARNING:
This lion is gay.
Do not feed the gay lion.

EDITOR'S NOTES:
Wow. Who knew a game review could go on and on and on without saying much about the game? Still, now I know where to look up "felcher" next time I need to.
Black & White
Electronic Arts
- Windows 95, 98, Me
- 350 MHz Pentium II
- 64 MB RAM
- 600 MB hard drive space

Complain here, preferably with
"Fuck fuck fuck fuck, mother fuck, mother fuck."

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