Maxis: Your Reward For Buying Our Horribly Launched SimCity Is The Previous, Better Version Of It

from the one-step-forward,-one-version-back dept

Many of us are still waiting for a Maxis mea culpa following the horrible release of their always-online SimCity game. When last we checked in with Maxis, they were busy pretending that all of the backlash surrounding this complete mess of a release didn't exist and that tons (tons!) of people just loved all the features in the game that didn't work. Well, they're back to blogging again, and while it is only an apology in the barest sense of the word, they are offering up some freebies for their throngs of pissed off fans.

Our SimCity Mayors are incredibly important to the team at Maxis. We sincerely apologize for the difficulties at launch and hope to make it up to you with a free PC game download from Origin.
This, of course, falls short of the full apology they should be making, which would be to say that lying their faces off about why the game always needed to be online (since it didn't) was wrong, as was their presumption that their fans needed to be treated like criminals. But, hey, baby steps, I guess. So what games are you offering up for free?
-Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
-Bejeweled 3
-Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
-Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
-Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition)
-Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
-Plants vs. Zombies
-SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition
...Really? As an apology for selling a game with an always-online requirement for a city building simulation, which we now know doesn't actually need to be online at all, you're offering up the previous version of the game which didn't have that requirement? And, based on what I can see from the general reviews, received far superior reviews? Why bother releasing the new SimCity at all, if the result is pointing people to the last iteration, a better overall product? Have we gotten to the point where you guys are just trying to make us laugh?



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    Let me predict the following exchange:

    Gamers: "But we already either have all these games or don't want to play what you have offered. Especially that last version of SimCity."
    EA: "Nonsense. Nobody could possibly have that many legitimate games. You must be a pirate."
    Gamers: "We refuse to accept that we legally paid money just so we could get a crappy game and another game that we already legally purchased!"
    out_of_the_lube: "MASNICK! LOOPY! PIRATES RARGHBLE FLARG!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    Hah! Inception. On Sim City 6 they'll offer Sim City 5 as apologies to some screw up that will offer Sim City 4 because in their view Sim City 5 won't be fixed even though it's easily fixable so it'll still offer Sim City 4 to compensate. Since Sim City 4 was the last edition done right that's the deepest level you'll get without piracy Mr Customer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Atkray (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    Laughter is the best medicine.

    "Have we gotten to the point where you guys are just trying to make us laugh?"

    Yes.

    The last line on their blog:

    "USERS WHO ARE BENEATH THE MINIMUM AGE REQUIRED TO ACCESS INTERACTIVE ONLINE SERVICES WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE GRANTED A COPY OF SIMCITY 4: DELUXE EDITION AND BEJEWELED 3 INSTEAD. THESE GAMES WILL BE ADDED DIRECTLY TO YOUR MY GAMES LIBRARY OVER THE COMING DAYS."

    So if you are kid who is too young to play online you get 2 free games instead of one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Wally (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    Give us classic SimCity for the Macintosh and MS-DOS and Windows and stop posting take-down notices for those versions and give them away for free outside of Origin..then we have a deal...and while you're at it, give us Sim Farm, Sim Ant, Sim City and Sim Copter for free as well...Sim Copter updated to work on Windows 7 and SimCity 2000 with it.

    That would be the best apology.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    So why did they even bother... Oh wait, they figured they could bilk a few million out of their customers. And the worst part, they did just that!

     

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  6.  
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    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    Haven't you figured it out yet? The execs at Maxis are role playing as the mayor!

    They're trying to do what we would do as mayors: tell the complaining citizens to shut the hell up and throw money at the problem in the hopes the community builds for a wonderful future.

    Just wait until Godzilla shows up. Then things really get nasty.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Pinstar, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    Good alone, even better with mods!

    For those of you going back to Sim City 4, I highly reccomend getting the NAM mod. The NAM is a free mod created by a dedicated team of volunteer programmers that cleans up a few of the remaining bugs that were never fixed in offical patches (mainly traffic pathing and logic). Mind you, the traffic pattern and logic in the unmodded SC4 is still WORLDS better than the traffic logic we see in 5imCity proper now.

     

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  8.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 10:54am

    Re:

    "Just wait until Godzilla shows up."

    Hold that thought....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 10:57am

    "...a free PC game download from Origin."

    We are sorry. We screwed up with the DRM on this game. As an apology we want you to have this free game which is also tied to another DRM infested platform.

     

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  10.  
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    Lord Binky, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    I wonder, is the number of free games they are giving away greater than the number of games pirate pirates would have actually cost them?

    I feel it is safe to say EA is a bigger problem for EA than pirates.

     

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  11.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    actually even better

    guess what: most of the games in that list have DRM and an always-on requirement too!

    /facepalm

     

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  12.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:13am

    Re:

    Sim Copter was AWESOME. I never found it for sale here so I only got to play the pirate game.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:13am

    I like it. I think every buisness should do this. Car lots for example. "Oh Sorry, Your new car doesn't start. Here is a bicycle, Sorry for the inconvenience."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:16am

    Can you say Damage Control?

    I mean, Mass Effect 3 is a rather decent game campaign-wise.AND it just released its final DLC (which from what I've heard is mostly fanservice junk). On top of that, didn't they just release Dead Space 3 this year?

    That said, I'm a console gamer (Xbox 360), not a PC gamer, so I haven't had much trouble with EA's Origin shenanigans (or if I have, I haven't really noticed it yet cause I'm too busy playing Halo 4.)

    The big question now is: how many gamers are going to agree to this pathetic attempt at appeasement by EA?

    The Zen Master says, "We'll see."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:18am

    we all know what sort of response this piss taking company should be getting from customers over this further piss taking response. tell then to shove their shit where the sun dont shine and not buy anything else they release. as for the comments from Maxis GM Lucy Bradshaw, she deserves to be sacked immediately! customers are customers and should be treated with respect, not contempt and not like idiotic criminals!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Yakko Warner (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:19am

    Might as well give away t-shirts

    "I bought SimCity and all I got was this lousy download code."

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    The Stupid! It Burns!

    Which is why I haven't been an EA customer since ... since ... since ...

    The hell with it. It's not worth remembering the last EA product I bought.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re:

    I think Akari metaphorically predicted the future.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    McCrea (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:28am

    SimCity 4 was the last EA game I bought.

    I got a SimCity 4 from a pirate named Joe. It crashed constantly, but my test drive pleased me. Thinking the pirate were distributing nastyware, I went and bought SimCity 4 + Rush Hour. It crashed constantly. I realized the pirates were perfect, and EA was the nasty.

    They appeared content to let the modders fix the problems they knew about, e.g., opera house & traffic routing.

    That was it; SimCity 4 is actually the epitome of crapware to me. Haven't paid EA since.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Wally (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re:

    What makes SimCopter more awesome, Ninja, is that you can use it to fly around in SimCity2000 cities :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Wally (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Just don't name your city "Tokyo" and you should be OK ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re:

    So the important question I have to ask is.... Have you found Waldo yet? He is hanging out in the hanger of sim copter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    Wally (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:37am

    Re:

    The SimCity franchise makes me prod to be a Luddite because the 3D reboots as of late have been awful and DRM ridden. SimCity 2000 and SimCopter is where the fun peaked.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Wally (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    ComputerAddict (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Especially when you laid out your SC2000 city for SimCopter, strategically placing police/fire/hospitals all over the place (on a grid) to make sure you can rush people back to where they needed to go in no time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Waldo is your rights as a consumer, and NO ONE has found him Yet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Another AC, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    Re: Laughter is the best medicine.

    So kids too young to play online-only Sim City 5 will get as compensation Sim City 4 and Bejeweled 3 because they are too young to play online?

    Mind = Blown

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:51am

    Re: Good alone, even better with mods!

    But NAM fixes neither the constant crashes while zooming, the ugly GUI nor the idiotic splitting the area into tiny playfields.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    Re: SimCity 4 was the last EA game I bought.

    "I got a SimCity 4 from a pirate named Joe."

    Would you say that he a greater Joe, or was he just average?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    AndyD273 (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Or New York City.
    If I ever figure out I'm in a disaster movie, I'm getting as far away from NY as possible. It always gets creamed.
    For the west coast, it's usually LA... No one ever invades Seattle. Maybe that's a good place to head to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Can you say Damage Control?

    IIRC EA has been named the worst company in america 2012 by a margin in front of Bank of America:
    http://consumerist.com/2012/04/04/congratulations-ea-you-are-the-worst-company-in-america- for-2012/
    Their answer is kind of proving the point:
    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/168010/EA_brushes_off_Worst_Company_in_America_label.php
    Thinking that EA's statements are anywhere near the truth is therefore utopian. In this case they defend the online only with tooth and claw while laying flat for their server issues. In other words they completely ignore the actual critique and says sorry for their server-issues to try to trick people into thinking they apologized for the critiqued part of their game. Pure marketing spin and very problematic attitude. It reminds me of Starcraft 2, but at least Starcraft 2 had their servers running properly, the game was well above average and the multiplayer function is a significant part of that game.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    So if you give them a huge amount of money, you not only get a horrible broken piece of shit, but you also get to choose between:
    - The previous game in the series, which you can get for like 5 in the bargain bin, and which every fan (read: the kind of people who would fall for the Sim City Online scam) of the series has anyway
    - one of two browsergames
    - one of their not even mediocre AAA sequels WITHOUT THE DLC which they hope you to pay the full price of the game for

    MAN WHAT A FINE DEAL!
    I should totaly go and buy SimShitty now

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 12:10pm

    LETS RECAP

    lies about online being needed. bans people for not reporting bugs (then goes back on it) has major disaster of luanch. changes story about online and gives free gift that they said whould never happen to begin with.

    i have been sitting in my chair for the past three minutes trying to think a response to this but the words do not come to me...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 12:10pm

    Re:

    PS: Forgot to mention that you have to install their malware DRM origin stuff too

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    Re: actually even better

    That's because, despite the disaster that is the latest version of SimCity, EA still refuses to even consider that the DRM was the reason people hate it so much.

    After all, admitting that DRM screwed over one game and any foolish enough to buy it would lead people both in the company and out to wonder why exactly they continue to infect other games with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    Re: actually even better

    Facts Check: all these games require an intial online check but after can be played offline for however long you want to.

    -Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
    -Bejeweled 3
    -Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
    -Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
    -Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition)
    -Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
    -Plants vs. Zombies
    -SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    Rekrul, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    Recently, I was thinking of new games that I wanted to get and one of those was Alice: Madness Returns from EA. Then I learned that it has limited activations. The original game is 13 years old now and I still enjoy it. I'm not going to spend any money on a game unless I know for sure that I'll still be able to play it a decade from now (hardware permitting). Is EA still going to be supporting these games in ten years? Considering that they don't have any information about the original game on their site, I sincerely doubt it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    Fickelbra (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 12:33pm

    You CAN get SimCity 2000 and Sim Ant, etc for free

    Go to www.gameswin.biz. It has LEGAL abandoned software free to download. All of the Sim games being talked about here is available on the site. I posted a link below to the exact page.

    http://www.gameswin.biz/gameen.php?categoria=simulation&order=8

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: actually even better

    By "initial check", do you mean check on install or check every time you start the game? If it's the latter, then it's not much better than always-on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    Wally (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are safest in Ohio...though we do have a problem here as it is the only state in the US that sometimes requires you to use your heater in the morning and air conditioning that same day in the afternoon. And hey...we have The Avengers lurking around pretending Cleveland is New York City...we are totally safe it seems ;-P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Can you say Damage Control?

    I mean, Mass Effect 3 is a rather decent game campaign-wise.AND it just released its final DLC (which from what I've heard is mostly fanservice junk).

    So for screwing up, they give you a free game so you can then spend more money buying DLC instead of fixing the game you originally purchased.

    That'll go over well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

    Re: You CAN get SimCity 2000 and Sim Ant, etc for free

    No such thing as legal abandoned software unfortunately. Not even a 1990 Disk based C64 game which the company doesn't admit to owning the rights to (Disney Interactive Arachnophobia, though that might just be the marketing division in the dark, but they swore that they never offered a game by that title so...) can be downloaded without a change in the license.

    Sucks, don't it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Might as well give away t-shirts

    That actually happened to me a few weeks ago. I was in Gamestop, picked up a re-release of all C&C games retooled to work on modern OS's, but wasn't paying attention to what the cashier was putting in the box. When I got home, I opened it up only to find a download code, not a disc.
    While it was my own fault for not paying attention...having a physical box with a download code defeats the purpose of buying from Gamestop. When I buy from Gamestop, its because I want the game now, and I want it in physical media. If I'd intended to spend the night downloading, I would've bought them off of Steam.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 3:45pm

    Dont think i ever bought anything from EA since they killed off Bullfrog... but have been dismayed to see their crap manage to continue for decades.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    Liz (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 3:46pm

    Re:

    Watch those last two words there, bub. You could summon an Elder God.

    The last thing this world needs is an indomitable entity which saps the sanity of the world's population.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re:

    If you were eligible for this due to owning SimCity, you already have Origin installed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
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    Pixelation, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 4:16pm

    First sale?

    Will I be able to sell my legally downloaded copy of the free game?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
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    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re:

    ROFL. Now I understand your post. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 5:58pm

    Re: First sale?

    Don't be silly. Doing so would be contributing to the second-hand games market, which all publishers know doesn't exist. You don't want to be a filthy pirate now, do you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
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    nasch (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No one ever invades Seattle.

    There were 4400 alien abductees dropped there though. And that video tape that kills you after you watch it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    [citation needed or GTFO], Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I enjoyed activating cheats so I could get the copter with the machine gun and missile launcher so I could blow up rioters and traffic jams. =D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
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    Niall (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 5:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In the UK it's "Where's Wally" :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
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    Niall (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Someone was stealing aliens? I didn't know you could buy them ;)

    Ah, I miss The 4400...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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