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Old Jan 3, 2009, 06:13 PM   #1
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javiermq
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Default Bioshock, slow as f*** loading times

Ive been trying to enjoy this great game bioshock since i got it from the holiday sale from steam. And its a great game like i said, but it would be better if it didnt take like 30-40 f****** minutes to load the next level on the game. Im playing it in my newer computer (C2D E6600 2.4ghz, 2GB DDR2 supertalent RAM, 350gb HD, gecube Radeon 1950pro pcie 512mb), and i have to go somewhere else, and come back for the computer to finish loading up the next level. I have UT3, which uses the same engine as bioshock, and that game doesnt take anywhere as long as bioshock to load a level. So, any suggestions as to speeding up level loading??

thanks
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 06:18 PM   #2
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I don't remember long loading times, and i played it with 3200+/512mb ram/6600GT.
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 06:23 PM   #3
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Something sounds wrong there for sure. I doubt defragging would fix it. You might want to try reinstalling?
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 06:30 PM   #4
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are you being facetious with the 30-40 minutes remark? i can't tell, but if it really does take that long, you have to know that there's something wrong somewhere and that it's not the game.
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 06:56 PM   #5
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Yeah something is definitely wrong.

I've played both the steam and non steam versions, and the loading times were quite acceptable and not overly long at all. Don't remember the exact time but probably less than a minute.
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 07:22 PM   #6
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When I played the first time (with my 1950XT), the "loading sound sample" would play 3 times before the game's loaded, so somewhere around 45 seconds or so. When my brother played it on his rig (after we both got 4870s), the levels loaded before the sample finished even once. So I guess it's subjective.

But for the loading to take THAT long, and long is what I would call 2 minutes plus (the WORST loading times I've ever gone through is Painkiller on my old rig, the quick loads and hard loads would both take 2 - 3 minutes ), there's something seriously wrong.

Like SteveButabi said, I doubt defragging would fix it, but you can try that and see. The way I see it, loading times are based on how fast the level can load and buffer all the necessary assets to start the level. If the loading is taking forever, then either the hard disk is taking way too long to read (and if you say UT3 loads fine, I don't know if it's that), or there's something up with your IDE / SATA cable or your RAM. Actually, if UT3, and I suspect everything else, runs fine, then those wouldn't be a problem either...

Have you updated it to the latest version? I think it was 1.1.

Looking back at your original post, the only thing I can relate to is the 1950 component. I had the X1950XT 256MB model in my rig when I played the first time, and that had longer loading times than with the 4870. Don't know if that has a part to play in it...


Sorry, can't think of anything else at the moment. Will post if I do though.

Good luck javier.

[edit]: If you are able to and willing to experiment, try reinstalling Windows with the very latest drivers for all your hardware, see if that'll help. Even if it doesn't, the computer will feel nice and clean, and freshly up-to-date!
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 07:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klutzon View Post
When I played the first time (with my 1950XT), the "loading sound sample" would play 3 times before the game's loaded, so somewhere around 45 seconds or so. When my brother played it on his rig (after we both got 4870s), the levels loaded before the sample finished even once. So I guess it's subjective.

But for the loading to take THAT long, and long is what I would call 2 minutes plus (the WORST loading times I've ever gone through is Painkiller on my old rig, the quick loads and hard loads would both take 2 - 3 minutes ), there's something seriously wrong.

Like SteveButabi said, I doubt defragging would fix it, but you can try that and see. The way I see it, loading times are based on how fast the level can load and buffer all the necessary assets to start the level. If the loading is taking forever, then either the hard disk is taking way too long to read (and if you say UT3 loads fine, I don't know if it's that), or there's something up with your IDE / SATA cable or your RAM. Actually, if UT3, and I suspect everything else, runs fine, then those wouldn't be a problem either...

Have you updated it to the latest version? I think it was 1.1.

Looking back at your original post, the only thing I can relate to is the 1950 component. I had the X1950XT 256MB model in my rig when I played the first time, and that had longer loading times than with the 4870. Don't know if that has a part to play in it...


Sorry, can't think of anything else at the moment. Will post if I do though.

Good luck javier.

[edit]: If you are able to and willing to experiment, try reinstalling Windows with the very latest drivers for all your hardware, see if that'll help. Even if it doesn't, the computer will feel nice and clean, and freshly up-to-date!
Thanks for your suggestions klutzon! Well, ill try the defragmenting first. I havent defragged that hard drive since i built the ocmputer and that was 18 months ago. That might be it. But other games dont take nearly as much to load a level nonetheless. Could it be overheating? A while back i had the computer shut down by itself when playing older games like Prey, and when i powered it back on, it would beep twice and say it shut down due to an overheating event. I removed the side panel of the computer, in a lame attempt to get more airflow into it. And the random shutting down went away, until today when after downloading levels for a custom UT3 server, when the computer shut itself again, this time with the side panel off. Weird.
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 08:07 PM   #8
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Heh, if you haven't defragged in 18 months, that would be first on my list. It may not solve the bioshock problem, but I bet it improves your computer as a whole.
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 08:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javiermq View Post
Thanks for your suggestions klutzon! Well, ill try the defragmenting first. I havent defragged that hard drive since i built the ocmputer and that was 18 months ago. That might be it. But other games dont take nearly as much to load a level nonetheless. Could it be overheating? A while back i had the computer shut down by itself when playing older games like Prey, and when i powered it back on, it would beep twice and say it shut down due to an overheating event. I removed the side panel of the computer, in a lame attempt to get more airflow into it. And the random shutting down went away, until today when after downloading levels for a custom UT3 server, when the computer shut itself again, this time with the side panel off. Weird.
if it's a heating issue i would get some tools like nvtemplogger to monitor temperatures. also, while the game is running and loading, try alt tabbing out to see cpu usage and whether all cores are being used etc.
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 10:25 PM   #10
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Bioshock does take forever to load. The only thing worse is Civ3 late in a game waiting for the AI to move it's Infinite Units. That literally took 30 minutes at times. Bioshock easily takes 3-5 minutes at times, which is still ridiculously long IMO.
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 10:38 PM   #11
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Ive noticed too after buying it on Steam takes a good 1 min or so to change levels. Core 2 3gig 8gig of ram and a 4870 all on Vista x64. Its not overly bad. But can be annoying.
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 12:37 AM   #12
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your hard drive is probably running in PIO mode or something..
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 12:48 AM   #13
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your hard drive is probably running in PIO mode or something..
PIO = "Put In Orifice"?


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Old Jan 4, 2009, 12:53 AM   #14
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PIO = "Put In Orifice"?


um yeh sure if that's your thing I wont stop you

but I think.. Programmed Input/output mode?

either that or he has a very slow HDD to start with..
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 01:14 AM   #15
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um yeh sure if that's your thing I wont stop you

but I think.. Programmed Input/output mode?

either that or he has a very slow HDD to start with..
I have noticed that people will often spend gobs of money on a new system, and then use a hdd from the mesozoic era.

I had one buddy that had a 8800 gt, a C2D proc, 4gb of ram, and was running a 30gb hard drive that he pulled from an ancient compaq or something, as his main system hdd. He kept wondering why his performance was ****... when I figured out what was going on, I wanted to shake him. What is amusing, is he is actually very knowledgeable about PCs and works in a computer store full time.
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 01:51 AM   #16
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I have noticed that people will often spend gobs of money on a new system, and then use a hdd from the mesozoic era.

I had one buddy that had a 8800 gt, a C2D proc, 4gb of ram, and was running a 30gb hard drive that he pulled from an ancient compaq or something, as his main system hdd. He kept wondering why his performance was ****... when I figured out what was going on, I wanted to shake him. What is amusing, is he is actually very knowledgeable about PCs and works in a computer store full time.
I'm actually guilty of the same thing when I built a P4 x800XT rig years ago... I put in a cheap and nasty 2mb cache 7500rpm drive from an older PC and wondered why I was hitching in HL2 :P
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 02:13 AM   #17
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your hard drive is probably running in PIO mode or something..
Whats PIO mode and how do i disable it?
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 02:14 AM   #18
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if it's a heating issue i would get some tools like nvtemplogger to monitor temperatures. also, while the game is running and loading, try alt tabbing out to see cpu usage and whether all cores are being used etc.
OK, ill download that temp logger and post back. Thing is, alt-tabbing in bioshock also takes ages to work, back and forth.
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 02:43 AM   #19
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what brand/model is your hard drive? what RPM and size cache does it have? SATA or IDE?
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 03:48 AM   #20
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I glad I only paid $5 for this. as its not really sucking me, Im finding it quite boring and tedious. Hope it picks up.
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 06:05 AM   #21
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My Net died last night before I got the chance to post before going to sleep, but I did want to add to spindoctor's suggestion, perhaps you're overheating (although I don't see why that should be an issue, but you never know sometimes) so you should check that. You should also check, if you can, what the CPU load is like when Bioshock is loading. I don't know how to do that outside of Alt+Tabbing out with the Task Manager graphs displayed. If you run Bioshock in a window instead of full-screen, you can have the Task Manager graphs side by side and you'll see what goes on. Reading from the stuff I've posted below, looks like this might be CPU-related, or bad code, or something...


A quick Google search, and here's some suggestions you might want to try out (please click on the links to know more, I just grabbed the most relevant info that I could see, but you might want to read more ):

Cathode Tan:
Quote:
The problem is, I think, that with just around 1GB of memory - games loading large textures off the hard drive and into memory conflict with existing system resources (and with Windows XP ... those are often somewhat considerable). Hence doing something like loading a large level and binding these textures taxes virtually everything at once ... and if anything goes wrong in the process you get your Crash To Desktop (or complete lockup).

Defrag
Everything you can - even if it doesn't need it. Optimize the drive so that the files won't at least take as long to load and might reduce read errors (this was actually all I had to do to get BioShock to load the first time).

Virtual Memory
If you have the HD space and you've defragged, it seems to work best to increase the page size for the virtual memory. I've got two setup on two partitions - system and the one with Steam on it. I've read posts which go back and forth on this point but this is where I ended up yesterday, so there you go.

Go Low Res
At least at first. Arcadia simply refused to load for me last night until I reduced the game down to 640x480 at low graphics and reloaded. Your mileage may vary, especially if this is not BioShock we're talking about here, but after I got the game to load the first time I could crank everything back up a modest amount. Last night I was playing at 1280x1024, high textures and models - but with a handful of the rendering options turned off.


Official 2K Games forum (loads of people have complained in here):

Quote:
Could be a loading texture function that is slow in the drivers, yeah. Or something, I don't really know much about how the texture loads into the video card RAM or anything.

Another thing that could cause the slowdowns is if the HD is working in slow PIO mode instead of DMA.
Quote:
That first one sounds on the money and I'll tell you why. When my game loads a new area none of the high detail textures are on. After a few seconds they start to appear on the objects (eg a poster looks like its in 8bit and all blurry then its high detailed an crisp).
Quote:
Same thing here. Sometimes it takes a second or two to load up the high-detail textures. Also important to note, while the loading screen is frozen, there is 100% CPU activity. Obviously it's struggling to process something, and we have to sit and wait while it thinks.
Quote:
From Bioshock Moderator:
The two things that determine load times are your CPU and hard drive read speed.
I've installed BioShock to my local C: drive which is a RAID 0 array of 2 Western Digital Raptor (10,000 RPM) drives, and my load times are quite long. Up to 3-4 minutes at times. I can't imagine anyone having faster load times, since this game has a LOT of dynamic objects to remember placement of, tons of things to load, settings, inventory, etc.
All I'm saying is I have long load times on a very fast PC but I can understand why it would take so long. There's a lot of data to load.
Quote:
I was thinking it might be some kind of graphic glitch that's causing the "load time" to seem longer. I notice that after like 30 seconds or so (the "normal" load time) the load screen stops switching photos/captions and freezes, and it's at this point where the engine is probably trying to render the first frame.

But for whatever reason (probably driver error), it can't - so we sit and wait for another 3 minutes while it tries to resolve itself.

This, combined with the whole thing with some textures not showing up for the first few seconds after it does finally load - maybe there's some obscure problem with how Bioshock caches textures in VRAM or something esoteric like that.
Quote:
Found a cute trick last night, though. Once the save or level load begins (the quotes screens come up), alt-tab back to the windows desktop. You'll still hear the sounds in the background, and then you'll hear the level load (for me, it takes about fifteeen seconds to load.) Alt-tab back and it might take a second or two, but the visuals will then come up and you'll be playing.

ArsTechnica:
Quote:
Saves start at 300K and grow to 13 megs by the end of the game - yes about 40x growth. If you watch disk performance, everything still gets loaded in about a 20 second stretch and the rest is pure CPU crunching (something my dual 3gig CPU has no problem with). It's obvious the problem lies elsewhere in the engine - it's going to crap on certain hardware. Saves take all of 2 seconds and loads take 30 seconds - after the initial load - and I long ago ruled out anything diskwise.
Quote:
I believe that there is something wrong with the loading code for the game, and that more than one version of it exists. On my machine, loading a game from the menu (saved or otherwise) or a new level at high settings would freeze or crash the game. It would load fine on medium settings.

However, loading a game from the menu or a new level at medium settings, upping the graphics options to high and going back into the game would work fine which means that the stream loading code works fine. I suspect that the game loader fails to keep track of free memory and so attempts to load assests/code that there isn't any free memory for. Once it runs into that situation it doesn't know what to do resulting in a hang/crash. I eventually got accustomed to setting everything on medium/low everytime I cold started the game/at level exits and upping the settings once I was into the level.


Try it all out, hopefully you'll find something that works. Seems that Bioshock performance is a crap shoot, depending on your specs / alignment of the stars in the sky, but I wish you the best of luck.
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Yeah, it seems like any game that doesn't measure up to some arbitrary standard or feeling we expect to have gets labeled consolized! What?!? Blurry textures! Consolitus! You can't save every 4 seconds? Consolitus! It doesn't have 12 million buttons that are bindable to controls! Consolitus! I can't use 16XAA with 166XAF consolitus! I got laid last nite because I wasn't playing PC games. Consolitus! No wait....
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 06:14 AM   #22
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What is amusing, is he is actually very knowledgeable about PCs and works in a computer store full time.
I've found those computer store guys are something of an enigma
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 07:37 AM   #23
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Antivirus interference?
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 08:17 AM   #24
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Antivirus interference?
That's a possibility too, but it'll be weird if only Bioshock gets affected by it.
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This is true. 'sides, Klutzon could quintuple post something and I'd still prefer his.
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It's okay Vazel. We all know about your "punctuation" issues and how much you like ";" as opposed to ":"
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Ugh, I hate that.. I honestly get so paranoid it's not even funny. One time, I ran out of eyedrops (dear god) and forgot. I went to the nearest shoppers, red-eyed as hell, holding only a box of clear-eyes in a huge line up, never.. ever.. again...
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Originally Posted by DiaperJe|\|i3 View Post
Yeah, it seems like any game that doesn't measure up to some arbitrary standard or feeling we expect to have gets labeled consolized! What?!? Blurry textures! Consolitus! You can't save every 4 seconds? Consolitus! It doesn't have 12 million buttons that are bindable to controls! Consolitus! I can't use 16XAA with 166XAF consolitus! I got laid last nite because I wasn't playing PC games. Consolitus! No wait....
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 08:29 AM   #25
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Mine didn't take very long to load. Defrag!!!
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 09:59 AM   #26
spindoctor
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i wonder if it could be securom playing unfriendly with his computer.

i'd also suggest getting the intel thermal analysis tool to keep an eye on your cpu temperature.
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 10:14 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by spindoctor View Post
i wonder if it could be securom playing unfriendly with his computer.
You know, I never even thought of that... I just download the no-DVD executables for all the games I want to install and then pack my discs back (less wear, less tear), so SecuROM might actually be contributing to the problem. javier didn't mention whether it's the Steam or the retail release that he's using...
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Klutz is enjoying his "Forever" membership at Galbadia Hotel... THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR CLICKS GUYS!!! :)
Galbadia Hotel: a place for game soundtrack lovers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Swordmaster View Post
This is true. 'sides, Klutzon could quintuple post something and I'd still prefer his.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UDHA
Yes, I'm a stubborn moron at times, but it keeps me occupied ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honsy
Just tell her to open her mouth and close her eyes ... then throw her down and stick it in her pooper ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultimacy
Welcome to the world of current events. Feel free to grab a brochure and get back to us when you've caught up with the latest news.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzieBloke
It's okay Vazel. We all know about your "punctuation" issues and how much you like ";" as opposed to ":"
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayzian View Post
Ugh, I hate that.. I honestly get so paranoid it's not even funny. One time, I ran out of eyedrops (dear god) and forgot. I went to the nearest shoppers, red-eyed as hell, holding only a box of clear-eyes in a huge line up, never.. ever.. again...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiaperJe|\|i3 View Post
Yeah, it seems like any game that doesn't measure up to some arbitrary standard or feeling we expect to have gets labeled consolized! What?!? Blurry textures! Consolitus! You can't save every 4 seconds? Consolitus! It doesn't have 12 million buttons that are bindable to controls! Consolitus! I can't use 16XAA with 166XAF consolitus! I got laid last nite because I wasn't playing PC games. Consolitus! No wait....
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 10:24 AM   #28
spindoctor
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he has the steam version, but it still has securom.
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 11:14 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spindoctor View Post
he has the steam version, but it still has securom.
You're right. He did say he got it from the holiday sale on Steam. Speed-reading lead to speed-skimming...
__________________
It's SEGA time!

Klutz is enjoying his "Forever" membership at Galbadia Hotel... THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR CLICKS GUYS!!! :)
Galbadia Hotel: a place for game soundtrack lovers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Swordmaster View Post
This is true. 'sides, Klutzon could quintuple post something and I'd still prefer his.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UDHA
Yes, I'm a stubborn moron at times, but it keeps me occupied ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honsy
Just tell her to open her mouth and close her eyes ... then throw her down and stick it in her pooper ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultimacy
Welcome to the world of current events. Feel free to grab a brochure and get back to us when you've caught up with the latest news.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzieBloke
It's okay Vazel. We all know about your "punctuation" issues and how much you like ";" as opposed to ":"
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayzian View Post
Ugh, I hate that.. I honestly get so paranoid it's not even funny. One time, I ran out of eyedrops (dear god) and forgot. I went to the nearest shoppers, red-eyed as hell, holding only a box of clear-eyes in a huge line up, never.. ever.. again...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiaperJe|\|i3 View Post
Yeah, it seems like any game that doesn't measure up to some arbitrary standard or feeling we expect to have gets labeled consolized! What?!? Blurry textures! Consolitus! You can't save every 4 seconds? Consolitus! It doesn't have 12 million buttons that are bindable to controls! Consolitus! I can't use 16XAA with 166XAF consolitus! I got laid last nite because I wasn't playing PC games. Consolitus! No wait....
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 05:56 PM   #30
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Yep, i have the steam version, so i have 2 DRMs in 1 game. Ill try removing securom from the computer and see.
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