Mean Yob's ramblings - Issues 17 to 20
By James O'Neill - 22 Jul, 2010
Back in May 2010, The Mean Machines Archive began to chronicle the frantic rants and sage like replies of the enigmatic Mean Machines mascot, Mean Yob. We continue this journey backwards through Mean Machines' back issues, to record his answers during the period of February to May 1992. It is intriguing that during this time Yob also converses with Jazza a few times in order to be content with his replies, which in hindsight results in as perplexing a situation as if Bruce Wayne called up Batman on the Batphone to discuss crime prevention in Gotham.
Mean Yob's mail responses are most fondly remembered as being fiercely funny, but he was not always sharply vexed, there are snippets of clear, calm advice for the few readers who occasionally asked a sensible question. There are moments when he provides a reasoned response, discussing how games can follow trends without jumping onto bandwagons, the industry's battle with piracy and also championing originality and innovation in game design. It is also clear that fanatical fanboys who were fuelling console based rivalry arguments in '92, were just as tiresome then as they are today.
Obviously, there is still an abundance of Yob's trademark wit and venom evident in these four mags. Keep your eyes peeled to read why he advises a kid to poop in his mother's wash basket, Yob's own 'Super Mario Brother: Escape from the Murder Squad' game design and details of Gary Harrod being sent off to be spanked on his dubiously tattooed butt cheek. If you read Yob's reply to MAKE A CLEAN BREAST, it also succinctly encapsulates the Mean Machines team's writing style and their review philosophy in a nutshell.
SUPREME THICKY: "Go out and buy a book about American football rules (there's a very good one available for only £4.99) and watch the sport on Channel 4. And just in case you need telling, 'cos you're obviously completely thick, pull your trousers down before having a dump." (MM, Iss.17, p.24).
SAD: "All your previous letters were complete and utter crap, despite what your "mate" thinks. The only reason why I'm printing this one is because I can poke fun at your singular lack of talent and gross ineptitude." (MM, Iss.17, p.24).
SKILL SUGGESTIONS: "Thanks for your suggestions - they're pretty good. I've passed them on to Jazza and he's put them in the pockets of his special brill idea trousers." (MM, Iss.17, p.24-25).
BANDWAGON JUMPING: "An interesting point, but I think you're being unfair - games are developed in strict secrecy, so I don't think there's any idea stealing going on. I think that companies see that there's a gap in the market and race to develop a product - rather like the movie industry where you get spates of certain kinds of film cropping up within a few months of each other." (MM, Iss.17, p.26).
PIRATE CONSOLES: "The great Nintendo legal steamroller is currently moving onto this subject as we speak." (MM, Iss.17, p.26).
ACTION REPLAY FOR SAD BABOONS: "I think the idea of the cartridge is that if you ARE a shambling baboon it lets you cheat away to your heart's content." (MM, Iss.17, p.28).
CONSOLE ACCELERATION: "I asked Jazza and he says that the good thing about console games is that you CAN put improved chips into cartridges - Nintendo's Super Mario III has an MMC6 chip with bigger memory, more colours and better sound capability than a normal Nintendo game chip. Sega are working on a new generation Megadrive games chip as we speak - we'll fill you in when we have more information." (MM, Iss.17, p.28).
A CRUSTY JOYSTICK WIBBLER: "It's true. Look at all of us. Tiddled our youth away leaning against arcade machines in the local fleapit and then - bingo! Mega-publishing celebs." (MM, Iss.18, p.24).
WE'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER: "Who needs Satanism when you've got Gary "666 tattooed on his butt cheeks" Harrod in the mag?" (MM, Iss.18, p.24).
WHAT'S HE ON?: "What you're forgetting is that before Mickey Mouse there was nothing like it available on the Megadrive. The graphics were the best seen at the time, and it was by far the best platform game on the machine - which is why we rated it so highly. Since then plenty of other platform games have been released, and by comparison Mickey Mouse doesn't look like such an amazing game. If it was released today, it would score about 90% or so." (MM, Iss.18, p.24-25).
DOES THIS GUY "LOVE" HIS SEGA: "Talk about a comedy of errors. You should put your brain in gear before putting your ranting and raving nappies on. First of all, you must be a completely crap Street Fighter II player if you think that playing with three buttons is alright. You DO need all six to be any good at the game. Doh! Secondly, Street Fighter II is going to appear on Super NES. Nothing has been heard of the Megadrive version since the Super NES version was announced - we're still hunting down news on the subject, so don't count your chickens. And thirdly, I think that you might be a bit rash in your Mario criticism. Mario might go down pipes, but he doesn't collect rings. The only thing that collects rings AND goes down pipes is a certain blue hedgehog. Time to bum off, baboon boy!" (MM, Iss.18, p.25).
SPAZ OF THE MONTH: "You think the magazine is pathetic, but you still bought it. You're more stupid than a mad cow with mad cow's disease." (MM, Iss.18, p.26).
IT'S ALL 'ARMLESS FUN: "So, like the leper, when your eye fell on the page, you didn't laugh your head off then? If I was you I'd go and have a leper's night out - get legless and play cards so at the end of the evening you can throw your hand in." (MM, Iss.18, p.26).
GOING, GOING, GONE: "Like the festering scab it is, it hung around for a few months, but then disappeared without a trace. The same could be said for CGEG (Computer Games Entertainment Guide)." (MM, Iss.18, p.26).
OOPS!: "Gary Harrod made the dreadful mistake, and suggested as way of punishment that we send him up the road to Pert Pam's Pervy Pleasure Parlour for a sound spanking with some nettle leaves. The strange fellow said something about getting a discount for his regular patronage..." (MM, Iss.18, p.26).
JERKS GET JERKED OFF: "How sad it is, then, that your picture looks as though it was drawn by a pair of drunk, retarded, gibbering baboons and won't be printed because it's not even fit enough to use as emergency toilet paper after vindaloo night down at the local Indian." (MM, Iss.18, p.28).
PIDDLE BOTTOMS: "Tell your friend to go suck a bull's udder and tell your Mum you'll do the washing for a week if she'll let you buy MEAN MACHINES, or do poos in the basket if she doesn't." (MM, Iss.18, p.28).
JUST WHO DO YOU BELIEVE: "None of the guys here are biased towards any machine, and the fact that Jaz, Rich, Rad, Gaz and Oz all have both a Megadrive and Super NES at home goes to show that. Only a sad, gibbering baboon's ass of a nincompoop would say that Sonic is better than Mario IV. And anyway, would you believe anything written about Nintendo in a Sega-only mag?" (MM, Iss.18, p.28).
A STUPID PILLOCK: "Addict? More like a dick." (MM, Iss.19, p.24).
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR MACHINE: "What you say is true, but it sounds like you've got a chip on your shoulder the size of Ayer's Rock. You certainly backed a loser with the Spectrum - it was a three wheeled roller skate compared to the swift 'n' nifty C64, but the Megadrive is more than capable of holding its own against Super NES, so don't worry yourself." (MM, Iss.19, p.24).
A COMPLETE BABOON: "The only substantial mistake made was when your parents decided not to use a contraceptive." (MM, Iss.19, p.24-25).
GET STUFFED: "I'll trade you three punches in the face for a set of broken teeth and a black eye." (MM, Iss.19, p.25).
MAKE A CLEAN BREAST: "What a great name you have. As I've said a million times before, we're not biased in any direction. Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts DOES poo-poo on Megadrive Ghouls 'n' Ghosts from a very great height - that's why we said it. Just as John Madden '92 plop-plops on Super NES John Madden from a very great height. We say what we think - if you want to read straight, boring and joke-free text, read something else. As regards the Mega-CD, what we've seen on the machine so far is complete and utter crap in every respect. As soon as something decent comes along that deserves coverage, we'll do something about it. It's as simple as that." (MM, Iss.19, p.25).
SLAG, SLAG, SLAG: "Never a truer word said. It's all about insecurity. People who've bought a console and think they've made a wrong decision tend to be the worst offenders of the "my machine is better than yours" arguments. The reason why they do it is because they have obvious doubts in their minds about their machine's capability and have to try and persuade themselves that they've got the best machine by attempting to make a mockery of a "rival" console. Why they just can't shut up and enjoy themselves like most players do is a complete mystery to me." (MM, Iss.19, p.26).
A PC PRANNET: "You're a baboon, sir and I recommend you take your PC, sit your large red monkey ass on it and scratch your armpits while making loud whooping noises if you can't see that both the Megadrive and Super NES are better games machines than it." (MM, Iss.19, p.26).
ORIGINALITY'S BEST, BOYS: "Ask most manufacturers this question and they'll say that because they're limited to produce only three or four console games a year they simply have to play it safe, rather than take a risk with something completely new that might not sell. That's why we see so many platform and shooting games - especially licensed ones. But they're the companies that'll die a slow, lingering death. People will begin to get fed up with playing the same game over and over again and will either stop playing games entirely - which is what happened with computer software between 1987 and 1989 when the computer market shrank - or look to play newer and more interesting games. It's people like EA who will blaze a trail into new gaming realms. They're prepared to take risks and come up with innovative product - Desert Strike, John Madden's Football and F-22 all broke new grounds and became massive sellers. Perhaps other people will learn from that..." (MM, Iss.19, p.26).
SPAM-HEAD CENTRAL: "If you haven't got the sense to find out where to buy games from, you certainly haven't got brains to run a computer shop." (MM, Iss.19, p.26).
SAVE MY SANITY: "I think infinite continues is a very bad idea, because the temptation to just bang the start button and keep on going is very high. Battery back-up costs a lot, so that's out for most games. But a difficult-t-enter password? That sounds like the answer to me..." (MM, Iss.19, p.28).
PIRACY KILLS: "Game Zone should be ashamed of themselves for taking that ad - we refused it. But I don't think you need to worry - the company concerned won't be around for long. Sega are on the case as we speak. But what you say is true. Piracy has completely killed off the ST and Amiga games market - don't let it happen to consoles." (MM, Iss.19, p.28).
ADVERSE REACTION: "O-o-o-o-o-o-o-h. You're a feisty one and no mistake. Have you a problem with high blood pressure? Or have you just eaten something containing loads of E numbers." (MM, Iss.20, p.24-25).
A NINTENDO NOB-HEAD: "Gosh, you're illiterate as well as stupid. I really don't know what's wrong this month. Everyone's really uptight. Can we have some decent letters next month please, rather than this sort of mindless, pathetic drivel." (MM, Iss.20, p.25).
CARTRIDGE COLLAPSE: "Depends. If you took good care of the cartridge and it's a genuine fault, you should by rights get a new one. If you stepped on it or something and the fault is down to you not looking after the game properly, you should bare your ass to the shopkeeper so he can give it a good kicking." (MM, Iss.20, p.25).
RUN ALONG, CHILD: "You 'orrible little moaner. Get your own Gameboy and let Tony play with his, and don't come running to me again unless you want a thick ear." (MM, Iss.20, p.25).
A COMPLETE PRAT WRITES: "Who indeed is wrong? As the Super NES is already on sale and has been since a week before Easter, I can only say it is you, you festering vomit-ridden, pin-headed, scabrous, bed-wetting, imbecilic, donkey-loving, bicycle seat sniffing waste of human space." (MM, Iss.20, p.25).
WHERE ARE THE GIRLIES? "No, it's just that I don't get many letters from girls. They're obviously far too lazy to write in..." (MM, Iss.20, p.25).
OH DEAR, OH DEAR: "Oh get stuffed you stupid nit. It's pathetic, insignificant, little twerps like you who really cheese me off. You're so far up your own backside that you can't see straight. If you had one micron of sense you'd see that we're not at all biased towards any machine - read the Megadrive Vs Super NES feature feature for proof. Why can't you just enjoy gaming and stop treating it like some sort of strange religion." (MM, Iss.20, p.26).
OH DEAR: "It must be either the weather or the general election 'cos people are really miserable this month. I think you're being a bit too negative. The only problem I have with Megadrive games, especially arcade conversions, is that generally they're far too easy. Super NES games tend to be a lot tougher." (MM, Iss.20, p.26).
SUICIDAL LUIGI: "Yes, it is rather sad isn't it. Forever in the shadow of his brother Mario. Perhaps one day Luigi will kill his brother off in a fit of jealousy and we'll have a new game - Super Mario Brother: Escape from the Murder Squad where you play Luigi and have to skip the country and flee to Brazil before you're arrested." (MM, Iss.20, p.26).
MORE ABOUT GAMESMASTER: "Jazza agrees with you completely - there's a surprise - but you do have a point. There's a lot you can do with the Gamesmaster show. Work is soon to begin on the second series - hopefully it'll fully realise its potential and we'll get a really good games show." (MM, Iss.20, p.29).
WHAT A WIT: "Well, he's obviously a son of a Hoare, so I don't think I need to say anything else." (MM, Iss.20, p.29).
Dougie - 27 Jul 2010, 16:40 GMT
I used to be in hysterics each month at the insults doled out by Mean Yob. I recall once he called someone a 'disposable anal spatula'? I can't remember what for though?
Keep up the good work, still gutted all my old MMs got chucked out years ago...
darren walsh - 10 Oct 2010, 09:52 GMT
I know what you mean Dougie.
But where were we to keep it all at one time i had several bread trays full of magazines and old comics.
But alas they had to make way for new toys and junk,if only my parents were richer and had a bigger loft :)
Darral Newman - 15 Apr 2012, 20:02 GMT
I loved Mean Yob, I used to cry with laughter and the absolute sharp tongue he lashed people with!