CD-Rom Revolutions 5.01
Sirens of the Pleasure Dome
Interactive Publications

Mac & PC

This is a sad, strange little masculinized remake of the Virtual Valerie genre. Our "hero," Virtual Victor, moves sluggishly through his over-rendered 3-D world containing nigh-inoperable, boffable robo-babes who summarily shoot you if they dislike your (Victor’s) performance... which they seem to do a lot. Regardless of your sexual skill, it is incredibly difficult to get Victor to do anything whatsoever -- let alone complex docking procedures for the act of mating -- when you have two flaming bar graphs indicating your sexual state, her sexual state, and the extrapolated figure between the two that will either mean ejaculation or death.

I could have forgiven the slow awkwardness of Victor’s universe, if it wasn’t so paralyzingly difficult to get him laid – and if watching him finally get laid weren’t so pathetically puppetlike. It’s not unlike watching a silver-toned Pinnochio in a whorehouse, with no previous operating instructions.

On the plus side, there's some quite cool, longish animations on this disc. Perhaps next time the programmer's skills with an interface will better present their artistic creations.

The Pyramid

Mac & PC

The Pyramid is actually pretty good. It is a digitized remake of their film, The Pyramid, and contains a large proportion of footage from it. There is also a reasonably well-done slideshow of rare images from Private’s collection.

The menuing system is uncomplicated, the help is straightforward, the graphics are reasonably slick, the footage is hot, and the entire package is so well done that, on the whole, you don’t realize (or much care) that you’re viewing 680 megabytes of advertisements for other Private products.

But just to keep it balanced, here are two quick complaints: First, on the main menu there is a small ad-like video that plays constantly in the center of the screen. This would be fine and dandy, except that each button on the menu screen also flashes an ad-like video when you wave the pointer over it. This results in such an overall system slowdown that even guys with marvy new 12-speed CD-ROMS may notice that their movies are !@#$ing slow (on the menuing screen). The second complaint is less of a big deal – the now-requisite buttons on this disc controlling "help," "exit," "panic," and such are exactly the same as those n another Private product (to be reviewed in next month's column). I’m in favor of economizing code as much as anyone else – but the graphical buttons from that product simply don’t fit into the decor of the faux-Egypt world of The Pyramid . These mismatched buttons also don’t have any obvious place on the screen. The only way to find them, in fact, is to wave the mouse pointer blindly around the screen until they pop up somewhere – a piece of information that would be more brilliantly placed in the help file, where it currently isn’t. A good disc that is in need of a sequel. Give it a look.

Thanks to Taboo Video for letting me play with their discs.

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