Tag Archives: Fallout 3

Braid Your Pitts

I haven’t posted in nearly 4 months. Shameful, I know. I have been gaming a bit though, for sure. In fact one of the main reasons for my lack of updates in the last 6 or 7 months was climbing back onto the vile World of Warcraft bandwagon. I haven’t mentioned it much on here because I’ve been about ready to quit again, once I completed the last of several goals I’d been working on. After that I planned on writing an entry all about my return and what I had accomplished with my time. Unfortunately that last goal has turned out to be a total pain in my ass – expect that post if I finally do meet my goal but I’ve all but stopped again as it is so that seems unlikely.

Braid is goddamn pretty.
“Braid is goddamn pretty.”

I got around to playing Braid on XBLA. I actually played through the demo at around the time of its launch and honestly most of my critical analysis of the awesome, creative puzzle mechanics is probably back there somewhere since I was pretty blown away by them originally. Even blasting past that topic, I loved the art style and absolutely adored the music. Despite how mind-bendingly difficult some of the puzzles might seem to some players (personally, most came to me easily, though I did definitely struggle hard with a few of them) it’s still very worth checking out. Notice how I skipped talking about the narrative? 😉 Seriously though, I actually enjoyed it at first and like what they’re were going for though the end came out of nowhere and didn’t really do much for me. In the end though, it didn’t seem crucial to the experience – how much did the story in any of the Super Mario games (and the comparison here is appropriate given all of the obviously influence and callbacks) ever matter?

I finally finished my run through of Fallout 3 + all of the DLC. I got pretty much all of the achievements I could get in one play through and had a blast. My insanely sporadic playtimes made me come to some odd conclusions about my gaming habits as of late: I’m getting too old for this shit. Seriously, I seem to only want to jump into most games (basically anything I’m either not insanely addicted to, or anything that isn’t extremely “pick up and play” friendly) when I have a couple of hours or more free in one sitting, and even then I have to be “in the mood” which I’m often not after a long day at work or whatever. If it is going to take me a year to finish a decent sized RPG for now on I suppose I’m going to have to stop spending as much time and money on this hobby as right now it’s just a little out of whack.

We're going vault hopping tonight, baby!
“We’re going vault hopping tonight, baby!”

Back to the game though. Obviously I loved Fallout 3 – I mentioned that in my last update about it. How could I not? I loved the original Fallout games and I love the Elder Scrolls series so… yeah? I’m not going to get into a big, detailed review of it or anything but I did want to mention one unexpected surprise: The Pitt DLC campaign. Whaaa? Although I know it often gets praise as being one of the better DLC add-ons for Fallout 3 I don’t remember hearing anything about the whole moral dilemma you’re faced with in it. Hell, maybe I did and simply forgot all about it since then, but in any case… spoilers in the next two paragraphs!

So, the basic setup for The Pitt (I’ll try to keep it fairly general) is that you’re contacted by a runaway slave who wants you to infiltrate the city which is overrun by an oppressive, ruthless group of slavers who force their slaves into working in their factories while they reap the benefits. They also all have some horrible radiation sickness and the leader of the slavers is apparently hording the cure for his very own. Seems straight forward enough and when you arrive as sure enough, sick slaves everywhere and the people in power are stacking the bad karma deck without question. Once you finally infiltrate the slavers and confront the leader, however, you learn that all isn’t as it appeared – the cure is actually a baby and the ex-slave who talked you into the whole thing in the first place is actually an ex-slaver who was forced out after a failed coup attempt looking for revenge. Seems like the situation is getting greyer. Still, why would I want to leave the baby in the hands of these assholes? Plus, who cares if the other guy is an ex-slaver himself, he clearly wasn’t lying about this place being packed with slaves and this sickness killing everyone. I stole the baby and vaporized the leader of the slavers, and most of the rest of them while I was at it.

Fireworks are always better when they're made out of your enemies.
“Fireworks are always better when they’re made out of your enemies.”

The plot thickens. Audiotapes reveal that the leader of the slavers was an Paladin of the Brotherhood of Steel who got stranded there after cleansing the ruins of the city long ago. Hm, well that still doesn’t mean he wasn’t an asshole, I suppose. Left there alone, he built up his gang and the settlement himself including bringing the factories back online. He regretted the slave labor but viewed it as a necessary evil and even planned to eventually set them all free. Hmm. He was also the father of the baby in question and, it’s revealed, seemed to genuinely care for the kid. He also viewed his research into the cure in a philanthropic way – he didn’t seem to be hording the cure at all, it simply wasn’t finished. *gulp* I might have made a bad decision but… well, at least the slaves are free, right? So then I get back to the people I was working for to discover the guy acting like a total fascist asshole himself and implying that the baby was now in much worse hands. It also only took me about 2 seconds to notice that the slave labor still appeared to be in full effect around the settlement – maybe the people in the chains had changed, but still… what exactly have I done here?!

This is one of the most interesting moral dilemmas I’ve run into in a game in recent memory. Most fascinating was probably the fact that I really wasn’t ever asked to make any clear cut, black and white choice on the matter. Sure, I was forced to pick a side but it was before I had all of the intel. Even after all of the cards were on the table it was still a pretty nebulous situation with no obvious right choice… and the fact of the matter is, not unlike after the big reveal in Bioshock, I felt totally played after it was over. Nice!

These guys, yet again...
“These guys, yet again…”

What else? Oh yes, I bought and played Halo 4. I’ve talked about the Halo series on here a lot in the past so I’ll skip the background and the in-depth analysis and just say that 343 Studios did a fine job. It still feels very much like a proper Halo game yet makes necessarily measured steps into new directions. I enjoyed the new multiplayer advancement (for example) though so far I prefer Firefight over Spartan Ops. Most of all, I just enjoyed returning to a universe that I’ve always really enjoyed. As far as that goes though, I might have enjoyed watching Forward Unto Dawn more than playing the actual Halo 4 campaign. *shrug*

Next up is a play through of the original Saints Row, if I can manage to slog through the grind. Oh, and I also started a new blog which I’ve been filling full of random non game related stuff – mostly related to music and just general expressive bullshit. I’ll link to it eventually when I have more content. Hell, maybe I’ll even merge it into this one and make it a little less gaming focused. Stay tuned!

Hacking, Slashing, and Blasting into Space

While still not gaming particularly heavily I’ve certainly had my nose in all kinds of different things lately.

First of all, I’ve been slowly blasting my way through Fallout 3 on PC. I knew I’d love this game from when it was first revealed, being a fan of both the original Fallout games and the Elder Scrolls series, and I was right. I was toying with the idea of doing some kind of a “Garn” like Let’s Play though probably scaled waaaayyyy back to quick journal entries or something but as my main inspiration for starting up Fallout 3 was to play something similar to Oblivion in between writing my blog updates I decided to forgo doing anything like that and just play the game at my own damn pace.

Charon doing what he does best.
“Charon doing what he does best.”

My character started life as a chaotic good (or some approximation thereof) energy weapons loving, grenade chucking hacker and medic and so far I’m not regretting the choice, despite hating the hacking mini-game and having an ungodly huge stash of Small Guns ammunition stockpiled thanks to some major early game ammo shortage scares. I’m having a ton of fun with it and will probably play it again on 360 at some point in the future. I also can’t wait to dive into New Vegas though I’ll almost definitely play that one on console to fix up my achievement sickness. 😉

All the ghouls love my Protectron's Gaze!
“All the ghouls love my Protectron’s Gaze!”

Hmm, what else? Inspired to do something more creative but not really having the time for an all out coding project I started playing around with the original Neverwinter Nights engine on my old laptop and eventually started to run back through the original campaign. It was hard for me to slog through this thing when it originally came out and I started hitting road bumps real early this time as well. I still think the old module creation toolset is pretty awesome but I more or less lost all inspiration to create something with it once I subjected myself to the campaign proper again.

I’m not sure what inspired it, other than maybe not having that much fun with NWN and having a copy of it lying around, but I then moved on to the original Dungeon Siege. So far it is part intriguing and part horrible. I like being able to lead my party around and have them fight automatically which feels kind of novel for this genre (somehow?) but not having any special abilities or much else to do other than navigating and popping potions me makes it a little boring after a while. Short play sessions have been mandatory so far. I’ll probably finish it one day since I had never played it before and I have definitely been getting some enjoyment out of it.

I was still feeling the hack and slash itch and with all of the Diablo 3 buzz going on in the last few months I figured I might purchase and run through the XBLA version of Torchlight. Theorycrafting with some build ideas I decided to simply try them out in Torchlight on PC since I already own it. Hours later and, yes, I still like the game quite a bit. I’ll probably still break down and buy the XBLA version of it soon. I wonder if Torchlight 2 will end up making it to console? The XBLA port of the first game was apparently ported quite masterfully.

Like an old glove...
“Like an old glove…”

After all of that I finally decided that, yeah, I really need to buy Diablo 3. I really wanted the collector’s edition but missed the original window and couldn’t find it anywhere on launch day so, feeling a bit defeated, I still haven’t go around to buying it. Instead I decided first to play through Diablo 2 once more to refresh myself on the story and whatnot. I honestly wanted to start with the first Diablo but I figured I’d save that for a review/retrospective sometime later.

Now, I’ve played through normal difficulty probably a dozen times with most classes and while never a crazy Diablo 2 addict I’ve certainly gone into higher difficulties and even played hardcore mode some. This time I picked a Paladin which I had played before but never gotten out of normal with. So far, despite having trouble adjusting to the brutal way 800×600 resolution looks on my flat panel, I’m enjoying the hell out of it. The creepy, dark tone and sense of isolation and despair the game sets is just perfect and, as influential as Diablo 2 was, still feels quite unique all these years later. Awesome. Now I’m absolutely salivating for Diablo 3.

The look on their faces says it all.
“The look on their faces says it all.”

Finally, after hearing the Rebel FM crew (and others) talk about it on podcasts I grabbed Kerbal Space Program. Hours of fun, this. There’s nothing quite like building your own rocket and then laughing hysterically as you struggle to get the thing off of the ground without some marvelously epic disaster. The real challenge starts after you finally manage to build a decent rocket and then find yourself having to actually learn a thing or two about the real life science of space travel as you attempt to actually orbit the planet, change orbits and orbit the moon, and then finally make a successful moon landing. If you’re real ambitious you can even try getting your little Kerbalnauts back home in one piece.

This is definitely a game I’ll be dusting off every now and then to check out new version enhancements and give a spin. I’m loving where indie game development is right now…

Two Thousand Eight

Hey, it’s the new year!? Here are a few New Year tidbits:

Best 2008 game I played: Grand Theft Auto 4. I realized I hadn’t played nearly enough games this year, and of those, not many were 2008 games. In fact I was really struggling to come up with 2008 titles deserving of this accolade until I remembered that GTA4 was an 08 game. I’ve already talked about my experience with GTA4 a bit in past blog posts so enough about that. I will say, however, I can’t fathom why it has suddenly become so popular to hate on this game. Not as good as the previous ones and other, similar games in some ways? Sure… Heck, I had my initial complaints as well. But horrible garbage? Hardly!

Best 2008 game I didn’t play: Fallout 3. Yeah, I pretty much just made up this one but considering how much of the most interesting stuff that came out last year I haven’t actually played yet it seemed like a fitting topic. Being a big fan of open world, sandboxy RPGs, as well as Fallout along with Bethesda’s previous RPG efforts, I can’t help but predict that I’ll love Fallout 3 when I finally get around to playing it. I also predict that I’ll really, really enjoy Fable 2 when I finally pick it up as well.

2008 game that everyone tried to get me to play that I didn’t: Left 4 Dead. A lot of old gaming chums had been picking this up, I’d been hearing tales of it on podcasts and reading about how awesome it was in forums, but I just couldn’t convince myself to drop any money on it. I came VERY close a couple of times but the vast majority of opinions I’ve come across on the subject pretty much imply that Left 4 Dead is a game best played with friends. Most of the friends of mine who wanted me to play it with them are in fact in different time zones than I so I figured I’d never end up playing it not unlike Team Fortress 2. I had actually decided to check out the demo of the 360 version the other day with the intent of possibly trying some split screen co-op but for some reason Valve has already removed the demo from everywhere. Hmph, here I was not even slightly interested in the 360 version now considering buying it? Boo! One potential sale down the drain!

Most disappointing 2008 game: Age of Conan. Easy… So much potential! You can read a lot more about my feelings on the subject in earlier posts. Pirates of The Burning Sea was also a big let down for me as well.

Most anticipated 2009 game: I don’t know! 2009 feels very different from 2008 so far. There really isn’t a ton of games I’m dying to get my hands on though there are many I’m fairly interested in. I might have to go ahead and name Diablo 3 as my most anticipated game of 2009 but it is a little optimistic to even assume it’ll be out this year.

Gaming related New Year’s resolution:I need to play more games! Yeah, looking back over 2008 I’m surprised how relatively little gaming I’ve done. I chalk most of that up to being hooked onto MMOs, Age of Conan and then Warhammer Online, for a large portion of the time. I also let two lengthy Xbox 360 games, Grand Theft Auto 4 and Warhammer: Battle March, dominate far too much of my limited console time. I really feel like I need to spend more time beating and completing more games. I’ve got massive 360 and DS backlogs now and there are countless PC games, new and old, I’m pining to revisit not to mention titles I plan to discuss, log, and/or review for this site. What’s the solution to this problem? One great first step would be to stop sinking so much of my gaming time into these damn MMORPGs, all of which usually end up sucking in the end anyway. Hmph.

Site related plans: I’ll continue slowly working on Garn’s Oblivion adventure. It hasn’t even gotten too interesting yet, I know, but it’ll get there. I also hope to do some others as well. Some potential possibilities are Stalker, Fallout 3, and some one off ArmA missions. I’d also like to do some logs of older games, such as Master of Orion and X-com. Who knows how many of these I can pull off though. I also intend on putting out more and more retro PC and console game reviews. I only got one full review out the entire time last year which is really quite pathetic though I am currently wrapping up a playthrough of a combined 3 games in a series for my next review. Yes, there are a lot more old games I’m just ping to replay.

I was going to make this sort of thing my first post of the year but I’ve been busy and the 1UP thing seemed to take precedent.