I really, really was not looking forward to Fallout 3. I felt I had to buy it because the first 2 were some of the best games I had ever played but my expectations were very, very low. Needless to say, Fallout 3 is the best game I've played in the past few years.
This game captures the atmosphere, quests, characters, and humor of the first two games. I love how they've taken a lot of the 2D objects that we've come to know and love and transformed them into 3D. You can really tell that Bethesda did their research and are fans of the original games. People may complain that the game is brown, tan, brown, and some more brown but so were the first games. In my opinion the game should be brown, dirty, and dingy and it is. I don't imagine beautiful green grass and spring flowers following a nuclear apocalypse, sorry.
VATS exceeds my expectations as well. It feels like the old turn based system and improves on it in certain ways. I love how the game kicks into slowmotion and changes up what view you see as you go through combat. I'm trying to play the game strictly through VATS and feel that the pace of Action Points accruing and the more tactical feel is very, very cool. I'll duck behind a door, maybe throw a land mine in front of it, and sit tight while my Action Points regenerate.
The NPCs feel like they have a personality which is a far cry over what the NPCs felt like in Morrowing and an improvement on the "main" NPCs in Oblivion. There are bad guys, there are good guys, and there are a lot of more generic NPCs that populate the isolated settlements and towns. All of the NPCs look significantly different and there have been a few that I was tempted to kill simply to steal their clothes. The quests have been different, fun, and full of the dark humor that made Fallout such a hit in my mind. I don't want to ruin anything but suffice it to say that many of the quests could have been pulled directly from the first game.
I think this game also strikes closer to home to me because I am from Bethesda, Maryland. I know many of these metro stops and locations that are found in the game (a lot of them are fictional) and was kinda spooked to find the metro stop that is next to my house. I love how they took D.C., the capital of the United States and symbol of freedom and utterly destroyed it. It really strikes home when you're wandering along dust strewn streets amidst dilapidated buildings and you hear patriotic music blaring form an Enclave robot.
The music in this game is excellent. It has that creepy, happy feel that we've come to associate with Fallout.
Whether you're a fan or not, I highly recommend this game. There are going to be people who hate it because it's not isometric, not turn based, and is developed by a company people hold a personal grudge against. To those people, I'd say broaden your mind and be receptive to new ideas. The old Fallout isn't going to come back, so take the plunge and head back into the wasteland again. You won't be dissapointed.
I have a confession to make.
Some of the games that I love, receive absolutely horrible "professional" review scores. Examples in point, Dynasty Warriors. For some reason these games, as similar as one is from the next, are just plain FUN! The Dynasty Warrior series is one of only three games that I could ever convince my (now ex) girlfriend to play. There is just something so FUN about cutting down hundreds upon hundreds of bad guys.
Sure, the gameplay isn't deep, it's not complex, there aren't a hundred buttons to mash with corresponding combos. And that's the reason why these games are just so dang fun. The philosophy is simple, you're a complete bad @#*(& who tears @#&* up. You don't mess around, you just cut people down by the hundreds.
It's easy to get involved in and the characters and story are loosely based on real world fact. It's these types of open-ended games that I really love. It's not about what the story tells you is true, it's about how you feel. I feel the same way playing Mount and Blade. There are some characterless NPCs who through their actions during my open-ended gameplay sessions have caused me to love or hate them. For whatever reason, maybe it was he saved my behind in one battle, I have nothing but the utmost respect for Lord Meltor of the Swadians in Mount ant Blade. This wasn't hard coded into the game, it just came about because of certain situations I've run into with him.
This, to me, is what makes a great video game. I can make my own stories. This is what I missed about the books I read when I was younger. I'd re-read the story and it always turned out to be the same. With open-ended games, I can make whatever story I want and it will change from time to time.
As a 28 year old male, I'm embarassed to admit it but I am looking forward to the new Harvest Moon game. Same philosphy, completely different setting.
Mount and Blade has finally been released! After 3 and a half years of waiting, the final version came out! It's definitely been fun playing a game through its various stages of development. I'm a little bittersweet that the final version has come, but now I can look forward to M&B 2!
I was looking at a message board for Super Smash Brothers, a Wii game, the other day and something really jumped out at me. People are truly horrible on the Internet. I mean, the sexual innuendo going on in that message board was over the top. Things like, "What would it be like to be inside Kirby."
When I was younger and was on Prodigy and Compuserve, I never saw things like this. I can't imagine letting my kids, when I eventually have some, reading some of the message boards nowadays which is a damn shame because it's fun to read about games.
I don't know if this is due to lack of moderators, the merger between GS and Gamefaqs, not caring, or what.
This evening's lecture will include the hot topic of the week, DRM! What is DRM you ask? DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. It basically means that you have a limit on the number of computers that you can install software on. So, if you own a company you can't just buy one copy of Microsoft Office and install it on ten thousand different PCs.
How does this effect me as a PC Gamer? Let's take a look at Spore. Spore allows you to install the game on 3 different computers. Well hell, I don't have 3 different computers what do I care? You may not have 3 computers now, but will you be on your third computer 10 years from now? Maybe.
This leads us to our the main topic for this evening. What if we carry over the DRM principles to the real world. For example, let's start with a box of Stouffer's macaroni and cheese (delicious). Say you have three guests coming over for dinner and being the classy guy that you are, you whip up some Stouffer's macaroni and cheese. Unfortunately for you, Stouffer's only allows three people to eat a single dish of their macaroni and cheese. You thought you were buying it? Ha! Stouffer's was actually giving you the priviledge of sharing THEIR macaroni and cheese with two other people. Horribly worried, since your guests are due to arrive soon, you frantically call Stouffer's to ask them for permission to have a fourth person eat the delicious creamy goodness of their Mac and Cheese. They say, "I'd love to help you, but no. We'd rather have you go buy another dish so we make money and you lose. By the way, you suck, we are awesome, and this call will cost you $3.99 a minute."
Now, imagine the same scenario but this time if you go and STEAL the Mac & Cheese from the grocery store, you can give it to as many people as you want! Lucky you, free deliciousness and you actually OWN what you stole!
Which of these scenarios sounds more appetizing to you?
When Call of Duty 4 first came out, my launch era 360 RROD on me a few minutes after I put my disc in. I counted myself lucky that it had lasted so long and had heard that the newer consoles didn't have this problem. Sent in my broken 360, got back a refurbished 360, and have been using it ever since.
If you look at my last blog post, you'll see that I was really looking forward to Tales of Vesperia. I get home from a 12 hour day of work this evening, open up my brand new copy of Tales of Vesperia, then decide to postpone the enjoyment. I walk my dog, eat some dinner, and finally settle down to play my much anticipated game.
I get to the opening movie and a few seconds in the screen freezes. Well, that's a bummer I better restart the console. Click the power button and.... RROD! LUCKY ME!
Honesly, in such an ultra-competitive environment how can a company release such garbage hardware onto the market. This is disgraceful. At this point, I feel like smashing my 360 into pieces, putting them in a box and wrapping them carefully in styrofoam, attaching a note that says, "YOUR CONSOLE IS A POS" and sending it in to Microsoft.
It looks like the RPG season is finally upon us, with a ton of new games coming over the next few months. I must admit, I'm looking forward to Tales of Vesperia a heck of a lot right now. Some people on the forums have been complaining about the lack of innovation in the Tales games, but the relative similarity is what keeps me coming back. I know what to expect and know that I like it. That's enough for me.
I've been playing Fallout 1 and 2 to get back into the Fallout groove, but the new one is so much different from the old that I'm a bit skeptical. However, I'm always willing to be pleasantly surprised. It will be interesting to see how successful Bethesda is at taking an isometric game with a die-hard, old-school fanbase and updating it for current gen gamers. As long as it can retain the old Fallout charm, I'll be a happy gamer.
I'm hoping that the upcoming games can revitalize my interest in gaming. Over the past several months I've forked over thousands of dollars for new games, even buying a PS3, but get bored with them very quickly. I haven't won a game since Mass Effect but have been buying a game every two weeks or so for the past several years. I feel like I keep looking for that one special game that I'll remember years down the road, like Final Fantasy 3 on the SNES, Ultima VII, or Fallout, but keep being dissapointed. Here's to hoping that the next few months bring back those feelings of being a part of an epic story!