Nov 182015 Tagged with , ,

Crawl out through the Fallout, baby. Fallout 4 Musings.

First and foremost, to set the mood I really think you should listen to Diamond City Radio while reading this. Shit I’m listening to this while writing it, and man this entire week I have had these jives stuck in my head. Lay that pistol down baby, it’s a man, and grandma did play the numbers.

I thought that last week was going to be a productive one for me. The quarter is winding down and I wanted to get a lot of these things off my to-do list that have been bugging me. Normally when I need to cross things off my list I have a system where I will play a game of DotA or CSGO, and if I lose I need to accomplish something before playing again. It helps keep me productive while I feed the gaming addiction.

Tuesday night I bought Fallout. I never played a full Fallout game or Elder Scrolls game before. I was not uber hyped like my friends for Fo4. Shit I haven’t even finished MGS5 yet. My fallout 3 experience was two hours long, before my game saved right before a crash, leaving my save unplayable. I didn’t know what to expect, but I decided “Oh, I will play a quest and then do some work, then play another quest.” L-o-fucking-l was that logic not going to work here.

After watching my wife be killed and my son kidnapped, I was hooked. The exposition was actually quite masterful, as I felt engaged and enamored with the world pre-bombs. I thought that the feux future reality was fun, and clearly that was just the beginning of my fun time. Out of the vault I wanted to do absolutely everything I could in the world. Fallout 4 is the first open world game (with the excretion of my LA biased GTA V experience) where I wanted to genuinely explore the map and find all of it’s little corners. I took off on every side quest I could find. My goal was to finish every side quest I could before doing the main quest as to consume as much content as possible. Little did I know at the time that some of these quests would be infinitely repeating. I figured there was a lot of things to do, but after someone giving me a similar quest for a 12th time, I did get a bit concerned.

Who needs a main story line quest tho when I could play Minecraft and sim city by building up my settlement. While the fun in this did peter off with the lack of options for building placement, and a horrid interface, I did take a lot of joy in rebuilding a settlement with defense food and nice bedrooms.

Eventually I did move on to the main story. By the time I got Valentine, that was not my primary quest at the time, but instead me exploring for bobble heads, another side adventure that entranced me for hours on end. By this point I was already level 30 and barely knew the Diamond City layout. I attribute my high experience not just from the time that was sunk into side quests and base building, but my skill build. As a Starcraft player I always look at games now with an element of “macro” game play. As such I figured that starting with 10 points in intelligence would allow me to level up even faster and be stronger. Sounded like a good idea to unlock more fun perks. I soon paid for my sins of neglecting strength when my puny body could not loot and carry much of anything. I just ran around a lot with my max sprint ability and traveled light. No hoarding for me.

Because of the way I leveled my character, I did not have a certain inclination for one type of gun. I got to use a lot of weapons to see which style I was having the most fun with. I really did not like the feel of shotguns or automatics because I was playing without V.A.T.S. This decision was not a conscious one, but just one that arose when I found myself not enjoying the targeting system too much. Once i got my hands on pistols and rifles with medium scopes, I was in heaven. I could shoot exclusively head shots with high damage weapons without the use of V.A.T.S. I could sneak around or pick people off as they rushed my face. I kept this style and only slightly modified guns for the majority of my play through.

While exploring some of the most remarkable moments I had were not scripted, but instead put in place by the prop artists. By the arrangement of dead skeletons, props, and other random things (bloody bowling pin sticking out of the toilet, I remember you) I constantly found myself just appreciating the attention to detail in the scenery. I would also make up stories about what happened to these people before the bomb hit.

For me when I committed to finishing up the main quest line, mostly because my friends were doing the same and I wanted to discuss it with them, I began to be off put by the script. SPOILERS AHEAD YO DONT SAY I DIDNT WARN YA. I was an institute boy. The whole time I wanted to find my son, and I did. I sympathized with Synths and loved that there was a place that was rebuilding a between world after the bomb, even if they had to do some bad things to reach their end goal. My son was cool and I supported him, just like I think a dad should. But by the time I was playing these last few missions, everything felt so predictable. Rid the wasteland of the other factions. Dad dies. You’re kind. La de facking da how anti climatic after all of that tense buildup. When I saw that video roll at the end to signify I “beat the game” I was relieved, but not happy.

Ya see I threw a solid 50 hours into Fallout in a five day span. That’s more than a full time job and I’m not proud of it at all. However the time was enjoyed. The combat, the environments, some of the story. One of the highlights for me was being able to discuss and compare events between my two friends also playing their own stories alongside mine. I finished at level 52 and feel no real need to go back and find different endings or stories. I like committing down one story line without loading any quick saves. What happens happens in my world and I stuck with it. Even if I didn’t get to see the institute go boom.

Aug 212015 Tagged with ,

Yoshi’s New Island

There are very few games from my childhood that I remember more fondly than Yoshi’s Island. The SNES I had in my living room was my first console, my grandmother gave it to me, and I had very limited games. I don’t know who bought them or where they came from, but I bounced around playing a bunch of different things. Often times with my dad we would just sit there and laugh as he would watch me flair around not really knowing what I was doing.

Yoshi’s Island was always my favorite. I think it was because I had some affinity to Yoshi in the first place. I loved the concept, music, looking for all the secrets in the levels, and the mechanics felt real solid on the game.

With that being said, Yoshi’s NEW Island for the 3DS is something I just finished on my trip to Seattle, and I honestly was so disappointing that it made me sad. I was scared going into it that it could not live up to the original. I have played the original on SNES and emulators multiple times through the years, and enjoyed it every time. Not just because of the nostalgia, but because it is a solid game for me.

YNI gave that injection of nostalgia, but delivered not on the game play I loved. I felt the entire thing to be so tedious. I did not want to find all the coins and flowers, and instead rushed through levels because I was so un-engaged that I couldn’t care less. I wanted to be able to finish the game and play it all, which all in all was not that long.

Why on earth did they not make aiming the eggs a smoother process? Why did they change the transformation sections around to be wonky as shit? Why does the level select screen look like trash? Why is there zero inspiration or improvement on this game?

Maybe it is just because i was so in love with the original and it still holds a firm place in my heart, but this new version really is worth all the bad reviews it gets. Sigh.