Friday, 19 November 2010
Upon hearing about a legendary horse, I hopped upon my soon-to-be-redundant steed and made way for Perdido to start the hunt. It wasn't too long ago since I'd saved a town from being overrun, so my ammo was running a bit low. Imagine my suprise when I found a camp up ahead with a box full of ammo. Now the guy had just managed to find some food, and was just remarking on how lucky he was that he hadn't gone insane yet and politely asked if i wanted to sit for a while and share some food. Silently, I made my way past and opened the box of ammo and took everything I could find. Understandably, the guy saw this breach of trust and took it upon himself to kill me and take back his supplies. Since I'd been anticipating a horse appearing at any minute, my lasso was the 'weapon' I had equipped and within seconds I had the guy disarmed and hogtied. He started begging for mercy and freedom, but I ignored everything he said while lifting him on my back and carrying a way out near a crowd of zombies. Reaching into my pack, I found a bottle of undead bait, threw it on the ground quite close to the guy and watched as some of the undead noticed the intriguing smell. I whistled for my horse and rode off away from the screams and sobbing.
I've shot my own horse so I could sell its skin. I've lassoed nuns and dropped them onto train tracks. I've killed men while their spouses watched. However, this act of torture is the act I'm pretty sure Satan is going to remind me about when he's setting up my room in the underworld.
Saturday, 30 October 2010
Today's topic is, you've guessed it, Fallout: New Vegas. Also known as Fallout 3-2.
My dad and I both got a copy each when it was released last Thursday and since then we've barely talked about anything that wasn't related to the wasteland. The main reason for this is the size of the game. You start walking in one direction and all of a sudden you discover a town with a lot of loot, a small populace, a questline and some enemies to sort out. Each town has its own little quirks and some of the people are genuinely interesting. For example, a gang full of Elvis impersonators. The amount of things to see and places to go always astounds me as I can sit down to complete a quest, and 5 hours later I've picked up 4 others, discovered a few places and gotten no further in the storyline. Obsidian Entertainment have produced a huge environment you can wander around for hours on end.
The main plot of the game seems a lot shorter than Fallout 3, though it makes up with slightly better writing. Without wanting to spoil too much, the majority of the plot is based on revenge and power rather than F3's "Let's catch up with daddy for no good reason and see what's happening." The plot was a lot more interesting and for once you feel like you're actually making a difference, rather than just following the people in charge and watching them work while you kill some enemies.
The companions you can acquire have also improved, as they do not care about your karma when joining and give you a temporary perk while they are in your party. After a time, a member might ask you to do a certain questline which improves the perk in the same way Mass Effect 2 manages your crew members. Mechanics aside, each personality has their own charm. Whether it's Veronica's jokes or ED-E's use of music to tell you enemies are here there's a lot of fun to be had with each one. Plus, Danny Trejo and Felicia Day play Raul and Veronica, respectively. And yes, you get a dog in this game as well. Let me be the first to say that he's much better than Dogmeat, and I loved that dog.
Even the character creation is improved. You wake up after an attack and check the good doctor who saves you put your face in the right place and didn't mess around with that brain of yours. It's a less traumatic scene than watching your birth and then the loss of a parent. And I have to add that the tutorial is vastly improved, since you can actually skip it this time. The joy I felt when I saw the option to [SKIP TUTORIAL] was insurmountable. Although, if you do go through with it it only lasts about 5 minutes and you get a few extra caps to start you off, so don't be expecting another half hour long vault opening.
In terms of weapons, the game brings back some of your old favourites such as the Fatman and the Flamer and then adds to the collection. There are tons of added weapons, and each now gets their own mods to go with it. Depending on the mod, these can reduce the spread or reduce the weight, or even increase the ammo capacity.
New Vegas has a lot less perks than Fallout 3, and makes up for this by offering one every second level, which can get quite annoying when you have to wait longer to get the next. From the few perks you're offered it isn't a bad selection, with the exception of the traits during character creation.
Hardcore mode was added to the game for those who wanted a bigger challenge. Instead, it adds an annoyance. Sleep, Hunger, and Thirst are now measured and increase over time, meaning after sleeping for a long period of time or walking halfway across the map you'll be thirsty. This decreases certain skills in the same way radiation poisoning works, so it's best to weigh yourself down with food and water rather than weapons. Speaking of which, ammo also weighs you down and certain calibres have different weights. If you want to carry missiles around, you'd better not plan on having anything else at all in your pack or walking anywhere anytime soon. Stimpacks now heal over time rather than giving you health on the spot, so combat becomes a lot more about strategizing when to use health boosts. Companions are no longer invulnerable and can be killed during combat, meaning that quest you just spent the past hour on is gone thanks to one gang member and a lead pipe. I'll admit hardcore mods was fun at times, as it added an extra layer of difficulty, but more often than not the fact that I couldn't pick up any loot because of my ammo hoarding annoyed me. (Although the achievement was totally worth it.)
By now if you've read anything about the game it'll be about the various bugs and glitches in the game. I know only too well that the game has it's fair share of problems. Hell, it took me almost 4 hours just to get the thing running. The game has crashed many times while just walking down the road and some strange behaviour in the AI doesn't help with the immersion. Going into this I knew there were going to be annoyances such as these, but I realise some people aren't as tolerant of bugs, so beware of them. The good news is that the developers are busy releasing patches and working to get rid of the bugs.
It may sound like I spent a lot of time talking about how much better this game is than Fallout 3, but thats because there's not a whole lot of new content. Sure, there's improved content, but if you've played and enjoyed Fallout 3 it's more of the same, which is not entirely a bad thing.
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Last time, I decided that Megaton had overstayed its welcome. Thankfully, a guy I'd known for the whole of 5 seconds had given me a device which would detonate the bomb in the centre of town so...you know...yay. How he decides that a guy who hasn't even seen night-time yet gets to destroy a town is beyond me but I'm not going to question the guy giving me caps. Anyway, the journey across the wasteland begins.
|I'm pretty sure I won't.|
“Have a nice day, sheriff.”
I hope he doesn't pick up on my laughing. He stops. Shit. You know what I don't do enough of? Running away.
|Looks like somebody doesn't know how dibs works.|
“I can do you one better than that!”
|Murdered for a kitchen. I do not have issues.|
|Zak Stoneball: Homeowner|
Gee, good to see the town guard is observant. His blindness actually makes a whole lot of sense, seen as he probably thought this bridge was a great place to live.
“Do I look like I just stepped out of Tenpenny Tower?”
|"Your husband's a douche. It's his fault you're going to be dead soon."|
|If this doesn't look like a good place to rest, I don't know what does.|
“Yeah. Oh, that reminds me, they're all dead. It wasn't me. Actually, it was like that when I got there.”
“What?! So...you went around to everyone's house, found a murdered family, FELL ASLEEP, and came back seven hours after I put you on an urgent mission to check on three houses?”
“That about sums it up yeah. Are you sure you're not going to pay me for this? I did a good job I think.”
“Wolves? I don't know, I barely looked. They were all icky”
Sunday, 15 August 2010
|What a friendly looking place.|
|It's like Satan impregnated my nightmares.|
|Wasteland paradise, apparently.|
|The voice of an angel, if the angel had been smacked in the knackers.|
|Does he charge in brains instead of caps?|
|SHE KNOWS TOO MUCH.|
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
|If your hair isn't colourful and wacky, you're not doing the apocalypse right.|
|I really wanted to put all the points into Strength.|
|The first of many guards who inexplicably die while I'm in the vicinity.|
|Sadly there was no option to tell him to eat a dick.|
|The bat slipped. Multiple times. It was the Radroach's fault!|
|I don't like it. Well...this was worth it? Good thing I never liked the guy or I'd feel guilty.|
Monday, 9 August 2010
Not content with ruining my dinosaur session, she also seems to think the best view in my room comes from the area in front of the monitor. Now I wouldn't be angry, but she only ever manages to think this when I need the monitor for looking at things. Pushing her off only tells her that I don't want her to sit there, which she translates to "Please sit on my mousemat. You like mice, right?" Chances are if I'm using my computer, the mouse would be a pretty handy tool as it helps to click on things.
Again, she's moved and is sat on my mousemat, looking over my room like she owns the place. I've never felt so imasculated. I'm being overthrown in my own domain my a creature who can barely reach my knees.
Does this happen to everyone, or does my cat just really like the internet and want to join in?
I don't mean to one of 'those' people who always talks about their cat, so here's just the one post. Be glad I didn't include pictures with hilarious captions in grammatically incorrect ways. Tune in next time for a post about dogs!
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
4:10pm: Oh God, it's that damn song. Are you happy, mother?! I'm already regretting your decision.
4:11pm: JESUS! What's that?! Who? Noel? Huh, what a strange man.
4:13pm: Why are the audience still clapping? Are those actually people or just robots designed to clap endlessly? I honestly can't tell.
4:15pm: So we've seen the contestant for a full minute and I already want her to stop breathing. Why is she laughing at everything? That's not funny. STOP ENCOURAGING NOEL! HE'LL ONLY CARRY ON!
4:16pm: Finally, they've picked the first box. Wow, only the first box? It feels like a year since I turned this on.
4:16:30pm: HA! The Gods have failed you! Have I ever told you I love the colour red?
4: 17pm: Ok, so the largest number has been eliminated. Can we stop watching now? Why are you looking at me like that?
4:19pm: Oh, we get to see the rest of the people there. Because that's what I wanted to see, the people who didn't make it through today.
4:20pm: Ok, laughing at Noel I can understand. I like you a little bit more. Keep doing that.
4:21:30pm: Stop laughing! It wasn't that funny!
4:22pm: So I'm back to not liking you again. Congratulations.
4:23pm: Adverts? Goodie! Freedom! I've never been happier to see people shouting at me telling me to buy insurance for things.
4:27pm: On no, we're back. I miss people shouting at me.
4:30pm: So apparently picking the 1p box is the greatest achievement in the history of mankind.
4:31pm: Why are they still clapping and cheering? It's not their money.
4:33pm: Now she picked a red and they start clapping again. This game has stopped making sense.
4:35pm: Why are people offering encouragement? I'd be happy to leave that place with at least £100.
4:36pm: Actually, I'd just be happy to leave that place. I'd take a lot to get me there in the first place actually. Maybe some sort of kidnapping.
4:44pm: Why is she crying and talking about her family and debts. Wasn't this a 'happy' program 20 seconds ago.
4:45pm: Oh good, more nervous laughter. I missed that noise.
4:50pm: "Stand up if you would gamble." Yes, because the audience matter. Those clapping robots have a totally unbiased view on this, you know with them taking home some of the money themselves. What's that? They don't? Then what's the point of this?!
4:51pm: So she's basing her decision to win or lose a bit of money on a load of people who stood up. What a great decision maker.
4:53pm: Everyone cheer! She's slightly richer than she was before! This is a big part of your life and you should show it!
4:56pm: Thanks mum, I didn't need those brain cells after all. Whats next? ...Come Dine With Me?! I'll be over here with this noose. Pay me no attention.
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
First off, the NPCs in the game had huge dialog trees, and it really felt like you were forming a bond with them. It seemed like each NPC had their own personality, and I didn't see a single repeated model. The dynamic clothing system was also a nice touch which helped immersion. The voice acting is also superb, although I didn't recognise any of the voice actors. The facial expressions given usually match up perfectly to the voices which almost makes me wonder how such a perfect system was coded.
You need these NPCs to help you complete the many tasks the education system gives you, which are usually in the form of essays or code generating. Some of them tell you about topics in the background while you play the drawing and sleeping minigames which I found really rewarding. However, it is VERY important to pay attention to the information you're told, as you are tested on it at the end of each level. This is easy enough during the drawing, but the volume turns down and everything goes black during the sleeping minigame, so it is much harder. There's also something about the game which throws this minigame your way during the most important topics, which I thought was a cheap shot.
At the end of each day you have the option to study what you learnt, allowing certain topics to be easily recalled whenever they're needed, or doing one of the many minigames the game offers. These include increasing your social standing with certain characters, playing one of the ingame video games, or taking part in the drinking minigame, which I'll talk about in greater detail later.
After each level, as stated, you are tested on what you've been told, but this grade is added together with your grade from other minigames given by the teaching NPCs. You are usually told to go and write and essay using the knowledge you've been taught so far. This is where the game really shines, as you can talk to the other characters and gain more knowledge, or you can go the evil route and steal their work. Enter the influence level, which admittedly needs some work. Certain acts gain bad influence, meaning the characters don't treat you with as much respect, and can even start to dislike you depending on the action you took. This influence level can end the game for you if it goes too low, so it is important to keep it up, which doesn't allow for much experimentation with different methods. Apart from this small point, it really shines through, as each character knows everything you did, and your actions sometimes get brought up in conversation, which was suprising to hear, and sometimes very rewarding.
The customisation is another great factor of the game, as there is literally millions of combinations of clothing styles. The game boasts hundreds of shops in the city you choose to start in, which each provide different unlockables for your character. My only concern is once you take an item out of your wardrobe to throw it away, you have to unlock the item again. I'm not sure if this was a bug or intentionaly programmed in. You unlock items by spending money which you get given each year, and through more minigames. The amount you get each year is determined on your character creation, and some stats you gave yourself, as well as your parents and family, so I hope you have a good background prepared for your character. This money spawns at the start of the year and in installments throughout the game, so you should always have something to carry the game on. If you unlock too many items, you need to play some minigames to get the monetary rewards. This requires you going to one of the shops or buildings and asking if you can play the minigame. Sometimes you get lucky and you proceed to play the games, but you can only play them at certain times of certain days, with each building having different rules. Once you've unlocked yourself your clothes, you can also work on your appearence. There are hundreds of different styles of hair styles and colours, with the hair length growing each day, allowing for a lot of change should you require it.
There is also a drinking mechanism in the game which gives you some really cool effects. Once you drink a certain type of drink, the screen goes nuts, and your character gets harder to control. You may see yourself falling over, shouting dialogue at others even though you didn't choose an option, or even jumping into bouts of dancing at inopportune moments. A very fun distraction, but if this action is taken too much you start to become addicted which makes the game more about this mechanic instead of the education aspect.
All in all, it is a very rewarding game, but with a huge price tag of £3000+ a year. I can only recommend this to hardcore fans of the genre as it doesn't seem to be for everyone.
Sunday, 13 June 2010
Below are some of the things I have to look forward to every four years and which help to greaten my dislike of the majority of the human race.
Those damn flags:
Are the flags really necessary? Chances are, we know who you're going to be supporting. I don't see the point in sticking a flag out of the window or covering houses in the things, but apparently most of the population do. A short trip turns into a loating for the colours red and white as you pass hundreds of cars sporting the flags. Though it does allow you to preemptively know which houses not to visit.
No other conversation matter:
I don't like football. I don't watch football. I don't know any players in our team. And yet I'm having discussions with my dad about what went on in that last hour and a half because nothing else has happened recently. The country has ground to a halt to wait to see what happens with those guys halfway across the world.
TV goes crazy:
Quality programmes? Nope, here's a load of adverts about football. News reports? Nah, footballers are more important. I can't remember the last time I turned on the TV to find something other than a football being onscreen. Well...there was the time I turned over to see a show with the set covered in England flags.
Every tournament, we get a buttload of easily forgotten anthems, the most popular being 'Three Lions'. I don't know what brings people to wail about how awesome England is, but I want it to stop.
Endless Facebook updates:
I only use Facebook here as it's the current social network in mainstream use, but whatever the network is, you can be assured every other message sent is in regard to the World Cup. When something interesting happens, it's custom to go straight to Facebook and tell the world what just occured. This isn't the thing that bothers me since it's the entire purpose of that box. The annoyances start when a thousand others post the exact same thing. If someone scores, I hope you weren't hoping for any interesting updates for the next few minutes as everyone goes to post their love/hate of the goal/player/team/all of the above. I can't wait for the World Cup to be over so I can go back to reading about what meals people have been eating recently.
Saturday, 3 April 2010
- If Jesus knew he'd rise from the dead, why didn't he have better miracles. Walking on water is all good, but if you really want to screw with people you'd cut your own head off.
- What's the deal with easter eggs? Eggs don't represent new life, they represent breakfast. Or horny chickens.
- Did people know what zombies were, or had they not encountered one before? I guess they would have left out the part where Judas calls Jesus a 'frigging zombie' out of the Bible.
- They made Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The next and most logical step is The New Testament and zombies. Or is somebody working on that? Would it be a faux pas to ask a priest about it?
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
I must have been going insane with boredom and needed some air. Sadly, if there is a God, he has a taste for the ironic. Air was exactly what I was getting, as the plane broke apart and travelled slightly more vertically than I anticipated. Down we went, and then under we went, as the plane hit the water. Struggling to breathe, I made it to the surface.
Around me, charred corpses and a ring of fire. Wait, a lighthouse? Convenient. As I made my way to the only dry land I expect to see for a while, I see remnants of the plane exploding and sinking. Serves them right for the crappy meals they served. And where the hell was that drinks cart? I sit back and watch the tail go under for a while, wondering how I'd go about getting my money back for the ticket.
After shouting out for any survivors, I walk inside the building. Behind me, doors shut. After figuring I just fell for Rule #1 of B-movie horror flicks, the lights come on to reveal the most poorly designed lighthouse ever. Who the hell changed the light at the top, and how the hell do they get there? All I see is a large man, staring at me from the wall. Well, I may as well look for a phone or something.
As I carry on, lights keep turning on to guide my path. Either someone's watching me, or this is some sweet motion sensor. I finally get to some sort of lift. Only it doesn't go up. I don't know if it was because I hadn't seen enough water yet, or because there was nothing else to do, but I got in. That was my first mistake.
As the sub lowered, I was treated to a film. Great, even in-flight movies in submarines have ads. After paying attention to a guy talk about politics or something (I was trying to find the remote) the window opened to show something I've never seen before.
A city! Underwater! Who built this? And why? They hired contractors to built this under all this pressure? Why wasn't this on the news?! The whale over there could just bump into a building and kill hundreds!
I heard an Irish man talking about my plance crash over some sort of intercom. Thank God, people. Maybe they can get me out of this deathtrap and back to land. I felt an unnatural hatred for water already.
As I rise to meet my 'rescuers', I see 'Johnny' back away from some woman. Hoping for a good punch up, I keep watching. What I wasn't counting on was the woman to stick a scythe into his gut. I quickly scan the area for weapons, finding nothing. Well...I always wanted to die inside a lift in an underwater city. I guess. Suddenly, the woman runs off, leaving me with the familiar voice coming from an intercom. "Would you kindly pick up that shortwave radio" Would you kindly get me out of here?! I just saw a guy get killed and you want a chat?
Luggage and picket signs were strewn everywhere in this room. It looks like I missed some party. After following the disembodied voices and noises (I'd be terrible in a horror film) my radio buddy tells me to find a crowbar to fend off the so called 'splicers'. How a crowbar is superior to a scythe I don't know, but it's not like there's much here. I find a wrench, hoping it fares high on the guy's 'List of tools to be used as weapons'. Moving on, a 'splicer' throws a flaming couch at me.
I guess this city has never heard of guns.
Saturday, 6 March 2010
I turned to see what we'd hit, and saw some sort of dog lying in the road. I could have sworn it's mouth was messed up, or it had scales or something, but I put this down to travelling at fast speeds and the booze still playing tricks on me. I hope I never see what I thought I saw, because that was just terrifying. “Wake up!” I heard from the front of the bus. That voice sounded too familiar. I started to ask if he'd been talking while I was asleep, but he just started asking whose stop it was. I went to try to get back to sleep, when all of a sudden I had a woman speak to me. I thought it was the lady behind me, but she just seemed to be meditating. What happened next I still can't explain. It was like a hologram appeared in front of me and started talking to me. Either no-one noticed or it was normal business around here. Before I could discuss the implications of appearing like this, she told me to get off the bus. Did she not realise I was lost and had a plan? Or did she just want me to give up any hope of going home. Does this count as kidnapping, actually? Before I knew it, I was stood up, and walking towards the front of the bus. I went to ask the driver whether he was telling me stories while I slept, because that's just creepy, and realised I could ask him about this woman. Before I could decide which to ask, he tells me to get off his bus. Forgetting' his tip, I leave.
Recalling the 'conversation' I just had, the woman told me to meet a small, funny robot who'll guide me to my goal. There was nothing. Well, there was an annoying robot, who was pretty small I guess, but there was no way I was following him. “This way please!” he shouted. I turned away to admire the scenery. I saw a gun on the floor, which was probably rusted to hell. Firing a shot off at the robot, I found it fully worked. Excellent. Walking over to admire the damage, I found that the shot had done no damage to the robot, when I had a thought which terrified me. Maybe this was the robot I was meant to follow. Which meant my 'advisor', for want of a better name, had a terrible sense of humor. Sighing, I followed the robot's instructions. He was saying something about a station which stored my DNA. I must have missed the law passed to build these, as that just sounds like it'd be ripe with misuse. I don't even see the relevance for me. From the way the robot's talking, it'd only be useful if I was planning to be harmed during this trip. Nonetheless, I reluctantly touched the device, which seems like that's all I needed to do. The robot seemed happy. Wait, what was that he said about 'horrific death insurance'? I won't need that, right. Right?!
He didn't answer, and walked off, when all of a sudden I heard a rumbling, and a convoy of cars flew overhead, firing bullets in random directions. Damn, I'm not going to enjoy this trip, am I?