Saturday, November 15, 2008

A trip to post-apocalyptic D.C

The basis for the setting of Fallout 3 is both refreshing and depressing at the same time -- how many RPGs out there throw you in a world in which a massive nuclear fallout almost wiped out the whole population on Earth except for those lucky few who were in the vaults at the time of the fallout (& a those unlucky few who didn't die from the fallout, but underwent horrible mutations)? We have seen tons of RPGs whose plots are set in the medieval/fantasy era (Neverwinter Nights, Oblivion, Baldur's Gate) and a few good space-themed ones (Mass Effect, KOTOR); however, I believe Fallout can be considered to be in a world of its own, at least in terms of popular post apocalyptic RPG. What makes the setting of Fallout even more interesting is the fact that in the world of Fallout, technology and cultural ideologies actually came to a halt in the 1950s. Hence, the advanced technology that you see in the world of Fallout mirrors what people in the 50s had envisioned how the world would be like in the future. Computers are still stuck in monochrome, radio stations are still playing songs from The Ink Spots, and robots look nowhere as cool as the Transformers.

Then comes the depressing part -- upon setting foot out of the vault, what awaits you is not a world of lush greenery (read: Oblivion), but a vast plain of wasteland. The best one word description I have for Fallout 3 would be "brown". There are not birds chirping in the trees, no rustling of grasses due to the wind. If you set the music volume down and turn of the radio of your Pip Boy, all that you can expect is silence. That, or the distant growling of ghouls or mutants. Bethesda has succeeded in creating a genuinely believable atmosphere for Fallout 3.

Having said that, somehow I had wished Fallout 3 had been a joint production between Bethesda and Valve. In Bethesda, you have one of the best company when it comes to making an open world game that gives the player unlimited amount of freedom when it comes to choosing how they want to go about playing the game and complete their quests. And in Valve, you have arguably the best and most experienced talents when it comes to creating believable, lifelike character models that comes with their own unique emotions, and also a knack for story-telling in real time (i.e. not cutscenes).

All in all, I'm enjoying every bit of the 20 hours I've put into Fallout 3 so far. Sure, there are quite a handful of bugs and stupid AI scripting (which I find it hilarious and see it as a proof that it is a Bethesda game, as Fallout 3 shares so many of the same problems as Oblivion), and apparently there are a few game ending bugs in the ps3 version, which thankfully I've yet to encounter. One gripe though: the radio station is way too repetitive. Listening to GNR for a good ten minutes and you'll find yourself listening to the same old song and and talk from its DJ, Three Dog, whose howling every time he ends his speech started to get annoying. Well, I suppose not all games can have as brilliant a radio soundtrack as that of Vice City.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wipeout HD!

Finally got Wipeout HD last night! The graphics is super super super gorgeous... Much more gorgeous than MGS4, I must say. SCEE Liverpool really did a good job; and most importantly, throughout my hour or so of gameplay yesterday, I did not notice any framerate drop. The game was as smooth as butter. Keep a look out at this blog in the near future, will be uploading some out of the world screenshots of the game using the in game photo mode :D

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fallout Awesomeness

This clip has just turned me into a believer. Initially I was still a bit skeptical over this game, but after watching the 5 part gameplay walkthrough, I am convinced that this game will be fun. I'm quite tempted to get the PS3 version over the PC version even though the latter will support user created mods, however, I am quite excited to play the game in HD with my future HD TV :p

Castle Crashers

Ooh this game looks so fun. Reminds me a lot of old 2D brawlers like Streets of Rage, Golden Axe etc. I sure hope the developers port it over to PSN some time in the future, minus all the serious bug issues that came with it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

An apology

I've slowly, yet reluctantly, come to accept the fact that I just can't write reviews for nuts. You may have noticed my continuous delay of reviews of MGS 4 and Oblivion. It's not that I dread writing wordy stuffs (or maybe I really do), it's just that whenever I feel like writing, my mind suddenly goes blank. I forgot what I want to write about, or how I want to go about writing it. So, an apology to all those, if there are any, who are waiting for my review of the 2 games I have mentioned above. Now on, I am going to adopt a new review system. It will be brief, with my personal list of likes and dislikes of the game (in point form) and then a 1 sentence verdict to sum up my feeling of the game (eg "Fuck Yeah!", "What a PoS", "Don't bother" etc.)

My order of Burnout Paradise for the PS3 and Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP from Playasia just arrived on Tuesday (The latter cost me ~SGD35, 14 bucks cheaper than the retail price in the local stores), and I am having a good time playing Burnout. The crashing of the cars seem pretty addictive, and for a racing game, the game sure has a good sense of speed. There are times I feel that my car is too fast and I'm losing control over it. Castlevania, on the other hand, is one heck of a tough game. Damn it, I really need to go find any cheats to get infiinite continues... That game is really for the hardcore players.

I guess that's all for now. Cya.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

WotLK Opening Cinematic: full of awesomeness

I really have to take my hats off Blizzard. Once again, they have outdone themselves with the just revealed Wrath of the Lich King opening cinematic. By the end of the cinematic, I felt a tinge of sadness and pity over Arthas' corruption. It truly is an epic manner to start off a new WoW expansion pack.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Who cares about the damn emperor's heir

Apologies for the lack of update of this blog, and the much delayed MGS 4 review, as I have been hooked to a game called The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion ever since I stopped working. As of yesterday, I am approximately 75 hours into the game, and I have done only 4 of the main quests so far. Honestly, who gives a shit about finding the late emperor's heir and closing the Oblivion gates when there is so much for you to explore and do in Cyrodill? Saving the world can wait.

I refuse to review the game until I have at least completed the main quest (on a side note: I've barely touched the contents in Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine), but so far the impression has been pretty positive. I played the game for freaking 75 hours -- I would be at least quite interested in the game to invest so much time into it, right?! The main appeal of the game is the lush environment and the sheer amount of freedom I have when it comes to exploration and completing the quests. Also, the game doesn't really force to adhere to one specific class for your character. My character's core class is a Knight, but he has no trouble dishing out magical attacks, summoning kickass Daedra and sneaking around houses and stealing stuffs. That said, the one gripe I have with the game, which kind of annoys me at certain parts of the game, is that the magnitude of freedom of the game is equaled by the stupidity of the NPCs' AI. After playing this game, it really leaves me scratching my head when I recall the game boasting realistic NPCs with its Radiant AI and daily scripted routines.

School is starting soon, I'll be in a rush to at least complete the main storyline for the game. Be sure to check out my blog for reviews on MGS 4 and Oblivion.