Jay’s Internet Log

Tag: Fallout 3

1000/1000 Club

by on May.07, 2013, under Gaming, General

[UPDATE] – I seem to consistently update this post, so I will place the newest update in red from now on.  Carry on.

People on the GameFAQS boards constantly tell everyone else when they’ve completed the board’s game 100% with the maximum 1000 gamerpoints per game.  I thought I’d start my own little section here for this since, well, this is my site and I can do whatever I want really.  So here goes!

Call of Duty 4 – 1000/1000 on 1-21-2008

This game, as some of you know, has become one of my favorite alltime games, not for the single player but for the multiplayer.  At this writing, I’ve amassed over 500 hours on online play.  Achievements however were only awarded for the single player campaign, and some of the harder ones were REALLY hard.  I would have to say that beating “One Shot One Kill” and “No Fighting in the War Room” on Veteran dificulty caused me the most mental anguish.  The last level, “Mile High Club”, though fun on Normal difficulty, became a nightmare on Veteran, though it felt SO good to complete it, knowing that all that was left to do in order to 100% the game was find a few tapes and destory a lot of televisions :)

Fallout 3 – 1000/1000 on 12-15-2008

If you’ve read anything on this site about Fallout 3, you know that I’ve really enjoyed it.  From being a game that I told myself I would never get to being one that I will probably never forget, Fallout 3 is a complete masterpiece, and I’m sad that the story is over.  It took me about 75 hours to 100% it and the entire time was like a wild rollercoaster ride.  I won’t spoil the ending here, but it was pretty sweet.  Bethesda is releasing some DLC for this game which I will most definitely pick up, as it is one of the most engaging games I’ve ever played.
[UPDATE - 1-29-2009 - 1100/1100 now after Operation Anchorage DLC]
[UPDATE - 3-27-2009 - 1200/1200 now after The Pitt DLC]
[UPDATE - 5-20-2009 - 1350/1350 now after Broken Steel DLC]
[UPDATE - 7-6-2009 - 1450/1450 now after Point Lookout DLC]
[UPDATE - 8-11-2009 - 1550/1550 now after Mothership Zeta DLC]
Since Bethesda has not announced any further DLC for this masterpiece, I am taking this as the end for me. If they do decide to release more, I will pick it up, but if they don’t, then the ride was a great one and I will look forward to the next game in this series. Fallout 3 is easily one of the best experiences in gaming that I’ve ever had, took up 1497 save files, and lasted me well over 120 hours.

Tales of Vesperia – 1000/1000 on 12-28-2008

This has been months in the making and I can finally say that I have completed this masterpiece.  The “Tales of” series is huge in Japan and I have played two of the games in the series: Tales of Symphonia on the Gamecube, and now Tales of Vesperia on the 360.  These games are traditional Japanese Role Playing Games, meaning the style is very anime and the characters have a lot of personality.  They also implement a crazy live action battle system, which make them a complete joy to play.  Anyways, I played through Tales of Vesperia from launch day until I beat the game about a month later, totaling about 95 hours.  I then immediately started over again, and played through it again to tie up all loose ends and basically get everything in the game, which took another 50-60 hours.  The last two achievements would require a third playthrough, one for finishing the first chapter at a very low level, and another for finishing the game within 15 hours.  All in all, I finished this playthrough in 9:37:31, ranked 791 on the leaderboards for time, and the entire playtime for me is about 173 hours.  I have done everything there is to do in this game, probably a few times, and all I can say is that it is by far the best JRPG I’ve ever played and I’m really looking forward to Namco’s next installment of this great series.  Tales of Vesperia is an epic, long journey that is worth playing for anyone who either likes the series or the genre in the slightest bit.

Fable II – 1100/1100 on 1-25-2009

I consider this to actually be 1300/1300 as I have fully completed the Fable II Pub Games as well. Fable II was a game that I have owned for many months, but stopped playing almost immediately as it was horribly bugged and people were complaining that their games glitched out and got wrecked. This scared me, so I played Fallout 3 instead. A few weeks back, Fable II was patched so I started playing it again. It is a blast to play and is very relaxing. Albion has a very medieval feel to it and you can basically do whatever you want, whenever you want. As far as achievements go, this game has them brilliantly placed. There are only a handful of story-based achievements, and Fable II focuses more on craziness when it comes to them. There’s one for kicking a chicken. There’s one for killing a rabbit. There’s one for shooting the weapons out of an enemy and then hitting him with a headshot. There are so many weird achievements. Some of them require you meeting people online and trading items with them. This can be tedious, but I met some nice people that way. I bought the Knothole Island expansion pack, which honestly only takes about an hour or two to complete, so $10 might be a bit high for it, but I really enjoyed it and the new weapons that it adds. It also adds another 100 to the score, so that’s why this one is more than 1000. I’m not really “done” with this game as there are other things that need to be done in it, but for some reason, there aren’t any achievements for them. I think it would have been cool to have an achievement for opening all of the demon doors for example. Overall, this is an excellent game if you don’t run into a crazy bug along the way!
[UPDATE - 6-4-2009 - 1350/1350 now after See the Future DLC]

Resident Evil 5 – 1000/1000 on 4-1-2009

I had been looking forward to Resident Evil 5 for a few years now, and told myself that I would be taking the release day off of work when it was announced last summer. More on that can be read here but this update is to discuss the game after full completion. That is to say the story mode of the game. Resident Evil titles seem to consistently change with each incarnation, and fans seem to always have some sort of problem with that. I’ve learned to take it as Capcom gives it and enjoy what they’ve created. Resident Evil 5 is without a doubt my favorite in the series, seconded only to the genre-changing Resident Evil 4. The addition of co-op to 5 worried me as so many game publishers are just trying to slap on the words “co-op” as marketing strategies, but when realized, they don’t add anything or are completely one-sided towards the host. I don’t think that Capcom could have done any better with their implementation of co-op, and in this game playing with someone else over XBL trumps the single player in every single way. Finishing this title to 100% took just over 43 hours, making it one of the shorter games I’ve played to get every achievement in. It is truly a masterpiece and I am now going to tackle The Mercenaries, an arcade-like minigame of sorts that is packaged with Resident Evil titles. In a few weeks, Capcom will be releasing an online versus mode based on The Mercenaries, so it’s time to train!

Lost: Via Domus – 1000/1000 on 6-28-2009
Lost: Via Domus                       I’ve been trying to think about how to put this back when I was still playing the game and knowing that I’d be writing a little blurb about it eventually for all of probably 3 people to see, but this is easily one of the worst games I’ve ever played. For anyone who knows me well enough, you know that I adore the show Lost. It’s my favorite television show that is on television now, and may be of all time. I’m thinking about The A-Team here, but I kind of put them in two totally different categories, so we’ll just ignore that. When Lost: Via Domus was announced and released, it got pretty bad reviews, and I passed over it thinking that it probably wasn’t worth $60….and it isn’t. I found this game a few months back for $10 at Best Buy and figured that I couldn’t really go wrong. I think I got a so-so deal on it. Anyways, when you boot up the game, you first see a Ubisoft logo. If I had read the box and saw that it was a Ubisoft game, I might have just left it be, as I am terribly upset with them and what they did to the Prince of Persia a few years back. But I didn’t see that logo and bought the game anyways. You play the game as a guy who was on Oceanic 815 and crashed with everyone else, but you don’t have any memory. You look almost exactly like Jacob’s nemesis from the Season 5 finale, which I find very strange, and I look forward to seeing if others feel the same way about this. It’s just uncanny how similar you look to him. As you “play” this game which consists of you walking around the beach talking to horribly created versions of the cast, being chased around the jungle by the smoke monster, doing stupid fuse puzzles that make no sense whatsoever, and recovering your memory via looping scenarios where you need to take pictures of things, I realized that I might have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t a Lost fan. I’m kind of on the fence about this one. If I wasn’t a Lost fan, I wouldn’t be so critical about the modeling or voice acting, though John Locke repeating “I’m over in the Banyan Trees” and “Hey, Look at me in the Banyan Trees” over and over again was actually funny, but the funny part was when he said “Banyan Trees”. I don’t know. I’m weird. Hurley, believe it or not, it even fatter in this game. The controls are very loose, and your actions seem to make you float around. You can trade fruit and stuff that you pick up for lanterns and guns, etc, but you only need to really shoot 1 or 2 people, so you never ever need a clip, though they seem to have lots to trade. What sucks even more is that in the end, all your stuff is taken from you, so it’s all pretty useless. They should have just given you what you need when you need it, but then this game would have been even shorter probably. It only took me about 2-4 hours to complete in its entirety, but it seemed like a chore. Would I rather deal with this mess or play CoD4? I had to force myself to finish this game so that I could delete it from my hard drive. One thing that I can say positively about this game is that I didn’t run into any game breaking bugs. That’s a nice thing, but there are some annoyances. One level starts out with you having to run away from the smoke monster, jumping over trees and running across wooden planks, but if you trip up then the smoke monster gets you. That’s not the bad part though. The bad part is that the game is set up episodically, so when you die, which you will a few times, you have to go through the whole 30 second long “Previously on Lost” crap. Argh! Anyways, Lost: Via Domus can’t be recommended by me. If you like Lost, and can get it for cheap (or borrow it from me), then check it out, but don’t expect much.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – 1000/1000 on 12-13-2009

Well, it took me much less time than I thought it would to get 1000 gamerscore points in Modern Warfare 2.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that this game is easier and less annoying/time consuming as its predecessor, and I had a great partner in Glenn for all of the co-op missions.  Glenn and I had a really fun time playing through the Spec-Ops missions, and we’re looking forward to more of them via DLC.  The story in this game is not as emotional or as good as it was in Call of Duty 4, and it definitely does not wrap up with a satisfying conclusion, but I believe that this is done on purpose, so that in a few years, we’ll see Modern Warfare 3.  It is also very difficult to follow.  Being a self-proclaimed expert in this series’ storyline (I played through the CoD4 story four or five times and know it by heart), I was confused most of the way through this game.  The writers don’t really like setting the story up beforehand, but rather just drop you into the middle of it, and your squad mates seem to tell the story around you.  The problem with this is that while they are talking, you’re being barraged by bullets and explosions, so your mind isn’t really paying attention to what they are trying to say.  It’s a small gripe about an otherwise excellent piece of work.  All in all, Infinity Ward made another masterpiece with this game, and now all that’s left is multiplayer!!

Assassin’s Creed II – 1000/1000 on 1-18-2010

I was very skeptical about Assassin’s Creed II.  I wrote up about that in my Initial Impressions, and now that I’ve completed the game in its entirety (for now) I have to say that I have much more faith in Ubisoft.  I’m still a bit uneasy about the Prince of Persia series, but now that I’ve completed Assassin’s Creed II, I might give that series another try when it releases a new entry this summer.  Assassin’s Creed II did so many things right.  The graphics are amazing, the story is deep though a bit confusing at times, and the sound is simple extraordinary.  This was a game that I played both with and without the A40′s, and when playing without them, I lost out on some subtle details such as birds chirping in the background.  These things make up the feeling that is Assassin’s Creed II.  I absolutely love how you’re given a walled-in city that is in terrible disarray, and asked to upgrade it by donating your money.  Over time, you see new structures going up and more people flocking towards this city, earning you more money to build it up more.  It has a very medieval feel to it and I just loved it.  After completing the story, I went hunting for feathers; a remedial task in most games, but it is something that I really enjoy.  I have so much fun doing this and the world that the designers created is nothing short of fantastic.  There is only a single missable achievement (Flyswatter) in this game, but I’ve read that in upcoming DLC it will again become attainable.  Overall the achievements were on the easy side, and I almost wish that some of them were integrated better.  Finishing ALL of the races would have been more of an achievement than just finishing a single, easy one.  As I said in my previous segment about this game, I was mostly interested in the Venetian portions of the game, and they really did not disappoint.  Venice isn’t just created to look like you’re in Venice.  It’s created in the same layout as the islands, with the main Grand Canal bridges intact, St. Mark’s Square is nearly identical to the real thing, and even the market is in the correct location on the eastern side of the Rialto Bridge.  One of the funniest moments in the game for me was when I overheard a public speaker informing the public not to eat fish that came out of the canals.  The only thing that made me cringe about playing a game set in Venice is when I would accidentally jump in the wrong direction and dive into a canal.  When I lived in Venice, I worked on a project to drastically change the way the Venetian sewerage system works, so that may help you understand why I have reservations on jumping into the canals.  :)

Bulletstorm – 1000/1000 on 3-6-2011

Today, Bulletstorm joins my list of fully completed games.  This is a game that exceeded all of my expectations, many of which were set very high.  The story is fun adn hysterical, the time trial mode (Echoes) is challenging and great to compare scores against friends, and the co-op multiplayer mode (Anarchy) is a blast to play with friends.  As far as achievements go, only a few require other people, and most are easily doable.  Red Barrels was difficult for me to get, and a few chapters on Very Hard difficulty were a pain (I’m looking at you 7-1), but overall it wasn’t terribly hard to fully complete.  This is a spectacular game for adults, and I whole-heartedly recommend it.

Portal 2 – 1000/1000 on 4-28-2011

When I first heard that Valve was creating Portal 2, one of the first thoughts in my head was “What kind of crazy achievements will this game have?”.  I was also worried about the length of the game.  Portal 1 took all of 2 hours to fully complete the story, so could Valve create a game that people would and should pay a full $60 for?  The story portion of Portal 2 took just over 9 hours to complete, without a single moment of boredom.  The co-op portion took about half that to complete, but I’ve since played it through two to three times.  The achievements range from smashing 11 TV’s in a single play session to simply hugging your friends.  This game is perfectly executed in every way, and one not to miss out on.

Brink – 1000/1000 on 5-15-2011

Brink is an interesting game. It was marketed very well, but is missing some key aspects that could make it great. The concept of gaining experience whether you play against robotic AI or humans is a breath of fresh air. The same can be said for being able to fully map the controller layout. Every game should have this feature. One thing this game is lacking, and I can not being to contemplate why, is a multiplayer lobby. Brink promotes playing with friends, but there is no easy way to group friends together and then play against other humans. It’s a mess, and I have no idea how this decision was made. Anyways, overall I’d say that Brink is a good game. It throws gamerscore at you like nothing else, and within five days, I’ve completed every achievement. The only one that I could see giving trouble would be “Tough as nails” which requires you to finish the storyline in Hard mode or online. The latter is extremely annoying because of what I mentioned earlier, and the fact that every time a person joins or leaves a team when online, the server comes to a halt for a few seconds. I played through the campaign with friends, and that made it easier, but it wasn’t a walk in the park. The reason this is difficult is because as you rank up, the enemy AI ranks up as well, and while your team’s AI still waits until the last 2 minutes to help out in any fashion, the enemy team’s AI just gets more brutal. Other than this achievement, which is mildly annoying, the rest are extremely easy. I hope the development team adds more achievements with DLC in the future.

L.A. Noire – 1000/1200 on 5-23-2011

This game shiped with two pieces of DLC that are preorder specific. I didn’t get these, but that’s why there are 1200 points total. Instead, I got a sweet light blue outfit called The Broderick. Yippee. Anyways… I didn’t know what to expect from L.A. Noire before release. I’m glad to say that this is not Grand Theft Auto in the 1940′s Los Angeles. I’m a big fan of GTA, but not really of this time period. L.A. Noire is more of a puzzle game than a shooting one, and the story that Team Bondi has created is spectacular. I figured out some of the story from bits and pieces, but was thrown off by others. It’s also nice to play a game without a multiplayer component. You can tell that a lot of work was focused on this single player element. I look forward to playing future games using this engine. Real actors can now successfully play roles in video games, and L.A. Noire is the first game that I believe can show off their talent well. This year is looking great for gaming, and it’s only May!

Deus Ex – Human Revolution – 1000/1000 on 9-5-2011

I never wrote up my impressions of this game when it first came out. This is because of two separate reasons that melded together and caused me to first write up about this game after fully completing it. First off, after playing this game for a few hours, I didn’t really care for it, and I was having trouble figuring out how to write that down. I was upset that the control layout was so radically different than most other games, and there is no way to change it with exception to inverting axes and sensitivity. That right there angered me, along with the fact that I couldn’t aim well and couldn’t hack into anything successfully. It was just somewhat of a mess, and after a few hours, I decided to give it a rest and come back the next day. This is where the second reason comes in. I picked the game back up after a night’s rest, and somehow the controls made sense to me. I started leveling up my character and weapons, making them easier to aim, and making hacking much easier. Most of my problems were almost instantly solved. The only problem now, is that I was somewhat hooked; hence my second reason. The depth that this game goes in each of its aspects is amazing, be it first person shooter, third person spy, even the hacking minigame is probably the best hacking minigame in any game that I’ve ever played. It’s smart, and took me a while to master. The best thing Deus Ex has to offer though is that you can tackle objectives in just about any way you want. You can get there by sneaking by, or by knocking guards out and hiding their bodies. You can also just run in and kill everyone. It’s up to you and in every single situation in the ~25 hour long campaign, it worked flawlessly. This is easily the best game that’s come out this year so far, and possibly even last year as well. As far as achievements go, all but three were completed rather easily on my first runthrough of the game. A second playthrough was completed in order to 1. finish on the hardest difficulty, 2. without killing anybody, and 3. without setting off any alarms. Playing through a second time like this wasn’t as difficult as it may sound because I knew every nook and cranny of the game already, and it was a blast to play through again.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 1000/1000 on 3-23-2012

I don’t quite know where to begin with this one. I’ve never played any of the previous games in this series, but was in complete awe when I played Fallout 3, another amazing Bethesda piece of art. If you scroll up in this post a bit, you’ll see that I completed that game as well. Skyrim plays very similar to Fallout 3 at its core, but the world and characters here are vastly different. I started this game and played for about 40 hours as a pure mage before starting all over again as a stealth Khajiit assassin, and never looked back. When all was said and done, I’ve got over 1500 save files and 130 hours into this character. Skyrim also now sits atop my list of greatest games ever played. It is masterfully made and a pure joy to play. You can lose yourself in this world, and whoever designed the city of Whiterun is a complete genius. None of the achievements seem really difficult to get; the hardest if probably Oblivion Walker which requires you to find 15 of the 16 special Daedric weapons scattered in numerous dungeons in the land. I’m still not done with the game, but I’m done with the achievements until DLC is inevitably released. Some minor bugs aside, this one is a complete winner.

SSX – 1000/1000 on 4-14-2012

SSX is the first sports game that I’ve ever completed fully. This game’s achievements are a mix between easy completion awards and tough, time consuming challenges. Some require grinding, but not too much. They are generally very easy to attain. Some of them do happen to require many people playing online, so the older this game gets, the tougher it will be to max out its achievements. In general, SSX is loads of fun, and I plan on continuing to play it as the online challenges are very well made. A maxed out character in this game can do some wildy amazing moves. I made a video of a race recently that can be found here. It doesn’t show off the magnitude of the tricks that can be performed, but it shows some of the more treacherous terrain that the game sometimes throws at you. I had an absolute blast playing this game for achievements, and look forward to setting some sweet scores now!

Far Cry 3 – 1000/1000 on 1-2-2013

Far Cry 3 released at a good time for me. I had been playing Borderlands 2 for a good two months, had completed Black Ops 2 for as much as I could handle, and had just played Assassin’s Creed 3, which for me, was a letdown. When I heard that Far Cry 3 was basically Assassin’s Creed with guns, it sparked some interest. I really like the AC series, but the latest installment left me with somewhat of a stale taste in my mouth. Right from the beginning of Far Cry 3, I could see that this was an entertaining and well-made game, even if it copied its core structure from another game. I spent about 15 hours with this game, and was able to complete the achievements in just a single playthrough. The multiplayer co-op isn’t anything special, but the single player portion is really great. I enjoyed the stealth aspects when trying to liberate the outposts the most. None of the achievements were really hard. Overall, I think they were well balanced and spaced out. I’d say that some of the most annoying achievements were just the ones for completing multiplayer, as I never really wanted to go through it.

Borderlands 2 – 1125/1125 on 10-20-2012
I haven’t made many updates to my site in a while. The only game I’ve been playing is Borderlands 2, and though I’ve wanted to write up my impressions, I just haven’t had any time to do so. I guess I can use this space for a few of them. Borderlands 1 is one of my all-time favorite games, and I was really excited for its sequel. I’m glad that Gearbox took their time with this game, because they improved almost every aspect of it. They made an incredible game even better, which seems to be a difficult task now that publishers are trying to milk some franchises dry. Anyways, Borderlands 2 starts you off with no real good items for the first ~10 hours or so, and then starts dropping better ones in a seemingly exponential fashion. By the time you’re at max level, you’ve played through the game twice, and can then focus on farming bosses for better loot. I did this for a few days before starting up a different character. If Gearbox is going to raise the level cap like they did with Borderlands 1, then there isn’t much of a point to collect a lot of maxed out weapons now, or even use my maxxed out character. They’ve already released one DLC pack, which is why my score is 1125 instead of 1000. They’ve also released a DLC character, which I have at level 32 currently. As far as achievements go, the character-specific achievements aren’t as easy as they were in the first game. One character has to get to level 31 in order to earn his achievement, and another to level 25. In the first game, they could all be gotten in the first ~10 levels. Other than these, the rest kind of fell into place. Borderlands 2 is not a game that I play for the achievements. I play it for the amazing world that Gearbox has created, and I will play it until the next entry in the series releases.

1125/1125 on 10-20-2012- Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty – This was a surprise, releasing within 30 days of the actual game. It lasts about 5 hours, and is quite fun to play. I’ve gone through it with my level 50 Siren and level 32 Mechromancer. It adds a new type of crystal called Seraph, that only drops by the DLC’s two raid bosses. These bosses are not easy, and they only drop a few crystals each time. It appears as though the special items that you receive cost around 100 crystals, and they aren’t really that great, so I’m not putting a whole lot of time in here once finished. It is a really nice place for your character to level up, and it is quite comical and fun, so I recommend it for characters going through the story each time.

1250/1250 on 11-23-2012 – Mr. Torgue and his Campaign of Carnage – The humor in this piece of DLC is off the charts. I enjoyed this one as I did with the first, but still question why we haven’t been given a level cap increase to expand our characters some more. The achievements in this DLC were pretty straightforward, with one requiring a bit of luck. Every so often, an enemy will drop a photo of Moxxi, and you need to collect 10 of these. This was the last achievement acquired, and took a bit of farming.

1375/1375 on 5-1-2013 - Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt – So far,  this is my least favorite piece of Borderlands 2 DLC.  For one, if focused only on main story quests, this takes 2 hours maximum.  I don’t usually play without doing the sidequests, but it isn’t as deep as the previous Torgue DLC, which is quite good.  There is one treasure room that can be looted just once per playthrough.  There are two raid bosses, one of which is insanely difficult (Voracidous), and another that requires you to travel around, lighting furnaces with Eridium in order to spawn (Dexiduous).  This one has the chance to drop The Chopper, which is a throwback weapon to Borderlands 1.  This isn’t a bad piece of DLC, but it isn’t as deep as the others.  I think it would be better off if it had given a skill point upon completion, like the Mad Moxxi DLC did in the first game.  By far, the hardest achievement was to complete all sidequests, but sidequest to defeat Voracidous took me a very long time.

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Initial Impressions – Fallout: New Vegas

by on Oct.20, 2010, under Gaming, General

Fallout 3 was a game that originally I was not ever planning to play, but in the end I put over 120 hours into it and fully enjoyed pretty much 100% of the game and all five of its DLC releases.  The next installment in the series is something that I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced.  Between last night and this morning, I’ve logged about 4.5 hours into the game, and these are my impressions.

In New Vegas your character is a courier who was transporting a large platinum poker chip somewhere when you got shot in the head, survived, and wake up in a doctor’s office.  When my character woke up, I modeled and named her after my wife, then spent a good hour figuring out what initial statistics to give her.  I then started my adventure.

I immediately noticed a few issues with the game that I need to point out.  The x-axis sensitivity is slower than the y-axis sensitivity when they are set equally.  I’ve noticed constant stuttering in movement, possibly because the graphics have been upped to 1080p from Fallout 3′s native 720p resolution.  The very first mission is a tutorial of sorts where you have to go and shoot a few geckos.  I shot two of them but was being attacked by a third, completely invisible one.  It had never rendered.  A dog who was with us ended up killing that gecko.  I kept wandering around this early town and got a mission where I had to get 3 people to join a cause, but my skills are all too low to convince any of these people, so I left that quest for later.  I headed off on the main mission line and came to an old town called Primm, where I got my butt kicked over and over again.  I kept reloading my save and walked around the outside of this town to find out I could not enter that way.  When returning to the front gate area, two enemies were stuck half in walls, but it made it easy to shoot them.  I then was able to make my way into town slowly.  I’ve got to say though, that so far, this has been a difficult game.  Another glitch I found was when I walked into a casino in Primm, a character could only be seen from the waist down, stuck in a ceiling.  I walked in the room, looked up at his feet, and was able to talk to him.  I think this game needs a patch, but I’ve also read of other people having no issues at all, so I’m at a loss as to what’s going on.  Even with these issues, I can’t put the game down.  Just like Fallout 3, it’s sucking me in.

I’m playing the game in hardcore mode.  In this mode, health items don’t heal immediately, but over time.  Ammo has weight to it.  Also, you need to carefully monitor sleep deprivation, hunger, and thirst.  I haven’t had too much problem with any of this so far, and it seems just a bit more tedious than non-hardcore mode, and I like it.  I really need to find a safehouse though in order to drop some of my load there as I’ve become overloaded with stuff already.  I also need to find out how to make more powerful ammo, as I have a lot of ammo but am very weak.  There is a card game called Caravan, that I’m completely horrible at and need to figure out how to play well.

Overall, I think this will be a great game.  It’s a bit on the dark side, but most games seem to be when I first start them.  I’m not sure that the story is going to be as extraordinary as Fallout 3 was, as in that game, you start out by being born, and it doesn’t get much cooler than that.  Right now I’m just trying to find out who shot me, not search for my missing father who disappeared and holds a big secret.  I’m looking forward to putting many more hours into this, and hope that the game smooths out a bit.  Even with all the little glitches and annoyances that I’ve come across, before I knew it last night, it was past my bedtime and I didn’t want to stop.  I then woke up at 5AM and put in another hour this morning!
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Initial Impressions – Bionic Commando Demo

by on May.01, 2009, under General

I played the Bionic Commando multiplayer demo with Bill last night.  Capcom just doesn’t understand how to make a demo that will draw people in to their games.  The Resident Evil 5 demo was way too difficult and annoying for many people, myself included, and this one seems slapped together.  I just hope that the final game is much much better than this demo.  I’m a huge fan of the classic NES (and newly remade) game and this demo seems to have the feel of the classic game down pat.  Also, it seems that the lobby system *may* have been updated when compared to the horrible system that is used in Street Fighter IV and RE5.  The menu options are incredible.  Each time you dig further into the menu system, it uses the bionic arm animation to move you around.  It takes a little getting used to but is very nice.  The controller setup screen is probably the best I’ve ever seen.  It shows a floating controller, and if you click a button, up comes a small window explaining what that button does.  The problem with this demo however is the demo itself.  As a fan of the original game, I’m not buying this game for multiplayer.  I’m buying it for the story, cool weapons, and platforming experience.  When I heard that Capcom was only releasing a multiplayer demo, I was a bit worried, and rightfully so.  Bill and I played about 3 matches last night just the two of us in the one map that was supplied.  First off, Capcom, if you’re going to demonstrate this game to people, don’t use a night-time map.  It makes it feel as if you’re not done programming the game.  Also, night-time maps suck in general.  That’s just my opinion, but I think it’s one that many people would agree with me on.  You start out with a normal pistol that has a very “Bionic Commando” feel to it.  Those of you who know the original know what I mean.  Those of you who don’t know the original, well, it’s a basic gun that fires a single shot about once a second.  There are glowing gun spawn areas and if you walk over one, you get that gun.  We found a sniper rifle that I learned Bill is really good with, a shotgun that’s near useless, and then the completely unbalanced and terrifying grenade launcher thing.  This gun is so much stronger than any other that we found.  I think Bill killed me a few times with some sort of machine gun, but I never found it.  The swinging aspect is really cool however, and even though we were both complete noobs with this game, we were swinging around like a couple of radioactive monkeys and that was pretty fun.  This is a game that the demo couldn’t really sell me on as it’s in multiplayer mode.  I really wish they had given us a level or two of the actual game such as they did with RE5.  I can’t even believe what I just wrote.  The RE5 demo is one of the worst I’ve ever seen, yet the actual game is one of the best.  I hope that Capcom has created a quality game here, as the trailers all make it look great, but I’m still going to wait for a round of real reviews to come in before dropping any money for it.  This and the fact that the new Fallout 3 DLC sounds like it will be lasting me quite some time!

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NXE – Installation of games

by on Nov.20, 2008, under Gaming, General

     The New Xbox Experience allows you to install full games from disc onto your hard drive, making the Elite model not a complete waste of money anymore.  Each game takes about 5-7 GB (not pronounced gee-bee, but if you must) of space and I had about 83 GB available yesterday.  I had previously read this site that somebody created to show differences in game performance when loading from HDD versus reading from the disc.  It’s a really nice site, and I was especially impressed with the performance of Fallout 3 and even more-so of Fable II.  I’m still not playing Fable II for the same reason that I am playing Fallout 3 now.  I will eventually install Fable II onto the hard drive, but last night I started with Fallout 3. 

     On the main Xbox page, you can see the game that is in the drive, and with a hit of the Y button, you can choose to “Install to HDD”.  This process then takes about 8-10 minutes.  I did the dishes.  I then checked my email.  I then pet the cat until it was finished.  I think Willie watched online as well, so he can attest to how exciting this process is!!  Anyways, after it is complete, you can then “Play from HDD”….the game boots up…whoa, the xbox doesn’t sound like a jet taking off….this is pretty cool!  So I start to play Fallout 3 and I notice a few things.  Load times are improved but initially not drastically.  The first load time is probably about 80% of the previous first load time, but going between house and outside, which used to take 7-10 seconds each time, was closer to 3 seconds.  This was very cool.  Fast travelling takes about 5 seconds, versus about 15 seconds previously.  Also in my hour of playing last night, I didn’t have a single drop in framerate and enemies were being drawn further away than before.  It was excellent.  I had one glitch that I came across, but it wasn’t a big deal.  I was walking East from Old Olney towards the Republic of Dave and I came across a farm of sorts.  I can’t think of the name right now, but it was on the map.  Up on a silo was a Raider.  I shot the raider from long distance in VATS with Lincoln’s Repeater and got a Crit 1-hit-kill on her.  It was one of those VATS shots that slow motion followed the bullet from the end of the rifle to the neck of the Raider separating the head from the body, and was totally awesome.  When VATS exited, her arm was flying in the air around me…She was dead but her arm was flying around like a bug all crazy…it was very cool.

     Around 9:30PM I decided to try installing Call of Duty 4 on the hard drive.  This is a game that I solely play online so I didn’t think that much would really change, but I tend to listen to everything around me in this game, so I thought that the silent dvd drive would benefit me.  Again, after 8-10 minutes I was ready to play, so I jumped into a party with some guys and we took off.  I noticed immediately that before getting online, everything was instant.  I would hit Multiplayer, it would wait 1 second and go into the Xbox Live room, then instantly into the party room.  I noticed that when I clicked on Barracks or Create-a-Class, there was no pause….everything was completely instant.  This doesn’t sound like much, but it really is in my eyes (am I weird maybe?  well, yes, but I was still impressed with this).  When using the disc, there’s the slightest pause, but from the HDD, nothing.  It’s perfect.  Okay, so I start playing in some matches, and I notice that I have a horrible connection, like 2 yellow bars, but everything is moving smoothly.  I had a very bad connection, but I didn’t get a SINGLE pause in the game.  I don’t know if this is because of the installation or not, but this has never happened to me before in my 500+ hours of online CoD4.  The most impressive thing however was the silence.  It’s something that you don’t really notice that’s there until it is gone.  I have a relatively new xbox, with one of the quietest drives that I’ve heard in any, and CoD4 doesn’t really tax it very much (ahem, Fable II)… But playing off of the HDD was incredible, and something that I am so glad that I did for this game.  If you are a fan of this game and are reading this and have an extra 6-7 GB of disc space, I highly recommend installing it.

     I plan on installing Rock Band 2 and Fable II (once patched) onto the HDD as well.  This is a really sweet feature, and as I said before, something that makes the Elite model not wasted any longer.

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My Unique Fallout 3 Weapons

by on Nov.18, 2008, under Gaming, General

Wow…..just wow.  This game is awesome.  There is just so much of everything in it and I can’t get enough.  I am blown away by the sheer number of weapons that I’m finding.  Weapons are basically categorized into unarmed (bare hands, brass knuckles, etc), melee (baseball bat, sword, etc), small guns (pistols, assault rifles), and big guns (miniguns, missile and nuke launchers, etc).  I have built my character up with a very strong skillset in small guns, and have been building up melee as well.  I never use unarmed because I alwasy carry an awesome flaming sword and I am weak in big guns too because they weigh a lot to carry around and I like to pick up everythign I see to sell it.  I plan on building my big guns up more in the next few levels however.  Along with the massive amount of weaponry, there are custom weapons that you can build and unique weapons which are usually just modified versions of normal weapons.  think of the weapon upgrading aspect of Bioshock…

My Unique Weapons

Shishkebab – This is actually a custom weapon, but the thing is awesome.  It is a sword that has a gas nozzle on the handle so it is engulfed in flames.  It is strong and lights enemies on fire, dealing more damage to them.  The only downside is when you’re in some underground passages, methane gas gets ignited and you catch on fire, though it doesn’t seem to do much damage to me, and the (currently 157) stimpaks that I carry replenish my health very well.  You can get the schematic for this from Vance upon completion of the “Blood Ties” quest, or you can just kill him for his version.  That’s what I did.  I suggest doing this as soon as you get the perk that allows +20HP/blood pack from Vance after the quest is over.  Up until then, be cordial to The Family, but afterwards, slaughter them all and you’ll get this sweet sword and a lot of ammo, guns, and caps with just a minor karma hit.

The Kneecapper – This is a two shot shotgun with incredible strength.  The only problem is that it’s just two shots, so I still use the combat shotgun with its 15 shot clip mostly.  This gun is repaired with sawed off shotguns.  You can get this weapon by starting “The Nuka Cola Challenge”, speaking with Ronald, then either killing him and taking it, or using speech to get him to work for you, then following him to the Nuka Cola plant and taking it off his dead body.

Blackhawk – This is a modified scoped .44 magnum and it’s pretty awesome.  I got this for completing the “Agatha’s Song” quest and bringing Agatha a piece of sheet music.  I rarely use this gun though it’s nice to have and looks sweet.

A3-21′s Plasma Rifle – I just got this and haven’t used it much.  It is a unique plasma rifle that can be gotten for completing “The Replicated Man” and siding with the AI unit.  You can tell him that you’ll keep his secret safe, then just go to Zimmer and collect your reward from him as well.

Lincoln’s Repeater – I just got this last night and it’s AWESOME.  It is a single shot weapon but each shot is super strong.  I was able to down a Super Mutant in three regular shots, and another one with a single critical shot!  You can easily find this in the Museum of History, in the offices upstairs above what looks like a library.  It is in a case and you have to activate the case to get it.  It takes .44 magnum ammo which is pretty scarce, but this thing is a beast.  It also looks awesome, as it’s a yellow musket, so you have to cock it each time.

Xualong’s Assault Rifle – This is a unique Chinese Assault Rifle that I haven’t really tried out as I just got it.  The key to this rifle is that the clip size is 36 instead of 24, and it had a damage of 56, which is much higher than the normal gun.  I am really looking forward to using this gun but I’m also trying to save up some CAR’s for a guy in Paradise Falls, so I don’t know how much I’m going to want to repair it.

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Fallout 3 – More Impressions

by on Nov.02, 2008, under General

          I’m going to have to slow down on these impressions, mostly because I’ve now got about 16 hours logged into this “game” and I don’t think I can keep up.  The game is turning into a secondary realm of sorts.  I get caught up in it and don’t really know what’s going on around me.  It makes me feel as if I’m the one wandering around this vast world and meeting these interesting and strange people.  I found and got to use a weapon called the “Fat Boy” which shoots mini nukes.  I shot one at this 20-30 foot tall giant mutant and a mushroom cloud went off over his head.  It was very impressive.  I now have about 2500 caps, lots of guns, my own house to store things in, and each time I level up, I can assign 23 skill points, making me get very strong, though I’m still just level 8.  I will try to post more impressions, but it’s getting difficult to do so as the game seems to be evolving, so just know that this game is awesome!

[EDIT] – I found this site … I’m going to check it out…

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Impressions – Fallout 3 – Day 2

by on Oct.31, 2008, under General

                Heather had class last night so I got about 3 hours of Fallout 3 in.  I decided to go on a side quest.  There’s a girl in Megaton that hasn’t spoken with her family for months or years and wants me to deliver a package to them.  Easy enough.  They live in Arteu (sp?) on top of a bridge.  I start walking there and run into a travelling caravan that consists of a dude and a chick and a shopping cart.  I sell some of the crap that I’ve been taking from people (which is fun…I felt bad when I took this guy’s last pack of cigarettes, but hey, that’s 5 or so caps) and continue on the compass bearing that I created.  This is when I really start to figure out the vastness of this world.  It’s amazingly beautiful yet completely desolate.  The walk is about 4 miles I’d average, and on the way there, I came across a destroyed neighborhood where I could search the mailboxes.  I found a letter from the Vault company telling the home owner that they apologize but they were not selected to enter the vault.  Too bad for them!  As I continue on, I see some movement.  This is my first encounter with the Raiders, or bad guys.  Using the VATS system, I take a few shots at the head of one…..the second shot critically injures the head in slow motion, then it slows down even more, and follows the third bullet into the head, and the head just starts flying back, separated from the body.  It. Was. SO. Cool!  I took their weapons and clothes, got a flamethrower, and continued onwards.  I walk through 2 bridges that I think are the one before actually getting there, only to find out that delivering this letter is not quite possible.  So I’m sent to find some gang that has been bothering this 6 person town….I walk around, find a creature called a Mirelurk that is like a walking crab with a hard shell.  It killed me three times before I just decided to avoid it.  I end up going down into a subway tunnel for about 30 minutes on my way to an underground subway station.  As soon as I get in there, I come across two more Mirelurks so I try throwing grenades at them.  It works much better!  I end up stepping on a bear trap that scares the bejesus out of me….first time I was really caught off guard in this game.  Well, I end up getting to the subway station, and that’s where I ended.  3 hours later and this “sidequest” isn’t even completed yet!!!  Kotaku posted a frankenreview of the game here

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Fallout 3 Bugs

by on Oct.30, 2008, under Gaming

List of Bugs found in Fallout 3

1.  The comic you get in the very beginning….if you don’t use it then at the party while you’re that age, it goes away.  It gives you +1 melee

2.  When I sat down for the test the first time, it just hung and I sat there but he didn’t give the test.  This is after I walked around the whole room talking to the other sitting students.

3.  I got stuck next to one of the subway cars in Meresti Tunnel.

4.  The game froze on me outside of Big City.  I think it might have been partially due to the fact that I had been playing for 4-5 hours straight.

5.  I hit Lug Nut with my Shishkabob in Grady’s hideaway and fell through the floor and ended up at the entrance to the subway tunnel.

6.  Walter in Megaton has gone missing.  I’ve read that he can lean against the wall and fall through it to his death.

7.  Just south of Vault 92, there’s a barn where a bunch of raiders hang out.  Upon approaching this barn, the ground went clear and it was as if I was walking on air.  It was real cool, though definitely a bug.

8.  The broken bow of Rivet City is just a complete mess..  I didn’t get stuck in there or anything, but it is clear that this was an area that the programmers decided not to finish or something….bad drawing and clipping walls everywhere.

9.  I was walking East from Old Olney towards the Republic of Dave and I came across a farm of sorts. I can’t think of the name right now, but it was on the map. Up on a silo was a Raider. I shot the raider from long distance in VATS with Lincoln’s Repeater and got a Crit 1 hit kill on her…it was awesome. When VATS exited, her arm was flying in the air around me…..She was dead but her arm was flying around like a bug all crazy…it was very cool :)

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Initial Impressions – Fallout 3

by on Oct.30, 2008, under Gaming

                To be honest, I wasn’t going to buy Fallout 3.  Every time someone mentioned the game, I just wasn’t turned on by it.  Even the 30 minute X-Play about the game did really nothing for me.  I am also (still) heavily addicted to Call of Duty 4 and have been planning on playing Fable II for a few months.  So Fallout 3 was going to be skipped.

                This all changed after learning of sheer amount of bugs and glitches in Fable II.  I don’t feel like putting 10′s of hours into a game just for it to glitch out and become unrecoverable because the designers decided to include just a single save file for the game.  I emailed Lionhead and asked if the game will be patched, and got an affirmative answer, but it may take weeks still, so I decided to go over to Best Buy at lunch and pick up Fallout 3.  I chose the regular edition and Collector’s Strategy Guide.

                The Strategy Guide is made by Prima, enormous, hard-covered, with non-glossy paper that will be easy to write on, if need-be.  I read through the first chapter to get my hands wet with what I was getting myself into.

                The game starts as any other game does, with you being born of course.  You get to see your father standing over you and your mother lying next to you.  Your dad asks what sex you are, and I chose female (for the same reason that I did in Fable II, which is that it made me sick to stare at Captain Sheppard’s junk for 50 hours in Mass Effect).  He then asks what they should name her, and I chose my wife’s name of Heather.  After that, he ponders what she might look like when she grows up, and a very intricate face editor comes up.  I tried my hardest to recreate my wife’s face, and I think it came out pretty good.  So after spending about ten minutes or so here, my mom goes into cardiac arrest and my dad tries to save her while I’m being brushed out of the room.  1 year later and you’re a baby….you look at a child’s book and choose some attributes like Strength, Endurance, Intelligence, Agility, etc, then it shoots you 9 years into the future….Now it’s my birthday and as a present I get a Pip-Boy 3000 which is basically a really nice inventory and stats page.  You go about talking to people and kids and whatnot…you learn that 200 years ago, there was a nuclear war where you are but your ancestors were locked into this vault and you will probably never leave it…you learn to shoot a BB gun at some roaches….then it whisks you ahead another 3 years…This is where you take an “exam” to learn what skills you want.  The exam is pretty dumb but afterwards you get to choose some skillsets, like proficiency with small or large weapons, lockpicking, medicine, speech, etc.  It is really starting to feel more and more complex already!  After this it sends you another 3 years into the future, when you’re 19 years old, and something crazy is happening.  I won’t get into it too much, but you basically need to leave the vault.  I come across some guys that I think I need to kill so I use a baseball bat on them.  By just hitting them, you do a little damage here or there, and it’s kind of tedious….but, if you use the VATS system, you pause the fight, can target certain body parts (like the head), then hit A and it will go on and do a combo of sorts to really do some damage.  This feature is SICK and I haven’t used it enough!  So I leave the vault and am greeted by a really sweet and disturbing look at Washington DC that’s been obliterated by nuclear weaponry.  I use my compass to head towards a makeshift town and on the way there, kill a dog.  I’m now in this town called Megaton, which has a huge live nuclear bomb in the middle of it.  I need to do something about this bomb, and will find out when I play more.

               I’ll add this in for PC users – I know of two people playing on the PC that are able to log into their Live accounts and gain achievements.  I can see them online and send messages to them just as if they were on the 360.  It seems like a very cool feature.

So what do I think about Fallout 3 so far?  I am completely and utterly blown away by it.  The game feels and handles like a mix between Halflife 2 and Bioshock.  When walking around, I kind of wish I had a crowbar in my hands!  The graphics are some of the best I’ve seen on the 360 and the music is all 1940′s-era jazz which makes it feel more like Bioshock and is incredibly well-done.  I’ve leveled up just once and when you level up, you add more points to your skills.  It also doesn’t stress the 360 out like Fable II does.  That game makes the 360 sound like it’s on its last breaths from all the spinning.  Anyways, I can highly recommend this game for you and will update with more posts in the future.

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