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9:56 PM on 12.10.2008

My Lowest Point: Setting off the Bomb.

I had never played the older Fallout games, partly due to not having a computer growing up (I was an SNES/N64 Child), and partly due to the fact that I didn't get into gaming "culture" (for lack of a better term, by which I mean getting magazines/reading websites and knowing when new games came out). A few years ago, though, a friend of mine that I had never really hung out with all too much started raving about Fallout whenever I talked about games. It was almost inevitable when I mentioned a game with a story. I was intruiged by the setting and the 50's aesthetic, as this same friend was the same one that got me started listening to a lot of Jazz.
Anyway, fast forward to a couple of months ago, I was patiently awaiting my pre-ordered copy of the Fallout 3 Collector's edition. I was pretty impressed with Bethesda's Behind the Scenes DVD that came with Oblivion, so I figured "Why the fuck not.", and that was that. I started playing the game, and I was pretty blown away. Coming out of the Vault and seeing the sunlight for the first time, and the myriad other experiences that would likely fill a pretty thick novel if I decided to write them down (just play the game for yourself :D).

Oh yeah, Spoilers lol.


So I get to close to the end of the game. Knowing that the ending was horrible, I was still trucking through, getting Fawkes the Friendly Super-mutant, and going into the enclave hideout to talk to the president guy, and eventually going back to take back the water purifier (By the way, watching Liberty Prime come out of the building, SO COOL.). I didn't think the game would just, end, the way it did. I figured I'd save the day, and go back to being a hero of the wasteland and killing super-mutants and what have you. But, I got to save the day, and turn into a puddle of goo. Wow. Great. And now this guy's gonna narrate over my death and the stuff I did in the wasteland. Alright, cool. So I checked my save files, and the only ones that I had were 3 and four hours prior to me beginning the final quest, and the atuosaves just before going into the Jefferson memorial.

Shit.

Well, I could just not play anymore. That would be the reasonable thing to do. Or... I could go bad.



I'd played the whole game up until that point as a Good character. Role-playing the goody-two-shoes Vault dweller that the character was, Or what I thought he was. Why not give myself a little leg room, kick back, and see the flames begin to crawl, as a vile, horrible bastard?

So I fired up the game again, excited to go through the Vault again, and Kill that bastard overseer who was keeping all of those innocent people inside that hell-hole, but alas, Amata hated me for liberating her from her tyrannical father. She merely shoved me out the Vault door as the security guards chased after me, not daring to come past the locking Vault door.
I continued walking, again, to the blinding light of the real sun. Looking out at the wasteland wasn't nearly as magical as it was the first time, but it still had a good impact. I'm free. Free from having to be polite to all of these peasants living out here on this hellish, arid land. I could plug that thirsty man who was out in front of Megaton with a bullet and no one would try to stop me. I was the man.
Walking around in Megaton again was a bit surreal. I knew what I was about to do, I knew these people loved me in my other file, but I had to ignore them all, all of their ails, their pleas. I went straight into Moriarity's Saloon, found out where my father was, and talked to Mr. Burke. Speaking with him in my other file (heh, anagram for 'life'), I took the "You should get out of here before I blow your head off." Approach. which worked. I was happy, the citizens of Megaton were all still alive, and I could sleep.
Not this time, though. I rigged the bomb to go off, and skipped town faster than you can say "Pensylvania Six-Five-Thousand!". I hobbled off to Tenpenny Tower to see the fruits of my labor. After never having seen Tenpenny Tower in my other file (yeah, I didn't even know it was there, really.), I was shocked to see a Ghoul outside the Tower, trying to get in. I remember, now, ThreeDog saying something about Tenpenny not letting Ghouls in to his tower. Racism. Great, just what this world needs, I thought to myself as I waited for the Ghoul to give up arguing with the security guard on the intercom. I walked up, dropped Mr. Burke's name, and I was immediately whisked up to the top floor of the tower, where I met with Mr. Burke and Tenpenny himself.

"The box is there on the table, go ahead, you've earned it." Mr. Burke said to me. I looked out over the horizon to see where Megaton was, and I opened the box, made sure I was looking at the right spot again, and pressed the button.



After the cheering of Tenpenny, and Mr. Burke just standing there, smugly, I almost threw up. I can't go back to my beloved Megaton. Sure, there were some kooks there, but they were well-meaning people. Not like the bitch that scoffed at me on my way up to the elevator in Tenpenny tower, or that guy that made some dumb remark. They all cared about me in Megaton. I don't think I'll be able to befriend anyone in Tenpenny Tower unless I "deal with" the Ghouls nearby. After the dust started to settle a little bit, I talked to Mr. Tenpenny, and asked him why he wanted Megaton blown up, and he merely replied "It was an eyesore."
At this point my heart sank. I couldn't stand to look at that little old man anymore, sunk back in his leather chair. I took the key to my swanky penthouse suite, begrudgingly, from Burke, went in, and saved my game and exited. I couldn't soil myself with that horrible character anymore. I don't know if I'm going to be able to continue playing it as an evil character. The horrible consequences of my actions are just too bleak. I'd never want to live in a world with someone, let alone let that person be part of my personality. I guess it's arguable that that character already is part of my personality, because I committed to destroying Megaton, but I'm not sure I want to see that story in Fallout 3 unfold, much less anywhere else. It just seems horrible.


I guess what I'm trying to get at is that fact that in a world where there's almost nothing to be happy about, which is arguable, in the quasi-famous words of Terra at the end of Final Fantasy VI: "It is the day to day concerns, the personal victories, and the celebration of life... and love!", there's always that glimmer of light coming in. Be it that one little girl in the Vault that's your friend, or the Ghouls hearing of Gob's fate in Megaton, and that he isn't dead. That Juxtaposition of the bleak, desolate world of the wasteland, and the sheer joy over seemingly trivial things, that are these people's lives. That, is why I love Fallout 3, and can overlook the shitty ending, because in December, someone will mod the ending out! Hooray!   read


9:14 PM on 10.14.2008

Major Nelson = Traitor Nelson?

So I was browsing twitter today, and I noticed this - mostly harmless - tweet from Major Nelson:


"Catching up on today's Apple news. Hmm...glass trackpad? Sounds like I need to drop by the Apple Store this weekend."

I find it funny that a Microsoft employee doesn't use their OS, especially some one as high-profile/public as Major Nelson.

This is also proof that Apple is taking over the world, and we should kill it with fire.   read


3:00 AM on 10.11.2008

Natural Selection 2 updates.

If you're into Half-life mods, you've probably heard of Natural Selection. To me, it's one of the greatest crossover genre games ever created, and I really enjoyed the first one.

Well, the team that made the original have decided to make another, more graphically up-to-date one (yeah, it looks great). They've been doing updates on their status via podcast/vidcast (since they got investors they've been doing vidcasts mostly). But yeah, it looks pretty good. Its gonna be a steam-distruibuted game(I think) even thought they've officially announced that they're making their own engine for the game, so they have more freedom with what they want in the game, even though the source engine license that they were using at first was pretty open(don't quote me on that)

So what I'm trying to tell you people is to check out the following link, because it's relevant to natural selection, one of the best mods ever made for any game.

http://www.unknownworlds.com/ns2/news/2008/10/unknown_worlds_videocast_5

(sorry if this is kinda incoherent, i don't really need to divulge into why i'm dead tired posting this at 4am :)   read


6:48 PM on 09.07.2008

What Destructoid means to me. (Dtoid PAX-Panel reflections)

So I've been on this website for the better part of a year now, seen it go through so awesome stuff (The Best Birthdayversery ever, some really bad ads, and a lot of other stuff that I'm sure everyone can think of that's happened since November/December of '07), and I'm happy to say that I've found my new home online. I don't post much, I kinda just idle in IRC, but I know this is where I belong now. The epiphany that I had while watching the PAX Panel was probably the weirdest, most enlightening video I've ever watched. I can't really explain it (but I'm gonna try!), and I love it.

So rewind to December of about 2004 or so, I was heavy into the Nintendo nsider forums (anyone? Anyone?), and I was pretty happy there. I slowly stopped going, as I was busy with marching band and other school related stuff. Then one day, during those amazing high school summer days (Well, not so amazing, but ya know...), I was incredibly bored, and I tried to go back to the forums, and they had deleted everything except the tech support forum. Needless to say I was shocked. The Nsider forums, in case you didn't know, were pretty active. Their fan fiction community was one of the best I've ever seen on the internet, and then all of a sudden, poof, gone. I didn't really know what to do at that point, I floated around to a couple of other forums and tried to get into them, but just couldn't.

Coming back to around November of last year, around the whole Cashwhore incident, my friend (who religiously followed gamestop), sent me some links to destructoid, Kotaku, and the like. I added the RSS feed of Destructoid's front page my bookmarks toolbar in Firefox because I liked the style of writing by most of the editors, and I didn't really have another source of gaming news or anything.



Well, one of the days when I was looking at the comments, I wondered well, I wonder if the links go to anything other than a profile? And sure enough, I stumbled upon the cblogs. It was like I stumbled upon a long lost library of ancient knowledge, with everyone's opinions about whatever they wanted to write about in the gaming world. I immediately made an account and started reading and commenting a little, not too much, but a little. I never made an intro post, but I did the lame little news posts occasionally with things that I thought were interesting that people didn't really know about, or that I didn't see on the site.

I also started going to the forums, but who cares about those right?



It was around the time of the Birthdayversery that I found out what this site really meant to some people. I don't remember who it was, but someone in IRC asked a very serious question to another community member, and that question was “What does Destructoid mean to you”. At which point I thought wow, that's deep.


I never really had the motivation to write this blog out until I watched the PAX panel the other day. Seeing the people behind the scenes of this great site in motion, talking about how they felt about the site that I spend so much time on, was incredible. Sure, I've seen pictures of them all before, and I'm sure it would've been more epic had I been there, but the video did it for me. I immediately thought: “Wow, this is exactly what my English teachers have been telling me for all these years (minus the grow some balls part, and the ridiculous visual aides).” And I couldn't help but think wow, this is the real deal, this is what's up, this is HOT! And here I am, writing this blog, finally. So thanks to Niero, Colette, Dale, Nick, and[size= 24]EVERYONE[/size] that makes this site as awesome and amazing as it is (yeah, that means you!)   read


10:10 AM on 07.17.2008

Minerva Creator Hired by Valve

If you have an able-bodied computer, own Half-Life 2: Episode 1 (which, if you have a computer that can run it and you're on this website, why the fuck don't you?), and like the single-player aspect of Half-Life, you should probably play Minerva. Probably one of the best single-player FPS experiences (besides Half-Life 2 and episodes, Bioshock, and a handful of others) in recent memory, Minerva has some of the best level design I've seen in a while, with amazing puzzles and a great, mysterious storyline that runs parallel to Half-Life's.

Anyway, enough about the mod, you can read the Valve Developer community article if you want to know more. The real reason of this post was to say that the creator, Adam Foster, recently posted on his blog that he will be working for Valve starting early October. This is exciting one, because we now know that Episode 3 isn't that far into development if they're still hiring people to work on it (BAWWW), and two, because Mr. Foster is a genius.

My only qualm with this is hopefully, Adam will finish off the Storyline he had going with Minerva. I'd be pretty upset if he just left the highly ambitious next chapter for vaporware.


SOURCE: http://www.hylobatidae.org/minerva/blogsheep.php?action=articleinfo&id=76   read


12:18 PM on 07.15.2008

E3 disappointment

I remember in previous years (not last year so much, but more than this year) I would always be super excited and giddy around the time of E3. All of the companies would wait until that time of year to unload all of their new, secret games that they've been hush-hush about all year, and there would be a collective *head asplode* from everyone when Miyamoto came out onto the stage with the sword and shield from Zelda, big smile on his face when he announces the newest edition to the Zelda series, and the whole auditorium went crazy.



However this year there seems to be something missing. Maybe it's the fact that nintendo now has to cater to their new-found niche: everyone. I'm not just getting let down by nitnendo this year though, even the Microsoft announcements seemed kind of lackluster and toned down from what they should have been. We've all heard about pretty much everything (except FF XIII coming to Xbox) before the event, so it doesn't seem as incredible and amazing as it would have had we not known about it.

Maybe it's because the booth babes are gone, maybe the Internet just finally caught up with the rest of the world and has become SkyNet. Either way, I don't think E3 will ever be the same.   read


8:39 PM on 07.10.2008

F*** The Police.

{I had started writing this a while ago, and finally dug it out and finished it and put the images to make it seem longer. Enjoy!}

I was driving to school last week, going a little over the speed limit as I was a little later than usual, and all of a sudden, I slow down. Without even questioning why I did it, I remember that there's a cop usually parked on the particular street that I was going down, hence, I slowed down so I wouldn't get a ticket. Now I wasn't going that much over the speed limit (no more than 5mph) but I still didn't want to get pulled over. I also noticed that my heart beat increased a little as I went by the cop, as though I knew that he was going to pull me over for doing something that I was justified in doing, but it was still wrong. Why am I afraid of getting pulled over? Could it be the way that our fine, uniformed law-enforcers are portrayed in the media? Maybe. Maybe...



One of the first games that I played growing up was Road Rash. I always remember this game being fun, beating down my opponents with chains and pipes and other weapons, all while going really fast on a motorcycle. What more could a child, nay, anyone want? Best game ever, 10/10. However, there was always one screen that irritated me more than anything...



I just wanted to keep racing! Why did the cops have to stop me? It's not like I'm hurting anyone - except for my opponents - by driving down the road as fast as possible on my bike. The cops were just a buzz kill in Road Rash, and this has always carried over for me in real life (like that one time I skipped school and got pulled over for running a stop sign :D). I don't want to piss my pants every time I see a cop, and I don't want to have to act like I'm not doing anything wrong when I'm not doing anything in the first place. I shouldn't be intimidated by the people that are supposed to be protecting me and upholding the law.

Another angle on this is the corrupt/bad cops in the real world. You know, the Officer that just had a bad day and wants to let out his/her stress on the 'perp' (who usually isn't really doing anything wrong). This doesn't phase me, as I know I'd get a huge chuck 'o change from the ensuing lawsuit. However, The thought of wasting all of that time - and the possibility that I might not win the case – just pisses me off to no end. The fact that one person's bad day can ruin my life, really bothers me. No one should ever have that much power over someone else's life on a whim, without any thought to it (well, except for maybe a sniper or something).

I guess I really just don't like having people watching over me, be it in games or in life. I ought to be able to do what I want, when I want with little to no repercussions as long as I'm not inflicting pain or damage on others (be it physical, emotional, or to their property). Wait, that's a giant oxymoron for most of what takes place in gaming, isn't it? Most games have you in the shoes of someone who is fighting against the establishment, and not following the rules. I guess Road Rash was trying to tell me not to get into motorcycle gangs, or to be a scientist involved in the opening of the portal that essentially destroyed the future of our planet (fucking Combine...).   read


11:13 AM on 05.31.2008

Atlus reveals elaborate (enemy/item) naming process!

Well, it isn't really that elaborate. While Etrian Odyssey is supposed to be the epitome of old-school rpgs, the naming follies that were made in the 8-bit days are no more. Atlus has a limit on the number of characters that they use in their names for memory reasons, and because of this, Japanese names that are literally translated into something much more elaborate have to be hacked down to something like 8 characters when they're Romanized. this brings on some very lame names, such as badglare.

Source: http://www.atlus.com/pd.php

I always find stuff like this interesting, because there were some REALLY bad names back in the golden days of RPGs, and some even more terrible localization of the dialogs. Now, my question to you, the readers: Do you think this toying around with the names affects the game, or does it really matter at all to you, because you just want to rapidly press the 'A' button through some menus, see some cool animations, and watch your Foes die?



EDIT: ROFLROFLROFL I SUCK!   read


4:33 PM on 04.14.2008

Oblivion Running on Crysis engine, Crysis still dosen't impress me.

So I get home from rehearsal today, and I'm mauled by this pretty looking video:

[embed]81555:10346[/embed]

Which got me thinking; Does Crysis suck so much that they have to Port other, better games to the engine to make up for it's mediocrity? I haven't touched the game myself, but my one friend that did buy it, that thought he could run it, can't. He basically just gets a black screen when the game actually loads up, so it was really just an embarrassing waste of fifty dollars for him.

I mean, I GUESS Oblivion looked pretty shitty, and it really needed the graphical face lift that only the Crysis engine could supply. But really? No. Stop it, we do that outside.   read


10:48 PM on 04.13.2008

Gaming's Guilty Pleasures: Pokemon, and why I'll be a child forever.

Whenever I get out my DS basically anywhere I go, people ask me; 'what are you playing?', to which I casually respond 'Pokemon.'. This is usally met by outbursts of 'Wow, you're such a faggot!', 'Why the fuck are you playing that kids game?', and 'I'm never talking to you again.' I almost understand their position, but then I just shake my head and chuckle to myself. Every time I load up that cart on my DS, I get that feeling of nostalgia from when I was younger. Waiting for my mom to get out of the store while I waitied in the car, walking around with my mom in the mall, etc. I sink a lot of time into those games, and I love every minute of it.



One of the main reasons that I continue to play pokemon, not only because one of my other favorite series' from when I was a child (Final Fantasy) has been sucking in recent years, but for the strategy. Yes, I said strategy. Pokemon has one of the best turn-based combat systems out there, having pretty much every move type and status that you an think of, and they're all executed by cute little critters that you just can't ever get enough of! Also, what better way to cut your teeth for bigger, better RPGs? Pokemon teaches you the concepts and strategies for harder and more complex games that just throw the system at you. I'm pretty sure that I'm a better gamer because pokemon trained me for the more technical games.

I also continue to play pokemon because it's so damn portable. You can train your pokemon with little to no time while your waiting for class to start, the train, the bus, your friend to pick you up on the way to do something, etc. So I don't get why it's so 'childish' to play it. I guess the people that don't play pokemon just don't appreciate the simplicity and wholesome nature of the game. It's simple, fun, and steamlined. Dosen't that make a REALLY good game?



tl;dr, I'm still going to play pokemon. You can make fun of me and call me immature, but I'll just laugh and melt something's face off with Hyper Beam.   read


6:04 PM on 04.03.2008

(Definitely)Not my turning point gaming rig.


As you can see, the front panel has been removed for maximum cooling efficiency (Actually, I was transporting it to a friend's house one time and it sort of fell off, as I hadn't gotten it back on right when I put in my brand spankin' new cd/dvd burner, and the prongs that held it in place broke off). It started out as a Dell Dimension 2350 (I believe) and I've been adding stuff to the maximum limits of the motherboard (it sucks). Actual specs:

------------------
System Information
------------------
Machine name: DHELL
Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2 (2600.xpsp_sp2_gdr.070227-2254)
System Model: Dimension 2350
BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 1.80GHz
Memory: 1022MB RAM
Card name: RADEON 9250
Display Memory: 256.0 MB
Hard drive space(total):Total Space: 38.1 GB (I also have an 80 GB external hard drive that I keep most everything except games on)   read


6:13 PM on 03.19.2008

Lila Dreams, a new Indie MMO in Development.

I've been meaning to do a post about this for a while. This game has had my interest since the first time I saw something about it on Wired about 2-3 months ago. It's not the stunning graphics that had me, nor the super-fly controls, but a few peculiarities about the development team and the setting really got me interested.

First off, the Development team consists of 3 people. That's CRAZY for an online game. They just keep putting out new material about every other week that just keeps blowing my mind though, and making me have faith in them to make a good game.

Another thing that really got my attention is the setting. It's set in the Dreams of an 11 year old girl (Lila). That's pretty bizarre, in a good way. They've put up a bunch of Concept Art that looks pretty awesome.

I just hope this game doesn't turn into Vaporware like a lot of other decent looking mmos that I've been interested in T_T   read


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