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.
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!
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.
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!)
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.
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.