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 Macky's Review of Fallout: New Vegas View next topic
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Macky
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I know you all have been waiting with baited breath for my review of Fallout: New Vegas before going out to your game vendors. I was waiting on Vince D. Weller's first because I carry similiar views on the broader areas of focus, with some differences in opinion in specific areas. Anyway, his review is a little short for my liking but I essentially agree with his major points. I've created an addendum to the review featuring my comments for those of you who value my opinion more than someone posting at NMA....


Macky's Fallout: New Vegas Review!

This is a response to Vince D. Weller's Fallout: New Vegas Review @ http://www.nma-fallout.com/article.php?id=57162

I had been waiting for this review and was very impressed with Vince's critique of Fallout: New Vegas. The overall areas of mention that Vince addresses proves to me that he's played the game longer and more thoroughly than most (if not all) of the other reviewers who have 'assessed' the newest Fallout game (not the 2nd Fallout title, you see...). I feel personally validated that the game's (lack of) difficulty was brought up at so many junctions as I find it to be central to the playability of any self-labeled post-apocalyptic title.

In fact I played New Vegas on Hardcore mode (I kind of laugh at this misappropriation of terminology) and just finished the game last week.

My reaction to the abundance of resources, from ammo to ingestibles, was that there needed to be a far greater scarcity. Indeed Vince was right on the money with his critique of this. Keeping in mind that I played on Hardcore mode, I never needed to manufacture my own ammo or medicinal aides to stay alive or complete certain objectives requiring additional quantities that I could not supply through other means.

I must mention however that there was one point in my journey where I forgot to carry food with me and I began to suffer the effects of starvation, the first of which was becoming over-encumbered as I had already been at my carrying limit. For the life of me I could not find anything that I could part with to fast travel back home. So there I was, at Bitter Springs, stealing food from a local refugee to bring my Strength stat back up a point. This was the only time in the game where I really felt the survivalist sensibility (and charm icon_wink ) It only lasted a few minutes but I couldn't help but wish that the entire game could be like this. Unfortunately, as soon as I went back to my apartment I was confronted with loads of mindlessly strewn-about Blacmo Mac 'n Cheese.


There are 10 additional areas of interest during my play-through of Fallout: New Vegas that I did not spot in Vince's review that I thought deserved a mention.

(1) Weapon modifications - a simply brilliant addition, or transfer from Fallout 2, that deserved a mention. It wasn't perfect in its execution (e.g., uneven/random availability meant that I couldn't find any mods for my hunting rifle until I already had a more powerful and effective replacement weapon).

(2) The Vaults and the writing for the vaults was, for the most part, fantastic. They were essentially rabbit holes within the larger world that became enacted short stories - always involving you as a sort of detective. Vault 11 deserves its own mention among the lot as the standout.

(3) True Iron Sight may seem like a remedial addition to an already archaic, wonky, and unnatural combat system, but it actually did make combat outside of VATS a plausible option compared to Fallout 3... and it was actually pretty entertaining because of this basic workability. Vince did mention this.

(4) Gambling was integrated successfully and meaningfully in the game world and wasteland economy (e.g., useful means of attaining/loosing wealth). The casino's are limited in nature but hey - it's not so bad playing the tables that are available. Caravan is actually great fun. Although far too easy against NPC's. I accumulated over 20,000 caps at level 10 because I found Lacy @ Mojave Outpost who remains a high roller every time you visit. Near the end of my adventure she would put up a starting bid of nearly 4,000 caps.

(5) Fallout 3 had one excellent consideration for gamers with the 'post-game completion' achievements that led your character to the discovery of nearly the entire map. The closest New Vegas comes to this is the snow globe challenge which does not require the character to travel to the obscure locations Fallout 3's 20 bubbleheads did. Hence when you are level 30 in New Vegas and still have 40-50 undiscovered locations on the map, there are no incentives to explore them.

(6) This may seem petty but much like the abundance of ammo and aide that destroyed any sense of survivalism and subsequent emersion in a post (post) apocalyptic world, there were far too many 'home bases' provided for the player. After learning that all companions can converge at Lucky 38, did anyone go back to the presidential suite at The Tops? I was rewarded with a room at the Atomic Wrangler at one point and didn't use it once (simply out of lack of necessity to do so).

(7) Again, Vince's comments on companions for use in times of combat support and assistance were right on point. It would be complimentary or compensatory for certain character builds (e.g., smooth talker, high sneak, high melee, low guns, low endurance) but was ultimately unneeded (and therefore in my case, unused) due to the games lack of difficulty.

(8) (needlessly) invisible walls: They are perhaps the worst part within the game engine design in terms of practical nuisance and frequency of occurrence. Fallout 3 has nothing on New Vegas when it comes to being stopped while walking up an ant hill.

(9) With the amount of freedom in the rest of the game (so much so that I felt as if only I knew what I was going to do regarding The Strip) the overarching narrative becomes stubbornly rigid once you reach a very specific point within the story.

In Fallout, I could talk to the Master, Kill the Master, join the Master, hit on the Master for God sakes. I understood that the Master probably (but not certainly) had to die, which is an ultimately unmalleable questline, yet the illusion remained intact that my ideological position towards the Master could be enacted upon through my own choices (whether it be dialogue or combat). And I could really only deduce the ultimate rigidity of 'the Master must and will die no matter what' questline as an end-game certainty after completing the entirety of the Fallout story.

In Fallout: New Vegas, however, it felt like my decisions were being made for me after a very specific junction in questing is reached; one where I am inevitably ostracized from all other factions except for the one I am working for (ja, natuurlijk!). Then I simply follow through with three quests for that path, get the achievements, and put the game away. The benefit to this is that it is very conventional: I save the game before this obvious junction within the game story and I simply reload from that point and play the other three paths. The disappointing aspect to this is that the freedom I thought I had 2/3 of the game becomes explicated at this junction as being just an illusion, as my character's narrative capabilities will eventually be funneled into 1 of 4 major, overarching ending sequences. My issues with this is not with the underlying set of questing options, but rather that the game has a way (mostly through dialogue, obviously) of informing you that your choices are now limited to 1/4 pre-determined structures or you simply... fail. It absolutely transitions from freedom of personal choice (e.g., my plotting and my planning) to being one of the game's power figure's employee - up to the very end of the game (e.g., now you follow through on their plot that their concerned with by following their plan). The illusion of freedom vanished by how this was done on a design level, not that it was done.

What Vince mentioned about certain skill requirements being explicated and specified (aka instructional) in dialogue, again, is analogous to this point because it only helps break emersion, rid the experience of mystery, and expose any illusion of freedom of choice and consequence.

(10) Weapons and their availability: Bravo (compared to Fallout 3). Sniper rifles cannot be found within your first 15 minutes of play and you have to pay up to possess some of them really purdy ones. I couldn't get my hands on a decent weapon until I had enough money and/or power. That sounds right.


Anyway, well done Vince. Both your review of fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas have been largely spot on in my opinion.
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Alister McFap II Esq.
Jerry Falwell
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

You ignored to mention the plump Fallout (1+2) references. Apparently EVERY-FUCKING-ONE seems to have some ties to locations from the previous games.
It's sickening. I feel like they're watching me. Knowing that it was in fact I who defeated the master, fucked the enclave and... what exactly happened in Fallout 3? I forgot...
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Gimp Mask
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

so what was your opinion in 10 words or less
i skimmed to look for some kind of "in conclusion," but didnt find it
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Yonmanc
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Alister McFap II Esq. wrote:
what exactly happened in Fallout 3? I forgot...


We learned that the only way to clean water from radioactive toxins, is to use a gigantic machine that fills the water with radiation.
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Macky
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Gimp Mask wrote:
so what was your opinion in 10 words or less
i skimmed to look for some kind of "in conclusion," but didnt find it



Basically what Vince said in his review over @ NMA. These are just my additional comments that were not in his review.

IN CONCLUSION Fallout: New Vegas turned out to be the closest sequel to Fallout 2 that we could likely hope for in the year 2010. I realize that this is a very cynical view of the gaming industry but I believe it is absolutely true. This does not excuse the title's obvious flaws - one of which is its underlying game engine, which is one hell of a doozie. Nevertheless, IN CONCLUSION, Fallout: New Vegas' writing, integration of character stats, skills, perks, new weapon and ammo systems, functioning in-game economy and faction system, and increase in player freedom of choice from Fallout 3 (a disaster in this area), make this a worthy successor to the Fallout franchise. Unlike Fallout 3, this one does feel like a Fallout game.

If given no stars or numbers to quantify this game's value, the aforementioned statement should suffice as reason for Fallout (1 and 2) fans to perhaps give the real Fallout 3 (New Vegas) a chance.
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POOPERSCOOPER
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I didn't read your review because I'm still playing and don't want to spoil but god damn this game is too long I'm like 40 hours in and have tons and tons of quests left. I think they should have cut the amount of quests down because right now I feel bogged down and can't really focus or keep track of choices and consequences or whatever.
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Superhaze
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I kind of had the same feeling Pooper, but it is the only way to avoid finishing the game in 8 hours. Its not a very good sign when you have to deliberately avoid main quests out of the fear of finishing the game to quick.
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Yonmanc
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Superhaze wrote:
I kind of had the same feeling Pooper, but it is the only way to avoid finishing the game in 8 hours. Its not a very good sign when you have to deliberately avoid main quests out of the fear of finishing the game to quick.


I never had that worry, simply because I had no idea wat was a side quest and what was a story quest on my first playthrough. I don't mean that in a Good way either. When I was still under the illusion I could forge my own outcome, I did a lot of side quests thinking it would alter the main outcome etc.

On my latest playthrough, I just went to The Fort and killed Caesar, yet for some reason the Legion don't seem to care/notice. Surely me just popping over there, and killing Caesar, should just end the war right?
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Retlaw83
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:44 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yonmanc wrote:
Surely me just popping over there, and killing Caesar, should just end the war right?


He has a bunch of lieutenants and subordinate commanders that can take over in his absence; that would be like saying killing the president of the US will end our involvement in Afghanistan.
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Yonmanc
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:49 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Retlaw83 wrote:
Yonmanc wrote:
Surely me just popping over there, and killing Caesar, should just end the war right?


He has a bunch of lieutenants and subordinate commanders that can take over in his absence; that would be like saying killing the president of the US will end our involvement in Afghanistan.


Not really. I mean, it's Caesars Legion. Everything revolves around him, he's the lynch pin in the whole group. I mean, they're only fighting to spread his power. Why would they carry on risking their lives for him after I smashed his head to lumpy bits with a rebar club. Not only that, but I wiped out the entire roster of soldiers there too. I killed him AND his stupid soldiers. Now yes he has a stronger army heading to Vegas, but whywould they bother after their leader and everyone else has their faces painted all over the walls. What in SCIENCE'S name would they be fighting for!?
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Stalagmite
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:56 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Retlaw83 wrote:
Yonmanc wrote:
Surely me just popping over there, and killing Caesar, should just end the war right?


He has a bunch of lieutenants and subordinate commanders that can take over in his absence; that would be like saying killing the president of the US will end our involvement in Afghanistan.

I would say it's more equivalent of killing Hitler right before the battle of Stalingrad.
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Blargh
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:06 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Partridge Jockey wrote:
Legion.


Emphasis here. The Legion everyman is less concerned by Hegelian Dialectics and forging of Empire - more interested in the claret, having fun with the slaves, and competitions to see how many severed heads he can fit onto a single spear. This perspective is particularly true of Caesar's anointed successor, Lanius, who is shown throughout the game (and several endings) to be Quite Unpleasant.

Spatula Ballet wrote:
revolves


No. Several NPCs will comment on this. The dichotomy between force of personality and the ideals of that personality. Specifically that while the Legion will be irrevocably changed by Caesar's death, it will not simply disintegrate overnight. Certainly not before Hoover Dam II.

The muted response to death-of-Caesar-by-player is a logical (if disappointing) extension of this detail.

Fiscal Bonsai wrote:
fighting


No. Some are fighting because they have grown to enjoy fighting (and burning and killing and pillaging and subjugating). Many, however, because it was the only way to avoid being burnt/killed/pillaged/subjugated by those who came before.

Their weakness became Caesar's strength.

Hangnail Glider wrote:
Why


Ambition. Or would you counsel leaping into the ocean if the captain of your boat died from X ?

Kettle of Cocks wrote:
roster


Did you not notice all those tents in the background ? It is one camp of several/many. The people you can kill there are a handful of a multitude.

The Legion boasts substantial territory, including much of Arizona, parts of Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. De-populating the encampment is little more than an opportunity for catharsis, as far as the narrative goes.

Or you could blame Gamebyro.

Rhymes with Refrigerator wrote:
SCIENCE'S


Exactly what was being fought for before the untimely death of Caesar, as far as the average mook is concerned. Temporal wealth and the joy of doing what you have been told to do the buzz of murder. It's not as though Caesar hosted fucking lectures on philosophy for his pawns, is it ? Even had he done so, they would have, in all likelihood, preferred to spend their evenings raping the slaves and similar wholesome diversions. No, they are tools. Tools that, in the event of his demise, go on without him. icon_drunk
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Amis
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:25 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Caesar's legion still has territory in Colorado, besides Lanius would take over or some other chump on the ladder.
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Alister McFap II Esq.
Jerry Falwell
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:32 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Some NCR authority claimed that the Legion would fall apart within 20 years or so, after Ceasar kicks it.
Needless to say, I traveled there at once and slaughtered him and his dogs with my Weathered 10 mm Pistol.
I must admit, that entering his tent was a bit displeasing armed with just a pistol, but then I just stepped outside and suddenly I had the upper hand.
Fuckers.
The reaction henceforth was a stoic "Durr hurr... Kais0rz dedd" from the odd wasteland inhabitant.
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Yonmanc
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Blargh I'm not sure I like those name's you called me icon_sad
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Stalagmite
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Then call him a sheep shagging feline Trotskyist New Zealander.
Only tip you'll get from me.

He's right though...
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Blargh
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Your professed uncertainty is a 'colossal disappointment', 'Yonmanc'. Uncanny !

Chasm Threads wrote:
tip


While it is your prerogative to be wrong, it is that you cleave to it with such tenacity that I find most amusing. icon_drunk
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Retlaw83
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

With so many wrong guesses about where Blargh is from, and given the fact he has to be a native English speaker or an extremely gifted linguist in any language, I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that he writes his posts from his fortress-lair in Antarctica.
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SenisterDenister
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

He's either an Aussie or from New Zealand.
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Alister McFap II Esq.
Jerry Falwell
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

It takes 12 strong men, 4 weeks and 2 donkeys, as well as a trip to the himalaya, to find out that Blargh is in fact nothing less than a bot. Powerd by selfrighteousness and field crickets.
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