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Monday, October 25, 2010

Fallout New Vegas!!! Not so fast there dude!

So I was lucky enough to get into the Fallout New Vegas Beta and let me tell you... Hold on, wait, no I paid for this game. It's a full retail release! Holy crap!

Yeah so last week Fallout New Vegas was released. I stayed up until midnight waiting for it to unlock on Steam and was so happy when it finally did. Only this happiness wouldn't last very long, soon it turns to sadness then finally great anger!

At first the game was running great for the whole introduction and tutorial stuff with the doctor it was all great. As soon as I stepped into the wasteland it all went to hell. The first thing I noticed was the massive drop in frame rate. At some points it was like watching a slide show of someone's visit to New Vegas and not playing a game. Now my PC isn't as cutting edge as it once was but I can still play most new games maxed out and I could 100 percent play Fallout 3 maxed but this game, nope runs like mud. I thought I should fight through this and just enjoy it but it was so hard. Next up I noticed some of the enemies getting stuck in the environment, some of the Geckos you need to fight at the start were hard to get to due to them being stuck, sometimes more than half way into some of the rocks. Another thing with the frame rate it seemed to slow down the most when a NPC was in the area then just go to the single digits when you looked at or talked to said NPCs.

So, okay I can deal with this I'll just play the game. Well I decided to save and go check out some forums to see if this is just happening to me or if it's widespread. I save the game and exit. As I'm reading about all the other people having these frame rate issues I see that the auto and quick saves aren't working right and something is causing the Steam Cloud to revert back to an old save. Panicked I loaded the game and saw I had lost about 3 hours of play time. Garbage! This is just crap!

Through out the next day I checked the various forums to see what was going to be done. A patch for scripting and quest issues was released and that's all well and good but if people can't play the game who cares about broken quests? Some people even almost a week after the game came out can't even load the game without it crashing. Apparently they fixed the save issue by shutting off the Steam Cloud support but I've still heard of save issues. Also there is suppose to be a fix for the frame rate that involves a modded .dll file but I won't try it. I don't feel comfortable with trying to solve an issue with a modded file downloaded off the internet. Lot's of people have said it worked and makes the game run at a smooth frame rate but I'm not going to bother.

My initial thoughts were this is the game Fallout 3 should of been before Bethesda but their "magic" touch on the series and just made a boring Oblivion with guns. In the few hours I spent with New Vegas it felt more like a Fallout game then Fallout 3 could ever hope to be. Obsidian programed this one and they're made up of a lot of the old Black Isle Studios crew who made the First two Fallout games.

Besides all that I can't believe this game was released like this! It's a freaking beta at best. I've heard the console versions constantly crash and have their own set of problems. For a big triple A title like this to ship unplayable is a disgrace. PC gaming is so past this when you bought a game and hoped it would work period like back in the DOS days.

I've given up on New Vegas I should of known better. To me Obsidian hasn't ever really put out a great game. KOTOR 2 was a travesty compared to the first one. Neverwinter Nights 2 kind of missed the whole point of that series and I never played Alpha Protocol but we've all seen the reviews and heard about the large amounts of bullcrap in that game. The the blame is also on Bethesda for this garbage engine. Gamebryo has been janky sense Oblivion and because they're Bethesda they get a free pass? Listen Daggerfall was brilliant, Morrowind was a good game but Oblivion was a boring wank fest and Fallout 3 was Oblivion with guns, another boring wank fest, bang bang!

If I were to give New Vegas a review number right now it would be a 1 out of 10. The 1 is because I had hope for about 45 minutes. Will I review it in the future? Probably not, I've given up on it, even if it gets fixed I'll probably never finish it. But I'll say this here, it's the last Bethesda or Obsidian game I'll ever buy, screw both of them!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Some thoughts on Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead is a series I overlooked when it came out. I tried the demo on the Xbox 360 and didn't really think a lot of it. I never picked up the full release even after hearing it was a great game. Flash forward to about a month of Left 4 Dead 2's release and I still hadn't played the full version of the first game. While browsing Steam I saw that with a preorder of Left 4 Dead 2 you could get Bill's Hat to use in Team Fortress 2 and I am a sucker for Team Fortress 2 stuff so I decided to preorder Left 4 Dead 2 so I could get the hat. Steam also had a deal that you could get the first game with a preorder of the second and save some cash so I bought that one too.

A few days later I decided to fire up the first Left 4 Dead to try out the full game. After playing for a bit I found myself having a really good time playing the first Left 4 Dead. I wasn't playing it online, I like to play through a game in single player before I take it online. I beat all the campaigns and around that time Left 4 Dead 2 came out so I moved on to that one. I cleared all the campaigns by myself and then I just moved onto the next game. A few months later I decided to take Left 4 Dead 2 online and you know what? I really suck at it! I was doing campaign co-op and I was just so freaking bad I couldn't believe it. Again the game went on the shelf and I didn't look back. Recently I started playing the two games again and I have some thoughts on them both and the series as a whole.

First off I know this is probably common knowledge but the second game is far and beyond the better of the two. I remember the community getting up in arms about the release of L4D2 about a year after, saying it should be an expansion pack and all that jazz. Almost everything about the second game from a mechanics standpoint is improved. From the melee weapons added to the way the Zombies act and the number of Special Infected. I think the second game does a better job of telling the overall story even with what little is presented as you play the game. Now to me the one thing the second game has that does not surpass the original game are the actual survivors.

The cast in the first Left 4 Dead is one of the best game casts in the history of gaming. The way Bill, Francis, Louis and Zoey interact with each other is done so well. These characters are just so likable, they each have a roll and they all fill it perfectly. Now with Left 4 Dead 2 the cast isn't nearly as strong as the first game. To me the weak point is Rochelle, she just isn't a good character. I can't think of any memorable things she has said and I know absolutely nothing about her back story. I'm shocked that Valve went with her as a character especially after having a really strong female character in the first game. Next is Coach, by himself he's not really a great character but his interactions with Nick and Ellis are fantastic and really makes him come to life. With Nick you get the mysterious dude in the group. You know he's a gambler and some kind of criminal but as you travel through the campaigns he drops hints that he may be darker than first thought. He makes references to getting brains and blood out of his suit and his coldness to the other survivors shows what some could think of as a darker side.
Finally we have Ellis, Ellis is to me the best character this series has ever seen and could be considered one of the best FPS characters in the history of the genre. With his stories about Keith and his overall optimism in spite of the Zombie Apocalypse is fantastic. The way he interacts with the other characters make them all stronger just because of him and I think that says a lot about Ellis' strength as a character.

With the DLC The Passing you learn that Bill was killed and in the Sacrifice you get to play the events leading up to his death. When you play the newer of the two the group picks who sacrifice and it's not Bill each time but the official story is that Bill died. I know the Left 4 Dead series isn't about cinematics and grand story but the way Bill's death is handled in the game is not that great. You run from the group to hit the generator, die and that's it. You get a few lines from the other survivors yelling about Bill's death. I would of liked to see a cinematic or something for Bill dieing. For a series that's all about these guys to kill off one that a lot of people loved and only have it be a passing moment to me is kind of messed up.

That leads me to the one thing I don't like about this game, which is the story telling. I know for a co-op focused online shooter the story isn't really important. I would of liked to see the story fleshed out more at least in the single player mode. The characters do talk back and forth to each other and you get some insight on them as people and such but if you interrupt any of it you miss out. If they had done some beginning and end campaign cinema scenes to flesh out the story it would of been awesome.

I've been playing the online versus lately and it's really fun but I do suck at it. Playing as the infected is really cool but I really suck at that. I've been going back and forth between the first and second game and they are quite different. I actually played the second game before I played the first so going back and being online with the first game I was wondering why I kept spawning as the same three infected but then had to remind myself I was playing the first game! Earlier today I decided to try Survival in L4D and again I suck at it. I'm not use to being this bad at a game online but I am still having a great time playing and I'll continue to do so.

What really got me interested in playing these was playing the Call of Duty: World at War Nazi Zombie mode. That has some neat things in it with them including the Perks from the multiplayer and some really fun to play as characters. While Left 4 Dead is a more complete game it could take a Que from COD:WAW. I would love to see a perk system included in the eventual L4D3 and even more variety to the weapons.

As many people know the Left 4 Dead games are great and I wish I had started playing these games back when they first game out but now I'm having a really fun time playing them.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Sombreros is a top down shooter brought to us by Dustin Gunn. The game comes from a group remake project to remake the games found in the Action 52 set of games. Most gamers know Action 52 as one of the biggest pieces of garbage the gaming world has ever seen. It came out on the NES back in 1991 and has been the subject of tons of internet videos over the years. You can check out some info on that here...


This is the link to the Action 52 remake page. It lists the games and who has choosen to remake the game.


Dustin Gunn has taken what was an abortion of a game and made a really fun to play overhead shooter in the vein of Commando or the old NES Gunsmoke. From the little bit of story I've seen you're playing as a sheriff in a nameless Mexican city. The main villain has stolen the towns supply of sombreros and you're out to get them back.

You head north through the city shooting all who get in your way. The arrow keys move you and the X key shoots. You have another power to use and it's kind of like a bullet time thing. It reminds me of the slow motion shooting from Call of Juarez, you hold the C key and then you pick your targets. When you let go of the C key your little dude just unleashes a hail of bullets on the selected targets. It's really cool and I love to do it. This also comes into play at points in the levels when you have to throw down and have a good old gunfight with enemies. The game automatically goes into slow mo and you aim at one or more people before they can get a bead on you.

The game has a fun Mexican theme through out. The enemies drop sombreros when you kill them and those power your bullet time mechanic. Pinatas which you shoot are the checkpoints in the game which took a moment for me to figure out. At one point Chihuahuas will latch on to you and slow you down.

Right now my main complaint with the game is the shooting. When you hold the fire button and move you stay in the direction you're shooting until you let go of the X key. At points it's cool to hold your direction but I found myself sometimes wishing it would switch without me having to make me let go of the button. Maybe it could of had two fire buttons, one for free fire while moving and one to let you stay in direction while moving.

I haven't finished the game yet I'm about half way through level 2 and the game I believe has 3 levels. I just had to take a break to write this as I was really enjoying the game and wanted to talk about it. Definitely check it out if you like Commando or similar games.

This is a link to Dustin Gunn's blog. Scroll down a bit to find Sombreros.


Second Look: Medal of Honor Beta

The last time I wrote about the Medal of Honor Multiplayer Closed Beta I basically said it was crap and I stand by that statement. Back in July when I was trying to play this it was glitchy and pretty much just broken. If you're interested in my thought of the game back then here's the link to that article.


With the actual release of Medal of Honor coming out this week EA had the open beta to help test the servers for the multiplayer. After hating the game during the summer I decided to give it another shot and downloaded the new beta and tried it out.

I can say that a lot of the problems have been fixed and the game is actually playable and guess what? It's actually fun to play! My main gripe with the original beta was the hit detection, you could head shot a dude, watch their head kick back and spray blood all over the place all from point blank range and they wouldn't take the hit and probably kill you. This was completely fixed you point your gun at someone and shoot and if the shot is lined up and your aim is good you hit them! It's like playing a working shooter!

The other thing that was crap was the game crippling lag. I know it was a beta but the game lagged so bad it was extremely tough to play. Sometimes I thought the lag was the problem with the hit detection but even when the game was running with zero lag the hit detection was still there. In the open beta the lag was pretty much gone and the game ran really smoothly.

As the first beta this one looks fantastic and manages to keep up a decent frame rate with all the setting turned up all the way (I'm was playing this on the PC). Medal of Honor is a great looking game, I'm extremely impressed with the way it looks.

The unlock system for the multiplayer is still the same. The unlocks are class dependent which I'm not a fan of but it's just what DICE does with it's multiplayer games.

There is another big change that doesn't affect gameplay, EA decided to remove the Taliban from the multiplayer. Now they're the Opposing Forces, yay! I was shocked in the first beta when I noticed they were the Taliban but I thought EA and DICE had some balls for putting them in the game and I applauded the edginess of it. I'm really disappointed they removed the Taliban as everything about the game is showing the current war except for who you're fighting. That's just crazy denial and I would of loved to see EA stand it's ground and keep a real villain in the game.

In the end after the first beta I wrote of the new Medal of Honor as just garbage and another me too Call of Duty clone. After last weeks open beta I think the game has a chance to be really good, again while it still feels like Call of Duty Lite I think it can hold it's own in the FPS jungle. Especially with so many people jaded by Modern Warfare 2 this may help the overall sales and get people to play this one. I'm still extremely interested in the single player but I don't like the idea of a 60 dollar PC game. Maybe if they lower the price or there is a sale for the game on Steam I'll grab it, I just can't bring myself to pay 60 bucks for a PC game.