Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Podcasts! New Year! Nuclear War!

Happy New Year Everyone!

New podcasts are up including the Old School crews continued trek into the Wild West and a one shot set in the irradiated ruins of western Michigan. 

My first campaign that I DM'd ran for two years was set in the Fallout universe with the characters carving out their destiny in Michigan.  So to say that I am an unapologetic fanboy for the Fallout series is an understatement.  So I was extremely excited for the release of the Fallout 4 to be released.  There are plenty of articles concerning grievances concerning the game from die hard old fallout fans such as myself, Patricia Hernandez over at Kotaku does a good job of laying those out in a diplomatic neutral fashion.  I would agree to much of her assessment of the game and how it its transition to a more high action shooter you lose the capabilities in the choice mechanic.

New gamers will not understand how revolutionary the original game was in its ability to not only let you make your own choices but to have the consequences for the choices really mean something.  I came to the first game from the old console systems (Nintendo, Super Nintendo, etc) where the choices in rpg's mainly involved what weapon or spell you wanted to use on a monster.  There was no walking into the shop in Legend of Zelda and murdering the shopkeeper for the blue ring because you were 10 rupees short, that short of stuff just was not possible.  So when I first played the Fallout game I was struck with just how much freedom I now possessed.  If I did not like how this shop keeper was interacting with me I could pull my 10 mm pistol and put a bullet in him, and he would die.  Now in doing so the whole town would turn against me and I would be made swiss cheese  in the street.  I think that this short of nostalgia for choice  is what is driving so much of the current games criticism, but I am really loving this new Fallout game.

I think that with what the new game lacks in a no hand holding freedom-of-choice world they more than make up for in atmosphere.  That is a high order since Fallout 3 and New Vegas were dripping with 1950's aesthetic and nuclear horror.  What I mean is that the game creates situations in which there is tension, confusion, and excitement.  A perfect example of this is early on in my current game when I was rummaging around in a cemetery looking for anything useful I could loot.  It was raining heavily and at night.  I moved around going in the various mausoleums not finding anything of substance when I spotted one that had it's door open and there was a light.  I carefully sneaked around the outside of cemetery to avoid detection but then all a sudden the light went.  It seems like a simple thing but I had to put my controller down for a few moments because I was actually spooked at what just happened.  Did I just walk into my own mini horror movie?  I then got really anxious and began popping drugs for protection as my mind raced as to what in the world could be going on.  I won't spoil it but situations like that keep happening over and over again in Fallout 4, which I think is the one of the games greatest strengths that keep me coming back for more.  Also Jet.


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