on Aug 16, 2011
Josh has spent the entire game hauling around a great heap of clutter and stashing unwanted items in various places. Those of you who have played the game will know that this is like refusing to take out the garbage. You are not avoiding work, only postponing it. Sooner or later, those items need to be rounded up. Sorted. Schlepped to various vendors. Sold. The resulting bottlecap bounty must then be invested in upgrades and equipment, which requires additional travel time and inventory-scrolling. Usually you do this a bit at a time as you play, but Josh has been on a non-stop bender of murder and item acquisition since he staggered out of Doc Mitchell’s house.
So this is it. This episode is the Great Inventory Reckoning. Half an hour, with several fast-forward sections. I can’t imagine what compels you people watch this show. Sitting in on this session caused acute boredom trauma to my frontal lobe.
As an added bonus, Josh has begun griefing us outside of the game, through the magic of editing. In this episode he cut huge sections of commentary, and then left in sections that we specifically said should be left out.
I will say that the interface in this game is just shockingly, shamefully, willfully horrible. In the lineage of Morrowind » Oblivion » Fallout 3 » New Vegas, we see a clear progression taking place. At the start, the interface is clunky and awkward. It degrades rapidly from there, until it finally blossoms into a crime against usability. New Vegas has the dubious distinction of being the first game in the progression where the interface didn’t get significantly worse.
It’s been suggested that the interface problems are the result of “consolization”. While we might blame console-porting for the excessively large fonts, excessive scrolling, and wasted screen space, that doesn’t explain everything that’s wrong here. One thing console games usually have going for them is clarity. PC games do have a tendency to start looking like a spreadsheet, but consoles are generally more focused about what information is being presented and what the options are. But here the thing so terribly cluttered and counter-intuitive that a lot of your options end up being obfuscated. I’ve sunk over 100 hours into this game, and I just recently found a new page of info that I didn’t know existed.
They keep releasing new screenshots and trailers for Skyrim. (I don’t know why I bothered linking them. The official Skyrim site is an idiotic flash-based monstrosity that demands to know your country of origin (hint to the Bethesda web devs: you can actually get that info without needing to trouble the user) and birthday before it will move on to being useless. It’s a sort of, “How many things can you find wrong in this picture?” of web development.) I’d love to see just one of them show us what the interface is going to look like. I know this won’t happen, but that’s where my curiosity is focused.