Diecast #107: Fallout, Splatoon, Life is Strange

By Shamus
on Jun 8, 2015
Filed under:
Diecast

The good news: I have glorious new audio equipment. It’s super nice. I have a great microphone and even a boom arm. The bad news: I really needed to test it out before we recorded this. I just adjusted things so they sounded fine in my headphones, without testing to see what was actually being picked up by the equipment. The result is I was too close to the mic and it sounds like I’m talking into a pillow. Then sometimes I lean in too close to the mic and it sounds even worse.

So:

Shamus + improved equipment + stunning ineptitude - due diligence = massive downgrade in audio quality.

I should have tested. Kicking myself now. Enjoy the creepy feeling of being trapped in the trunk of a car with my voice.

I promise it’ll be better next week, or I’ll make Josh eat a bug.

Direct link to this episode.
Direct download (MP3)
Direct download (ogg Vorbis)
Podcast RSS feed.

Hosts: Shamus, Campster, Josh, Mumbles, and Rutskarn.

Show notes:

1:00 Let’s talk about the Fallout 4 trailer and then get distracted bitching about Fallout 3.

Because of course we do. If you’re hankering to pull the scabs off the old Fallout 3 wounds, I’d encourage you to hold off. I’m about to publish a 5-part 6,500 word critique of the whole thing, so we’ll have lots of time to gnaw on those old bones. Let’s pick on Fallout 4 first, and then we’ll start in on Fallout 3 later this week.

Here is the Kotaku article that purports to debunk the Reddit leak.

18:00 Steam Refunds are a thing and Shamus tries it.

Also, Games for Windows LIVE is still septic software.

22:00 Splatoon

This segment should be more rightly called, “We like this game but Nintendo has no idea what they’re doing.”

34:00 Let’s talk about the X-COM 2 trailer.

Also we do a little X-Com reboot retrospective.

44:00 Life is Strange, episodes 1-3.

Mild, spotty, occasionally obfuscated spoilers.

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A Hundred!20202We've got 142 comments. But one more probably won't hurt.

From the Archives:

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I promise it’ll be better next week, or I’ll make Josh eat a bug.

    How about you make it better AND make Josh eat a bug?That way,everybody wins!

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So if some womans husband is killed by some goons she isnt allowed to go take revenge?If true,that would be very stupid.Especially when the movie salt exists.If you havent watched it,it was based on a book that has this guy who is a spy,and something happens to his wife.But they liked Angelina Jolie so much that they gender switched everything,so she became the spy,and its her husband she has to save.If hollywood can do that,I see no reason why videogames couldnt do it as well.

    • ehlijen says:

      You mean the movie from years ago with the big baiting hook at the end that still hasn’t been picked for a sequel and which from what I remember was mostly listed under also ran in most cinemas?

      I’m not sure that qualifies as ‘if Hollywood can do that’, sadly.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    It is not just store credit.Did anyone actually read the whole thing?

    You will be issued a full refund of your purchase within a week of approval. You will receive the refund in Steam Wallet funds or through the same payment method you used to make the purchase. If, for any reason, Steam is unable to issue a refund via your initial payment method, your Steam Wallet will be credited the full amount. (Some payment methods available through Steam in your country may not support refunding a purchase back to the original payment method. Click here for a full list.)

  4. Alex says:

    On Fallout:
    Definitely agree that we should be able to get the best of both worlds. It would be lovely if Fallout 4 could be the definitive Fallout, with all the good stuff from Fallout 3, all the good stuff from Fallout NV, and our very own Highwayman and larger party sizes from the first games. And it should definitely have a female protagonist, or I’m not playing it.

    On XCOM 2:
    There are a lot of things I’d love to see added or improved over XCOM EU/EW. Proper mod support might help with this, but I don’t like what we’ve seen of the premise of the new game as much as I do the modern-day military of the previous game. The Avenger could be nice, though.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      I can’t think of anything I want from Fallout 3 that wouldn’t get in the way of what I like about Fallout New Vegas. I know people say the levels but I prefer walking around areas that feel like real lived in places over areas that have conveniently strewn rubble to feel like designed levels. And the balance in Fallout New Vegas doesn’t bother me either. I like that Fallout feels like a place where I have to work to get around because it makes me appreciate the safe havens that much more. It makes reaching a haven feel like a reward. And I felt like a badass playing the game (once I’d leveled enough) without feeling like I’d lost that sense of needing to be careful and not being safe.

      Now that I think of it, the only thing I can think of that I’d like from Fallout 3 is Mothership Zeta. I like when Fallout adds that extra touch of sci fi. Frankly a Fallout that somehow had both an Old World Blues style area AND a Mothership Zeta in the same game would be perfect for me. Yeah I know I said I like the Wasteland survival but the sci fi gives it extra flavor.

      And now that I think about it, the level where you’re in that Steel Factory was pretty good. But I’ve only played Fallout 3 once so maybe someone else can tell me what from Fallout 3 can be added to a well written New Vegas style game.

      • Alex says:

        For starters, I liked having the metro tunnels crossing much of the map. It would have been cool if we could have had a portable player house down there. I liked Mothership Zeta, and I at least disliked The Pitt in an interesting way – it was easy to imagine my character heading up there feeling like she could save the world, and finding it a rather sobering experience when there wasn’t an easy right answer.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          I knew I was forgetting something. Yes, the Metro tunnels. That’s a great opportunity for labyrinthine levels that don’t undermine the authenticity of the topside building layouts.

          Even better, the collapses would be impractical to try to clear with explosives so you don’t find yourself wondering why you can’t just destroy the door.

      • The Rocketeer says:

        “Convienently strewn rubble” is a great phrase for describing the wrong way to do convenient level design, but I disagree that Obsidian’s ratmazes are a result of lived-in, real spaces.

        REPCONN (either building), the Hoover Dam, Gomorrah, the Ultra-Luxe, and every Vault feel like they were designed to destroy your sense of direction and waste the player’s time. And don’t get me started on Dead Money, regardless of what the intent there might have been.

        And it’s not just layout-based confusion, either; it’s things like using a fusebox art asset that the player has learned to always treat as a static decoration as a quest objective in the finale, or how the order of the elevator options in the Lucky .38 aren’t ordered consistently or sensibly. Just small, little grievances that crop up every now and then.

        Remember how in Fallout 3, there was one quest that directed you to a manhole that you couldn’t tell apart from the environment, so you were likely to stand right on top of it and think your game was bugged? Or how in the Jefferson Memorial, two doors that led to opposite ends of the same new cell had had their teleporters swapped, so you seemed to bend space and time whenever you entered that room? These were exceptional annoyances in Fallout 3, but they perfectly illustrate the feeling that New Vegas gives you all of the time.

    • Bropocalypse says:

      Do you mean MARKETED with a female protagonist? Because otherwise there’s nothing to say that the protagonist isn’t female.

      • Alex says:

        There is somebody who claims to be a leaker who said the protagonist is not female. If she’s lying, great! But that’s what I was responding to.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          Hopefully that leaker is lying. It would be a colossal blunder for Bethesda after all its previous open world games let you play as female especially right now when so many other franchises are taking heat for not including a female option. I also REALLY hope the voice acting is just for the trailer. If it isn’t, then I hope someone releases a mod that turns off the voice acting. Maybe that will be my first ever contribution to the modding community. Its fine when you have a properly crafted character like Geralt but Fallout has always used audience proxies. Don’t take that away from me.

          The only details that have yet been verified are things a diligent outsider could have assembled from news reports and previous leaks. And if its not a lie, hopefully Bethesda is already getting an earful and can add a female option in the months they have before launch. How hard can that be? The game should already have female NPCs and female versions of much of the game’s gear if its anything like the previous two fallouts.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            Frankly Bethesda has not earned the right to expect me to trust them by taking away my ability to create my own character for the setting. Their writing chops have never been strong enough to make a protagonist like that work. They get away with their thin writing because it leaves me free to create my own story with my own character.

            If its confirmed that this game features a completely predefined protagonist then I’m definitely not buying it at launch. I’ll wait. I have more than enough games I’ve not gotten around to playing as it is (we have a thread running about this in Shamus’ form right now, the game I listed will easily take me past Fallout 4’s launch date.)

            • Blovsk says:

              Ugh Fallout 3 was a trainwreck on so many levels. A trainwreck which happened to be a passable direction for the game if combined with *any* oversight whatsoever. Then New Vegas happened and was pretty good and fitted Fallout lore and had cool stuff from the cancelled Van Buren and had good writing and had better gameplay, looked better, had more varied environments.

              Not interested in another Fallout game from Bethesda.

            • Bropocalypse says:

              Bethesda is pretty inept, but I don’t think they’re dumb to the degree of removing a significant feature like this that’s been in their games for so long especially after the AC:Unity debacle last year. Besides, that particular rumor is pretty flimsy.

            • Wide And Nerdy says:

              I suppose its moot. Chris Avellone left Obsidian and John Gonzalez who created much of the main quest for New Vegas left some time ago. Even if Obsidian wrote the next Fallout, it wouldn’t be New Vegas. You can’t go home again.

    • AileTheAlien says:

      I too, would love if F4 had all the best bits of the previous games. I just hope it doesn’t have all of the worst bits from every game. Come on dice, daddy needs a new Fallout game that doesn’t suck! :P

    • Zukhramm says:

      I don’t remember New Vegas being that bad, gameplay wise. If the choice between New Vegas and Fallout 3 is between terrible gameplay and terrible writing Fallout 3 must have some amazing gameplay, because New Vegas was entirely bearable to me.

      But then again, their crticism of New Vegas was that it wasn’t unbalanced enough.

    • AileTheAlien says:

      Arrrg! I totally missed this game when it came out! This looks awesome!!!1two :D

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        The only downside of the game is that it uses real time with pause,which kind of reduces its tactics in that equipping everyone with high rof weapons and just letting lose can win you practically every match.But the global map is great with plethora of cool options.And you get to level up your scientists and engineers as well.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Life is strange(also spoilers):

    Chloe isnt explicitly shown as being gay or bi.She has been shown as in love with rachel.That could be her only exception,that could be just the start of the rule,or it could be just her rebel side,but it wasnt explicitly shown.

    But max is not gay.She treats the whole thing as a game.She even says in her diary “It wasnt a big deal”.To her,it was just teasing a friend,while chloe is treating it as something special.

    What I am disappointed about that whole thing is that you cannot confess that you rewound time.

    • Fists says:

      Chloe does have female-pinups around her room, I took that as a ‘hint’ she’s into chicks but it could just be there as part of her rebel persona.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Life is strange again:
    Ummm,why is it mean spirited if its just friendly teasing?When was it decided that the main character must pursue their romantic actions to the very end,and they can never just goof around with a friend?

    Im seriously bored by all the demands that if two characters are even slightly close to each other,they have to be romantically involved in the end.Why cant we have more friendships?Or more chasing amy stories?

    Plus,max has way more important things to worry about than relationships.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Nathan is on meds.And those two are used for serious mental problems.So either he is genuinely crazy,or his parents are massive douches and keep him on those for the lulz.

    As for the whole ending thing:
    They actually dug themselves in more with that move.If they reverse it,then this whole thing was a cheap shock moment.But if they dont reverse it,then all of your previous choices are meaningless.So no matter what they do,it will be bad.

    As for the happier thing:
    The new timeline is happier for who?Rachel?Yes.Warren?Hmmm,maybe.We dont know if max would ever wizen up,or if she would be better for him.The vortex crowd?Eh,we have no idea.David?Definitely not.Despite everything,joyce does make him happy.Joyce and william?Nope.Every parent would rather give their own life(and the lives of everyone else) than have their child paralyzed,especially so young.They are going through hell right now(if joyce is alive anyway,if not its worse).At least previously joyce had some comfort,and william didnt suffer a fate worse than death.Chloe?Nope.She is screwed either way,both traumas are devastating.And max is definitely going to suffer now.At least previously,it wasnt her fault.But this?Entirely on her.So basically,its just shifting shit from some people to some other people.

    • Micamo says:

      Or, a third possibility: Max can travel back and forth between both alternate timelines. My only support for this is that after you finish episode 3 and look at the save file, the location line says “Alternative Main Campus.” And that, you know, it’s the smart thing for the designers to do.

      • Ruethus says:

        Maybe they’ll end up doing something along the lines of Steins;Gate. That show was pretty cool, and could definitely make an interesting game.

  8. Just stumbled over this which is not really related to the diecast (though Fallout get mentioned).
    Adam Jensen (Elias Toufexis) & Commander Sheppard (Mark Meer) interview.
    Mark has clocked a lot of hours in Skyrim and Fallout 3, and Elias really likes Arkham City.

    Also on the 3killabytes channel there are videos of Elias Toufexis playing Deus Ex Human Revolution (how meta) which I’m def checking out next.
    (part1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flszuT3ROdo
    (part2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXOQzeTiutA
    (part3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPRgvcSAE4I

    At some point in part 1 Elias is adlibbing “new” dialog to what is being played i.e. “Shut up Megan”.
    Hilarious. (PS! Elias has also played through DE:HR twice)

  9. shiroax says:

    I think I’m with Campster on XCOM. The first one was humans pull together to fight a common foe, and now it’s terrorists with flags on their backs fighting against “unification”.

    Second thing that really rubbed me the wrong way was an age gate, then a guy in a hood with a sword. Who thinks that is cool but a 13 year old? I don’t know how melee fighting was in the first one, I don’t have the expansion, but that really looked dumb.

    I don’t think the flying base means there are good aliens, just that they watched too much Agents of SHIELD. I saw that as a development of Firestorm technology.

    • Alex says:

      “Second thing that really rubbed me the wrong way was an age gate, then a guy in a hood with a sword. Who thinks that is cool but a 13 year old? I don’t know how melee fighting was in the first one, I don’t have the expansion, but that really looked dumb.”

      In EU/EW, the only melee options available to XCOM are a mecha suit with a hydraulic ram for smashing aliens, and psychically controlling a big, burly alien to have him smash aliens for you. There was no “guy with sword” class.

      “I don’t think the flying base means there are good aliens, just that they watched too much Agents of SHIELD. I saw that as a development of Firestorm technology.”

      XCOM having an alien spaceship means that somewhere on Earth there is an alien pilot laying face-down in a pool of its own blood. If there’s one thing that defines XCOM, it’s stealing the aliens’ stuff and using it against them.

      • shiroax says:

        Part 1: I know. Was the mecha suit so liked that they needed to put melee into the sequel? But still, hood and sword? Eeuh

        Part 2: Was it an alien spaceship? Looked more like the kid of a Voodoo and a Demon imo

        • Alex says:

          “Part 1: I know. Was the mecha suit so liked that they needed to put melee into the sequel? But still, hood and sword? Eeuh”

          No, I agree with you. I’d be okay with melee for stealth kills (sneak up behind an Advent soldier with a knife, goodbye Advent soldier) but having my soldiers engaging in actual melee combat in a setting with Mutons and Chryssalids is not something I want out of an XCOM game – at least not without some serious engineering to back it up.

          And the hood is terrible. It might work for a Sniper, but not on an Assault.

          “Part 2: Was it an alien spaceship? Looked more like the kid of a Voodoo and a Demon imo”

          Maybe it’s not official, but the theory I’ve heard is that it’s a stolen alien transport that has been modified by XCOM.

          When I first heard about the Avenger, it actually reminded me of an XCOM/Mass Effect fanfic I’ve been reading, Psi Effect. Don’t take it too seriously, but it’s good fun, especially chapter 4.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            There already were melee weapons in terror from the deap and apocalypse(which had the power sword,which is basically a jedi lightsaber).Plus,the stun rod from enemy unknown can be considered a melee weapon.And the spin off series ufo also had melee weapons,and even specialized melee builds.So this isnt really something new.

            • AileTheAlien says:

              The problem I have with the sword in the trailer, is that it just looks like a regular machete or something. No glowy power, no chainsaw blade, nothing. That’s just insane, because you’re up against aliens who have built-in steroids, armor, etc. The high-tech melee of the previous games was at least a credible option to fight with, but this normal-looking sword really does look like, as Shiroax puts it, something thought up by a 13-year-old to look cool. It just doesn’t fit in with the setting and tech level of the rest of the game.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                Monofilament sword would look like your average sword.

                • Ringwraith says:

                  Not to mention this is an XCOM that got driven underground very early on, therefore didn’t any good access to stolen or reverse-engineered technology.

                  • AileTheAlien says:

                    But if they didn’t have any reverse-engineered tech, then this wouldn’t be a mono-filament sword, in which case that guy is just using a normal-metal, makes-no-sense-in-this-universe sword. :S

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Technically,we already can build monofilament swords out of obsidian(there are obsidian scalpels).And that blade he uses seems to be black,so it could be obsidian.

                    • guy says:

                      From the looks of it, they all have human-made starting gear, so I’m guessing this is a normalish sword, possibly made of an advanced alloy or composite. I further guess that if someone tries to fight a Chryssalid with that sword it will eat his face and you’ll need to get at least one more tier of research to make that anything other than intensely stupid.

                      That said, I think it looks perfectly capable of killing the snake it was used on, and the guy also had a gun he used earlier.

          • guy says:

            The Avenger was the final human-alien hybrid craft in the original game, with carrying capacity for 26 troops, two weapons pods, and enough armor to take on a battleship by itself.

    • AileTheAlien says:

      The thing that really seemed like a stupid addition to the game, probably for pandering purposes, was alien space-boobs. I mean, they focus the camera on an alien in such a way as to highlight her space-boobs; Seriously looks like fan-service. The worst part about it is that it’s a friggin’ reptile! I mean, the snake aliens lay eggs – they have no reason to nurse their young, since the eggs do that for them!

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        The worst part about it is that it’s a friggin’ reptile!

        Yeah,thats a pretty irksome trope.

        Though in this case,it can easily be justified.All the aliens are a bunch of mutant cyborgs,so having a human merged with a snake is a possibility.Especially since we did not see this type in the previous game.

        • AileTheAlien says:

          Previous game, no. In the original game, yes. I hope they have a UFO-pedia entry, on how the human DNA and reptile DNA are a horrible match. Like, the innate behaviours conflict, causing the baby snakemen to try and nurse, and the mother just tries to shoo them away or eat them. :P

        • guy says:

          Given that the target was a gene clinic it very well could be a modified human, and of course there’s no reason aliens have to conform to our phylums and not have scaled cold-blooded organisms that nurse. And there are actually creatures that lay eggs and nurse on Earth, though apparently platypi have a different physical structure for nursing.

          Honestly, whether or not they have a good explaination, I don’t hugely mind. She is wearing a perfectly acceptable vest-thingy and the camera doesn’t seem to focus on them; they just happen to be in the frame.

          • Syal says:

            Given that it’s just a protruding metal vest, there may not be any actual breasts at all.

            But that whole setting looks like it’s based off of V, so snakes with breasts isn’t that surprising.

      • Alex says:

        If Vipers are meant as fanservice they fail, at least for me. I like alien space-boobs, but not with a face like that. That said…

        “The worst part about it is that it’s a friggin’ reptile! I mean, the snake aliens lay eggs – they have no reason to nurse their young, since the eggs do that for them!”

        1. XCOM:EU was clearly intended as a reboot, and Vipers are not the same as Snakemen used to be. 2. “Lay eggs” and “nurse young” are not mutually exclusive. There are examples in real life – Echidnas and Platypuses – that do both.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          They are definitely fan service.Not because of the boobs,but because snakemen are awesome,and were sorely missing from the previous game.

      • shiroax says:

        I disagree on that. I missed the snake-boobs the first time and now had to double check. It lingers on “OMG a snake” and “OMG the snake is totally gonna crush that dude” moments, not her boobs. I’m not a fan of reptile boobs, but she looks pretty cool imo and how else were they to differentiate male and female snakepeople and show that the aliens have an integrated military and are better than most places today and we’re so playing the bad guys.

        On the other hand, I noticed on the rewatch that the trailer has a female German snapshot sniper with bun hair, and the only trooper better than female German snapshot sniper with bun hair is female German assault with short hair; so gj trailer.

        BTW, Daemian, WTF are you doing randomly linking to tvtropes, you monster?

  10. Peter H. Coffin says:

    *grin* I’m imagining UPS dropping this stuff off about an hour before the Diecast and Shamon^h^hus frantically skimming manuals (because you’re supposed to read manuals, right?) while installing drivers.

  11. Christopher says:

    Splatoon was developed by japanese devs, inhouse at Nintendo. Read about it yesterday, coincidentally. I wanted to see if they based it on Super Mario Sunshine. They forgot that it existed.

    I like the occupying force vs rebels setting of X-COM 2. Have no idea what Chris is going on about, humans and good aliens vs occupying bad aliens and humans is basically Half-Life 2’s plot, isn’t it? You can think of that as “terrorism” if you really have to, but I’d think they’re probably going more for that one cool Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon. Don’t see how it’s any worse than humans fighting bad aliens and bad humans, which I believe was Enemy Within.

    I’m happy that the character designer signaled lesbian kisses with the unnaturally colored, short hair in Life is Strange. Was expecting that to be the whole deal since the first time I saw that, and I’m so pleased that my instant guess was right on the money. Life is Strange does sound better every time you guys talk about it, I look forward to playing it when it’s all actually out. I’m like Shamus, not gonna start until it’s all done. At this point I’m itching to try it out though, the talk about diverging timelines is making me think about Steins; Gate. Hopefully the next episodes are all about how fixing stuff fucked everything up in the end so you need to go back and make everyone less happy, but more alive.

    • Akuma says:

      On what Chris is going on about, I feel that’s partly because he’s old enough to have been around when the rebel storyline was everywhere. I think it was a very nineties thing to have a storyline of scrappy rebels against an overpowering but incompetent empire. It got burned out pretty badly so for plenty of people it’s a storyline that they’ve had enough of.

      The terrorism thing is kind of funny to me as it’s more related to the change in the cultural view people have of those that rebel against the state. For a long time it was celebrated as a form of independence and power to the people, but then folk actually learned what the painful realities of civil war were and nobody was having fun with the concept anymore.

      X-com 2 is certainty coming out at an interesting time with this storyline, as currently in the modern era they would be described as terrorists.

      • Alex says:

        What annoys me about this isn’t the “Terr’r’sts!” angle, it’s that there is only one not-stupid path to the setting Firaxis wants to exist… and they don’t seem to have taken that path. The setting they are creating only makes sense if the aliens have a veneer of plausible deniability to their occupation, which they can’t have if their first interaction with humanity was bombing our cities and dropping off Chryssalids to terrorise the population. To maintain that pretense that Advent is a friend to humanity that the teaser website was meant to show, they need to have pretended to have come in peace and only got on with the abductions and cattle mutilations when nobody’s looking.

        • Akuma says:

          I did think about that as well, maybe they thought Chryssalids would make good diplomatic envoys.

          “Well, there like giant cuddly bugs, people love that- aaaand there eating people. Great”

          The only reason I could get it to make sense in my head is if there was some sort of mind control going on. Not a direct one but a subtle one that makes everyone chill out.

          It is possible to make an occupation storyline work, 20 years is a long time to get used to your new lord and masters, but the savoir thing is either a product of propaganda, or a hilarious disregard for humanities intelligence.

          • SharpeRifle says:

            XCOM is a secret squirrel organization. If I was Advent and I wanted this result…hmmm lets see…I’d claim credit for stopping all the known attacks then My people along with “our new alien allies” would publically stop several large scale “attacks” by crysalids and other alien creatures. Humans would therefore be more accepting of our new alien overlords(O.N.A.O.)since they were the ones “Saving” them from the “Evil Aliens”. I already have political allies in various places over the globe to aid this outcome. When Senator J.J. Giggity publically thanks the Advent and O.N.A.O things would go well enough. Again keep in mind so far as we know XCOM is a complete unknown to most people and is a dark conspiracy itself they ain’t exactly on the news explaining about “the alien threat”. And as far as I know they never pull a reveal in game. If they did I don’t remember it.(Will accept corrections.)

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ive figured out why Chris doesnt like the rebels fighting back the alien invasion idea:It reminds him of half life 2,which he hated,because he hates fun.

  13. BlackFox says:

    Calling all people that live in, used to live in, and/or love to dump on Boston!

    DISCUSS BELOW: aspects of the Greater Boston Area that will not have to change at all to be consistent with an atom bomb having gone off in Allston

    I’ll start: Allston

    • Jeysie says:

      I live in Western Mass. So I’m naturally torn between “if you dropped a nuke in Boston how would anyone know the difference” snark and “we probably got nuked to hell and back over here and I bet Boston didn’t even care” envy.

    • The Rocketeer says:

      You know how in Honest Hearts, the tribes had remained so regressed and isolated that they’d formed a new language out of other languages’ warped vocabulary with a few grunts thrown in, so that outsiders couldn’t really understand them?

      That’s Boston right now, so imagine what a nuclear holocaust will do for the place.

    • Look at it this way: The city was built for console memory limitations.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I disagree with Josh that you getting so overpowering fast in fallout 3 is because of game mechanics.Rather,its because of how the areas were populated by enemies,and how the high end equipment was put behind locked doors more often.

    • guy says:

      It’s kind of funny how they were talking about how you couldn’t get powerful fast after learning all the tricks in Fallout 2, when it infamously lets you get Enclave power armor like twenty minutes after leaving the home town.

  15. RTBones says:

    Ah, Fallout 4….

    Is it me, or do some people just have Too Much Time on (their) Hands?

    Note: Just in case you don’t follow the links, according to the first link some folks believe they have already figured out the location of Vault 111 – from the trailer. If you want a description of the research done, well, here you go.

  16. King Marth says:

    > Complains about lack of voice chat in Splatoon
    > Swears twice in the same sentence and once in the next

    Yeah, that’s why we can’t have nice things. I turn off voice chat in every game that has the gall to assume I want to hear from all those chirpy swearing kids on the internet. From the words that come out of people I watch playing Splatoon, they made the correct decision.

    Of course, I’ve also largely ignored FPS as a genre. TF2 is the only FPS I’ve played for any degree of time, and I greatly favor Mann vs Machine over the PvP mode. I find enough downtime that I can manage any necessary communication via text chat, and as acknowledged there’s plenty of nonverbal teamwork built into TF2. My only voice chat experiences have been people swearing at me for playing badly, so I turn them off (something which has repeated several times, as TF2 doesn’t like to save your voice chat settings, so this isn’t an isolated occurrence).

    I assume there are nice things that can only happen with voice chat, or people wouldn’t invest the time and money into custom external voice chat servers. And with a hand-selected group, sure, we can voice chat. But I’m not listening to anyone that has learned they can ignore the consequences of saying things that would get you punched in the face in person.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      There are much better ways to handle this than disabling voice chat for all:
      1)Muting it by default
      2)Putting in parental lock
      3)Giving you easy mute options for individual players or for all of them in the score window

      There,a solution to satisfy everyone who want to communicate with their teammates,everyone who wants to mute specific annoying players or the whole thing by default,and parents who want to protect their kids from bad language(assuming they arent the lazy type who just give their kid a game and complain about it later).

      • Henson says:

        If voice chat is an option, though, players would use it as a means of communication, assuming that others can hear them. This could create real problems when a teammate thinks he’s conveying a strategy and is actually talking to a brick wall (this sometimes happens in DOTA 2 matches). By not allowing voice chat, it puts everyone on the same playing field and makes them try to work around the deficiency, together. At least, that seems to be what they hope.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Ah,the age old “some people will mess it up,so we better not give anyone the option to mess up” excuse.Its the lamest way to make video games.

          • Ringwraith says:

            It’s the Nintendo way, if they can’t personally moderate something, they are very unlikely to include it.

          • Phantos says:

            I don’t think I’ve ever played a game that had voice chat where voice chat helped at all. Under any circumstances.

            If anything, it ruined online play in Left 4 Dead 2, because idiots will kick anyone who doesn’t use a mic. Even though they either don’t say anything anyway, or scream the obnoxiously obvious.

            Furthermore, has anyone ever had anything remotely important to say in voice chat?Can anyone think of a time where they were like: “Oh, thank goodness that person blasted ‘TURN DOWN FOR WHAT’ into their mic for no reason!”

            It’s like… if a game can’t be played deaf, then the game isn’t doing a good enough job clarifying through it’s visuals and gameplay what the player needs to do.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Because if you dont enjoy it,no one will?And why are people idiots because they want a voice chat only group,yet you are not for wanting a no voice chat at all group?

    • The Rocketeer says:

      You don’t enjoy it, so no one else should get to?

      • KingMarth says:

        Yes, that is exactly what I said. In fact, I call attention to the section where I said that voice chat is “always terrible” and “nice things can only happen without voice chat”.

        But seriously, I was hoping someone would tell me why they like voice chat. The only response here in favor has been asserting that it could exist without saying why it should. Every feature in software costs time and money. How much money would you personally pay to enable optional voice chat in an international game (thanks for pointing that out, Nidokoenig) with three-to-five-minute matches?

        What is so amazing about voice chat that makes its absence a sore point for you instead of relief like me? Where are all the good experiences I’m missing out on? I want to have fun too.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Mumbles already covered that in the podcast when she said why she is missing the feature.

          • WWWebb says:

            Was Mumbles talking about the game? All I heard was the word f*cking about four dozen times. I think that was King Marsh’s point. It can be a bit distracting.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              To you.Her swearing never bothered me,hence there are people with different experiences and different enjoyment than you.And you dont have to cater to just one of them.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      On of the big things about Splatoon is that, here in Europe, it’s rated 7+, and I assume it’s similar in other regions. It’s like Nintendo looked at the existing shooters that claim to be for adults and are filled with ten year olds and decided to make a game that would actually be acceptable to market to children, with sensible omissions like no voice chat. Besides that, the servers are fully international, I get lobbies filled with Japanese, Germans, French, Spanish and all kinds of players. Voice chat is going to serve to drive people apart under those circumstances and make it harder to drop in and play during other regions’ peak times, which would kill longevity if the game undersold, and Nintendo always has the worst case scenario on their mind. Optional voice chat just leads to eyerolling whenever someone without rocks up.

      The barks here in the UK, and apparently Aus as well, are On Me! and Nice!, and I’ve seen Japanese players use the former to call for assistance and the latter as a thank you, though that’s not the rule. I wonder if there might be some value in making a dit-dah code for basic tactics and spreading it through Miiverse, though since we apparently can’t see Japanese Miiverse posts in-game, that might not work too well.

      I honestly don’t get why people don’t like gyro controls, especially when the alternative is dual analogue. It takes a little adjusting to, similar to Kid Icarus: Uprising, but it’s far better than the alternative.

  17. Gravebound says:

    I’m surprised neither Chris or Mumbles liked the motion control in Splatoon. I find it far more quick and precise than analog sticks alone (the only thing better would be a mouse). It took some adjustment at first, but 1/4 of the way through the single player campaign (that they didn’t mention, but which is also fun and different from the multiplayer) and I was fine with it.

    I would say Splatoon is very charming in aesthetic, bright and colorful, with humorous writing (good localization, many puns), has a neat Nintendo Network Miiverse integration where posts made from within Splatoon can show up around the hub world and maps as graffiti, and is a fun game even without voice chat (or in my opinion, especially, without; I don’t need screeching, swearing children or screeching, swearing adult-children ruining the experience for me).

    I do wish they would fix the match-making to not match up people with 3-4 rollers on one team. :p

    Honestly, I’m glad I bought a WiiU because Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon are the most fun I’ve had gaming in quite a while. Here’s hoping Nintendo keeps the streak alive and remembers what made the first two Star Fox games fun before they release the new one, because those are two of my favorites.

    • IFS says:

      I’ve been playing a lot of Splatoon since it came out and I love just about everything about it, personally I’m even glad it doesn’t have voice chat. I’ve never seen a shooter with voice chat where it was actually used to strategize rather than swear at teammates. The aesthetic is great (I’ve seen people call it a cross between Jet-set Radio, TF2, and saturday morning cartoons), the music is great, the gameplay is all really well thought out and balanced (though more balanced for Turf wars, the ranked battles seem to favor some weapons more than others). I do think there is more teamwork and strategy to it than Mumbles gives it credit for as well, and when you get a good team that knows what role their weapons serve and how to back each other up you can definitely feel it.

      The gyroscope aiming is also something I really like (and lately I’ve been playing mostly splat charger, which you need it for) it does take some getting used to, but once you’re used to it its so good. I still use the stick, but mostly for broad strokes whereas the motion controls I use then for when I need added precision.

      The lack of couch coop is a little weird, but you do need the gamepad screen for the map it gives you, so I can understand not letting you just have one player on that screen and one of the TV for couch coop.

      Personally I think Nintendo knew exactly what they were doing with Splatoon, and have had no issues with the game so far, though the lack of ability to change out your weapon without leaving the lobby is a minor annoyance.

  18. silver Harloe says:

    The movie “The Butterfly Effect” can eat a whole bag of rotten dicks. Not because of the acting or directing or editing or cinematography or even the writing, but because of the basic premise. Every single time he changes anything about the past, everything is Ultra Fucking Bad In the Worst Possible Way. For no reason. It’s like they get the idea of small changes being big over time, but assume that everything about the present world is totally perfect, and thus any possible change is automatically for the worse. I feel, though, that things would be worse or better, they’d just be different. You might subjectively dislike a new timeline more, but somewhere there’s someone who is happier, because things worked out differently. Maybe you fiddle with the timeline and don’t get a job, but someone else got hired for it, and they might have really needed that job. You fix a car crash, and your friend lives, and the ambulance driver ended up getting to a different location faster or slower, changing that outcome – but not always for the worse. Maybe they saved someone that died in your “original” time line, or maybe they lost someone that lived in your “original” time line. But in the movie, if you save someone, your parents have to die, or something like that(*) – because the entire world revolves around the protagonist and only their life is really affected by change, and so every change is centered around something the protagonist would notice, and every change is automatically worse. They completely did not understand the idea of cause and effect at all. Argh. Hate hate hate hate.

    (*) I’d use examples from the movie, but then I’d have to rewatch that pile of dung, and I don’t have time in my life for such masochism.

    • Zeta Kai says:

      Yeah, how do you screw up Cause & Effect? That’s such a basic concept that it is staggering that it could be ignored for 90 minutes of story ostensibly about that very thing. It would be like a Back to the Future film that completely ignored the fundamental idea of changing things in the past to alter the present.

      Also, it would have been much more interesting to present an altered timeline in which some things were demonstrably better, while others were obviously worse, & have the question be “Which future do you choose, why, & what does that say about you?” The protagonist would have to grapple with the decision of choosing one future or the other, & both have their pros & cons. It could have been very thought provoking, but instead we got the drivel that we got, where the only viable conclusion is for Ashton Kutcher to kill himself (spoiler, like you care).

      Also, I know that there was a direct-to-video sequel. Has ANYBODY seen it? Was it worth existing? I doubt it, but you never know.

  19. Prof. Sniper says:

    I really recommend getting a Wii U now.
    Mario Kart 8, Smash 4, Splatoon, Super Mario 3D World, the best version of Rayman Legends, and of course, the game of the year every year, Bayonetta 2!
    In my opinion it’s the only (non portable) console that’s worth to own right now.

    • IFS says:

      Bayonetta 2 is fantastic, colorful and fun, I don’t know if Shamus would like Bayonetta 1 (which is a lot grittier in art style, if still quite fun) but I feel like Bayonetta 2 would be something he’d enjoy. Although I’m not actually sure how hard of a game he’d find it if he skipped the first one, I played them in order so was quite good at the combat by the time I started 2 (I don’t think I died at all until I was in the last quarter of the game). Shamus has said that he liked how the Batman games encouraged you to be skilled at the combat, and Bayonetta really encourages that more than anything else, where if you’re good at the combat it both looks and feels good (especially if you get that platinum/pure platinum medal at the end of the fight).

      On the same front the WiiU also has the Wonderful 101, which is another game in the same vein as Bayonetta by the same people who made it, and is also really good (how weird is it that the WiiU is THE console to have if you’re into action games?).

      While I enjoy my PS4 (largely for the free games on PS+ and Bloodborne) the WiiU is definitely the best console of this generation, if only because it has a lot of really cool and creative exclusives.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      Doubly true if you already have a gaming PC (even if its not a terribly powerful one). My Wii U has been a nonstop joy factory.

  20. My guess on the voice for Fallout 4 is that the prologue and epilogue will be narrated (those still image ending variations), the voice will be female or male.

    There might be some narration at key points but I don’t think the character will talk like Commander Shepard would.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      – Courier.
      – House.
      – Courier.
      – House.
      – Courier.
      – House.

    • It could be (for lack of a better example) that you play as your father for a few sections of the game, and that bit is voiced by Liam Neeson’s equivalent, leaving the rest of the game for you to be your usual silent self.

      Of course, this is like speculating on the hidden meaning of the Episode VII duck-face Stormtrooper helmets at this point, but it’s something to do.

  21. BTW! Shamus I like the channel positioning, people talking over each other does not make things too unclear/hard to follow.

    Shame amount you mic/voice being too hot (loud), the distortion/clipping is kinda outch, heh.

    But thumbs up on the editing.

  22. Vect says:

    I never seriously bought into that Reddit post, especially that part about the Male Only Protagonist. Seems like it would be too drastic of a change for a series big on character customization. Like, if they went the route of the voiced protagonist, they would at least have a male and female version. That and Skyrim used a generic Nord male for the trailers so chances are it’s just a placeholder.

  23. Tony Kebell says:

    You sound fine Shamus.

  24. Ringwraith says:

    Splatoon was made by the same internal Nintendo department that does Animal Crossing, as well as Wii Sports and all its similar brethren. No, really.

  25. AR+ says:

    Can’t you just re-record all your lines with a proper configuration and insert that?

  26. hborrgg says:

    I still have never finished New Vegas. I guess it’s neat that it’s more about societies, but all the societies just seem sort of dumb and stupid and unlikable.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      I kind of viewed them as having a bit of that Paranoia vibe where they’re all based on distorted traditions. The Elvis Impersonators who don’t even know the name of the guy they’re emulating or why they’re emulating him. The biker gang turned tribe. The Michael Bay society. The Rat Pack.

    • JackTheStripper says:

      As opposed to the group of people that settle and build around an undetonated atomic bomb?

      • hborrgg says:

        The people in megaton were at least pretty friendly. As for everything else, I guess it’s just a case of being silly enough and there being enough stuff to do that the problems never really bothered me much.

  27. Piflik says:

    I’m curious…did any of the cast play 2K’s The Bureau: XCOM Declassified? I picked it up in a Humble Bundle a while back, and it wasn’t too bad (for a shooter). It has some of the ‘friendly’ aliens you feared for XCOM 2…

    • Ringwraith says:

      Firaxis have been doing everything to ignore that existed really, or make subtle jabs at it. Even the “hero” cameo unit from it they put in Enemy Within is actually inferior to all the others and can be outclassed in almost every way by your own veterans fairly easily.

  28. Paul Spooner says:

    When you said “Interesting skills like carting” I was momentarily excited, misunderstanding you as saying “carding“. A brief glimpse of an entire detailed wool industry unfolded before me as Rutskarn elucidated “As in, driving a cart.”
    And all my dreams collapsed.

  29. Grimwear says:

    I’m really excited for Xcom 2, I’m kinda on the fence about how I feel about starting from a losing state. I think the best option would be to maintain that in Xcom 1 you defeated the ship but it was just a vanguard and then you ended up getting swarmed when the real force showed up. That way you get to keep the premise of humanity having lost while also not invalidating everyone’s win in Xcom 1.

    The one thing I REALLY want them to fix is how they deal with difficulty. I hated the fact that “difficulty” in Xcom was “o hey your chance to hit enemies is reduced while the aliens have a higher chance now”. Great…so I’m gambling against the house now and if we’re in identical positions I’m guaranteed to lose. I realize that you’re supposed to make up for this with tactics but if you give me a game that ramps up difficulty by having better AI where they perform flanking maneuvers so that you’re doing a constant ballet and reacting to events or one where you’re forced to do high difficulty tactics while they sit behind a wall and still have a better chance of hitting you it’s no question which one I’d pick. It’s especially worse when you’re playing ironman because for the important missions you ended up needing to memorize enemy placements through trial and error because the game loved dropping aliens in high cover positions in overwatch. Meaning that if you’re trying to run an escort back and don’t have people on a rooftop with line of sight directly on the dropping aliens…good luck getting there. My other minor gripe is that you end up being dissuaded from doing too many flanking moves because of the heightened chance that by moving forward you’ll hit line of sight of another group of aliens then they immediately activate and you just get swarmed.

    • Ringwraith says:

      There might also be a problem with people taking the canonicity of it and running with it.
      It’s more a “what if?” kind of scenario. This being the result if XCOM fails to repel the invasion in its opening months.

      Also means they have a good reason for you having to research everything, because you still start with nothing.

      On the game itself, I noticed Enemy Within is a lot better with this, in that they visibly patrol or head towards you more frequently, so you can often yourself in a fight with progressively more hostiles anyway as they stumble into/head towards the firefight without you seeking them out.
      Speaking of chances to hit and such, it’s not so much you get less chance, it’s that the cheating the game does for you behind the scenes on hitting shots in Easy/Normal is removed in higher difficulties (which you can restore with Cinematic Mode in the Second Wave settings), and more obviously, their stats get buffed, health being a big one which makes the starting months difficult. This on top of basic recruits costing more and having less health, and generally starting with less free stuff while having to fight more aliens. Additionally, they will use their special abilities and/or grenades much more often than in Easy/Normal.
      Stat adjustments still suck though, laziest form of difficulty.

      • Grimwear says:

        I’m fine with the cheating and added 15% chance to hit per shot missed being removed at higher levels and I’m also supportive of enemies using more specials and such (I’ve also been told by friends that using the Long War mod makes it way more in depth with aliens actually having skill trees that level) my issue is just that from what I read it seems the vast majority of aliens get a base +10 aim, higher on impossible. I’m not sure if that’s a direct translation to +10% chance to hit but if so that skews it away from even to favouring aliens (where previously it favoured humans). I’m perfectly content with it being even playing field with elevation bonuses then coming into effect and other such skills.

        It would be nice if they started with skill trees as well or slowly became stronger over time in concert with the player but when base models are placed on opposing sides with same level of elevation/stats then it should be an even match with 50/50 chance of who wins. Instead our options are do we want to buff humans or aliens? I vote buff no one.

        • Humanoid says:

          With the exception of the overwatch penalty (which is a 0.7x multiplier), all the other aim modifiers in XCOM are additive, so yes, 10 aim is +10% additive chance.

          Aliens in Long War do have higher chance to hit, but cover bonuses are substantially higher as well. Not only is low/high cover now 30/45 defense (unmodded game has them at 20-40), cover also gives damage reduction in the event you do get hit: 0.66 (in practice, two-thirds chance of negating 1 point of damage) and 1 point of DR for low and high respectively.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      I think it would be nice if they allowed for a System-Shock style “custom difficulty” where you got to individually adjust things like enemy accuracy, enemy health, number of enemies per mission, shackling and unshackling of AI, and production costs and bonuses in base management.

      I liked how comprehensive each difficulty level was, but I also wish you could just crib certain elements of the higher levels instead of signing up for the whole package at once.

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        System shock had the best difficulty settings I’ve ever seen in a game, and I wish more would learn from it.

      • Humanoid says:

        Some modders did release custom difficulties between Normal and Classic, and between Classic and Impossible. The weird thing about the base game is that it basically has a plain text file containing the game rules/balancing, but the game doesn’t actually read them: the same values are baked into the executable instead. However it wasn’t that hard to gain access to that value, so I made some minor changes myself for my second playthrough.

        Long War balancing has rejiggered things so that the game does directly read from the text files, so custom difficulty balancing is now very easy to do. Most of it is in DefaultGameCore.ini, some additional balancing in DefaultGameData.ini.

  30. Benjamin Hilton says:

    I used to be in a MW2 clan named five dollar foot long, and Whenever we were in the lobby with the other team we would sing the song.

  31. Andy_Panthro says:

    I’m not particularly keen on either Fallout 4 or XCOM2. The previous games in both series were not my cup of tea, and I would assume that these will be mostly more of the same. It’s actually the combat that really ended up being the sticking point for FO3, same as with New Vegas and Oblivion (which is why I’ve not played Skyrim yet). I just got so bored with it, which is easy to do because it seems most of the quests revolve around lots of fighting.

    XCOM is a different beast, I actually like that sort of combat (Currently playing and loving Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall which has a similar sort of TB-combat), but there were lots of little things that just didn’t work well for me. The small squad, the soldier classes, the mission structure, the odd difficulty… just little annoyances that stopped me from finishing it. I doubt they are going to change this much for the sequel.

  32. ChristopherT says:

    It mildly irks me that they’re calling this XCOM 2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown at least was a little cute with it’s title, merging both titles of the original game into one X-Com Ufo Defense and over seas known as UFO Enemy Unknown. That’s cute. But, now, we get 2. I want reboots to acknowledge the fact that they’re reboots, I want them to embrace it. They have a thing that already exists that they can look at and try to “improve” on. Just like XCOM: Enemy Unknown was not the first X-Com, XCOM 2 is not the second. Let’s just try to get some of the titles straight, please, I’m getting really tired of it.

    That trailer just doesn’t feel right to me. As Campster said, part of X-Com is nations coming together, putting a stop on war among ourselves to fight this greater external threat. I don’t want it to become a power fantasy, Enemy Within already took steps in that direction with genetically modified soldiers, and robo-warriors. It’s cool to have some sort of snake-based enemy back though. I was hoping for some underwater stuff.

    • Humanoid says:

      Doing anything but urban environments would require a much more substantial redesign of the successful formula they’ve happened upon. It’s why I’m pretty happy to see them go with the narrative direction they’ve taken now: not because of the thematic thing (which I don’t mind either way) but because I think the game requires largely recognisable, man-made locations to support its gameplay. Designing cover-based maps would be difficult, if not impossible, on Mars or under the sea for instance.

  33. phantomrenegade says:

    I’ve never played X-Com at that level but i was under the impression that Ironman Impossible was only doable due to rope memorisation of maps and enemy spawn points, if that’s true i don’t know how doable it’ll be under Randomised maps.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      Not really. Outside of a few, more tightly scripted missions, most enemy types and spawn points are randomized, influenced by certain conditions but not set in stone. Surviving Ironman Impossible is more a matter of being really prepared, really careful, and really lucky.

      Beaglerush has an excellent (if now outdated) video series that goes in depth with the tip and tricks of it. Even if you have no intention of actually playing the game and are just curious, I’d recommend it all the same-it’s just fun commentary.

      • Humanoid says:

        He also did a full playthrough to completion on his Twitch channel where there’s some impressive recovery from losing situations, which is a decent example of not having to play perfectly to get it done. The reverse difficulty curve applies just as much, if not moreso than in easier difficulties, so there’s still very much a tipping point where the game effectively drops down a difficulty if you survive long enough.

        I’m not sure Twitch would have kept the recordings that long, unfortunately.

  34. ehlijen says:

    I thought the XCOM trailer looked like they were channeling some Syndicate in addition to XCOM, which I guess isn’t too bad? I’m sure there’s some overlap in original XCOM and original Syndicate fans.

    But I’m somewhat with Chris here. Humanity uniting against a common aggressor is a lot more easily sold as ‘the good guys’ than some humans fighting other humans + aliens (though I think human + alien insurgents would still be better than humans against aliens + EXALT in the expansion). Jagged Alliance 2 had this problem, with the player basically being a hired gun tasked with overthrowing and conquering a sovereign nation. The writers had to ham up the evil queen all the way to still maintain any semblance of the player being the good guy.

    In short, if it’s a game about insurgents, especially if it’s only humans against aliens plus human collaborators, then that, if they’re not careful, could leave to some very unfortunate xenophobic implications that the original game didn’t have because it cast the aliens as the undisputed, uncompromising aggressors and focused on humanity uniting.

  35. Darren says:

    Nintendo doesn’t have voice chat because they don’t want parents to overhear someone telling their kids that something is “fucking retarded.” I’m 100% fine with profanity, but the complaints about Splatoon answer the question.

  36. Regarding Rutskarn’s mention of the train schedule at 17:35. I don’t think that’s actually in Fallout New Vegas. I believe that’s in a fan-made mod called “A Tale of Two Wastelands” where a train station links F3 to NV.

  37. Why it doesn’t matter, sales-wise, why Fallout 3’s story stank, and why it doesn’t ultimately matter to most gamers.

    Bethesda, for all its flaws, has stumbled into a widely-accessible, incredibly adaptable (to a given setting), and easy-to-grok setup for FPS RPGs. Adding the Fallout IP to it actually improved the mechanics greatly. By this I mean look at the Karma system for all its flaws. Now go play Skyrim where nobody remembers how big a dick or how good-hearted you are. It allowed for some character development on your part that elicited feedback from the game, and it’s better to have it flawed than not have it at all.

    In essence Bethesda has created the AD&D sourcebooks. Their engine is a clunky tarball, simulating combat not terribly well but better than many, allowing role-playing and decision making if the person in charge of the adventure wants that kind of thing in their game. Much like a lot of AD&D, the prepackaged adventures are broken, nonsensical, or otherwise unsatisfying, but they’re still fun to run through and scratch that “seek, slay, haul it away” itch we often have.

    They’ve cobbled together a pretty good and flexible ruleset. They just aren’t the greatest at implementing the things it can do and they often ignore things they should do with it. And that’s where “house rules” (yeah, mods) save the day.

  38. Nalyd says:

    I’ve talked about this on te forum, but mabe more people will see it here. I have Life is Strange, but I haven’t been playing it at all. The more I hear about it, the less I want to, really. For Max to be gay is exactly what I didn’t want from it, but also somethiing I pretty much expected from the start. :\

    I’m queer, but I’ve found myself getting real jaded towards queer stuff in media. It always seems more like pandering than storytelling, which is just patronizing, or something used to add instant ~drama~ to an otherwise lacking romance, which just isn’t how it should work. All of Bioware’s LGBT stuff just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, for instance(though all of Bioware’s romances of any kind do, so. . .). I dunno. Does anyone else have this problem? Does Life is Strange evoke it?

    I know there’s a lot more to the game than any of that anyways, but just thinking about the booming countdown to lesbians clock makes me tired. Like, I’ve done the growing up with a sexuality and a gender you don’t immediately understand thing in real life, and it wasn’t dramatic, interesting, or even romantic, it just kinda slow-burn sucked for a decade plus. I’ve been told that’s just me being a grumpy hipster(I was queer before it was cool! And it was bullshit!), but then I guess I’m a grumpy hipster. Sigh.

    If I knew enough to smash my hopes for that part of the game, that would probably help me get around to playing it. Can someone smash my hopes, please? Whatever you do, don’t tell me it’s any good. :p

    • Shamus says:

      I missed this on the forum. Was it recent?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      If my experience is correct,then max isnt gay(her diary entry about the kiss should be proof of that).If its incorrect,then it definitely does feel like pandering.Youll find out soon enough anyway.

      EDIT:Yay,moderation!Ive missed you!

    • Nidokoenig says:

      This is one of the fundamental problems of queer storylines: we simply don’t have the numbers to be the primary market for anything made with any sizeable budget, so who is the primary market? Straight women, and that’s reflected by a tendency towards romantic drama or romcoms that corporations use when they want women’s money, and the relative shallowness of the portrayal that is used to reach an audience with little knowledge of the subject. They can be helpful to kids as they’re coming out, but the portrayal of this kind of thing as “for us” is usually inaccurate, it’s a side benefit, there aren’t any bleeding hearts in Square Enix’ marketing department prepared to make something for us and hope others groove on it. I could continue being a crotchety and cynical bastard and say that Max being a straight, female viewpoint character in a lesbian experience seems the logical extension of this, but I’d like to think that’s reaching and I’m not inclined to play the game and investigate.

  39. Bloodsquirrel says:

    Comments:

    -I still like Fallout 3 over Fallout NV. NV had a better main story, but it didn’t work nearly as well as an open world game. The world felt smaller and side content always had an incompleteness to it. Whereas in Fallout 3 you could just go in a direction and probably run in a self-contained quest or event, in NV the world outside the main quest line was kind of empty.

    -A Bethesda game with a voiced protagonist would be unbearable. I’m not a fan in general of the recent Bioware or Witcher approach of giving us a character that we don’t have enough freedom to roleplay with, but that also gives us too many choices to be able to pin any decent characterization on them. Bethesda doing it is going to be a whole new level of bad, though. Imagine the inane Bethesda-logic nonsense we’ll be forced to do as the player. Imagine the incredibly stupid crap that’s going to be coming out of “our” mouths.

    -Supernatural does not “tease” the Winchesters getting into gay romances. Especially not with each other. For those not familiar: yes, half of the supposed “queer bating” in Supernatural is between two brothers. They’ve been straight since the beginning, and have broken the fourth wall to actively mocked the shipping fanbase. The series just has a very creepy and delusional subset of fans that interpret jokes being made at their expense as hints that Sam and Dean are totally going to start boning at some point.

  40. WWWebb says:

    XCom 2 has the potential to be a fun twist of the formula. In the original, you start as a worldwide force defending against a series of geographically scattered surgical strikes. Those attacks slowly chip away at your support while allowing the aliens to gather resources for their ultimate weapon to win the war. In the sequel, you’re the invading force trying to chip away at the alien’s global control as you gather resources through surgical strikes.

    From a level design perspective, it gives you a lot more potential scenarios and immediately makes sense to have the human collaborator enemies that they added in the later expansions. It also gives the developers an excuse to create some narrative story missions in addition to the procedurally generated “capture resources” or “kill the enemy” missions.

    Unfortunately, my favorite part of the original was the strategic aspects of defending territory (and bases) including cost/speed/range/power tradeoffs on your interceptors and transports. The remake got the tactical combat right, but the strategic part was largely missing. “Bringing the world together” was a less interesting goal than “picking the optimal parts of the world to save”.

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