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It Sure Will Be Nice to Have an Upbeat Game Like Fallout 3 for the Holidays
Nov 3rd, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Fallout 3 is the first game I’ve been determined to play through to some sort of ending since BioShock, and unlike BioShock, this game is not a six-hour venture that even I can knock off in a week. Oh no. Bethesda makes video games like Oppenheimer makes bombs: glorious, expansive, and filled with a lifetime of pain for the consumers. Fallout 3 will be taking me straight through Halloween, right through Thanksgiving and into Christmas, and but for the grace of God do I not succumb to the dismal horrors presented every second in the Wasteland.

I can’t even adequately explain how depressing this game is, so let’s start off as to whether or not it’s fucking awesome. Here’s a quick Fallout 3 FAQ:

Q: Is Fallout 3, the third Fallout game, completely fucking awe-
A: IMMA ADDICTED TO STIMS

Q: …
A: I have a negATIVE ONE TO INT AND CHAR WHOops

Q: … Can you attach a screenshot that shows some of the —
A: STIMS


That screenshot doesn’t even do the combat system justice. Bethseda have outdone themselves with the thing they are calling “V.A.T.S.” — essentially, you enter this mode to target some of the freaks in the Wasteland, and then the game adopts a sort of slow motion, pseudocinematronic delight of the camera, to show what should be the absolute horrors of war, but what instead comes off as the greatest combat engine that’s ever existed.

I can’t even write straight right now. I’m just filled with all the cool things in this game – how you can detonate a nuclear weapon in one of the cities, how this is the first game where “repairing” a weapon doesn’t make me want to get the game disc in a state where it itself needs to be “repaired,” how one time my player was shooting a Raider in the chest with an assault rifle, and she JUMPED IN THE AIR to get the angle right as she unloaded a burst of weaponry into the poor bastard.

I’ve purchased Wasteland, Fallout 1, Fallout 2, the Brotherhood of Steel games and so on and so forth, but the most fun I’ve ever had was actually with the original (Wasteland). I actually think that it is just as true to Wasteland as it is (or isn’t, according to many of the posters at No Mutants Allowed) to Fallout. the VATS system really does seem to translate the original turn-based combat of Wasteland… and I love it.

Really, the nice little details in this game have me hooked. The unit of currency is bottle caps. There is a healing object in the game called Nuka Cola. If you drink some cola… a bottle cap is added to your inventory. I just love that someone thought of that, went, “a-ha!” and they were able to put it into the game.

The intro to Fallout 3 is terrible, but once you get past that, it really does pick up. The graphics are drop-dead gorgeous, and it has a perfect balance of ammo, money and enemies. They also resisted the monster closet issue that plagued Doom 3 – when you secure an area in Fallout 3, it seems to stay secure.

I do apologize for not updating my website the last week… but honestly, this is where I was.

Lovely Vegas
Oct 21st, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Lovely Vegas

“Vegas is the city of Las Vegas. No one is quite sure how the Soviet missiles managed to miss the city, but most folks figure it was because the “house” was betting against a missile landing — and no one wins against the house.”the Wasteland manual, 1986, Interplay

Ha ha, yeah. Goddamn, am I psyched for Fallout 3, you know? Fallout, the spiritual successor for Wasteland, was great, I did enjoy Fallout 2 and in between #2 and the upcoming third game, we all were entertained by the batshit-vomiting crazies that make up the Internet’s community of Fallout fans. Every last one of them is convinced that only they should make Fallout 3, none of them have so much as picked up any kind of SDK. I am intentionally trying to not learn anything about FO3, only that I think there’s a nuke in it, but I did read somewhere that it takes place not in the American southwest… but in Maryland or something? Ha, ha, what’s this now? A Fallout game is gonna finally have the graphics engine to do Vegas justice and they set it in near Baltimore, which could be successfully depicted on the original Gameboy? I could make a better game than these idiots at Bethesda! I am now going to delete my install directory for the Hugo programming language.

I was in Lovely Vegas over the weekend for a wedding. You may remember the character of Brian Pang from Necrotic Drift – the actor (Matt) was the dude getting married. Pang was originally a character in Chicks Dig Jerks, and I’d like to say he was “based” on my friend Matt, but even that isn’t being fair. I tried to make him an almost exact, written, duplicate-replica. He is a good guy that is oftentimes out of his goddamn mind.

Almost nobody gets married in the same city they live in – or, I should say, nobody gets married in the same city I live in. I’ve flown for almost every wedding I’ve ever been to. This was my first time traveling completely alone in over five years. I had never actually done the thing where you enter an airport… and there is nobody there to pick you up & you don’t have a rental. I was vaguely aware that there might be a good spot to catch a cab, so I got to do that for the first time. I took it over to the strip, where I was staying. Oh… yeah. That.

I was staying at the Casino Royale, because I guess I make bad decisions. 

Well, yes and no – I didn’t expect to do much in my room except sleep, so in theory, it shouldn’t have made much difference where I stayed, right? Well, yes and no – my friends were staying at the Luxor, Mandelay Bay and the Monte Carlo. Those are all somewhat close to each other, but since I didn’t exactly have a date and I wasn’t getting married, I didn’t see the big deal in trying to impress anyone with an expensive room. I wanted to look for something like the Wikipedia List of Cheap-Ass Hotel Rooms, but somehow, I don’t think Wikipedians get to Vegas much. (I was going to link to my favorite page on the Internet, which was the “List of Wikipedians with Asperger Syndrome,” but in heroic Wiki fashion, they seem to have deleted it.) 

Anyway, I got to the hotel room and unpacked… and none of my friends were in Vegas yet. I think for the first time, it really struck me that I was traveling… “alone.” I don’t know how to best describe it – for some reason, being in a hotel room with paper-thin walls, sort of waiting for my buddies to get into town was almost… crippling. I immediately dialed a few numbers to get some prostitutes over.

Kidding! Long-time readers of my website will have no difficulty in believing me when I instead state that I took a nap until my friend Luddy and his wife called. I can never sleep the night before I fly, so this was all right. Luddy, his wife and I made plans to have dinner at the ESPNZone. 

It had been about a day since I had any food at that point, and I ended up walking from the Casino Royale to ESPNZone – it took about 30 minutes with all the people around. This ended up being a somewhat common theme for me, although I did relent and take a cab home Saturday night, which was (spoiler) for the best. It’s great to walk the strip anyway, isn’t it?

After dinner, the three of us went over to the Pinball Hall of Fame. I was able to catch it for the first time last year, during the Classic Gaming Expo, and the place was packed. (The CGE was running a shuttle back and forth, and there was definitely an effort made to get CGE people over there.) There were only a handful of people at the HoF this time, and I was able to play The Pinball Circus, which was a prototype that I didn’t get a chance to see last year. Like an idiot, I confused “Cirqus Voltaire,” currently rated the #4 best pinball game of all-time at the Internet Pinball Machine Database, with “The Pinball Circus,” which is not. Whatever, fuck the list! TPC was amazing to play, and I was cognizant that I was playing — since it was a prototype — one of two such machines in the world.

And then, since I am not a Wikipedian with Asperger Syndrome, we all met up with the rest of our friends and had drinks for the rest of the night. 

***

I woke up Saturday to a mass of people jumping in and out of the Casino Royale. Well, actually, I woke up to housekeeping SCREAMING THEIR FUCKING HEADS OFF to get into my fucking room. I didn’t set the “do not disturb” mechanism correctly, so it’s my fault, but goddamn – if the door is locked, give up, housekeepers! It’s gonna be fine! Nobody shot themselves! Actually – well, back to the first bit of this paragraph:

People from the strip were entering the Casino Royale, I discerned, because the strip itself was taped off. What I heard, but was not able to confirm through Google News, was that someone got shot overnight. (So yeah, when people asked if the Casino Royale was at all like the movies, I was able to say sure: there was a similar number of gunshots, har har.) Maybe that’s just how rumors spread, I don’t know. 

All right, let’s hit up part two tomorrow. Either that, or maybe my brother will write something horrible about Barack Obama.

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