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Fallout 4

The Outer Worlds Review – Astronomically average

Ok so I held out until I finished the game and I can safely say I don’t hate Outer Worlds.

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Coming to me through the wonders of gamepass ultimate for the whopping price of two whole English pounds comes probably the most overrated game of the current decade. Is it really surprising I don’t love this game? I’m starting to wonder if I even like videogames anymore. I’m honestly questioning whether I should get a new hobby, maybe take up knitting. But it’s interesting because people are raving about this game and for the life of me I can’t fathom why but I guess I can sorta. So this is kinda gonna be part review, part thought experiment to try and reason out what people see in this game that I don’t.

First of all gotta get this out of the way, I have no dog in this fight whatsoever, I’m not a bethesda fanboy who thinks the fallout games are perfect. I don’t worship Pete Hines and I’m not secretly Todd Howard under a pseudonym with a fake moustache. On the flip side I’m also not an obsidian or new vegas cultist, I’ve never played Kotor and I thought new vegas was ok but really nothing special, pretty much the same with their south park games. I’m kinda neutral on obsisdian. I enjoyed new vegas but I didn’t think it was the second coming of videogame jesus like their cultists do. I mean it’s a pretty decent game considering it was made in a year but it never really blew my sock off.
I also had zero expectations for this game, it was sort of just a blip on my radar, I didn’t get super hyped and raise my expectations in the slightest like I did for almost every fallout game haha. So this isn’t an angry reactionary flame out because my expectations were too high, I had literally zero expectations of this game other than it being a fun rpg. I went into this game totally free of bias or hype to colour my verdict. I’m also not being paid by anyone to talk about retractable horse balls haha.

Ok so now that’s out of the way you know that I’m coming at this from the most objective position you can get and all this hate is coming purely from a person that has never known true love and does not have a life.

Jesus where to start, ok so Outer Worlds starts where not Rick Sanchez/Doc Brown basically kidnaps your character from a giant colony spaceship that was ‘lost’ seventy or so years ago. Which is a pretty cool way to pick your character because you’re basically not Rick Sanchez choosing from a list of colonists and once you’ve created your character and their stats and stuff you’re ejected from his ship in an escape pod onto this alien world, where you first get to experience the shitty combat and stealth, yeah.

First thing you’ll notice apart from the interesting colour palette is that the weapons and combat are kinda bleh. All the guns look, sound and feel like they had a little orange cap on the end of the barrel before they were modelled haha. They look like toys and there isn’t a lot of feedback. I tend to measure a game by the standard of it’s shotgun and the first shotgun you get looks and sounds like you’re firing squeaky potatoes at people. It’s one of those rpgs where you can shoot someone five times in their bare face at point blank range and they just give you a stern look of disapproval and maybe say ‘ow’. But it’s pretty forgiving in the other direction, you can stand on a landmine and be mildly annoyed for about a minute. You don’t really need to use cover, the combat is quite forgiving in general, I played it on normal and I breezed through most encounters I couldn’t talk my way out of. It’s casual af haha.
Funny thing is you can’t lay those mines though, I of course thinking of Fallout and having high engineering skill because I was role playing as Amos from the Expanse I expected to be able to disarm them and pocket them, I expected wrong. It just blew up in my face, you can’t pick up or deploy mines in Outer worlds, there are also no grenades, there are grenade launchers but no grenades, not that I’m complaining, I don’t usually use grenades in most games but it’s weird them not being there, did they just forget?
Come to think of it there were no grenades in bioshock either, just a grenade launcher, funny since I was just reviewing Prey 2017, a game that literally has more grenades than guns… and is shit.

So the first part of the game I found really tedious because you ‘inherit’ lets say, a nice nearly new ship called ‘The Unreliable’ but to get it off the ground you need a maguffin to make the engine work. So the first part of the game you’re making a choice to help either of these two factions to get the maguffin so you can make the ship work. So you’re dropped onto this first planet but it’s not a free roam game, it’s like a hub game, so there are multiple planets and each planet has a tight little map to explore and exploit which is good and bad honestly.
The two standards for rpg worlds spectrum for me are Fallout and Deus Ex, in Fallout you have a vast open world that’s a mile wide and an inch deep. So big open space but it’s not amazingly detailed and there’s lots of reused assets and maps, so you trade quality for quantity and it kind of makes it so when you find somewhere someone has put some effort into like the towns, it surprises you.
In Deus ex it’s the opposite, it’s an inch wide and mile deep, so you don’t get these big roving open worlds you get a tightly packed hub world that’s densely detailed with secrets and you can enter almost every buildings, go into the sewers even go on the rooftops and as you unlock new abilities you can unlock new places to explore. I can’t really say which I prefer because although the Deus Ex style is cool it doesn’t leave it open to a lot of replay, in Fallout the sheer amount of content means you can’t see it all on one playthrough.

Now what does Outer worlds do… err well it kinda tries to do both, ‘tries’ being the operative word. It’s sort of in the middle. Basically the worst of both worlds, small maps with very little explorations ‘and’ most of the buildings are sealed or behind loading screens haha.

And I first got a hair up my ass or whatever that expression is when I was on my way to the first town in the game. I noticed there was a sunken ship on the shore so obviously with fallout as my reference I wanted to swim and go see if there was anything cool inside it. It looked obviously placed to be explored. It wasn’t. Instant cock block invisible wall, it was just set dressing, immersion ceased. There isn’t even a swimming mechanic.

So that was the first inkling where I was like ‘there’s something wrong in denmark’ or whatever that expression is. Then I head to the town and start on my way to get the maguffin for my ship and I engage in a sort of bog standard Fallout style fetch quest where then I arbitrarily decide which town gets power. Which I dunno, I guess it has an effect on something, not really, well kind of. It’s kinda hard to think there are consequences considering this is one settlement in an entire solar system. I got a cool hat though. And the decision is literally like a button press.
It’s also where you get your first two companions and dude they are thirsty af haha. I’ve never met companions that are more fucking desperate to enter life and death situations with a complete stranger before. They’re shameless, they barely hide their desire to colonize the shit out of your ship, it’s like “Is that an enormous desire to join my crew despite the fact we just met or are you just happy to see me?” They do not play hard to get in this game and the second companions I was like ‘really, this guy?’ because this dude was like mega npc, didn’t strike me as interesting enough to be a companion and I felt vindicated in that assumption, his quest line was pretty mehtier honestly.

I mean the first companion is just a brown knock of the girl mechanic from Firefly, oh also she’s a lesbian. She pretty much told me without even asking. There’s like a quest where you have to introduce her to this other ethnically indistinguishable engineer lady and I figure it was just professional admiration but no they’re quickly exchanging texts and poetry, like why? It’s not even something you have to dig for, the game just throws it in your face like “You are never gonna get this!” I get it, there’s no romancing the companions but you didn’t have to shove it in my face ok. They knew she was basically the Tali of this game and everyone would be into her and they had to just cock block us in advance, fucking obsidian man.

The first part of the game has to be the worst imo which as first impressions go, it’s pretty tedious but I just gritted my teeth through it because I was hoping it would get better when I get the ship and it does. The ship is the singular coolest part of the game but it also makes me sad haha. For reasons that are pathetic. I happen to have a fucking huge obsessions with space sims ever since I played Elite Dangerous, and everyone wanted to compare this game to Fallout and Mass Effect which is apt but the game I wanted to compare it to was Rebel Galaxy (and maybe Alpha Genesis One a bit). It’s this awesome indie space sim that’s basically firefly but it’s a space sim, all ship combat, you only get out of your ship at ports.
And I’m looking at this game and I’m thinking why are you trying to compete with fallout and not aiming higher and trying to compete with Star Citizen? Competing with fallout right now is like a two legged man entering a one legged man ass kicking contest, they are already dead at this point, or if you prefer a biological man entering a woman’s sport eve- stop right there thought criminal scum!
Tell me why you can’t pilot the ship in this game? Why is there a snarky little AI that does it? It turns your ship basically into a loading screen hub, that’s all it is. It’s a really cool loading screen hub but that’s all it is.
Now I’m not saying I want to be able to buy more ships because the Unreliable is as much a character as anyone on board but I want to have space travel and space combat, because right now it’s just a fast travel you click on planets on the map and whoosh. I want the ship to be pilotable and I want to buy upgrades for it like the Jackdaw in AC Blackflag. Maybe this will be a dlc (probably not, most likely it’ll just be a new planet like in Warframe, you know that game that’s free), who knows but that would elevate this from generic fallout clone to epic space rpg/sim beating out even mass effect. That’s literally the only thing holding this game back, it doesn’t have it’s own identity, it brings nothing new to the table, fitting neatly in a niche between Mass Effect and Fallout 4 without trying to elevate either. There’s really not a single mechanic that sets it apart from fallout, I mean yeah the conversation system is better but who plays videogames for interesting conversations? In Fallout 4 you get fucking power armor with jetpacks in Outer Worlds you can’t even fly the ship.
Why is it so hard to make a space game where you pilot a ship and then get out and shoot stuff? You can sail the ship in AC blackflag then get out and fight to board other ships, you can drive a car in gta then get out and shoot people or shoot people from the car, why does it become infinitely harder when it comes to space. Fuck it, make space 2d like Rebel galaxy if you have to, that game basically plays like Blackflag except in space with awesome dark country music playing on the radio like you’re a space hillybilly trucker.
They could’ve beaten Star Citizen to the punch and cock blocked Bethesda with Starfield but all they’ve done is make a game that takes a handful of the mechanics from fallout and puts them in space. It brings nothing new to the table and it kind of ruins mechanics those games perfected.
How awesome would it be to have a space game where you can have a dogfight with a ship and disable it’s engine then board it to ransack it like AC Blackflag? That would be totally groundbreaking.

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1 Guns guns guns;
The guns in Fallout 4 specifically are pretty punchy, they have nice feedback, it’s not as good as a shooter but it’s pretty close, it’s not bad for an rpg, there’s also lots of gore and the enemies are really responsive to damage, their heads explode, limbs fly off, blood splatters etc. You can also dismember their corpses if you’re a total psycho (like me).

None of this happens in Outer Worlds, the guns are basically toys, there’s almost no gore I noticed, at least not at the level of fallout. I think I did shoot someone’s head off once but it came off cleanly like a dolls head with no blood. The only blood in the game is in the form of flat textures put to emphasise a scene in game. You can turn people to dust like fallout but instead of blood it’s like sparks shoot out of people, really lame haha.

The gun upgrade system is also not nearly as extensive as Fallout, you can change out almost every part of the guns in Fallout, in Outerworlds you can put on a silencer and change the damage type and change the scope and that’s pretty much the extent and it’s only on certain guns and not on named special guns.
Also the guns have this really lame rpg leveling style where you’re always just recycling guns for higher level ones which caused me to just stick with the named guns and not bother with the others. Just levelling it with money. So it basically means guns are just loot because they’ll always be pretty under levelled when you pick them up. It’s same with armor, the armor is one piece like in Fallout with a helmet. This for me breaks my immersion, I liked how in Fallout 4 you’d stick to the guns you like, I was still using pipe guns til late in the game because my silenced pipe rifle was perfect for stealth kills.
I kinda like the atom punk buck rogers style but there isn’t a lot of variation in armor, you can pick up the next level armor from a different company and all that changes is the paint job. Also no power armor, no vehicles, no jetpacks, jetboots, nothing really interesting like that.
The number one thing that pisses me off about the guns is the ammo, in Fallout you get standard real life ammo and you can change the receivers for different ammo types. In Outerworlds there are only three ammo types Light, heavy and energy. People calling this game hardcore and Bethesda games casual really need to look at that and slap themselves in the fucking face haha. I mean yeah Fallout is casual now but that’s causal on a new level.
You might be like ‘why is that bad, it’s streamlined?’. Well the reason it’s bad is because almost any gun can have one of these three ammo types so there’s no real reason to use any particular type of gun in certain situations, you only need to have a gun that uses each type to maximise ammo usage. So you can specialise in large guns and just have three large guns one that uses heavy, light and energy and that might sound great but I dunno why it’s not, it’s just not haha. It’s not immersive.
In fallout the reason you keep the pistol is because 10mm and 38 ammo is really common. Which is why I kept my pipe rifle because it used the most common ammo type. Even if you find a rocket launcher or a 50 cal sniper rifle, you’re not gonna be swimming in ammo at the start of the game, so you need weapons that are more versatile, that’s immerive as hell.
This is just bog standard rpg fare where it’s like ‘hurr durr, I wanna be a gunslinger I put all my skill points into pistols and be done with it’. Just something about that annoys the hell out of me. There’s almost no benefit from using big guns, long guns or pistols.

Also the science weapons suck, I mean come on, they’re cool gimmicks but they suck, they’re a gag, they’re about as useful as an asshole on your elbow. Like the shrink ray, that sounds cool and useful you instantly think of Duke nukem shrinking enemies and stamping on them. Except that it doesn’t shrink them small enough and you don’t have a stamp function, you just have a generic gun butt hit so all it does is turn them into midgets that take more damage, how fucking underwhelming is that? So you have to change to another weapon after you’ve shrunk them and then shoot them.

The mind control ray just makes someone fight for you for a bit until they die, the gloop gun is kind of useful, although I don’t think it works when you give it to a companion. They’re fun, but they’re not really viable imo. And why aren’t there like science armors, give me a jetpack goddamit, I don’t want this lame dodge skill, I want jet boots haha.

2 Companions:

This is the big one imo because this is the one people are harping on about being better because in Outerworlds you can have two companions like Mass effect and they sometimes chip in in conversation and have special moves.

So in Fallout 3 you get one companion (without mods) and in Fallout 4 they got rid of the karma system and implemented a much more nuanced friendship/affinity system. So now instead of getting karma from actions you gain affinity from companions. Basically if you like a companion you’ll conform to them, and do things they like to gain their affection unlock more dialogue/quests/romance/skills. Also some companions can lock pick or hack and you can just ask them to hack or pick a lock as long as you give them picks. Also in previous fallout games there was no limit to the amount of companions you could have at one time.

In the Outer worlds there’s no karma system or affinity system, they just get xp and you level them with perks like you do yourself. You can’t romance them, they have their own quests and abilities like special moves in combat which are kinda cheesey and immersion breaking imo. Like yeah ok go drop kick that dude in the middle of combat that’s cool, or pull out a random gun you don’t have and do a trick shot, it’s silly. And in real tough fights their ai is totally useless and they’ll get themselves killed in five minutes because they’ll be trying to melee a huge robot sentry or something.

Also instead of telling people to hack something or pick a lock their skill is just added to yours so having them in your party boosts some attributes like speech/engineering/lock picking etc, which isn’t as immersive as just asking them to do it imo.

Also I don’t know if this is a glitch but you can’t undress them which sounds really wrong and pervy haha. But hear me out haha. Like in fallout in Outer Worlds you can give them armor and weapons but you can’t take it off them so if you put a helmet on them that mother fucker is staying there, you can only swap it like a game of fucking musical chairs so now Parvati permanently has a set of additional goggles under her actual goggles because I didn’t want her to have a power armor helmet on walking around the ship. I almost wish you couldn’t give the companions armor in Outerworlds because their outfits kinda fit their character (apart from Nyoka who literally dresses like a fucking clown haha) and giving them armor makes them almost indistinguishable from enemies. Also there’s a mode where they can die permanently, yeah don’t think I’ll be trying that haha.

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Honk honk!

Also honestly the companions are sort of flat, just your generic stronk wamans and sort of conflicted pussy men and a cleaning robot who shoots acid. Points for guessing who my favourite companion is haha.

 

3. Combat;

This probably should’ve come after guns but… oh well haha.

Combat in Fallout 4 is pretty decent, a lot of it tense and fun and hard and you sort of have to use a bit of stealth and surprise and the enemies aren’t geniuses but they’re not dumb either. The enemies are pretty reactive and vocal.

In Outer worlds the combat is basically just chipping away at a health bar until the enemy ragdolls and glows indicating loot. Certain enemies are weak to certain types of damage but it doesn’t really matter all that much and the enemy i.a is pretty fucking dumb. I don’t think I’ve ever been ambushed or surprised. Marauders just sort of hang around an area or are waiting on the main path. You can be like a foot away from them dressed like a tank with a giant robot behind you and they wont notice you until you’ve unloaded on them. The combat is just serviceable. It also has like a bullet time mechanic which totally isn’t vats and totally isn’t there to cover up how clunky the shooting is.

Melee combat is pretty much the same, but it’s split into one handed and two handed, nothing that special.

4. Perks/leveling

The perk system in Fallout 4 is pretty good, in fact its pretty damn good, a lot of the time when you’ve played the game over and over you’re playing just for the perks to try out new end game builds so the skills and perks add a nice level of replayability and a good level of customisation.

The perks in Outer Worlds, gonna be blunt, suck ass. They’re really bad. Like they have this cool system where you can accept a flaw, a negative perk so you can unlock a new perk and I thought that was cool because there are three perk tiers so I though this would allow me to unlock the perk tiers faster. I did this before reading the perks. The perks are pathetic and all the best ones are on the first perk tier, it’s a total waste of time. Like ‘wow I can walk 25% faster, epic.’
Extra carry weight, faster cooldown for your bullet time and companion abilities, did obsidian make this? How is this perk system worse than new vegas?

I do like the leveling system though because you have to level a whole skill tree before specializing at level fifty, actually I dunno if I like it but it kinda makes you op. I can feel my character becoming a jack of all trades. I’ve already customized my squad so I can do basically everything, there’s pretty much no encounter I can’t get out of with a speech check. Again this hurts replayability. my character has negative in speech but because of companion system I can breeze through every speech check and I just ended up putting perks into it because it’s easy and the combat is kind of boring filler.

Why do you play games like this if it isn’t for interesting builds and perks? The guns and loot maybe, well the guns and armor are kind of bleh too.

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5. The story/quests

The story in every fallout is serviceable, it gives you a reason to progress. Fallout 4 and 3 in particular go for familial connection to stoke a sense of emotional drive which on the tenth play through is totally moot but it tries.

The story in Outer Worlds is totally placeholder “err save the other frozen colonists to err save the colony I guess”. And it’s also the story for Rage which is another besthesda game, but that game had awesome vehicle combat and pretty decent shooter mechanics as far as I can remember, still didn’t ask for a sequel though haha. Why do I care about the colony? Why do I care about the other frozen colonists? I’m pretty much a space pirate with a cool ship, I can do whatever I want, sod the colonies I’m going to space vegas! I mean going for the ‘baddies stole my baby’ in fallout is cheap emotional manipulation but it’s effective. It’s more effective than save these faceless frozen dinners in space to save all the people of halcyon for reasons. I mean the world doesn’t even seem that fucked honestly.

There’s this weird mission on Monarch the second planet you explore where you go looking for this guy and boom cannibals and I was like ‘y tho?’. I mean I get cannibals in a post apocalyptic world, all the greenery is dead, the soil is irradiated the animals are mutated but this is a functional colony on a lush planet. There are creatures you can eat all over the place, I mean sure they can eat you too, but surely people are harder to kill and eat. Also they were like right outside the first fucking colony. Like mate, hold on, maybe just nip into town to get some fucking chips before you start snacking on the postman. It just felt like it was there because it was in fallout and ‘cannibals so spoopy yo’.

Except the mission was shitty, you just go there looking for this dude and he’s locked in a room upstairs of this creepy obvious cannibal family’s house who want you to ‘stay for dinner’. It was so unsubtle and I thought there must be tonnes of ways to do this but there wasn’t. I couldn’t pick the lock on their kill room so I just had to kill them to get out. That was the mission.

The cannibals in Fallout 3 weren’t even a mission, they were just there. It’s just something you can find, it’s not even related to the story, you could completely miss it. In fact I’m pretty sure I did on my first few playthroughs. And when you kill them you can get a ripper, and that’s the sort of stuff that encourages you to explore.

Because of the nature of the level design you can’t really go off on the beaten path in Outer worlds, because there isn’t one. Even if you did do that and accept no quests at all and just go exploring what’s going to happen is through exploration alone you’ll just inadvertently complete all the quests in the region before accepting them.

6. Loot

The loot game of Fallout 4 is probably some of the best in any game, I get some people hate it as grindy but it’s immersive and fun imo to have to find certain materials for certain things, whether it’s to upgrade your guns or build your settlement. Like by the end of Fallout 4 with all the dlc you’re sending fully armed robots you made to deliver concrete to certain settlements so you can build structures there. It’s pretty in depth and interesting.

In Outer worlds it’s super casualized, the loot is just guns and armor and junk and you can break down guns and armor to make armor parts used to repair armor or weapon parts to repair weapons. You can also tinker with weapons to level them up or add mods, same goes with armor. Cool thing about this is if you have high engineering skill you don’t need a work bench to fix your stuff, you can break down and fix stuff on the fly which is really useful.

So in a game like Fallout you want to explore not only for story and cool weapons but also to scavenge materials. Like you end up starting to build something and it’s half done because you need more of something so out you go again on another adventure to who knows where. There are even factories that are teeming with rare materials. It’s interesting and it just works haha. In Outer Worlds there’s just advancing the plot, the loot is secondary.

7. SBQ (Steve Blum question) I’m pretty sure Steve Blum isn’t in Outer Worlds but there’s still gonna be dlc to come. He might have just put himself on the credits preemptively.

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8. Bugs

Yeah a whole section for bugs in a game that ‘supposedly’ has no bugs on launch hmm hmmmm????? Yeah it’s pretty fucking buggy tbf, disgruntled bethesda haters are basically trying to push this narrative that the reason fallout games are so buggy is their ancient engine they’ve been using since the dawn of time. Yeah bet you didn’t know Oblivion and Fallout 4 use the same fucking engine, well now you do. Bethesda have been using that engine for years just putting tape on the leaks, buffing out the rough edges, basically putting lipstick on a pig for years now with that ‘aint broke don’t fix it’ mentality. And Obsidian cultists tried to blame bethesda for how notoriously buggy New vegas was, that and how little time they had to work on it.

But how long have they been working on Outer Worlds? Who knows but surely longer than on NV.

Now I’m not the kind of guy that harps on about bugs unless they actively harm my enjoyment of the game, I don’t care if some guy clips through something or the physics break or whatever, just visual bugs don’t bother me, it’s par for the course. But Outer Worlds has bugged quests that really hurt the game as well as the immersion. As well as sound drops.

When you come on the ship the ships computer will tell you that your crew are interacting in some way and it’s basically an in game cutcene meant to add immersion but they hardly ever work, most of the time nothings happening or it’s the same scene you’ve already seen repeated again which just defeats the point and completely takes you out of the game. Tack onto that people climbing invisible stairs and invisible ladders and there’s some stuff to be ironed out.

But there are quest bugs, one I know is a bug and one I’m not sure is a bug or just bad design.

All the companions have companion quests which unlock an ending for them and I finished most of them but two I couldn’t complete. Parvati’s quest line didn’t even appear and Felix’s was already failed without me even doing anything. I just got the quest and it failed, I have no idea why there was no reason in game that it would’ve failed. I could even do the quest without the quest markers just following a guide but when you find the final guy to talk to he wont engage you and I just had to kill him, that was the only way to complete the quest but it didn’t count as finished and I got no xp from it.

And normally I’d be like ‘well that’s just one quest who cares’ yeah but it’s one quest that literally effects the ending, now when I completed the game Felix and Parvati just died for no reason and there was no resolution for their stories.

The second quest bug was I accepted a mission from this random chick and I love how this game makes you feel like quests are hidden all over the world. This quest wouldn’t have even been a thing if I hadn’t kept talking to this person and it was a pretty decent quest. It was this little cool quest where you investigate this retirement village and it turns into a trap and you have to escape but the thing is trying to escape the hard way means destroying board robots and I didn’t notice that it was lowering my standard with this faction who ran this part of the world. So when I came out of the dungeon every npc had turned hostile for no reason and I had to liquidate them all which completely fucked up any other way of completing the main quest I was doing in the same place. I had no other option but to go in guns blazing, which was really easy because this game is casual af but it was just annoying and immersion breaking and even the quest giver had turned hostile to me so I failed the quest. It was just so dumb.

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9. Summary/niggles/world.

Ask yourself why are you playing Outer Worlds, it’s not the loot, it’s not the gameplay loop, maybe for the characters or the story, not really. Endless boring conversations that go on forever with npcs. I mean the dialogue is pretty good for an rpg like this, I didn’t find myself skipping through a lot of it like I do in badly written rpgs but you can’t base a game around a good conversation system and not have an actual decent game attached to it. I ended up just investing in speech because it was just quicker and easier than combat. Maybe reading endless emails that just amount to rick and morty gags.

I remember being so immersed in the fallout and deus ex that on my first play throughs I read every newspaper, every email, because the world was interesting and real I wanted to know everything. Like if you read all the terminals in the institute it literally tells you all the secret synth spies in the common wealth, just amazing immersive lore. In Outer worlds the terminals are just excuses to display their ‘hilarious comedy’. I’ve got nothing against humour in games in fact I love it when it’s used properly and sparingly and not like borderlands where’s there’s some stupid invader zim gag every two minutes. Games like that, the joke is basically on the person who played full price for this garbage. So when I read a terminal I expect it to be super interesting and relevant not some stupid time waster gag. But for me to want to read the email in the first place the world has to feel real and immersive and compelling and Outer Worlds just isn’t there for me. It definitely has a better and more immersive world than any Arkane game though.

Why are the quests so cookie cutter? Why are all the male characters completely incompetent morons and all the female characters are smart and tough and basically perfect? (Actually there’s this one girl that locked herself in a closet and you get her out by telling her to unlock it from her side, that was pretty funny haha).Why do I feel like I’m losing years of life in every loading screen. This is like a game you should bring a book to read in loading screens. It must take forever to load up all those buildings you can’t go into. Why do all the enemies mill around the roads with their backs turned waiting to be ambushed? Aren’t they there to ambush me? Why is there no day night cycle? No one goes to sleep. This is important immersion, if you want me to believe that this a real living world, humans need to sleep.
Why do the enemies looks like lilo and stitch plushies? I don’t know whether to shoot them or win them at a fair. Also why is the bringing your weapon up and the action button the same fucking button??? About to engage in combat, better pull my gun out and it’s so immersive that no one reacts to your weapon being drawn at all. Why is there no flash light? Why no romance options? Why no radio?
The music and flash light is all about atmosphere, no darkness or shadow, no possibility for scares or tension. The music is also relegated to jingles, why is there no radio stations, they had the balls to copy the vats system but they held off on radios why? Was that just a step too far or is that too much effort?

Some of the music is great though, like in Fallbrook the atmosphere there is totally space western firefly tier, it’s great, then why is it generic mass effect tones for most of the game? It’s like they copied fallout but left out most of the best bits, if you didn’t want to be compared to Fallout why mention fallout in the marketing and release it in direct competition with Fallout 76 (as if that’s competition haha).

Now I’ve written all this and you’re thinking I hate this game, this is a Prey 2017 situation but I actually really like this game but I’m looking at this generic fallout clone in space and thinking; this could’ve been so much more.
And what’s more I applaud this game, I know it’s going to do well because it’s marketing department are either geniuses or the luckiest fuckers on the planet. Because not only did they announce this game mid Bethesda belly flop falling flat on their faces with 76, but they launched it just when Bethesda announced that god awful subscription service. They literally couldn’t have asked for better PR and they’re releasing at a time with almost no competition with a fresh IP. This is going to make money and I’m really happy for them because I want that DLC and I want a sequel where you can fly that damn ship, this has the potential to be no mans sky meets fallout, it has the potential to be the best rpg series ever. It’s just not there yet.

The thing about this game and why people are so adamant in defending it is because it makes for a good narrative. Because there’s a lot of history between bethesda and obsidian. Bethesda is a pretty shitty company and they’re well known for treating studios like obsidian like shit. So people see this as like the triumphant return. Like Bethesda is this evil dragon swallowing and destroying all these little publishers and enslaving arkane, forcing them to make shitty looking glass game clones for eternity.
And obsidian is this underdog who was defeated, who goes off into the forest to train only to return and slay the evil dragon. But it’s just not true, Outer Worlds is not a fallout slayer, it’s a fallout 76 slayer but that’s not a fair contest.
Say what you want about Fallout 4 all the memes ‘another settlement needs your help’ the dialogue system sucks but the game is just bigger and better in almost every way and isn’t nearly as streamlined and casualised as Outer worlds is. The real Bethesda slayer is probably Cyberpunk 2077, if any one can topple bethesda it’s Cd projekt red.

And although I would love to see Bethesda crash and burn I also want to see if Starfield is any good because that could actually be fallout in space and that sounds epic, if it involves actual space combat, if not it’ll get trashed for being an outer worlds clone haha.

So in conclusion, I don’t hate Outer Worlds, I like it a lot although the looting system drives me fucking nuts having to tap X over and over, gotta be pixel perfect to pick up some bullshit. And I almost quit when I saw how crappy the perks were but I gave it another chance and I really enjoyed. Except for the last boss which is ass cancer, it’s just a bullet sponge version of a robot you literally have in your party haha. Also the main villain just sort of pops up at the end to be evil and die. You only see videos of him until he’s trying to kill you right at the end and when you meet him he doesn’t even say anything he just starts shooting haha.

Finally, I know this game is going to do well and I’m really glad because we need more space games, even though this isn’t really one haha. Like come on, not even a jet pack or a low gravity level in space? You don’t even get space suits. I just think it sort of lacks any real identity of it’s own and copies other games and adds nothing new, it doesn’t even have as much stuff in it as Fallout new vegas, you know the fallout they made haha.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and I would recommend it to people who like mass effect and fallout. I’d definitely recommend people stop playing Fallout 76 and play this instead haha. It’s going for a song on gamepass but for buying options in all honesty I’d wait for a sale or until we get significant dlc releases.

This is a good 7 or maybe a really good 6.5 for me, it’s not amazing but it’s on the cusp of being amazing, one little push and it could get there. One mechanic that could’ve made it stand out, if there was space combat or more varied level design this would’ve been a 10. But in it’s current incarnation it’s very safe and by the book. Maybe it’s taking a risk even existing but the game itself is not taking any risks in terms of it’s actual content and gameplay and story. I try to ask myself why I don’t hate this game when I loath games like Prey 2017 that just cynically copy another game and add nothing new. It’s because this game doesn’t have an ounce of cynicism in it’s whole body, you can tell they really tried with this game. It’s made with love and passion it just needed something extra to make it stand out from the crowd. Without a doubt this is a title I will be keeping an eye on.

So yeah pick this up on gamepass or don’t I don’t give a fuck haha.

This took way too long to write and almost no one will read it or they’ve moved on to hating on Death Stranding haha.

See you…

download (7)

First impressions of Fallout 4 (totally not a review)

I’m a little ashamed to say I’m on my second play through. Not because I have no life but because when I got into work, one of my friends told me he was on his fourth and I was dismayed.

I’m gonna try and refrain from fangirling too hard because that makes me sick and it just isn’t me. And this is by far a perfect game but its pretty freaking close.

The game itself didn’t take too long to install and load up although I wished I would have just downloaded it so I could have had my own private mini midnight launch instead of waiting feverishly for the post and deluding myself that it might have come a day earlier like that one time ages ago I may have imagined. Although obviously I fucked it up and had to reinstall it because I let it download the update mid installation so it was all installing from the net and I couldn’t see the entire loading bar which drove me nuts so I had to reinstall for sanities sake.

But when it was finally loaded, I started and found myself oddly gripped by the opening live action cinematic and then created my character of which I based on David Morrissey’s depiction of the Governor from Walking Dead. And before you jump down my throat calling me a philistine for using that version and not the fu manchu moustachioed comic and novel version (all of which I’ve read exhaustively, except the latest novel I think), I say fuck you David Morrissey is better looking, face it.
I think his face and his depiction of the Governor is also a lot more rounded and likeable and I was actually sad to see the show stick with the comic storyline and his death, when they went off the rails mid season and used the books a little I thought he might have been remodelled into an ongoing character and that would have been more interesting than just sticking to the source material with a few deviations.
I think his character was perfect for the character displayed by the voice actor for the male protagonist in fallout 3 Brian Delaney. I was initially sceptical about the voiced protagonist as the previous games had silent protagonists and voiced protagonists in rpgs like mass effect can get a little annoying and break immersion slightly because it feels less like you are the main character and more like you’re watching the main character do stuff.
But I have to say it really sold the immersion and the emotion at the start of the game, the game didn’t kid me and expect me to care about the main characters wife or kid (like in fallout 3 where you’re supposed to care about your fictional dad played by Liam Neeson) but I was very aware purely through the voice actor’s acting that the main character did care about his wife and child and that sort of sold the emotion of the game.
And when the ‘event’ happens, I really felt like someone who had been tossed into this hostile landscape, whose home and everything he’s known had been destroyed and had to sleep on the floor of truck stops office while it rained and radiation clouds blew through with only a dog to keep him company. It really felt morose and beautiful and that you had to live another day to get revenge and to rebuild a life for yourself and make something beautiful out of all the ugliness that surrounded you and I really loved it.
Despite that, I was proved right about the downsides of the voiced protagonists, mainly and I see a lot of chatter about this, it’s almost impossible to be evil.
Now I suppose you could just kill everyone but its hardly enslaving people and eating babies a la Fallout 3 is it. And the evil dialogue options just sound angsty and mean in Brian’s voice, he just seems too nice a guy to do all that fucked up shit. So twinned with my David Morrissey Governor smooth talking gunslinger character, he came off less monstrously evil and more misunderstood monster. Less Count Dracula more Frankenstein’s monster.
And to be honest I really dug that, good and evil are so subjective so losing the karma system and making good and evil more ambiguous seemed like a step in the right direction. If anything the karma system just evolved into the companion approval system, so depending on which character you pick to come with you, determines what you want to say or do to impress them. But again not one companion is Hannibal fucking lector, where would be the practicality of that? Every character, evil, cruel, vindictive or not has to be in some way likeable or redeemable so that you enjoy their character and want to follow their progression and I think Bethesda delivers on that well.
The factions are also really interesting and have their own sort of style; on my first play through I sided with the minutemen and set about uniting the settlements of the commonwealth, basically creating a people’s army. I don’t know what it is about this game that’s different from elder scrolls, in Skyrim and Oblivion I really didn’t see a problem with joining the mages guild and using the magic I learned for a little bit of thieving on the side. Or joining the fighter’s guild and then turning those talents to assassination, but in F4 the factions are a little more involved, a little more compelling. I couldn’t swear allegiance to the minutemen and then swear an oath of service to the Brotherhood of steel, it really feels like you’re either one or other and each faction is heavily tied into the main plot of the game unlike in Elder scrolls where each faction is its own quest line in a way. I can’t say which I like more to be honest; I think they both have merit.
The game play is great, the exploration (which is always the crux of rpgs like this) is top notch, the anal crafting is minecraft levels of addictive, I literally had to pull myself away from it just to actually play the game main game it’s so intoxicatingly addictive.
I think they really nailed the levelling and perk system too; it’s perfect for someone like me that likes to create a lot of distinct characters and loathes everyman grinders who spend ages making a character that’s good at literally everything. I’m sitting her playing my talker, small guns character and I can’t wait to start a big guns character who swings bats at people, now I’m playing that character and I can’t wait to play my slashy stealthy character who uses silenced weapons and crafts his own explosive traps.
But the game as a lot of people have said; is not really an rpg, the dialogue wheel is a little stunted and the voice actor does make it seem like you’re further away from the actions than you’d like.
Overall, I’m enthralled by it, I want to get lost in it, I almost feel like I rush it just to try and absorb everything I can get, I want to experience everything and I can’t wait for dlc.

 

Green Sunday Chapter 4 Everyday is like Sunday (Raw)

Another excerpt from the next chapter of Green sunday. I’m losing a lot of hours in the day, still under the power armoured boot of fallout 4 and this new workout is really killing me so I didn’t have much time to do anything else today but copy and paste this excerpt. Well I hope you like it and as always if you want to read the rest of the chapter you by going on inkitt http://www.inkitt.com/stories/25507/chapters/4

~
On the edge of town, halogen lights burned cold with a tinny buzzing sound that was both soothing and nauseating with a hangover.  Early morning was shaking its head and wondering what happened, it was dark, the air was thick and electrifying. A gas station sign flickered on and off, it was empty, a dead time, the cold concrete forecourt stood bare and desolate and dirty and drab, cricket sounds etcetera etcetera.

The stale, sterile light inside the gas station, lit everything up with an off colour sickly blue tint. It was just a small town gas station like you’d see in any crappy slasher movie. A one story affair with minimart inside stocked with all the essential corn and meat based snacks and energy drinks that turned your piss green and soupy.

“Daryl! You better not be sleeping again, anyone else steals any gas I’m gonna take it out of your ass!” A booming cigar scarred voice came from somewhere in the back, through the thin corkboard walls of the gas station. A young man with his feet up on the counter slid the magazine covering his face off one eye and opened it casually, before fixing his chair to the upright position and surreptitiously letting the magazine fall into his half cupped hands giving an ever so effortless yawn.

“Shut up you old fuck, I’m still living, nobody out here” He said in a semi raised voice which he then quickly lowered to address himself “Gotta be four in the morning, no one needs gas in this goddamn town no more, everyone driving those piece of shit rollerskate cars they got”.

Daryl rearranged himself in his seat and got as comfortable as he could get with his eyes open, reclining only slightly. Pausing to look around and take a whiff of the cool night air cut with the smell of disinfectant on top of latent smells of puke and piss with a definitive lingering scent of really cheap booze that would burn your gut worse than drinking straight from the gas pump. But it was probably cheaper to drink from the bottle.

He took a second and resigned himself to the fact nothing was going on and the roads were dead and dark and he rationalized a resting of the eyes. Gradually letting his heavy lids close and become hazy. Taking last winking glances at the transparent glass doors of the minimart entrance. Just as he hit the point of no return with his dozing the doors parted soundlessly and then closed again quickly giving him pause to whether he really saw anything.

His eyes opened and rolled to the attention position as if waking from a coma, he could have sworn he saw someone come in. He strained to hear, slight padding damp noises, a stray wondering off the street drawn by the smell of stale complex carbohydrates.

He straightened up into his seat and stepped back into his body he was on the cusp of drifting off from and looked around. “Err can I help you?”

A rustling sound, cans rattling; instant foreboding crossing the brow beneath his trucker cap, a dry damp grease formed where he rested the magazine while he was sleeping and sweat rolls off it now as he feels the urgency of being alone. “Hello?”

Sounds of gumming and biting, ripping, crinkling, a dog for sure, he curved around the counter picking up a tire thumping bat from under his seat. Walking briskly full of action around the front of the counter until reaching the door at which point all his nervous energy left him with a cough and he became lifeless and limp trying desperately to hold the bat firmly in a clammy palm, dangling by his side like a twig.

“Who’s there?” Daryll called out like all those other clichés in the movies, and he cursed himself for falling into that trap but a new sudden fear of the unknown twisted in his guts now and he felt compelled to ask.

A scuttling sound of bare feet on linoleum, sent a cold shiver up his spine and a dry gob of spittle down his throat, the noise got deeper in the back of the store and he felt his feet dragging him listlessly in the direction of the sound, the bat swinging at his shins languidly.

“Hello” He called out again groping at the wet walls of his sanity trying to come up with any number of reasonable conclusions to this event; a dog, a cat, a racoon, a crazy homeless guy, a drunk chick, some hungry pothead or all of the above.

He turned the snack isle slowly, which was oddly paired with feminine hygiene products. He rested his shaking hand on the side of the metal shelves and forced himself to look around it from where the noise emanated. His body felt numb and pulses of adrenaline coursed through his brain and sent shocks all the way down to his fingertips.

Hunched over a small mound of assorted snacks and raw or semi-raw meat products, he saw the naked back of what appeared to be a child. His skin looked cold and drawn and wet, like a fish or a lizard almost. He was so pale he looked almost blue and he hunched over the food making soft sopping gnashing sounds.

“Hey! What’s going on here, you’re gonna pay for all that” Darryl said beginning to trail off at the end as some of his strength came back briefly, breathing in, pumping up his chest and breathing it all out again.

The child almost without turning lurched at Daryll, who with a sudden surge of nervous strength kicked him to the ground again dropping his bat with the feral rush of energy. The child staggered back and twitched frantically on the ground, his mouth frothing with a pink and red substance that came from all the openings on his face, deep red veins rising up on his cheeks and forehead. His teeth exposed, with the look as if they’d been cut on bone or razor wire, his eyes rolled back and forth in his head, cheetos crumbs stuck with blood to his fingers as they scratched at the linoleum floor trying for some traction like a beetle knocked on its back.

~

Thanks for reading and again if you want to read more you can at the following link;
http://www.inkitt.com/stories/25507/chapters

 

Green Sunday Chapter 1 (Edited). Fallout 4 out tomorrow, goodbye world.

Ok finally paid to have the first chapter edited, this is just a cheeky re-release of chapter one, gonna be posting a lot more chapters this coming week from sheer laziness and my inevitable complete immersion in Fallout 4.

The wind blew through the cherry blossoms in the Sakuragoaka gardens. Musashi knelt and cleared his mind, letting his cares drift on the wind. He saw without seeing as he closed his eyes, his mind clacking in the dark of his dreams, igniting a small flame of consciousness. His thoughts wandered silently as he smelled the fires burning in the distance, food cooking in the next town over. Dogs’ barks travelled over the mountains as whispers in the cool evening air were ushered in by the coming night.

The ground he knelt on was soft, and grass stained his dark brown robes. He hadn’t washed for days or combed his hair. Cleanliness had become a pretence he didn’t much care for.

Suddenly the air became tighter and sharper as pinpricks brushed his skin. His eyes cracked open and let in some light as his mind came soaring back, like a demon hurtling into this world. A foot touched down on the grassy earth and sent shockwaves through the ground and then another and another and another and another and another.

Three sets of two … his eyes closed again as he listened. Three men or one six-legged demon. He’d only know when he cut it. They’d only exist when his blade touched them and then only for a moment after.

He took a deep, slow breath as they approached. Steel breathed out sharply as their swords loosened from their ramshackle sheathes. The air took on the smell of iron and copper. They approached from behind as Musashi meditated; their steel quivered as the light hit the blades.

His heart beat like the leather drum of a mighty ship approaching a certain destination. He fancied his attackers could feel it in the very ground they stood upon. The vibrations through their feet made them feel numb and light-headed, losing the tips of their swords to a strange feeling of giddiness as they got close to the kneeling man.

He took one deep breath, taking in the last of the sweet smells of the cherry blossom tree, its pink petals falling as it swayed in the wind.  Musashi brought his sword forward in his waist wrap and turned the blade in its scabbard, pushing out his bottom lip as he did. His grizzled lower jaw cocked to the side as he felt the greasy stubble on his face with his other hand. He sighed a little as he slowly pushed up the hilt, gently popping the blade from the sheath with a slight jerking motion from his thumb.

The blank figures flapped slightly like the sails of a ship in a changing wind. They sprang to life, having come too close to turn back. Their fear pushed them onto this mortal stage to face blood and sweat and bone and will.

The vagabonds tensed their legs and took their stances, trying to gain strength from the earth. They swallowed and took their pride up like an iron flag and they bounded towards the old man resting his eyes in the cool afternoon. He listened to the gears of the world slowly turn, smelling the sweet and tart smells of the grass and the blossoms mixing in the dying evening.

Their swords were heavier than his and they bolted forward, shaking like they were held together with string. His sword was a dancing feather and cut through the air like a blossom from the cherry tree. His hand had barely touched it; his grip was light and nourished the blade with his will; it stayed straight and did not falter in the wind; it moved with it, flowed on it and cut it like a ship parting the waves. He felt a natural exhilaration for what was meant to be: men travelling towards their destinies, whatever they may amount to.

They set on him, their movements those of men underwater. His great eye saw all their movements but recognised them only as insignificant shapes in the dark depths of a boundless ocean. His mind only thought of cutting, his blade sharpened by his burning will, a searing desire to be seen by the ambivalent god of the moon and stars.

They scattered like leaves, their bodies wanted to be cut; they were made complete by his blade, a cut for each and each in place; not a drop of blood fell until it was ready to fall and Musashi sheathed his sword once more.

Suddenly, as if from the sky itself, a crack appeared and Musashi felt a foot on his shadow, a tightness in his chest, as if his guard had been penetrated by some unholy force; he quickly drew his sword again; it was already halfway out when he heard a scream tear through the heavens, a star falling with the force of the earth itself. It eclipsed him, like an insect in the wake of a great mountain.

“TJ STOP SCREWING AROUND IN THE YARD AND TAKE OUT THE TRASH!”

“MOOOM, I’M FILMING FOR YOUTUBE!”

“-AND YOU BETTER NOT BE PUTTING HOLES IN MY FENCE WITH THAT SWORD!”

“NO, MOM”.

TJ sighed heavily as he looked at the jagged cut in the water cooler bottle he had picked up on his way home from the local movie theatre it bled out over the unevenly cut grass as his fantasy faded into the corners of his mind. He scratched his neckbeard as he looked at his crappy mall katana sticking out of the fence, still twitching from the force of the swing. He must have let go when his mom called him.

He looked into his digital camera and sighed audibly into the vacant lens.

“Hey fat ass!” A nasal voice rang out from over the fence and TJ turned like Michael Jackson in ‘Thriller’. “Yeah you, neck beard, over here!” His neighbour leant on the fence like a crow, with a superior sneer sitting atop his pointy douche bag goatee. He looked like a hipster Ming the Merciless with a pair of poser shades dangling from his fingers.

“You better watch it, man. You almost put another hole in my ass with that pig sticker of yours. Hommie doesn’t play that. My exit hole remains an exit hole. Feel me?” His neighbour flailed his sunglasses in his fingers and tried to sound like a black guy.

“Err, wut?”

“What are you doing, man? No one wants to see some fat re-re in his mommy’s yard, cutting up bottles with a butter knife, when they can see handsome motherfuckers like me and my associates chopping on some real meat with some big… mmm weapons!” He smiled and motioned with his sunglasses at TJ’s camera and his bottle massacre. “We’ve got over sixty thousand billion subscribers, nigga. Wut chu got, like one-two thousand maybe? Some tight-fisted jackers fapping their flaccid nubby dicks over fat retards getting sweaty in extra-large tees.”

TJ averted his gaze as he attempted to jostle his sword free of the fence. His pits were wet and stinging, shame and anger swelling. He said nothing and shook his head from side to side trying to get his emo black bangs out of his sweaty face; he just took it.

“Stay off my fucking YouTube, asshat, and keep that mall sword crap in your pants.” His neighbour hopped off the fence, laughing. “Now where the fuck were we? Oh yeah.” He turned to the camera as it focused on his goateed, smug face, and put his sunglasses back on. He slicked his floppy black hair back on his head.

For the full chapter and to vote for Green Sunday in the Inkitt Vendetta thriller contest you can go to http://www.inkitt.com/stories/25507?utm_source=contest_share #vendetta #amwriting

Thanks for reading and peace out.

Hype… hype never changes.

I, like probably millions of other manchildren (and maybe actual children) are hyped as fuck for Fallout 4 which releases next Tuesday, by released I mean I get to wait half the day for it to install on my Xbox one -_-.
I just thought I’d have some fun rambling about it because I’m constantly in these facebook groups either bitching about New Vegas (I won’t shake that fucking tree here ha-ha) or laughing at people comparing it to modern shooter graphics.

I’m almost at a loss for the levels of fanboyism I’m holding in, sheer unadulterated pure uncut 100% Columbian hype.

But I can’t help feelings a little bit iffy, I don’t know if it’s just because Fallout has become so mainstream over the years. For a title so niche to gain such mainstream appeal is good but also troubling to me, I hasten to add I didn’t play the original Fallout games until I saw Fallout 4 was being released and I needed an outlet for my building hype.
So I’m by no means an OG Fallout gamer, but I’m not a dirty casual either, I’m a console peasant who played his first Fallout game on a ps2, yeah it was Fallout BOS. I liked it because it was like Baldur’s Gate with guns and powerfist and it’s actually the first and only Fallout game where you got to play a ghoul.

After that I saw Fallout 3 come out and being a massive Oblivion fan it completely had me and had me bad, for months. I truly loved that game, the music, the atmosphere, the guns. Although overall it ranked as something of a letdown but as the constant apologist I blame myself for building it up so much something I’m desperately trying to resist with Fallout 4.
It was mainly the story and the levelling system I took issue with, coming out of Oblivion I found just putting numbers into a stat sort of unsatisfying as opposed to actually practicing the skill to build it up in Oblivion. Which I found more realistic; the more you swing a sword the better you get at it, but in Fallout it didn’t matter you just levelled up for completing missions and could spend skill points however you wanted even in skills you didn’t use.
But I had issues even with that system in Oblivion to be fair because I couldn’t resist once I had trained with one skill to the max to train with another until I mastered them all, which took some of the punch out of the game. The new levelling system for Fallout 4 looks pretty interesting and I’m actually really happy that it’s been streamlined and something that always annoyed me about previous Fallout games has been addressed.

Pistols, they never get pistols right, because you find one at the start and use it until you find some super mega blaster or some huge shotgun and then you never see it again but finally Bethesda have made pistols their own skill as opposed to just reducing it to small guns and big guns. So in a way they’ve streamlined it but also made it more intricate since every type of weapon not just its class has its own skill so you have a small guns skill but then an individual pistol/shotgun/assault rifle skill that focuses on one particular type of weapon with its own special attributes. Which I think is such a great idea because now you can literally make and use any gun you feel suits you best and your play style. Whether you want to be a long range sniper or a hip shooter pistolero or a shotgun surgeon. I think it’s just a great idea that gives every weapon a use and a purpose as opposed to just being something that clutters your inventory and is never used.

All games have their problems and they all reach a state of terminal velocity where they can’t satisfy the way they could at the start.

Also I had problems with the story of Fallout 3, not necessarily with the quality, I have taken to taking videogame storylines with a pinch of salt as of late, because they will always be secondary to fun gameplay and I’ve come to accept that. Waiting for an emotional rollercoaster of a game that Spielberg would be proud of is just too much to ask and games that try are hit and miss coming somewhere between tear jerking if a little tacky Last of Us vs. Engaging if completely insane pretty much any game by David Cage (Heavy Rain, Fahrenheit Syndrome, Beyond Two Souls) but I digress, I’ll get into that in more depth in a later blog probably.
The problem I had with the story is that there wasn’t very much of it, and that’s not to say they weren’t lots of quests and characters, what I mean were there were certain main quest lines that had achievements attached to them. And the problem I have with that is it just makes the game seem less fluid, less pick up and play, I liked how in Oblivion you could literally walk into any tavern or come across a stranger and be swept up in a harrowing quest and then get a piece of special equipment.
There are elements of that in Fallout 3 but I just felt like it was more rigid and a little less forgiving. But regardless of that I still found myself just exploring for hours completely ignoring the story for the most part. I spend probably 80% of my time on Fallout 3 just exploring and making up or piecing together stories from the surroundings and things I find and I think that’s a great strength of all Bethesda games. A lot of the times they just sit back and let the surroundings tell the story, they give the gamer the pieces and they have to put it together themselves which makes them that more engaged in the story.
That was just one thing I worried about looking over the leaked achievements for Fallout 4, they’re doing the same thing with the main story quests, giving them achievements for completion. I dunno, I just think money and the xp and the fun alone should be reward enough, but it’s just a pet peeve.
Another thing that worried me is the changes to the dialogue, it’s changed from a box of text where you select lines, to a more Mass Effect style dialogue wheel, now I see a lot of ‘genius’s’ and gaming hipsters saying this is Fallout ‘Dumbing down’ and to an extent when games fall into the mainstream there is a level of streamlining they go through to maximise their appeal like with Skyrim. But to anyone with common sense, the reason dialogue wheel replaced the text box is because we have a voiced protagonist for the first time in Fallout history and he only has so many words he can say, so unfortunately dialogue will be more limited.

Whether this improves immersion into the game or makes it worse I can’t say until I play it on Tuesday (More likely Wednesday, fuck took like a week to install eso and now I never play it -_-). I can’t say listening to Captain’s Shepherd’s monotone voice for hours on end with its varying inflection from anger to *shudders* flirtation increased anything but my threshold for cringe.

But this is Fallout, this is Bethesda, Bioware is but flies compared to Vigo!.. I mean Todd Howard.

Walk the Earth like Pookie in Three Ring Samurai.

Forgive me in advance for the rambling nature of this blog, I really don’t have a plan, I just have two words ‘Kung fu’.

For those not familiar with it, Kung Fu is a tv show with David Carradine playing a half Chinese half American boy raised in a shaolin temple after both his parents are killed by a tyrannical Emperor.
The story is based around his travels to seek out his family in America after his master is killed he must flee china wanted for killing the emperors son in an act of hot on the spot vengeance for the unwarranted killing.

He travels America looking for his family, evading the snare of the emperor and getting into scrapes and adventures, meeting interesting people along the way. With each new adventure a piece of his teachings is called upon to assist him and make sense of a world he’s only just coming face to face with.
Secluded all his life Caine is as a child with the fighting skills of a shaolin priest, through a series of flashback his past is brought to light to help him overcome and decide on certain courses of action to aid him in his adventures.

~

I initially watched the show out of the blue, maybe as some form of research for 3 Ring, I know I definitely shamelessly ripped a lot off for the issue plan, I borrowed a lot of ideas and I in an upcoming arc and I decided to completely parody the montage of Caine’s training in the shaolin temple and make it Pookie’s ridiculous clown training, I just couldn’t resist.

I really, really loved the style; the way the story was structured in the first season was perfect, calling on back-story applying it to current plot. It worked really well because you learned more about him every episode in a way that felt very consistent. And every episode you learnt a valuable and somewhat touching lesson.

It padded the main plot nicely as we learned about Caine throughout his various adventures and then kept us interested in the search for his brother and the threat of the Emperor on his heels and for a guy that had never done kung fu before kung fu David Carradine isn’t half bad as an actor or a fighter coming from someone who knows kung fu. He wasn’t amazing and he did use a stunt double in season one I believe but ditched that for his own stunts in later seasons.

Long story short I loved the show and I wanted the same feel for 3 Ring Samurai, I wanted every arc to be a self contained movie, something that engaged people and had action and drama and suspense and just enough thread of main plot to keep people reading but not enough to overwhelm them.

Sadly the second two seasons of Kung fu really fell short for me and I must admit I almost breathed a sigh of relief, I’m not proud to admit I take pleasure in the downfall of other but I think a lot of people feel shadenfreud a lot more than they’d like to admit. I was relieved to see the show fall because to live up to that, for it to continue at that level of quality would have rendered my endeavours to emulate it seem futile.

I don’t blame the show for this, I blame the times and the idea that writing staff are disposable, they chose to change the writers for season two and with the nature of television in the seventies I feel like they had to make it more consumable for people to watch as re-runs.

Tv wasn’t like how it is now with netflix and the internet, you couldn’t choose to watch a tv show whenever you wanted, and watch them in order, you watched them when they were on, in the order they were on and if you missed an episode you had to watch it in a rerun. You couldn’t just buy the boxset on dvd.
So each episode had to be standalone and almost interchangeable in terms of the timeline of the story so someone could watch any episode in any order and still keep up and enjoy the show.
This change of writers and restructuring of the show is a noticeable decline in cogent plot and although I watched each season through it didn’t measure up in any shape or form to season one.

I don’t know why but my mind keeps drawing back to Twin Peaks and the dire mistake of revealing the mystery around the death of Laura Palmer half way between season two which without a doubt killed the show. Lynch himself said he never wanted to reveal the mystery and I and Edgar Allen Poe would have agreed that the greatest mystery is one that goes unsolved. It was the fault of the producers of the show that forced him to reveal the mystery and then have the show limp on to the end without much a hook to keep the show going.
It’s almost amazing to even think that an entire tv show could be framed around one murder or one person’s life like Kung Fu. But it can because people themselves can be unsolvable mysteries.
And every time the credits rolled over Laura Palmer’s picture I would feel a pang of sorrow for the mystery of her life and even more so for the tawdry reveal of that perfect mystery and then the shop bought replacement mystery awkwardly wedged in its place.

I think if Kung Fu were re-made today it would be an incredibly feat but also a really rewarding one, (Note to self, call Keanu Reeves ;)). This is the golden age of television where the possibilities for stories and budgets and scope and acting talent are virtually limitless and at a time where there is so much pressure on the structure of films and now games it’s really necessary.

So please forgive the faux fanboy ranting, I just wanted to give some perspective to the narrative structure and style of 3 Ring, think Kung Fu meets Fallout 4 haha.

Peace out people.

Indie comics, clown samurais, post apocalyptic swashbuckling in very used cars.

Read issue one for free.

I work on a couple of indie comics; I’d say each is a little piece of me, each with its own life. This is sort of a dark reflection of my love of anime and bastardised Japanese/Asian culture.

3 Ring Samurai is a diesel-punk clown samurai revenge story. It’s basically like Caine in Kung Fu if he was a clown and… err a samurai and not a Buddhist monk… or bald..or a clown??

Pookie is left for dead and discovered on a pile of trash by some scavenger kids who with the help of their creepy grandpa nurse him back to health so he can begin his long road to revenge and trying to find some shoes that fit.

It’s based in a world a kin to fallout, but instead of the brotherhood of steel, an order out of the military applying Knightly codes to a post apocalyptic world to bring order out of chaos, the focus is on a group applying a circus code on the wastelands bringing entertainment and blood to the wastes.

The circus is like a travelling Show-gunate (get it? Right yeah killing myself, I’ll stop, just unsee that) bringing justice, a literal bread and circus circus, where criminals are put to death by the code of the circus entertainers trained to murder in really interesting ways.

But teh’applecart has been upset and Pookie has been cast out, accused of a heinous crime and now he’s to be hunted by his ex-brothers in arms for a crime he may or may not have committed.

Terrible overview over, this comic came about when I was trawling those hapless comic sites on facebook, where people huddle around the digital equivalent of a trashcan fire trying to keep their creativity warm while working for a living as a barista giving out double mocha handjobs or whatever.
So I squeezed my way around the garbage fire and threw out a few of my short stories and some of them hit home and I caught the attention of Mike (Now Ike, there was already a Mike Golden) with a weird clown story of my own about sexy killer clowns and electric kitchen knives and menstrual blood and that’s enough of that.

We bumped into each other again in a grindhouse style facebook group talking about commissioning some little grindhouse stories that never got off the ground (as is the case with most indie shorts) and in a few other debilitatingly depressing comic groups where people try to rub their creative spark between their fat middle age thighs hoping it’ll catch fire and pimply teens with ‘gender issues’ write the most banal tripe that would turn a donkey to Braille.

So of course as in love with me as Mike was (;)) he jumped at the chance to work with me again at which point, I was like, ‘Why don’t we just do our own thing?’ since we were both tired of being let down by the flakes of facebook. We connected over a similar work ethic and a love of all things martial arts. Him being into those fancy named Filipino arts with sticks and sharp sticks flailing about and me with my taekwondo and kung fu and fencing for all those years.
We thought we could put something together that would blend post apocalyptic punk tongue in cheek fun and classic kung fu movies and samurai flicks into one odd package.

So I set forth on a journey of rediscovery, I’d done kung fu for a number of years (4 to be exact) and taekwondo since I was about 12 but oddly I was never that into martial arts movies. The only one at the time I watched more than once was Romeo must die and that’s only because it came with our first dvd player so it was the only one we had.

But maybe a year or two ago, I started getting into obscure 90’s rap for some reason and I find a nice niche in the Wu Tang Clan which lead to a fascination with the RZA, being a fan of some of his scores from movies like ‘Ghost Dog’. I felt obliged to watch his attempt at a classic kung fu movie ‘The man with the iron fists’.

Needless to say it was fucking atrocious, and I never want to see a movie with Russell Crowe in it ever again. But I fell in love with the style and I wanted to explore that more. So I started watching movies like ‘Fist of the white lotus’ and ‘Five Deadly Venoms’ and my personal favourite ’36th Chamber of Shaolin’ (Or anything thing with Gordon Liu in it tbf) and I couldn’t get enough. The style, the fights, the minimal yet effective stories.
Then I watched ‘Kung Fu’ the tv show with David Carradine playing Caine the stoic shaolin monk and it was sealed. That’s not to say that I don’t see why it was cancelled, the last two seasons are awful but I don’t blame the show for that. It was made in the wrong time I think, each episode was designed to be easily consumable on its own, like a mini movie for the purpose of reruns, so you could just watch a random episode and enjoy it without having to know the context leading up to that point (Whereas today you have the internet and netflix so you can have a flowing story and watch the episodes in order to keep up with a consistent plot). And because of that it lost its grasp on a main plot and then when it tried to rekindle that, it fumbled it horrible.

But the first season I found spellbinding and I realise if I keep going on about it, this blog is going to be three times as long as it has to be. So I’ll wrap it up by just saying, I found every episode of the first season emblematic of everything I want to do with 3 Ring; Punchy and fun and enigmatic, with a strong mysterious story that clings to a tight back story slowly unfolding episode to episode filling out the character of the hero and propelling the story forward in a way that keeps the reader/watcher coming back for more.

that keeps readers wanting more and more.

See you…

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