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Forums > Submission Feedback > Lewis's Fallout review

This thread is in response to a review for Fallout on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: December 17, 2011 (11:06 PM)
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The only thing I can say is that I agree, not only with this review but on many older RPGs. I've often considered revisiting Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, even the first two Fallouts, but I instantly feel tired thinking about it. They're of the type that I could spend many hours playing and feel like I haven't made much progress at all.

Nice review, Lewis. I think it's fair, and you hit all the points properly without succumbing to blindness at the hands of nostalgia.

EDIT:
...and right as I bring up blindness due to nostalgia, I decide to submit my Berzerk review.


The only thing my milkshake brings to the yard is a subpoena.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: December 18, 2011 (10:57 AM)
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It's true, the script was the one thing that makes Fallout 1 stand out beyond it's newer iterations. New Vegas captured the original feel better than Fallout 3, though, so I've still no reason to go back.

Great review. Really an excellent look at that little thing that's kept me from both throwing my disc of Fallout 1 away... and yet also from going back and playing it.

I'm really enjoying the hell out of FF6, on the other hand. Some games do hold up, it seems.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: bloomer
Posted: December 18, 2011 (04:32 PM)
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I haven't played many of the Fallout era RPGs. I guess what I'm wondering is - are these the same kind of concerns that make people baulk at playing 8 bit RPGs like Bard's Tale etc? Difficulty, lack of direction, grinding? I mean, does that sum it up, or is there something else about the Fallouts and Baldur's Gates specific to their generation?


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: December 19, 2011 (12:34 AM)
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Everyone probably has their own answer to that question, Bloomer, but I'll take a stab at it with my own reasons. I think that Fallout and Baldur's Gate, etc. came out at a time when computer capabilities were finally getting good enough that companies could start experimenting a little bit, both with programming and with graphics. Thus, huge worlds like the apocalypse of Fallout and the fantasy world of Dungeons and Dragons (not to mention Elder Scrolls 2: Elvenfall or whatever, known for having a map the size of Great Britain) were able to be visualized. And the programs were getting good enough to start filling those worlds with scenarios and characters.

It led to some great stuff, but it was all experimentation nonetheless. Essentially, great innovation coming in a sort of haphazard way. A great example is Deus Ex. The concept at the time of its release was so fresh for the genre that it really sucked gamers in. But if you go back and look at it now, the ideas it introduced have long since been further and better developed. It's very clearly the "beta" version of much better games.

I think Fallout and Baldur's Gate fall into the same category of game. At the time, there was nothing like them to compare to. You didn't have the choice between Dragon's Age, Skyrim, and Dark Souls for your fantasy RPG needs. You had Baldur's Gate. No other game was doing that. Same with Fallout. What other post-apocalyptic game existed? For a long long time, none. There was nothing like it. Now that we have something to compare it with, it's inevitable that the cracks will start to show.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: December 19, 2011 (01:45 AM)
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I think bloomer's question, Zipp, had more to do with "What are those cracks?" Besides visual improvements, what have the newer Fallout games changed that will ensure that we're still playing them 10 years from now, versus the stuff in the original Fallout games that prevents most from caring to ever touch them again? Is it a matter of pacing, or is there a lot more to it?

The Bard's Tale was the precursor to more modern games like Etrian Odyssey, for example, but I can't go back and enjoy The Bard's Tale very much because it takes too long to form a connection to my band of warriors. It takes too long to feel like my harrowing adventures are shaping them into warriors that will take me to the end of the dungeon. Meanwhile, Etrian Odyssey games provide ample character customization, new enemies and traps and sights... lots of stuff. What traps does Fallout 3 avoid that its predecessors did not?


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: December 19, 2011 (11:58 AM)
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Frankly, I'm not sure it DOES avoid any of those traps. I've gone back and had trouble replaying Fallout 3 already... but not as much as I do playing Fallout 1 or 2.

The biggest crack that stands out in my mind for Baldur's Gate and Fallout 1 and 2 is an unfair difficulty. And I'm not talking of tough enemies, but rather the fact that with leveling decisions you can easily work yourself into a corner you can't get out of.

Did any of you ever play those roleplaying books, Fighting Fantasy? In those books there was something called the "one true path." It was basically like a choose your own adventure, but if you made one error in your choices, you were screwed. The thing was, you weren't screwed immediately... the path you chose might take you all the way to the final pages of the !@#$!ed adventure before revealing that you'd missed some golden chalice or magical dildo and BAM you're dead.

Fallout and Baldur's Gate had a lot of that in their leveling systems. In games that highly advertised their degree of customization and free choice, you could easily create an uber stealth character in Fallout (or a dual class character in Baldur's Gate) only to realize that the last stage of the game contains so many enemies that there is no possible way to sneak around them (or to realize that dual class sucks). In such a way you could easily become stuck at a late point in the game with little opportunity for leveling and fixing this.

Worst example of this? Saga Frontier. Oh my fucking god Saga Frontier. Hate it like rats.

I actually think it's one of the reasons Final Fantasy was so successful. It was difficult to create a situation in Final Fantasy where you couldn't win. The only game I ever managed it was in FFVIII, the only FF I've played without beating... and even there I could have painstakingly traveled around the world drawing enough magic from random encounters to boost my stats to a reasonable level.

I have a similar complaint with Fallout 3 and Dragon Age... but more options in combat and the ability to severely lower difficulty settings mitigate the problem, some. Eschalon Book has this problem in spades, by the way.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: bloomer
Posted: December 19, 2011 (05:15 PM)
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So Zipp it sounds like you're saying - it's too easy to spend hours and hours on those games then find you're screwed due to a battle impassable to characters you developed the way you did. I suppose that's exacerbated by the games being so big. That is a different kind of problem from the 8-bit games.

I recall that happened to me in Diablo 1 with the mage character. Never had any problems with any of the physical fighting characters, though.

HG was saying Bard's Tale wouldn't appeal to him now due to lack of involvement (or taking too long) to get involved with his characters.

I would add that Bard's Tale 1 and 2 are just too hard and too unguided to modern eyes. It makes them really difficult to start - too many characters die, you go back to the drawing board, you waste your time fooling around in areas too dangerous for you.

I think Bard's Tale 3 really fixed things up in that respect. It has far better guiding of the plot, a kind of linear progression, and is way kinder to your level 1 characters so you can get into it.

Anyway I'm off for holidays now. I'll see you guys in the new year. Thanks for another year of running this site, HG.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: December 19, 2011 (05:26 PM)
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whoa whoa whoa whoa WHOA WHOA WHOA

Hold on a minute!

"Did any of you ever play those roleplaying books, Fighting Fantasy? In those books there was something called the "one true path." "

Didn't you ever read the introduction to those books? At the beginning of every Fighting Fantasy, they specifically say there are many ways to reach the end. Just look at Deathtrap Dungeon!

...uh, then again, maybe not. I'm having trouble thinking of one where that note at the beginning wasn't just a cruel lie.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: December 19, 2011 (05:34 PM)
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In the Samurai one that I have, there are TWO ways to get to the end, as you get to pick one direction or another to go at the beginning, with both ways potentially giving you enough necessary artifacts to get through the end. But that one was FAR more forgiving than most. Hell, you could even survive the end if you didn't get all the necessary artifacts...if you won fights with really tough foes. I think you had to use an artifact to get through the first battle, as the book would send you to a "lol u dead" section if you failed to do that, but you could fight the rest of the way through (and win, assuming you cheated like a mofo on rolls and stuff).


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: December 20, 2011 (08:54 AM)
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One of the most frustrating ones I recall was "Creature of Havoc," a nifty little gamebook where you wake up with amnesia and don't even know WHAT you are. Instinct takes over in several sections and you roll a die to see which direction your character goes in. All very interesting... except that the very first section this happens, if you roll the wrong random number, you head down the WRONG path. And by wrong I don't mean you die right away; you can still make it to, like, the third to last page of the adventure before your "bad decision" catches up with you.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: December 20, 2011 (05:41 PM)
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I read that one. I think it was less of an adventure, and more of a treatise on the influence our genetics and luck during childhood have on our eventual life outcomes.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: fleinn
Posted: December 20, 2011 (11:56 PM)
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Basically like every other rpg since Icewind Dale and Fallout, then :p


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