Category Archives: Roleplaying Game

Throwback Thursday – Return to Vault 101 [Fallout 3]

When Fallout 4 was announced on Jun 2nd, I was hoping that Bethesda would do much like when they announced Skyrim and the game would be coming later this year. Lucky for me (and everyone!), I was right. But even then, I figured it wouldn’t be announced at E3 that it was available then (but what a way to drop the mic at the end of the Bethesda presentation if they did that) and I needed to get my Fallout fix a little earlier. I remembered I still have my original disc when I bought the game.

2015-06-17 21.28.01Wow, remember when Microsoft was making the big “Games for Windows” push… but anyways, I’m lazy and bought Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition on Steam which includes all the add-ons. I installed the game, hit play, and then… nothing.

Which is when it dawned on me – Fallout 3 was released back in 2008. Back when I was still on Windows XP (because, let’s face it, I was not a fan of Windows Vista). We’ve had Win7, 8, and 8.1 release since then so a game made for an old OS is bound to have a few issues. Luckily, I found a great post in the Steam Community by BenWah that helped me out: ULTIMATE Fallout 3 Setup Guide READ THIS!.

His post goes into a lot great detail but if you’re on Windows 8.1, these are the steps I took:

While this got my game up and running, I noticed I’d get this weird issue where my game would randomly minimize and I couldn’t get it back without forcing the task to stop and reloading. Which is a pain. But again, modders to the rescue! I found Fake Fullscreen Mode Windowed – Alt Tab Fix by BUDA20 that works like a dream.

Now I’m back into Fallout 3 and will do a playthrough while I eagerly (OH SO EAGERLY) await Fallout 4. Or you could take the easy route like CiraCorellia and play it on a console… but seriously, #PCMasterRace. You can do so much more on the PC, even get a high res mod!

fallout3-screenshot16

Diablo 3 Beta: The Crack is Back!

So, over the weekend I got to get in a little time with the Diablo 3 Open Beta. To get to the point quickly… if you loved Diablo 1 and/or Diablo 2, you will definitely love Diablo 3. It is a fun hack’n’slash dungeon crawler with a sprinkling of RPG.

For my first character, I recreated an old Shadowbane character… Spjorn Skullcleaver; also known as Spjorn, Son of Spork (I fear it is an old Jeff Toney joke). Spjorn was a dual-wielding Barbarian in Shadowbane (on the War server) and he kept those attributes in the Diablo 3 beta. I quickly started to fight my way through the various areas and levels, picking up some pieces of armor and weapons here and there. Soon enough, I was dual wielding life draining weapons and carving my way through entire swaths of demonic underlings and the undead.

One of the first differences I noticed between this and Diablo 2 was the character skill customization. I thought I would miss the old system, but I didn’t and found the Rune System to be a good replacement for it. If you’re unsure what this is, you can read the official blog entry, or read Dontinquire’s post, or since we all love video, Hunter Starcraft’s video. End of the day, it gave me some choices and I could specialize but it made me make choices on what abilities I would have accessible during combat (a little bit like Guild Wars).

After a time, I picked up a sidekick – a Templar of all things (funny enough, another class in Shadowbane). I felt a little bad for my sidekick because he seemed to be there more as a distraction than a threat to the evil hordes before us. He would slash and stab and slash and stab and his enemy would be maybe half dead. Meanwhile, I’m next to him and littering the floor with bones and corpses… only to walk up to his enemy and kill him in a single blow. Spjorn the Killstealer!

It took me a few hours to get to the Skeleton King. He gave me a decent fight but I think I had a better one earlier on (or at least a harder one) with the fat spikey demons that can knockback and fear you. The Skeleton King just had too many minions around and Spjorn was stealing the life right out of them while causing massive explosions due to one of the Runes on his powers. It took no time at all for the Skeleton King to explode like a pinata and fill my screen with loot… and the message that I beat the Diablo 3 beta!

At first I thought to try out some of the other character classes (which I did later)… but Spjorn decided to jump into some multiplayer action to see how that was going. Note to everyone since it seems like a common misconception… multiplayer is there for launch; it is PvP that won’t be. While you need multiplayer to have PvP, you don’t need PvP to have multiplayer. Now, I do like some great PvP but I don’t need it to enjoy a hack’n’slash – I have plenty of other games to feed my PvP itch. And for those of us who do enjoy it, it will be there. Just later.

Multiplayer was fun – more of the same but in party-mode. I imagine I’ll enjoy it more when playing with friends and in the harder levels. The fight up to the Skeleton King, while enjoyable, was more like a good job than a hard run. Enough to get your heart pumping and endorphins going… but nothing that you’re sitting at the edge of your seat about.

What didn’t I like about my short time in beta? Believe it or not, I missed not getting scrolls. I probably wouldn’t have but there were always scrolls dropping that you couldn’t pick up when you knocked down shelves that kept on reminding me of the old teleport and identification scrolls! My biggest complaint has been probably my oldest one – always having the internet on to play.

Now, before anyone jumps in to remind me you need it for so many other games and even Steam which I am in love with (and discounting the fact you don’t always need internet on for Steam)… this is, at its heart, a single-player game. It’s great that I can group with friends and I can understand needing a connection for that. But you know what wasn’t fun? I woke up at a decent hour on Saturday and tried to get into Diablo 3. It was down. In fact, it was down for about the next three (3) hours. This was a free beta and that annoyed me. I would be much more annoyed had it been a game I paid for and couldn’t play it solely because the servers were down when I just wanted to get into some single-player mindless slaughterfests. I understand the reasons they have it in there… I just don’t personally like that it is a necessity.

Will it keep me from buying it? Hell no (pun intended)! While it might be RPG-lite when compared to games like The Witcher 2 and Dragon Age, it has enough story to keep me hooked. But the truth is, I don’t play Diablo for the story, that’s just the nice etching on the icing. I play Diablo for the great combat that lets me wade through the blood and guts of hordes of creatures while I look to get that next item. That is what Diablo is for me and Diablo 3 has that in spades. The combat is intensely fun; so much that in my play session there wasn’t really a point where I was bored… I kill a group of monsters and hear a group right off-screen that gets me running, weapons raised and ready to strike!

So yes, I will be playing on Day 1. This is a Blizzard game and it has Blizzard’s attention to detail all over it. Fantastic music and sounds, great combat to include some destructible environment, didn’t have a single bug (not saying they aren’t there, just I didn’t get any), performed well on my PC (with FRAPs running.. y’know, when the game servers were actually up), seemed to have plenty of achievements, and the most important thing… it was just plain ol’ fun.

So, that is my short preview of Diablo 3.

See Also: Diablo 3 Beta (album)

Winter is Coming… in May

I’ve heard bits and pieces about the upcoming Game of Thrones (roleplaying game) over the last year or so. Nothing much but just the topic alone caught my interest; I’m a huge fan of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin (and the HBO series is pretty good, too… though not as good as the books).

Anyways, I was perusing the “Specials” and “Coming Soon” tabs of Steam as I like to do on the weekends to see if there is anything on sale that I didn’t get for one reason or another… or if I needed to set something aside for some new games coming out soon. And I saw that a “Game of Thrones” is currently scheduled to come out in May 2012 (and the imagine on the website says May 15th). I say “currently scheduled” because I’ve been a gamer (and worked in the industry) long enough to know that dates slip. But this close to the date… pretty safe to assume it will be May (although it may be late May) since you have to have your gold master in usually 30 days before your ship date (and some other fun stuff).

I was never quite sure what the game would be about. The official website isn’t too helpful in that and this is all Steam has to say about the plot:

Experience an amazing adventure in one of the most complete and fascinating universes in medieval-fantasy literature. Game of Thrones is a great Role Playing Game that puts you at the core of a thrilling plot, where your fate will be guided by vengeance, allegiance and honor.

I was wondering if it would be a game about the past – around the time as the short-stories of “Ser Duncan the Tall” but, after looking at Cyanide Studio’s website, this looks to do more like LOTRO did – you’re playing during the book series:

We didn’t really want to adapt the novels, it would have break the tension for the fans of the original saga. We wished for the players to discover Westeros for the first time or from another point of view. To make sure that this universe would be respected, we did the simplest thing : we associated ourselves with the author.

A Game of Thrones (AGOT), the roleplaying game, brings you into a grown-up adventure parallel to the original piece. You will take part into a whole new story full of plots. We didn’t planned on a time shift to put our story back or forward in the original timeline. On the contrary, we adapted our story to the original events so that the player could meet the main characters of the saga in these new chapters.

This whole new adventure will offer to alternatively play two brand new characters: Allester, the red priest and Mors, the night watchman. They will be brought into the vile plots of the noble houses. Will you be able to see clear through the game of thrones ? Beware though, since in this game, one wins or dies.

There are also some more details in the description section of the video (below). Unless it gets a horrible Metacritic rating, I will probably but it just for the sake of it having to do with A Song of Ice and Fire… and my hope is Georges R.R. Martin gave them a few clues or lore tidbits to put into the game that you might not get elsewhere. So while it will be heating up here in Texas (probably in the 90s+ by then); Winter is coming… in May!