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Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Thoughts and Some Tips on Fallout 3

Most of the PS3's return has been heralded by catching up on Fallout 3, to the point where I've even downloaded a few things and haven't tried them yet. I really, really, want to jump back into Little Big Planet, but I haven't had a large enough reliable chunk of time to do it justice.

So back to the Capitol Wasteland with me. Since I've now had the rather odd experience of playing the first part of the game twice in short order, I thought I'd jot down a few tips:

It's a rough world...
While there's something to being a talker, sneaker, shooter, etc. in this game - there are couple things which are going to always be true. You'll need to defend yourself. The easiest route is Small Guns, which occupies the largest section of weapons you'll find out there.

I have some fondness for melee and unarmed weapons, though, as they require no ammo and you can pummel an enemy while they reload. If you've got Dogmeat with you, it works even better since he provides another layer of distraction.

It's like someone was trying to steal something
If I had to lay down a single skill that is most useful, it would be Lockpick. The lock system won't even let you try some locks without a certain level at this skill, so I've actually got it at 100 already at level 12. In the long run, being good at lockpick makes some quests easier and provides more access to scavenging.

Plus, law enforcement just isn't what it used to be. You might risk a little karma, but you've got plenty of chance to get that back in the game.

If only I knew
There are quite a few things in the game which are quite handy, which my complete lack of RTFM didn't realize at first:

- The PIP Boy has a light, which is handy for scavenging those dark areas. Hold down the normal PIP button until it turns on. It will make being stealthier much harder, however.

- From the world map, you can fast travel to discovered locations by clicking on them. Discovered means you've actually been there, not just marked on your map.

- You can set the hotkeys for specific weapons from your inventory screen. Honestly, though, jumping into the PIP menu might take longer - it does have the handy feature of pausing the action, so I don't really use it that much.

- Ammo and most chems have no weight. This is handy for storing large amounts for either future use or to dump all at once for quick cash.

- Between VATS and your stealth status (visible when you crouch), you can get a really good impression of what is around. Crouch, see if your status is pretty much anything but hidden, and then click VATS to see what enemies might be around.

Good dog, Dogmeat
Dogmeat is the canine henchmen in the game. My second time through, I went for Dogmeat early in the game. I haven't really investigated the in-game henchmen just yet, but Dogmeat is pretty handy. In combat, he offers a decent amount of distraction, soaks up damage and adds a new layer of damage on his own.

Like all dogs, though, Dogmeat requires watching. It's good to make sure he is around before fast travelling, so that you don't have to go back to some area to retrieve him. Also, Dogmeat's protective nature means you'll need to make sure he hasn't gone off to chomp some Super Mutant you didn't know was there. Dogmeat doesn't require healing often, but he can get into trouble if either ganged up or left alone against someone half decent with a shotgun. Sometimes it's just better to leave him somewhere. Especially some missions where there will be either a large number of traps or creatures he is just not well suited to fight.


- Also, it's good to note that the hacking minigame marks a "correct" letter as being both the right letter and in the right position. Took us a while to realize that, but the game is much easier once you catch on...

Friday, December 19, 2008

For Sunday: Santa Versus The Martians

Via Cinematic Titanic (basically MST3K take two):

Thursday, December 18, 2008

For Sunday: Timecrimes

This movie has been getting a decent amount of buzz for its storytelling on a budget, including an interview on Wired.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunny In Philadelphia meets Star Trek

Boldly Going Nowhere might be the best thing I've heard about in a great while. From the creators of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, it will be science fiction comedy about a rogue ship and what I can only assume will be their insanely socially inappropriate misadventures. Details are a bit fuzzy, but there's apparently and intentionally downgraded android and holodeck abuse. It's slated to be coming out on Fox and I can't wait to see it.