189 points, 10 votes, 3.5 TOP GAME votes
Mordy: This had a multitude of bugs that kept it from placing higher, but despite those I still gave it about 20 hours or so before deciding to wait for a major patch or two. Half my vote is for what I’ve already seen — a sharp, well-written game that is deserving of the Fallout brand (if you include Wasteland it’s my favorite video game series of all time) — and half for what I hope: that further patched play will reveal an incredible game. I’m embarrassed to admit that like a fallout-crack fiend, despite being disgusted by the early crashes, I still played about 4 hours of this last night. I got down to Primm and cleared that shit out (took a couple reloads tho, I’m not in love with my character build atm). It’s very familiar to F3, especially wrt the types of items you find lying around. I’m playing on hardcore which is actually kinda hard (gotta remember to tote around purified water and food) and led to one of my cooler Fallout experiences. Someone got a critical head shot on me while I was in the middle of clearing Primm and since stimpacks don’t heal critical damage on hardcore I basically continued to fight with my head in poor condition (since I didn’t want to run away and see a doctor). Every few minutes the screen went all blurry and shaky and static came up, which was a really cool way of indicating trauma and reminded me of the malaria mechanics in Far Cry 2. It’s hard killing gangers when you can barely see the screen or aim your gun.
jjjusten: So yeah, people keep saying that this is just a content expansion pack for fallout III but eh I call bullshit, its a better swing at the fallout universe than III was in pretty much every way that matters – the characters are far better, your companions are more than just bullet sponges, the plot actually has legit moral choice based branches, the locations look better. yeah sure, its the same game mechanic, but once you peel back the grime filter from gta4 yer still pwning pedestrians and boning prostitutes, so whats the big deal. still loving this game but:
A) no one in the entire world will ever get excited about the stupid survivalist thing
B) some of the fixit quests are a little badly designed ie “here is a broken food processor, and here is the list of 74 pieces of junk you need to fix it. no, we will not keep track of this for you, so i hope you have a pen and paper handy”
C) some of the quests are pretty counter-intuitive, I’ve had to gamefaq a couple which always sucks.
that being said roaming the tight vault passages fuckin’ peeps up with a chainsaw is like the best shit ever
NI: one of my favorite moments of the game was me and boone spending about an hour blowing away the mother and alpha male deathclaws and their clan in that mining pit. avoided it for so long as i’d heard deathclaws were pretty much unkillable this time round but boone + missiles + incinerator + my cunning technique of running up a mine chute squealing like a girl soon sorted them out.
im up to about level 24 now, only just entered the strip and i can sense the old FO3 syndrome of it getting too easy starting to kick in. been doing a bunch of no-risk ‘wander about and chat to people’ missions in camp mclarran and freeside and it’s all getting a bit zzzz. the xbox loading times between locations is frustrating as hell too.
Princess TamTam: combat’s wayyy better imo – the true iron sights are a great addition, and because of that i’ve barely touched VATS so far. sneaking and sniping is my tactic of choice. enemies are still bullet sponges (im playing on very hard btw) which is unfortunate because I really prefer shooters where one well-placed headshot = a kill no matter what. the ammo variety is great, AP bullets actually work, and the new guns are all awesome and make bethesda’s weapons look retarded (it’s really jarring when you equip say the 10 mm pistol and it’s this weird clunky made up gun that doesn’t fit in with anything else), reload animations are sick nasty too. I was fully on-board when I walked into Nipton and the fucking Necropolis music from Fallout 1 started playing. Also, fucking JOHNNY GUITAR. Just as an aside, I think this game will be remembered as one of the most progressive AAA titles ever wrt its treatment of gay characters. Most of the v/o is a huge step up. It reminds me of how impressed I was by the presentation of the first Fallout… it was really cool that whenever you had a talking head convo, you knew you’d get some great voiceover from people like Clancy Brown, Ron Perlman, Keith David, Frank Welker, Richard Moll, etc. I took a break from the game this week, but I’m playing again today. I just got to Jacobstown, and lemme just say that I’m glad mutants have personality again instead of just being bellowing hulks.
Magnificent *kisses fingertips like a french sommelier*
jeff: bugs so far today: got stuck between two crates that were seemingly stacked right next to each other. guess not. and then one where my fire button stopped working and my weapon would only fire when i exited out my pip boy menu. had a really fun vats experience where i just watched a gecko run at me in slow motion for a minute while my gun did nothing.
Craig G: A new Fallout game and Cowboys must be cool this (last) year I guess. A lot of people criticized New Vegas because it looked dated, still using the Gamebryo Engine. I guess I didn’t notice this because it hadn’t been that long since I finished playing Fallout 3 and all the DLC. That said, in spite of the fact it is my game of the year, for me New Vegas wasn’t as good as Fallout 3, but in an intangible way. I guess it could be because Fallout 3 was something new, and I spent way more time just wandering around the environment looking at things, and exploring for the heck of it. New Vegas was familiar, and for that reason just not quite as exciting. It brought lots of nice additions though; modding weapons to stick a scope on my usual favorite the Hunting Rifle makes it pretty fun to wander the wastes picking off Bad Dudes. The new factions cover a wide range, and it was a pretty satisfying hour and half clearing out Cottonwood Cove and The Fort of the Legion jerks. I think it will be better for multiple playthroughs too, as the options available, both for side quests and main quests, seems more flexible than Fallout 3 was. Cannot be assed with playing Caravan though.
bnw: I’m playing hardcore mode. It’s not really that tough so far, we’ll see when my resources dwindle further. One fight gave me problems so far, took like 10 tries. I’ve had a couple freezes and a corrupt auto-save. Seen some coyotes stuck in the ground and some other animal stuck motionless on the road. Overall a bit of letdown as it’s like a more buggy fallout 3. Also seems lacking in the great underground tunnels fo3 has. seems kinda silly that hardcore mode cripples you so realistically and effectively wrt injuries and weight and yet you can still “fast travel”. You can even walk/run as fast as a gimp, you just limp at equal speed. I do think you’re more vulnerable in those areas if crippled though. Also not a big fan of CRAFTING. So far it is completely unnecessary and just a pain to manage 8000 different ingredients. My character is a black lesbian obv.
Ste: Some of the feelings i get from this game are too real and not fun enough lol. one mission had me lure some guy in front of a sniper. but i got told off for having no evidence. it was quite funny to see the guys head explode as i talked to him, but i felt really shitty when i was told off by the sniper guy.
need to level up before i go lurking into areas with deathclaws, they’re sons a bitches but at least i got my egg!
EZ Snappin: Might have been my game of the year if it didn’t ship horribly fucking broken. Better story than F3, even more of a mess technically. If Obsidian ever manages to release a finished, working, product the world might end. I believe their “unnamed development project” after Dungeon Siege 3 is scheduled for release December 20, 2012. Make of that what you will. No bugs, still lovin’ it (almost 10 hours in), playing with Wacky Kooky Wasteland but haven’t seen anything kooky or wacky – just radscorpions, ghouls, molerats and the like. I’m enjoying it more than F3 at the beginning, and the humor seems less LOOK! FAN SERVICE FUNNY! than Fallout 3.
Forks’ Fallout 3 Soundtrack:
The Master Keys – I Don’t Mind the Rain (Unreleased, radio)
Charles Brown – It Ain’t Gonna Be Like That
Nat King Cole – Nature Boy
Son House – Low Down Dirty Blues
Dizzy Gillespie – Oop Pop A Da
Jack McVea – Open the Door Richard
The Stanley Brothers – Death Is Only a Dream
The Big Three Trio (Willie Dixon) – I Ain’t Gonna Be Your Monkey Man
The DixieAires – Joe Louis Is a Fightin’ Man
John Lee Hooker – Crawling King Snake
Amos Milburn – Bad Bad Whiskey
The Big Three Trio – Signifying Monkey
Redd Stewart – Brother Drop Dead Boogie
The Dominoes with Clyde McPhatter – The Bells
Earl Hooker – Sweet Black Angel
Eddie Boyd – Third Degree
June Christy with The Stan Kenton Orchestra – Everything Happens to Me
Howlin’ Wolf – Evil
Junior Wells – Somebody Hoodooed The Hoodoo Man
Little Walter – Mellow Down Easy
Lambert Hendricks and Ross – Standin’ On the Corner, Whistlin’ at the Pretty Girls
Little Richard – Slippin and Slidin’ Peepin’ and Hidin’ (Piano/Drum Demo)
The Starlight Gospel Singers – I Got a Right To the Tree of Life
The Weavers – Sixteen Tons
Bobby Blue Bland – You Got Bad Intentions
Bo Diddley – Hey! Bo Diddley!
Chuck Berry – Maybelline
Eddie Banks and The Five Dreamers – Sugar Diabetes
Elvis Presley – Blue Moon
Patience and Prudence – Tonight You Belong to Me
Nhex: coming back in 3 years after the fan patches make this playable
93 points, 7 votes
jon /via/ chi 2.0: For an ubiquitous app game, Angry Birds is incredibly designed and thoughtful.
Dayo: Do not not not understand the appeal of angry birds
HI DERE: Angry Birds is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too addictive
Autumn Almanac : Angry Birds is the sort of game you play out of compulsion, not necessarily for enjoyment.
Forksclovetofu: I’ve referred to Angry Birds as “the game non-gamers like” which i guess is sorta… gamist? Bottom line is that it’s a poor man’s Boom Blox with noxious sound design. I’ve not been able to play more than ten levels cause it bores the hell outta me.
Ledge: I played this a hell of a lot so i must have got some kind of enjoyment out of it… the birds are fun characters and it was a challenge to beat all the levels but ultimately i ended up frustrated, feeling like luck played too large a component in whether or not you got the pixel perfect placement necessary for gold starring a level.
JimD: I can’t explain why I haven’t got bored of this, because in a sense I was bored as soon as I started playing. It really doesn’t feel very different to any number of flash games that have gone before, but perhaps it’s one of those situations where the game is just a perfect fit for the format. Angry Birds is exactly the kind of non-game you want for a 15 minute train journey and that’s where most of my gaming happens these days. The constant drip feed of new levels is a plus too.
Polyphonic: I bought Angry Birds for some reason and regretted it immediately. So joyless.
ilxor: I’d be kidding myself to deny it: this game has its moments.
Zappi: Angry Birds is boring as hell, wtf people
65 points, 3 votes, .33 TOP GAME votes
Captain Lorax: Pretty much on the same level as the first one. Maybe the combat is better with a few more options. The atmosphere is amazing. The story is interesting; well it’s not extraordinary (the premise is) but I’m compelled to listen to the audio diaries. And you will finally learn a thing or two about the little sisters. One of my top 3 games of the year. I wanted it to last longer so that I could use my final plasmid upgrades more often (maybe if I had chosen to harvest the little girls). The worst problem with the Bioshock series is that chopping at a tough enemy and then regenerating over and over again just to finish them off feels like cheating.
jjjusten: It really could have been so much better, and the O_O promo shit for bioshock sky city or whatever really didnt help the good will toward this game, but its better than people seem to think – i guarantee that if you go back to bioshock 1 (which is great, jesus christ calm down already) youll start to notice some of the work that went into the environment reboot. Multiplayer never really came together but the few times a lobby would get rocking it was actually a ton of fun, just dont expect this to uh ever happen again unless you set it up w/yer pals, sorry. Big Sister attack waves were fucking hard as nails and unnerving most of the time (although unfortunately if you figured out how to game the system a bit they werent, which is too bad). That being said, the game sorta just peters out in the middle and tbh i dont know many people who finished it so buy it cheap.
Mitch Krpata: Before BioShock 2, I would have said that BioShock didn’t need a sequel. After BioShock 2, I can’t imagine a world without one.
bnw: hollow echo of a great game.
cozen: better than the original but w/slight performance issues & originality questions. still, a solid shooter front to back and a damn sight better than the other bioshock retread released this year (‘singularity’)
52 points, 4 votes, 1 TOP GAME vote
Nhex: A complete surprise to me. Admittedly, I have a weakness for these little-indie-PC-games-that-
could, and graphically this game looks like it could’ve been done on the original Playstation, but this was a wonderful little game. Recettear has an interesting structure in that there’s an extreme range of choice in how far the player wants to take it – one could play it as a casual shopkeeping sim, and “complete” the game at the end of the first month, or you (well, me) could spend endless hours going through the random dungeon generator, hunting ingredients to get 100% completion. It’s suited for pick-up and play, long sessions, or grinding and farming. The story, characters and world are slight, goofy, and charming, which is completely appropriate and ingratiating. I actually feel guilty about getting this for effectively $1 in a Steam sale over Thanksgiving.
abanana: a fairly generic japanese sim game, but without as much of their usual sexism. short and sweet.
a passing spacecadet: I am slightly ashamed by how much I loved this given how awful I find the graphical style and how wildly inaccurate the tutorial’s own instructions are. Can’t stop to think about the game any more or I’ll talk in nothing but high-pitched Japanese exclamations for the next day. Ganbatte kudasai!
45 points, 2 votes, .5 TOP GAME vote
Gravel Puzzleworth: I think this will be an amazing amazing game when it’s finished (2/3 years from now) but I’m not sure I’ll ever love it as much as IV; it’s a too little too facebook in a way I can’t quite put my finger on – I really & honestly like almost every design decision they took and the 100% unifying thread of them seems to have been ‘remove the things that aren’t fun’ – I’m just not certain I like fun as much as the game’s target audience?
40 points, 3 votes
EZ Snappin: ACII was my game of the year last year. This is better in many ways — the new additions to combat and collecting things to unlock items spring to mind — but Rome is no Venice.
MattD: This is sort of a half-vote, as I havn’t touched the single player, but that speaks volumes about the fantastic multiplayer. At its heart it’s just a it’s simple cat-and-mouse game to see who can sneak up on whom (everyone is simultaneously playing both roles). The better you do, the more people hunting you. It’s tense and frantic, and maybe the only competitive implementation of a sneaking mission that works well for both the hunter and hunted.
40 points, 3 votes
if: Beyond basic functionality, I actually don’t really care at all for the aesthetics of SMB (now there’s a deliberate acronym). I think I may also, finally, have reached the point where I see ‘<Item> get!’ and ‘Sorry but the <person> is in another <location>’ and feel absolutely nothing in response. Fortunately the controls, jumping/walljumping mechanics, sense of speed and level design were near perfect. The replays in which you watch a cloud of your failures gradually and harshly narrowed down to your success were also rightly praised. The number one thing above all of that that made this stand out and be so addictive, though, was the simple but ingenious idea to make all the levels so short. Coupled with NO RELOADING TIMES and the aforementioned speed and responsiveness, this meant that the difficulty could be ramped up to the level where winning often feels exhilaratingly like achieving the impossible, whilst barely ever suffering from un-fun frustration. And each level offering multiple routes with rewards for quick times meant that even if you spent twenty goes repeating the same first section of a level: i) it was really short anyway ii) It wasn’t time wasted, as it could be used to whittle an extra 0.05 seconds off the time for that part and increase your chances of opening up a more sadistically hard level!
silby: Only managed to spend a few minutes with this game so far, but since it combines brilliantly designed puzzle-platforming with an insane glut of content, by the time it’s finally out on a platform that I have regular access to, I might actually bother to beat it.
35 points, 3 votes
MattD: I can’t speak for the single player campaign, as I generally only play RTS titles for the competitive multiplayer. It’s the same game it was a decade ago, and it isn’t – there are more options, tricks, tactics and polish, but the gameplay is still fast, tense, rewards intensive macro and micro level decision making / planning, and causes severe levels of stress and cardiac palpitations when played at the peak of my skill level. Which is why I stopped, because progressing beyond that point would take an inordinate amount of devotion and probably give me a heart attack. But there’s no RTS out there that has such broad appeal or is so accessible yet rewarding. It is possibly the best way to earn the grudging respect of the teenagers your friend teaches; by 2v2 tandem 4-gating them into the dirt over and over and over again.
33 points, 4 votes
Mordy: Remarkable and awesome. The psychopaths are scarier, the zombies are more plentiful, the cell phone doesn’t cripple you when you pick it up and — probably the biggest and most significant change — the survivor AI is great! You can run all over the place with a train of survivors following you who will protect themselves and, if you equip them with weapons, even help you! It’s startling how a few mechanics changes can take a fun but flawed game and make it great! It has basically taken the DR1 mechanics, tweaked them to basically get rid of everything annoying (no more stupid paralysis-inducing cell phone calls!) to just leave the kernel of sweet arcade goodness. It feels like a classic Capcom game.
CraigG: I don’t have a lot to say about this, as I haven’t played it loads, but it’s impossible to not have fun when scooping zombies up in wheelchairs and beating them with whatever is lying around. Even the most basic of weapons, like a baseball bat with nails through it, is so satisfying to dish out some pain with. I really wish there was a free mode, as I don’t like the time constraint, but the game is a lot more forgiving than the original, and infinitely more fun as a result.
Will M.: Case Zero was a spectacular bit of DLC/Arcade game and got me completely stoked on this title, which lived up to the hype I built in my head. Hilarious game and fun and removed a lot of the excruciating shit from the first one. Except for the kill 3195810980 zombies in one playthrough thing. I guess SOMETHING about it needed to be awful. The Case West DLC left me sour but DR2 and Case Zero? Amazing.
33 points, 3 votes, 1 TOP GAME vote
MattD: Like a box of cubic Lego. Minecraft’s emergent gameplay is incredibly refreshing compared to most recent titles, which are full of pop-ups that prompt you when to press X to jump or B to trigger one of a barrage of quick-time events in which your character leaps, climbs and opines without any direct control or input. In Minecraft, you start with your bare hands. What happens when you punch that tree? What happens when you combine those blocks? What happen when you dig (too deep, too greedily). You will die to natural and man-made disasters, zombies, crumbling experiments, and exploding block monsters. You will probably set your house on fire. I enjoyed this game so much I set up a server for a few months so my friends and I could run rampant and explore each others creations.
jamescobo: In all honesty my vote is more a recognition of Minecraft as a seismic event than it is of Minecraft as A Game Which Is Fun To Play; I’m not really one for building all kinds of crazy shit so I mostly just ran around getting killed over and over and over again. That being said, it’s the biggest leap forward in terms of the sheer scale of the world games can present since GTA:SA, maybe even since Ocarina of Time.
Will M: I haven’t played it since they put monsters into the multiplayer game, but when it was a collaborative LEGO game without punishment, it was brilliant.