For the first time in, I dunno, six weeks I found myself with an unusually empty weekend. I was meant to be packing for my big move to the city next week (which only dawned on me earlier today that it is in fact, next week). Instead I polished off Fallout New Vegas’ DLC, Dead Money. Let’s just get the fact I’ll likely refer to it throughout this post, in err of course, as Blood Money out the way. Hitman seems to have had a lingering effect.
I usually turn a blind eye towards DLC. I find it rarely delivers in terms of content, often feeling like a watered down level(s) of the game, consequently meaning I begrudge spending almost a tenner on it. Meh. Dead Money was massively challenging, therefore felt considerably lengthy for a game add-on. Basically, I felt I got my money’s worth with all the time I put into it, and the locations felt quite varied, too. The only real disappointment being the Achievements totaled a mere 140 Gamerpoints.
What makes Dead Money so challenging? Okay, let me be a total douche, as always, and throw the fact I was playing the game on Hardcore out there (I feel I have to justify this for all the people who play on Easy and will comment telling me I’m rubbish at gaming for finding it tough). But on top of that, your character is fitted with an explosive collar around their neck, which is regularly disrupted by radios and alarms leading to combustion and, of course, immediate death. Add to that a hazy toxic cloud that has settled in many parts of the location, eating away at health rather quickly when you inevitably pass through it, and lethal holograms that will instantly kill you upon detection, there’s a lot of reloading earlier saves to do! Well, at least there was for me.
I much prefer the crummy wasteland to the more polished New Vegas strip. So many locations to discover, so many enemies to slaughter, so many threats to your survival. Gah, I love me some Fallout New Vegas and anticipate this being a mammoth 100+ hours RPG.
I return, this time singing the praise of Fallout: New Vegas. I’ve spent a mere 43 hours trawling the wasteland, and have just began making a dent in the main quest. What I’m particularly enjoying about the follow up to Fallout 3, which I put 80-odd hours into and fully expect to match with New Vegas, is that Hardcore mode exhibits a more realistic spin on scavenging, an integral part of survival in the wasteland.
During one of the many hours I sunk into Fallout 3, I couldn’t help but feel that Bethesda could have refined the scavenging side of things. Starting off with nothing but a Vault 22 jumpsuit and slowly building your arsenal as you fulfilled quests and uncovered new locations, was both equally fun and challenging, but the risk of survival was dampened by the fact the only real threat were enemies, and whether you were well enough equipped with weapons and aid to effectively deal with them.
With the development of New Vegas being handed over to Obsidian, things have changed in respects to scavenging. Much to my enjoyment, (if you play on Hardcore) you’re faced with the constant threat of dehydration and starvation. What was once a pleasant surprise when you casually happened across a bottle of purified water, often becomes a desperate scramble for some form of hydration — any form of hydration. Even those plagued with rads. Fast traveling to locations speeds up the starvation / dehydration process. Things can get tricky! With that said, purified water and what not isn’t so rare that the game becomes impossible, and you become familiarised with the wasteland enough to know where to go to fulfill specific needs.
I’m playing a PS3 game. Yes, you read that right. I couldn’t resist, though, as Ni no Kuni is a PS3 exclusive and a JRPG. It seems like I haven’t played a JRPG in forever as they’re feeling increasingly sparse on current-gen consoles, which is disheartening as they are one of my favourite genres.
I’ve added trigger pads to my PS3′s controller so it’s more suited to people who have normal sized hands. That, coupled with the fact Ni no Kuni is (so far) astonishing, is enough to have me glaze over the fact I can’t chat to my friends whilst online, or I won’t be unlocking any Achievements (Trophies just aren’t the same).
10 hours into Ni No Kuni and I’m thinking the PS3 ain’t so bad. It seems suited to JRPGs, the type of game you don’t mind shutting yourself off to play. Still, I’d like to see more traditional JRPGs on the 360.
The Tomb Raider series means a lot to me, and while I admit it has lost its footing in recent years, I’ve always stuck by Lara. The latest Tomb Raider, however, has been completely re-imagined and – at some points – doesn’t even feel like a TR game. It’s a welcome change, though, and has me well and truly hooked.