Board 8 > Exdeath Plays Every Game in the GotD 2020 Contest Part 2 (ft FO:NV, Ghost Trick)

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Evillordexdeath
11/27/20 10:15:17 AM
#1:


Hello again, board 8! Six months ago, I set out on an ambitious project: to play every single game that was featured in the GotD 2020 bracket to completion. Half a year later, I'm still less than 10% of the way done, but at least I haven't given up yet.

In case you missed the first thread, here's the idea:

- I will play every game in the bracket for GotD 2020, in order of North American release date.
- While I reserve the right to quit any game at any time, I will try to finish every single one.
- For games with no well-defined ending, I will play them for two weeks.
- I will play almost every day, and post an update every session.

For my own convenience, here are a few important posts from the last thread:

pjbasis posted...
If you even make it to 20 games this was a resounding success

kateee posted...
i give this a 0% chance this will finish

but tag

These are actually the kinds of posts that give me the most motivation to keep on at this. I guess I appreciate the challenge.

Because I'm a masochist, I've added a few extra games to this task, and those are as follows:

Evillordexdeath posted...
God of War 2 - After Super Meat Boy
God of War 3 - After Dead Space 2
Nier - After Minecraft
Danganronpa 1 - Feb 11, 2014 (After DK Tropical Freeze)
Ground Zeroes - March 18 2014 (After Stick of Truth)
Trials in the Sky - July 29, 2014 (After Shovel Knight)
Dragon Age - Rainy Day Game

And that should be enough recap! Right now I'm in the middle of playing Civilization V, which I'm supposed to be done with on Monday, and then I'll be able to play the games I teased in this topics title and wrap up the year of 2010.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 10/129
Currently Playing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
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Evillordexdeath
11/27/20 10:21:29 AM
#2:


BetrayedTangy posted...
Also I can't stand City-States they feel like filler that just gets in the way half the time. I might try to turn them off in the next game and see how it goes.

Yeah, you definitely have that option and I wouldn't blame you for using it. Getting rid of all city states will kind of remove the world congress gameplay and the Diplomatic Victory as well, but I don't think the game will be harmed too much by that loss.

I think the most annoying part of the City State system for me is managing the quests. It's kind of tedious to try and keep track of them and it's not that uncommon for them to be too out of the way to be practical, which makes it feel like you don't have much control over which City States you ally with. In general, I just ignore the quests and take points for the ones I just happen to do incidentally, and then if needed I bribe city states with gold later on. I've been trying to pay a little more attention to them lately just to optimize my gameplay as I try the highest difficulties. I also don't really like how much of the map real estate ends up being taken up by city-states. I would say that Civ VI improves the system on the whole but I'm still not sure I like it in that game.

I do generally think it's lucky to have a continent to yourself since you can ignore military and put up all the buildings you like, but it's less true on lower difficulties since those make it easier to eat up the AI civs and snowball as a result. You might have completed your domination victory even more easily if some of them had been closer.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 10/129
Currently Playing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
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ctesjbuvf
11/27/20 2:26:51 PM
#3:


Are you archiving the stuff from the other topic?

Also perhaps add the lists of games so people can see the order and show that you also went through the first Mass Effect, Portal and God of War.

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Guinness Book of World Records is the name of the diary that belongs to azuarc, the winner of the Game of the Decade II guru contest.
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BetrayedTangy
11/27/20 2:54:35 PM
#4:


Evillordexdeath posted...
Getting rid of all city states will kind of remove the world congress gameplay and the Diplomatic Victory as well,

Hmm. When I go for the Diplomatic Victory I might try to lower the number of players, but increase the City-States. Essentially forcing me to interact with them more and learning how to handle them properly.

You totally hit the nail on the head about my issues with them as well! As I was going on my conquest, I kept losing track of who was at war with me and who wasn't. Hell at one point I attacked one of them and a nearby one just started helping me as I didn't even realize they had cleared a quest from them.

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Evillordexdeath
11/27/20 4:08:22 PM
#5:


ctesjbuvf posted...
Are you archiving the stuff from the other topic?

Also perhaps add the lists of games so people can see the order and show that you also went through the first Mass Effect, Portal and God of War.

Okay, good idea. Tangy made a spreadsheet with the list of games, so I guess I'll just repost that: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gkGULHXG4fDkeOzVPjzMzuzsBRCRZDmIYTtfN30H5Cg/edit#gid=0

As for archiving the topic, I figured I'd leave that up to that site which shall not be named (gameFAQs but with log) for convenience's sake. The previous topics will always be available there if you just search for my name.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 10/129
Currently Playing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
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Evillordexdeath
11/27/20 8:33:53 PM
#6:


My second attempt at difficulty 7 as Babylon ended up resulting in a loss at the very end of the game, to Poland's diplomatic victory. They took over every city state in existence, and there was nothing I could do, because they had such an enormous gold stockpile that they could instantly take back any city states I became allies with. If I had made it past the exact World Leader vote on which they won, I might have been able to squeak out a science victory in the following 20 turns, but I had failed to keep up enough to be truly competitive for a long time. I think a big part of it was that my four cities were inefficient. One thing I definitely could've done differently to change that was to wait longer before building the writer's, artist's, and musician's guilds in my cities, which would have sped up their population growth. I also should have fought in some way to secure a source of coal early on, either by conquering city states, stealing land with a great general, or just securing one as allies. Having zero factories for a long portion of the game made it impossible to keep up in production.

It seems like I'll have to do some reading about the game's mechanics and meta strategies if I want to win on the top two difficulties.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 10/129
Currently Playing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
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BetrayedTangy
11/28/20 2:58:17 AM
#7:


Game 5: Egypt
Difficulty: King
Map Type: Continents, no City-States, extra civs
Victory Type: Defeat

So I experienced my first loss today. My goal was to get a cultural win with Egypt. Unfortunately China spawned right next to me and had a more militant approach. While I opted for a less cities, they had quickly surrounded me with a lot of cities before declaring war on me. I stood strong for the first half even taking two of her cities. While easily defending my own, however at a certain point she began bouncing back eventually stealing back her cities and forcing me to give her a ton of things for peace.

I started to recover shortly afterwards and was back on track for a cultural victory, but she quickly caught on and filled my land with tanks and helicopters, my capital was gone two turns later. I'm thinking City-States might not be too bad after all

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Gall
11/29/20 12:34:40 PM
#8:


I finally had some time recently to play some Civ 5. It's one of many games I've had sitting in my Steam library forever but never gotten around to. Short version: I love it.

Long version: I started off by playing the ingame tutorials, which involved a lot of muddling around as I got used to managing all my units. After that I quickstarted a new game, which gave me difficulty level 2 as the Ottomans, and I was instantly hooked. I was lucky to start near the coast, so I founded my capital of Istanbul and began exploring the continent. I ran into Austria very close to the east, which meant some tensions as we were both settling very close to each other. I ended up settling only one more city (Erdine) a little to the Northwest, which was still pretty close to Austria's capital, but Maria Theresa and I maintained an uneasy trade alliance.

After meeting some neaby city-states and building up my cities for a bit I began building ships and charting the coast. This took longer than I expected since it was a while before I got astronomy and could sail very far, but once I did, the world was my oyster. I sailed around the north and discovered American scouts, and soon formed an alliance with Washington. He would go on to found Protestantism and become the Holy Emperor of America, but he was often in financial trouble and would require some generous donations from my trade-enriched coffers. To the west I discovered Japan and China, the former of which readily became another of my trading partners and the latter of which was more hesitant.

During this time I was focusing on building up my artists with an eye toward the culture victory, but after circumnavigating the globe and discovering Brazil in the far east I found myself head of the World Congress. So I might just go for a diplomatic victory, especially since I missed out on founding a religion of my own. Until then I've been occupied sending my forces all over the world stamping out barbarians to help the city-states.

I can tell that this is much easier than how the game is intended to be played, but I'm still having a lot of fun, and I've always preferred starting off easy and working my way up.

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Toss a win to your azuarc
O guru of GotD
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Evillordexdeath
12/01/20 10:11:51 PM
#9:


BetrayedTangy posted...
So I experienced my first loss today.

There's no shame in losing your first difficulty 5 game - it sounds like you did a lot better than I did the first time I attempted it. Once you get past 4, you start to get into difficulties where the AI civs have huge advantages to their science, culture, and production, so you have to be able to play quite efficiently to overcome the power gap they naturally have on you. Unfortunately that's also kind of restrictive in terms of options - the honor and piety tradition trees stop being viable first choices for example. You'll get the hang of it if you keep trying, and in a pinch it always helps to read about the common "meta" strategies.

Gall posted...
I finally had some time recently to play some Civ 5. It's one of many games I've had sitting in my Steam library forever but never gotten around to. Short version: I love it.

I'm glad you're enjoying it! I thought it was funny how you ended up as the Ottomans with Austria nearby. Are you planning to do what the Turks never quite pulled off IRL and take Vienna?

-

As for me, I've been playing Civ V for just over two weeks now, so I started one last game to finish things off:

Game 6
Civ: Russia
Difficulty: 6
Map Type: Pangaea
Game Pace: Quick

Since I'm a Russophile, I decided to end things off with my favorite country. Russia's ability doubles its count of strategic resources and gives it +1 production from Horses, Iron, and Uranium. Depending a bit on luck, this can evaluate to a nice early-game production bonus, and with a lucky start next to a lot of iron and silver I easily became the highest-producing empire in the world, even scoring some early wonders like Hanging Gardens, Temple of Artemis, and Statue of Zeus. They also get a unique replacement for the Cavalry unit that's better at taking down weakened units and the Krepost, which is a Barracks that speeds the rate at which your cities acquire new tiles.

My plan was to shoot for the Domination victory, but I spent the early-game building up my cities and preparing. I met some of Russia's historical rivals like America, France, and Japan, as well as the Maya and Morocco. I was friendly with most of these until America got annoyed with me for extorting gold from city-states and settling too close to them, but this was measured because I wanted to knock them out soon anyway, and once I had the Longswordsman, Crossbowman, and Trebuchet units I declared war on the USA, which had the largest army in the world and access to their unique minuteman unit. It was slow going because my mainly trebuchet army took a lot of concentrated fire to bring down this special unit, but I eventually broke through and took Washington by employing a very Russian strategy: showing no regard whatsoever for the lives of my soldiers.

I stopped there, but with the strongest empire out of the way, a huge army, and snowball potential from all their wonders (including the ever-important Notre Dame) it would have been easy enough to take down everyone else.

Final Thoughts on Civ V coming up.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 10/129
Currently Playing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
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BetrayedTangy
12/01/20 10:43:54 PM
#10:


Oh damn has it really been two weeks already? I feel like I'm finally starting to understand the game lol.

Quick Update from me, I had actually tried King 3 more times. First was a reattempt with Egypt, followed by the Aztecs and finally with Russia. I felt like I was doing much better on Egypt Round 2, but after fending off The Ottomans, China declared war on me, while the Ottomans rebuilt their army resulting in a swift loss. My run as Montezuma was even worse, my spawn wasn't great and Elizabeth got war hungry pretty quick so I just called it and did some research. Leading to a nearly successful run as Russia. This time I spent more time choosing good city locations as well as building my army. Thankfully it paid off because I was able to easily fend off Rome and Mongolia. However since I feared retaliation I continued to focus on my army, which was a mistake. Because meanwhile Songhai and Germany were rapidly building their Tech. I quickly put a huge focus on Science but it wasn't enough and I lost shortly after building the Apollo Program, but having done more research I'm ready to give Russia another go.

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Evillordexdeath
12/01/20 10:46:35 PM
#11:


Final Thoughts: Sid Meier's Civilzation V
What I thought of Civ V: A fun, interesting strategy game, and likely my pick for GotY 2010
Would I play Civ V again? I'm certain I will.
Did it deserve to lose round 1? I was rooting for it.

As of this writing, I've played Civilization V for around 750 hours, making it probably one of my top 3 most played games of all time. It's easy to look at that and say I wouldn't play it that long if it wasn't worth playing, but that is a little bit conditional. League of Legendsmight be my most-played game overall, but I feel a bit of resentment toward it for that reason. I wish I had taken all the time I put into League and done something else instead, even if it was just playing 30 different narrative video games from start to finish. Sometimes playing it is like a bad habit - I just mindlessly start a match when I can't think of anything else to do with my time.

That game is only intermittently fun, though. There are too many times when you're stuck in a rut, either from your own mistakes or someone else's, just waiting for a match to end. No matter how well you play, you'll always get flamed by your own team-mates. Civ V doesn't have those problems. It's usually fun, and usually relaxing. Sometimes the outcome of a game is already clear and playing it to completion loses its tension, but you're not obligated to finish that particular game in such cases - it's extremely open to being played in shorter, low-investment bursts, which is part of its addictive appeal.

I'd say the game strikes a good balance between accessibility and depth. Strategy games like Starcraft II or Europa Universalis IVtend to present new players with an intimidating barrier of technical complexity, but Civ V can be picked up with one casual low-difficulty campaign, for the most part. That being said, I'm still learning new tricks after hundreds of hours playing the game - and that helps keep it interesting enough that I'm still coming back after all that time.

I wish the civs were more balanced, and there are times when optimizing my civ feels like a bit of a chore. The most obvious example of this is keeping track of and fulfilling city-state quests, but there are also things like tile and specialist management, unit placement, worker management, and exploration that can occupy an uncomfortable middle ground between too tedious to do manually and too complex yet important to automate. War tends to get tiring because both countries can continually produce soldiers which often leads to very slow, drawn-out, painful sieges. There's value in that when it comes to simulating the experience of war, but it can also drag down the pace of the game and make me want to quit playing. This is especially true in multiplayer, where declaring war turns on asynchronous turns and instantly increases the length of a turn by several times over. Sometimes it feels like the meta-game is too prevalent and I'm going through the motions of similar strategies every game, especially on the higher, more restrictive difficulties. It's also regrettable that the AI is inept to the point where it can only be challenging if it's simply allowed to cheat. I accept problems like these in part because I think they're inherent to the genre. I've never found a Grand Strategy game that is impervious to getting bogged down in optimization, where war never drags, or where the AI is capable. And as someone with a major interest in this genre, Civ V remains one of my favorites.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 10/129
Currently Playing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
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Evillordexdeath
12/02/20 12:25:14 AM
#12:


BetrayedTangy posted...
Oh damn has it really been two weeks already? I feel like I'm finally starting to understand the game lol.

I did end with two ongoing playthroughs (my Russia one as well as a third attempt on Babylon) so I might come back to the game now and again and post about it.

Russia can be a bit of an all-or-nothing civ depending on which strategic resources you find nearby you, but I do think the production bonus they get is pretty handy. I guess it's nice to research animal husbandry and bronze working early on so you know where horses and iron are when founding your cities, since the production bonus is valuable. The extra copies of those resources aren't needed imo, but you can sell them to AI. Don't feel obligated to build your Krepost before you would a barracks - the bonus isn't that important. The higher difficulties are definitely all about fending off early aggression from the AI, so it can often be better to get out a few units instead of/before building a barracks. The ideal situation is that your army is big enough to dissuade enemies from attacking altogether, but I do find that they never really attack you if they aren't right on your borders needing to kill you to expand, so you can also keep that in mind and take advantage of it if you start further from the AI civs.

I'll be going to bed pretty soon, but afterward I'll start my next game:

Fallout: New Vegas
I Will Be Playing On: Playstation 3
Previous Experience with New Vegas: Played the first couple hours
Expectations for New Vegas: A masterpiece developed by saints.

Okay, so first of all, I have a contrarian friend who once said that he doesn't feel Obsidian are the saints people make them out to be, which the rest of my friends and I ran with ever since, so that we aren't allowed to refer to them as anything else except "Those saints at Obsidian," and it's stuck with me to the point where I can hardly think of them in any other way.

The reception of Fallout: New Vegas is kind of interesting to me, in that I remember it being considered a minor disappointment and inferior to Fallout 3 upon initial release but it seems to have grown on people over time and the popular conception is now that Bethesda Fallout is kind of lame and NV is far superior. Part of that is almost definitely just people's growing dislike for Bethesda as a company speaking, part of it is that NV's more egregious stability issues and bugs have been patched out over the years, and part of it is that NV genuinely does have a decent amount of depth and detail in its RPG design.

I love the original two Fallout games, and Obsidian are the successors to the now defunct developer of those two, Black Isle, with some of the same staff working on NV. It was consciously conceived as a spiritual successor to Fallout 2 in particular, set closer both geographically and chronologically to that game than to Fallout 3. It has more build options, more stat checks in dialog, and a much more choice-based story than Fallout 3.

But it still has that Bethesda awkwardness that prevents me from getting too into Skyrim. The stiff character animations, immersion-breaking bugs, ugly graphics, and wide but low detail game world all fit in with the parent company's output, which is no surprise considering it was built in the same engine as Fallout 3. I've started playing New Vegas a lot of times, but never gotten past the tower area with all the ghouls, and usually stopped before then.

This is another one of those games where I have a mix of excitement and trepidation toward going back to it. I want to play it all the way through and see some of those qualities that make people like it so much (I know there are a few people on this board who would name it their Game of the Decade,) but I've tried that multiple times without success so far, and I can't help but think there's a reason.


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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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BetrayedTangy
12/03/20 4:13:24 AM
#13:


So I've elected to give up on my Civ 5 goal.

While I do enjoy the game, King difficulty is far too much for me. I was having a wonderful game as the Aztecs. Where I was secluded at the top of the map. I was moving at a quick pace, but of course Napoleon declares war. However I successfully fended him off for the entire game, I was using this to my advantage thanks to the Aztec's Culture Bonus from defeated enemies, I was actually doing well.

Then tragedy struck. He offered me a peace treaty that was the typical long list of demands. A mix of me being tired and eager to push him off of me for a little bit led to me accepting it and well I didn't notice one of his demands.

Apparently you can take other cities through peace treaties. So the City I spent the whole game defending was now his and I was bankrupt. Basically making me waste the past four hours. I fully intend to play this game casually in the future, but for now I need to move on.


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Evillordexdeath
12/05/20 6:47:28 AM
#14:


Finally started New Vegas last night. Let's get right into it.

Arthur Carbuncle was a courier for the Mojave Express. His work meant spending more time outside than most folks could handle. Sometimes the stuff he carried was expensive, and bandits always thought we'd make an easy paycheck. His job title was deliveryman, but the bulk of his real work was in killing. He wasn't fond of killing people, he liked people, but it was what he was good at, and Art was not a man to waste the skills God gave him.

Today he woke up in a doctor's office with a bad headache and a bald man standing over him. The man called himself Doc Mitchell and filled Art in on what had happened over the last few days (he didn't remember so well himself.) Apparently a group of armed men had captured him, shot him in the head, and buried him in a shallow grave so they could take a package he'd been delivering. It was only the generosity of a robot named Victor who had dug him up and the Doc who worked on him that he was still breathing. He also had Art answer some questions about himself, like a shrink would, and made him use a machine to test his physical attributes:

Strength: 4
Perception: 6
Endurance: 6
Charisma: 7
Intelligence: 8
Agility: 6
Luck: 3

Traits: Good Natured, Trigger Discipline
Tag Skills: Explosives, Guns, Speech

He thanked the doc for his help and then stepped out into the town of Goodsprings. First he made a point of finding the robot who had dug him up and saying thanks to him too, and then, as the doc had ordered, he went and talked to a woman named Sunny Smiles who knew her way around a firearm. He felt a bit patronized when she had him fire at empty soda bottles, but he gave it a shot to see if his head injury had damaged his aim. He got through that alright, and then Sunny offered to pay him if he helped her round up some Geckos on the outskirts of town. That was easy enough. They found a woman getting attacked by some of the damned critters but between the pair of them they shot them down before she came to any harm.

Art figured he could use some more cash and supplies before he left town, so he went looking for any odd jobs he could do. Someone told him about an old safe in the schoolhouse which he managed to open electronically, and Trudy at the bar had him repair an old radio. The only other thing anyone wanted help with was fending off some thugs called the Powder Gang who were threatening this guy named Ringo who had been sheltering in Goodsprings for a while. The town had been good to Art, so he figured he owed them one. He rounded up some help and lent his own rifle to the cause, killing the attack force's leader and one other man on his own, and helping himself to the things they were carrying. He was now:

Idolized in Goodsprings
Shunned by Powder Gang

The extra experience helped sharpen his gun skills back up and gave him his first feat: Confirmed Bachelor (+10% damage against male humans and some unique dialog options with the same sex.)

A man just outside of Goodsprings told him that his girlfriend was stranded on top of some cliffs about to get killed by geckos. Art went exterminating but all he found was a fridge with some old meat inside and a 10mm pistol with some rounds. The man tried to kill him over this stash, but Art drew faster. Guy can't have been too bright - a few bullets were hardly worth dying over.

Now that he was feeling a little better, he decided he would track down the guys who had stolen his delivery, get it back, and bring it to its buyer. His job had its hazards, but it was still what he was best at, and he didn't want this incident hanging over his next employee review. He set off for the town of Primm, where there was a Mojave Express office. He found the place quick enough, but it wasn't in its best shape - some NCR guys told him a few escaped cons had shot the sherrif and taken over the town. The troopers didn't want to go shoot the place up without more supplies and some backup, but Art was in a hurry so he went in and dealt with the convicts himself.

There were two guys outside he had to take out to get into the Mojave building, but it was empty in any case - he found the man in charge, Nash, lounging around a casino across the street. The old guy told him that another courier had originally been given his assignment - to deliver a chip - but had chickened out for some reason when he saw Art's name below his on the list. He also asked him to free a deputy named Beagle who was being held in the local hotel, which he didn't mind doing. The bandits were a little thicker on the ground there, but he got through just fine on his own, and picked up a flamethrower from the leader's body. He wasn't sure he'd use it himself, but he could probably sell it for a decent price.

That deputy wasn't looking for a promotion, and asked Art to go find a new sherrif instead. They suggested a guy in some NCR jail as one option and just selling out the whole town to the Republic as another, but he decided to reprogram this old robot they had guarding the casino, called Primm Slim, to do the job instead. A robot had saved his skin before, so he figured another one might do the same for other folks. Only problem was, he wasn't good enough with computers to do the coding on the damn thing.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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Evillordexdeath
12/05/20 6:54:02 AM
#15:


BetrayedTangy posted...
So I've elected to give up on my Civ 5 goal.

It sounds like our experiences with Civ V were kind of similar. I got worn out trying to win on 7 the same way you did. I did find it disheartening to lose multiple times in a row. I don't mind going through the process of studying the game's mechanics so I can win on the highest difficulties, in theory, but in the context of a longer project like this it would take too much time. I do also think the higher difficulties can be less fun because they're more restrictive in terms of which strategies are viable. If you do go back to the game and play it some more, even casually, I bet you'll get good enough to win on difficulty 5 without much trouble eventually.

-

I'm guessing that any NV veterans who read my SPECIAL build felt a little bit of temptation to yell at their screens. If you don't know, some stats, especially Charisma, kind of blow in this game. Most things are based on your skills rather than your stats. Persuade checks, for example, just succeed if your speech is high enough. No dice roll, no influence from Charisma. There are apparently two checks in the whole game that actually use your Charisma, so it's quite worthless. You can pass the very hardest speech checks in the game even if you dump the stat all the way down to 1. Perception is also under-powered because it has no influence on ranged weapon accuracy or damage. I think the best stats are intelligence for skill points per level, endurance for hp per level, and luck for critical hits. Agility is also not bad if you like to use VATS. The stats I went with are kind of a compromise between power-gaming and role-playing. I imagined my character as kind of a sociable but not terribly moral gunslinger, so I wanted his Charisma and Perception to be decent at least, but I still went with intelligence as the highest stat and some points in Endurance and Agility because I don't want to handicap myself too much in the combat. So far I can get by just by running up to people and queuing up headshot in VATS, pretty much, so here's hoping I'll be alright moving forward.

I don't think this is the best system, by the way. I strikes me as a bit silly that you can have 1 charisma and still talk down the final boss. I'm glad RNG doesn't play a role, but maybe a better system would be to combine the speech stat and a multiplication of your charisma to decide if you pass a speech check, and then raise the difficulty of most checks. If Charisma is more a measure of how physically attractive your character is, then some more checks with it alone would be appreciated, even if they're just flavor. Of course, the sheer size of this game makes implementing a lot of stat checks in random dialog perhaps one task too many, I understand that much.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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BetrayedTangy
12/05/20 7:39:00 PM
#16:


Eh Charisma has some use. It's really good early on, since it can help get you Speech checks and cheaper prices when you're at your weakest. Plus it's required for the Animal Friend perk, which makes certain dungeons a cakewalk.

Perception also has its uses. Lockpick is really useful for getting extra stuff early on. Plus my favorite use is the compass enhancement. It helps for exploring the wasteland since you can spot some of the more dangerous enemies before they spot you and react accordingly.

They're both a lot more niche then say Strength, Intelligence and Endurance. Regardless I think they cool thing about the Fallout games is it encourages a whole slew of playstyles.

Personally I'm going with
S: 5
P: 8
E: 6
C: 3
I: 8
A: 6
L: 3

I made a similar amount of progress and also decided to help Goodsprings. I think I'm two extra towns ahead tho. I'm actually thinking about doubling back to Goodsprings and just making a straight shot towards New Vegas. I've got enough Stealth Boys and Antivenom at this point. I should be able to make it past the enemies fairly easily.

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Evillordexdeath
12/05/20 7:54:16 PM
#17:


I've played through the intro a ton of times, but even as someone who likes to vary choices between playthroughs I've never sided with the Powder Gang over Goodsprings. It just seems too cruel and irrational. The people at Goodsprings drag you out of your grave and nurse you back to health, and then you just immediately betray them for no real reason really. I'd only do that if I were role-playing as some kind of psychopath.

In terms of SPECIAL allocation, I think the most questionable thing I did might have been reducing luck, so I was a little surprised to see you do the same. I guess the critical hit bonus from luck is pretty low all things considered, but given the number of shots you fire over the course of the game it still seems pretty decent. I think in the old Fallout games it also effected how likely you were to receive critical hits, which led to my low luck low endurance build getting 1HKO'd by a lot of random crits. It's true that getting a higher starting lockpick or persuade/barter skill has some value, but I think it's probably better to just tag those skills or pump a lot of points into them in an early level with a high intelligence build if you want to make use of them. There is also the companion nerve mechanic, but I imagine the issue with that bonus is that the companion AI isn't too good at the combat. I think Fallout 2 had a slightly better solution to making Charisma worth a damn since it impacted how many companions you could have at once to begin with, and I think it had a few more checks for the stat but they were all just for getting laid, lol. It was still kind of under-powered in that game. I think I get more riled when Charisma in particular is weak because I love persuasion builds in RPGs and like to pump it in every game I play.

Incidentally, I only tagged explosives so I could pass the check in the goodsprings quest and then switched it over to barter when I got the opportunity to remake my character. I don't think I've prioritized it in any of my previous short-lived playthroughs, but it does seem to be paying off and has helped me get better supplied in terms of ammo and food/water (since I'm playing the survival mode) than I usually am.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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Evillordexdeath
12/06/20 7:48:37 AM
#18:


There wasn't much on the road between Primm and Nipton except giant bugs and a few bandits, but partway through the trip Art got the feeling that he could go back and try reprogramming old Primm Slim again, so he turned around to give it a shot, and sure enough, it worked - the town had a new Sheriff.

On the road he found a man trying to run away while a woman shot at him. Since the guy was on the run, Art took out the woman. The man's name was Tomas and he said that he'd been flirting with the girl until she saw his lucky necklace of bottle caps with stars on them and attacked him for it. A little while later some old guy came walking up to Art and told him about this weird legend that the star caps somehow lead to a great treasure. Tomas' little lady wasn't the only person to try killing someone over them, according to the old guy. It seemed like another stupid thing to die for.

He found Nipton in even worse shape than the last town over. Some guys called Caesar's Legion had torched the place and massacred the people. A lot of the bodies had been burned, and some people were hanging, still barely alive, on crucifixes. The Legion boys were still around, and one fella wearing a dog on his head ordered Art to tell of what had happened there, and he would - he'd seen some sick puppies in his day, but these Legion guys took the cake.

A lot of the bodies in Nipton were Powder Gangers, and he found one of them still alive with busted up legs. Apparently the Legion held a lottery after they rounded up the town, let the winner go free, broke the runner-up's kneecaps, and took a couple people as slaves, and then butchered everyone else. The slaves were headed east and hadn't gone too far, so Art had a mind to try and free them. He found them in a little camp between the mountains, and went sneaking in with a Stealth boy to untie the captives while their guards weren't looking. It looked like they got away safely.

He had some injuries from a few fights on the road, so he decided to head back to Goodsprings and have the doc take a look at him. He slept in Victor's shack that night, since he trusted the robot more than anyone, and traded in some stuff he'd found at the general store. He was doing pretty well financially - it was starting to look like exploring and doing odd jobs was a better use of his skill-set than his old job ever was. While he was in the area, he thought he'd get some work from the Powder Gang down at the NCR jailhouse. Maybe he could patch things over with them after the attack at Goodsprings. It would be better not to have their whole gang as enemies. The boss there wanted him to whack some former friend of his who was muscling in on the roads he liked to rob, since all his own men turned up dead if he sent them. It was an easy job, though - Art talked the guy into buzzing off before a single shot was fired. They had him do the same thing to some bounty hunter and then asked him to recon Primm in case the NCR were planning to attack the gang. He found out from Nash back in town that they were. He could go warn the Powder Gang, but he also thought about helping out the NCR with their attack instead. He'd rather see them win, since the Powder Gang weren't very nice people at the end of the day, but he decided to stay out of it. Neither side was worth risking his own neck over, and he didn't want to step on either set of toes. He'd just barely managed to get Mixed Reputation with Powder Gang as it was. Now wasn't the time to screw that up.

On the way back to Nipton, he stopped at an NCR base to buy some more supplies. He tried talking to a few of the guys there, but it was odd: when he asked how they liked the work, they all said the exact same thing: "Patrolling the Mojave almost makes you wish for a nuclear winter." One guy named Knight seemed a little antsy. He said he didn't want to make friends because his coworkers wouldn't approve. A scrape with some Night Stalkers and a few dead bandits later he was in Novac, his last lead on the guys who almost killed him. He bumped into Victor there, who said he'd had a strange impulse to travel to Vegas. It was nice to see him, anyway. There was a gift shop selling dinosaur figures. Art only went there for supplies, but the guy at the desk seemed so let down that no one wanted the toys that he bought one just to cheer him up.

He talked to a guy named Manny who had met the thugs Art was looking for. He wanted a favor for the information, but Art buttered him up a little and got it out of him that way. The guy still asked him to help with his problem, which was a ghoul infestation at an old factory Novac's economy relied on. Maybe he'd look into it. Manny had an old friend named Boone who hadn't been himself since his wife died. Art talked to the guy, who was convinced someone in town had sold his wife as a slave to the Legion. He wanted help finding out who it was and getting even. Art had to read a locksmith's magazine to brush up on his skills, but he managed to bust into a floor safe in the town's motel and find written proof that someone really had sold out Boone's wife - it had been Jeannie May, the proprietor. He felt bad about it, she seemed like a nice enough old lady otherwise, but if she had done something like that before she could do it again, so Art tricked the old girl into standing in front of the town's big dinosaur statue so Boone could get a clean shot at her. Afterward he convinced the guy to come along for the ride with him. He didn't seem like he'd be much fun to have around, but maybe he'd be handy in a fight.

New perks: Educated (+2 skill points per level,) Comprehension (increased effect for skill books and magazines

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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Evillordexdeath
12/06/20 8:05:14 AM
#19:


Alright, so let me cut the roleplay crap for a minute and talk about my impressions of the game so far.

I'd say it's going pretty well. I played for a long time last night just wandering around, trying things out, and doing quests. I find it more engaging than a lot of games I've played for this project. In comparison to the old Fallout games, I'd say what strikes me most is that while the combat is a lot better, it's also much more central to the experience and I wouldn't say I like that. In Fallout 2 it was possible to play for hours without getting into any fights, and the game was at its best when you were playing that way. So far a big part of New Vegas is, like in Skyrim, wandering around, looting the places you find, and getting into fights with random passerby. There are a good few quests that have non-combat solutions, but so far just as many can't really be done without a fight. To be fair, the old games had quests like that too.

I've always had the impression that Bethesda's games were designed with a quantity over quality philosophy, whether with respect to the quests, the characters, the areas, or anything else, and I think that has prevented me from enjoying them as much as I might. I'd say that shows in New Vegas too. It's been a pretty frequent experience for me to be kind of disappointed by the lack of detail in the character behaviors and dialog options in particular, to the point where, also in classic Bethesda fashion, the game isn't all that immersive. For example, the dialog from most NPCs in a place like Goodsprings doesn't change even if your reputation is different or you're dressed up as a Powder Ganger - in fact, the dialog with the Powder Gangers seems to be the same whether you're disguised as one of their buddies or not. A few things I was a especially let down by were how even after reprogramming Primm Slim into a Sheriff bot and finding him outside he still talks as if he's in the casino, how there were no options to use the medicine skill or a doctor's bag to help Boxcars with his leg (which seemed like an obvious thing to include. Yes you can give him painkillers but he still just sits in the convenience store for all of eternity,) and how even after finding the evidence that Jeannie May sold out Boone wife there is no new dialog with her where you talk about how you know what she did, you just use the generic "let me show you something in front of the dinosaur" line that you can also use to frame someone else. I know it would be a lot of work to include every little idea like that, but this is also the same series that used to re-write every single line of player character dialog if your intelligence was below a certain threshold. I could see it benefiting from mods that flesh out some quests.

As a first companion, I have to say I find Boone to be a pretty unappealing character, and there aren't really any other stand-outs yet except maybe Victor. I know the story gets a lot more interesting to most players once characters like Benny, Caesar and Mr. House come into the picture so here's hoping that will change.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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BetrayedTangy
12/06/20 4:40:16 PM
#20:


So last night I managed to accomplish my goal of reaching New Vegas early (or at least Freeside)

It wasn't easy though. If you attempt to head straight there from Goodsprings, you'll encounter very high level enemies. Most notably the Cazador, giant wasps that move fast, hit hard and poison you.

I attempted to sneak around with my Stealth Boys, but they're Perception must be pretty high because they caught onto me right away and killed me. I needed a new plan. So instead of taking the road, I sort of searched through the cliffs for a way through. Luckily I found an encampment in a canyon. However it was filled with those enemies, so I had to take them out. Fighting a ton of Powder Gangers really paid off, because I had plenty of Dynamite to just lob into the canyon, killing half of them and injuring the others. From there I was able to use VATS to cripple their wings and from there it was a cakewalk.

I used the sleeping bags to fully heal before continuing my adventure. I found my way to an open field and began to explore. I found a small settlement, but quickly realized it was inhabitated by the Viper gang. I had lured their leader away and almost killed them, but their teammates quickly ran over to help and crippled my leg with a grenade. As I was hobbling away bracing for my inevitable death, I saw a horde of Bighorn that had aggroed onto the Vipers. Taking this opportunity I slinked off to the side and let the Bighorns kill the Vipers.

My trek continued, from there it was pretty much a straight shot. I did discover Vault 19 on my way and eventually there I was I had made it. I entered the outskirts of New Vegas; Freeside.

I kinda see what you're talking about with the dialogue variety, but it's always a pleasant treat when it happens. When I found Boxcars, he wasn't happy to see me as I was vilified with the Powder Gangers at that point. I totally agree with your complaints on the characters and quests. The real strength of the Bethesda Fallouts for me has been the side quests and unique locations. It has a wonderful sense of exploration.

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Evillordexdeath
12/07/20 6:31:40 AM
#21:


BetrayedTangy posted...
The real strength of the Bethesda Fallouts for me has been the side quests and unique locations. It has a wonderful sense of exploration.

Yeah, I think that's the best part of Bethesda's game designs. I put a lot of time into Skyrim just wandering around and ignoring the main quest-line. New Vegas is an Obsidian game and gets some praise for its story (especially when people want to bash Bethesda's writing in comparison) but at the end of the day it's in FO3's engine and so far its strengths seem to lie in the same areas as a Bethesda game. Your adventure trying to get to New Vegas sounds like it was a lot of fun and reminds me of the kind of "organic" events that can only really happen in a rare subset of open-world games like MGSV or Breath of the Wild, or occasionally Skyrim at its best. If you get to Vegas early, can you continue the main story without completing "They Went That-a-way?"

That's a good point about the dialog with Boxcars, I got that too, although it felt a little more strange in my case since he called me "The Powder Gang's Grim Reaper" even though I was only Shunned by them. I only fought them the one time when they were attacking my friends, it's not like I was actively hunting them!

-

There were ghouls at the old REPCONN place, alright. Art and Boone couldn't get within a mile of the building without a horde of ferals jumping them. Inside the building, a voice over the intercom asked him to come upstairs, and when he made it he met a man putting on an exaggerated Ghoulish rasp who was convinced he actually was a ghoul. It turned out the tower was the base of operations for some kind of deluded religious sect led by a guy named Jason, who was so irradiated he could glow in the dark. Jason wanted the "demons" cleared out of the basement. They were actually Nightkin. Art had never met one before - he'd heard about them, of course, but never seen one in the flesh. He was a little nervous about fighting giant mutants with access to cloaking technology, but he didn't want to massacre the ghouls so he decided to give it a shot.

The super-mutants were led by a guy named Davison. He and Jason were two peas in a pod - Davison was convinced that a Brahmin skull was talking to him and leading his troops. Art managed to talk the big nut into leaving the building in exchange for a shipment of Stealth Boys that had been sent there by accident back before the war. They were supposed to be stuck in a back room trapped and guarded by a ghoul named Harland, who himself agreed to split if Art looked for his girlfriend, who he'd lost back when the Nightkin attacked the building. Harland didn't go along with Jason's cult nonsense and just stayed around this place because he wanted some company. Art kind of liked him, so he went further down and looked for the missing ghoul. He was worried that he'd make Davison mad if he killed his friends, so he left Boone behind and used a Stealth Boy to sneak around, but he still had to kill one mutie for a set of keys and got caught by another one on his way back. Most of the Nightkin fought with big clubs, so as scary as they looked he could just walk back and keep shooting.

As it turned out, the girl was dead and the Stealth Boys weren't there - they'd been sent back after some of the old REPCONN employees used them for mischief. Things worked out, though; that information was enough to convince both Harland and then Davison to skedaddle.

Now that the building was back under their control, the ghouls wanted help launching the old rockets that were still in the basement into orbit with them inside. Art had to provide some fuel and an old control piece that had been misplaced. The dinosaur-shaped gift shop in Novac had little toy rockets with the fuel inside (which had apparently made some unlucky kids sick back in the day) and the control piece was in possession of an old lady at a junkyard just outside town. He also managed to convince the guy who lived with the ghouls that he was actually a human, and then had to talk him out of taking revenge on the ghouls for playing into his delusions for two years. Once the rocket went up, the guy moved to Novac, where he seemed to share a room with old Manny Vargas. Art was now Idolized in Novac, despite being guilty of conspiracy to commit murder there.

Next Art went back to Goodsprings again to get a drink from their well and make some purified water out of prickly pears at the campsite. He also remembered finding an old robot back in Primm that he couldn't quite repair and wanted another shot at it. He had to read a few magazines but he got his own robot buddy up and running. Its name was ED-E. It could fly and shoot lasers, and of his two travelling companions it was easily his favorite.

The boys decided to check out the NCR Base, called HELIOS One, that was a little north of Novac. None of them had any NCR connections so Art had to smooth-talk his way in, and he also chatted up a scientist named Ignacio who was undercover for another posse, the Followers of the Apocalypse. The base was supposed to be a solar-powered electricity plant, but Ignacio thought it was also the site of a secret weapon called ARCHIMEDES, which he didn't want either the NCR or the Legion to get their mitts on. Luckily the guy the NCR had working on the place was a fraud. The base had some kind of scary old-fashioned security system, and Ignacio wasn't the fighting type, so he left Art and pals to check things out. Art got the place's power running again and distributed it evenly throughout the area. He thought about sending it the NCR's way since it would never hurt to make friends with the most powerful team around, but he didn't want those guys' heads getting to big. Ignacio gave him a book on programming for doing things his way, which was nice because Art had recently acquired an interest in robots. The guy must have spread the word, too, because he was now Accepted with Followers.

Like Manny said, the Khans who took the chip were in Boulder City. It was a town of ruins that the NCR had sacrificed to win the last big battle over Hoover Dam against the Legion. The Khans were holed up in the ruins with a few trooper hostages. Art convinced the NCR captain in charge of the whole situation to let him negotiate and then got the Khans to give up their hostages in exchange for safe passage. The NCR fella wanted to stab them in the back but Art got him to keep his end of the bargain, so no one died. That was nice - better than he usually did. It left him Accepted with both Khans and NCR.

The Khans had apparently been betrayed by Benny, the guy in the suit who had done the honors when Art needed a bullet in the skull. They thought he would be in Vegas, so that was where the gang were headed next. They bumped into Art's other robot buddy again on the way, though. They were headed the same way, so Victor asked him to meet up when they got to the big city. He was looking forward to it.

New Perk: Commando (increased VATS accuracy when using rifles)

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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BetrayedTangy
12/07/20 12:12:35 PM
#22:


Evillordexdeath posted...
If you get to Vegas early, can you continue the main story without completing "They Went That-a-way?"

Yup! In fact I think the quest auto completes when you find Benny.

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BetrayedTangy
12/08/20 10:06:07 PM
#23:


I made a ton of progress in New Vegas last night and am probably going to play more tonight. I dont want to spoil any of the quests or plot points, but I've been having a blast. I guess 4 had left a Fallout void in my soul and since I've played 3 to death I really don't get the sense of exploration anymore. Really glad New Vegas has been delivering.

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Evillordexdeath
12/09/20 12:14:32 AM
#24:


Boulder City was not far from the shore of Lake Mead, the biggest puddle of non-irradiated water Art had ever seen. An NCR trooper on the shore told him about a lost airship that had supposedly crashed into the lake before the war, and he decided to go swimming. There were a lot of mutant humanoid fish crawling around Mead and they didn't take too kindly to visitors, but he could avoid them for the most part by keeping his head under water. Eventually he did find the old thing. It was almost due east of an old shack on the beach.

He wasn't far from New Vegas now and decided to walk straight there. The critters on the way - Golden Geckos and giant wasps called Cazadors - were a little scary, but he made it through with Boone and ED-E's help. They met an NCR soldier on the way who had been sent to give him an emergency 2-way Radio he could contact them with, as a sign of goodwill over him helping them out a few times. Then the guy headed back toward Vegas, with Art and his pals trailing behind. They fought some of the mutated animals together, until the man ran too far ahead and Art found his body in the middle of a gang of Golden Geckos. Art himself learned the Animal Friend (animals no longer attack) perk so he wouldn't share the same fate. He made it into the city not long after that.

New Vegas was a good place to find work. The guy who had stolen his delivery was on The Strip, where a robot police force called the Securitrons kept out anyone who didn't have 2000 caps on hand. Art was a little short, so he spent quite some time doing odd jobs on the outskirts and in Freeside. The NCR had a little farming outfit going just outside town, where they were having a little trouble with the water system. The issue turned out to be radiation coming from an old Vault in the side of a mountain. The place was Hell. It was so radioactive that all the citizens had become feral ghouls and Art himself, despite using all the rad-x and radaway he had, was badly sick by the time he got out. He had to go through winding halls, swim through irradiated water, and fight the feral overseer on his machine-gun platform, but he shut down the Vault's reactor in the end - hopefully it would help those farmers. Apparently the place had been loaded full of guns with a tyrannical head honcho, which lead to rebellions, riots, and eventually the disaster Art came to look for.

On Freeside, he did a lot of work for a guy calling himself The King, based on some religious figure from the old world. The King seemed like a good man. Art helped him negotiate a deal with the NCR where they'd work together and share resources. Both groups were willing to talk instead of just killing each other, so he realized neither one was too bad. The King also had an old cyborg dog named Rex who needed brain surgery from a guy who lived a long way to the west. Art agreed to take him, but the dog wouldn't come as long as ED-E was around, so Art sent his robot pal back to Primm. A robot dog was almost as good.

He did some chores for The Crimson Caravan and their uptight boss lady. She wanted him to talk a rich kid into quitting because he was a liability but his dad was pulling strings for him and would be upset if she just fired him. Luckily the guy had gambling debts with one of the big families on the Strip and Art could just threaten to rat him out to them if he stayed at the job. They also wanted him to go talk to a girl named Cass back on the Mojave Outpost and get her to sell her own caravan business, and break into the Gun Runners' base of operations to learn how they made such high-quality weapons, but he wasn't sure he was cut out for that job. The family who Freeside's energy weapon store also wanted Cass. She must have owed them money or something.

The Followers of the Apocalypse had a base on Freeside. It looked like they mostly did medical work. They asked him to help get two guys, Jacob and Bill, off their poison because they'd be valuable in helping clean up the city if they could stay sober. He talked them both into it, but Bill never made it back to the Followers - Art found him dead in the middle of the street. He might have gotten attacked by one of the thugs that would sometimes jump people around town, or even a giant rat. He couldn't tell. He also worked out a deal between the Followers and the Garrets, who ran a place called The Atomic wrangler, where they'd trade medical supplies for some raw materials that could be used to make hooch. There was also a researcher named Arcade Gannon at their base, and after hitting on him a little he convinced the guy to come along with him. He'd heard of groups of six traveling through the wasteland together if they had a compelling enough leader, but four seemed like a crowd for him, so he had to tell Boone to hit the road. Arcade didn't seem as good in a fight, but he had a lot more to talk about and was easier on the eyes, so he'd be more fun to have around.

The Garrets gave him a fun job: they wanted him to recruit three "escorts" to appeal to strange tastes: a ghoul cowboy, a sex-bot, and a smooth talker. He had already met a ghoul named Beatrix who seemed like a good fit and talked her into it, and he found two guys who could be smooth talkers: Santiago and an old guy named Ben who had experience at the job. He sent them both to the bar, but ended up deciding Ben was the better guy for the job. Santiago still hung around though, and it turned out the guy had a debt that someone would hire Art to collect, but while he was at the bar he wouldn't even talk about it. It seemed like he would either have to pick the guy's pockets or just kill him for the money, but for now he let it be.

It didn't seem like anyone around had a sex-bot on hand, but there was an old security robot in an abandoned store in town that hadn't had its purpose coded in just yet. Art was good enough with robots now to write its new program himself. He called the robot Fisto, and he couldn't resist trying it out before he gave the thing away. The old store had a real rat infestation. They left Art alone, but wanted a piece of Fisto, so he had to do some exterminating work on his way out.

The King wanted to give Art a favor for his help with the NCR, so he asked for caps, and that got him over the 2000 threshold that he needed to go to the strip, and the first person he met was Victor, who told him to go see a guy named Mr. House at the Lucky 38 Casino, which was abandoned except for Victor and some securitrons. Mr House was just a big face on a screen. Apparently he'd been alive since before the war, which meant he was either a ghoul or a robot. Art liked the second explanation better. Mr. House was the guy who'd hired him to deliver the Platinum Chip in the first place, and offered him a big price hike (1250 caps) if he would complete the job, but he also made it obvious that the thing was worth a Hell of a lot more than that. Benny still had it. Mr. House gave him some tips on how to get it out of him. He also gave him run of the Casino. It was a big, fancy place to have to himself - he could get used to it.

The second he stepped out of the building he got a letter from an ambassador for the NCR, who wanted to meet with him. He had a feeling the guy was going to ask him to give him the Platinum Chip instead of Mr. House, but he just wanted some help making a deal with some bomb-loving boys called The Boomers, and promised some nice rewards if he would do it. He didn't want for much right now, but there was a lot of work to do if he felt like it.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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Evillordexdeath
12/09/20 12:21:52 AM
#25:


For me, the game has definitely come alive since reaching New Vegas - no big surprise there, since they titled the game after it. It's a good RPG area. It reminds me of some of the best parts of Fallout 2, like New Reno or Vault City, where there are lots of different factions with their own agendas and the player has to figure out how he wants to fit into everything, and it's also an area where you can spend hours just doing side missions based around dialog and using your character's skills to solve problems, rather than fighting, which was another thing I liked a lot about the old games. The only thing that feels like a bit of a letdown is that most of what's going on in New Vegas doesn't have all that much to do with the broader plot about the showdown between the Legion and the NCR, although I know it does have a little bit of a role in that eventually.

The Vault 34 sidequest was rough. I have a lot of trouble navigating some of the indoor areas of this game, I've realized. I think that's partially because the visuals aren't as distinct as I would like them to be at times. I've also come to think that the combination of survival mechanics, Bethesda's exploration-based gameplay model, and carry weight doesn't work all that well. It's always kind of annoying having to find room for new loot when you're in a dungeon in these games, but that problem is exacerbated when I always have to dedicate like 50 pounds to food and water.

But yeah, I'd say I've been enjoying the game a lot. I've played it for hours every day since I started, which I don't think has really been true of any of the games I've played for this project since Galaxy 2. The write-ups are a lot of work because of the way I've chosen to approach them, though.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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BetrayedTangy
12/09/20 2:53:40 AM
#26:


Evillordexdeath posted...
The only thing that feels like a bit of a letdown is that most of what's going on in New Vegas doesn't have all that much to do with the broader plot about the showdown between the Legion and the NCR, although I know it does have a little bit of a role in that eventually.

Yeah this doesn't stay an issue for long. I wont spoil why.

Evillordexdeath posted...
It's always kind of annoying having to find room for new loot when you're in a dungeon in these games, but that problem is exacerbated when I always have to dedicate like 50 pounds to food and water.

Yeah it can get pretty annoying, but there are some solid workarounds

You can store extra items in your suite/house. Plus I think you can use your companions as backpacks, just be careful what you give them. You could also look into increasing your Strength since it directly affects your carry weight. I think there's also perk that adds 50 lbs to the available weight

Also really glad you're enjoying it! The write ups have been really entertaining too, they're fun reads and I love seeing the differences in our playthroughs. It really shows off how open ended this game can be.

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Evillordexdeath
12/09/20 10:02:28 PM
#27:


BetrayedTangy posted...
Yeah this doesn't stay an issue for long. I wont spoil why.

lol, yeah, pretty much as soon as I made that post I booted up the game again and realized that what I had said about Vegas not being involved with the larger plot was completely wrong.

I have taken to handing over a lot of stuff to my companions. I had Boone running around in the space suit for a long time because I didn't realize it had such a high DT that he would put it on. It was kind of funny though. I think the best way to mitigate my carry weight issues would be to just turn off hardcore mode. I could get rid of somewhere around 40-50 points worth of food and water that I've been carrying around. Hardcore mode doesn't make a very big impact on the game beyond the early stages, but I do still have a bit of desire to finish off the game without turning it off. If I re-play it, though, I probably won't do hardcore mode again.

I'm really gratified that you like the write-ups. I always feel a certain self-consciousness when I go with the roleplay method for them with RPGs, even though it is fun. I kind of decided on a whim that my character would become fascinated with robots because Victor helped save his life. I didn't know the game would have so much stuff in it that I could play off of that, so that part of it in particular has been really funny for me.

Yeah, I definitely think it's really interesting to talk about this game with people, particularly with respect to the story choices they make. I find myself quite curious to know which of the four factions some of my friends picked, since I know they've played the game a lot but I didn't know enough about it to really discuss things like that before this playthrough. I have a feeling most of them went NCR.

-

Art woke up in the lucky 38 and made himself breakfast. He went back to his room and looked through his things. He had plenty of weapons and ammo, enough food and water to last weeks, and he was loaded with caps. Things were looking good.

The way he saw it, all he had to do was get the Platinum Chip from Benny and bring it back to Mr. House, and he'd be set just about for life. He'd get a huge paycheck, permanent residence at the Lucky 38, and he'd be set up by the all-powerful leader of New Vegas. It was a hard offer to turn down. He went to The Tops.

The receptionist took his weapons, but he hid a silenced pistol in his jacket and went forward to confront Benny, who was standing in the middle of the first floor surrounded by goons. He seemed surprised to see Art, and offered to set him up in the Hotel's presidential suite and come talk to him later. Art insisted that he ditch his guards and they go straight there together.

Try as he might, he just couldn't talk Benny into giving up the Platinum Chip. He didn't want to kill the guy, bastard that he was, so he agreed to work with him instead - Benny swore he had a plan to overthrow Mr. House and would give his partner a big chunk of the benefits. Maybe he'd be able to find a way to swipe the Platinum Chip once his guard was down. But no sooner had Benny left the room than four guys came in and tried to ice Art and his friends. Good thing he had that silenced pistol, but it was his fault really for putting an inch of trust into Benny. He chased the guy to his personal room at the Big Top, and there he found something beautiful.

Benny had captured one of Mr. House securitrons and had him reprogrammed by one of the Followers. The result was a big smiling fella named Yes Man, who could tap into Mr. House's data transmissions. It was Yes Man's handiwork that had let Benny slip through the elaborate set of defenses Mr. House had prepared to get the Platinum Chip to Vegas. The two of them were plotting to off House and connect Yes Man to his system, giving him control of the Securitrons, which they could beef up with the Platinum Chip so that Vegas could defend itself against both Legion and NCR.

Here was the good part: Yes Man was coded to do whatever was asked of him, but there were no limits set on who he would obey. The second Art strolled in and met him, Yes Man started following his orders like he would've for Benny. That meant he could complete the scheme himself. Normally it would be more hassle than he was interested in, but there was one thing that swayed him: the idea of his own personal robot army. He couldn't imagine anything more perfect than that.

He liked talking to Yes Man. He was funny - all he talked about was murder and conspiracy, but he had such a happy, friendly personality. It must have been the contrast that made him so amusing. Yes Man told him all the details of the plan and suggested that he get to know the Three Houses in Vegas, the Brotherhood, the Great Khans, and the Boomers, just so he could decide which ones to wipe out when he was in charge. He didn't want to wipe out anyone, but he decided to look around just in case.

There was the White Glove society, a bunch of mask-wearing Elitists who used to be cannibals in their old tribal days. He found out that a few of them still wanted to go back to the old ways, and had kidnapped some rich man's son to serve as a meal. He got one of them to confess to it by pretending he shared the guy's interests, found out where the kid was, rescued him, and exposed the cannibal element of the White Gloves, who got booted out of the club. He also had to talk the rich boy out of blockading Vegas in anger. He told Yes Man to spare the rest of the White Gloves, who Idolized him now.

The Boomers weren't far from town, so he decided to find them next. Turns out they were a bunch of maniacs. They'd fire artillery down on anyone who came without a mile of their base in an old airport. A man outside put 300 caps down on the bet that Art couldn't make it. He managed, but it was the most terrifying three minutes of his life. The Boomers let him in and told him that he was the first outsider they'd had in for a long time, and the artillery barrage was a test to see if he was worthy. It occurred to him that he could tell Yes Man to wipe them out over this. Most of them still wouldn't give him the time of day until he did them a bunch of chores. One kid even wanted his help getting together with a girl he liked in the Crimson Caravan, even though he'd only seen her through binoculars. Surprisingly enough, she had been watching him too, and Art arranged for the Boomers to let her in without blowing her to bits first. Now he was in good enough with the Boomers that they asked him to make their dreams come true by floating the crashed Airplane back at Lake Mead to the surface with some ballast. He wasn't sure he wanted to give that kind of firepower to people so unhinged, but maybe he could convince them to use it to help him.

While he was out of town, he tied up some loose ends. He found a Brotherhood base but they wouldn't say a word to him or let him inside. He went to Jacobstown, which turned out to be a town of mutants, and had Rex checked out. Turned out he needed a new brain - Art got one from an old dog who belonged to the lady at the Gibson scrap yard. He went back to the NCR Mojave Outpost and talked Rose of Sharon Cassidy into selling her caravan business to the Crimson and then following him around. They got to talking, and he agreed to help her look into the failure of her business, which had been attacked and wiped out. They found out that it was the Crimson Caravan and the Van Graffs behind the attack, trying to wipe out the competition, and decided to try and expose them.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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Evillordexdeath
12/11/20 2:08:59 AM
#28:


It didn't take too much corporate espionage to expose Crimson Caravan and the Van Graffs. They both had a safe lying around in their offices containing letters which discussed all the murdering they liked to do to keep down competitive businesses. Art and Cass handed those letters over to the C.O. at the Mojave Outpost who promised to send word back east and start the process of prosecuting them. Cass seemed satisfied enough with that. They also made the trip back to Jacobstown to finish Rex's brain transplant. With those tasks taken care of, Art had Cass and Rex return to the Lucky 38 so he could travel with ED-E and Arcade again.

He got the sunken plane out of the water and the Boomers promised to take his side in the battle for Hoover dam, so he told Yes Man about that. He spent some time looking into the Omertas while he was in town. They were up to something, but he couldn't tell what just yet. Next he made contact with the Great Khans in their base at Red Rock Canyon, which was tough to track down because it was surrounded by mountains on most sides. They didn't seem very powerful or important, but they were in the process of making an alliance with the Legion so he thought he'd try and convince them out of it. He needed to convince four advisors that the Legion didn't have their best interests in mind. Three of them were pretty easy - he just pointed out the kind of things the Legion did to people - but the last guy, who was the same one who asked him to help dismantle the alliance in the first place - needed hard evidence he couldn't find around the Khans camp. He did find a journal from the Legion's emissary there talking about how the Legion would kill all the Khans, but no one would read it - he didn't know why.

That just left the Brotherhood of Steel. He went back and checked on their bunkers again, and when he poked into the one with the tree stump on top three guys in power armor charged out and threatened to blow his brains out with energy weapons. They made him give up all his weapons, take off his clothes, and then marched him into their base, put an explosive collar on him, and forced him to run errands for them. He couldn't decide if he liked their hospitality or the Boomers' better. His first task was just to talk an NCR ranger who was camping out in one of their bunkers into hitting the road. After that, they took off the explosive collar and asked him to seek out some dead paladins and then make contact with a few of their scouts. He found all the scouts, but decided to run some other errands before he went back to the Brotherhood's base. He helped find a spy for the NCR, not because he wanted to help them any more but because it was an interesting job, and he fought through the Fiends' territory near Vegas to find Vault 3, but couldn't figure out how to get the door open. He also went to Vault 23. An NCR big wig asked him to look into how they grew plants so effectively. The whole place was overgrown and everyone inside it had been turned into these gross plant-like monsters. It turned out that whatever growth method they'd been using on the crops had also gotten into the creatures they were using for pest control, resulting in giant Mantises, Venus Fly Traps, and mushrooms that could take over the minds of human hosts - which was what happened to everyone in the vault. Art worked together with an old ghoul scientist to destroy the fungus, but he talked her into letting him bring the data back - she had wanted to destroy it.

It had passed by almost without him noticing during all the excitement when he first met Benny, but the Legion had contacted him and asked that he come meet with Caesar, giving him a mark that would let him pass through their territory. They also knew that Benny was headed their way. He was trying to find Mr. House's secret bunker which the Legion's camp had been built over, but there was no way he'd make it with the Legion already onto him. Art would have to go there and butter up the big man until he could find a way to get the Platinum Chip and get out.

New Perks since last time: Robotics Expert (extra damage to machines and a stealth instant kill on them) Life Giver (+30 HP) Light Step (invulnerability to mines and floor-based traps) Sniper (increased headshot accuracy in VATS) Grim Reaper's Sprint (Action Point restoration when killing enemies in VATS)

Reputation Update: Idolized by Boomers, Liked by Followers, Great Khans, NCR, Accepted on The Strip

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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BetrayedTangy
12/12/20 1:13:53 AM
#29:


I beat New Vegas today. I ended up siding with Mr. House as he was the only one I hadn't yet. I think the only one I'm not too keen on is the NCR one and I think you made the right choice in choosing Yes Man.

I'll save the rest of my thoughts for your final write up, but I will say the bugs really ruined my enjoyment more than a couple times. Including at least 5 crashes and that's honestly ridiculous.

I'm also skipping Super Meat Boy and Black Ops since I played them both recently. So I'll just get started on Ghost Trick (which I'm pumped for)


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Zigzagoon
12/12/20 3:25:49 AM
#30:


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Evillordexdeath
12/12/20 2:41:01 PM
#31:


BetrayedTangy posted...
I beat New Vegas today. I ended up siding with Mr. House as he was the only one I hadn't yet. I think the only one I'm not too keen on is the NCR one and I think you made the right choice in choosing Yes Man.

Hopefully I'll be catching up with you soon. Meat Boy and Black Ops should be quick games for me to get through unless my ineptitude at Meat Boy slows me down too much.

If we're talking about which faction the Courier should side with to create the best results for the Mojave (and the rest of the world,) my inclination is that it goes Yes Man > Mr. House > NCR > Legion, though I'm not entirely sure how good or bad Mr. House actually is based on this playthrough. I think I'll work with him next time I play. I'm strongly of the opinion that the Legion are the bad guys of this game and that siding with anyone else over them is preferable, though I like them a lot as antagonists. Are your issues with the NCR more based around the gameplay/route of siding with them, or are they the ones you think we be worst in power?

Yeah, the technical issues with the game will be something I bring up in my final write-up for this game. You definitely can't talk about it without mentioning them.

Zigzagoon posted...
Aw yeah Ghost Trick

Yeah, I'm looking forward to that one too.

-

The only way to Caesar's encampment at Fortification Hill was by a raft that left from the Legion town of Cottonwood Cove, but Art had the mark of Caesar and he made it there without incident. Legion territory was deserted for the most part, and none of the soldiers he did meet gave him any hassle. The worst they would dare to do was call him a "degenerate" as they passed by - so they didn't make ideal company to spend several hours with on a boat.

At the camp, security took all his weapons, but at least they didn't make him undress like the Brotherhood of Steel had. He'd been warned not to tempt the wrath - or even the impatience - of Caesar, so he went straight to the leader's tent. Benny was there. The Legion had him handcuffed and kneeling on the ground.

Caesar was a smart guy. He had figured out what the Platinum Chip did and how it interfaced with the Lucky 38 bunker he had built his camp over. His ideals were crazy, but he could talk about them in a rational, articulate manner that almost gave Art pause for doubt. He made one big mistake, though, and that was giving Art the Platinum Chip back and asking him to destroy whatever was in Mr. House's underground chamber. He agreed, took the Chip, and then went downstairs and upgraded the Securitron army that was hidden there. Then he went back up and told Caesar that he'd destroyed it. The next task they had for him was to decide how Benny died - freeing him wasn't an option. They had one last talk. Benny was more dignified than Art would've expected. He didn't beg for his life, he just urged him to go to Yes Man and keep Vegas independent. When Art chose to fight him to the death in the Legion's arena, Benny thanked him. Art was no good with a Machete, but apparently Benny was even worse. It was an easy fight. He took Benny's custom 9mm Pistol, Maria, as well as his checkered suit. To remember him by. Caesar wanted him to kill Mr House, so he agreed to do it and went on his way. The Legion gave him all his weapons back. Caesar and Mr. House both thought Art was working for them, and the NCR considered him an ally too.

He went back to Vegas, and went straight to the Lucky 38. He gave Mr. House the Platinum Chip and watched him upgrade the Strip's Securitrons, and then he went down to Mr. House's private chamber and took him out of his life support pod. Disappointingly, he was not a robot - just a very old, shriveled man who had been kept alive far beyond his time. At first, he wanted to just disconnect him from the Lucky 38's mainframe and let him live, but Mr. House said he'd rather be killed. Art granted that request, then he went back to Yes Man and told him it was time to take the old man's place. The Legion found out before long. They dubbed hima Merciful Thug and "in damnatio memoraie," or an enemy for life. They also started sending assassins.

Arcade wanted to talk with him. He admitted that he'd been born into the Enclave, which he described as the fascistic remnants of the old American government. They'd been taken down by some kind of sabotage and finished off by the NCR. Now all that was left was Arcade and the Remnants, five soldiers looking at the last years of their lives. Arcade wanted to pull them all out of retirement to help fight the Legion at Hoover Dam, so he and Art went hiking across the Mohave and gathered them all up. Arcade decided to fight, too, and got his family's old enhanced Enclave power-armor for the battle. The Remnant's pilot gave her own suit to Art. It fit surprisingly well. He and Arcade went their separate ways.

He went back to Red Rock Canyon and showed off a slave ledger he'd swiped from Caesar's camp. It convinced the last advisor to openly oppose the Khan-Legion alliance, which was all Art needed to break it up. He told the Khans' leader to launch a suicidal attack against their would-be allies at the Dam, and the guy agreed to it.

The Omertas were plotting, it turned out, to launch a major armed attack on the Strip and take it over. That might have been a tall order with the upgraded Securitrons in action, but Art sabotaged the plot and killed the gang's leaders (by convincing them to turn on one another) just to be safe.

He did some more chores for the Brotherhood, including going around to all the local vaults to find parts to fix their air filtration system, which was dangerous work. In Vault 3, he rescued an injured Ranger and then wiped out the Fiends, who had taken up residence there. He found old transcripts from the Vault's original dwellers, which showed that they had been polite, likable people. They Fiends had slaughtered them. They were harassing people on the outskirts of Vegas too, so it was his job to deal with them. It was hardly even a battle. He used a Stealth Boy and his Enclave power armor, while the Fiends were high and armed with sticks. He found the NCR Ranger dead in the middle of the vault.

Even after everything he'd done for them, he still couldn't convince the Brotherhood to support an independent Vegas. Yes Man had projections which indicated they would be his biggest enemy later down the line. He decided to wipe them out. They didn't seem like very nice people anyway. He hacked into the self-destruction system in their Bunker and then snuck out with a Stealth Boy. None of them tried to stop him, but they must have figured him out somehow, because whatever remained of their faction now considered him a Soft-Hearted Devil. Yes Man was pleased when he reported back to him.

The attack on Hoover Dam was coming any day now. There wasn't much left to do. Yes Man told him that the NCR's President Kimball was coming to the site to give a speech, and that Mr. House had information that said he'd probably get assassinated, but that it was better if he stayed safe so he could act as a fall guy if the Republic should suffer any kind of loss in the big battle. Otherwise, they might blame Vegas. Art was still on good enough terms with the NCR that he figured they'd let him help out on security detail. Yes Man also gave him an override chip that he'd have to install at a power station called El Dorado, as the very last step in the preparations.

New Perks: Voracious Reader (ability to convert damaged books to skill mags) Tag! (+15 to one skill ((science)))

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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BetrayedTangy
12/12/20 3:10:04 PM
#32:


Evillordexdeath posted...
Are your issues with the NCR more based around the gameplay/route of siding with them, or are they the ones you think we be worst in power?

It's honestly a little bit of everything. In general I feel like their route as well as House's route doesn't have much reason to exist. Since you pretty much do the same stuff with Yes Man, just with more freedom.

Plus the NCR isn't really interesting to work for, unlike House who is at least a really cool character.

The Legion just has some really cool quests attached to it and is the best option if you're playing an evil character.

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BetrayedTangy
12/12/20 11:00:48 PM
#33:


Oh yeah I guess I'm done with 2010, figured some rankings would be fun.

  1. Super Mario Galaxy 2
  2. Fallout: New Vegas - This was so close to first, but the glitches and the main quest line hurt it too much.
  3. Mass Effect 2
  4. Super Meat Boy
  5. Halo Reach - This is mostly due to nostalgia and its multiplayer
  6. Civilization V
  7. Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops - Also higher due to nostalgia and multiplayer
  9. Bayonetta
  10. VVVVVV
  11. Red Dead Redemption - Probably the biggest disappointment here
  12. Heavy Rain
N/A Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

Looking forward to see how yours compare

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azuarc
12/13/20 11:11:06 AM
#34:


The main thing that always annoyed me about New Vegas is how the beginning of the game basically feels like it's on rails until you get to Vegas. You have to pass through all of these other areas before you can get there, which minimizes the amount of free-roaming you can do. And if you dare to stray too far off the path, you get overwhelmed by incredibly powerful enemies. Going through the quarry to shortcut and staring down a bunch of devilsaurs is basically a metaphor for my frustration with the game.

Like, I enjoy New Vegas, I think it's factions and its world-building are vastly superior to actual Bethesda games, but there's also a certain stiffness to the way I feel like I'm meant to enjoy it that just doesn't work for me. I'm playing The Outer Worlds right now, and it's there, too. Say what you will about FO3, FO4, and Skyrim, but they feel a lot looser and a lot more accommodating to you doing what you want to do, even if they don't work nearly as hard at encouraging role-playing.

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Evillordexdeath
12/13/20 4:22:44 PM
#35:


BetrayedTangy posted...
It's honestly a little bit of everything. In general I feel like their route as well as House's route doesn't have much reason to exist. Since you pretty much do the same stuff with Yes Man, just with more freedom.

Yeah, I read that the final quest is the same, for example, between the three non-Legion routes, and I know you do some of the same things to deal with factions like the Khans and Brotherhood. This might speak to my inexperience with WRPGs, but New Vegas is the only one I've played that really has multiple final quests and endings, as such, so I guess I can forgive it for having a lot of similarities between routes. Fallout 2 always has the same final quest and main antagonists, for example, and the same goes for games like Mass Effect and KotOR even if they all have a lot of player choice in other areas.

Now that you mention it, I do think the NCR lacks a charismatic main character in the way the others do. Caesar and Mr. House are two very interesting characters, and I personally really like Yes Man, but I couldn't point to one particular NCR character who is as memorable or important. People seem to remember the encounter with Lanius much more than the one with the NCR general right afterward too, with good reason I would say.

I like the set of games you have at the top for 2010. I have a feeling my list won't look too different.

azuarc posted...
The main thing that always annoyed me about New Vegas is how the beginning of the game basically feels like it's on rails until you get to Vegas.

I played a few hours of Fallout 3 the other day so that I'd be able to speak to the comparison better in my write-ups and I think you're right. In 3 you can pretty much go in any direction at the start of the game while New Vegas you can only get away with going south or maybe east. I do like how New Vegas' early game makes use of the reputation system and gives you choices right away, like Goodsprings vs. Powder Gang and what to do with Primm and the NCRCF, and I also think Fallout 3 is a little too eager to give the player strong weapons and show off things like Super Mutants. In the original game it was hours and hours before you could get your hands on any Big Guns or saw a Super Mutant, and I think that helped them feel more imposing.

I definitely agree with you that New Vegas isn't very impressive before you actually make it to Vegas, though. It's a back-ended game, but I wonder if Fallout 3 isn't kind of a front-ended game in a similar way. Megaton is an impressive location that a lot of work obviously went into, so you run into very few unnamed NPCs, but I won't be surprised if the later areas aren't as fleshed-out.

-

In a trading post somewhere north of Novac, Art met a girl named Veronica. He liked her. She was personable and had a lot to talk about. Eventually, she confessed to being a member of the Brotherhood. It seemed like she didn't know what had happened to the bunker yet. He didn't tell her, but he felt sorry that she'd have nowhere to go back to, so he asked her to travel with him instead.

The NCR boys at Hoover Dam were happy to see him. They had no problem with him helping the security for President Kimball's visit. The Legion tried a couple different things. They killed and impersonated an engineer and planted a bomb on his Vertibird once it hit the ground, and they threw a sniper from a guard tower so their own assassin could take his place. Art sniffed out both of those plans quickly enough that he could stop them without even interrupting the President's speech, which went off just fine. Art headed west to the El Dorado Substation. The place was crawling with NCR troops, but his reputation with them was so good that no one batted an eye as he walked right in and installed the override chip Yes Man had given him. Now all that was left was to do the same at Hoover Dam, while everyone else was distracted by the fighting.

He had to trick his way past two guards, but otherwise it was a cinch to make it to the heart of Hoover Dam. He stopped to say hello to Arcade and the Remnants on the way down. With some help from Yes Man, he re-routed the dam's power to the bunker at Fortification Hill to wake up the Securitrons there, right underneath Caesar's feet. He didn't find out for sure, but it was hard to imagine the old guy surviving all that.

Next he went down to Legate Lanius' camp on the far side of the river. It was interesting to meet the man in person. Art didn't expect him to talk - he wasn't even sure if he knew how - but they had a nice little chat after all. He told old Lanius that if it took the Legion's entire army to hold the west, they would lose everything they'd fought so hard for out east. It seemed to work. Lanius took off, but he promised they would meet again and fight for real. He had to talk an NCR general into leaving the dam too. The man was really pleased with him until he found out Art was working for an independent Vegas, and then he tried a tough guy act. All it took was to show off the Securitrons and he scampered. The Republic and the Legion had both lost Hoover Dam - it was all his now.

Notable Ending Cards: The Powder Gang continued their reign of terror, Novac survived with help from the Bright Ones, ED-E, Cass, Arcade, and Rex got their good endings but none of the other companions were even mentioned, Primm Slim is still doing work.

Final Perks: Action Boy (+15 action points,) Explorer (Every location revealed) Long Haul (ability to fast-travel when over max carry weight.)
Skills at 100: Barter, Guns, Lockpick, Medicine, Science, Speech
Final Play Time: 54 hours 47 minutes

Final Thoughts on New Vegas coming tomorrow.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 11/129
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
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azuarc
12/13/20 8:54:08 PM
#36:


Evillordexdeath posted...
and I also think Fallout 4 is a little too eager to give the player strong weapons and show off things like Power Armor.

ftfy. (So, yes, I agree. NV definitely has a lot of strong points, too.)

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BetrayedTangy
12/13/20 8:58:31 PM
#37:


Dear god I completely forgot about that moment in 4. Ugh little by little I'm remembering the cavalcade of reasons I hate that game.

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azuarc
12/13/20 9:07:26 PM
#38:


To be fair, they don't give you much to support the power armor, and that's about the only thing they really give you early. I remember feeling forced to trek to Diamond City just to find a decent melee weapon. And for as much as the story sucks and I don't need Minecraft in my Fallout, the core gameplay loop is pretty solid.

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BetrayedTangy
12/13/20 9:22:57 PM
#39:


That's true, but I also really hate how they just throw a Deathclaw at you during that sequence too. They're much cooler when you run into one in the wild.

Idk I'll probably give it a second chance, once we reach that point in the topic, but I remember not enjoying the new combat either.

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azuarc
12/13/20 9:30:21 PM
#40:


That's fair. I suspect that they were trying to give you a "tutorial" while they were still early enough in the game for the players to generally have the same shared experiences. They didn't telegraph that very well, though.

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ctesjbuvf
12/14/20 9:01:49 AM
#41:


I allowed myself to use the sheet for checking how much I've played and it was surprisingly few of the games. Might use this list to try to complete more of it, though I will not attempt for the full thing, that'll never happen.

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Guinness Book of World Records is the name of the diary that belongs to azuarc, the winner of the Game of the Decade II guru contest.
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Evillordexdeath
12/14/20 3:05:11 PM
#42:


azuarc posted...
ftfy.

Haha, I've never played Fallout 4 so anything I said about 3 could be much worse in that game for all I know. Since it has such a rough reputation, it's one of the games I'm not looking forward to so much, but I have heard that the combat mechanics are improved a little bit, at least.

ctesjbuvf posted...
I allowed myself to use the sheet for checking how much I've played and it was surprisingly few of the games. Might use this list to try to complete more of it, though I will not attempt for the full thing, that'll never happen.

Yeah, I definitely wouldn't expect anyone play all 129 games with me. That's a huge commitment. I'll be happy if the list is helpful to you in some way, though.

-

Final Analysis: Fallout: New Vegas
What I thought of New Vegas: A great RPG trapped in the engine of a Bethesda game
Would I play New Vegas again? Yes, and probably soon.
Did it deserve to lose in round 3? I would still vote for it over GoW.

Fallout 3 is a very popular game on this site, probably even more so than you'd expect. It won its division in the first GotD contest, and held above 45% on Brawl in the semifinal. There are a few different reasons for that, but brand recognition for the originals isn't among them. Fallout 3 might as well be the first game in its series for most people. 1 and 2 are ancient. If people try them, it's usually because a site like GoG gave them away for free - and they only play for an hour or two. It's interesting, then, that so much of the series' identity is still based on elements from the very first game, but that's a conversation for another time.

I think Fallout 3 was a hit first and foremost because it was a huge game. Lots of open-world games that dwarf it have come out over the past 12 years, but at the time it was one of the most gigantic game-worlds around that wasn't procedurally generated like that of Daggerfall, a game where no one in the entire world actually bothered with the absurdly massive and empty open world and which would have been completely unplayable without fast travel. Fallout 3 was big and it had a certain personality. Vault Boy is a really good mascot. He's cute, recognizable, and extremely versatile, and using him in the icons for equipment and quest progress lends a lot of charm to the game - this more than anything else might be where Bethesda got their money's worth for the license. If you compare Fallout 3 with another large open-world game like GTA IV, there's a much greater variety of things to do. Besides the combat, there's scavenging and weapon modification, character customization, inventory management, dialog trees and speech checks, lockpicking and computer hacking, and more.

That size and variety comes with its own problems, though. I've always felt like Bethesda were making games that were, in a way, too ambitious for modern technology. With such a huge world and so many NPCs, there's not enough time or money to build convincing AI behavior for them, so it's inevitably immersion-breaking when you go into towns in Bethesda games. Their melee combat engine is kind of abysmal, and the gunplay in Fallout 3 is vastly worse than a game like Halo or even Mass Effect. Their games tend to be notoriously buggy. I hate the hacking minigame, too.

It's popular to bash FO3 and praise New Vegas in comparison, these days, but all the problems I just went over are, if anything, even more pronounced in this game. Obsidian may be saints, but saints tend to take oaths of poverty, and NV is filled with generic, unbelievable NPCs, bugs, fragile or uninspiring quests, lacklustre areas, and shallow mechanics. I don't mind things like characters falling partway through the ground or running into walls for all eternity, at least they're kind of funny. What does bother me, however, is a game that not only crashes all the time, but also suffers from severe framerate loss forcing a restart to resolve it.

And yet, it's probably the most absorbed I've been by a game since I started this project. I guess it's a game of extremes. The real problem with its overly huge world is that it makes the best parts of the game harder to find.

What those saints at Obsidian really excel at is choice-based RPG game design. Some of the quests in New Vegas are just phenomenal, because they're closely integrated with its complex multi-faction game world. A good example is I Put a Spell on You, where the player has to expose a Legion spy working in the NCR's army. You can find out who the spy is and stop his plot, or you can help him get away with it, even pinning his crimes on a prank-loving NCR private. For either of those goals, there are a lot of different ways to make them happen depending on your character's skills. You can sneak around at night and catch the spy in the act, you can confront him directly and take him out, and you can disarm the bomb he plants and stop his plans that way. That's the good side of the game's huge scope: there are tons of quests like that, and they're worth playing multiple times to see the different methods and outcomes. I played this game for longer than any of the others for this project so far, but I only saw a tiny fraction of what it has to offer.

New Vegas doesn't necessarily have a great story, but it's story is great for the format of a video game. It's interesting to think about the conflict between its four main factions, and there are a few valid perspectives on which is best for the wasteland, but that kind of discussion is brought to focus by each player needing to decide who to side with. That's one of a few ways in which it uses its medium to ask philosophical questions about humanity and what it takes to survive in a world gone mad. It plays quite well off Fallout 2: one of my favorite moments is when Caesar likens Tandi's ultra-long presidency from that game to a dictatorship, and then takes it one step further by pointing out that the NCR has been less effective without her. I complained about Red Dead Redemption being perhaps too cynical when I played that game, and I think New Vegas makes a good counterpoint to that. It's set in a truly horrific world and all of the major players are flawed in huge ways, and there's no way to make everything right: some people, you either have to kill or allow to continue hurting others. But it balances things out with humor and a lot of people who are honestly doing their part to try and make the wasteland a better place. Both this and Fallout 2 carry humanitarian moral messages implicitly through their game mechanics: you can role-play as a truly despicable person, but people will band together against you if you do that. It's actually much more practical, most of the time, to help people.

It is kind of a limiting format for a story though. The only dialog is between your player character and exactly one NPC at a time, for example, and no matter how important a character is, most of their in-game presence will be one long dialog dump the first time you meet them, and then a few lines every time you turn in a quest with them. Most of the time, it can't help but violate the old "show, don't tell" rule, and for all the emphasis that's given to the ideological differences between people like Mr. House and Caesar, it's too bad we don't get to see them argue with each other.

When I finished Portal I talked about the idea of perfection and how hard it is for games to attain it. New Vegas doesn't even come close. It might be the most flawed game I've played all year. Even so, it's also one of my favorites.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 12/129
Currently Playing: Super Meat Boy
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BetrayedTangy
12/14/20 5:40:00 PM
#43:


Very well said!

I too love the freedom and open ended possibilities with quests. It adds a lot to the replay value and opportunities to roleplay. Even after four playthroughs I managed to find myself having a good time.

I'm also incredibly fond of the many secrets and Easter eggs you can find. Things like tracking down Snowglobes, Unique Weapons and Skill Books really incentivize you to explore the wasteland to its fullest and keep playing even once you've finished all the quests. Also as a side note I highly recommend taking the Wild Wasteland trait if you do replay the game. Not only does it give you a ton of Easter eggs, but it also lets you get the most powerful weapon in the game.

Your flaws with the game are spot-on. I'm actually happy you brought up how the technology isn't quite there for games like this as I think it's a recurring problem for the decade as a whole. A lot of games I noticed want to put an emphasis on player choice, but very rarely is it done perfectly.

New Vegas is definitely one of the better ones as the choices you make with the smaller factions actually matter. Largely due to the end cards they all get at the end of the game. The main quests on the other hand really don't, the final mission is the same regardless of who you side with. Plus there's an obvious 'good' ending, so it kind of invalidates the NCR and House's neutral endings. Which really sucks, especially since Yes Man can have a Neutral ending too if you want.

That said I still think it's a lot better than the options presented in ME2 or Heavy Rain for example. Even some of the games further down on the list struggle with this. So I guess I'm kinda of okay with game being buggy as hell, since it still managed to be fun. That said I do think Bethesda has let it get way too out of hand recently.

As far as 3 vs. New Vegas goes. I think it boils down to preference. Both are really immersive, but for different reasons and I like how it ties into the lore too. 3 is more about exploration and secrets. Since D.C. was a huge target for the nukes. There's far less NPCs as a result and many of them are far more primitive. New Vegas on the other hand has more fun with its quests and different factions. So I have a lot of respect for both and I think it just boils down to preference.

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ctesjbuvf
12/14/20 6:06:26 PM
#44:


Evillordexdeath posted...
Yeah, I definitely wouldn't expect anyone play all 129 games with me. That's a huge commitment. I'll be happy if the list is helpful to you in some way, though.

I mean, I wish I could, I'd like to, but might as well accept it but happening.

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Evillordexdeath
12/14/20 6:48:48 PM
#45:


BetrayedTangy posted...
Very well said!

Thanks. I agree about the unique incentives for exploring dungeons, that really does help make the format work. I think Fallout 3 might actually do that even better, but my impression was that both games did a better job making their individual areas consequential than Skyrim did. From what I can tell AAA games haven't really gotten better about implementing player choice or having convincing AI over the last decade (with exceptions. I've heard Witcher 3 does it quite well.) Those are both really intensive, complicated things to do, and game development is getting inherently more expensive and elaborate even before you try to include those things because AAA games are always competing to have cutting-edge graphics and so on. I do think the Fallout games do a better job at it than something like Mass Effect. The ending cards help, I think that was a good idea. I can kind of understand why NV uses the same final level and the same "side bets" quests for different factions, it comes back to how hard it would be to actually make different areas for every faction. The only game I've really seen that does branching paths almost perfectly as The Henry Stickmin Collection. The last game in that is completely different depending on the endings you got in the previous two games, but that's only possible because it's such a small project, and a single playthrough of the last game takes around 5 to 10 minutes.

I haven't played enough of Fallout 3 to really say, but as far as I can tell you've got it right, 3 is more open-ended in terms of gameplay and emphasizes exploration while NV is more focused on story choice and quests. I'd also say it has a slightly better RPG system. It's not very important, but I'm glad it brought back strength requirements for weapons for example, and it gets some mileage out of adding new perks like Confirmed Bachelor.


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Evillordexdeath
12/14/20 6:49:00 PM
#46:


To say goodbye to New Vegas, I'd like to write a little recap on the game, highlighting a few things I wish I'd known when I started and some of the best characters and quests in the game. If you're reading this and haven't tried the game yet, maybe it will help you get the most out of it.

1. Play it on PC. I'm a pretty set in my ways console pesant and I had the GotY edition on PS3 lying around. I really don't like looking for community mods for PC games and I couldn't even get the Windows version of Fallout 3 to run past the title screen. Even I wish I had played New Vegas on PC, though. I can't fill you in on what the best bugfix and stability mods are, but as much of a hassle as finding them might be, it's worth it if it helps avoid the crashes, quest-breaking logic issues, and frame rate loss that I experienced on the PS3 version.

2. Don't put points in melee weapons. IMO, Fallout 3 and NV have better combat than Skyrim because Bethesda's melee combat engine sucks. Specializing in guns is just more fun, and it's also much more practical. I think it's best to only level one damage skill, and while guns are probably the best over all, energy weapons are fine too.

3. Do put points into lockpick. There are a few important quests that you can't really get through without lockpick, so after neglecting it early on I found I really had to pump it later.

4. Don't play on Hardcore mode. After the first few hours, it just doesn't really add much to the game, except the annoyance of having to watch your food and water meters. Turn it on at first if you want to give it a shot, but I wouldn't feel obligated to keep it on. I do like how it makes stimpacks work over time and that you can't just sleep to cure broken limbs, so maybe mods to tweak it would be nice if you're playing on PC.

I think those are the main things, so let me go over some of my favorite characters from this game:

  • Yes Man: This guy is just great - probably the funniest character in the game, imo. The contrast is a big part of it. He'll talk about murdering people in the most cheerful voice imaginable. It's also fun to do things he disapproves of and watch him back-handedly compliment your decisions because he's incapable of being anything but extremely nice. They manage to make him surprisingly multifaceted through things like that.
  • Caesar: A great antagonist. This guy kind of channels Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now. You know he's the bad guy, he's just so blatantly cruel and brutal, but when you're in the room with him he can outline his ideas in such a rational, articulate way that you can almost doubt yourself - it's easy to see how he built such a cult of personality around himself. I guess it also helps that he's just so nice that it does become kind of charming. One of my favorite details is that you can get him to write you a letter which he signs "love, Yes Man."
  • Legate Lanius: As a "social boss," Lanius is pretty exemplary. Not quite as good as The Master, but I can easily see why people like him much better than Colonel Autumn. First of all, he has a very distinct personality and character voice that help give the exchange it's own flavor, but more importantly your dialog reveals new aspects to his character. Everything you hear about Lanius before you meet him is that he's a violent, merciless killer. It's almost surprising that he talks to you at all instead of just immediately attacking, but if you're careful you can get him to give away the fact that he can be rational, level-headed, and show respect to his enemies.
  • The King: The King and his posse discovered a school for Elvis impersonators and mistook it for a place of worship. That's funny enough on its own, but what really cements this guy as a favorite of mine is the complexity in his character. At first, The Kings seem like any old gang - my first encounter with one of them was a guy charging people to use the local water supply - but The King himself is a surprisingly moral person who wants to avoid bloodshed and is willing to cooperate with others. His quest-line is about de-escalating a tense situation and he does what he can to help you with that.
  • Dr. Mobius: I didn't go into it in my write-ups because it felt so disconnected from the larger plot that it was hard to work in, but I played the Old World Blues DLC. I'd say it's worth experiencing. It's really very dialog-heavy and maybe a bit more wacky than I like, but I had a good time with it. There are some really memorable parts, with the highlight being a dialog exchange between your character and his own brain. Dr. Mobius' case is kind of similar to The King's. At first he seems like an over-the-top comedy supervillain, and that's fun, but when you meet the real Mobius he turns out to be a kindly, half senile old man with a lot of good intentions.
  • Chris Haversam: This is the man at the REPCONN test site who's convinced he's a ghoul. It's a little unfortunate that the majority of the speech checks in this game are so easy. The other character comes in, you pick one dialog option that's telegraphed by the fact it has a speech requirement, and then they go away. If you want to convince Chris both that he's human and that he shouldn't take revenge on the ghouls, you have to slowly and carefully talk him down, which made an impression on me as something of a highlight.
And here are a few quests I recommend:
  • For Auld Lang Syne: This is Arcade Gannon's companion quest. It's about gathering up the Remnants, a group of holdouts from the Enclave (who were the brutal antagonists of the second game) for one last battle. The Remnants are all pretty interesting characters who are looking back on their lives and trying to find meaning in a pretty guilty past. It doesn't make the Enclave itself any more complex, but it does a lot to humanize some of the individuals within that organization. It also carries some pretty good in-game rewards, but the major downside is that Arcade, who I thought was the most likable companion character, permanently leaves once you complete it.
  • Beyond the Beef: This is the quest at the Ultra-Luxe in New Vegas. I don't want to spoil it, because most of what makes it so good is finding out what's actually going on there, but it's also just a very open-ended quest with good gameplay and lots of different solutions.
  • Vault 11: Another area I shouldn't spoil. The Vaults tend to be a highlight in this series, (though I'd say that was more true in the old games because they had a lot of importance and build-up in the story,) and this is definitely my favorite of the vaults in this game. Its lore seemed quite funny a first, but turned out to be really dark but also very interesting.

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Evillordexdeath
12/14/20 7:09:53 PM
#47:


Next game:

Super Meat Boy
Release Date: October 20, 2010
Playing on: PC
Previous Experience with Meat Boy: Watched a Let's Play
Expectations for Meat Boy: A good platformer, but too hard

I still remember my first Edmund Macmillan game: it was Clubby the Seal. I think it was my brother who found it first, randomly surfing Newgrounds. That was a simple flash game where you played a seal who clubbed humans to death and skinned them, possibly as an act of revenge. Edmund has come a long way from such humble beginnings, since Super Meat Boy and Binding of Isaac are two really influential little indie games, but Clubby gave a good flavor of what he'd do from then on. His games are simple, tightly designed, and whimsically dark. Meat Boy is possibly a man turned inside out while Isaac is a perpetually naked child picking through dark, ugly places. Actually there's some neat storytelling in his games, Isaac especially. I should probably save this topic for later, but that game is sort of implicitly about an imaginative kid coping with neglect, abuse, and self-loathing through fantasy, which it portrays in a subtle, sad kind of way. I don't think Meat Boy has as much context behind it, but I do think it's cool how its backgrounds progress from a sunny day on an open field to some kind of apocalypse.

This is one of those games, the same type as VVVVVV. Everything kills you in one hit, you respawn super quickly, and it's intended that you'll rack up hundreds of deaths. There's even a cool little feature where when you finally complete a level it replays all your attempts at once. I think I'll like this game, but I'm not really an aficionado of those games, and a part of me is a little worried I'll get frustrated.

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I'm playing every game from GotD 2020! Games Completed: 12/129
Currently Playing: Super Meat Boy
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BetrayedTangy
12/14/20 7:23:57 PM
#48:


Evillordexdeath posted...
This is one of those games, the same type as VVVVVV. Everything kills you in one hit, you respawn super quickly, and it's intended that you'll rack up hundreds of deaths. There's even a cool little feature where when you finally complete a level it replays all your attempts at once. I think I'll like this game, but I'm not really an aficionado of those games, and a part of me is a little worried I'll get frustrated.

World 4 and the last couple of levels including the final boss will likely cause you the most frustration. Some levels do have tricks that make them easier tho.

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Evillordexdeath
12/15/20 5:20:25 PM
#49:


I played through the first two worlds of Super Meat Boy today. The first world is easy enough, including a few levels that essentially function as tutorials. There are two optional challenge types you can take on within this game's levels: the "A+ rank," which requires you to beat the level within a par time, and picking up the bandages, which are usually in out-of-the-way portions of the levels. I got the A+ ranks on every level in world one, which unlocks the dark world versions of those levels. In world 1's case, that means they're basically the same but with a lot more buzz saws. It was one of the levels around the halfway point of dark world 1 that made me give up on the idea of 100% completion in this game. It started out with buzz saws on each of two opposite walls that you had to jump very precisely between, which would kill me on most attempts within the first few seconds, so I was sick of it before I could complete it on its own, let alone pick up the bandage. For now, I'm just going to focus on getting to the ending and then I'll go back and complete anything else I feel like.

In comparison to other platformers, Meat Boy's controls are kind of "slippery." That's by design: he leaves a trail of blood everywhere he goes, and can sort of stick to walls giving him an omnipotent wall-jump that doesn't even require an opposing wall. He can launch really far horizontally without needing much momentum, but he's kind of hard to control precisely, so a lot of the levels where you have to land on small platforms are much harder than most others. The final section of 2-20 in particular gave me a lot of trouble because of this. You have to hop across two tiny platforms gaining just enough momentum to launch onto the side of another small square and then across three more, and it's easy to overshoot and fall off a cliff and then have to restart the whole level. I knew I would have to take a break when I finally finished that one.

So far, I'd say the game is about in line with my expectations. It's good, and the core mechanics work well for the most part, but it probably is a little too hard for my tastes. I like it when it's about figuring out the right approach to a level more so than pixel-perfect precision. The levels with really demanding timing and position annoy me a little bit. One thing that I like is that there are a lot of shortcuts and alternate approaches to the levels, for example in 2-20 you can save a lot of time by climbing around the outside of the level.

This is one of those games that shows a lot of love (or at least has a lot of homages) toward gaming as a whole. There are the "warp zone" levels for example, that are presented in the graphical style of older consoles, first an 8-bit demake of Meat Boy (Celeste kind of cribbed this idea I suppose) and then a version based on the original Game Boy. While cute, I do think it was a mistake to use a lives system in the warp zones. The game is normally built for speed with a definite understanding that you'll probably die a lot, but in the warp zones there are three consecutive levels and you have to restart the whole thing (losing any bandages) if you die thrice on the same level, which is a real pain in one of those games.

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Evillordexdeath
12/16/20 5:45:31 PM
#50:


World 3 is called Salt Factory, and it lives up to its name. Actually I got through it without too much trouble. It took me around half an hour and I got almost all the A+ rankings, but just about none of the bandages. I even beat the boss on the first try! It's a rival battle race sort of deal, after which Dr. Fetus cutscene-murders Meat Boy and he goes to Hell. It's a little reminiscent of God of War, but the intro for that world directly recreates that of the original Ninja Gaiden. I thought world 4 was a noticeable step up in difficulty, though the worst parts were isolated to a small handful of levels. I think 4-10 was pretty rough, and I know I had trouble with 4-20. That one was a long sequence of individual rooms, with the worst one being a lava room around the middle where you have to quickly slide down a wall and then back up again to get to the other side before the room fills up and kills you. At first it seemed like the room would start filling when Meat Boy went inside, but on further attempts it looked like it would periodically move up and down regardless of where the player was in the level, so the key to getting through was to enter while the lava was in the process of draining.

The boss in world 4 is a giant Meat Boy formed out of the corpses of all the meat boys who have died up to this point in the game. It's basically just a process of pattern memorization, since it always uses the same attacks in the same order. Once you dodge it for long enough it just dies.

Yesterday I had been playing with my keyboard, which was a mistake. Things started going a little better when I switched to using a PS3 controller, though I still find some parts of the controls a little awkward. I actually finished worlds 3 and 4 slightly faster than 1 and 2, though the main reason for that is that I haven't done the dark world versions of any past the first.

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