Grizzly Gaming

Friday, July 29, 2011

The random post about nothing in particular - Revisiting classics

So it's been a while since I've updated this blog and I feel pretty bad about it. I haven't played much new lately (mainly because I'm...what's it called again? Oh yeah - poor) so I've been getting back into some older games. And though these games are old I'd also classify them as something else - classic.

I've been watching a ton of videos for "Bioshock: Infinite" (well, mainly just that complete E3 playthrough) and getting real pumped about it. The setting, characters, level/world design and combat all look incredibly inventive and it will be amazing when I can actually set foot on Columbia and explore the floating city.

Since I've been on a Bioshock trip lately, I decided to fire up my copy of the original "Bioshock" and take a much needed return trip to Rapture. The city is much the way I remember it - dark, dreary, incredibly detailed and full of life - even if that life is slathered with a healthy dose of insanity.

One of the things I forgot about Bioshock that I loved so much was the sheer expanse of every area you travel to. There's a ton of opportunity to explore each area and thorough searching will often net extra ammunition, money and items that come in very handy when dealing with some of the tougher splicers and Big Daddies. Speaking of those lumbering monstrosities, I'd also almost forgotten how much of a pain they are to bring down - and how easy it is to draw their ire. The first Big Daddy you come up against, a Bouncer, killed me a handful of times before I started taking the fight seriously - meaning preparing my ammunition, Plasmids, traps and picking a location that suits taking down that particular kind of Big Daddy. For example, Bouncers use close range but very powerful attacks but can also stun you, leaving you open to be gored by their charge attack so it was very important to initiate the battle in an area that would cut down on the straight lines between me and it. Even though Rosie's bring more firepower into battle than Bouncers, these surprisingly quick baddies are more than capable of ending your life if you charge blindly into battle.

And speaking of Rosies, I had almost forgotten how easy it was to draw their attention. For example, when you first reach Neptune's Bounty there is a large open area where a Rosie and a Little Sister are operating. But there are also a handful of Splicers in the area, too, who are not nearly as concerned with the behemoths as I was and began shooting at me on sight. I was about to return fire when I noticed the Big Daddy/Little Sister meandering around behind them and decided it would be best to take cover and let the Splicers come to me, rather than possibly send an errant shot into either of those two and have the Rosie come roaring at me, throwing prox mines and firing rivets at my face. Little instances like that remind me of how the world of Bioshock/Rapture are incredibly alive and how your actions can have unintended/unwanted consequences.

Changing gears a little bit, I recently got a new laptop and of course one of my first priorities was to load up a few classic games on it. Granted, I don't have many PC games but I still have a couple, including, in my opinion, two of the greatest games ever made - Fallout and Fallout 2.

Unfortunately, since the original Fallout came out in 1997, it isn't exactly compatible with Windows 7 but it runs well enough. About the most severe glitches I've noticed is some problems with the color that I wasn't able to rectify but beyond that the game plays just as I remember it - which is, compared to Fallout 3 and New Vegas, pretty slowly. But that's to be expected - these games are over 10 years old at this point and aren't action RPGs like the current iterations. These bad boys are straight up RPGs - you move on a hex board, combat is turn based and the restrictions on the content are slim to none (meaning you can get into some pretty sketchy situations that I don't even feel comfortable writing about on here - which goes especially double for Fallout 2). Then again, this is partly what drew many to the game in the first place - having to survive in a post-apocalyptic world with little more than your wits and what you can scavenge.

As you can see, just a little different from Fallout 3

What I love most about Fallout is the way the story is designed and even though I really don't think I should have to add spoiler tags for info on a game that came out in 1997, I'll do it anyway. So if you still haven't played Fallout but are totally planning on it someday (I'm sure you'll get around to it), don't read any more if you don't want the story ruined. SPOILER ALERTZ

You start out a member of Vault 13 and somehow, after months, maybe even years of operation, the Vault's water chip - the thing that recycles all the old, used water into clean drinking water again - has broken or gone missing and you're tasked with leaving the Vault to find a replacement or a new supply of water. You only have about 180 (I believe) in-game days to accomplish this task, but you can buy yourself some time if you meet up with the water merchants in The Hub and having them ship water to your Vault.

But the game isn't over once you find the chip. Apparently someone has been creating an army of super-mutants in the Wasteland and the Overseer of your Vault decides that they pose a threat to all and will eventually discover your Vault. After dealing with The Master and his army of mutants all is well and you're welcomed back into the Vault with open arms - a hero to all.

Except, that doesn't quite happen. After surviving in the harsh Wasteland, risking your life and the lives of other to secure a water chip and destroy an army of gigantic, violent mutants, the Overseer of your Vault decides that time outside has changed you too much and you're forbidden from returning to your people. What thanks! But don't feel too bad. Remember those water merchants you told the location of the Vault to? Well it seems one day, Raiders followed them to your Vault and massacred everyone. But then again - that's sort of your fault and almost exactly what the Overseer was talking about, isn't it?

But all that up there as I've described might not even play out like that, depending on your actions (don't worry - you get shunned from your Vault no matter what course of action you take). Fallout was innovative in the way that, depending on your action throughout the course of the game, you basically decide the fate of the various groups and towns you encounter. Did you kill the Khans who were harassing Shady Sands? What about the Blades in Adytum? Did you have the guts to face the Deathclaws and reach the Gun Runners? Each of these seemingly insignificant quest lines change the outcome of that particular area and possibly even more. But one thing doesn't change. War - war never changes. (Come on, you had to have seen that coming.)


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An avid gamer and long-time pro wrestling fan, stay tuned to Grizzly Gaming and the Delco Elbow Drop for game reviews and pro wrestling news.

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