The forces of evil are on the move.
Spreading unchallenged across the horizon like an epidemic of hate, riding upon the broken backs of fiery-eyed steeds, sapping the very warmth of our benevolent Sun with the petrifying frost of inevitable death, torturing the land with the searing flame of injustice and tyranny; the landlords of destruction have been unleashed upon my glorious home, and they will chase me from my habitation with heartless determination. There is no fighting. There is only dying.
Or running like a cat from a vacuum.
And so I embark upon an epic journey, escaping from my ancestral home and finding refuge in the beautiful deep-urban hamlet of North Park, where the beer flows like wine and the street walkers travel in herds. I guess I made up the whole part about evil and destruction, but in all honesty I think I'd rather strip to my under-knickers and wrastle with a radioactive porcupine than transfer my domicile ever again. Ever. Again.
I didn't have internet at home for 10 days while I was getting ready to move. 10 days! The horror! What did people do with themselves before the internet was invented? I tried every form of self-amusement known to man (and several known only to walrusmen) but nothing could quench my thirst for downloads. What was left to do? That’s right… REVIEW MADNESS!!!
I'm really on the fence about this game. On the one hand, it's a staggering achievement: an open-world first-person-shooter role-playing-game (OWFPSRPG). Since the dawn of time, humans have dreamed of creating the ultimate merging of action and adventure, and finally, in the year of our overlord 2008, we have finally succeeded! Rejoice!
On the other hand, Fallout 3 is really just a stripped-down and refurbished version of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. It feels like they just took Oblivion and rebuilt/retardified it to take advantage of the Fallout license. I bet if I hadn’t played Oblivion for hundreds of hours, then I would have loved Fallout. But they are so similar that I can’t avoid the comparison, and when they go head-to-head Oblivion is just an all-around better game.
For instance, in Oblivion you could use magic. There were hundreds of spells like fireballs, invisibility, and water-walking, and you could even create your own spells. Furthermore, you could enchant any item with magical properties. (I created a suit of armor that made me almost completely invisible, and a sword that made you crap your pants and run away.) Does Fallout have magic or enchanting? No. All it has is a bunch of simple guns and boring-looking armor. Hell, I basically used the same gun and armor throughout the entire game… how boring is that?!?! Epic fail!!
Also on the Fail List are questing (the side quests are random and boring for the most part, even though side quests are the whole reason you make an open-world game); walking (nothing could be more fun than walking for miles through a monochromatic nuclear wasteland, right?); carrying (I spent more time trying to find room in my bag for all my weapons and knickknacks then I did shooting mutated crab-dooshes); and hitting (melee combat was so lame and worthless that it made me want to run away to Manitoba and eat exclusively dill pickles for the rest of my life. Don’t ask me why. Or maybe it’s because melee combat just felt like I was hitting people with a pickle.)
As far as I’m concerned, everything in Fallout 3 was second-rate except for the slow-motion headshots. That’s right, you can use this little targeting computer to automatically shoot an enemy right in the face with your machine gun or your shotgun or your missile launcher or whatever else you have on hand, and then it shows their head exploding into a million giblets in slow-motion. It’s like an instant replay in football except 1298232 times more brutal. It was so excessively bloody that I had to put on a rain jacket.
I’m being very hard on this game, but it’s only because I can’t get over the fact that Oblivion is better in every way, even though it was made by the same developers, using the same engine, 3 years before. If you’re thinking about playing Fallout, then do yourself a favor and play Oblivion and all its expansion content first because it is one of the best games ever created.
But Fallout 3 is just a pretender.
Brolo’s Game Views Official Score: 83% (98% if I had played Fallout 3 before Oblivion.)
Left 4 Dead
Do you remember that nightmare where you are running away from a horde of rabid zombies who are sprinting after you as fast as they can and when they catch you they beat you to death until you die? And then you wake up and realize it’s a dream… then a zombie bursts through the door and bites your face off? Well, they made a game about it.
The idea behind the game is really simple: it’s a zombie apocalypse, and you’re one of the last four survivors. The four of you have to find your way to safety, fighting off wave after wave of thrashing zombies and the occasional mutated zombie with super powers. If it sounds intense, that’s because it is. It feels like the bastard offspring of 28 Days Later and Predator, with a sprinkle of Aliens thrown in there for no better reason than because you’re going to see the “Game over, man!" screen so much you’ll wish an alien would explode out of your chest and end your misery.
Yeah, it’s hard. Turn it up to Expert difficulty and you’ll be riveted to the edge of your seat, cursing at your nubbish friends through the headset and pounding your face into the keyboard until it’s a bloody pulp.
If you like shooters or survival-horror games, or if you just love a juicy round of co-op goodness, then you need to check out this game, because it will rock your socks off and then go to a sock hop and dance with your girlfriend while wearing your socks! It’s simple and predictable, and I’m not entirely convinced it’s worth $50 bucks because it’s pretty short, but I loved every minute of it from start to finish (except for the nightmares I got afterwards) and that’s pretty much the best thing I can say about a video game short of tattooing its logo on my forehead.
Brolo’s Game Reviews Official Score: 97% (-1% for each time I peed my pants because I didn’t want to stop playing)
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Over the course of 26 long and unforgiving years, I have ingested more than my share of fantasy fiction, some of it good, some of it unfit to be printed on anything more costly than pressed wampa feces. Once in a while you stumble upon something truly unique, truly fantastic, truly epic. World of Warcraft is epic fantasy at its finest.
Every WoW player has their reason or reasons for loving the game they play every single day. I have two reasons: I love to play with my friends, and I love to explore and frolic in a new world that was designed solely with my entertainment in mind. It takes me about ten times longer to level-up than anybody I know (with a couple notable exceptions) because I spend the vast majority of my time online chasing butterflies and trying to encourage fights in general chat. I admit that second part has nothing to do with fantasy, but when an idiot of sufficient idiocy finds his way directly into my crosshairs, then I consider it my civic duty to pull the trigger a whole butt-load of times and make sure he’s good and pwned. Ethics, I have them.
Anyway, Wrath of the Lich King is any fantasy lover’s dream game. Northrend is a gorgeous continent full of sights, sounds, and stories that melted even my long-frozen heart. There are so many cool things that I hardly know where to start and I know that if I did then I would panic and finish too soon anyway, so I’ll just stick with my favorite moments so far. (Yeah, I’m not 80 yet, even though the rest of the J!NX Crew reached it in like 10 days.)
- Turtle boat with carrot on a stick. You have to be made of assholes for that to not make you smile.
- D.E.H.T.A. (Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals)
- Baby murlocs. The noise they make is so cute I almost gagged.
- Krasus even though he doesn’t look anything like I imagined in the books.
- The Nexus. Coolest. Looking. Dungeon. Ever. Period.
- Crazy titan dude on the top of a mountain. Every pixel of him is an entree of epic with a side of broiled legendary.
To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t give a damn about the Lich King at this point. I hope he just sits up there in Icecrown being bipolar and frostbitten for the rest of his life so I can tramp around Northrend on my bipolar bear and enjoy the ups and downs of this amazing new world that’s mine to explore.
Brolo’s Game Reviews Official Score: 99.2382% (-0.1823 because everyone levels faster than I do. Jerks.)
P.S. Starbucks eat your heart out. Arthas is starting his own coffee shop called “Frostmorning’s Finest" and all the drinks are served frozen solid. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m dying for a cup!!!
What I’m listening to: Judas Priest
If you don’t appreciate the pure domination of Painkiller or Metal Meltdown then you should do your species a favor and high dive into the world’s largest garbage disposal because you’re breathing oxygen that would be better utilized by a rampaging headbanger.
I’m not kidding. I never kid. Never ever ever. Ever.
What I hate right now: Family Photos
The Manly Gamer
"Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of warm arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content." - Conan
Life is what you make of it.
I am Brolo, and I make fun of it.