Rant: Fallout 76

Image copyright to Bethesda.net

I have been into gaming since time began … or since gaming began, at least. I have all the PlayStation consoles (PS1 through to PS4) and I have over a thousand games. I’m not joking.

I love gaming. I’m a loyal PlayStation fan. However, this is my first rant in regards to gaming.

For Christmas, I received more games than books last year. I think my family wanted to buy something different, so each present (almost) was a new game. Honestly, I was in my glory.

This was especially so when I tore open a present and found a Fallout game. My family laughed and said my eyes lit up. Sounds a bit evil to me! 😊 Anyway, last year, I played Fallout 4 for several months. I became totally addicted. It was brilliant and I couldn’t get enough of it. But eventually all good things must come to an end and I was disappointed on the day I had to admit the game had run its course and I had to admit I had completed it. *sigh*

So when I opened Fallout 76 on Christmas Day, I was excited. I could return to a well known place and legitimately become engrossed in a new adventure, through a game I loved.

To savour the moment, I played the other games first!

Yesterday, I pulled Fallout 76 out and sat patiently for four hours while the system downloaded and updated the latest patch. When I finally gained control of the game and it was about to launch me into the world I’d eagerly waited for, I was over the moon.

I pressed any key as instructed … and that’s where my rant really begins. I could have, of course, started my rant at the stage where I had to wait four hours for the patch to download, but I was willing to let that go. So my rant starts here…

When I pressed any key to start the game, instead of being taken to the start of the game — as one would expect — I was taken to a subscription page. I scanned the page, decided I didn’t want a subscription (thanks for asking) and pressed the key to go on to the game. Instead I was returned to the main PlayStation start up page.

Right, now I’m confused, something must have gone wrong. I started again. I was offered the subscription, I rejected the subscription, and ended up back at the start up page.

Now I’m concerned, what’s wrong? Maybe I have to find the “No Thanks” option on the subscription page. I go through the steps again, search the subscription page to find no other options, except purchase options. Yes, I end back at the main start up page.

I head to the internet. What am I doing wrong? And naturally I found the answer pretty quickly.

Nothing.

That’s right, I was doing nothing wrong. You cannot play Fallout 76 without purchasing a subscription!

What a bloody cheek. A family member has purchased the game for me and it cannot be played unless I’m online and have a PlayStore+ subscription. The dirty, rotten mongrels.

Of course, I later discovered that it does say that on the front cover of the game. In tiny letters, that no one is going to read. In my opinion, this is important information and that wording should be large and bold and highlighted in every way. Look at me. Read here. Only buy this game if you like playing online and you have (or want) a subscription. If not, put me down now and don’t waste your money.

I feel I’ve been ripped off. Totally. No, I didn’t buy the game, but someone did in good faith. They threw money away. I will not be forced to purchase a subscription. And if this is the way of future gaming, I think I’m going to swap over to the anti-gaming campaign. All those gaming companies out there have to remember that not everyone has an internet connection, for one thing. Not everyone wants to play online with strangers. I’ve always been quite happy to go solo, and that’s the way I prefer it to stay. I should have the choice. Not everyone wants to, or can afford to, purchase the subscription.

Right now I’m disappointed in PlayStation and Bethesda. But mostly, I’m disappointed because I will NOT be playing Fallout 76. And now I’m angry too.

Game Review: Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain PS3 CoverThe image and description are courtesy of Wikipedia.

Description:

Heavy Rain is an interactive action-adventure psychological thriller video game created by French developer Quantic Dream exclusively for the PlayStation 3. The game is written and directed by Quantic Dream’s founder and CEO David Cage. Heavy Rain‘s story is a dramatic thriller modelled after film noir, featuring four protagonists involved with the mystery of the Origami Killer, a serial killer who uses extended periods of rainfall to drown his victims.

Ethan Mars is trying to save his son from being the next victim, while investigative journalist Madison Paige, FBI profiler Norman Jayden, and private detective Scott Shelby are each trying to track down clues to the Origami Killer’s identity. The player interacts with the game by performing actions highlighted on screen related to motions on the controller, and in some cases, performing a series of quick time events during fast-paced action sequences. The player’s decisions and actions during the game will affect the narrative. The main characters can be killed, and certain actions may lead to different scenes and endings.

Review:

Now this game was totally not what I expected. It was a Christmas gift from my son, who thought it was a ‘shoot-em-up’ game. He knows I enjoy that type of game and he told me that’s what he got me. So when I started playing that’s what I thought I was going to be doing. You know, shooting everything that moved, as well as the normal things that don’t move. In other words, shooting everything and anything!

But it’s not a ‘shoot-em-up’ game. It’s an interactive movie. That’s the best way I can explain it. At first I was thinking get on with the shooting but then I was drawn into the storyline and settled back and…well, I interacted.

Strangely, I was captivated. It’s like I (the player) was the director and I made the decisions on how the characters would react and what questions they would ask. I could have (and did) make some of the characters do good things and some, well, not so good. The decisions I made had an effect on the outcome of the story. The main characters can die if you can’t get them through certain scenarios and you gather less clues if you’re slow in responding too.

I literally spend hours at a time watching and playing as the storyline unfolded. I found myself eager to return to the ‘game’ whenever I turned it off. I wanted to know what would happen next. I wanted to solve the murders and work out who the murderer was. And, when the story ended, I was pleased to discover that if I play again and make different decisions then the ending will be different.

This is not a fast-paced game with earth shattering explosions every second of play. It’s a well thought out game that will have you totally focused on what’s happening on the scene. It’s a brilliant game that I wouldn’t have purchased for myself if I had read the reviews for it first. But it’s a game I’m certainly glad I’ve had the opportunity to participate with and enjoy.

I recommend this game.

Game Review: Uncharted 3

I’ve played the Playstation since they were first invented. I currently own PS1 and about 100 games, PS2 and about 200 games and PS3 and about 30 games (and counting). A couple of decades ago, we owned a Nintendo as well.

Most people give me a strange look when I say I play PS3 (or whatever console I might be using at the time). Few of them say it, but most of them think to themselves “she’s too old”. Well, I’m not too old and I never will be. I love playing games. Especially gory, blood-thirsty ones such as Resident Evil (Resident Evil 2 and 3 for PS1 are still my favourites). Yet I’ll also play war games, kids games, puzzle games, shooter games, whatever I can get my hands on except sports (hate them with a passion).

Every now and again I’ll write a review for the latest game I’ve completed. Today, I want to write about Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

I received this game for Christmas and was excited as I own and have completed the first two games. And thoroughly enjoyed them both I might add.

Briefly, the plot follows Drake and Sully (and a few friends) as they travel the world trying to solve a puzzle concerning a lost ancient city and the treasures they believe they will find there. Of course, the baddies in the story also know of this lost city and want something other than the treasures for themselves, but it takes Drake and Sully a long time to work this out and death and unnecessary risks are not out of the question when you want something bad enough.

This is an adventure story which kept my attention and had me coming back for more. I highly recommend it.

The storyline for this game is superb. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it felt like an interactive movie … with me controlling events, to a certain degree. The graphics are amazing. The game itself is addictive. There are four levels of play – super easy, easy, normal and hard. There are puzzles that were easy to solve and some that I found impossible to solve, however the game seems to know you’re having problems and will offer hints after a certain amount of time or after several failed attempts. I was thankful for that at times and ignored the hint prompt if I didn’t want help.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Gaming: Pacman turns 30

Back in the days when gaming was nothing more than a white dot going back and forth on the screen, which was suitable called Tennis, a new game emerged. Pacman. Everyone thought it was so cool and would play it obsessively. I honestly don’t know how the repetitive music didn’t drive us all insane.

Anyway, today Pacman turns 30 and I felt compelled to mention it here and share a playable version of the game for your gaming enjoyment.

Happy birthday, Pacman.

“Black” PS2 Walkthrough

Originally posted on another site on 6 January 2010.

It’s the holidays and I always get into gaming during the holidays. Once I return to work (next week) I’ll probably only play games occasionally until my next holiday (hopefully in May).

So this holiday has seen me finish Shadow Man: 2econd Coming and start “Black”, an all out shoot ’em or be killed game. From the moment the game commences it is “fight for your life” and edge of the seat gaming. It could easily be one of the hardest games I’ve played in a long time. Yet I know two people who have completed it and as I want to stand proudly beside them both and sing my own praises, I will battle through to the end (and I mean that literally).

There’s eight missions, but they are extremely long and can be exhaustingly frustrating too. It took a while for me to catch on that it’s no use running into a room filled with enemies, guns a blazing. That is the quickest way to die. Once that sunk in, I learned to move slowly and patiently through the levels, hoping that each corner I turned would present me with a checkpoint. Each level, except the first (which is the shortest level) has two or three. However, if the console is switched off then when you return to the game later you’ll find yourself back at the beginning of the level. Believe me, you don’t want that to happen. If I reach a checkpoint, I must play until I reach the end of the level or that’s what I tried to convince myself.

I’ve completed four missions. For me, the second mission was the hardest so far. Missions three and four, although difficult, weren’t that bad. Mission five, on the other hand, is trying my patience. It’s so difficult and frustrating. It’s so easy to be killed in a frenzy of oncoming enemies. It’s so easy to forget to keep an eye on the health bar and press the necessary button when needed (if there’s a health kit available, that is). It would be so easy to suddenly become a person who curses, regularly! After several hours of play, I couldn’t reach the second checkpoint and as it was beginning to get late and my arm was aching from the tension of playing, I decided to break the golden rule and give up half way through a mission. Oh how I’ve let myself down. 🙁

Tomorrow, after a good night’s rest, I’ll slaughter the ba…, er, I mean, I’ll slaughter the enemy and I’ll complete the mission. Tomorrow!

In the meantime, I’ll be checking out the Black Walkthrough at IGN to ensure I’ve got the right moves, weapons and attitude. 🙂

Game Review: Shadow Man 2econd Coming

Originally posted on another site on 5 January 2010.

Shadow Man: 2econd ComingAs I’m on holiday for a couple of weeks, I generally play video games on a regular basis – most days, in fact. This holiday season, I chose to play Shadow Man: 2econd Coming, which is a game I started once before but never actually finished.

On Saturday (which is when I finished the game), I discovered that I was very close to the end last time I played and it makes me wonder why I didn’t carry on. Perhaps I couldn’t find an essential item. Or maybe work resumed and time became an issue again. I don’t know what the reason was, I’m just glad to be able to report that this time I did finish it.

This game, for me, was extremely difficult in places. I sometimes spent an hour or so attempting one small manoeuvre over and over again. It was frustrating beyond words and I’m ashamed to say that my puppy may have learned that his mummy gets very cranky when she can’t do something almost instantly.

My partner sat watching me play for a while, on several occasions, and he tells me that no matter how frustrating the game might have been for me, it didn’t compare to how frustrated he felt just watching me.

“Oh, have I checked this corner,” he mimicked in a high voice that sounds nothing like me. “Oh, that’s right, I did, but I better check it again…and again…and again.” And then in his own voice, he added, “Just shoot the bastards and move on!”

How rude!

He’s exaggerating, of course, I don’t check the same corner three times…unless I’m lost and don’t realise I’ve checked the corner three times already. And I can’t help checking every corner of every room. I cut my teeth (well, now I’m exaggerating a bit) on Resident Evil and in that game you have to check every inch of every room otherwise you miss something important. That’s been breed into me and I can’t help myself.

Pushing the frustration aside, this is a brilliant game. The graphics aren’t as great as they are these days, but who cares when you’re having fun?! Besides, back in its day they were pretty impressive. Just goes to show how far we’ve come in eight years.

Yes, the game is on PS2, but don’t let a small thing like that stop you from enjoying a great game. Get yourself a console and the game and get started on it today. You won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend this game.

When it’s Time to Relax

[frame align=”left”]resident-evil-5[/frame]No one can write all the time. Everyone has to have other hobbies in their lives to ensure a heavy, happy existence. Or so I’ve been told.

Anyway, one of the things I like to do when I’m not writing…is play role playing games on the Playstation. Most people stop and gape at me when I say I’m a Resident Evil fan. How could such a prim and proper woman of my age want to kill zombies? What can I say…I love it!

Except for the first game (which I used to own but sold once I completed it as I knew I’d never play it again), I own and have finished every Resident Evil game. My two favourites are the second and third games. They were especially hard to get through (thank heavens for walkthroughs online), but I have easily played both these games a couple of dozen times each. The suspense throughout these games made my heart pound at times as I tried frantically to kill a “boss” that just wouldn’t die. They were games that took my total concentration and stole many hours each time I sat down. Having said that, I got so good at them that I could sit down and finish the entire game, without a single save, in a little over an hour in the end. And, please excuse my bragging, but none of my family could beat my times and I was the only one to unlock Tofu in RE2.

The games after Nemesis (RE3) weren’t as good, but I still enjoyed them immensely. I guess once a Resident Evil fan, always a Resident Evil fan. Having said that, the worst game (in my opinion) is Outbreak – if you took the RE name off the cover, no one would have known it was connected to the other games. It was just too ordinary and felt the same as many other games. Up ‘til then, RE games stood apart from the rest.

[frame align=”center”]resident-evil-screenshot[/frame]

Anyway, earlier this year Resident Evil 5 was released. I had to get it and was lucky enough to get it at a bargain price (less than half price new) about a month ago. So Saturday night is now “kill the zombies” night and I’ll be heading off to do just that right after I’ve finished writing this post. RE5 is much better than Outbreak, but still lacks the old RE feel, which is a shame, but I’m still enjoying the game overall. As I said at the beginning of this post, I love to play role playing games on the Playstation. I have quite a few Playstation 2 games and my Playstation 3 collection is slowly growing. I have some great games, but Resident Evil is still my favourite. Closely followed by Silent Hill, which is get for creating atmosphere through fear (brilliantly done with the sound effects used).

My immediate family are used to the fact that I’m a killer on the weekends (a zombie killer that is). Other family and friends remain mind boggled over this fact, but it feels great to smash their “practical” image of me.

Everyone has an “evil” side, what’s yours?