Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Fallout 3 (XBOX 360)

WARNING: Minor spoilers. I’ll try and stay away from anything plot related but there might be some minor things I touch on.

- Finished Fallout 3. Final save shows a bit over 63 hrs. I did replay the last part a couple of times to try a few of the different endings though. Also, after my initial 5 hrs or so I did a restart because I wanted to respec my character. I think I spent close to 70hrs in total with this game (quite a bit more than the 50 hrs with oblivion which I only finished the main quest and a few side ones). If you stick to the main quest I’m sure you can complete the game in about 25hrs.
- I went good karma all the way.
- I finished all major side quests that had an achievement associated with it except for one that went directly against my good karma character.
- I love the ability to save anywhere and anytime. Good auto save system too. I stuck with about 20 saves that I rotated through but you can create as many saves as you want.
- Install the disc to the hard drive to speed things up a bit. It really helps when scrolling through saved games. Load times are still a bit long though.
- Graphics are very good for the most part with crazy over the top gore which never gets old. Yeah ummm don’t play this one in front of the kids.
- Faces are still pretty ugly. It's better than oblivion but that's not saying much. They really need better character artists.
- Common animations look stiff, floaty, and awkward. 3rd person is still NOT the way you want to play this game.
- Sound was good overall. The music wasn’t as good as Oblivion. Then again I’m a bit Jeremy Soule biased.
- It’s oblivion with guns! But I enjoyed it quite a bit more than oblivion. It’s more structured which I like. I really enjoyed the setting though it gets a bit depressing if you play for long stretches. Everything is just so bleak! It’s a nice change to use guns instead of swords. VATS is infinitely entertaining. Most the monster/loot leveling nonsense from oblivion seems to be mostly gone here which is a GOOD thing.
- The ending sucked. I mean really sucked. I guess the overall resolution of the story was ok but man talk about a disappointment. I was expecting a nice movie or something.
- I didn’t get into the crafting a whole lot. I made a few weapons but for the most part the most powerful weapons are the unique ones you find.
- I bought a few items for the house toward the end. The infirmary was pretty useful for free heals and removal of rads.
- I found dog meat. After a battle where he jumped in front of my shot during vats and died I decided to reload and leave him in my house.
- The fps aspect without vats is pretty poor. Get a zero spread weapon like Lincoln’s Repeater or Ol’ Painless and it’s a bit better but overall it still felt pretty clunky.
- Overall quest design was excellent. I thought they were all unique, interesting, and entertaining.
- The last quest starts out with a bang but then you find out your participation feels a bit auxiliary. I expected a bit more challenge (and length and complexity) considering it was the last quest.
- There are still a ton of side quests, crafting, behemoth hunting, bobble head collecting, etc that I didn’t get to.
- Story was pretty good but your reaction to some of the major events in the game seem kind of odd. Like something traumatic happens to you and then later you just kind of forget about it.
- Had about 2-3 crash bugs total. There were a few quest glitches but the wiki covered the work arounds pretty well.

- I knew I wanted to specialize in small guns right from the start. I sunk a lot of points into intelligence. I think I maxed it out at 10 right from the start to give me the maximum skill points I would get for leveling up each time. You might want to drop that back to 9 if you plan to go for the bobble head.
- I also put some points into agility for more AP since I love VATS. Some points into luck is good too for increased chance of crits.
- The general strategy is to read the manual and pick out all the perks you plan to get all the way through the level 20 cap. From that you can figure out any pre-reqs needed to get those perks and plan appropriately. Use Intense Training perk when needed to boost your SPECIAL to the pre-req levels of the perks you want.
- I tagged repair, small guns, and speech. There are a lot of speech check opportunities in the game so I wanted that. Speech skill seems to matter more than charisma.
- Repair is great since it does a few things. First you can repair your weapons and armor right in the field. This really helps with weight and inventory since you can combine guns to reduce your load. Also, having a fully repaired item really increases its effectiveness. Finally, repaired items are worth more even when just selling them off, and you don’t need to spend money to have somebody else repair equipment for you. It was the first skill I maxed out at 100. Be careful when repairing unique items. Make sure you select the unique item and hit Y. Example: If you want to repair the Lincoln Repeater. Select the Lincoln from inventory and hit Y. Then repair it with any regular hunting rifle. If you accidentally do it the other way around you'll end up merging the Lincoln into a common hunting rifle and therefore losing your unique weapon forever.
- Keep putting points into small guns whenever you think you need a bit of a damage boost. I leveled this a bit behind repair.
- Next you probably want either lock pick or science. I started with science since I already had such high intelligence. This lets you hack into terminals which can be quite helpful. The easy way to hack terminals is as follows: just go in there and just randomly click on the words, stop before you use up your last try (back out by hitting B), then try again. Usually you will be successful in 3 or less attempts. It’s faster than actually trying to figure out the solution. You want to increase your lock pick or science skills in 25 pt increments. So get to 25,50,75,100. Anything in between is a bit of a waste. I eventually maxed out both lock pick and science.
- I decided to go with a female character and picked up the Black Widow perk. You get the 10% damage bonus against the opposite sex. This helps since most enemies are male. It opens up a few interesting dialog options but probably not enough to make this perk worth getting. Get it if you think the damage bonus is worth it.
- Save any books you get until you get the Comprehension perk which gets you two skill points instead of one whenever you read a book.
- Avoid the here and now perk since you will very likely hit the level 20 cap before the end of the game anyways.
- I pretty much avoided all perks that gave you a skill point bonus in a particular area. The only skill point bonus perk I took was Tag!
- Medicine is a bit helpful with some dialogue options but not many. I had so many stimpaks by the end I never needed to invest heavily in medicine. Same goes with Barter. After about mid point money really isn’t a concern.
- Early on ammo was a bit of an issue. I just bought all the ammo I could every chance I got.
- Go for headshots….often. Close the distance if you can to increase your hit %.
- Save your nuka quantum if you plan to do the related quest that also has an achievement.
- Don’t forget to use chems once in a while to temporarily boost your stats. It’s especially helpful when there is a min stat required to perform a certain action.
- Favorite weapons: Lincoln’s Repeater hands down: zero spread so it has incredible range, great damage, awesome for headshot crits for massive damage! Only drawback is it uses .44 ammo but by the end I had over 200 rounds. Couple that with 129 AP for 5 shots in vats, commando, finesse, sniper, action girl, better criticals, wired reflexes, and Grim Reaper's Sprint you can pretty much take down any target in one round of vats from incredible range with 95% chance head shots with a high chance of crits and incredible damage. Grim Reaper's Sprint then recharges your AP to full and you can just move on to the next target. A close second would be Xuanlong Assault Rifle. Terrible shotgun was a minor bump over the combat shotgun but wasn't as good as I expected due to it’s increased spread. Ol’ Painless is good for using up the plentiful .32 ammo on lesser enemies. Shishkebab is a pretty good melee weapon but I didn’t do melee much. I didn’t use the blackhawk or Sydney’s 10mm ultra smg much.
- Favorite armor: Ledoux’s Hockey mask for the +25 AP and the T-51b Power Armor. I also used the Ranger Battle Armor for a long time before I got the power armor. It’s pretty nice with +5 AP, +1 luck, and +10 small guns.
- Hold down B to toggle your flashlight.
- Make sure you take care of all your side quests before heading back to the citadel. You’ll know what I mean when you get there. Because when the game ends it ENDS.

Final Character stats:






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Highly recommended. I loved pretty much everything about this game. It kept me interested longer than most games. 70hrs is a long time for me to spend on a single player game especially considering my backlog.

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