The Fallout Diaries: Day 2

in which Sturges is annoying

Greetings, fellow Vault-dwellers. Welcome to day 2 of the somewhat erratic Fallout Diaries. We left our hero grumbling about Sturges and his Neverending Needs.

Turns out Sturges is just really really annoying.

Sturges: Oh, we need beds.
Me: Righto, here are some beds
Sturges: Thanks. We also need some water.
Me: Righto, I’ve built a water purifier thing *and* a wind-powered generator, *and* worked out how to link them up. Took me *ages* to find the copper for the wires.
Sturges: We’re hungry. Can you sort us out some kind of allotment?
Me: [spins up minigun] EAT HOT LEAD, STURGES

[reloads from saved game]
Me: *sigh* Sure. Have some melons.
Sturges: We could do with some…
Me: Talk to the hand, Sturges. I’m off to go do some of these quest things The Hat keeps asking about.
[flounces off]

Seriously. I spent forever trying to work out how to get my water purifier linked up to the generator, then realised you could just pick up the generator and move it closer to the purifier. Still need more copper.

Wandered over to Tenpines Bluff to talk to some settlers. At first the guy ignored me, but then opened up to tell me about some raiders who were over at the Corvega Assembly Plant. Could I possibly go and sort them out?

Sure. *checks map*

Duuude. Are you sure they’re causing you bother? They’re MILES AWAY.

Apparently so. I set off cross country. Find old drive-in cinema. Spend a while scrapping all the old cars and metal and shiz that’s lying around then remember something about some raiders.

Ooops.

Resolve to go sort the raiders out.

End up at the Corvega plant. Spend a merry ten minutes trying to barge through the front door, only to be killed many many times. Find secret entrance, use that instead. There are some raider dudes guarding the tunnel (very badly) so am soon in the midst of the assembly plant. Not sure when the raiders have time to be wandering all the way over to Tenpines Bluff as they all seem to be here wandering around heavily armed.

As you do.

Find one particularly gruesome bit where the raiders have a fridge full of skulls. Grim. Try and steal skulls for my own personal skull collection. Fail. Give up.

Clearing the plant took FOREVER. They were EVERYWHERE. Finally manage it and head back to Tenpines Bluff to tell my new friend that I’ve sorted it out for him.

Try talking to him and he ignores me AGAIN. Miserable swine. I promptly steal his entire tato crop whilst he’s not watching. He doesn’t bat an eyelid. Finally get him to recognise that I’m there and he’s all like YAY NO MORE RAIDERS CAN I BE A MINUTEMAN NOW?

Cool. Sure. Whatevs. Make way back to Sanctuary Hills. Avoid Sturges and his bleating. Build MASSIVE ARMOURED WALL in front of the main bridge into town (ignoring the fact that any raiders could, erm, just come in ANYWHERE ELSE. Get annoyed that one bit of the MAW won’t *quite* join up.

What exciting adventures will happen in Day 3? Will I *ever* work out how to use the Xbox to take screenshots (the smart money is on no). Will Sturges survive to the weekend? Will The Hat let me borrow his hat?

Tune in next time…

The Fallout Diaries: Day 1

a badass ‘tache, a cunning hat, iron man, duct tape and floating pooches

Welcome to Day 1 of The Fallout Diaries: Weird and Wonderful Tales from the Wasteland.

Catchy title, eh?

I’ve emerged blinking into the sunlight from Vault 111. I’ve got a badass ‘tache, some Avatar-esque scars and am READY FOR ANYTHING.

Check out my ‘tache. Badass, eh?
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After some chat with Codsworth and meeting up with Dogmeat (who I promptly re-christen Mutley), it’s off to the Museum of Freedom in Concord. I wander into the building only to have some people start shooting at me. How rude.

At this point, Ed is all “WHY ARE YOU JUST STANDING THERE? Shoot them!!”

I can’t see where they are! I run around a bit before dying. Oops. Respawn.

Back into the room. Finally figure out where the bad guys are. Shoot them back. Ha!

Up the stairs and eventually come across this dude.
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That is a very cunning hat. Make note to try and steal it when he’s not looking.

I realise that I’ve not quite figured out how to equip myself with new clothes, which results in me wearing a leather chest harness, a bandana and precious little else. I look like someone auditioning for The Village People. It’s a look, certainly. Not great for your post-apocalypse though, and those undercrackers aren’t going to be great for deflecting bullets.

Make note to work out how to wear clothes.

The Hat and I chat about stuff then we end up outside on a balcony being shot at by more people. Seriously, I must have got out of the wrong side of the vault this morning. My new chum and I return fire! We’re like Badass Tache and the Hat. What a pair!

Oh noes! Apparently Mutley is under fire! The Hat jumps from the balcony and I, heroically, leap after him, only to die horribly.

Note to self: Do not follow The Hat. He is clearly several orders of badassness more badass than you.

Respawn.

Finally work out that I need to go and get the power suit from the roof. I now look like this:

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Sufficiently badass (if slightly rusty), I go and wipe out a big creepy crawly bug thing with my GIANT GUN OF DOOM that no-one had noticed until now, then decide to investigate the local shops. I do like a spot of shopping.

Glad to see duct tape is still a thing in 2077 post-apocalyptic Boston. Useful stuff, duct tape.
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Promptly steal everything, including all the coffee cups. In Skyrim I ended up with a houseful of troll skulls (despite Farkas trying to tidy them up all the time). Maybe my Fallout collection will be coffee cups.

Also amuse self by stealing all the clothes off the raiders. I shoot him in the head with the GIANT GUN OF DOOM just to be sure. He’s now very very dead. Suspect may regret using all my GGOD (GIANT GUN OF DOOM) ammo on corpses. Oh well.
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Teach Mutley some new tricks. He’s very good at finding stuff and being generally awesome. Find myself saying ‘Good boy! Who’s a good doggy?’ a lot at the TV. Glad no-one else is here to see. Also teach him how to float. Clever Mutley!
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We wander back up to Sanctuary Hills where The Hat has decided that we should all live as one happy family. Fair enough. Despite having just arrived, he says he’s heard from someone over yonder who needs some help. He’s *terribly* busy so could I go help?

Yes, Hat. You’re terribly busy wandering up and down the street. Oh, go on then. Look at map. Decide Yonder is a really long way away.

The Hat then tells me that some dude called Sturges needs some help. Wander over to see what’s up.

Sturges is, co-incidentally, also *terribly* busy but is fed up of sleeping on the floor. Could I possibly make him a bed?

Hmm. Suspect that they’re taking advantage of my good nature. Make Sturges some beds. He then starts whinging about needing a water supply, but is *terribly* busy (staring at a wall takes a lot out of you, apparently). Mutter something about getting right on with it.

Bored of being asked to do shiz for random dudes. At least The Hat has an awesome hat. Resolve to go sort out the people over yonder…

Tune in for the next exciting[1] installment of The Fallout Diaries: Weird and Wonderful Tales from the Wasteland.

I’d love to know what you think so far. Are you playing Fallout 4? Do you want a hat as cunning as The Hat’s? Just how badass *is* my ‘tache, anyway?

And yes, I’ve finally worked out how to take screenshots rather than using my phone to take pictures of the telly. Cunning, eh?

[1] Actual levels of excitement may vary, or in some cases, be absent entirely

Best of 2012

Time of one of those ‘Best of the Year’ posts.

Right. Erm… [thinks of things I’ve read/played/watched/listened to this year]

Book of the Year
Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond Fan, by Mark O’Connell. A book about our favourite British superspy, James Bond. Not your traditional ‘here are the films in order and here’s what I think of them’, but instead a tale of a young man’s introduction to Bond via bank holiday tv viewings, trips to the cinema and lovingly re-watched VHS recordings hired from the local garage. Mark is a proper Bond geek, and his love for the films just bursts out of the pages. Part memoir of growing up, part tales of his grandfather as chauffeur to Cubby Broccoli and all Bond. Anyone with even a smattering of interest should read it. Inspired me to do a blog-a-long-a-Bond-a-thon next year. Cracking stuff.

Game of the Year
Skyrim
No contest. Yes, it came out last year, but I was late to the party. You know how I can tell it’s game of the year? Because I’ve played virtually nothing else. ALL YEAR. Minor foray into a replay of Modern Warfare 2, but Skyrim went back in every time. I’ve lost (and thoroughly enjoyed) every minute of the many many hours of gametime I’ve spent in Skyrim. I’ve not even completed the main quest as I got distracted wandering around exploring the incredibly detailed world. Plus my troll skull collection is now second to none. If only Farkas would stop tidying it up. I might have to divorce him if he carries on. The only thing which let it down was that EVERYONE in Skyrim seems to have lost something, and they’re all too lazy to go look for it themselves. It’s only twenty quid now. Go buy it.

Movie of the Year
Skyfall. I have written about this elsewhere, at great length. Buy me a coffee and I’ll go on at great length as to why this is the best Bond movie, with the best Bond, ever. Not just a great Bond movie, but a great movie in and of itself.

Album of the Year
Broadside, by Bellowhead. Glorious, plain and simple. Seen them play live twice this year, and each time was just brilliant. Check out their albums, but go see them live. Sheer infectious energy and joy from start to finish.

 

racing games

I’ve been playing a vast amount of Forza 3 on the Xbox recently. I *love* racing games. Always have, all the way back to the Atari 2600’s Night Driver, which had basic graphics, but used the paddle controller, a kind of proto-steering wheel affair. Brilliant.

Ah, Forza. Tons of brilliant (and not-so-brilliant) cars, loads of beautifully rendered tracks (including the infamous Nürburgring), customisation options up to *here*. Superb. Heck, you can spend half an hour just going through the various options for just the different wheel types on offer.

What I particularly like though is the option to automatically upgrade your car to a specific level – say you buy a ‘D’ class Golf for example. You could go and upgrade each bit individually to get it up to an ‘A’ class, or you can just tell Forza that you’d like an ‘A’ class tuning setup and it’ll go off and work out what it needs to optimise the car to get it as close as possible to the top of the ‘A’ rating.

I also love that you can design the paint jobs on the cars. You can respray your shiny new Porsche in all manner of colours, with different shades for the roof, bonnett, sides, bumpers etc, but it was a while until I realised that you could apply decals and decal groups to the cars, building up some quite complex patterns.

EB and I have had enormous fun redesigning our respective garages, resulting in such classics as my dalmatian-spotted racing Ferrari and my current favourite Paul Smith-inspired stripey Audi R8 5.2 litre V10, which I adore.

And they give you a new car every time you go up an experience level – I’m up to level 21, so have had a ton of new cars to play with.

Don’t get me started on the simulation damage settings – I managed to completely bork my supertuned Golf last night by clipping a tyre wall on the New York circuit, resulting in me rolling the car end over end, and breaking the front and rear bumper, knackering both wings, killing three out of four of my suspension springs, screwing the gearbox *and* the steering. I couldn’t get the car out of first gear from that point and had to limp around the track to the pit lane for repairs… Still ended the race in 2nd place though. Booyah.

Anyone up for a race? my Xbox Live gamertag is d4k3gr4 if you want to add me to your list…