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302 of 315 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review from an impartial gamer
I play a lot of different RPG's and was not a fan of Elder Scrolls Oblivion. I will list the pros and cons as impartially as possible so you can be the judge on what matters to you.

PROS:

- You are left to explore and find things to do and quests on your own. This game is a true RPG. You have one main quest. Everything else are side quests...
Published on November 18, 2008 by Jarlaxle

versus
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great game, but it fizzles out by the end
This game was wonderful, I would have considered this an easy 5 star game within the first 20 hours of gameplay, but as I continued on, I began to realize the game is lacking in many departments.

Gameplay: The game is, first and foremost, an RPG. It does this well, from the unique VATS system, to the SPECIAL stats distribution, the game, despite appearing as an...
Published on February 25, 2009 by A Hot Whizzer Summer...


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302 of 315 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review from an impartial gamer, November 18, 2008
By 
Jarlaxle (Marietta, Ga) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fallout 3 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I play a lot of different RPG's and was not a fan of Elder Scrolls Oblivion. I will list the pros and cons as impartially as possible so you can be the judge on what matters to you.

PROS:

- You are left to explore and find things to do and quests on your own. This game is a true RPG. You have one main quest. Everything else are side quests.

- Over 100+ hours of places to explore. and more than 100+ unique map locations.

- Tons of perks and ways to develop your character. Become a science genius or concentrate on stealth and your lockpicking ability. Invest in large guns and go into places with guns ablaze. Play the game how you want. Be good and people will love you, be bad and people will fear you.

- Replay value. This is rare in RPGs but Because of the many different ways you can play the game I see myself playing this game again to play a different type of character.

- Some people complain about the targeting system known as VATS. This game is not an FPS. VATS gives you a wonderful 1st person shooter feel with an RPG style or turned based combat. Score a critical by shooting your enemies head and it might explode. Shoot the enemy on his weapon hand and he will not be able to attack you very quickly.

- The graphics are amazing. Its a beautiful post apocalyptic mess. The detail from the stains on a found mattress or a found comic called "Grognak the Barbarian and the Lair of the Virgin Killer" are all amazing. You can tell a lot of thought went into detail.

- The voice work is nice. Almost every character talks out loud. This allows you to listen and respond instead of just watching a mouth move and reading dialog all the time.

- Enemies do not automatically level with your character. This was my biggest problem with Oblivion. Some people liked the fact that enemies would always be your level. I found it totally unrealistic. Go ahead, run your level 1 character through the Wastelands. You might come across an easy roach or a mutant with a minigun. In my book this makes the game more fun and much more realistic.

- I have read on the forums and some bad reviews here that they can not find tons of ammo. This is not Halo, Call of Duty or any other FPS. People need to take the right mindset. This is a world 200 years after major Nuclear war. Things will break, ammo is sometimes scarce, radiation is a fact of life, bottle caps are money, people trade everything and you live in a harsh world. I think some people need to watch the Madmax series just as a primer to understand the world created here.

- Instant travel. Once you have visited an area you no longer need to walk to the location. You can locate the area on your map (through the PIPBoy 3000) and select it to instantly travel.

- The PipBoy 3000 Interface works great. This allows you to keep track of stats, items, equipment, quests, notes, maps, and karma very easily. The UI is easy and it keeps all the data you need at your finger tips.

CONS:

- AI is nothing special. It's not bad, just nothing special. When I am shooting a shotgun at you, running at me with a pool cue might not be the smartest thing to do. They will sometimes run away if severely over matched (which is the smart thing to do). The AI is no worse then any other games, just no big improvements here.

- Lack of good music. You can find radio stations on your PIPBoy but I was not a fan of the music. The background can be ok but not great. Sometimes when alone in the Wasteland you want some good background music.

- I had the game crash once but not a lot of times like some people are reporting. Still unacceptable but manageable. Loading and saving times can take anywhere between 10-30 seconds which is kind of slow.

- No item descriptions. The important data like weight, condition value, and perks of the item are still displayed but full description of the items are no longer available. This is different then Fallout 1 and 2 where each item had a paragraph describing it.

Additional thoughts:

This game is rated "M". This means you shouldn't play this game with kids in the room. This isn't a Con for me but this might be a problem for all you gamer mom and dads out there. Seriously, no kids allowed. Women offer there "Services", cussing, blood splatter on the screen when you get injured, mutants hanging people on meat hooks, tons of drug use, and of course blowing peoples limbs off. Good times but not for the kiddies.

No, its not perfect but it is a lot of fun and the best RPG currently on the market. My 5 star review was based on that fact. This is the best RPG I have played since FFX (Final Fantasy X). I hope you enjoy it.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun, November 19, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fallout 3 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I have been enjoying Fallout 3 for about 70 hours now and I am having as much fun now as I was 50 hours ago, which is to say A LOT.

I cannot speak to the bugs that others seem to be experiencing. In my 70 hours I have had my game freeze only a handful of times, and none of them were anything that was game breaking. I have several friends who are also playing and none of them have expressed any serious glitches either.

I have played both the previous Fallout games and vastly enjoyed them both, so to make a blanket statement that "anyone who was a fan of the first 2 Fallouts will hate this game" is just erroneous. I would agree with someone who said this game is more of a Next Gen title in the Fallout Universe rather than a true sequel to the Interplay games.

However, that does not in any way detract from the epic amount of fun to be found in Fallout 3.

The adventuring around the Wastes is the highlight of the game to be sure. The amazing amount of freedom to roam the Wastes is just phenomenal, so much so that once you do decide to progress the Main Story it can seem very limiting and cramped at times, especially when crawling around through the DC Ruins and all the subway tunnels required to get to the Main Mall.

However, compared to the vast scope and size of the experience, this is a minor complaint and really a very short and small portion of the game. It should only take maybe 5 hours to explore it all and finish up some questing, then you can Fast Travel back whenever you want and get back to tearing it up in the Wastes.

Combat is quality, but it is NOT a Shooter. People expecting Shooter mechanics will be disappointed, as even point blank shooting still utilizes an in game Dice Roll to determine whether you hit and how much damage you do etc.

It is likely that people complaining about Ammo or clunky targeting are unaware of this game mechanic, but it is what makes the game an RPG, not a Shooter. There is ample amounts of Ammo (I have never run out in 70 hours of gameplay and I have killed over 1000 living -isms according to my in game stat sheet), but it is not unlimited like a Shooter.

The VATS mode is a good way to illustrate the difference. You queue up VATS and it will give you a stop-time targeting system. Within this system, you will be given percentages to hit on various Body parts: 87% to hit the head, 95% to hit the Body etc. However, these percentages are also indicative of how much of a chance you would have to hit those body parts OUT of VATS as well. So if you have a 50% chance to hit a leg in VATS, you have that SAME chance to hit in real-time it just does not illustrate it anywhere. SO even if your targeting arrow is Red, you still only have the same percentage to hit as you would in VATS. Which is to say you will miss and waste a ton of ammo if you just think "my target is red I can unload a clip".

Dice Rolls are a staple of RPGS, Oblivion had them, it was just not as noticeable because you were using Melee weapons, but every time your guy reared back to swing it rolled the dice to see if you would hit, how much of a damaging blow it would be etc.

The game has a wide array of voice acting, some is great, some not so much. The story has its ups and downs, but is good enough to not take away from the overall (it certainly helps that the great Liam Neeson is the Vault Dweller's Father, he is an example of the Great voice acting). Various mini-quests are actually more entertaining and interesting than the main story, so there is definitely enough Good story in the game to keep it interesting.

However, the game's strength is in solo-adventuring IMO. While you can get sidekicks and helpers, the real fun is being a Hero of the Wastes and taking down Super-Mutants, Raiders, Slavers and Death Claws all by your lonesome as you scour the Wastes in search of unique weapons, caps, ammo and mini-quests littered throughout.

Overall, I would rate the game a 9/10 and consider it the only game on Xbox 360 that gives Mass Effect a challenge for best title.
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78 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I cant help crying for ten years waiting, October 28, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fallout 3 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Update 4 in 2013: I recently downloaded the Fallout 2 from gog. Well, I got to say that, Fallout 2 is still infinitely times better than Fallout 3, regardless the upgrade in graphics.

Maybe you would argue that this is just "Oblivion with guns", but this "Oblivion with guns" has more to offer than just "Oblivion with guns", it has a massive story (according the guide I received today, after you completed the game you got tons to do), also the SPECIAL is back! Pipboy is back, I cant help crying after I created my character and saw a whole new wasteland, which was far more detailed than the game I played 10 years ago. Maybe you would argue again, Bethesda is incapable of doing top-notch black humor like Black Isle, but the feels of exploring the wasteland is back. Here I listed a few pros and cons

Pros
+ build of the whole wasteland
+ mission design
+ user interface
+ storytelling
+ Pipboy
+ tons of things to explore

Cons
- cant skip the VATS slow motion
- making choices wont affect the whole game too much, unlike Fallout1 &2, you have to pay for what you ve chosen
- no item description........(huge disappointment for some old fans maybe)

In general, I would recommend this game to those who love Oblivion.

Update: the system is much more similar to Fallout 2 than to Oblivion, you have skills and perks, and at each leveling up you have 10-20 skill points(depends how much Intelligence you have) to distribute into a variety of skills, then you have perks like Lady Killer or Animal Friend. The system is deep and fun since you could be an agile and slick thief or a strong and stubborn warrior based on how you distribute your points and the initial attributes(S.P.E.C.I.A.L.).

Update 2: for those of you concerning CE, I got my CE from amazon on the releasing date, and this is the nicest CE I bought this year comparing to the Fable 2 CE and GTA 4 CE. The CE package has a neat looking lunch box, you could either put it somewhere as a decoration or use it as the storage for small stuff. That Pipboy figure is a fine-maded bubblehead. There is also an artbook of 100 pages featuring the concept art in Fallout3, and a DVD of making of the fallout 3. I think the CE is totally worth the price especially now amazon is offering the $10 giftcard.

Update 3: this game is not for you if you are looking for a first-person shooter like Far Cry 2 or Call of Duty! This is a role playing game.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably addicting!, December 17, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fallout 3 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I bought this game a few days ago, hoping that I made the right choice by picking this game over Tom Clancy's End War. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that I made the right choice now. Not since Final Fantasy 7, 8, and 9 have I ever found a game this addicting.

The world map is beautiful and extremely detailed. From radioactive rivers, to piles of rubble and smashed up concrete, the detail in these objects is amazing.

Im the type of gamer that HAS to explore every room, and check every nook and cranny to ensure that I have every thing that the building/zone has to offer. It takes me anywhere from 1-2 hours to completely clear most buildings and kill all the enemies inside. With the hundreds of buildings in the game, you can easily spend 100+ hours playing this game on a single character. I have read the complaints about running out of ammo, its complete crap. I havent run out of ammo yet, and I have a little over 40 hours completed so far. You may run out of "condition" on your weapons, but if you have your repair skill up, that shouldnt be an issue. If you play the game smart, and pick up the most valuable items you see and dont weigh yourself down with a lot of junk, you should have plenty of "caps" to buy ammo and repairs for your weapons.

In all, I can see myself making 2 more characters easily, just to experience the game differently. The current character I have is a good guy, but I will have to make an evil guy soon just so I can see how it affects the storyline. This game is definately a good buy!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, sarcastic, humorous, worth playing, not a revolutionary leap in gaming, November 27, 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fallout 3 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I wouldn't call myself 'a gamer' but it just happens that I played the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition last year and I enjoyed it immensely. Once there was little left to explore in the world of Cyrodiil and the Shivering Isles got fully mapped and pacified the wait began for Fallout 3. I am still hoping for a 'Scrolls of the Elders V' installment some day but, Fallout was what was in the pipeline so all I could do was hope for something wonderful to come out from the geniuses at Bethesda. I will first list my impressions of the game, so far.

The game engine:
-----------------
Technically, Fallout 3 inherits a lot from Oblivion. Sure, the landscape is very different but you can do in Fallout just about the kind of things that you could do in Oblivion: walk, run, be stealthy, pick up things, drop them, throw missiles, engage in hand to hand combat, have conversations with the inhabitants and pick up your replies from a a list of possible answers, use potions to heal, be nice to other people and trade or make friends or be nasty and steal and so on. Like in Oblivion, you can fast-travel to locations you've discovered for as long as enemies aren't too close, you can sleep in a bed to regain your strength and heal you wounds, you can get sick and your sickness can be cured. Like in Oblivion, the game can be a series of quests or you can walk the land and live off the land if you don't feel like doing what others ask you to do. You develop certain skills but the skills engine is a bit different - you can pick the skills you wish to develop as you level up and, unlike Oblivion, you won't become a better athlete if you keep jumping up and down one thousand times.

New in Fallout is the V.A.T.S. system that allows you to stop time and pick up specific body parts to hit when in combat. It's not so bad and, from time to time, you get to see pretty good slow-motion shots of your enemy's head exploding, jets of dark blood coming out of his neck. It's fun and it's preferable to real time shooting when you're a little short on ammo.

The Pip-Boy device is nice but it's just a streamlined version of any RPG's status/inventory facility. It does allow you to listen to the radio but, after a little playing with the radio on, I learned that listening to the radio while on a mission can be VERY dangerous to your character's health as you can't hear the bad guys approaching and they CAN hear you, loud and clear, from quite a distance.

Building your character:
-----------------
Also like in Oblivion, your past actions have future consequences and this begins shortly after your 'birth'. You have the ability to design your good looks, move 'points' around to enhance or diminish certain attributes, pick 'perks' and distribute experience points as you level up. Again, like in Oblivion, your skills can be enhanced by reading 'skills books' and you can be trained if you find someone willing to do it.

The story line:
-----------------
It's quite simple and it's basically 'find your daddy', following some disturbance inside the completely insulated 'vault' where you spent your entire life up to that point. Your father breaks out and your first quest is for you to escape as well and then try to figure out the world outside. Well... it's not exactly pretty. A couple hundred years post nuclear Armageddon, people in the Washington, D.C. area struggle to survive and stay away from mutants, bandits, crazies or political opportunists. The only way to gather information about your father is to do others small favors in exchange for information and you need to keep yourself healthy, fit and well-armed while at it. You fight the bad guys and, depending on what you want your character to be like, you could do bad things to the 'good' people too but, remember, there's a price to pay for everything.

The art:
-----------------
The word is a dull-brown-gray, slightly cartoonish version of post-nuclear D.C. You will recognize some of the 'old' buildings: the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Air and Space Museum. You will encounter quite a variety of human characters and, up to this point, I've been interacting with a relatively large number of 'monsters', ranging from two-headed cows and fire-spewing ants to giant and relatively hard to kill mutants.

The acting:
-----------------
The voices are good but, of course, this is a game and all spoken dialog is pre-recorded and, pretty soon, you will notice that characters will keep saying the same thing, over and over. Their closeup shots of their faces are not as bad as what you had in Oblivion but, let's say that there is some room for improvement in this area. The pre-release word was that the Fallout characters were a lot more intelligent than Oblivion's. Maybe they are but most characters' phrases portfolio is not that vast and you can have encounters where one grateful character stops you to offer you profuse thanks and some small token of appreciation for what you've done and, 5 seconds after she says goodbye, if you try to talk to her again all you get is a 'leave me alone' or 'get lost' reply.

The several milestone encounters - with the head of the 'family', with Three Dog, with Dr. Lee are quite well acted.

The monsters you fight are more intelligent than Oblivion's. The more humanoid ones are capable of attacking, retreating when wounded (only to come back at you later), working together toward your defeat.

The bugs:
-----------------
And, not, I'm not talking about the fire ants. There are a few. There is the much-discussed G.O.A.T. exam glitch where you end up waiting forever for the examiner to hand you the exam papers - and I had to restart the game because of that. Then, on a couple of occasions, I found myself trapped and unable to move (load a previous save) or, after sitting on a bench, the world around turned very, very strange and the 'reload' was the only way out of that, I've met an invisible trader that I could hear but he wasn't anywhere around but, somehow, I was able to pass through his beast of burden. All minor bugs, except for the G.O.A.T. glitch.

Game's complexity:
-----------------
I can see how not everyone will agree but I found Oblivion a much more complex world. There are more attributes to tweak in Oblivion, you can pick from several races, join guilds, train and develop many skills, explore dozens of dungeons, forts, ruins, visit many villages, towns and cities, interact with more characters, operate on several realms but maybe, after only 20 hours or so of Fallout (level 7) I've only scratched the surface and, if that's the case, I will come back to this review and correct it.

The humor:
-----------------
There's as lot of it in Fallout. A lot of it is visual, three Stooges-like where you slap your enemies around and see their body parts flying. There is also some very subtle and not so subtle political humor, which I found very fascinating and quite refreshing. And, of course, it's the way characters seem to relate and react to their sordid physical surroundings which could seem 'funny' to us, since we are not 7th or 8th generation inhabitants of the post-nuclear wastelands.

Overall impression and rating:
-----------------
I like playing Fallout but mostly because Elders Scrolls V doesn't exist. It's a good, solid game with some improvements over Oblivion but, as far as I can see, lacking a lot of innovation. It's like the big automakers developing a standard chassis and then building all kinds of different models on it. Oblivion and Fallout are both built on the same chassis and it shows - the colors and the shapes may be different and there may be different options but, basically, deep down, they are family.

Compared to Oblivion, Fallout's, positive improvements are its voice acting, there's more humor, the V.A.T.S. system is a new innovation. On the lacking side, the Oblivion is a vast, colorful, hugely complex world compared to which Fallout's feels almost claustrophobic.

I am giving Fallout 3 a 4-star rating (it's really 3.5 rounded up) and I would recommend it as a 'buy' for giving us an interesting story told with more or less the same old tools when, one assumes, much better ones could have been developed.
________________________________
Dec. 27 Update:

SAVE YOUR GAME OFTEN AND KEEP MANY SAVES.

It turns out, the whole adventure can end quite abruptly and unexpectedly. And I'm not talking about you being killed, that is recoverable. I am talking about the entire game ending and, if you don't have a good save, the end is irreversible - no spoilers from me :). Once it ends, it's over so, if you really want to explore more of the Fallout world, your only option is to go to a save prior to a chain of events that would place you on a course that's impossible to change and leads to what I believe it's a premature end. In my case, I had just advanced to level 14 and I was about 80-90 hours into the game when I reached that end. Thankfully, I DID have many prior saves so I am now, that my character is finally well armed and armored, curiously exploring the landscape and engaging in quests that I would have otherwise missed.

I can't help but going back to Oblivion. It took a lot longer to complete the main story line in Oblivion and IT, in fact had THREE separate 'main' story lines (Oblivion proper, Shivering Isles and the Knights of the Nine) on the Game of the Year edition). I am now crossing some 'tees' and dotting some 'eyes' in Fallout but, overall, it's a lesser, shallower, smaller universe.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Oblivion, only bigger, and with more stuff to do, November 17, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fallout 3 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I didn't write a review for Oblivion because there were hundreds of decent enough reviews that encapsulated my experience. I saw no need to add to the "ALSO, I LIKED IT, TOO, AS WELL" crowd without any negative comments worth mentioning.

The same dealy applies to Fallout 3, yet because of the sheer size and scope of it compared to Oblivion, I can be bothered to put both positives and negatives together into a decent enough review.

For note, I have never played any of the previous Fallout games, and showed no interest in them prior to this.

Also, I'll be dropping the name "Yahtzee" a bit, referring to video game reviewer Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw and his video reviews for The Escapist magazine.

Positive:

-The world is indeed tremendous, and compared to Oblivion, which to Yahtzee was merely a square mile of English countryside multiplied again and again with wolves and bandits added, this world is simply a gaping epic story in itself to look at. Ten hours into the game, I still can't get over stopping and staring at the horizon, and knowing that This is the way Washington D.C., has looked for two hundred years! Being a historian, this trapped me in a quantam vortex of awesome and pee-pants.

-The V.A.T.S. targeting system, which has slow-motion angle shots for combat scenes. While Yahtzee mentioned that it looked "groovy pants", he also pointed out that because it's basically the same thing every time you use it, it would gradually just become "pants". For me at least, it hasn't yet become pants, after ten hours of play.

-Realistic gore! The M rating is put to use here, in the form of excessive violence. While nowhere near the sort of explicit body explosions of something like "Rambo", I never get tired of seeing a point-blank gunshot to someone's head have a chance of blowing their head up in a mess of blood, bone, and mushy meat fragments. Nor do I tire of crippling someone's arm and seeing their gun fly out of their hand, or firing at someone's limb enough times to dismember them, or to sever their head from their body by utterly destroying their neck with bullets.

-Insanely top-notch graphics for a game of this sheer size.

-Play as male or female, with dialogue options altering to fit your gender (ie, you'll get compliments as to how much you look like your mother if you're female, or how beautiful you are, or how much of a bitch you are for trying to steal from them).

-Genuinely interesting story that pans itself out gradually.

-Interactive people all around, including Ghouls who are nice to you (there's even an implied lesbian Ghoul couple who run a hotel in the Underworld)

I'm sure there's plenty more great things to be said, but I can't think of any major ones to speak of and so I'll have to move on to the bad.

Negatives:

-I can't vouch for male characters just yet, but the customizable options for females is an utter mess. Faces are disgusting lumps of blotchy, rugged, seemingly acne-scarred messes (which considering that the character isn't raised in the Wasteland, but rather in the highly clean and stable environment of Vault 101, is a curiosity), and for some odd reason, every pre-set and color option always ends up with the same result---the women have 5 o'clock shadow on their upper lip, and around their chins.

None of the other in-game women suffer from these sort of options, managing to look like actual women, whereas your character is forced to look like a pre-op transsexual without a long, long time spent into wrestling with dials and sliders which, like Oblivion, are connected to one another, making it hell to mold the flesh with one slider without every other slider moving on its own to screw up your changes.

-The game is an action/adventure RPG, but it's still an RPG, so damage both taken and delivered tends to border on the ridiculous, as in one scene I had a pistol and used the V.A.T.S. system to put three bullets into a human opponent's head, and not only did they not die, but they were still standing, and continued to beat me half to death with a baseball bat until I had to punch them to kill them dead.

-Occasional game freezes.

-The instant-transport system from Oblivion is back, which has both good and bad implications in that you can easily move back and forth from places without spending hours wandering around the ruins, but it's done without any consequence to time or health or fatigue anything in between, so you can just teleport from place to place as much as you want as quickly as your game will load.

-As Yahtzee mentioned as the biggest problem with Oblivion's immersion failure, there is a limited number of voice actors for the Ghouls. I can thankfully say that unlike Oblivion, not everyone has the same two voice actors, but with the Ghouls in particular, there are quite literally only two voice actors, one male and one female, and they don't even bother changing up their voices when playing the Ghouls. As such, every Ghoul you speak to of a certain gender will sound exactly like one another.

-There are some audio tapes/files in the "Notes" section of your Pip-Boy (such as your father's personal diary entries and such) which are almost completely inaudible due to the low sound mixed with the poor recording quality. It's only by sheer luck, determination, strain, and high volume, that I've managed to understand half of what is said in these diary entries.
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23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great game, but it fizzles out by the end, February 25, 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fallout 3 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
This game was wonderful, I would have considered this an easy 5 star game within the first 20 hours of gameplay, but as I continued on, I began to realize the game is lacking in many departments.

Gameplay: The game is, first and foremost, an RPG. It does this well, from the unique VATS system, to the SPECIAL stats distribution, the game, despite appearing as an First Person Shooter, has the feel of an RPG game. Attacking opponents have HP. You can disable their weapons, injure their extremities, or just go for a headshot, which can be performed in a slow motion cinematic sequence which often shows lots of guts and gore. Sometime it shows you shooting, sometimes it shows the bullet flying, sometimes it shows your opponent disintegrating. Some people have reported getting bored of this sequence, which you may choose to perform on most of your enemies, since shooting the old fashion way can lead to a lot of wasted ammo. I have never really gotten bored of it, and I take it in stride, just like the end credits at the end of a random encounter in the old Final Fantasy video games.

Graphics and Glitches: Graphics of this game are suburb. This game, I should warn, is incredibly gory, consisting of grotesque scenes of mutilation, blood, body parts, carcasses, torture, drugs, and prostitution. The language is bad to, as bad as it can get, so if that is something that would bother you, stay away from this game. Yes, I understand M ratings, but there is M ratings like Gears of War, where you got blood and can cut your alien enemies in half, and then you have this, human beings being savagely murdered, and their carcasses strung up on hooks. Anyway, the VATS kills are incredible, the graphics show at the far edges of the screen, you can literally see a tower from a 15 minutes walk away, as opposed to some games love of fogging out the area in front of you. Absolutely beautiful game, you know, in that dreary depressing post apocalyptic kind of way. The game does have many glitches; many of which force you to reload from a previous game cause you can't get out of it. Typically, the errors are getting stuck, you jump somewhere, and gt stuck, you fall somewhere, and get stuck, and my personal favorite, fawkes( your giant traveling companion) stands in front of the door entrance and won't move.

Music: The game really only delivers music via 2 radio stations (and a third unlockable one) One plays old patriotic music, the other play 50s and 40s music, nothing famous or popular. It is kind of lacking, Fallout makers really needed to step up and add a couple more music stations, or quests to increase the music selection, perhaps and in game CD player, and you find CDs around the world, or mp3 player if you wanted to be more update, with mp3s that you can download from computer terminals, you could even create your own playlists, but a man can dream, can't he?

Story: The story was pretty good, if not pretty short. This is where I felt the game fizzled, Just as the story line was starting to go somewhere, the story ended, in a rather crappy way. Don't get me wrong, the climax was amazing, epic, and hilarious, but the game just ends without too much warning, and gives you no ability to continue to play, which it makes kind of impossible with the way it ends. They really should have put more thought in to ending the game in a manner in which you can continue on to play, and see people praise you in the aftermath, and find out how their lives are after all the stuff you have done for them. The 200+ endings is true, but kind of an embilishment. The ending is pictures complete with narration, what you did effects what pictures you see and what narration you get. The ending is in 4-6 parts, with 2-3 possible outcomes (such as good vs bad vs neutral karma effects 1 part), thus you have 2^6 or 3^6 or whatever, which gets you your many many endings, but it won't seem like it to you, and most anybody should not waste their time to see anymore that the basic big 2, bad or good.

The Failure: So I teased you with the reasons to why it is a measly 3 stars. In truth, Fallout 3 is lacking. The greatest things it is lacking in is reason. Past level 10, every enemy falls down easily. I had massive amount of caps, the loose story lines of the side quests where barely enough to keep me playing. Any new area I visit just doesn't matter, you go their, find ammo (sorry got tons), find healing supplies (72 stimpacks and counting), find money( already got 15,000 caps I don't know what to do with) and gain experience (ok I like experience, but level 20 is not that far away). I would run to any city I could, sell what I could, which as I started to get laser rifles and plasma rifles, was never really worth it, unless I wanted to buy a bunch of junk I don't need. The game just lost it's edge. There are no super hard ultimate weapons to defeat (in fact, the hardest enemy in the game I have fought thus far is fawkes, and he is on my side), there really are no bosses at all in the game except the behemeths, which don't really get you much (although I hear anchorage dc has a bosslike enemy.) None of the armor acquired from side missions is particularly better than what you get from following the main story line, the "special" weapons are only slightly better than their normal counterparts, and don't really add anything to the game. By adding things to the game, for example, you could get a grenade launcher, which allows you to shoot frag grenades more accurately at a longer distance, upgrades that can improve your weapon; such as attaching a silencer to the weapon of your choice, artificially increasing a weapons power or efficiency, or given it more stats, such as poison enemies. They also needed to introduce elemental damage, in my opinion, so there is actual reason to pick one weapon over another. A quest to find a weapon that does not wear down would be cool, or, you know, just more. Also with perks, maybe you should have special harder to get perks that actually alter the dynamics of the game, so that upon getting them, you can have fun playing a little differently, like something that lets you jump higher, which would be required to get to certain other areas in the game.

Formations: Your followers in this game are also pretty crappy. While potentially powerful and useful, you can't give them orders in the heat of battle, which sucks. Also, they get in your way, and can potentially block your ability to move somewhere. They continually repeat the same pieces of dialogue over and over again, which is kind of annoying, and their presence creates several continuity errors in the story, such as you being known as the lone wanderer and for those of you who know the ending, I mean, seriously, how stupid is that?

Finishing Up: So in general, I did love the game. But once you become powerful enough that the challenge is gone, which occurs around level 10-12 if you do a couple side missions ad end up with a special weapon or 2, there is little to really keep you interested, unless you just LOVE exploring, the game just doesn't offer the incentive to continue playing. I also must mention the lack of minigames. You have the computer hacking game, and the lockpick thing which is 10 times easier than oblivion and thank you for that. I mean, they should allow you to play pool, maybe get an old arcade galliga shooter or pacman up and running, or other mini games that potentially reward you with stuff and maybe gamerscore points. The stuff does get kind of repetitive, go to new place, pick up every gun, ammo, skill book, and other useful items you find, kill every bady, hack every terminal, pick every lock, sell your items, unload your inventory, rinse and repeat. The game was great, however the more I played, the more I realized I just needed more.

Update:

I have played 4 of the 5 expansion packs. Several of the packs actually offer me a challenge. When you lose all your equipment in The Pitt, it was incredibly fun for a couple of hours. Mothership Zeta offers a couple of alternate styles of gameplay that break up the monotomy such as controlling a ship and blowing aliens up by touching buttons. Broken Steel naturally fixes the end game issues and level cap problem. At level 30, Point Lookout has given me enough challenge that I am considering lowering the difficulty level off of hard. Had this game came with these expansion packs (say a game of year edition that will eventually come out) I would consider it a 4 star game.

My BIGGEST problem with the game, which I did not mention in my review, and will restrict me from giving this game five stars, is the fact that the game centers around caps. Half the decisions you make are to earn caps. The only advantage of being bad is to get caps, and 90% of your motivation is for more caps, yet they serve virtually no purpose, since you will find so much ammo, stim packs, and other random junk that you will never need to spend your caps after 5 hours of gameplay. They need to throw in some ultra unique weapons that cost 10,000 caps, buy properties in other cities (there is an empty room in rivet city that would have been so easy to program into a room you could purchase), buy mininukes, so I don't feel bad every time I use the incredibly limited supply, even if they cost 1000 caps a nuke, I have plenty of caps sitting around, and trading my growing supply of plasma rifles for mininukes would be great. Buy vehicles, even if it costs 20,000 caps, what else am I using them for? So if they fixed that problem, I would bump the score up a star, and with the expansion packs included (free not $50 more), I bump it up another star, so that is what it takes to reach 5 stars in my book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never seen a game quite like this, August 29, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fallout 3 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Sure some can compare this game to Bethesda's previous attempt The Elder Scrolls IV, but at the end of the day I have never seen such a damn convincing world of a post apocalypse . Almost everything succeeds in this game, the story of the Lone Wanderer is not wholly original but what makes the gamer interested is the mythology of the Capital Wasteland, you will find dozens of interesting characters that will make you care deeply for, may it be a Super Mutant Poet warrior named Fawkes, a loyal canine companion by the name of Dogmeat, or even a Super Patriotic Fascist news-casting president by the name of John Henry Eden. The music is eerily perfect for the atmosphere of Fallout 3, the happy upbeat music from the 30s give you a sense of hope and comfort even after your being attacked by a pack of Deathclaws or Ghouls (avoid the Deathclaws if possible). The gameplay is standard FPS or Third Person(in whichever way you want), but with RPG mixed into the gameplay. But what makes it stand out is the V.A.T.S system which allows you to slow time and aim for you enemies extremity parts, some may feel it takes away the challenge but if your a casual gamer you will heavily depend on it to fight packs of large creatures or humans with guns. Another thing that makes the game really stand out is the open world you can explore, and oh boy is it huge. If you play the game 24/7 it will take you days to find every single city, landmark, and settlement. But if you play casually you will spend weeks finding every single place from basement to roof, the architecture of the buildings have elements of steampunk, and a lot of the building themselves have some character of their own may it be the city Megaton, or Oasis, or to the ever creepy Dunwich Building. Fallout 3 is one of the games that come every couple of years that gives us so much replay value that after 10 or 15 years later you will still be playing even after the PS3 and Xbox 360 are long gone. Don't hesitate in buying it, it is worth the price.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great game, crippled by a disastrous flaw, December 19, 2008
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fallout 3 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
For a while, Fallout 3 was fantastic, ranking not only among the best games on the 360, but one of the best for this console generation.

Then I hit the level cap, and everything changed.

I'd played for 60 hours when I reached level 20. I'd barely touched the main quest, spending my time exploring and doing side quests. By that time I reached the cap, my character could kill just about any enemy in one go of VATS, so there was really no combat challenge. And with no combat challenge, there's no longer any reason to collect ammo or weapons. I could attempt to change my character's strengths, but without further level progression, I'd never get any better.

I can understand why Bethesda put a cap in the game, but the problem is it comes far too early for a game with this scope. I was having a blast exploring new locations, but in sixty hours, I'd searched only half the map. Sure, there are still locations to discover, but I don't feel the same motivation - most of them look the same, anyway. After all, levelling up and gaining new abilities is the focus of RPGs, and the remainder of Fallout's gameplay isn't quite good enough to make up for the loss of character development.

Can I still follow the main quest? Sure, but the game's narrative isn't top quality either; not enough to keep me going, anyway. During my sixty hours, the joy came from gaining experience and increasing my stats. With this removed, I no longer have the push to see things through.

That's not to say I didn't love what I played. The open-ended structure is phenomenal. During the first 20-odd hours, I was ready to christen Fallout 3 as the best game I'd ever played. Unfortunately, now that I'm unable to continue developing my character, the magic is gone. I'm probably done playing, despite not being close to finishing. Yes, there's the morality system, but the impact on the overall picture is negligible, and yes, there are skill books to collect, but they also won't make a major difference now either. In addition, the world isn't quite versatile enough to support statless wandering.

I do certainly recommend Fallout 3. I paid full price and got my money's worth (about $1 an hour - better than most games these days!). However, I think it's important to realize that the experience may peak before you've finished.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oblivion with guns...good and bad, November 5, 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fallout 3 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I really like this game for several reasons.
*It is a lot like Oblivion (which is another favorite game)
*It pays homage to it's roots (Wasteland and Fallout 1&2)
*It offers a unique storyline
*It has unique gameplay (being born & VATS)
*The world is HUGE
*You can NUKE stuff (C'mon..a nuke?...gotta love that!)

Having said all that some aspects, some in common with Oblivion, are tedious. Traveling can be a pain. Bethesda..you offered Horses in Oblivion to speed up travel to un-visited places..why not a steam jeep? Fast travel helps but only after you have traveled and found the location. VATS is good and bad. The good is ability to aim shots for critical damage (vaporizing an enemy with the laser rifle is the beast!). The bad thing is when you are 'potting' at an enemy your hit rate is really low (until you soak enough points in Big Guns or Small Weapons). Since I have the XBOX 360 version I haven't seen any artifacts or glitches (yet). You do get the occasional dead body with twitches (same in Oblivion). This is not a perfect game but some of the reviewers want to compare it with FPS (it's more of an RPG not a FPS game like Bioshock) and that's not a fair match. There have been complaints about the detail...what?...I thought the details were great. Then there were complaints that the map was TOO big. All in all I thought it was just right...good detail, good setting, great music (Three Dog...aWooo!). I have put in 20 hours so far and am only about 5 quests into the game (buy the Game book...I'm telling ya!). I am one of those kill everything, open everything, and carry everything back to my apartment (megaton) to sell or store. This is a 4.0-4.5 RPG game. Well worth the money.
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Fallout 3 - Xbox 360
Fallout 3 - Xbox 360 by Bethesda (Xbox 360)
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