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Malik (6/4/07)  

First off, for this beautiful week (it was a nice sunny makes me feel a little more upbeat), there are rumors that GTA IV will be delayed. The rumors seem to come from the masters of unfounded speculation; analysts.

I personally find this hard to swallow. Rockstar has announced the release dates for major titles well in advance since the early days of the PS2. They have yet to fail by more than a week or so on any such release date. For these rumors to come along saying GTA IV will be delayed, and for them to not come from Rockstar employees makes me think of one old saying; I'll believe it when I see real word of it.

I spent a lot of time this weekend doing some nostalgic stuff. First off, Velveeta and I recorded the HD showing of Star Wars (the whole marathon) on HBO. We decided that, in order to get to the original (good) trilogy, we must first sit through the bad prequels in order. Well, we got through Episode 1 on Saturday. That was hard to do. It literally hurt me. We got through Episode 2 last night. That was even harder. Now we need to get through Episode 3. I don't know if I can do it in a single sitting. It's just too much poor writing and horrible acting (by one Anakin...I in particular).

While Star Wars was once my idea of near perfection in a sci-fi setting, I think, with time, three of these movies have not aged well. I don't mean the three with ancient special effects and models instead of CGI. I love the special effects of episodes four through six. They have held up to the wrath of age. On the other hand, the special effects of Episode 1 have started to feel dated, and the writing and acting of the prequels are now nothing short of pure torture to sit through.

Worst of all are the romantic scenes. I can almost imagine watching George Lucas write the script. He probably figures that he has a special skill with romance. In a way, he does. However, it's not a skill to be proud of. I can picture Lucas typing at a computer. He finally gets to a romantic scene and a big grin forms on his face. He's happy. This is his "time to shine". In my mind, it's like watching that South Park when Mr. Garrison decided to write erotica. He was just sorta half-assing it until he got to the sex scenes. Then he felt like it was his time to shine...when, in reality, it was his time to fail extra hard. I can see that scene play out perfectly...but with romance and Lucas being the theme.

The other nostalgic event I went through this weekend was a good deal of Dark Brotherhood missions for Oblivion. I cannot believe how great these missions are, despite most of the main real vanilla game being half assed. Not only do you have some fun missions that could be tackled in many ways, but you're rewarded with good rewards (unlike most mission rewards) for meeting the bonus criteria. The main goal will always be the death of someone, but the methods you can use are amazing to behold. Dropping a giant trophy from the wall onto a guy sitting in his parlor, killing someone in jail without any guards knowing, or "killing" someone with a poison that imitates death only to have to resurrect him from his crypt. Just so much fun and so many ways to play out the scenes.

I'm now getting pretty strong on my current game. I should be close enough to a high level to try to take on some of the OOO content finally. OOO stuff is always hardcore and has kicked my sorry ass a few too many times. But I've gained about 6 levels since I last attempted any OOO dungeons, and I think it's time for me to finally end the Sylvan Ranger problems around Anvil...or to repeatedly die trying.


Malik (6/6/07)  

I hate disappearing for a day. It seems like when I remain around, nothing goes on, but if I have to vanish for a day, then all hell breaks loose. Between geek stuff, not having games I can play, and all of the stuff at my work, it seems to take about three days to get back on track for each single day I miss out on.

I was stuck playing tour guide yesterday for out of town relatives. It's not that family stuff is not good and all, but going to see the damned fish being thrown at the Seattle Public Market (you may not be from Seattle, but you probably know the thrown fish quite well...since it seems to be all that Seattle's known for) and then pointing out where Tom Hanks ate in Sleepless in's too painful to recollect without shuddering. However, at least being treated for food is good for repaying someone going against their morals.

On the geek side of things, the Fallout 3 trailer came out. I have not had a chance to see it, but that's only another item on my to do list. However, I guess the release date is now sort of set...for Fall 2008. In other words, it'll be sometime in 2009...we are talking about Bethesda, afterall. They are the ones who delayed Oblivion for about 5 months (November 2005 easily became March 2006).

The one thing I bet is not touched in the trailer and that I would love to know about is the type of engine being used in the game. I don't mean the general engine, but how it will be applied and if it will turn the game into anything other than a game of chess of crack (which is how I like to describe the original two Fallout titles). If it's turned, for even an instant, into some half assed first person adventure, I can assure you that I will not be pleased...and neither will 99% of the old school Fallout fanatics.

It's now time for me to play a little more catch up from a day lost to tourism. I should have some thoughts on that Fallout 3 trailer tomorrow.


Malik (6/7/07)  

I am running off of less than two hours of sleep, so this will be shorter than I wanted. I feel, however, the need to post something to take my mind off of the real world for a bit.

I watched the trailer for Fallout 3, and I am left with a couple of thoughts, but by no means any conclusions. Sadly, the trailer did not show anything substantial enough to make any real opinions off of.

I am glad to see that the general theme of the Fallout series (as evident by the Radiation King logo on the radio and the music used to set the mood of the trailer) has returned. It is good to see that Bethesda at least knows what to do with the license in regards to the art direction.

It's also a good sign to see Ron Perlman is back, at least for this trailer, with his classic line about "war". I hope this means he's fully on board for the project and it's not just a resample of sorts of his old work from past Fallout titles. His voice does bring a lot of "feel" to the Fallout world, and for his voice to return is a truly great thing. It's like a lighthouse beacon off of a means you at least know something resembling familiar shores lie in the distance.

I wish the trailer would give an idea of what the game play will look like. Considering that the trailer was supposedly made with the in game engine, it would be nice to at least see if this game will return to the Fallout roots (as opposed to some lame first person RPG...not to talk bad about Oblivion...but these are different franchises). I guess that will be something that the future will reveal to us as Bethesda feels it's necessary.

Considering the supposed fall 2008 release date, we won't be seeing much for a long time. Maybe around the big trade show convention period of the first part of 2008 we will see our first real signs of how things will go down. However, that's only assuming that Bethesda feels like making things known and that they stick with their release date (which, I can already say, they won't). I probably would expect to see some real content in about a year, and we won't see the game until at least the first quarter of 2009...and that's assuming a lot.

While I hold reservations about Bethesda touching such an important RPG franchise, I do hope they bring one important thing to the table. I don't mean the Oblivion game play style (in fact, they need to just revamp, but not simplify, like they did with Oblivion versus Morrowind, the game style of Fallout 2). I hope that Fallout 3 is truly a successor of Fallout 1 and 2. I do hope, however, with an open ended game like Fallout, that Bethesda returns the Elder Scroll style mod ability. That way, even if Bethesda makes another half assed game (like Oblivion was in comparison to Morrowind), then the fans can take control of fixing things (like how OOO and Fran's mods have done for Oblivion).

Here's hoping for the best and counting on the usual...being a realist can sometimes feel like being a pessimist.


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