Thanksgiving, Turkey, and cRPGs

Thanksgiving was this week; in case you were wondering why everything was closed and a bunch of relatives showed up at your house, probably. Which means that everyone had at least a staggered three day weekend. I somehow managed to get a week off, and have spent that time playing games and making disappointing magic decks.

Also spending time with family, and stuffing food into my face. But that’s a given.

Since Thursday I have played three cRPGs, not completed– that would be some kind of world record, but I started three games known for being incredibly long. So why not play them all at once, right? Right?

The first game I played was Fallout; Not the new one, noooo. I was feeling particularly hipster-ish. I mean the 1998 original classic ‘post nuclear role-playing game’. The game has a particularly strong start, and then it throws your ass into the deep end. Or would it be the quicksand, cause it’s a desert?

The game starts with you being told you have to go and get another waterchip for your vault because the one controlling the water filters in your underground ant-farm broke, for… Reasons. And you have to go get one! Why you? I don’t know I’m sure there was some important exposition but I accidentally clicked my mouse and skipped the cutscene! I figured I would roleplay like I wasn’t paying attention and not go back and watch it. Great start.

It’s after this that you create your character, I tried to make the best facsimile of myself that I could given the games pen and paper-esque character sheet. So I went about making a newly single, rather intelligent, and charismatic 23 year old male; that accidentally sneaks up on people a lot, and decently knows his way around a handgun!


And then I had to go and get a waterchip. Some how. I have to guess the intro gave some kind of hint but I wasn’t listening. So I spent about fifteen minutes beating the snot out of some rats, and then made it to the wasteland. Not knowing where to go I went to the only place on my map, Vault 15.

It took eight days of walking and before I could get there I was ambushed by a pack of bears!
Or, at least I thought they were bears until I realized they were giant mole rats! Which is arguably worse. And was promptly murdered.

So I tried again, this time heading for a village between Vault 13, my home, and vault 15.
This time I was stopped by a Radscorpion! It poisoned me and ate my flesh. Fun!

On my third attempt I made it to the village, Shady … Sands? Yeah that sounds right. Then I started talking to people and was really getting into the game. Until I realized I forgot to name my character and his name was None. This demoralized me more than being killed twice.

So I stopped playing and promptly installed Pillars of Eternity!

I’ll go back to Fallout… it’s just… I need some time to reflect.

So Pillars of Eternity, this game has a wonderfully in-depth character creation system that I was honestly not prepared for. It probably took me thirty minutes to go through the entire thing feeling out what kind of character I wanted to be; I went with a Human Fighter, with an aristocratic background.

The game starts you off in a caravan, and you have unfortunately contracted some kind of illness. The caravan stops on your behalf and sends you out with a guide to get berries to make a tea that will sooth your ailment. However, you stopped near some ruins sacred to the locals. And they then decide to murder your entire caravan… It’s not spoilers if it’s like twenty minutes into the game, right?

Anyway, after making it through multiple combats, and using a bit of my knowledge gained from my aristocratic upbringing to talk my way out of a nasty encounter we have to flee to the ruins because of a particularly dangerous weather event. It was at this point that I realized I had accidentally selected ‘Trial of Iron’ mode. Which is essentially a ‘hardcore’ mode. Meaning one life, one save file, when you die: Game Over. I was wondering if it was a glitch so I knowingly walked into a fire trap.

GAME OVER. Save deleted.


So I installed Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut.

I’m going to go back to Pillars of Eternity… I just… A man can only take so much.

So time for round three. Wasteland 2. The game I have long thought looked super cool, but for some weird reason am all non-committal about starting because it’s probably really long.

Casually put eighty hours into MGSV:TTP without issue.-

Well now it’s time, and my body is ready… if a bit shaken from the past two blunders.

Like the previous games you start by creating your character(s). You can either select a premade squad and roll with them, generate your own Rangers, or some combination of both. I decided to create my character ‘Maddigan’ or ‘Madd’ for short; it was really hard not to name him ‘Madd Mel’.

Something really cool about Wasteland 2 is that they actually provide you with a “Background” box to write your own story for you custom Rangers. I wanted Maddigan to be a rather rough and tumble fellow but didn’t really care to come up with and extensive story for him… So his background is: “‘Madd’ lost everything dear to him. And now he’s just roamin’ the desert looking for meaning.” I gave him a beard to really drive the message home. Just enough backstory to give him some flavor.

He’s a hardass that specializes in sub-machine guns, lockpicking, and being intimidating as hell. ‘Madd’ doesn’t take crap from anyone. This would come in handy later by threatening to eat a man’s dog. No, I’m not kidding.

And then I chose three premade Rangers, because the skills and abilities are intimidating and I don’t want to gimp my party by making sub-par characters. Although I altered their appearances to my liking.

And then Wasteland gets off to a really strong start with a pretty badass FMV intro cutscene that really nails the feeling this game is trying to evoke. I know I was pumped after watching it.

The game starts directly after the intro, and has you accepting a mission that your comrade died trying to carry out. You’re job is to go check out where he died, see if you can get anymore information about his killer and then plant some repeaters on two radio antennas to boost the Desert Ranger’s radio broadcasting and receiving capabilities. There has been a persistent broadcast from somewhere in Arizona that carries disturbing messages and threatens violence on the Desert Rangers.

You go investigate and find some rather alarming information where your comrade was killed, but I can’t really tell you about that, now can I? Because that’s about as far as I can go at least without getting into spoiler territory… You should find out for yourself!

Plus, I’ll talk about it later! Reader retention, hoooooooo!

Now for these games I will probably invoke the “How the hell do I review long-ass games” post I wrote awhile back and just do a few updates on my progress, and giving my feelings along the way.

In the meantime I need to get this damn B/W token sac deck working. I can’t tell if Lackey was screwing me over or if it’s just a janky deck. Oh well, might as well burn it down and start from scratch!

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