Tag Archives: Mojave Desert

Wreaking havoc with unique Mojave Wasteland weapons in Fallout: New Vegas

Last week, I received some bad news. Which I misinterpreted greatly. The bad news remained bad news, but now I was all conflicted and confused and mad and angry and depressed with myself as a person, as a Pauly. I felt disgusted and in fear of a public shaming. So, desperate for some kind of comfort, I opened the disc tray for my Xbox 360, removed whatever game was currently in there, and quickly replaced it with Fallout: New Vegas. I needed a little time in the shadow of the valley, so to speak. Tara literally gasped with excitement when she came out to the living room and discovered I was back in the Mojave Wasteland.

At first, I just meandered around, no quests tagged as current, trying to remember who my character was and what he was trying to do. It slowly came back to me: a Mr. House run. But before that could happen, I took care of Boone’s personal sidequest to get him his new armor and such, and then headed back to the strip to begin the lengthy affair that is known as  The House Always Wins quests. I did most of these before during my first playthrough, but switched sides to Yes Man at the very end. You can’t tell from reading a blog post, but I got them shifty eyes. For The House Always Wins, II, the Courier needs to enter a secret bunker within Caesar’s Legion’s main base to turn some Securitrons to the dark side. Easy peasy, really, even with all the radiation creeping in.

Well, after shooting some guard robots in their metallic faces with That Gun, I finally earned this little zinger:

Curios and Relics (15G): Cause 10,000 damage with unique Mojave Wasteland weapons.

Don’t get the above confused with the Master of the Arsenal Achievement, which I popped way back in October 2011. Oh, and I also ticked off a one-star challenge. Woo, progress. Small progress, but still–it’s there.

At this point, now that I’ve unlocked Curios and Relics, I can hop back to using whatever weapon I desire, as I was constantly making a conscious effort to use only unique Mojave Wasteland weapons for as much as possible. That’s not to say I won’t use That Gun again–I will, as it packs a pretty (bullet) punch. But there’s some really nice rifles and shotguns in my inventory collecting digital dust. For The House Always Wins, III, I need to gain the help of the Boomers, which requires a number of mini-quests to earn their loyalty. Can’t wait to use some new weaponry to blow up a bunch of mutated ants.

Games Completed in 2011, #2 – Fallout: New Vegas

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Xbox 360 [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PC
Genres: RPG, FPS, Western
Modes: Single-player
Hours clocked: Last save slot says around 55 hours


Well…it’s done. The final battle for the Hoover Dam is over, and the Courier, my Courier, made his choices, and then just before the credits rolled a series of end-game screens showed how great or not-so-greatly the Mojave Wasteland was affected by my presence. That idea worked, but its execution fell short; I was really hoping for something bigger, something better in the end. I guess the same could be said of Fallout: New Vegas, which might go down in history as one of the most frustrating games ever.

Set many years after the events in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas opens with a bang. Or a pew. Or however you like your gunshots to sound like. You play as the Courier, a man or woman that ends up getting shot in the head by a mysterious man in a tacky suit because he wanted something you were carrying very badly. Lucky for you, a robot drags you out of your new grave and brings you to the local doctor in Goodsprings where the game truly begins. And that’s the carrot on the stick–revenge. On your journey to find out who shot you and why, you’ll eventually stumble upon a number of factions all striving for control of the Hoover Dam, which is the mega power source keeping New Vegas functioning. That’s all well and good, but the heart of Fallout: New Vegas pumps from its love of sidequests and companions and a thousand other things to do than actually play through the main storyline. I mean, at least in Fallout 3, chasing after someone meant something unequivocably personal–it was freaking Liam Neeson your father!

I actually found myself rather indifferent to tracking down my killer. Sure, he shot me, he stole from me, he left me dirt-deep, but I knew very little of the situation to begin with to even care. Granted, if I had continued after Tacky Suit Man from the get-go then a lot more would’ve been clearer, but for me, waking up alive in Goodsprings was more than enough. I ventured out into the unknown, explored, leveled up, collected stuff, made some friends, made some enemies, and was somewhere around level 17 or so before heading towards the bright lights of the City of Sin.

I never used a companion in Fallout 3, but they’ve been greatly improved for Fallout: New Vegas. A control wheel helps keep them active, healed, and armed. Plus, each companion has a strong personality, as well as their own quest. My two favorites, when they worked, were Boone and ED-E. There’s also a slew of new weapons, outfits, and food items to search for, making it harder to carry everything around. Wish there were more “home” options though as traveling back and forth to the Lucky 38 was a hassle. Perks are only gained every two levels now, which adds actually a lot to the game, forcing you to really think about what ones you pick.

Where there’s Vegas, there’s gambling. Players can enjoy some blackjack, slots, and roulette, as well as Caravan. However, I found I didn’t need a lot of help making caps in the Mojave Wasteland so I never got into this aspect. Or the Survival skill. Or even test the waters with Hardcore mode. Too much to do! That’s the desert motto.

Alas, as we all know, Fallout: New Vegas is not a good game in terms of being a videogame. It is bloated with bugs, glitches, freezes, and wonky design choices. It uses the same engine as Fallout 3, and it shows. Dialogue action screens are still locked in limbo, companions get lost and stuck with the greatest of ease, and for some reason, when wielding a rifle, my character likes to randomly lift his arms. For the final battle, I found myself frantically saving as the game would freeze when going into V.A.T.S. four times out of ten, probably because there was a lot going on what with Centurions getting shot up and ED-E fritzing out. Grrr…

Yet…I loved the time I spent in Fallout: New Vegas. And I can’t wait to do it again, this time as an evil redhead with a deep love of animals and melee weapons. Please suggest names for her in the meantime.

All shall bow before the Master of the Mojave

Last night, while playing some Fallout: New Vegas, I found out how good I am at walking around, stumbling into numerous locales, and unlocking trivial amounts of XP:

Master of the Mojave (25G): You Discovered 125 locations.

Yowza. That’s a big number. And because the world is full of magic, it’s also the same number of comments I currently have over at this Freshly Pressed post (I’m sure this coincidence won’t last long as this link linking to it will count as a comment as well, thus pushing it to 126).

But yeah…discovering locations. It’s an addicting thing, especially in a world as expansive as Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. The hooks are twofold: one is seeing a light gray mark on your HUD, indicating an undiscovered location is nearby, waiting for you, hungering for you…and the other trick is simply seeing a glimmer of something in the distance and fully knowing that you could walk over to it and see what’s happening. And one’s reward for discovering a location is a tiny bit of XP and the ability to fast-travel to it in the future. My favorite part, however, is the sound Obsidian added to finding a location: it’s a deep, low boom that can put nerves on end. I love hearing it every time. In Fallout 3, it was a ka-ching kind of sound, which worked, but does not create the effect of uncertainty and gloom that the Mojave Wasteland loves to ooze.

125 locations is the cap for Achievement purposes, but I suspest there’s still a good number of places left to discover. Haven’t even ventured into Deathclaw territory yet, such as Quarry Junction. Just need Jareth (who is really a Bono clone) to repair his Chinese stealth suit, and then we’re good to go.

Fallout: New Vegas teaser trailer is all about the teasing

Today’s the day we finally get some info about Fallout: New Vegas. Alas, it’s only cinematic information in the form of a teaser trailer, but it’s still good nonetheless. Click here to see the Fallout: New Vegas teaser trailer! CLICK IT.

Set to the song “Blue Moon” by Frank Sinatra, the trailer opens on the Mojave Desert and a WALL-E wannabe bot piling sand over dead bodies. The camera climbs high into the sky and we’re given a shot of Las Vegas, a city that seems to be standing just fine and completely functional if lighting is any indication. I’m not an expert on Fallout lore so I don’t actually know if it’s been said already that the city was hit by the bombs or just affected by them a la Point Lookout. Then we get a glimpse of an armored man, his flag, and his glowing Killzone helmet. Not sure if that’s to be us, a.k.a. the Lone Wanderer, or a possible antagonist. Either way, mmm. Now we just need some screenshots or solid gameplay information and I can consider my appetite sated.

Fallout: New Vegas is coming out Fall 2010. The same time I’m getting married. It’s gonna be cah-razzzy, people.