Where were these when I had disposable income?!?! Skyrim & Fallout figures

Way to go Funko! Now go back in time 2 years so I could actually buy these. Still, that Daedric Warrior figure is sweet as fuuuuuuuuuuuuudge. (Ed. note: We family friendly now, fuckers.)

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Source: i09

Apparently there are also super sick/super expensive Fallout figures on the way as well from ThreeZero but they might as well be priced in unobtanium for all the not buying of them I will be doing. I’ll just have to push my greasy face up against the glass of my laptop and lust over them from my desk. Goodbye, sweet princes.

Far Cry 3 Review

Forget Online Play, Achievements and DLC… while some may believe that those are the most notable contributions that the current generation of consoles have given to gaming, I would argue that there is another, far more prominent and influential facet that future gaming historians will attribute to this era: Hunting.

Seriously, there must have been a memo that was distributed to game developers sometime around 2008 that stated that every single AAA video game to be released from then on must have a mini-game that involves shooting, stabbing or exploding helpless wildlife, standing over their corpses and pressing X to harvest their organs and hides that can then be spent on upgrades for your character. It made sense in RDR. I suppose I got it in Skyrim. But I’m beginning to feel like every single game I’ve played since has featured this mechanic, and it’s starting to feel like déjà vu. Dead animals are the new Coins, and I’m over it.


Speaking of déjà vu, I will now make an impressive segue into stating my opinion on Far Cry 3, and that is: much like its hunting mechanic, there’s nothing here I haven’t done before.

Several friends whose opinions I trust hold the previous installment, Far Cry 2, in extreme high regard. I never got around to playing it; the game held a perpetual spot on my extensive backlog, but once I heard that a sequel was announced and that it was supposed to simultaneously fix all of the issues of FC2 and usher in some kind of open-world gaming nirvana, while introducing an instant-classic villain in the process, I moved it to the tippity-top of my must play list.

And I have to admit, the game starts off with all cylinders firing. You’re introduced to an opening cutscene of your idiot white-bread frat-boy character (full disclosure: it was like looking into a mirror from about ten years ago) and his douchebag Extreme X-Games Code Red Mountain Dew Crew of skydivers ( …not so much) as they and M.I.A. jump out of a plane over the creepy Pacific island from Lost ­– only to be immediately kidnapped, tortured and held for ransom by a group of scary pirates in a juxtoposition straight out of The Deer Hunter. Your ex-Marine older brother helps you escape, teaches you a few combat survival techniques before getting himself killed like a good mentor should (he had one day until retirement!), leaving you to join up with a ragtag group of native rebels, find your friends and extract your bloody revenge.


Despite the Last Samurai levels of “White Man Joins a Group of Ethnic Warriors and Becomes the Best of Them” mild racism, the intro is done well and is pretty compelling. It’s the rest of the game that is not.

Now, let me clarify, it’s not that the game is made poorly. Quite the contrary, the graphics are beautiful and the first-person exploring and shooting gameplay is smooth and very playable. It’s the sandbox into which you are dropped that is samey and boring. The island you are given to explore is quite large in square footage, but feels small because of the lack of variety in environments – its all jungle, roads and ramshackle little towns that house quest-givers, who all ask you to go to another ramshackle town down the jungle road and kill some generic bad guy or evil dog.

There are a few temples and caves, but they are all disappointingly limited to one or two small rooms, and hold shitty loot like broken necklaces or crumpled packs of cigarettes that are automatically sorted into your Quick Sell stash.

Why would anyone go out of their way to find that kind of useless stuff? Even the weapons are limited. There are two or three types of each of the usual fare – pistol, shotgun, machine gun, sniper rifle – whose customization levels are limited to a scope or extended mag. Yes, you can craft items – from about four different kinds of colored leaves. Compare that to the hundred or so crafting elements in Skyrim.

And then, of course, is the Hunting. Much has been made of the Wild Animals that roam the island, who attack you and your enemies with equal ferocity. Admittedly, it is pretty cool – the first time a crocodile jumped me from a riverbank where I was gathering and sorting plants like a sissy, I laughed in delight. The twentieth time, I yawned and blasted it with a shotgun. It gets old.

Once I realized how limited the scope of exploration and looting really was, especially compared to other recent open-world looting gems like Borderlands 2, I lost a lot of interest real fast. I tried sitting down to it ten or twelve times in an attempt to gather enough gameplay experience for this review, but each time, I got bored after about forty minutes and turned it off. And then I realized… that is my review. If I can’t even make myself play through enough of a game in an attempt to force myself to like it, then that’s saying plenty.


I apologize to my Far Cry enthusiast friends who may want to feed me to a river croc for saying this, but FC3 is, well, kind of a slog. It’s like Skyrim without the scope and Borderlands without the wit. It’s not terrible, but it’s been done better elsewhere.

Trailer Park: New Skyrim DLC, “Dragonborn” ** UPDATE**

Sweet, another chapter of Skyrim that I don’t get to play!


Look, I don’t care about Skyrim: Twilight or Skyrim: The SimsBut this? Dragonborn vs. Dragonborn?  This looks cool and I want to play it but have the sneaking suspicion the only way I’ll get to is if I buy a Game of the Year version next year.  But guess what? I won’t.  You hear that, Bethesday? I won’t do it. If you can’t (or won’t) deliver DLC  for a game in a timely fashion then I don’t see why I should even bother entertaining the idea of buying it when it does (if it does) eventually hit my platform of choice?

UPDATED 11/08/12 – From Joystiq, Bethesda says Skyrim DLC is close to being released for the PS3! But is it too late now?

Well Now There’s At Least One Reason to Enroll at Rice University

Rice University Offering Upper-Division Skyrim Class

It’s true; the real name of the course is Scandinavian Fantasy Worlds: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim and as far as I can tell it’s a thinly veiled way to get college credit for stomping around Tamriel.  Or, as the syllabus puts it: Rice University Offering Upper-Division Skyrim Class

This course has two goals. First, it introduces students to fantasy as both psychological concept and driving force in gamer culture; and second, using these paradigms, it considers how and why medieval Scandinavia serves as a locus of modern Anglo-American fantasy. To these ends, students will read selections from Old Norse and Old Icelandic sagas (in translation) as they play different quests within Skyrim. While the course begins by identifying moments of intersection between the worlds of the sagas and of Skyrim (inclement environments, supernatural figures, mythologies), the course is not in any means meant to map the former onto the latter. The purpose of establishing these connections is to then consider how elements of medieval Scandinavian culture have been taken out of historical milieu and literary context, morphed into unfamiliar shape, and appropriated towards other fantastic pursuits. We’ll consider the political saga of Skyrim, with its emphasis on Empire and rebellion, as pursuits made possible by way of Scandinavia in order to think through what Scandinavian fantasy worlds are really about and why they resonate with contemporary Anglo-American culture.


Study tool

VPH: Hey Bethesda, Thanks for Not Telling Me About Dishonored feat. Impervious Rex

How did ANOTHER game that is getting great reviews sneak under my radar? Clearly the marketing attempts of the various video games companies are not reaching me. IGN has got my hook up though, giving Dishonored an AMAZING 9.2 review score.  Maybe this will take the place of the Skyim DLC issues that the PS3 has been having, which based on the latest Twitter update from Bethesda, isn’t coming anytime soon. Bethesda’s even said “It’s our issue to solve, not the PS3’s or Sony’s“.

Now I’m following Bethesda on Twitter to find out what new games they’re releasing. Not going to let another gem slip through my net (ed. note: mixed metaphors much?)! I just don’t know how I can fit Dishonored into my rigorous schedule of FIFA13 and Borderlands 2. I may have to take an extended sabbatical…from life.

Damn you Bethesda and your open world, incredibly addicting, life sucking games.


*A-hem* I really do want this game.  After Borderlands 2, it’s the game I am most looking forward to this Fall.  My previous M.O. has always been to try and track down a street-date breaking early release (which is actually fairly easy here in NYC) and just play a game ’til the wheels fall off.  However, this runs into direct conflict with my other video game M.O.: No New Games Until You’ve Finished The Current One.  I admit it: I can’t multitask my entertainment. I can’t play two games at the same time, I can’t read two books at the same time, I can’t date two girls at the same time (such a problem, believe me). So how do I reconcile my freakish, OCD-esque level of need to buy a game early with the fact it’s just going to sit on my shelf for an indeterminate amount of time until finishing whatever the current game of the moment is? Intense Therapy.

But it also helps when its a Bethesda game. Look , I love Bethesda. Fallout 3 is one of my favorite games of all time. But that shit was broken. Fallout: New Vegas was broken. Skyrim was broken. How could Dishonored be any different? I want it to be, I need it to be. I just don’t think it will be. So until I can gather a consensus that the game is playable for more than 15 minutes without it locking up, I’ll be content ranging across Pandora, picking up bazillions of guns.

We (Don’t) Have to Go Back!

From Fake Anything comes this somewhat cartoonish but still super detailed map of Tamriel. It’s an interesting twist on my (virtual, buggy) homeland from last winter. I’m still annoyed that those of us on the PS3 aren’t going to be seeing any DLC anytime soon but maybe that’s not a bad thing…I don’t know if I have the time to get completely absorbed back into that game. Do you know how many charts I drew up, mapping out my smithing & enchanting strategies? I had Skyrim To-Do lists, fer #@#%-sake. On second thought…Skyrim, it was super fun. But you stay over there in the played games pile. GIVE ME BACK MY LIFE.

Trailer Park: New Skyrim DLC! Though Maybe Not EXACTLY What You Were Expecting. **UPDATE I Told You So

Skyrim: Hearthfire –

I just read something describing this DLC as The Sims: Skyrim. Seems pretty apt to me. By the same token, this is exactly the type of game play that hooks me.  I can build my own stupid house and endlessly arrange trophies? Sign me up! However, the initial problem is going to be getting all of my loot from my house in Whiterun out to wherever I build my M.C. Escher nightmare of a domicile. I spent over 130 hours collecting every book, weapon, scrap of armor, piece of jewelry, alchemy component and malleable metal that I came across, all of which is in what are apparently Chests of Holding in my ramshackle Whiterun dump.  How am I going to get everything frome Point A to Point B in a timely manner? Just like in real life, moving is a bitch.

This may be a moot point for us PS3 owners though, as I still don’t have access to Dawnguard and it doesn’t look like I will anytime soon.

In relation to the Dawnguard expansion pack for the PS3 platform, Bethesda still has not decided to give any input on the developments behind this content. In reference to a fans’ concerns on Dawnguard for the PS3, Pete Hines stated that “we got it out on PC as fast as we could. We are equally as unhappy we can’t release current version on PS3.” It is to be presumed that Bethesda is still hard at work trying to resolve the issues they are having with Dawnguard for the PS3. Hopefully they will be able to provide some concrete information to us soon.

I bet that Bethesda just scraps episodic DLC for Skyrim on the PS3 altogether and the only way you’ll be able to play it is on the GOTY edition that they release in 2013 sometime.

**UPDATE — 08.30.12 8:40PM — I WAS RIGHT!! Kotaku reports that “PS3 owners might not get Dawnguard after all“. Way to go, Bethesda. Way. to. go.

Mr. Buttons (Conan O’ Brien) Plays & Reviews Skyrim

Conan certainly seems…dismissive of video games, doesn’t he?  Though I can agree with him on Skyrim’s character creator; sometimes more choice isn’t always better.  Look at the Raw ne Smackdown vs. Raw franchise.  The create-a-wrestler modes were enough to give me nightmares. I don’t know about you, but I have to investigate every option and combo permutation; it quickly goes from fun & curiosity to full blown OCD nightmare.