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Default Fallout 2 - Retro Review @ RPGamer

April 9th, 2014, 07:28
RPGamer has posted a retro review for Fallout 2, and from the tone of the review the writer enjoyed playing the game. The final score for the game was 4/5.

Black Isle Studios could have chosen to use the 3D technology of the late 90s in creating Fallout 2, but it erred on the side of sprites that did not tax the hardware of the time. While this means the game is hardly a sumptuous feature for the eyes today, aside from a limited color palette it is not eye-gougingly horrendous either. Many details in character animation are quite nice, and the brutality of some deaths is impressive even now.

Most of Fallout 2's music is atmospheric and mood-setting, not standing out by deliberate design. It is nevertheless effective at its intended task and complements the world design quite well. Little of the copious dialogue in the game is voiced, which is a shame considering performers like Michael Dorn and Jeffrey Jones don't get to do very much, but good work is turned in by all concerned.

Some games manage to age without problems, being just as playable now as when they were originally released. Fallout 2 is not one of those games, but after I got through the clunky aspects of its presentation, it became hard to stop playing. Even though I frequently had to research something I wanted to do but couldn't discern from the game itself, the gripping world presented here snared me and wouldn't let go until I was done. That's an impressive accomplishment for a title from any era.
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April 9th, 2014, 07:28
This retrospective is unfair.
3D graphics at RPGs at that time were very uncommon. The average RPG gamer of that time, usually didn't have the best (expensive) 3D GPU because the games like Ultima, Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Diablo, etc. didn't need it. Some of those games don't even needed Windows to run. (I had to install WIN95 to play Diablo, and hated myself because of that).
3D graphics were used mostly by FPSs and simulators. 3D RPGs like Arena, Daggerfall, etc. didn't used polygons.
So VGA resolution graphs (640x480), 256 colors, with pre-rendered graphics were OK.
Fallout 2 was essentially the revised and augmented version of the original.
In those days, you couldn't lure RPG gamers just with eye candy graphics. BG was an very nice looking game, but I hated a lot of things of it (awful combat system, linear and plain story, meaningless dialogs and choices).

The guy criticizes the 'Interaction'. By reading the review I assume the guy didn't played the first Fallout, and he wasn't familiar with the controls. The inventory of the game was horrible, but the game gameplay, and the rest of the UI was Ok.
The freedom you had in that game, I haven't experienced in any recent game. You could be boxer, gangster, kung fu disciple, porn actor, scientolog.. err hubologist, slaver, I mean the game was so damn fun.

He didn't liked the music. No big deal. I still love that industrial sounds, eerie ambient tracks.

He didn't liked the intro? Man, the intro rocks. The song "A kiss to build a dream on" is just amazing… And the ending… THAT ending…

The bugs. Yes he's right about that. The dreaded "dissapearing car trunk", some bugged AI like the bots in Sierra, and some other were infuriating.

He doesn't mention the humor, the "adult themes", the awesome companions, the most badass boss in the Fallout universe (and one of the best bosses in all gaming). I guess if you don't grow with those games you cannot appreciate all the things they represented at that time…
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April 9th, 2014, 07:45
The writer gave it a 4/5 and that's not bad considering the age of the game.

I don't see the point of getting mad here. I guess I'm just not as picky as some readers, or care what others say about older RPG games I loved to play.

I think it's time to play every Fallout game again. The only problem is finding the time to do so. I only have about 10-15 hours a week to play games now.

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April 9th, 2014, 08:13
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
The writer gave it a 4/5 and that's not bad considering the age of the game.

I don't see the point of getting mad here. I guess I'm just not as picky as some readers, or care what others say about older RPG games I loved to play.

I think it's time to play every Fallout game again. The only problem is finding the time to do so. I only have about 10-15 hours a week to play games now.
Sorry, but it's just because it's my favorite game of all times.
How I can remain cool after a review doesn't praise the good things of Fallout 2? I mean, it's so difficult to see nowadays what made the games legendary stuff back then?
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April 9th, 2014, 08:17
Originally Posted by Sumerisle View Post
This retrospective is unfair.
3D graphics at RPGs at that time were very uncommon. The average RPG gamer of that time, usually didn't have the best (expensive) 3D GPU because the games like Ultima, Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Diablo, etc. didn't need it. Some of those games don't even needed Windows to run. (I had to install WIN95 to play Diablo, and hated myself because of that).
3D graphics were used mostly by FPSs and simulators. 3D RPGs like Arena, Daggerfall, etc. didn't used polygons.
So VGA resolution graphs (640x480), 256 colors, with pre-rendered graphics were OK.
Fallout 2 was essentially the revised and augmented version of the original.
In those days, you couldn't lure RPG gamers just with eye candy graphics. BG was an very nice looking game, but I hated a lot of things of it (awful combat system, linear and plain story, meaningless dialogs and choices).

The guy criticizes the 'Interaction'. By reading the review I assume the guy didn't played the first Fallout, and he wasn't familiar with the controls. The inventory of the game was horrible, but the game gameplay, and the rest of the UI was Ok.
The freedom you had in that game, I haven't experienced in any recent game. You could be boxer, gangster, kung fu disciple, porn actor, scientolog.. err hubologist, slaver, I mean the game was so damn fun.

He didn't liked the music. No big deal. I still love that industrial sounds, eerie ambient tracks.

He didn't liked the intro? Man, the intro rocks. The song "A kiss to build a dream on" is just amazing… And the ending… THAT ending…

The bugs. Yes he's right about that. The dreaded "dissapearing car trunk", some bugged AI like the bots in Sierra, and some other were infuriating.

He doesn't mention the humor, the "adult themes", the awesome companions, the most badass boss in the Fallout universe (and one of the best bosses in all gaming). I guess if you don't grow with those games you cannot appreciate all the things they represented at that time…
Where have you been all my life? I completely agree with everything you’ve said. FO2 is the best single character crpg I ever played. I always feel like an outcast because people have such bad taste and I was starting to think I was crazy. You thought the IE game’s combat was god awful too? It is so bad it hurt my brain. Just like the combat in the KoTORs and NWNs. So bad.

Then again, I have no issue saving and reloading over and over again in FO until I get a crit head shot so I’m not saying I have the greatest taste - but I know what bad is. I guess it’s hard to make the transition from goldbox games, X-Com, darksun, the RoAs, the Wizardries, and Buck Rogers to a game where you click on an enemy and wait and just watch and wait until all the bad guys are dead. RTwP is awful. Notable exception is the new game, Aarklash Legacy (which required constant user participation and a sensible and not frustrating way or boring way). I enjoyed some games despite the bad combat, like Darklands and Drakensang 2. But I had to force myself to play BG and I just could never get into it. I did get a lot farther in BG2 and PST, but even with the interesting story in PST the utter horribleness of the combat eventually caused me to lose the ability to continue and I’ve never finished. And there is nothing worse than fighting with party AI when they actually throw an extremely rare and difficult boss fight at you.

Of course, FO2 had some Ai issues, but at least I participated in combat.
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April 9th, 2014, 09:07
Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
Where have you been all my life? I completely agree with everything you’ve said. FO2 is the best single character crpg I ever played. I always feel like an outcast because people have such bad taste and I was starting to think I was crazy. You thought the IE game’s combat was god awful too? It is so bad it hurt my brain. Just like the combat in the KoTORs and NWNs. So bad.

Then again, I have no issue saving and reloading over and over again in FO until I get a crit head shot so I’m not saying I have the greatest taste - but I know what bad is. I guess it’s hard to make the transition from goldbox games, X-Com, darksun, the RoAs, the Wizardries, and Buck Rogers to a game where you click on an enemy and wait and just watch and wait until all the bad guys are dead. RTwP is awful. Notable exception is the new game, Aarklash Legacy (which required constant user participation and a sensible and not frustrating way or boring way). I enjoyed some games despite the bad combat, like Darklands and Drakensang 2. But I had to force myself to play BG and I just could never get into it. I did get a lot farther in BG2 and PST, but even with the interesting story in PST the utter horribleness of the combat eventually caused me to lose the ability to continue and I’ve never finished. And there is nothing worse than fighting with party AI when they actually throw an extremely rare and difficult boss fight at you.

Of course, FO2 had some Ai issues, but at least I participated in combat.
I had some friends that loved Fallout 2, but they don't play games anymore. I guess the new generations will grow thinking that a "hardcore RPG" is something like DA2, ME, Skyrim, etc. The classic CRPGs will be relegated to be like the obsolete Coleco/ Atari of my era.
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April 9th, 2014, 10:59
FO2 can get less than 5/5 today only from a graphics whore. Or a scieontologist.

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April 9th, 2014, 11:06
Time to get unstuck in time guys
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April 9th, 2014, 12:33
Black Isle Studios could have chosen to use the 3D technology of the late 90s in creating Fallout 2, but it erred on the side of sprites that did not tax the hardware of the time. While this means the game is hardly a sumptuous feature for the eyes today, aside from a limited color palette it is not eye-gougingly horrendous either. Many details in character animation are quite nice, and the brutality of some deaths is impressive even now.

There goes all the credibility that this dude might have had right down the toilet. It's a fact, that nineties 3D looks like ass today. Sprites in Fallout, Infinity Engine games etc. (although rendered from 3D models) look infinitely better than 3D models at the time looked.
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April 9th, 2014, 16:16
Fully agree. 3D of the 90's looked far worse than 2D, sterile and "lego"-like, while that works for some game (i still have no problems with the graphics of System Shock 2 because of the setting). FO should look gritty, that would have been impossible with 3D.. FO is pretty far from a sterile setting in a spaceship with perfect geometry.

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