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Default Fallout 3 - Review @ RPG Codex

November 12th, 2008, 16:48
The music is a shame, though. The original Fallout score was great — unusual, musically interesting, and fit the environment to a T. The FO3 score is just boring, and (atmosphere or not), I think it's criminal that they mangled all that beautiful music Galaxy is playing by adding all that wow and flutter and stutter. Stylus surface crackles would've done the job just as well, and wouldn't have ruined the experience.
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November 13th, 2008, 03:44
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
In the kind of world they live in it would be hard not to go crazy since in the real world people go crazy for far less then what those people have to go through.
Going crazy doesn't really work that way. Extreme situations do mean moral aberrations from our perspective, but not "crazy" in the clinical sense.

Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
You honestly thought the scientgist had bad dialogue there? Honestly. Sure the ants were a pain in the arse but I liked the dialogue with it.
They did do well in getting that 50's nonsensical angle, the Science!, into that quest and into his dialogue (his explanation for the fire ants is just "huh?", which is wonderful), but in overall quality, I'd just call that dialogue run of the mill (whereas the preceding dialogue with the kid would be typified as "bad"), which is what the vast majority of non-main quest dialogue in Fallout 3 is. Almost all the main quest-related dialogue is atrocious, while there are also bits and pieces of dialogue that are good, but often ruined by voice acting. Moira Brown actually has some really good pieces of dialogue, only the voice actress butchers it completely. The ghouls tend to have better writing than humans for some reason, only they all seem to have been done by one voice actor.

I certainly wouldn't complement dialogue, either in writing, voice acting, animating or even general interfacing. Even the writing for the PC him/herself is so bad it's actually noticeably, which is rarely the case in any game - in particular the [intelligence] lines are just laughable at times.
Last edited by Brother None; November 13th, 2008 at 03:51.
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November 13th, 2008, 07:02
Yes, I didn't mean to suggest that quest was "bad"…but neither do I think the dialogue was "good". I liked the homage to "Them!" and it was a decent length quest chain but none of the characters stood out, there were no real twists in the story…ultimately, it was go to point A, then point B, then C…and that was it.

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November 13th, 2008, 08:25
I guess there might be different standards at work here. I certainly can't remember ever stopping in my tracks playing a game thinking "wow, this is great dialog". That includes the previous Fallouts. But to be honest, I have rarely thought that reading literature, either. Maybe its one of the things I simply don't notice, unless it's absent. I can certainly remember instances of clearly bad dialog in games - dialog that was unnaturally stiff, or over the top, or awkward. Good dialog could thus be considered as one that doesn't get in the way, and conveys a minimum of personality to the speakers (in this case mainly the NPC). From the comments it seems FO3 contains both - instances of bad dialog, and "good" (but not brilliant) dialog, that at least blends in.
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November 13th, 2008, 09:51
That's how I percieve it as well - I hardly ever notice good writing, but it's so obvious when it's bad.
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November 13th, 2008, 12:05
I do notice good writing, personally, but more in the general sense. Sometimes I'd recollect a line or two here and there, but for the most part while I could say "the writing of game X is excellent," I'd be hard-pressed to pinpoint any particular part of the dialogue or journal entries as things that stand out. Maybe it's because I conflate writing with storytelling.
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November 13th, 2008, 15:45
Who decides what is good wr—oh, forget it.

*hides*
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November 13th, 2008, 15:55
I expect "bad dialogue", find myself more sensitive to how it's delivered via the voice acting. Bad dialogue is par for the course in rpgs, for oftentimes the very situations you find yourself in are absurd by their very nature. Attempt writing dialogue about some of this stuff like elves and giant ants and such - chances are it's pretty freakin hard to do it w/ a straight face!
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November 13th, 2008, 19:32
Originally Posted by _elander_ View Post
As are you.
As are you.

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November 13th, 2008, 20:11
Pretty good review, and I think many fair points are made.

Indeed, the dialogue so far has been too off-beat and instead of being genuinely interesting and dark - it's been mostly off-the-wall crazy and, as far as I'm concerned, detrimental to a very serious setting. The attempts at humor are too frequent and forced, and there are simply too many ridiculous characters.

But then, they were never very good at that - and I didn't expect much in this department. I'm very hard to please in this area, and I wasn't impressed with Torment either (trying too hard to be profound) - so maybe it's more preference than actual quality.

I prefer no-nonsense and plausibility over pretty much anything else, and I find that kind of narrative EXTREMELY rare. Off the top of my head, I think BioForge is possibly my favorite game in terms of narrative and story delivery.
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November 13th, 2008, 20:33
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
That's how I percieve it as well - I hardly ever notice good writing, but it's so obvious when it's bad.
Well I've been replaying NWN2 OC and I can tell you on many occasions I just stopped and laughed because I felt a line of dialogue was just so good.

Like in the Docks District there's that merchant being threatened by some thugs for protection money and you come with your shiny armor and savior of the world aura and ask her whether there's a problem and she proceeds to explain how it's a misunderstanding, that it's an honor for her to have to pay for protection, means she's successful, that she finally made it!

Or when you go in that crypt to save a girl being brain washed by some sort of gothic group and when you reach the leader he goes on a lengthy preach and you have the option to start and argue with him or simply say "I don't have time for this, just hand over the girl" for some reasons I just loved that dialog.

…and I realize I'm really not good at describing in-game memorable moments and anyone reading this will think wtf these aren't examples of good writing. Nevertheless, so far I haven't had any such moment in Fallout 3 where I just paused and smiled.
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November 14th, 2008, 22:47
Originally Posted by Hedek View Post
…and I realize I'm really not good at describing in-game memorable moments and anyone reading this will think wtf these aren't examples of good writing. Nevertheless, so far I haven't had any such moment in Fallout 3 where I just paused and smiled.
Not even the GOAT?

Sorry, but I was in stitches during that, which is pretty rare for me. The line beginning 'oh no!' about the arm growing out of your stomach was so excellently delivered.
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November 14th, 2008, 23:49
Good writing you hardly notice, I agree; bad writing you do, I find.

As for the dialogues in NWN2, I think I might play it some more. I always wanted to be able to say to a thug that goes into a lengthy rant that 'I don't have time for this…' (in a game of course)

As for the dialogues in Fallout 3, I only have the dialogues I have seen on the web. And those I have seen was not that great…

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November 15th, 2008, 00:06
Good review, I agree with most of the points actually. I guess my expectation going in was the same as the reviewer's, that it would be bad, but I actually enjoy most parts of it.

I've had two high points in the games so far, the first was
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November 15th, 2008, 11:48
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Going crazy doesn't really work that way. Extreme situations do mean moral aberrations from our perspective, but not "crazy" in the clinical sense.
Actually it can. A reactive psychosis is typically triggered by stressful events. It is admittedly short term and usually there is some predisposing vulnerability in the patient.

For long term diseases like schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorders (formerly called manic-depressive disease, most of the patients are not psychotic), external events may occasionally contribute to manifestation or worsening of the condition, but the relation is not as striking as it is with the reactive conditions.

But psychosis will affect only a small minority of the population. So the majority of the population in 2277 won't go "crazy".

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Last edited by pibbur; November 15th, 2008 at 11:59.

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November 16th, 2008, 13:00
I must agree. I have learned through discussions in the last months that especially stressful situations can be dangerous for any labile/weak/unstable mind

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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