Fallout 4: New Vegas Gripes

Summary: Its more or less the same thing as Fallout 3, just different content.

I’m really in 2 minds about Fallout 4. On the one hand I’m happy to see a sequel to the much acclaimed Fallout series. I, like others have waited for what seems like an eternity for Fallout 4 to be released. Needless to say the expectations were high. But while playing the game, there are too few new game elements for it to really grab my attention for long periods of time.

Here are my top gripes with Fallout 4: New Vegas

  1. Rather than being a new game it seems like nothing more than a Giant expansion pack for Fallout 3. The game mechanics are nearly identical. The HUD and inventory system, which was always clunky has not been improved. Most of the old bugs carry through to the new version. For all intensive purposes its the same game. This begs the question “Why the long wait for it?” Alright maybe I’m being a bit harsh here, but I really expected some original game content in the new release, sadly there is very little of this. A few new mob types exist, obviously the map is different. Besides this same shit, different day.
  2. The run speed: Vanilla Fallout 4 has a really slow default run speed which really slows down the pace of the game. I guess this was done to provide a level of realism, but its not exactly a life sim. They might as well have given players a better run speed off the bat.
  3. No vehicles? Every now and again you see motor bikes, for example in Goodspings, but these are just part of the scenery. Would have been nice if you could actually have repaired bikes, and used them. A dirt bike would have been an excellent addition to the game. I just can’t believe absolutely everyone in the wasteland get around either on live stock or walk. No one figured out how to jump start a bike?
  4. Go to x, then go to z, then back to x quests. I understand the importance of these types of quests in any RPG. What I don’t like is that NV is full of them, and the game doesn’t even attempt to offer any new style of quest. I’m so used to this style of questing a lot of the time I just skip the dialog and follow the quest marker. Sometimes I stop and think, “What the hell am I doing?” I found the quests pretty confusing around “The Strip”.
  5. Inventory management. The clunky interface isn’t great, but besides this it is incomplete. Notice when you transfer items to your companions you can’t see how much weight you’re using, neither them. Its still annoying having to flip through the pip boy, for some reason the mouse acceleration isn’t perfect on menus either.
  6. Impassible areas. While the game is mostly sandbox, there are areas that are blatant arenas. Its not the worst thing about the game, but I find there are times you end up looking for that “one way in” to a certain area. mountain passes are used everywhere and a lot of the time you can’t pass over their peaks.
  7. Not enough auto saves. I really hate travelling for an hour or so, killing off enough mobs to provide 1.5 levels experience, then dying. It gets annoying having to do all that content over. Saving frequently manually subtracts from the immersion.
  8. Sex scene cut. There is one part in the game where you pay some hooker 300 caps for a “Good time”. Total waste of the 300 caps, all you get is a black fade out.
  9. Same old static DX9 world. When Fallout 3 was released it was cutting edge. Problem is NV was released at the same time as DX11 dynamic game worlds are debuting. I know its supposed to be a waste land, but a slightly more dynamic environment could have been nice.
  10. The radio stations suck. Fallout 3 had a couple of catchy tunes, which was one of the draw points of the game. I can’t think of 1 radio tune in NV that I really like. They should not have invested more energy in the sound track.
  11. All the females strike the same pose when you talk to them. This is similar to Gothic 4. Not sure if this is a new lazy trend in game design, but its shoddy.
  12. Crafting is not a big improvement from the last series. And like with my Fallout 3 review I found that you can get through the whole game more comfortably without crafting at all. Why bother having the content, if it doesn’t help that much.
  13. Caravan the new card game, mmm very hard to learn. I still need to figure it out, but not sure if I will.

 

 

Fallout (series)

Image via Wikipedia

 

Ok now for the good things:

  1. If you enjoyed Fallout 3, and want more of the exact same thing then NV is just for you.
  2. Can keep you coming back, even if its slow, a bit dull, and can be boring to play. It still makes you want to come back and play it for some reason.
  3. The game world is full of surprises and quests everywhere.
  4. You can swim

Overall if the game had been marketed as a Fallout 3 expansion, I would have given it a 10/10. But as a new game it brings very little new to the table. So I would end this with a 7/10.

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The unsolvable remote doesn’t work after standby issue

Here is an issue thats been driving me up the wall, and although I’ve been aware of this issue for over 3 years now, I still haven’t managed to find 1 solution that works for me.

The problem: Laptop comes with a built in eHome Infrared Receiver (USBCIR) MCE Remote. The receiver works until you put the computer to sleep, after you resume, the receiver does not work. Nothing appears to help restore the functionality of the receiver, not even a warm reboot, only unplugging the power source and performing a true cold reboot resets the device.  This is for my experience with a Vaio VGN-AR41S.

Windows 7 64Bit

Here is a picture of the device manager, when the remote works:

At this point everything works, like a dream.

Now lets put the computer to sleep and wait at least 10-15 minutes.

Here is the updated picture of the device manager:

You also get a warning on the side of your screen which looks like this just after coming out of sleep mode:

 

 

Further examination shows us the device properties:

 

 

The theory is, if you can somehow find a way to reset the device back to its original state without requiring a cold boot, you could then run some kind of script each time the computer comes out of standby.

Failed Attempts:

1: Delete devices in device manager and scan for changes.

This actually has a worse affect, or no affect, because after doing this you will need to reboot the computer for the devices to work, however even a warm boot as discussed, doesn’t work!

Here is the screenshot after you uninstall driver and scan for changes:

 

 

 

So what do Microsoft have to say about this:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978061

Basically they tell you to do what I’ve just said – 1. Shutdown 2. Unplug Power cable 3. Reboot.

Time to test out the solution on Linux. Perhaps its an OS issue. Stay tuned for part 2.

 

 

Logitech Desktop Wave Wireless Lag.

About 2 months Ago I purchased the Logitech Desktop Wave, which is a wireless keyboard and mouse combination. Since then I’ve had intermittent problems with lag.

I cannot say my lag issues are completely resolved, but I will share my experience so far, which has helped me make the lag more tolerable while I dig further and try to find the solution to the problem.

Firstly my disclaimer: I would highly recommend that you do not purchase this keyboard and mouse combination if you are a precision user. For the average granny sitting at home I am nearly sure that a bit of mouse lag would go by without the user even noticing it. I however expect my equipment to work nearly flawlessly, so I notice every single bit of lag. It gets highly frustrating for power users to have to sit through laggy mouse sessions. Owning a wireless combination set has turned me into a believer of cables.

Here are the solutions you should try that might solve your issue.

 

1. No matter what, get yourself a USB extension cable, and plug it into the receiver. Now move the receiver no more than 10cm’s away from your keyboard or mouse. This defeats the whole purpose of having these devices wireless, but it does reduce most of the OOB lag. Look, its either this or you pack up the keyboard and mouse in the box and take it back to the shop.

2. If you keep your wireless router on your desk, move it away or turn off the radio transmission if you’re not using it. 2.4Ghz is a busy frequency in the living area of a geek. Don’t bother trying to adjust the wireless router channel, this simply doesn’t work. Move it or loose it.

3. Try every single USB slot you have available extensively, front and back ports included. This takes time to run full tests, until you find the least laggy port. Some motherboards have network cards which seem to share bandwidth with certain USB ports, I’ve read this, but yet to confirm this as a myth, however a lot of users found their lag issue solved by switching to a front USB port on their desktop machines.

4. Don’t use SetPoint. I know it sucks not having the extra buttons work, but SetPoint might be the root cause of the Lag.

5. Wrap the reciever in tin foil. I’ve heard this boosts the reception and lowers the lag, I have personally not tried this.

 

Notes:

  • It appears the lag is worse during network usage or while downloading content from the internet.
  • Logitech support offer no solutions
  • Mostly its about making the lag more bearable, rather than solving it completely.