My life is in boxes at the moment, and because of this I don't really play too much. It takes too much effort on my part to sit and dig through a box for XBOX games, and I just don't every really feel up for doing that. This weekend, however, I took my 360 with me down on a trip to Jersey so I could download the Batman demo and decided to dig out a couple of games. Despite bringing 4 games, only 1 of them ever entered the console, and this is where it now resides: Fallout 3.
But more on that later. First - the Batman demo! That's right, Batman: Arkham Asylum is now available in a 15 minute demo version on your XBOX 360! Or PS3 I guess. Whichever you have. Either way, you now have access to the exact same demo on display at E3. This was my main curiousity: is this going to be the same level from E3? Yeah, it is, and with that all of my previous comments pretty much stay the same: the voice acting is phenomenal, the gameplay is fun but it feels like it would be repetitive. In playing the Batman demo in my own time (without a line behind me or crowd of people watching), I feel like I had a bit more time to sit and enjoy the gameplay, and I've gotta say, it is pretty fun. However, I still feel like all in all, the game is just rental fun. I can't imagine myself wanting to play this game more than once, and the combat is still pretty easy. Sure, it's fun to swoop over someone and kick them in the head, but let's be honest - there are a lot of games you can do this in (such as my hotly anticipated Assassin's Creed 2). In fact, I would go so far as to say the only thing that makes this game special is that it's Batman. The free flowing combat is still by far and large the highlight, though. It's a much more polished version of what Too Human tried to do, and I enjoy it. It can occasionally be annoying when I want to punch the guy on the left and Batman punches the guy on the right, but with all the complaints I make this is hardly one I apply any significance to. Hell, I'm more upset by character designs than I am by that, so it's clearly small potatoes. So Batman is fun to play, sure, but I still can't imagine paying $60 for it. That's just me, though, and I know for a fact other writers here feel differently, so take my thoughts as you will.
Then we decided to play Fallout 3 to pass the time for a little bit, and boy, when I get back into this game, I get back into it hardcore. In fact, I really wish I were at home still plugging away at my adventures in the wasteland. I downloaded the two new expansions (Mothership Zeta and Point Lookout) and finally finished my adventures in the Pitt (which involved a Thunderdome style match with a chainsaw, which was AWESOME). I'm amazed that, even now, I still think Fallout 3 is one of the best games I've played. I always look at it and feel overwhelmed due to the epic scope of the game, and I think that this intimidating nature of the game is what keeps a lot of people from going back. I mean, the original clock in time I had for the game was 56 and a half hours. Do I really want to commit another 56 and a half, probably more, hours to a game like this? After playing it again this weekend, I can definitely say yes. I am absolutely fine with devoting my life to this game again. It's just so damn fun, and now that I'm playing through with an evil character the story seems fresh as I blow up Megaton and kill some doctor who is just trying to create a cure. Of course, I'm making the game much harder for myself right now because even though I have special armor that can practically deflect bullets (thanks to the expansions!), I choose to wear a broken leather uniform that makes me look like Mad Max and run aroudn with no stimpaks. I'M JUST THAT HARDCORE. Plus I have Nerd Rage.
All in all, Fallout 3 is still definitely one of the most entertaining game experiences I've ever had. With all of the new expansions, I'd go so far as to include this game on my Best of '09 list, right at the top. It's just such a damn great game. Everything about it. The atmosphere is wonderful, the ambience is magnificent, and the gameplay still holds even after all of the time I've already devoted into the gameplay. Right now I'm doing one of the main story missions (the Galaxy News Radio mission), but as soon as I finish I plan to investigate the mysterious Alien Homing Beacon sounds my Pip-Boy has been picking up. I'll let you all know what happens.