Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tales of Vault 867 - Part Twelve

Well well well! It looks like the Raiders are finally coming up with some new strategies. Perhaps they'll finally become the legitimate threat they've always meant to be.

Or not.

Apparently they thought sending a stand-up comedian to the door to beg for his life would get us to open ourselves up for another raid. Which, unfortunately, it did, because my Dwellers are idiots. Fortunately so are the Raiders, and we were able to get the doors sealed again in time.

Fortunately the "comedian" turned out to be just another Wasteland lunatic, but one with an advanced understanding of water purification and our processing equipment. Ever since he got here we've had much fewer incidents with flammable molerats in the drinking water.

Unfortunately he couldn't do anything about the highly-flammable intoxicants Scumbag Owens has been storing in his hab block. It's amazing how fast full-term pregnant women can run when properly motivated.

I set up an education block in the lower levels in an attempt to raise the average I.Q. in the Vault. Our teaching staff... leaves something to be desired.

In spite of these setbacks, we've actually seen a pretty large uptick in Dwellers coming in from the Wasteland. I assume Terry's attempts to recruit for his traitor armies have just spread the word about what a well-run organization we are.

Naturally I've had them all quarantined and subjected to interrogation. The Traitor hasn't put in an appearance in months, and I'm confident his evil has finally been put to rest.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Celebrating Konami?! FemSnake For The Win

Back when Assassin's Creed: Unity was coming out I wrote a backhanded defense of the developers for not putting playable female characters in the multiplayer mode. My point was that, because of the way the game was designed, it would be a hell of a lot harder to implement a playable female character than it was in the old AC games that did have them.

Well, time has passed and Hideo Kojima sure showed me. Brianna Wu has a great write-up, but the TL;DR is that you can play as FemSnake in Metal Gear Solid 5.

FemSnake Blonde.
From the aforementioned write-up:

"She’s a prisoner you rescue on a mission, but you do get to play almost every mission as her. She can be your protagonist, and is included in many of the cutscenes. She runs Mother Base. She commands the game’s soldiers. She is fully voiced, and her acting is even more menacing than Kiefer Sutherland’s."

This is basically what I said Ubisoft would have to do to put a playable female character in Unity, and I stand by my assertion that it's a hell of a lot of work. (Kojima even has an advantage in that Big Boss/Kiefer Sutherland is practically mute throughout the whole game. Less voice acting!) But I also said it was totally doable, and Metal Gear Solid V has gone and proved it. They've also allowed you to play as different races by the same method, male and female. Hats off to Kojima and, yes, Konami for doing the right thing.

I should note that there are a few hoops you have to jump through to do this, namely actually finding a female character and extracting her to add to your Mother Base combat unit. At around the halfway point in the game I've found six female characters out of almost 600 soldiers, so yeah, this is difficult. (Extracting a female prisoner is actually worth a Playstation trophy, but I'm 99% sure I've run across at least one female soldier as well.) Also my FemSnake, a.k.a. Laughing Wallaby, sounds like a total psychopath when she pets D. Dog, but that's not that much different from Boss I guess.

You can also customize D. Dog. I've made him as Corgi as possible.
(Tangent: why the hell can't I put Quiet in something modest? You released female DLC costumes that are only usable by 1/100 of your soldiers and don't go on Quiet. Come on Konami.)

As for Ubisoft... well, Unity was a glitchy disaster at launch so, yes, their resource and time problems were real. Poor bastard developers. Happily Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, just out, is by all accounts a superior game and features a choice of male or female protagonist, so they've put one in the "win" column. Here's hoping they keep it up.

"Damn it D. Dog."

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tales of Vault 867 - Part Eleven

Another day, another attempt by High Traitor Terry to take over the Vault. Fortunately our brave Dwellers were able to see the threat off with minimal losses.

I'm honestly having trouble figuring out why Terry bothers with this anymore. What can he possibly throw at us besides more Wasteland trash?

All attempts to kill sterilize discourage the fecundity of Scumbag Owens have failed. I'm starting to suspect the man intends to replace my benevolent dictatorship oversight with a patriarchal tyranny. If so, he should probably start treating his partners a little better. Jesus, Owens.

The Ninja spy remains among the cafeteria staff. He has made a friend, thus confirming that he's not simply a delusion brought on by isolation. So that's a load off.

Down below, we're dealing with yet more molerat outbreaks. I've assigned some of the Dwellers to do nothing but clear them out, before they eat our entire food store. To their credit they're approaching the new job with a positive attitude.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Triple D! The Democratic Debate Drinking Game

DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER!!! This drinking game has not been tested and is based on random things happening on live TV, which means following these rules could easily KILL YOU STONE DEAD. (I am not playing because I have children and a wife who would prefer me to be sober. Which may not stop me from taking a shot if I watch too much of tonight's debate.)

This is intended to be tongue-in-cheek (more like... guidelines than actual rules), and anyone drinking during tonight's debate should do so responsibly. As in, don't drink the goddamn rum with the hula girl on the label. That shit sneaks up on you.

Anywho, here are the not-rules:

Take A Drink Every Time:

- Hillary Clinton's email server or Benghazi is mentioned.

- Martin O'Malley brings up his record as Governor.

- Bernie Sanders says "Wall Street" or "income inequality".

- You remember that Jim Webb and Lincoln Chaffee are there.

- Someone makes a joke about Trump or the House.

- One of the moderators has to prompt a candidate to actually answer the question.

Take A Shot If:

- Hillary Clinton throws someone under the bus over her email server or Benghazi.

- Martin O'Malley brings up his record as Mayor.

- Bernie Sanders screws up an answer on race or gun control.

- Someone addresses anything Jim Webb or Lincoln Chaffee say.

- Lawrence Lessig is mentioned.

- Anderson Cooper cracks up or storms out.

Kill The Bottle If:

- Anyone attacks President Obama.

- Hillary Clinton fires any of her campaign staff on Wednesday.

- Martin O'Malley chews out Debbie Wasserman Schultz by name.

- Bernie Sanders announces he's going to play The Most Dangerous Game with the heads of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

- Jim Webb or Lincoln Chaffee walk out.

- Lawrence Lessig comes on stage.

- Joe Biden comes on stage.

- Elizabeth Warren comes on stage.

- Bill Clinton comes on stage. (Just hugging Hillary doesn't count.)

- Don Lemon gets trolled by Internet questioners on air.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Puppy

"Kept you waiting, huh?"
I've been playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain lately. I expect I'm going to keep playing Metal Gear Solid V for quite some time. It's a very large open-world game, which is a game type I've only gone gaga for once (and that was Assassin's Creed 2). I got into Far Cry 3 for a bit too, but petered out sometime near the halfway mark once things got a little... repetitive (climb tower, clear out bases, skin something, repeat). It's a problem that's kept me from enjoying any Grand Theft Auto game, the rest of the Assassin's Creed series, and MMOs in general (once I got the Warcraft monkey off my back.)

I'm still in the early game, so this might change, but Metal Gear Solid V has a couple features that raise it over most open world games for me. First, you can go back and play through earlier missions to clear side objectives you're pretty much guaranteed to miss the first time through. Second, the missions are discrete little games within the game, which means I can drop in to do one without getting lost wandering the Afghani wasteland for hours looking for plants. (Or I can do that too.) Third, the game adapts to your play strategy, so if you get comfortable headshotting guards, they'll start wearing helmets to force you to change up your style. Fourth, there is a crazy amount of different ways to do each mission, from pure stealth to crazy gun nut to full-scale army invasion to cardboard box surfing.

That all adds up to a game I'm unlikely to get bored of anytime soon, because I'll be playing it in short sips and I'm not likely to keep doing the same thing over and over again. That's important for something that'll probably take me sixty hours to finish.

Fourth, there is a puppy. This is his heartwarming story.

* * *

Kazuhira "Kaz" Miller: Boss, this is the Fulton extraction system. You can use it to recruit soldiers and... did you just drug a dog and tie it to the balloon?

K: Boss? You just brought a wild dog onto our top-secret military base. Care to explain that?

Big Boss: PUPPY!!1!

K: Boss, it's been living in an Afghani war zone-

B: Hello puppy! Hello!

K: Boss, can I please-

B: Who's a good puppy? You are! You are!

K: Boss I'm not kidding, that thing probably has rabies-

B: *squeals* Aww, puppy kisses!

Revolver Ocelot: Er, Boss?


K: Sigh... Ocelot, get the dog a room and its shots.

B: Wait, what? You can't hold my puppy! You shock people's testicles for kicks!


K: Great, good, we're done. Can we get back to DID YOU JUST TIE A GODDAMN BEAR TO THE BALLOON