GGF#24: Fallout 3 is da bomb

[Gamer Girl Friday]

The game of the week is Fallout 3, quite surprisingly (for me), because I never had the slightest intention to play it.

The plan was to let the Goonfather play it, maybe let a video roll while he’s at it, or get him to write a review after playing it.

Well, I ended up not making a video because I’m tired of crap quality videos (need to buy a real video camera some time). But the Goonfather did send me a review. Only it was like 200 words long and read like the back of a game box, ending with the words, “To know what happens next… play the freaking game.”

So I ended up having to play the game myself so I could write my own review.

Hired help these days, tsk.

Can’t say I regret playing the game, though. Fallout 3 is DA BOMB.

That was an accidental pun. I swear.


Table of Contents

  1. Fallout 3 — dark and delightful
  2. Calling all street fighters!
  3. Singapore gets on world gaming map
  4. Results of last week’s contest
  5. Win a 1GB Imation Nano Flash Drive!


Fallout 3 — dark and delightful

As testimony to the brilliance of Fallout 3, I shall risk the wrath of (nobody) to publicly declare that I would rather be playing the game now than writing this review.

Fallout 3

Well… if there were somebody for me to risk the wrath of, I would.

I have never played any of the prequels, so believe me when I say that you don’t need to have played them to get yourself immersed in Fallout 3 immediately.

Also, because I have never played the prequels, I am blown away by how cool romping around in an irradiated wasteland could be.

Fallout 3

Let’s go through some cursory info first. Fallout 3 is an action RPG incorporating shooter elements, set in a post-apocalyptic 2277. You can switch between first-person and third-person views at any time with the press of a button. Available for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, Fallout 3 is rated M18.

Okay, that’s all the cursory info you need for now.

Fallout 3 impresses from the moment you press the Start button on your controller (assuming you’re playing the Xbox 360 version like I am). The process of character creation has been creatively worked into the plot of the game so that creating a character is actually part of the story and gameplay.

For an RPG that doesn’t have multiplayer elements and which many gamers would play in first-person perspective, I’m surprised at the almost infinite possibilties for facial customisation.

Fallout 3

I decided to pass on tweaking my face, instead settling for a preset face and hairstyle. Even then, I spent a good 15 minutes choosing from the presets. Even hair colour is amazingly tweakable with a 256-colour RGB slider.

Not that any of it will really matter in the grand scheme of things, since no one, including yourself, will see your character anymore after you’re done with this process. If you play first-person, that is.

If you’re in third-person, you’ll just be looking at the back of your character, anyway, and your shocking blue hair, for which you took 10 minutes to get the exact right hue, will be sadly hidden under an ugly bulbous helmet you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing in 2008 Orchard Road.

Fallout 3

You start off in the game by being a baby. Yes — and I can’t get over how cute this is — your very first quest in the game is to crawl to daddy.

Fallout 3

By default, you start off in first-person mode so, yes, baby FPS!! It feels surprisingly heart-warming when your daddy praises you and talks to you in a loving tone while you gurgle back cutely.

I almost felt a lump in my throat.

One of your next quests is to read your baby book, which is a cutely disguised ploy to have you assign points to the standard abilities that your adult character will have.

Fallout 3

It’s a thrill looking into the book, so I won’t spoil it for you by showing you everything.

You’ll spend the next 30 minutes or so playing through significant events of your childhood, while at the same time learning that you’re given a heck lot of leeway to dicate exactly what kind of person you want to grow up to be, through the dialogue and action choices that you make.

The karma system takes into account all your choices, gradually affecting how the environment interacts with you. You could choose to be good or evil or straddle between the two, never quite deciding.

I started off being good because that’s just the kind of person I am. ;)

But as I progressed through the game, I gradually spiralled down the path to the dark side after one honest mistake.

Fallout 3

I took something that didn’t belong to me.

I lost some karma and the Goonfather accused me of being a thief. “See your karma dropping cos you’re a thief.”

“I’m not a thief,” I protested. “I just took something that’s lying around. People are supposed to do that in RPGs!!”

That was when he pointed out to me that performing actions highlighted in red makes your character a little more evil.

It was then that I decided it was easier being evil because resources are scarce in a post-apocalyptic world. If you don’t steal, you’ll die of hunger or thirst or, worse, radiation poisoning, before the sun goes down. (But that was before I found out painfully that if you’re evil, sometimes you get ambushed by well-meaing folk trying to rid the world of evil.)

Fallout 3

So, I was in this clinic, trying to steal some medicine to heal myself because I needed it really badly and the medicine was just lying there. Only I tried to do it while the doctor was sitting there watching, and he wasn’t too impressed.

“Thief!!” he called me and then tried to clobber me over my head.

I did what any self-respecting RPG player would do: Clobber him back.

And that was how I murdered my first innocent. In doing that, I also killed the one and only doctor in the city (which looks more like a village). Luckily, I had chosen to specialise in medicine before arriving at the city, so I didn’t really need a doctor hanging around.

This is where the game is so infuriatingly infuriating.

There are way too many skill customisation options. It’s hard to choose. You feel like you need everything in order to survive, but you can’t have everything.

Fallout 3

Should you specialise in combat, put all your points in the several kinds of weaponry available? Or do you want to become like a charismatic religious leader, influencing, manipulating and hypnotising your way to victory? How about being a whiz kid so you can hack computers to gain entry to restricted areas? Or be a medic? Or a crook, sneaking around, picking locks and pickpocketing? Why not a mechanical genius so you can make your own weapons?

You can actually do all of the above, and more. But you might not succeed if your relevant skills are not high enough.

To make up for driving you nuts, the game throws in a fun personality test to determine your aptitude. This kind of helps people who don’t want to decide.

The test is also a precursor to the brand of dark humour which you will be faced with through the rest of your journey in this sick, twisted world.

Fallout 3

Fallout 3

I just love this game to death.

Until it exasperates me again by making me choose yet more abilities. At every level, besides getting points to pump into basic abilities and career skills, you get to choose a perk. These are bonus skills that help you navigate the hazardous world a little easier.

Fallout 3

Again, you will find that you want everything.

Combat in Fallout 3 is catered to both experienced FPS players and, uh, not so experienced ones.

You can fragfest your way through the game, or you can make use of a nifty feature called Vault-Tec Assisted Targetting System (V.A.T.S.). It allows you to stop time and zoom in on a targetted area of an enemy’s body. Scroll through body parts at leisure to pick the part you want to shoot (or hammer) at.

Once you’ve made your choice, a cinematic animation will play in slow motion, rendering in exquisite detail the severing of limbs and the flying of heads and the spurting of blood. My eyes popped out the first time this happened.

Fallout 3

(The above is the tamest screenshot I could find, out of respect for squeamish people.)

The Goonfather was quite impressed by the blood show, although he tried not to admit it. (Remember, he’s playing a good guy and hasn’t yet killed anyone brutally.)

“You are so disgusting!!!!” he said, after I completed a particularly graphic decapitation demonstration.

Oh, yeah, when you loot a body, the clothes actually come off. It’s quite a sick thing, leaving your victim lying there half naked in a pool of his/her own blood. It’s even more sick having to wear those clothes immediately after pulling them off a still warm body.

That’s the kind of thing Fallout 3 makes you do!

Fallout 3

I didn’t kill the lady above, by the way. The giant radioactive roaches did. I tried to help her but it was too late. (And since she’s dead, anyway, might as well loot her. It’s called survival.)

I realise most of my screenshots here are in third-person (because it’s easier to navigate through darkness and rubble that way) so here’s a first-person screenshot with my character holding the weapon of the day: a rusty lead pipe.

Fallout 3

In a world as crazy as the one in Fallout 3, it is often very difficult to hold fast to your beliefs and “do the right thing”.

While I was exploring the local church (which looks more like a juvenile clubhouse), I discovered tons of books placed haphazardly on bookshelves. I didn’t know how they could be of use to me, but I took them anyway, since, according to RPG 101, if it’s there, you should take it.

Ever the voice of morality, the Goonfather gasped out loud, “Gasp! How could you steal from a church?!!!”

“These people are freaking worshipping an atomic bomb,” I shot back.

Fallout 3

And they are. There’s an undetonated giant atomic bomb half-buried in the middle of the city, with a handful of kooks gathered around it, listening to the head kook sound off his sermons in resounding, reverent tones.

This game just kills me.

Considering the staggering number of choices you can make throughout your career, each of which will open up a different series of consequences that will snowball to a climactic end, you could replay this game to death and then still find that you haven’t completely exhausted every option and explored every corner.

Well, I haven’t reached the end yet but I’m already considering a few different replays.

The only flaw I can think of for this game is the awkward animation of the avatars. It’s a little bit painful playing in third-person view because you don’t want to believe that the guy (or chick) lumbering along clumsily in a funny hunch could possibly be you. (And when you go into stealth mode, it’s duck walk circus.)

Fallout 3

But the voices are great. I have a habit of speed reading through subtitles and cutting short voiceovers, but sometimes the voices are so good that I feel compelled to listen through them.

Frankly, for a game of this league, the minor flaws become nothing.

There’s a lot more I can say about Fallout 3, but I want to get back to the game, dammit. So… to know what happens next… play the freaking game.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Calling all street fighters!

The Goonfather is pretty good at fighting games (a legacy of his wayward youth), so I asked him to take part in the upcoming Singapore Arcade Showdown.

But he said, “Dowan lah. The kids who spend all their time at the arcade are damn good lor.”

I think he was speaking from experience.

So I need to find another champion to root for.


Singapore Arcade Showdown

Featuring Street Fighter IV, The King of Fighters 98 and Tekken 6, the Singapore Arcade Showdown will be held at Suntec Convention Centre on Nov 22-23, as part of Anime Festival Asia (AFA08).

Almost $3,000 worth of prizes will go to worthy champions. You have until Nov 18 to sign up for it.

Don’t wait! Click here now!

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Singapore gets on world gaming map

Xbox fans, you could soon be playing a game on your Xbox 360 which was fully developed by Singaporeans!

News has just been released that a Singapore team managed to beat 7,800 participants from 100 countries to win the top prize of US$40,000 in a global game development contest organised by Microsoft.

OMG. US$40,000!


Team Gambit, led by NUS undergraduate Bruce Chia, won the Dream-Build-Play 2008 contest with its acrobatic puzzle game called CarneyVale: Showtime.

CarneyVale: Showtime

Second place (US$20,000) went to a team from Venezuela, who submitted a game called Battle Tennis.

Well, word has it that you might be able to download the winning game from Xbox LIVE Arcade as early as Nov 19, in conjunction with the launch of the New Xbox Experience!

I am so proud of my fellow Singaporeans. Can’t wait to be a circus freak!

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Results of last week’s contest

I posed a stupid “challenge” for last week’s contest, asking readers to explain what they would do if stuck on a deserted island with only a soccer ball and a pack of dental floss.

This was to win a FIFA09 game!


I should stop making contests like that because I really have a hard time when it comes to picking a winner. (Using Mr Randomiser is so much easier.)

I decided to use Mr Goonfather to pick this week’s winner.

I e-mailed him all the entries (minus the names of the contestants) and got him to pick the best response.

Mr Goonfather picked entry number one!

And entry number one belongs to RN1209!!

RN1209’s winning entry:

Assuming it’s a jumbo pack of dental floss, I’d start weaving myself a makeshift net. I’ll then place the soccer ball into the net and tie it to my person. Hopefully, that’ll be a good enough floatation device for me to swim away from the island and find some other island with people I can play football with. :)

Congratulations RN1209! You win FIFA09!!!

Mr Goonfather will contact you soon and throw a ball at your head!

Just kidding.

Thanks to all the participants and your great answers!!

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Win a 1GB Imation Nano Flash Drive!

Here’s this week’s giveaway!

Flash Drive

It’s a 1GB Imation Nano Flash Drive with “The STRAITS TIMES” etched on it!

It’s cute! Only 4 cm in length!

And I’m bringing Mr Randomiser back this week.

Please post a comment of at least 30 words, including the words “LET ME WIN”, to qualify for the randomising!

Closing date is Nov 6, 2008, 11:59 pm.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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You’re feeling cheated because Gamer Girl Friday looks somewhat short today. Well, not really. The Fallout 3 review is so very long.

And there are no other game reviews this week because Fallout 3 is da bomb. And I want to get back to playing it.

So, adios amigo!

[Gamer Girl Friday]

44 thoughts on “GGF#24: Fallout 3 is da bomb

  1. Avatar

    I love Fallout 2 and like you, I wanted to specialise in everything.
    I believe I can see the same thing happening in Fallout 3 too.

    I just spend more then 1 hour repeating the same stage just to make sure I don’t die when I complete it.
    All because I want the Dino Mask!

  2. Avatar

    suppose to collect my pre-order Fallout 3 but instead go over to Marina South to check out the latest lifestyle in town – Marina Barrage.

    looking at the size of the roaches, so the lady was scare to death or killed by someone?

  3. Avatar

    One comment about FO3, besides all the eye candy and that bullet time thing, I hope bethesda retain the core gist of all fallout games, that is your choices determine what the outcome of the story. FO was one of the very first games that set the trend for nonlinear good-vs-evil gameplay.

  4. Avatar

    Feel cheated? I never feel cheated reading your blog.

    Play all the Fallout series, Fallout1, 2 and Fallout Tactics. It’s a great series. One of the games I never got tired of. Glad they upgrade it.

    The random encounters, all the funny n weird NPC and most importantly, the song at the game intro! Still singing in my head every now n then

    Oh, congrat to RN1209

  5. Avatar

    fallout 3 is tat fun?
    no other reviews tis edition?
    btw is fallout 3 onli on consoles?
    does it have the pc version?

    btw RN1209, congrats congrats:P

    so am i qualified for the contest?

  6. Avatar

    Great rev, gonna definitly look for PC version [xbox is commin january for me, sides fps on console is a pain in the…]. btw looked up Singapore finally, its not in Korea ;] , My geographical knowlege of Asia raised from 0 to 0.1 I guess.

  7. Avatar

    @Sheylara: Gasp! You mean I really won? YAY!!! Thanks so much! This is the best GGF ever!:))) Hehe, now I’m getting a helmet ready, just in case its not a football that the Goonfather’s throwing…

    Btw, killer review of Fallout 3! Splendid work, that’s the stuff I’m talking about:) For me, this game is as good as bought:)

    @heartless / Daryl: Thanks, bros:) Anyway, lucky there were only a few entries, hehe:)

  8. Avatar

    LET ME WIN~!

    I don’t want to lug around my portable hard drive anymore. I always get flashes of fear and paranoia whenever I bring that bugger out of the house. I’ve heard horror stories of files being destroyed due to careless, butter fingers and I don’t want that to happen! I need a smaller alternative. T_T

    Btw, if you’re interested in the previous installments of Fallout, you might want to check out They sell games from a bygone era which are also XP and Vista compatible thanks to some code monkey magic.

  9. Avatar

    Fallout 3 is a great game, very much similar to Oblivion, instead too many things are from oblivion such that they ignored some important things needed in a FPS.

    Firstly is the headshot, it isn’t in the game, under VATS there’s option to shoot different body parts but without headshot kill there’s like no point.

    Lock pick and hacking are more about luck, less on skills. Oblivion had great lock pick, too bad they didn’t import that.

    And LET ME WIN the thumdrive!!!!

  10. Avatar


    Okay, I don’t have much to say about Gamer Girl Fridays cause I’m not an avid gamer except for Guitar Hero. Btw, can you compare Rock Band and Guitar Hero 4 (the one that starts to look like Rock Band too). I have a Wii at home and I’m just waiting to get a new game to play, with my brothers.

    P.S. I love reading your blog. But always lazy to go over to STOMP. I hate the layout of STOMP.

  11. Avatar

    Muscular: There is headshot. I have been doing it so many times. Lock pick skill only allows u to attempt higher difficulty locks like medium, hard, very hard. The skill depends on the player. So far 95% success rate for me. Not due to luck. Just do it slowly and dont force the screwdriver.

  12. Avatar

    Fallout 3 comes from a long pedigree of games, starting with Interplay’s Wasteland.

    They even had the church in Wasteland, except that back then, it was known as the Church of the Mushroom Cloud…

    I can’t wait for my pre-order to come…

  13. Avatar

    Congrats to Singapore! I’m so proud! (Just kidding. Well, I’m proud, but not SO proud. I’m not even from Singapore.) I thought all the dental floss ideas were really funny. I liked the one about getting really good at football (soccer to me), and being discovered. Okay, LET ME WIN! (please)

  14. Avatar

    Muscular: No worries. Here to share tips and pointers. 1 method I use for conserving ammo, is to shoot the right arm. 3 well placed shot and the mob’s weapon is off. Rush in for a melee kill.

  15. Avatar

    Cool Fallout 3 review. Don’t have a console myself so I don’t understand how you guys can play shooting games without a mouse? Like I tried using the XBox controller once at Best or something and it took me ages to aim. The cursor just went in circles around my target. Luckily Fallout 3 don’t have no multiplayer, if not I’ll definitely lose unless they LET ME WIN. Then again, I’ll probably get the PC version so it doesn’t matter.

    Hey Sheylara, when will you be reviewing RA3 and Far Cry 2? Can’t wait. Hehe.

  16. Avatar

    @Austingy: I have the same feeling as you. Tried to play a FPS on my PSP n I’m dead before I can fire my first shot. Fare slightly better on my Wii. I can’t aim to save myself with a gamepad. Guess I am a mouse man :P

  17. Avatar

    Fallout 3 is an addictive, fantastic game indeed! Simply couldn’t stop after popping in the disc. ^^|

    Thanks for sharing about the Singapore Arcade Showdown; I have been a fan of The King of Fighters when our KOF Online website was still around. Hope to be checking out the convention this coming Nov and who knows, I might get to see those old KOFers again!

  18. Avatar

    Moving from mouse keyboard to controller is not impossible. Need to get use to it. The precision now lies not in your wrist, but your right thumb. As for PSP. I will say that there is near impossible to aim with those 4 buttons. :P

  19. Avatar

    @Goonfather: Its because of such difficulties in aiming for PSP that most games should be designed with Target Lock-on, with option to shift point of aim:) As for the D-Pad, a good intro to FPS aiming would be Halo: Combat Evolved. Swift and smooth, but also precise if need be:)

  20. Avatar

    OMG I SO WANT TO PLAY FALLOUT 3… But my computer is not up to mark. And I don’t have any consoles. Sigh ):

    (Side question: Do you think I should get a Xbox 360/ PS3/ New computer with good specs? I’ve been thinking about it for some time… And I really want to faster go get whichever thing after my exams, before NS. Lol!)

    And since I’m here,


    I lost my old thumb drive in my school’s computer lab a few months ago.


  21. Avatar

    LET ME WIN! PLeasez!

    how to have a comments of 30 words? hmm, ok I must think…

    ok, first the game looks really cool, but complicated, need time to get used to it, abit different from the other games…

    Is that 30 words already? no? Erm, well enjoy your game, “winner of last week contest” really wanted a football game =)

  22. Avatar

    LET ME WIN IT!!!

    my school comp has virus and has already infected my thumbdriveS

    so i need a new one!!

    well, it may get infected too.. but oh well.. i still wan it!!

  23. Avatar

    Nice review about Fallout 3, although I find the RPG part waste of time, I like the shooter part of the game. I also need a thumbdrive because, the only one I have is a pathetic 128MB one…
    So LET ME WIN IT….

  24. Avatar

    let me win
    Mr randomizer,
    will you?
    Anyway Im glad to see your up and running.
    Thanks for the virtual snacks.

  25. Avatar

    let me win

    I didnt know it had to be at least 30 words so here are the rest of the words to fill up the missing 30. Next time ill try to understand it better lol

  26. Avatar

    I don’t want to set the world on fire
    I just want to start a flame in your heart
    In my heart I have but one desire
    And that one is you, no other will do.

    I’ve lost all ambition for wordly acclaim
    I just want to be the one you’d loved
    And with your admission that you feel the same
    I’ll have the reason to go I’m dreaming of believe me.

    I don’t want to set the world on fire
    I just want to start a flame in your heart

    (I’ve lost all ambition for worldly fame)
    I just want to be the one you’d loved
    (And with your admission could you feel the same)
    I’ll have the reason to go I’m dreaming you believe me.

    I don’t want to set the world on fire
    I just want to start a flame in your heart…

  27. Avatar

    RN1209: u are sooo lucky….
    tis is ur second time(i tink)
    i’ve been here so long and have not have such luck… …yet:P

  28. Avatar

    Let me win, but before you do I cant help noticing that the goonfather is more in love than usual. Cant blame him though having such a wonderful and pretty girl. Will we be expecting a reply poem soon? lol

  29. Avatar

    Noooooooo…! Don’t be fooled by the Goonfather! That’s the lyrics of a stupid 1940s jazz song from Fallout 3, which he has been listening to and singing ad nauseum!!! :P He sings it just to annoy me and does it with a stupid Frank Sinatra grin pasted on his face and a corny 1940s dance.

  30. Avatar

    Haha, GF got us fooled there.

    Never heard of this song. But I still prefer the one at the start of Fallout 1.

    “Maybe . . . you’ll think of me, when you are all alone,
    maybe the one who is waiting for you will prove untrue
    Then, what will you do?”

  31. Avatar

    1. Do you know the opening music of both songs in Fallout 1 (“Maybe” – Ink Spots) and in Fallout 3 (“I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” – Ink Spots) are the same? In fact, most of their songs start with the same guitar cords.

    2. “Maybe” was chosen for Fallout 1 after the developers failed to acquire a license for “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire”.

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