Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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23 Responses

  1. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    No video games for me this weekend! Got my fill last night finishing “the Mechanist” DLC on Fallout 4. Rather a weaker story than I’d been hoping for, and my expectations were not high. But it looked very cool; the aesthetic of the DLC is a perfect expansion of the “Nifty Fifties Gone Horribly Wrong” motif of the game.

    Anyway, no video games for me, and probably not a lot of time for the blog. Dinner party tonight. I’ve got ribs in the sous vide attaining the tenderness of pulled pork right now, and the challenge of a gluten-free menu of accompaniments to go along with them, and a house to make presentable. Tomorrow is brew day, and I’ve not yet decided if I want to do a blonde ale or a hefeweizen, but I want something lighter and more refreshing (read: more hops) for the warm evenings out on the patio in the near future.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Burt Likko: the aesthetic of the DLC is a perfect expansion of the “Nifty Fifties Gone Horribly Wrong” motif of the game.

      Hippie ghouls?Report

      • Were there hippies in the 50’s? I don’t think so but I could be wrong.

        The Fallout backstory universe doesn’t seem to have ever experienced a meaningful counter-culture movement. There’s hints of union-management tension pre-war, but that’s about as close as it seems to come.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

          I think that the counter-culture was still “beatniks” at that point.

          As for the Fallout Universe’s counter-culture… my gosh. You’re absolutely right. They need to do a beatnik vault.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Burt Likko says:

          There were *some* hippies. In Fallout 3, people sometimes said ‘Don’t let them fool you with their hippie crap’. Alternately, someone else references ‘beatnik liberal commies’, if you want to go with that.

          Both of which are actually somewhat odd things to talk about 300 years after either of those things existed, and 200 years after they could have possibly had any meaning.

          OTOH…Sunshine Tidings co-op was very clearly a drug-using commune, operating in 2077.

          But it seems like the counter-culture, if it did exist, either was nowhere near as strong, or was almost completely forgotten by 2077. At best some people turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.

          Meanwhile, what is going with social norm in 2077 is harder to answer. Fallout 4 finally answered the question about what people in ‘the present’ of Fallout think about gay people (Answer: they do not care.) as opposed to somewhat ambiguous hints we had previously (1)…but that’s 200 years post apocalypse.

          But we’ve seen the military in 2077, and it was both racially and sexually integrated, at least. And despite the ‘every woman looks like a 1950s housewife’ look, the female main character in Fallout 4 works and no one thinks that’s the slightest bit odd…and if you look very closely at the intro, the couple next door appears to a lesbian couple.

          I think all these questions can be answered by the source premise, in fact. As we all know, the Fallout universe is what you get from 1950s science fiction. Well, socially, 1950s science fiction postulated a reality where people would just *realize* women and blacks and, yes, sometimes even gay people, were equal. That it would just *happen*.

          So…it did. Maybe there were a few marches, but then everyone was like ‘Yeah, okay, seems good.’ The culture, instead of fighting back, just *accepted* the change (Or at least, the equality part of it…we have no idea what was going with sexual liberation. As the 50s didn’t foresee that, let’s assume it didn’t happen.), and thus ‘the 1950s’ continues onward, now with blacks and women joining in!

          Not that this makes the slightest bit of sense. Cultures change over 120 years even without a huge counter-culture. But the Fallout universe is not grounded in realism.

          1) I have complained about Veronica’s ambiguous story before here, where it’s never clear if the problem the BoS has with her is her generally rebellious attitude, her unwillingness to have kids, or her homosexuality…and it doesn’t help that the gay male character, Arcade Gannon, is hiding basically *everything* about his life and is extremely private, and part of that can be read as him being in the closet, despite the fact that his reasons have nothing to do with his sexuality. New Vegas is just…weird in its treatment of gay characters, giving them both backstories that read *like* some sort of metaphor, despite the fact it doesn’t seem to be intended, and they don’t really go anywhere.Report

  2. Avatar Will Truman says:

    I’m kind of jazzed that Android games are starting to do a better job of syncing between devices.

    On one of the games (the one Lain is playing in the picture) I got 870 levels out of 900, and had to format & restore my phone, putting me back at square one.

    Now I can play Temple Run II on multiple any devices and across F&Rs! Angry Birds, too!Report

  3. Avatar Morat20 says:

    My desktop monitor has….semi-died, so I ordered a new one. It’s still usable (the bottom corners are dim — I think the backlight is going) so no gaming there until the new one comes in.

    So I might boot up the PS4 and fiddle around…Report

  4. Avatar DavidTC says:

    I’m starting the new Survival mode in Fallout 4. It’s still technically in beta for another week or two, but at this point my character will probably seamlessly carry over.

    It is brutal. It really is ‘Do something, walk back home to recover.’Report

    • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to DavidTC says:

      I’ve played for a bit on survival. The sleep on save definitely takes a bit of getting used to, especially for a Bethesda game where I’m normally quick saving constantly. My days have generally been spent as short, planned excursions instead of just careless frolicking in the wasteland.

      While mods in general are working again, many of the ones dealing with interface are broken and not likely to be fixed until the patch is out of beta. I’ve been waffling on whether to just keep going or wait until they’re ready.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Hoosegow Flask says:

        I’m hoping for some sort of balanced quick travel mod. I mean, I understand restricting it somewhat, but it’s already turned into some rather large treks, and I’m barely into the game at all! Just walking everywhere make this thing ten times longer, and I’m really not kidding there.

        The really weird thing is…this isn’t Fallout 3, where you legitimately could stumble across anything at any time while walking. Here, you can walk the roads without encountering anything, just like New Vegas. Maybe some bloodbugs or something, but I think I’ve died exactly *once* while walking between places, and that was because I was off the road and stumbled across like 10 wild mongrels at once. (And you quickly learn when headed into a real fight, you’re supposed to find a nearby bed before the fight.) The roads are actually quite safe, assuming you don’t walk past some Super Mutant infested building or something.

        So walking is just…walking. Really, just walking. Occasionally, you wander into some group of enemies at a location, and maybe die, and the next reload you just…go a different way. It’s not a difficultly thing…it’s a ‘good lord this is boring’ thing.

        I am aware that, at a certain point in the main plot, in all paths, there is some fast travel alternative…but I wasn’t planning on going straight into the main plot this time. And the ones I know of seem pretty far in even if I did! (Although I don’t know when you get the BoS one.)

        And, to add injury to insult, being encumbered actually randomly hurts you now, so you can’t just load up with tons of stuff and take the really slow safe path back. Multiple trips for you!

        So I need a mod. I’ve seen some people suggest there should be a mod that would let you fast travel between ‘safe’ locations, like your settlements and the various inhabited places. I think that would be pretty balanced.

        Also, I’d like a mod with some sort of ‘bed indicator’. I understand I’m supposed to track them down, but I have no idea how I’m supposed to *remember* where they are. So something that marks beds I’ve already found would be nice.

        I’d also like a ‘save without sleeping’ option at beds.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

          Dude. This is making me want to start my “Fallout Four: Hardcore” game prior to my “Dragon Age: You Technically Bought This Used So Your Not One Red Cent Pledge Is Technically Intact” playthrough.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

            Here’s two tips:

            As I said, no more fast travel means a lot of walking, and while you *can* put markers on the in-game map, nothing gives you the distance, and it’s very difficult to figure out exactly how far you should swing around dangers in the road. I found myself tabbing to the pip-boy map every two minutes…then I said ‘Wait, I can use that app I downloaded but only ran like once!’ Now I can watch the map in real time, and it’s much much easier to actually get places.

            So get the damn app.

            Also, the other reason I keep going into the pip-boy is for finding out what is wrong with me, and for food. This is less of a reason to use the app’s interface…often, I *want* the game to pause while I’m dealing with that. But it still reduces tabbing, and if I want the game to pause, tab is still there. (Even if you want the game to pause…it is nice to have two interfaces you can have on different pip-boy tabs.)

            The other tip is: Safety is a *bed*, not ‘defeated everyone’.

            Ah, the joys of going all the way to the drive-in, killing all the mole rats, trying to clean the place out…and getting a mine to the face. And then doing that again, resolving to build a bed first to sleep…and not having any cloth, and getting blown up while looking for that. And then I carried some damn cloth there so I could just build a bed, slept, and *then* disarmed that crap.

            If you’re going somewhere to start a settlement…consider just carrying 3 cloth with you, so you make a sleeping bag the second you can. (And if you have them, bring the rare parts for generator and radio, so you can start the settlement, set those up, wait a bit for a settler to show up, and send them as a provisioned so you can get access to the rest of the construction materials. Having to walk back to a previous settlement so you can grab a settler to do the run is stupid.)Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

              Another tip…just got to Diamond City yesterday, and because it was so hard (I ended up sprinting past Super Mutants to the DC perimeter zone.), I ended up selling almost everything I was carrying, and collecting food and selling that, and collecting scrap and selling that…all so I could get to 2000 caps to buy damn house to sleep in.

              I was assuming, because the entire idea of the day is that you get to save when you sleep, that somewhere to sleep would be *provided* in various safe zones. You did the hard work getting there, congrats, save your game.

              Nope. There are plenty of beds, but all of them are *owned*. I’m not above breaking the rule a bit…but I’m pretty sure that sleeping in someone else’s bed has a pretty high risk of being caught.

              Same with, for example, non-allied settlements. Go all the way there, get the quest…trek all the way back home to save, I guess, before heading there?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

                When does this get pushed to the PS4? (Is it already there???)Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

                This is version 1.5, which is still only PC beta currently.

                However, they said, specifically, that it is due this month, and there’s been no indication it’s not on track. (In fact, a lot of people are a little confused as to why they’re still running this as beta.)

                And as they only release on weekdays, that means Friday at the latest.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

                Well, whatever it is, it was *NOT* dropped for the PS4 today.

                I just replayed through the opening to the point where I met up with Dogmeat and thought to check to see if my ammo weighed anything and it didn’t.

                So I googled and the ‘tubes say that it’s *NEXT* week for the PS4.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

                It was out Thursday for the PC.Report

        • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to DavidTC says:

          I can’t imagine I’m going to be too keen on rushing to the defense of a settlement that’s all the way on the other side of the map without being able to fast travel.

          Having time pass when saving is definitely annoying, especially with the consumption of resources and the chance to contract an illness.

          On the plus side, they did release the creation kit today. Supposedly, modders will be able to upload their mods to for (eventual) use on all platforms.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Hoosegow Flask says:

            I wish the engine could handle settlement build limits better. Expanding them for one.

            Secondly, the way they handle scrapping items in a settlement (which you do) is..irritating. Each item you scrap reduces the build limit as if you’d scrapped an existing item in the settlement.

            Which means Sanctuary, where I tend to scrap 95% of everything, thinks it’s totally unbuilt. Despite the fact that it’s overbuilt, and I have to be careful lest I trigger bugs. (I really should tear down the wall around it. It’s kind of pointless, and I could erect more guard towers).

            I find myself right up against the limit, especially if I’m trying to be creative.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20 says:

              Which means Sanctuary, where I tend to scrap 95% of everything, thinks it’s totally unbuilt. Despite the fact that it’s overbuilt, and I have to be careful lest I trigger bugs. (I really should tear down the wall around it. It’s kind of pointless, and I could erect more guard towers).

              LOL, you have almost exactly the opposite problem I had on my last playthough, where I had to run around *buying guns* to scrap on the ground at the drive-in to increase the build limit. so I could get more stuff in.

              I had a five store building, with apartments and shops and halls and open areas, comprising the entire drive-in except the projector building. And had a mod so about 50 people lived there. I never had any bugs there, and that place was *huge*.

              Not sure how you’re building Sanctuary to have more stuff than that…but I’ve always disliked Sanctuary as a building location. It’s not level (Except for the missing houses) and the houses get in the way.

              Although with the new stuff, maybe I’ll try this round. I have officially given up on trying to reach Goodneighbor at my current level (Despite my clever idea of swimming most of the way.(1)), so I guess it’s time to start building some stuff up for more level and more money.

              1) Seriously, if you don’t have it, take the ‘no radiation from swimming’ perk. The river is even better than the roads for getting to places, as almost nothing is willing to enter it except some bugs. Out to sea, I assume there are Mirklurks, but if you stay in the river, you’re fine.

              And you get out of the river at the right location, you can get to both Diamond City (You want the road that goes passed the second-story ‘back door’ of Hangman’s Alley.) and Bunker Hill (Get off at the bridge to Cabot House) easily. (Warning: I have not actually tried to get to Bunker Hill yet, I just remember that the path was completely clear in previous games. You might have to loop around to open the door, though.)Report

          • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Hoosegow Flask says:

            Having time pass when saving is definitely annoying, especially with the consumption of resources and the chance to contract an illness.

            I find myself baffled what I’m *supposed* to do when I start the day at 8 in the morning, trek somewhere, do things, get back, it’s now 2 in the afternoon.

            I obviously need to save…even if I just plan on doing some work on the settlement or something, I really am going to save. But I think those hour-long naps are causing the ‘Insomnia’ penalty…but am I supposed to sleep for 18 hours or something? Or am I supposed to sleep for eight and just disregard daylight? How is this supposed to work? Should I find a chair and *sit* until evening, and then sleep? I just assumed it didn’t matter, until I kept getting ‘Insomnia’.

            I’m all for being forced to keep a normal sleep cycle, that’s a nifty game rule, in reality you can’t make up all your sleeping in one-hour chunks. Hell, give me penalties for being off my circadian rhythm and walking around at night and sleeping during the day…unless I have ‘Night Person’, in which case, give me the opposite…sure. A reasonable and realistic rule.

            But you can’t penalize me for sleeping at the wrong times when…you have forced me to sleep at random times to save my game!

            In fact, this is a major problem of survival mode…I don’t actually know what rules exist, or how they work. I guess I could go look them up on the internet, but I don’t want to. I kinda expect the game to say ‘Hey, you’re sleeping at the wrong times, stop that’, and not leave me to *guess*.

            Also, can we please have auto-save when *leaving construction*?(1) I have, twice, had to stop construction because it got too dark…because I would build enough things I wanted to ‘save’, over and over again, so ending up sleeping 2/3rd the day away in naps. I’m sure this makes sense to someone, but it’s not me.

            In fact, forget letting people save without sleeping…how about letting us save at any time when we’re not in combat at our own settlement! (Assuming an empty bed exists, I guess.) Considering we *can* save there if we want to, how about just *letting* us save with a keystroke?

            Yes, I know how the game likes that ‘When you load a game, you wake up in a bed’ imagery…but the game could easily fake it if it let people save in settlements. On load, just teleport people next to the empty bed, and we can *pretend* they just woke up.

            1) Except not in combat, obviously.Report

  5. Avatar El Muneco says:

    After the primary reaction to the DOOM multiplayer beta was a fairly uniform “they managed to create a pretty nice Halo clone that is almost, but not exactly, unlike DOOM”, I think I’m going to dust off a FPS reboot that actually did get it right, and start a new Shadow Warrior game on the second-toughest difficulty so that maybe my middle-aged reflexes can get past Level 15.Report

  6. Avatar Kim says:

    The BARLOG is coming! The BARLOG is coming!
    (Apparently Russian legal teams have a wicked sense of humor)
    [Full name of the beast: Baron of Logic. But, yes, it does look remarkably like a Balrog]Report