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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 89: A Fallout Sojourn

Our first off-week adventure takes us into the land of Fallout. A lively debate on Fallout 3 versus Fallout: New Vegas gets top billing, and then we compare the Fallout of today to the Fallout of the past, and try to find out if the old spirit still lives, Featuring Richard Nak, Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Tim "The Gambler" Spaeth, and Darren Forman.

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Extra Credits: More Than Exposition

Extra Credits talks about the "exposition dump." What is that, you ask? The "exposition dump" is one of the easiest ways with which a developer can tell a story, explain a game world or explain a game world's rules. Even lauded game designers like Hideo Kojima use this method to tell a story—and why not, if Metal Gear Solid's success is any indication, there are few repercussions for overusing it. Thankfully, there are examples of doing the opposite and being rewarded for it. The Half-Life series, Fallout 3 and Journey are examples of doing it right.

His name is Buck…

Far Cry 3 Screenshot

Buck is a peculiar hitman in Far Cry 3. Apparently employed by the game's big bad, Hoyt, Buck has an interest in men, and in ancient Chinese artifacts. As it happens, he presently "owns" one of protagonist Jason Brody's male friends, and will exchange him if Jason retrieves a ceremonial knife originating from the treasure ships of Zheng He. Since Jason needs the knife for another purpose, it is obvious from the beginning of the adventure that he will come away from Buck's tasks with both friend and knife. That's how these games work, and Far Cry 3 is relentlessly conventional in that respect.

Lego City Undercover Review

The Thin Yellow Line

Lego City Undercover Screenshot

HIGH Destroying every Lego object in my path.

LOW Lengthy load times.

WTF Pig cannons and chicken guns? Okay, I'll roll with it.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 88: A New Era, Monster Hunter, and Broken Games

Where one story ends—sorry Aliens: Colonial Marines Wii U—another begins anew. Welcome to the new, but pretty damn familiar GameCritics.com podcast with brand new co-host Sinan Kubba of Joystiq—yes, co-host—more details inside... Join Sinan and regular ruffians Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, Chi Kong Lui, and Brad "The Guy You Know" Gallaway as they summarize GDC and PAX East in two seconds, explore the depth of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, sink to the depths of Aliens: Colonial Marines, and fathom how the growing prevalence of broken-at-launch games is hurting the industry. All this and more in a GameCritics.com podcast episode that will rewrite history, woo-oo.

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The flaw in the design

Far Cry 3 Screenshot

Several weeks ago Seb Wuepper posted a critique of Far Cry 3's design at Gameranx that I did not find compelling. Wuepper's argument reads less like criticism of Far Cry 3's design per se than a complaint about the fact that this game is not Far Cry 2. I am sympathetic to his point because I also prefer Far Cry 2. However, I don't feel that not being some game I like more is a fundamental argument against design quality.

Far Cry 3 Second Opinion

The Easy Way Out

Far Cry 3 Screenshot

HIGH Taking out an entire encampment of privateers at close range without being detected.

LOW The final mission in the "Buck" sideplot is just gross.

WTF Can I please face one major boss I don't kill in an apparent hallucination?

Far Cry 3 Review

Bloodbath Island

Far Cry 3 Screenshot

HIGH Leaping off a zipline and driving a machete into one pirate, then slashing his friend's throat before he realizes what's happening.

LOW Being asked to make one of the stupidest endgame choices in history.

WTF Okay, that's a lot of Komodo Dragons all in one place.

Gamecritics After Dark Episode 4: The Borderlands Show

At long last, the in-depth Borderlands/Borderlands 2 discussion that has for too long been stricken from our main show. For a grueling six hours we tear into every possible facet of the Borderlands franchise, from secret relationships of the NPCs to Randy Pitchford's favorite breakfast cereal. Featuring Richard "Sniper" Naik and Tim "Going in Guns Blazing is Always an Appropriate Course of Action" Spaeth.

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Assassin's Creed III Review

Everything is True. Nothing is Permitted.

Assassin's Creed III Screenshot

HIGH Swimming around a pier, climbing a ship, and using a rope dart to hang a target from a yardarm.

LOW As I walk past two men on a bench, I get notified that I have my first pursuer. The whisper noise starts just as one of them gets up and stabs me for 700 points.

WTF Approaching a fort, I found I could no longer hide in shrubs even though I wasn't observed. When I reached the captain, I found only an indicator hanging in the air, without a body to stab beneath it.

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