Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to The Retro Game Rewind! The Retro Game Rewind (or RGR for short) is That Gamer Hub’s newest bi-monthly feature written by yours truly. So what does this fancy rewind do you ask? It is really quite simple. RGR aims to inform our wonderful readers about some classic titles that they should take the time to play, not only because of their significance to our hobby, but because they are fun. Some of the titles you will recognize instantly, while others may not be as well known. The beauty of this feature is that there is something here for everyone to enjoy!
When I started brainstorming this idea I worked out a schedule of games that I was going to talk about. These classics were not randomly selected from a list or from my head (which is empty). I picked each of these games because you can purchase them on one or more digital distribution services such as Steam or Xbox Live Arcade. This means that not only will you be able to read about these games, you can download them and play them! Each article will include information about how you can purchase the featured title so that you can check these games out for yourselves.
Okay, one last thing. The rest of the articles will not be as long winded as this one is. I had to set the framework for this new feature first so everyone knows what is going on. So without further ado, this week’s Retro Game Rewind focuses on…
Fallout 1 and Fallout 2
Original Release Date(s): September 30, 1997
Developer: Black Isle Studios
Metacritic Score: 89/100
Original Release Date(s): September 30, 1998
Developer: Black Isle Studios
Metacritic Score: 86/100
Where to Buy?
Both games are available on Steam for 9.99 each.
So you may have heard about Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, but did you know where these modern day hits came from? The original Fallout was released way back in 1997, long before its 3d brother known as Fallout 3. Both Fallout and Fallout 2 were isometric turn-based RPGs. The original Fallout games were all based in a post-nuclear apocalypse Earth just like the new Fallout games. The old games used the SPECIAL system and percentage based skills in the same fashion as the new Fallout titles, albeit with some modifications as these games were turn based, not fully real time. The games were also promoted as being humorous and dark.
The Fallout games were all very well received among the press and among gamers. In regard to Fallout 1, PC Gamer went so far as to say: “This sequel to an all-time classic is one of the standout RPGs for the 1990s.” [Quote from Jan 1998 issue, p.221]. Gamespot gave Fallout 1 an 8.7 saying “Fallout’s detailed graphics, compelling plot, and intuitive gameplay should deservedly broaden its appeal beyond the hard-core role-playing game audience. Put simply, Fallout may be the best role-playing game to be released in year.” [Quote by Desslock, Posted Nov 21, 1997 12:43 pm PT on Gamespot]. PC Gamer also had high praise for Fallout 2 saying: “If you value character development, old-fashioned gameplay, and a good plot, this game delivers on all counts.” [Quote from Feb 1999 issue, p.178]. IGN also pointed out that Fallout 2 had a harsher story than the first game. “The story line is that it’s a lot harsher this time around. I mean a LOT harsher… Fallout 2 gave me many, many hours of totally absorbing gameplay.” [Quote by Trent C. Ward, Posted November 13, 1998 on IGN]
Why Should You Play?
Both Fallout games are very entertaining and challenging at the same time. If you like complete freedom to do what you want to do, these games are for you. There are plenty of quests to do and plenty of people to shoot. When playing, you can take on as many of the side quest that you want, or you can ignore them and only do the main quest. There are many interesting characters to talk to in both games as well, so you should take time to stop and smell the roses. Well if there were any roses that were not nuked off the face of the planet.
The developers weaved some twists and turns into the plots of both games that make them worth sticking with. Your actions will even affect the world around you as well as what happens to the world at the end of the game. Both games do suffer with some slow points mainly due to the amount of freedom granted to the player. At times you will sit and wonder what you should do next or where you should go. The Fallout games do not hold your hand and guide you through like many modern games do. In the world of Fallout you have to discover your own way by talking to NPCs (Non-player Characters) and exploring the world. I should also point out that many encounters can be solved with talking your way out as well. Then again if someone ticks you off you can shoot them in the face and be done with it. If you need some help with these beefy titles, I recommend the excellent guides written by Per Jorner. The Fallout 1 guide and the Fallout 2 guide can be found by clicking on the handy hyperlinks I embedded in this very sentence. As the reviewers pointed out, Fallout is easy to pick up and play, but can be very deep and rewarding if you put the time in. That’s the beauty of Fallout, and that’s why you should play.
Thanks to Metacritic for the review score aggregation and review excerpts. I also appreciate the well done reviews of IGN, Gamespot, and PC Gamer which were mentioned in this feature. One more round of thanks to The Vault – The Fallout Wiki and No Mutants Allowed for their screens and love of all things Fallout.