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ヘイヘイホー ヘイヘイホー
「hei hei hou, hei hei hou」

You're probably never going to play Yosaku. Nobody will. It appears only in scant screenshots, an arcade flyer, mention in SNK 40th Anniversary Collection, as an easter egg in The King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise, and demonstrated in a single YouTube video. Releasing shortly before Safari Rally and Ozma Wars, Yosaku remains undumped (if not entirely lost) alongside SNK's earliest 'Micon Kit' Breakout clones. In spite of its obscurity, Yosaku is a foundational game not just for SNK, but for the early Japanese games market as a whole.

ヘイヘイホー ヘイヘイホー
「hei hei hou, hei hei hou」

The premise of Yosaku is pretty simple. The player is a lumberjack, toiling away in the forest while branches fall, birds defecate, boars charge, and snakes slither. Avoid danger, chop the trees, get a high score. It is by no means groundbreaking but for a 1979 release it seems to be decently fun. What is fascinating about Yosaku stems from what inspired it: an Enka song popularised by Saburou Kitajima in 1978.

トントントン トントントン
「tontonton, tontonton」

One of Sabu-chan's most famous works, Yosaku similarly tells the basic tale of the titular Yosaku chipping away at a tree while his wife performs domestic duties. Written by religious scholar and critic Kiminori Nanasawa, Yosaku was a submission to the long-running NHK musical variety show Anata no Melody. The conceit of the program was that amateur songwriters would submit their work to be performed by professional musicians. Yosaku's sparse lyrics are abound with onomotapoeia, and it's just a great track overall. In fact, the game Yosaku features part of the melody of the song Yosaku as sung by Sabu-chan, and it's officially licensed from the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers, one of the first video games to bear their legal blessing.

トントントン トントントン
「tontonton, tontonton」

Lest we forget, this was the era of the arcade clone. Perhaps in a cruel twist of irony then for a company founded on Breakout clones, Yosaku is known less for its arcade release, and more for the unlicensed, unsanctioned copycat which released at the launch of the Epoch Cassette Vision. Kikori no Yosaku sees the detailed SNK original reduced to its barest geometries and most base elements. The much chunkier graphics reduce the playfield to just two trees instead of Yosaku's three. Unable to litter the space with smaller but more plentiful hazards, Kikori no Yosaku's dangers are the unhewn log to Yosaku's two-by-four. Rather than allow Yosaku to hide behind trees, Epoch's version leaps over boars. And even without the legal go ahead, Kikori no Yosaku has a crude rendition of those same bars from Sabu-chan's hit song.

ホーホー ホーホー
「houhou, houhou」

The Epoch Cassette Vision held 70% of the games console market in Japan by 1982. 'Video Games Console Library' makes the unsubstantiated claim that Kikori no Yosaku was the game that made the Cassette Vision as successful as it was. It's impossible to concretely corroborate this, but considering it was a launch title (and labelled as #1), it would certainly have drawn some customers in. Furthermore, Cassette Vision game releases were glacial, being made in-house by only three developers with a new title hitting shelves every quarter. An interview with Epoch designer and supervisor Masayuki Horie similarly asserts that Kikori no Yosaku is the first game people talk about when the Cassette Vision is discussed. Horie mentions that industry shows saw developers trying to discern which games would be popular, and thus fit for cloning, so Kikori no Yosaku's significance may well be true.

ヘイヘイホー ヘイヘイホー
「hei hei hou, hei hei hou」

With such a storied past, one might want to play Kikori no Yosaku for themselves. Well, you're probably never going to play the Cassette Vision release of Kikori no Yosaku, and not for lack of trying. A key quirk of the Cassette Vision is that the console itself is effectively just an AV passthrough. It lacks a processor. Unlike with other cartridge-based systems, Cassette Vision games house the software and hardware which allowed vastly faster operation. This means emulation is, while not impossible, entirely too cumbersome for anyone to have meaningfully tackled it thus far - ROM dumps for all eleven releases do now exist at least. Barring the purchase of antiquated hardware, Kikori no Yosaku is just as playable as Yosaku.

ヘイヘイホー ヘイヘイホー
「hei hei hou, hei hei hou」

Or so I thought. As it turns out, an unofficial port of Kikori no Yosaku came to the Sharp X68000 in 1991 thanks to IJI Team. This clone of a clone is a near-exact recreation of the Cassette Vision original, down to the graphical quirks of diagonal sprites. The only substantial difference I was able to spot has to do with the colours themselves, which are more pastel on Cassette Vision than they are on X68000 - this may be due to the oddities of RF connections.

トントントン トントントン
「tontonton, tontonton」

All told, Kikori no Yosaku is a pretty fun romp, albeit a pretty easy one when not playing on the higher difficulties. The circumstances of its creation as a clone of an oddly seminal title, which itself is only accessible thanks to another clone, make it noteworthy. Furthermore, the X68000 version is the only such recreation of an Epoch Cassette Vision game. Even the absurd Pac-Man clone PakPak Monster remains bound to the original hardware.

トントントン トントントン
「tontonton, tontonton」

Yosaku is a hit enka song written by an obscure amateur.
Yosaku is one of the only lost SNK titles.
Yosaku is one of the first games to have music licensed by JASRAC.
Yosaku is perhaps responsible for the success of the Epoch Cassette Vision.
Yosaku is emblematic of the wild west of early video game (non)copyright.
Yosaku is a chunky, shameless copy.
Yosaku is a near-perfect recreation.
Yosaku is simple but elegant.

ホーホー ホーホー
「houhou, houhou」

drip and swag are all that matter in this world; assimilation is underway

the atmosphere here is so oppressively dense that it almost makes me forget i'm playing one of the worst feeling shooters to ever be released by a professional company. it's like if faceball 2000 somehow ran at an even lower framerate and was intended for people who'd never had nice days in their entire lives

but that fucking vibe is immaculate. the premise is hopelessly bleak without feeling tryhard, the industrial soundtrack is somehow more mechanically clunky than the gameplay itself and the cutscene direction rivals actual fucking cinema despite being from 1994. who the fuck made this??

oh - it's the guys behind gadget: past as future

alright that explains everything

The 2nd greatest cultural achievement of everyone's favorite apartheid state. If you make an unfun, obtuse game on purpose, it's still a pain to sit through, and I'm not sure if Armed & Delirious was trying to be bad in order to create a surreal atmosphere or if the developers were just that bad at their job.

Starting off with the game's most grave sin, the jokes don't land. I wasn't a fan of Psychonauts' "random and quirky" sense of humor, but this game seems like a mean spirited imitation of Psychonauts made by people who also didn't enjoy the game. Most of the humor comes from the nonsensical actions of the repulsive looking main character and her dementia-ridden worldview. Granny's character isn't defined enough to have decent jokes come from her bizarre reactions as some sort of psychotic break of character. Most of her bits involve "drinking" or referring to objects incorrectly, with random acts of violence sprinkled in. She's a Z-tier Peter Griffin, but the game also has too much restraint with what antics Granny will get up to, so her random outbursts come off as unsettling without the sort of shock that good Family Guy jokes have. This isn't an awful concept, you could either have her be a chaos demon interacting with the world like a violent, cruel Alzheimer's patient or have her be a sweet old woman, bumbling about a demented fever dream. They didn't bother to choose either.

She's easily the best part of the game, the rest of the characters are annoying and shallow, and the game lacks the wit to have them be interesting foils to Granny. Her family's characterization is equally unfocused and crude. Their main characteristics consist of "torture animals" and "are horny in a particularly greasy way". This doesn't make them stand out among the rest of the game's cast, as there are plenty of other NPCs who either hate animals or express their desire to bust to the player. The main antagonist feels detached from the game's events outside of specific plot dumps that go on for entirely way too long and kill whatever piss-poor pacing the game already had. The plot dumps are especially infuriating because the game lacks any consistent internal logical, which the game could have used to bounce off of and make a fucking joke.

The rest of the game's humor is dependent on how funny you find the unintuitive adventure game design and the solutions to puzzles that you wouldn't be able to find out the solution to without obscene pixel hunting/trial and error. Everything downstream from that is irrelevant, because it poisons the experience so fully that the rest of the game's faults don't look as bad. Granny, despite being able to do flips and other acrobatics in cut-scenes, apparently can't lift her hands above her head in almost all other situations and the player needs, on average, three to six different objects unrelated to a given puzzle in order to trigger a given plot flag. Inventory management is done with a visual basic window that's either way too small to read what the item is, or requires the player to resize the window every time you want to dig for the shovel so you can unlock a pizza or whatever stupid bullshit this game's on at that given time. There is zero deviation from the given path either, you have to perform these arcane steps in the exact order the game wants you to, even if """logically""" out of sequence actions should get you to the same destination. If you do know a puzzle's solution (you're following a guide for every step), context sensitive actions are entirely too picky and you'll have to attempt most actions multiple times for them to register. It's one thing to watch a longplay of this game, I did that years ago, but the actual process of having to disk swap constantly and mash on the same background object over and over again in the exact order to go to another disk swap sequence solidified just how wretched this game is to play on a moment to moment basis.

The presentation is awful, but not in similarly interesting ways. The game's early 3D models are ugly, but less in a "they were dealing with strict hardware limitations" sense, and more "the art direction in this game was bad, whoever worked on this game was a bad artist" ugly. The settings aren't strange enough to come off as totally alien or unsettling, if anything the worlds feel stock and forgettable outside of their use of weird camera angles. The characters fare slightly better, not in the sense that they had good direction, but in the sense that they're so revolting that they stick out in your mind (like the 3'9 Vectorman baby). I swear to god, there are renders of specific characters that look off model, like they outsourced animation for their own 3D rigs. The audio was poorly mixed, with important lines of dialogue being very hard to hear. Sound effects layer on top of each other at times, and I would have loved to mute the game but the game has no subtitle options. The music's my second favorite part of the game, because most of it sounds like it was pulled off of a royalty free music CD and is bland, but inoffensive unlike almost everything else in this game.

Most really bad games I've played haven't left me with any negative feelings towards the staff that worked on it. Dual Heroes is a game that's as bad as Armed & Delirious, but that's just an incompetent mess made by a team that primarily worked on RPGs and Bomberman ports, I hope everyone at Produce landed on their feet. The artistic choices that the staff at Makh-Shevet made reflect poorly on them as people, but not even in an interestingly offensive way, in the same way that David Cage's worldview poisons his games. This is a mean, ugly and unfunny game that compares poorly to its regional peers (which were also morally repugnant, being IDF flight sims), and it's for the best that the company folded shortly after this game's failure.


that is all

Okay. Now that I played it a bit, how many PS1 games let you set your height and weight... and I have never seen a game let you choose whether you are left or right handed. Lots of customization.

So I make my guy as tall as possible and as fat as possible. After a brief introduction the game seems to be mostly open, so apparently we have a sandbox JRPG here or moreso than just about any other JRPG on the system I think.

I guess I'll mention that I have played so many JRPGs in my life that I've reached a point where my lack of knowledge in actual Japanese doesn't even matter that much and I can usually find my bearings pretty easily as these "rich fantasy worlds" can get rather predictable at times.

Anyway, I talk to some guy in a bar and buy something for 15000 when I only have 100 and he promptly takes me to jail. Never even gave me the "Sorry you are broke!" dialogue box. Damn.

After waiting awhile I get to leave and I immediately travel south until I've made it past 4 or 5 load screens. I was hoping to find the world map and fight some monsters at this point but instead I run into a very small old man who is lying on the ground (Actually he's probably not that small, I'm just very tall). I take him back to my home and he is my new pet.

to be cont'd


From the creators of Moon, the RPG about love, LOL is a wordless game where you wander amongst fellow creatures, observe them, understand them, and ultimately intuit and satisfy their needs. In Moon, the theme is love; in LOL, the action is love.

plays like a bizarro space harrier/panzer dragoon riff. might unironically be one of the best games this year. princess arch needs to be in the pantheon of gaming legends pronto. only yu suzuki can make this many bolted together assets have this much swag. thats why he's the crown prince of gaming and the rest of you are making two hour long video essays about how shenmue 3 didnt cure your anhedonia

Of the three new games put in fortnite in the last week or so, Festival is by far the most fitting. Lego Fort feels a bit tacked on and barely keeps touch with the main platform, and Rocket Racing feels like a minigame for Rocket League that for some reason, is found in fortnite, but Festival actually kinda makes sense. It's actually shares the styling of fortnite for one thing, but is also a pretty reasonable extension of the relationship the main game has had with celebrity and music for the past near-decade now. Add on top fortnite's very obvious avenues for the monetisation and licensing of everything involved with a rhythm game and it really feels like this should really work. It's so easy to visualise the way it should be - get the Weeknd skin and it comes with a Weeknd emote and a few tracks to use in what is basically rock band 5, the new live service music game that could ride on for god knows how long.

Well, first problem with that is Harmonix have presumably lost all the staff that knew how to make rock band, because festival is just fundementally terrible, keeping the worst aspects of rock band (multiplier scoring, uninteresting charting, difficulty coming from endurance and repetitive notes, note accuracy not mattering), but worse.

Main issue is really the charting. It is, for one, shockingly easy, with even the very hardest currently available chart (Kendrick Lamar's I on expert, vocals), being barely a mid-level Rock Band chart in terms of diffculty, and games like even the relatively casual DJMAX wouldn't rate it about the bottom half of its difficulty scale. Realistically, that alone is enough for the game to really fall apart for even new rhythm gamers quickly as there is next to no challenge, but the woes go further than that. In an adapatation to making this work on controller face buttons, the chart is now secretly split into two, a bit like djmax, and opposite holds arent allowed (i.e you cant hold the middle and fifth button on expert because they would be the Square and Circle PS5 Buttons simultaneously). Whilst this isnt a distaster on it's own, combined with the already weak charting of Harmonix and you end up with some extremely unengaging rhythm gameplay. It's repetitive and boring.

The song choices are just shit too. The licensors might have truly pulled all the big guns, but protip, Seven Nation Army, a song that repeats the same 3 second riff for 4 minutes, is not a good track for a rhythm game. A whole bunch of tracks will have 30 second plus sections where you just wait and emote, i guess? Don't put that in your rhythm game!

This last thing probably is a result of, for some reason, still sticking to the old guitar-drums-voacls-bass set up for song charts despite that no longer being neeccessary, and them all fundementaly playing identically due to the loss of peripherals and lack of imagination.

The nail in the coffin is really the monetisation, which is really poor. I know music licensing is silly and that rhythm games often come with a tax, but a super limited rotation of free songs, an awful battlepass that's twice the price as the BRs, and $4 a pop if you want to keep a song with no other frills attached is twice as bad as rock band's traditional pricing, which itself was pushing it. And when that's put side by side with content for the real game at a more reasonable price, it sticks out even worse.

I don't want to even bother talking about the Jam Stage feature, one of the most worthless game features ive ever seen, which lets you mix some samples with friends. It's remarkably limited, doesnt sound good, and you get a whole two tracks to sample from. It's embarassing.

The other two additions to Fortnite this month, rocket racing and lego fortnite, are also bad - Rocket Racing is kinda boring and Lego is cursed by being a survival crafting multiplayer game, basically delivering it straight to the pit of medicority, but Festival is the biggest stinker, and a huge waste of potential. Given time and a lot of work and deep discounts, epic can probably force it to be a long term thing - but the start here is the worst game i've played from Harmonix and you have to wonder whether they will just dump this and go all in on the lego.

In 1997, a game called Fallout spilled out into the world. Under the guidance of a nerd named Tim Cain, it was initially a hobby project until more and more people latched onto it, adding their talents and thoughts to the potluck that would eventually spawn the most annoying group of cryptofascists this side of Warhammer 40,000.
Drawing on their love of pulp fiction, retrofuturism, XCOM, sci-fi movies and a tabletop system they liked (GURPS, which is absent from history for a very good reason), this vast pool of influences eventually calcified and become Fallout 1.

This story had already played out several times across modern culture by the time Fallout came into existence. It is the basis of Star Wars, modern western comics as a medium, Gundam, Warhammer... Really, you can pick any longrunning and influential franchise to find the same story of one passionate person and their team of equally passionate collaborators drawing on a huge pool of influences to make something unique.

Fallout 1 is a great game. If I ever made a list of games you should play before you die, it'd definitely be up there. Rather uniquely for the post-apocalyptic genre, it's more focused on humanity pulling itself out of the ruins of a long gone civilization than it is on the long gone civilization itself. Compared to what came after, it's a far more somber and reserved experience where the potential of combat occurring is more like a sword of damocles than a regular occurrence. Sure, it has every trope you likely expect from the genre (mutants, bandits, factions mimicking old world stuff like cowboys), but those tropes are more of a deconstruction than anything; they're portrayed as kind of pathetic for having an obsession on old iconography, because there is a now in front of you and it needs help to be built and maintained. There's a reason the BoS are assholes in this one.

Sadly, much like every example I gave two paragraphs ago, Fallout has succumbed to what I nowadays refer to as the Lucas Horizon. George Lucas combined his love of westerns, samurai, Kurosawa movies, WW2, Flash Gordon and sci-fi to make Star Wars.

The people making Star Wars after him are using their love of Star Wars to make more Star Wars.

Despite calling it the Lucas Horizon, however, I feel Fallout embodies it more than any other franchise. Even starting with Fallout 2, the series began to develop an obsession with itself. Rather than letting the influences and references form a foundation to build a work upon, they became the central part of the work. Now, Fallout 2 isn't as bad about this as every game that came after it, and indeed it at least bothers to expand on Fallout 1's themes, but at the end of the day it's ultimately more about pop culture and Fallout stuff than anything else.

Fallout 3 is where the series begins to veer off into the Lucas Horizon for good. After two games that were about the gradual rebuilding of civilization and the ways in which people built a new life from the wreckage of American civlization, 3 did a massive 180 and focused specifically on the wreckage, setting itself in a wasteland literally called The Capital Wasteland, with all of the progress from 1 and 2 seemingly undone.
The game opens with a hollow recreation of Fallout 1's intro, once again narrated by Ron Perlman and featuring shots of a ruined world set to a dissonant song by the Ink Spots as the first game did, before revealing yet another person in power armor. The difference, though, is that while Fallout 1 used it as a prelude to the story, Fallout 3 uses it to signal just how much it adores the wreckage and the retrofuturism and the distinct Fallout iconography that Bethesda yoinked at a garden sale. Fallout 3 rolls out its new power armor model to make you go "wow, cool!" while Fallout 1's intro prominently displays the T-51 being worn by American soldiers extrajudicially murdering prisoners of war.

If you've spent any amount of time in gaming circles, either directly or indirectly, you've likely heard the phrase:

"It's a good game, but a bad [franchise] game".

Personally, I hold this phrase in contempt as it's almost often deployed as a means to avoid any indepth examination of what it means to be a [franchise] game, and is often code for "it's not like the games I love".

Fallout 4 is my one exception. It is a good game, but an atrocious Fallout game. We'll be talking about the latter part exclusively, you can infer my thoughts on 4's gameplay from the Starfield review I did.

Why is it an atrocious Fallout game?

Because it's not about the rebuilding of society. It's not about the struggles faced by those seeking to carve new life out of the bones of the old. It's not even about kitschy pop culture references or the ways in which veneration of the past drives one straight into the past's sins.

It's about Fallout. It's about Vaults, Vault Suits, power armor, the Brotherhood, retrofuturist shit, dandy boy apples, whatever comes to mind when you think "Fallout", that's the core of Fallout 4.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are some themes present in Fallout 4, but they're superficial at best. Any talk of 'rebuilding' is just a pretext to shove the settlement mechanic on you, and this game treats a question as intense as "If artificial life possesses humanity, is that natural humanity or is it as artificial as its host?" with all the seriousness of The Room tackling breast cancer.

Discourse surrounding this game points to the voiced protagonist as the source for many of its woes, but I'd argue that the protagonist being a pre-war survivor does more harm than anything else. Intrinsically binding the player to the old world means everything encountered is filtered through the lens of that world. For all its faults, Fallout 2 having the player be an insulated tribal whose confusion at the world around them stemmed from their post-war experience was a much better angle than simply having the protagonist be a 200 year old.
In the non-Bethesda titles, the pre-war period is explicitly associated with the concept of rot and decay. The Brotherhood donning the armor and imagery of pre-war America led them to become just as paranoid, isolated and self-righteous as pre-war Americans did. Ghouls, ancient pre-war survivors, were rotting zombies in the most literal sense of the word. Shady Sands becoming the NCR was explicitly portrayed as a bad thing, because its citizens assumed a mantle of relative safety in exchange for shouldering the foolishness that led to the state of the world as it is now - to the point of recreating American jingoism and oil barons in the new world.
Most obviously, the Enclave were the last bastion of the US government and their very existence is seen as a virus purely because they wish for some inane ideological and biological purity. Fallout 3, despite having more flaws than I can count, at least got it right by involving a literal virus in the Enclave's plans just to make it obvious.

In New Vegas, the Enclave's power armor has been forgotten by almost everyone. Those that are aware of it consider it to be either a hate symbol or a bitter memory of a failed state. You have to go through a long and messy quest to get it, and it's given as a 'reward' once you're told that the Enclave was a dream doomed to die from the start. The game rubs your face in how pathetic its remnants are; sad old people who struggle to deal with the cognitive dissonance resulting from them missing the Enclave yet being fully aware it was just another death cult. Should you convince one of your party members to don it in support of the """best ending""", he's immediately identified as a war criminal and given a life sentence.

In Fallout 4, it starts spawning at level 28.

But really, it's the Brotherhood who embody this complaint more than anyone.

In part because they've become the Enclave, complete with vertibirds and racism.

In a better work, this would be remarked upon. Someone would point out that there's a bitter, harrowing irony to be found in the Enclave's biggest enemy stumbling into their ideology, or that a group that was once positioned to be the country's heroic saviours were now out enforcing curfews and killing people without trial. That something once considered a reassuring symbol to the wastes had now become something people dread.

Fallout 4 instead trips over its own feet, because it's more concerned with making you - the viewer - think the Brotherhood are cool. They debut in an epic, memorable cutscene where a fucking blimp flies into the map alongside a vertibird swarm and a dramatic announcement, potentially accompanied by Nick Valentine quoting a passage from The Raven in dismay. Your personal introduction is given an equal amount of weight, featuring a cool vertibird sequence up to the Prydwen which caps off with a rousing speech from a guy deliberately designed to look like modern neo nazis. Progress the story, and they bust out Liberty Prime - Fallout 3's giant death robot who rants about communists in a hammy voice and literally can't be killed.

Being a queer person who has several other characteristics that make me a target for fascists, I'm very sensitive and hypercritical of how they're portrayed. One of my most strongly held beliefs regarding the creative arts is that, much like suicide, a creative should be very considerate of how they depict fascism as I feel it can have very very very lasting real world harm.
See, the other thing Fallout has in common with those other IPs I listed up above is that all of them have had their iconography co-opted by fascists, because all of those IPs eventually doubled down and made their in-universe fascists seem cool to the average viewer. Star Wars doubled down on the Empire's cool visuals, Gundam gave tons of screentime to Zeon, Marvel keeps bringing back The Punisher uncritically, and Warhammer 40k continues to glorify the Imperium even as queer people are made to feel unsafe and ostracized within the community.
I'm only speaking from personal experience here, but the Fallout fanbase is rife with nazis. For a time, Enclave iconography and visuals were pretty much synonymous with the more rightwing elements of the fanbase. Despite New Vegas being popular among queers, the series as a whole doesn't get much discussion because said discussion is mostly driven by rightwingers. The reactions to The Frontier mod contain a lot of the word "degenerate", which I think speaks for itself.

For Bethesda to try so hard to make the openly and textually fascist Brotherhood seem cool and admirable feels irresponsible given the franchise's history. There is a very good reason most other videogames do not give you a "bad guys campaign" when they're approaching anything political, after all. Even Skyrim, this game's immediate predecessor, handled the subject with infinitely more grace.

Such problems are the natural consequence of Bethesda equating "good writing" with "there is a Fallout Thing present". The moral, social and political implications of The Institute being a 200 year old ancient conspiracy who rule an entire region from the shadows are glossed over in favour of "Look! Synths and pre-war aesthetics!". Almost nothing touches on the messy politics of the Railroad and their written goal, which is altruistic on paper but in practice has accidentally become a supremacy movement that carries out 'justified' violence for the sake of the violence itself. The Vaults are no longer horrific dungeons of suffering that represent the sheer moral decay, disregard for life and ruthless exploitation that occurred under Fallout's late stage capitalism, they're a thing you can build if you buy a DLC.

This game's intro, while not as egregious as Fallout 3's, is still a sign of what's to come. Slapped into a pre-war house filled with the worst of Bethesda's fixation on that god awful retrofuturism aesthetic they've concocted, you waddle around interacting with things for a few moments before you get to see the bomb drops in person, run past the military (clad in power armor, naturally) and get admitted to a Vault.
It's all very... theme park. "Look, you can SEE the bombs drop!" doesn't really work when the core of Fallout isn't specifically that the bombs dropped, but what caused them to drop. The erasure of context in favour of simple imagery is a rare moment of honestly from Bethesda, though perhaps an unintended one.

It is not, however, anywhere as honest as Nuka World, a DLC which turns the Fallout world into a more theme park by being set in a literal god damn theme park. Most people have already said it, but the DLC forces you to side with deeply evil raiders to even experience it which is a bad start. Not as bad as the rest of the content, though. Peeling off their mask to reveal their intent, Nuka World shoves you through a series of dungeons utterly caked in Fallout's iconography and original stuff, so much so that it feels like a self-parody from Bethesda at times.

The ultimate tragedy of Fallout as an IP, and specifically the Vault Boy, is that both were very heavily rooted in criticisms of the uniquely insidious ways in which capitalism will weaponize things for its own goals. The peppy and cutesy marketing in-universe was meant to cover up a deeply rotted hyperfascist surveilance state which was willing to annex its neighbours due to deeply rooted Sinophobia. The Vault Boy in particular is a goofy, cutesy cartoon mascot meant to encourage people to sign up for sickening, amoral experiments headed by a company so detached from humanity that it saw a nuclear war as an opportunity.

Bethesda sadly now own Fallout, so the Vault Boy is merchandise, used to entice people to sign up for sickening, amoral experiments headed by a company so detached from reality that they thought Starfield could stand on its own merits.

this is a soulless husk of a game that i paid 48 real, hard earned dollars for and i have to live with that for the rest of my life. i could have bought food with that money. i could have been at the club

ALGUIEN PUEDE AYUDAR A UN LOKO ENAMORADOOOO???? Estoy perdido x una chica tan hermosaaaaa....pero no me animo a acercarme a ella, no se si esta comprometida o que... la vi varias veces en el Backloggd. Alguien me puede ayudar a ubicarla???? ALGUIEN X FAVOOORR!!!! NO DEJO DE PENSAR EN ELLA HACE DOS SEMANAS...