A Good Sign Your Strategy Isn’t Working

Prospective investors should take note of the Timothy Plan funds’ records: Its Large/Mid-Cap Growth is down 39 percent so far this year (that’s ahead of 85 percent of large-company growth funds), and it has lost an average of 5 percent annually over the past five years. That return lags behind roughly 30 percent of its peers. Timothy’s Conservative Growth fund, which is about 40 percent bonds, is down 33 percent this year, and has lost an annualized 2 percent over the past five years.

via Faith-Based Fund Shuns Video-Game Stocks – Yahoo! News.

Probably should write a bit more about this one, but I found it rather funny.  Fallout 3 and Bioshock both scored very high on the “evil meter” (and in reviewers opinions regarding their quality as games), although GTA IV took the top spot (in the evil meter, not the review one).

The problem here is illustrated on the cover of the fear-mongering pdf, and that problem is bad parenting.  Kids shouldn’t be reading “American Psycho” and neither should they be playing games where they can virtually kill and get laid with reckless abandon (although Fable 2 does include an STD counter that one can get to move quickly by having un-protected sex with prostitutes).

This is a parenting issue.  And I’m somewhat worried that a few folks with too much time on their hands and money in their pockets want to make it a censorship one.

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Fallout 3 and Fable 2 End-scene Mash-up (*Spoilers*)

I put together this video the other day to compare and contrast the ending sequences of Fallout 3 and Fable 2.

Both these games are pretty amazing in their own respects, I did a longer compare and contrast post here.

They also employ the same end-game-sequence creator theory, in that the final cut scenese (as shown below) are built and narrated based on the character’s actions in a game.  In the case of Fallout 3, the eulogy aspect of it is literal, while you get to live and keep playing in Fable 2.

Enjoy!

Fallout 3: Inside the Heads of Raiders (bonus: Fable 2 and Fallout 3 Comparison)

Fallout 3 Comic

Fallout 3 Comic

 More available here.

FALLOUT FROM… FALLOUT

comic updated November 14, 2008

And today we venture back — back, through time, to continue the classic (old, actually) tale called forth from the hoary mists: The Otters in “True Crime Stories!”

So — not to brag, but guess who got featured on the front page of the Bethesda Blog yesterday? HMM? HMMM?

Which is pretty darned awesome — other people make games, Bethesda makes WHOLE WORLDS. And then sells them at a very reasonable price. In fact — and given how hyped up I was on the whole thing, this is a hard thing to admit — “Fallout 3” has turned out to be FAR more engaging than “Fable 2.” Not that “Fable 2” isn’t good! Just, “Fallout 3” is so much more… MORE.

Anyway, that’s notable enough for my day. Back to work!

Great comic and great game.  I think I have to agree about the Fable 2 thing, as well.  Fable 2 is a good game.  Maybe even a great one…but once I put in Fallout 3, I didn’t touch Fable 2 for a couple weeks.

This actually turned out to be kinda nice, because when I loaded Fable 2 back up, I got my back-pay of about 200,000 gold to continue building my real estate empire (side-note…Fable 2 has a LOT of fun things to do, building a real estate empire is but one of many…but the “style” of game is more…comic…and also much more raw [e.g. compare sex-scenes in Fallout 3 with Fable 2…both of which lose badly to The Witcher, but that’s a pretty high bar.] 

Ultimately, Fallout 3 gets the nod because it’s done with so much…how do you say it…”I don’t know what“….maybe it was just the story, and the GREAT humor (which Fable 2 has as well, tons…the “books” in the game are hilarious), and the realistic bits that drew me in so far (and of course VATS…but you get pretty close to VATS in Fable 2, including slow-mo decapitating head shots).

Regardless, it’s hard to go wrong with either game, but if you only have the budget for one…Fallout 3 is the way to go, IMHO.

UPDATE: Oh, and I got the comic off this blog.  Great stuff there for Fallout 3 fans.  Looks like that girl went through *everything* in the game and wrote about it.  Personally I try and avoid spoilers for the most part, unless I’m totally stuck and getting annoyed, YMMV.

UPDATE2: I realized just what that je ne sais quoi I mentioned previously actually was.  Sometimes when I’m playing Fable 2 I have to fight the camera, and it’s annoying as hell.  Take for example the Gargoyle Quest in Fable 2 where you have to find and destroy 50 stone gargoyles hidden around the world.  You always know when one is near, because they talk a crap-ton of shit to you in a very distinctive voice (yes, you get heckled constantly…it’s funny…and it takes a while before you learn to separate it from the regular chatter of Fable-folk).  To find them you have to look up and move around.  The problem is that when you move, the camera tries to move to it’s “natural” 3rd person perspective.  You tend to find yourself fighting the game in a functional sense.

Gaming is all about “beating the game” but you don’t want to feel like the game is making itself annoying.   It’s a fine thing to point out, because Fable 2 really is a very good game.  In Fallout 3, with its camera options and a UI that gives absolute and quick control to the player, the interface never gets in the way.  This is Fable 2’s little problem.  I have a video I’ll put up that illustrates it exactly (try buying and using 15 XP potions quickly), but it’s those bits that make the big difference.

Fallout 3 being a sequel built on the same engine as Oblivion obviously gave Bethesda a huge advantage here., but be that as it may, camera control and, frankly, frame-rate (yea…Fable 2 gets sluggish every now and again), are probably the two biggest differentiating factors in getting at the vast amounts of gameplay both titles have to offer.