How I got into the Fallout Series

With the new release of Fallout 4 "next gen" upgrade, it's got me thinking... Exactly how did I get into the series? Heck, have I even ever told anyone my story? Fallout was actually a pretty big step for me, so how haven't I ever really spoken about it? Well, today I wanted to fix that! 

When I was 17 years old, I got my first job working at my uncle's brand new bakery. It was the first time I ever really had money of my own to spend, and it was the first time I could really just go out and buy whatever I wanted because of that. It was a new type of freedom, and I couldn't wait to get out there to see what I could buy. So what was my first purchase? None other than the Xbox 360 of course!

I was dumb. I actually only wanted an Xbox 360 for Sonic 06... But after getting it, I realized that there was a whole other world of games out there that I was missing out on. So I started researching, and with my weekly paycheck I'd go to Walmart (and later GameStop once it opened) and pick up something new to play. It was honestly a pretty great time in my life, filled with memories I wouldn't trade for anything.

Anyway... Fallout 3 wasn't something that was instantly in the picture. I heard kids talking about it at school as being "Oblivion with guns" (lol), but I really didn't know much about it. I watched some videos of it online and saw it was a bit bloody, and up until then I hadn't really played M rated games. Outside of Halo and Half Life 2 that I got with Orange Box, this was new territory to me. Well, I actually ended up deciding to skip on it. Figured I had other "better" games to play, and I kept putting it on the back burner. Eventually I graduated from high school, and once I got into college I had a little less extra money to spend. Being a student wasn't cheap, even though I was living at home, and I had new bills like the dreaded car payment to pay. So I had to be a bit more picky with the games I did or didn't get, but overall I guess it didn't slow me down too much -- it's just I started branching out and exploring cheaper games on other systems I owned. Like games on the PSP. Of course, this didn't last long however, as the 360 continued to pump out titles I just couldn't go without.

Jumping in with Fallout 3

The Christmas of 2009 was a pretty special one to me. My parents bought me Rock Band, and I loved it! I could go on and on about how great RB was, and how much I played it, but the reality was... I was still craving something a bit more; or rather, a bit more "different." I remember it was right before New Years Eve, and we had family coming to stay the night, and I decided to go to Walmart with my dad to pick some things up (and get something for myself). Right then and there is when I decided to finally pull the trigger and buy Fallout 3.

What's still crazy to me about buying Fallout 3, was how many options I had. I could've bought Fallout 3 for $60, and then right next to the game we had multiple copies of each DLC as physical discs. For an outsider it made the game look huge, as not only did you have a giant full game to play, but you also had these expansions that "required" entire discs of their own on top of it! Of course I knew better, and picked up the Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition next to it all that was on sale for like $40 or something. Either way, I walked out of there with everything.


Then Fallout 3 scared the crap out of me!

I remember hearing kids at school the year before talking about not going into the school, and I sorta wish I listened to them! I hadn't had much experience with horror games at this point, so when I saw the bloody bodies and parts laying everywhere, I'll admit I freaked. And  then I stumbled upon a little town that seemed completely normal, but then I made the mistake if going in the basement even though I was told not to! Then I had my encounters with the ghouls, and the dark subways! It was all... Amazing. I loved it! The game's dark atmosphere was so different from what I was used to, and I really enjoyed how exploring always lead to something new. See something in the distance? Let's see what happens when you go there! Get stopped by an NPC along the way? Well now you're pulled into an entire story you had no idea existed! It was refreshing from what I was becoming used to, and I wanted to take in as much of it as possible. It's just, I wasn't the best at it.

First time through I made a lot of mistakes. I actually beat the game and realized that I locked myself out of quite a bit by doing something "wrong," and that there were other ways I could've handled the situations. I also completely messed up my build by not doing one, so I was under powered for where I was. That's when I decided to do something crazy. After finishing my 50ish hour playthrough, I went back to the title screen and hit new game -- this time with a build guide in hand.

Second time through FO3 was insane. I still found new things to do, and I now knew ways I could "cheat the system" and collect double rewards! Side with the salve traders? Okay, why not? Capture everyone, bring them back, get the rewards... And then slaughter EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE PIECES OF TRASH and freed the slaves! Walked out of there a hero with both sides of the quest complete! Again, this type of freedom was new to me in games, and I was loving it.

Sadly my Fallout 3 journey did eventually come to an end when my Xbox 360 started acting up. Got to the point where (I'm assuming) the cache for my save had gotten too high, and everything was lagging and crashing so much... My 360's disc drive also stopped wanting to open, so I eventually retired the console in favor of my new PS3. It was a sad day, but I knew it would happen eventually.

Going forward, I took a break from Fallout for awhile. I skipped NV initially, but then purchased it for the PS3 -- only to discover how many issues that version of the game had. So I avoided playing it, only to then buy it years later on PC, and once again not play it! (Finally started it this week.) I blame other games like Final Fantasy XIV for this though, as I bought it when I first got a gaming PC and I had so much else to play at the time. So again, I continued to hold off on Fallout up until the release of 4. That's when my parents bought it for me for Christmas.

Returning with Fallout 4

Christmas of 2015 was CRAZY for me. I got Fallout 4 for Christmas, and Rockband 4 had also just released. I had bought an Xbox One the previous year, but 2015 was when I was finally able to get back into RB as all of my songs were locked to the Xbox 360 versions of the games (not playable on XBO), and to top it off, I got to jump into a new Fallout game. It was the Christmas of 2009 allover again -- heck, my same family who came for New Years in 2009? They showed up that year as well. It was a full on repeat, and I loved it.

Despite the hate FO4 got, I found myself really liking the game -- especially the building. I became addicted to building settlements, and actually completely ignored the story for a LONG time. Each time I turned the game on, I'd go raid some place, bring materials back, and get to building my next base. I put countless hours into the game over the next few years JUST doing this, and somehow never got tired of it! Even when I jumped into FO4 VR the thing I was most excited about was continuing building in VR. (The nuke going off in the intro was pretty awesome though.) But with that being said, I actually still haven't had time to put much time into FO4 VR, and instead continued returning to my original console release of FO4. 

Then last year happened.

After owning the game for, what, 8 years? I finally decided it was time to just finish it... And by that I meant, it's time to do EVERYTHING. So that's what I did. Took an additional 50ish hours to take/find every quest, try out every option, and just go flat out crazy with the game. As trophies continued to pop, I kept looking for more and more things I had missed. I spent so much time building I was already well over level 50, but it didn't bother me as it just meant I got even more perks to use! I eventually got to the point where I was making dozens of alternate saves just to have points to reload back to, and using my notes I was able to go down every path and see every possible ending. It took quite a bit of time (not sure how much time), but it ultimately saved me countless playthroughs in the end. 

With everything said and done, I got the platinum trophy, and once again put the game on hold to return to it at a later date.

And so here we are! FO4's new patch gives me a reason to come back, but a part of me also wants to finish off the small parts of the DLC I left untouched. I'm assuming there's still hidden things in the world I missed as well, so I'd kinda like to take the time to finish off my original save before jumping into a new one. I also have FO4 VR I want to try out more, so it's kinda left me in a weird spot. I really do love the game for what it is, but FO3 will always be special to me.

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