Experienced Points

Experienced Points
Obsidian Mailbag

Shamus Young | 29 Oct 2010 21:00
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The reaction to last week's article was about what I expected: Lots of people outraged about how poorly Fallout: New Vegas ran. (If it did.) And then other people being outraged that the first group was outraged. The latter were upset with the former for... experiencing bugs? Not enjoying them? I don't know.

But I want to address a few of the objections to my column. Like so:

I didn't experience any of the "problems" you supposedly had. The game ran great for me!

So... are the rest of us lying? Are these thousands of irritated gamers part of some vast conspiracy to make Obsidian look bad, just because?

As I said last week, PC hardware is a complex business and I'm sympathetic to the effort it takes to get things running on all of those different machines. If you're not one of the affected people, then rejoice and enjoy your game. But if you want me to enjoy the game then you need to mail me your computer, because it doesn't work right on this one.

It's not Obsidian's fault the game crashes! Your computer sucks!

In the process of doing this column, my website, my video series, and my webcomic, I end up playing a lot of games. Over fifty a year, if we include demos and other games that I toy with for a few hours and forget about. None of those games seem to malfunction the way New Vegas does. New Vegas is the most buggy game I've played in years.

You didn't talk about the good parts of the game, you just raged on about bugs! This was completely biased and unbalanced.

If you look carefully at the end of this column, you'll notice that there is never any review score. That's because this is an opinion piece written by a pundit and not a review written by a journalist. If you want a review, then Russ Pitts has you covered. (Hint: His only complaint is that the game is buggy.)

But I really dislike this absurd mindset that you're not allowed to discuss the bad parts of the game unless you balance it out with the good. I can only imagine what it must be like to have a conversation with these people.

Allan: Man, I couldn't stand Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception.

Bob: YOU DIDN'T MENTION HOW GOOD THE SPECIAL EFFECTS WERE. YOU ARE BIASED AND YOUR OPINION IS INVALID.

Allan: WTF!?!?

Everyone already knows Obsidian sometimes has bugs in their games, you're just a big obvious troll-type person.

So, everyone knows about this so we ... shouldn't discuss it? The fact that "everyone" knows about it should be a pretty big clue that this is a widespread problem. It's just as valid a topic for conversation as Bobby Kotick, DRM, or any of the other things I talk about every week.

But more importantly, everyone doesn't know about the problems with Obsidian. New gamers are growing up or joining the hobby all around us. A college freshman playing New Vegas right now would have been thirteen years old when Obsidian released KOTOR II. And believe it or not, most people smack the escape key when the developer and publisher splash screens appear. Not everyone follows this stuff, and an article discussing the behavior and trajectory of this company would be both interesting and informative for those sorts of people.

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