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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 89: A Fallout Sojourn

Our first off-week adventure takes us into the land of Fallout. A lively debate on Fallout 3 versus Fallout: New Vegas gets top billing, and then we compare the Fallout of today to the Fallout of the past, and try to find out if the old spirit still lives, Featuring Richard Nak, Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Tim "The Gambler" Spaeth, and Darren Forman.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim—Hearthfire Review

Home is Where the Hearth is… Right?

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim—Hearthfire Screenshot

HIGH Hiring a steward to handle the busywork.

LOW Needing a steward to handle the busywork.

WTF The steward I hired refusing to stay on the estate!

Dawnguard... or Yawnguard?

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim—Dawnguard Screenshot

I just wrapped up The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimDawnguard DLC last week, and as someone who's not a Skyrim fan at all, it… wasn't too bad.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 76: Listener Questions, Dawnguard, The Walking Dead--Episode Two

In this episode, Chi and Brad play Dawnguard, Richard plays League of Legends, Mike plays Demon's Souls (2 years late) and we ALL play The Walking Dead Episode Two. We also took some listener questions. Haven't you always wondered what Chi's favorite Pokémon is? WELL HERE IS THE CHANCE TO LEARN! With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard "We still hate Duck" Naik and Dylan Collins.

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ESRB Double-M, Starhawk, Chairlift, and geek artifacts

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Screenshot

I don't often think about the ESRB rating system (apart from the fact that I generally support it) but my oldest son asked me a question today about the difference between ratings, and I had to pause a moment before answering.

Three reasons why The Elder Scrolls Online might be a bad idea

The Elder Scrolls Online Screenshot

Since the days of Morrowind, players and game critics alike have often described Bethesda's beloved Elder Scrolls series as "an offline MMO." The titles have had many of the elements that make Massively Multiplayer titles like World of Warcraft a huge hit, but it's never allowed for other players to come together and share the experience—until now.

Skyrim: A dirge for the Falmer

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Screenshot

The Falmer are coming. You can hear guards whispering about them in Skyrim's towns. You can encounter them through their attacks on trading caravans or isolated, unlucky outposts. In the journey to Blackreach, if not before, you will encounter the Falmer. Blind and pale, they scurry through the caves beneath Skyrim, clothed and armed with chitin from their hideous insect livestock, communicating in primitive hisses. Considering only these characteristics, it would be easy to dismiss the Falmer as goblins by another name, like Mass Effect's awful Vorcha. However, the fiction surrounding the Falmer positions them as a touchstone for many of Skyrim's main ideas.

Skyrim: The orphans, the clown and the mothers

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Screenshot

When Skyrim tries to go big, it often falters due to poor writing, over-promising, or a disconnect between the story and the gameplay. The happiest exception to this trend is the Dark Brotherhood questline, which is one of the game's great successes. This is because it obeys the rules of good writing, and of good game design.

Extra Credits: Skyrim's Opening

Hmmm, criticizing The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim's opening for being lackluster compared to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's now (in)famous opening? Is it fair to compare two games from two seemingly disparate genres like an open-world role-playing game and a scripted, set-piece-heavy, first-person military shooter? Maybe it isn't, but it does sound like something GameCritics would do. No wonder we like this video.

Extra Credits: Skyrim's Opening

Skyrim: The war that wasn't

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Screenshot

Skyrim is a huge and uneven game, and I will be discussing many of its high points. In the spirit of getting the bad news out first, however, I want to discuss the game's secondary quest, concerning the civil war between the Imperial Legion and the Stormcloaks led by Jarl Ulfric of Windhelm. There is much to admire in the way this quest is set up, but as a world element and gameplay series it falls short in several respects.

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