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Fallout New Vegas Game Guide: Part II

GAME GUIDE: Playing Fallout New Vegas on very hard difficulty in Hardcore mode

Read Fallout New Vegas Game Guide part 1 here.

Fallout New Vegas Game Guide: weapons

There is a great arsenal of weaponry available in Fallout New Vegas. However, it isn’t wise to carry more than just a few weapons at a time. I generally prefer handguns and rifles over heavy artillery and generally keep one handgun, one shotgun, a rifle and an assault rifle or machine gun at my disposal.

It is important to learn what ammo you need for each weapon and to carry enough of it. If you have collected other ammo that doesn’t fit your guns, break these down at a reloading bench and try and create more of the ammo you need for your favourite gun. If you’ve chosen lead over energy weapons, microfusion cells are still useful for collecting and selling later.

Fallout New Vegas Game Guide: Crafting items and weapons

This is one of the best aspects of Fallout New Vegas. There is a plethora of items that you can make from wasteland junk – some of which are essential for survival.

fallout cartoon guyOnce your medicine level reaches 40 you can start making healing items; when your explosives skill reaches 50 you can start making time bombs; and when you science and survival skills pass the 50 mark you can start creating all sorts of chems and goodies at a campfire.

Learn what ingredients you need to craft each item you think might be useful and store these until your skills are at the right levels. Stash them in a safe or footlocker or get a trusty companion to carry them for you.

Making money in Fallout New Vegas

Fallout New Vegas gives you the chance to make it big and spend it all on guns, armour, enhancements and more gambling. What’s great is that there is always something to blow your caps on, unlike Fallout 3 where you often ended up sitting on a pile of bottle caps.

The casinos are where you can strike it big playing blackjack and roulette, but there is a game that can be played fairly early on to make some extra dough. The game’s called Caravan, which does take a little getting used to but can be a lot of fun. You will need a minimum of 30 cards before you can play and you will need to seek out merchants who know how to fold em.

Fallout New Vegas Game Guide: Combat tips

Everyone will have their own combat style, but if you’re playing as a gun nut with a high explosives skill, I would recommend the following.

Momma DeathclawKeep an eye on your compass for red markers as you explore the wasteland. Once spotted, sneak up as close as you can to assess the situation and see what you’re up against. Determine which direction the enemy will come charging when spotted and place a mine or two in this spot. Take some drugs (preferably jet and psycho), crouch down and go for a critical hit.

Let’s assume that the creature is the fiercest of them all – namely a Deathclaw. Funnel the creature to where your explosives are placed and throw a grenade or stick of dynamite just before said Deathclaw steps on your explosives. Boom! You want to try and cripple the enemy before they can get close.

If still alive continue to pump the creature with lead. Use you VATS to assess which areas are in critical condition and take it out! Be warned that playing Fallout New Vegas on very hard difficulty and in hardcore mode can be really tough early on. But give it a bash by playing strategically and the the rewards and good times will follow.

Please feel free to add any game tips or suggestions you may have!

Fallout New Vegas Game Guide

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GAME GUIDE: Playing Fallout New Vegas on very hard difficulty in Hardcore mode

GAMES such as Fallout New Vegas are a lot more fun and intense when they’re extra challenging. Playing in hardcore mode really adds to the survival aspect of Fallout, and, in my opinion, makes the game a lot more fun to play.

Fallout New Vegas Game Guide: S.P.E.C.I.A.L: General stats and perks

If you decide to test your Fallout skills in hardcore mode you’ll want to pay special attention to your starting stats. It’s a good idea to create a character with high strength and endurance. Strength will allow you to carry more items for selling and creating explosives and endurance will provide you with more hit points and the ability to get enhancements later on.

Fallout New Vegas SPECIALAlso remember that in hardcore mode ammo weighs you down and it becomes frustrating if you have to constantly drop items when encumbered.

You’ll also want a fairly high intelligence so that you can add more skill points when leveling up. These are the three stats I’d give preference too. Remember that you can always add extra S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points with the Intense Training perk, by collecting bobbleheads (download Fallout New Vegas bobblehead mod here) and by visiting the New Vegas medical center.

Fallout New Vegas Game Guide: Skill points

It may make sense to play as staunch, melee character in hardcore mode. Fallout New Vegas has improved melee combat considerably, so this can be a lot of fun.

Fallout New Vegas combatHowever, I find it wiser to keep enemies at bay by playing as a gun nut. Killing or injuring enemies before they can get close enough to cripple you may just save your ass.

In the beginning, I generally feed my skill points into Guns, Repair, Explosives, Lockpicking and Survival, and maybe a few in to Medicine and Barter. You need to be able to inflict as much damage as possible early on as well as heal yourself with stimpaks or by cooking gecko steaks at a campfire.

Note that some foodstuffs work just as well as chems by giving you boosts to strength and other skills such as agility. It is also a good idea to keep well fed and hydrated in hardcore mode before leveling up.

Fallout New Vegas Game Guide: Finding a home

NovacIt is useful to find a place to rest and stash your excess goods early on in the game. Unfortunately you don’t get offered as nice a place as the little shack in Megaton back in Fallout 3, but there are other options.

I chose to settle in Novac – in a rented motel room. You pay peanuts once off and the place is yours! I store extra guns and ammo in the safe, special Nuka Colas and other drinkables in the fridge, extra armour in the cabinet and all miscellaneous goods in the footlocker (for creating items later).

Fallout New Vegas Game Guide: Leveling up

When playing on very hard difficulty in hardcore mode you’ll want to level up as quickly as possible. The best way to achieve this is by completing quests early on. Accept all side quests and odd jobs that come your way and get out and explore.

Fallout New VegasA good idea is to take the Hunter perk early on which gives a 75% critical hit score against mutated animals and creatures. Once you have that, get out and pot a few geckos and mole rats, but watch out for those killer Cazadors!

I won’t get into perks as there are various strategies involved with picking these, but allocating skill points wisely is vital to surviving the Mojave Wasteland. Don’t spread your skills points too thinly. Rather fuel them into a single stat until it reaches 50. Again I would first focus on Guns, Repair, Lockpicking, Explosives and perhaps Barter and Medicine before anything else.

It sucks coming across a safe or ammunition box that you can’t open because your lock pick skill is too low. You also want to keep your weapons in mint condition so as to inflict as much damage as possible.

Related post: Fallout New Vegas Bobblehead Locations

Please feel free to add any game tips or suggestions you may have!

7 ways games reward the brain

TED TALK: Tom Chatfield chats about the benefits of gaming ON the brain and social behaviour

I’VE always believed that games can be highly beneficial in many ways. I remember always trying to justify why I played games so much to my folks at a tender, young age. Apart from improving basic hand-eye co-ordination, I argued that I was learning a great deal about history.

Sid Meier’s Civilization was my main ammunition for this argument, but even World War games with real historic footage and snippets of factual information made learning an incredibly engaging and fun process. There is even the chance that gaming could make you a braver person in the real world.

Tom Chatfield gave a TED Talk in 2010 about the benefits that games can have on the way the brain learns new information and responds to stimuli in both the virtual and real worlds. He suggests how universities and business can learn from gaming by applying some simple techniques.

The video takes a few minutes to get into the juicy bits, but it really is interesting stuff and well worth a watch. Enjoy!

Tom Chatfield: 7 ways games reward the brain

About this talk
We’re bringing gameplay into more aspects of our lives, spending countless hours — and real money — exploring virtual worlds for imaginary treasures. Why? As Tom Chatfield shows, games are perfectly tuned to dole out rewards that engage the brain and keep us questing for more.

About Tom Chatfield
Tom Chatfield thinks about games — what we want from them, what we get from them, and how we might use our hard-wired desire for a gamer’s reward to change the way we learn.

About TED
TED is a small nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds of Technology, Entertainment and Design.

That’s www.ted.com

Games for Christmas: PC on Earth

PC GAMES: A quick look at some good game titles this Christmas

IT is the most exciting time of year for retailers and children alike as we are bombarded by adverts from all directions and the kiddy winkles are putting their finishing touches to their Christmas wish lists.

If your children are as demanding as most they’ll probably be nagging for the latest and greatest gadgetry goods this year. I imagine it must be tough having to explain what a recession is to a young child and argue that Apple iPads and Xboxes just aren’t in Santa’s budget this year.

But, if you already have a workable PC installed at home, games as gifts are the perfect solution to making everyone happy this Christmas. PC games are not frightfully expensive these days and I can assure you from experience that there is nothing more exciting than being given a new game to play for Christmas.

I have compiled a list of a few great PC games that cover several genres and are suitable for a variety of ages. It is also useful to know that most PC games today are not gender-specific. What may have once been considered as boys’ games are now being played considerably by the growing number of girl gamers.

Civilization V (ages 16+): R360 (PC)

Civilization VSid Meier’s award-winning Civilization series is a treat to the mind that will appeal to strategy gamers who enjoy turn-based games. Civilization takes one back to the beginnings of time where you can play as one of the great leaders from history. Discover new technologies and lands, build great wonders, forge alliances and sign treaties as you lead your people through time.

Civilization is a challenging game that promises hours of unique gaming. The previous release (Civilization IV) is now available for only R66 and includes three expansion packs.

Fallout New Vegas (R18): R350 (PC)

Fallout New VegasIn a post-apocalyptic world set in the not too distant future, you are one of several survivors who were preserved in underground vaults. After humanity emerges from living underground for generations, they have already begun to form tribes and allegiances. Conflict is inevitable as different tribes compete for clean water and survival, but one city has mysteriously been preserved from complete destruction. That city is New Vegas.

Stunning visuals and complete immersiveness make this game a personal favourite of mine. Outcomes differ depending on how you play the game and engage with its moral choice system. Just a warning: Fallout does have a gambling component and suggestions of prostitution — hence the age restriction.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (ages 16+):

The Elder Scrolls IV: OblivionThe Elder Scrolls places the player in the fantasy realm of Cyrodil — set in the Middle Ages. Made by the same company as Fallout 3, this game is equally stunning and immersive. Players are given endless quests which may see you fighting in the arena or battling mythical creatures with both magic and steel.

The Elder Scrolls is a great example of a sandbox game, whereby the player can literally venture where he or she pleases until the edge of the map. Like Fallout 3, it also features a weather system­, whereby players will experience rain, snow or shine and changes between day and night.

The game is not excessively violent or naughty, but perhaps a little complex for younger players.

Zoo TycoonZoo Tycoon 2 (ages 3+): R309 (PC)

From Railroad Tycoon to Zoo Tycoon — these games are great educational simulators. Players will learn the fundamentals of zoo upkeep and design in a fun and visually stimulating way. Zoo Tycoon is available with four expansion packs, namely the Zookeeper collection, the Marine Mania collection, Endangered Species and the Extinct Animals expansion pack.

Need for Speed Hot PursuitNeed for Speed: Hot Pursuit (ages 12+): R303 (PC)

If your offspring are into fast cars and adrenaline rushes (i.e. racing games) you need look no further than the Need for Speed series. Hot Pursuit is one of the more popular releases that will make car fans drool at the well-rendered graphics and sporty cars they get to drive.

Fifa 2011 (ages 3+): R308 (PC)

The ever successful Fifa series is back with Fifa 2011 released this year. Football games are a lot of fun with a lot of effort put into their design. Players look like the real deal, stadia are modelled­ accurately and the roar and buzz of the fans creates a high-energy atmosphere.

Fifa 2011Fifa 2010 is a good choice considering that the World Cup was hosted by our country this year. Unfortunately this release is currently out of stock; but if it becomes available again before Christmas it is selling for just R129.


(these are games I haven’t personally played, but have certainly heard of. Suitable for all ages):

  • Ultimate Monster Trucks R14
  • Football Manager 2007 R14
  • Winter Games R14
  • Puzzle Quest R90
  • Zoo Tycoon (stand alone) R66

NOTE: All PC games mentioned here are available at www.take2.co.za which is also offering free shipping this festive season on all orders over R350. Games may be available in stores or on other shopping websites, yet prices may differ.

Happy gaming and Merry Christmas!

Fallout 3 Tweaks and Tips

GAMING: Tweaks and mod ideas for making Fallout 3 even better

FALLOUT 3 is quite possibly the best game ever made. It won Game Of The Year in 2009 and five riveting mods or add-on packs have been released to date. I confidently believe that Fallout 3 is an ever-evolving game genre and I wanted to propose a few additional tweaks or mod ideas to make the game even better.

Fallout 3 tweaks: Pilot lights

Fallout 3 pilot lightsYou know those pilot lights you pick up, usually from stoves? Well why not be able to attach these to your weapons using tape or wonderglue? That pip-boy light just doesn’t cut it. Attachable pilot-gun lights could break and dim-out after a while too. Imagine being able to shine a light on ghouls hiding in dark corners – it would be light a scene from I Am Legend.

Fallout 3 tweaks: Instant VATS

VATS is a great feature of Fallout 3 but it becomes tedious having to target a creature and then select which body parts you wish to load with lead every time. I’m sure most gamers use VATS the same way I do – i.e. aim for the parts with the best chance to hit.

What would be great is to have an “instant VATS” hotkey that automatically fuels all your Agility Points (AP) towards to most vulnerable body part. One could customise this by being able to select a body part that you would want your instant VATS to target each time (e.g. right leg).

Fallout 3 tweaks: Jamming Guns
Yao Guai

I know that this is something specific to games like Far Cry 2, but the whole gun jamming thing is really effective for first person shooters, especially when there’s dodgy equipment at your disposal. Fallout 3 would be perfect for incorporating something similar considering that your guns get damaged after extensive use. Having your shotgun jam while trying to take out a Yao Guai would really add to the intensity of the game.

Fallout 3 tweaks: Melee throwing weapons

After starting the game over for the third time I played on the most difficult setting and thought my best strategy would be to play as a melee hero (as ammo on this setting is in short supply). I thought there were plenty of melee weapons to wield but I kept finding myself wanting to throw them at my enemies.

Being able to throw melee weapons (and even rocks) at a raider’s face would add to whole idea of survival of the fittest in a barren wasteland.

Fallout 3 tweaks: Ability to delete notes

The notes system is a great way to make quests really rich and involved. However, once quests are completed, one doesn’t really care anymore what happened to the Keller family. Notes just continue to pile up and it’s easy to lose track of which ones are still important or relevant. An option to delete (drop) completed quests/notes would be really useful and would make the Wasteland a better place.

Fallout 3 tweaks: More for your caps
Fallout 3 poster

It is easy to become the wealthiest survivor in the wasteland, but with only on shack available to pimp out in Megaton (which you get for free anyway) there really isn’t much else to blow your caps on. More housing options would be a good start, but it would also be great to be able to either invest caps in things (besides merchants) or even be able to pays techies to upgrade your equipment and armour.

Well that my six cents worth of ideas. If anyone has any connections at Bethesda Studios please do pass these on. Or, if you are a mod-maker, perhaps you could use these ideas to make much sought-after Fallout 3 mods. Or you could just provide your own ideas below, and if there are enough of them, who knows? They could make Fallout 3 even better yet!

If you are a fan of Oblivion, Fallout 3 takes things beyond the next level. It is
certainly one great game to own if you don’t already.

Buy Fallout 3 GOTY now!

Available Fallout 3 expansion packs: