A page a day, day thirty: Gushing about Fallout: New Vegas a little bit

Okay, it’s ten pm and I haven’t done my daily journal entry yet. This could be a bit of a challenge. I’m going to have to pull out a trump and bore the hell out of any readers by telling you all about the game Fallout 3: New Vegas and how amazingly well my character is doing in it.

First off, if you haven’t played either Fallout 3 or Fallout 3: New Vegas, I can’t recommend them strongly enough. The depth of story is intense while the breadth of the open sandbox world is breathtaking. I have been playing for over 100 hours and I have not seen everything yet. I played one of the download-able side plots just so I could gain some of the bonuses but I still have three other side plots to get to. Each of those will be another 20 hours of game-play each.

Each.

This game is massive on a scale most other games cannot approach. I’ve played Mass Effect one, two, and three, and all three of them combined can’t match the breadth of the Fallout games. In fact each of the Mass Effect games would, at most, be a major plot branch in Fallout. The download-able chapter I played recently, the Big Empty, was at least as vast as Mass Effect 1 on it’s own.

Normally you max out at level 30 in the game, but for each of the downloaded chapters you add to your system the max level increases by 5. My max level will, therefore, be 50. I’m already at level 42. I have 100% ability in the majority of my skills. That being said, a Deathclaw still takes at least three shots from my most powerful rifle to bring down. The only way I can one-shot kill a Deathclaw, even at level 42 with 100% in both Guns and Explosives, is to use either a missile launcher or a mini nuke. Even then, the missile isn’t a guarantee. You may have to hit them twice.

And I’m playing on the more forgiving mode that doesn’t force me to keep track of my water and food consumption, or my sleep. If you go for hard core mode you can start to falter if you don’t eat, drink, or sleep enough. That’s a level of OCD madness I’m not yet willing to explore. Maybe when I have a week off with no money I might give it a try.

And this summer that might be an option for my broke-ass vacation time.

Anyway… you can also gain companions who will help you along the way by providing helpfull boosts to some of your abilities while providing special abilities of their own. I’m highly fond of both Ed-E and Veronica. Ed-E not only provides ranged energy weapon support but also boosts your perception so you’ll see enemies coming before they see you. Aside from the awesomeness of Veronica being voiced by Felicia Day she also provides close quarter combat support with her pneumatic power fist (it can make heads EXPLODE) and acts as a portable work bench for making things.

Extra bonus of those two is that Ed-E and Veronica will travel together with you. Other companions won’t join you at all if you already have a companion, even Ed-E. Ed-E and Veronica don’t seem to have any problem hanging out with each other as your entourage.

Plus they can carry stuff for you, which is insanely valuable. This is one of the few games where there are multiple perks that allow you to just carry more stuff. Two bonuses just add to the overall total of how much you can carry while another divides the weight of some of the smaller things you carry in half.

I can gush for days about this game. From the depth of each supporting character’s back story to the vast array of choices you can make that will subtly affect how people react to you. You can definitely go evil or good, and I have yet to be able to fully explore the evil side. I just can’t bring myself to do it. But I’m going to have to try some day because I suspect there’s about 30% of the game I’m missing out on.

And now I go to play about an hour of the game before bed. I can’t allow myself too much more or I never get anything else done.

Best. Bike. Ever!

Mission Motors may be my new heroes in motorcycle construction. This beauty, The Mission One, is the electric bike of my dreams:

No Clutch, 100 lb-ft of torque off the line, 100 lb-ft of torque up to 60 mph, 100 lb-ft of torque for all speeds in between. ONE HUNDRED FOOT POUNDS OF TORQUE! We were jaw-drop impressed with the Buell’s 80 lb-ft of torque last month.

Top speed of 150 mph, which translates into 240 kph! I would never, ever ride it that fast, but it’s cool to know it can. Okay, maybe I’d try it once. On a very straight, very flat road… or maybe on the Salt Flats of Utah.

Range of 150 miles, which translates into a range of 240 kilometers, which is 40 kilometers longer than our smaller Suzuki 550 and about 60 or so kilometers longer than our bigger Yamaha XJ1100. It would take 2.5 hours to charge from a 220V outlet, 8 hours from a standard 110V, so this probably wouldn’t be ideal for touring, but within the city I have yet to go farther than 100 kilometers in a single day. In theory I could use this for two or three days without needing another charge.

And last but not least, almost entirely silent. The only noise is the slight whine of the electric motor and the roll (possibly the squeal?) of the tires on the road. No longer would bike gangs be rumbling noisy mobs, instead they would be super fast stealthy ninja clans.

The other interesting feature? The bike is wireless enabled, allowing you to download trip data to your laptop to analyze performance, presumably to tune the recharging brakes that turn stopping torque back into battery charging electricity. You can track such ride data as speed, location, lean angle, motor current, battery voltage and efficiency, etc. Truly a high tech bike for nerds.

The one drawback? Currently only available for $70k, and not ready until 2010. I’m sure that price would come down over time, though, and god knows if I had the spare money for it I’d definitely pony up for one.

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Electric Motorbikes!

Make Podcast: Todd Kollin’s Electric Motorcycle

This video is a couple of years old but Todd Kollin’s web site, Electric Motorsport, is still up and going strong. He has even better bikes up on his site than the one he demonstrates in the video.

As an aside, the range of the bikes is stated to be between 35 and 60 miles, which would be between 56 and 96 kilometers. My ride to work and back was a grand total of 30 km. I know because my motorbike doesn’t have a gas gauge so you have to keep track of your mileage to estimate how close to empty you are. While I don’t live on the exact opposite side of the city from where I worked, I’m still pretty far. I can see this bike working just fine for daily use within the city. It’s a rare day when I go for more than 80 km within the city for my usual visits and/or shopping. With a recharge time of 4 hours (1.5 with the optional high speed charger) You could even charge it while you work if you work more than 90 km away from where you live.

And with a top speed of 60 to 70 mph, that translates easily into freeway speeds, especially something like Deerfoot at rush hour.