*we put the "mmm" in communism


This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

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I'm finally taking the effort to talk about Oblivion. Yes, shoxxorz and awezorz.

Oblivion is a really, really weird game, in that it there are many comparisons that can be made with Fable. Not in the actual gameplay, but in the realm of it not exactly living up to expectations. What makes this weird is the fact that in all reality, Bethesda never lied and didn't drop features left and right - Oblivion is what they said it would be. Yet, it still isn't what they pumped it up to be.

Now, don't get me wrong. Oblivion is a great game. However, contrary to my original thoughts, this really isn't the best game ever made. It would almost certainly at first appear that way, until you really start to break the 50 and 60-hour barrier in terms of gameplay. Around that point, you start realizing that even though there's gobs more to do, you don't want to do it.

My favorite example is the environment. When we first saw Oblivion, we saw pictures of lush forests that truly are beautiful and well-made. Then we saw more. And more. By the time I started playing the game, I was already familiar with almost 90% of the game's environment. Everything outside of the cities (and technically inside, too) is just green forest. Exploration simply isn't fun - everything looks the same! Strangely enough, the dungeons and cities do not suffer the same fate, which is nice, however the entirity of the outside world (with very, very few exceptions) is just green, green, green.

On the note of exploration, Bethesda made an interesting trade-off with the ability to traverse the land - the cities themselves are insular, totally separated from the outside world. You cannot freely travel between the cities and the world, because of the required loading time, which is only triggered by entering through the gates. With several cities, I found obscure ways to scale the walls and jump outside of the city, at which point I found a totally untextured and decisively ugly world, devoid of buildings or people. I love exploiting games and all, but Oblivion was supposed to be about free-form playing, uninhibited action and exploration. That just don't flow right. This is also probably why they removed the massive jumping and running spells that made Morrowind so fun to explore. You can't jump 10,000 feet into the air. You can't levitate. You're stuck.

Beyond these issues, the another main problem lay in the myriad of quests you could do. Many of the quests, in general, were quite the same. With some very cool exceptions (entering a mage's mind and solving puzzles, jumping into an artist's painting to kill paint trolls), all of the guilds were just different variations of eachother, with minor exceptions. I didn't do all of the quests, but, I did go quite far into the Fighter's Guild, the Dark Brotherhood, the Blades, and finished all of the Thieve's Guild quests. The Thieve's Guild had an absolutely spectacular final mission that required you to sneak past veritable legions of powerful enemies at once, but such espionage was not to be found in many of the other quests.

My final complaint lies with the enemies. Variation was a strong issue here, as well as balance. I often avoided dungeons completely because most of them contained really creepy undead that I didn't want to fight. I just don't want to fight undead all the time. Outside the dungeons was a little better, but in general, I found myself meeting the same enemies regularly. Strength was a universal problem - later in the game, if you do not turn the difficulty down, you will not be strong enough to kill anything. This may have been fixed within the 1.1 patch, but, I do not believe so.

All that said, Oblivion is a great game. The leveling system is wonderful, as is the character creation all around. The world is totally immersive and responsive. The game improves upon tons of the issues of Morrowind and so much more - plus, the game is just really good looking. That's all I can really put it at - Oblivion is just great.
posted by MC Froehlich at

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