[Metal/Melodic Power] Kalidia – The Frozen Throne (80%)

Kalidia released their second full-album entitled “The Frozen Throne” on November 23th. I know it has been almost 10 days but I wanted to be sure I gave it enough time to give it a fair review.
How does it compare it “Lies’ Device” (their first album)? How does Nicoletta Rosellini vocals fare? Is Kalidia looking as a solid bet from Transalpine neighbors as an emerging band to watch for? Well I gonna try to answer all these questions. The album is a 11 tracks totaling 47 minutes. Overall, it is a solid album, comforting their first album and slowly but surely making Kalidia a band you should keep an eye on. It is growing slowly but surely, conquering lands and hearts one fiefdom at the time. I would say that maybe the band played it a bit safe and feels like the songs are sounding maybe too homogeneous in my opinion.
The first and second tracks are “Frozen Throne” and “Circe’s Spell”. Not much talking here, as I let the band sell themselves to you with their two official videos:


We start well, with some solid stuff that gives you fairly “la patate” while listening to them. The third track “Black Sails” starts with a “Pirates of the Caribbeans” feels and fairly decent. Good, but when I want some pirate metal, I bet my doubloons and my rum on Alestorm (and their anthem song “Drink!”). You can hear their song here:

The fourth and fifth tracks “Orpheus” and “To The Darkness I Belong”, are in my opinion are decent, but nothing giving me thrills. I don’t want to call them fillers, but feel like the weakest songs of the album. The sixth track “Myth of Masada” help us forget a bit these two songs, and gave us something decent to listen. “Midnight’s Chant” is maybe deviating from their power melodic tones and more luring into some Symphonic avenues. It is an okay song, certainly a good song to use in a radio station (as it is fairly accessible for a large audience). “Go Beyond”, “Amethyst”, “Lotus” are quite good power melodic one to listen to it, giving you some thrills inherent to power metal songs. “Queen of The Forsaken”, the eleventh song, sounds at times like a Nightwish song and nicely conclude the album.
Overall, this is a generally good power melodic album, and a fairly solid second release album from the band. Nicoletta gained comfort in her vocal style (singing in a lower tone than the usual FFM, which is makes it unique), the band gained experience and consistency, both marking an overall good outcomes in terms of the maturation of the band.
Yet, my major complains are that I feel we lost some of the risk-taking approach we had with “Lies Devices”, especially the keyboards seems to have taken the backseat in that album. The second complaint is that after a good start with three songs, we quickly reach a sort of “homogenous” middle that takes about the good second third of the album. It  sounds decent but feels redundant, repetitive, and playing artistically safe. I would personally think this album would have much more impact as an EP, as it feels the second third of the album as a weakness.
The band has generously uploaded three songs of the album on Youtube (see links) and I let you decide. I personally see Kalidia slowly but surely gaining ground in the Power Melodic Metal scene coming from Italy, slowly but surely conquering fiefdoms and hearts over time. Considering the double life of Nicoletta (she got her DVM recently, so congratulations Dr. Rosellini!) and likely the other band members, it is a nice piece of work delivered by a “little league band”. Remember, like any other little bands, they need support from you. You like it? Please consider skipping a McDonalds meal and invest in a melodic power metal band and buy their album.

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[Metal/Doom] Clouds – Dor (95%)

The best musical compositions in my opinion are the ones that are capable to transcend the listener, to vehicle the feelings of the artist into the audience. The best musical compositions are the one that will not only stimulate your primary auditive cortex, but also activate secondary cortical areas, in particular your limbic system.
The limbic system, for those not familiar with neurosciences, is a complex and heterogenous brain structure encompassing different brain region that are below the brain cortex (what we refer commonly as “the gray matter”). It is involved in the memorization, but foremost is involved in the emotions: Joy, sadness, anger, calm…….
To me, the best musical compositions are the one that will make you happy, will make you sad, make you ballistic, or simply make you chill out and relax.
Amongst these four, sadness is my precious one. It revives dark periods in my life, periods that brought me emotional pain and somehow get hidden under layers of “everyday life” in priority. This is maybe why I have a natural attraction to doom metal. Doom metal helps unfolding and revealing this melancholy, brings back sad memories and sometimes makes me cry of reviving this sadness. Very few albums and songs reach that level but with the latest release of Clouds album “Dor”, it made me cry for 50 minutes. This is why it took me almost ten days and countless listening to be able to write down my review.
It is a 6 track album spanning over 50 minutes, yet you feel like it is a consistent album that would have been a single track. Clouds marvelously combine a chord piano playing on the bottom range, with ethereal melodic riffs, slow and heavy tempo. When you enter this album via “Forever And A Day”, you enter into a doomy and gloomy introspection into yourself as the melancholy comes in and unfold. Majestic!
The second track, “The Last Day of The Sun”, although still pretty good  feels like in my opinion the weakest one. With the third track, “When I’m Gone”, we have the featuring of Gogo Melone (Aeonian Sorrow, Luna Obscura). It is the first time I hear Gogo and her voice combined to the musical arrangement of Clouds reminded me the best years of Anneke Von Giersbergen and The Gathering. I am surely checking out her latest release with Aeonian Sorrow. Another remarkable track.
“Dor”, the fourth track, is the middle piece of resistance. It is being half-way drawing in the swamp of sadness and we do not feel to escape it. The band gives us an opportunity of an official videoclip, allowing me to share my auditive experience. Warning: get ready for a box of tissue and a bottle of liquor to drown these tears.

The two remaining tracks “The Forever Sleep” (featuring Pim Blankenstein) and “Alone” are in the same range and keep it on an excellent composition.
In the time as we see a glut of bands in some genres in the metal landscape that prime on quantity over quality, doom metal stands still and strong. It maybe not as dynamic as other genres (in which we have hundreds of bands), but each bands labelled as “doom metal” has their own sounds, their own artistic variations that makes them unique. And this is the case of Clouds. With the second album, the band show that simplicity of an acoustic piano is much better than an artistic composition mostly digitally created on a computer. Instruments should convey the feelings, let them be cold or warm. It is very frugal, but a very sincere and emotional listening experience in which we share the pain and the grievance of the artist behind. We relive our own grievance and sadness, as our limbic system opens up to the musical stimuli.
Rarely albums made me cry through the whole length of the album, and that tells me how excellent the composition is. Overall, it is an excellent second album that I strongly warns about the emotional content. You want to keep it for a rainy and cloudy grey skies day, a day you are recluse and looking for an introspection into your saddest and darkest memories. It gave me the chills, it let me wet tissues but it also helped me found some solace by allowing a catharsis of these emotions.

[Metal/Doom] Candlemass – Ancient Dreams (20th anniversary release)

Today is Thanksgiving. In other words, an opportunity to write something on my personal blog. Today is also incidentally the 20th anniversary of the release of Candlemass third album “Ancient Dreams”.
It is fairly impressive to think the band was able to put a three-year streak of releasing an album every year for three consecutive years, and still produce a third album that is pretty decent even after all these years. The album is a nine tracks spanning on 55 minutes. According to the interview present in the 2CD version of the album, the album was done in a certain promiscuity, on the cheap (cheap studio) and in a short timeline.
The album in my opinion is quite good but you can feel it has the lackluster compared to previous albums.
The album starts with “Mirror, Mirror”, one of my favorite tracks of the album. “A Cry From The Crypt” and “Darkness in Paradise” are decent but kind of sound not really like Candlemass, maybe too jolly. “Incantation Of Evil” brings us back to “Epicus Doomicus…”, with occult themes and the guitar shreds makes it my second favorite of the album. “Bearer of Pain” is okay but honestly forgettable, at least compared to “Ancient Dreams”.  “Ancient Dreams” sees the use of a recurrent crescendo-decrescendo both by Messiah in the vocals and the guitar riffs. “The Bells of Archeron” continues on the track of “Ancient Dreams”, with a more dynamic tone and heavily influenced by the heroic-fantasy lore. “Epistle No. 81” is a languorous and slow song, very simple but very intimate, setting some canon in the doom metal. The last one is a cover of several songs from Black Sabbath.
Overall, the album is fine but also feels like a setback from their two previous albums. I can surely speculate that the conception of this album and its unfolding was not done in the best conditions and you can feel it. It is good, but not delivering as much Epicus Doomicus.
There are several versions out and I strongly recommend to put your hand on the 2-CDs version of the album, as the second CD has several “live” songs. It makes me feel I wish I was there to assist Messiah energy on stage as you can hear it in this voice.

[History/World War I] November 11th Armistice: what can we learn from its 100th celebration?

Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the end of the World War 1, also referred as the “Armistice”. On the 11th day of the 11th month of the calendar, the ceasefire will take place at 11:11 of the morning. You cannot imagine the meaning of this ceasefire without imagining the quietness of the wasteland. No more the sound of the artillery and the constant shelling. No more the sound of the machine guns reaping hundreds of soldiers as they come. No more the noise of bullets flying around the “No Man’s Land”. That was it.
The Armistice floated in the idea since October 1918 as Germany loss where becoming unbearable despite having earlier signed the treaty of Brest-Litovsk that ended their fight on their Eastern flank. Bulgaria, the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Empire have also dropped the war and signed armistice with the Allied Forces, cornering Germany. It was also a tumultuous time for the German Empire, shaken by an uprising that will bring down the Prussian Empire and lead to the creation of the Republic of Weimar further sealed Germany’s fate.
The armistice process was a rushed compromised and negotiation, only meant to stop the war and allowed time to sign a peace Treaty. It was the brainchild of the US, under the Guidance of Woodrow Wilson with his “Fourteen Points”. On November 6th, Berlin received the latest note from Wilson and on November 9th, the German delegation led by
Matthias Erzberger met the French delegation represented by Marechal Ferdinand Foch in Compiegne (located about 30 miles North of Paris. 30 miles West of Reims and 100 miles West of Verdun).
But it was certainly not yet the end of the war, only shifted from the trenches to the office room. It will be extended several times until the Peace Treat of Versailles signed on June 28th 1919 (a symbolic date coming after the 5th anniversary of the death of Franz Ferdinand, the same even that led to the explosion of the powder keg). It is also a lesson of history that you cannot achieve long-lasting peace by subjection of your adversary into a harsh humiliation and financial burden of repairs for the harm done. Germans call it “Der Diktat”. Indeed this Peace Treaty only set up a fertile ground for a coming war despite everyone thought that such war would be the “end of all war” due to its worldwide involvement and by the savagery expressed in it.
The world came out completely broken by this war (with the exception of the United States, becoming de facto the new superpower). Gone were these colonial super-powers that have been soliciting his colonials to fight a war distant from their land (Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, Indus for the British Empire; Africa and South-East Asia for France), as it marked the beginning of the end for these colonies. Gone was the Russian Empire with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, only to see the mother eating her own child like any revolutions and the rise of one of the most cruel dictator (Joseph Staline). The nationalism that fueled Europe during the 25 years preceding the beginning of the war was slowly transitioning into the rise of fascisms across Europe during the following 25 years: Austria-Germany (Hitler), France (Petain and the Vichy Regime), Italy (Mussolini),  Spain (Franco)….
Those who pander on nationalism as “the same than patriotism” or glorify it as “My country first” should seriously take a textbook, visit Verdun and learn a lesson of history. Nationalism cost the lives of millions of humans (military and civilians), the lives of millions of animals (horses, donkeys, cows, goats….) and hundred of thousands of acres of arable lands, polluted by toxic chemicals and by unexploded devices.
The huge human cost that decimated and maimed a whole generation will lead to new artistic currents like surrealism (in particular, the “eau-forte” paintings by Otto Dix are giving a a view on the “gueule-casses”), new areas of medicine such as orthopedics and plastic surgery will boom on the survivors of the Great War.
My home region (Alsace), suffered twice from this war as it saw its children being divided and fighting each other into a fratricide: two members of the same family line could be facing each other in the trench, one serving with the French while the other one serving with the German.
This fratricide divide was only amplified after the victory in which clearing the past was a due process: imagine asking a people that have been speaking German for 50 years (on top of their cultural dialectal German), to speak exclusively in French. And being punished if you ever being caught speaking German.
Yet, there is some hope, that after all these lives gone we realize how much a waste and useless a war fueled by nationalism is. The two most ferocious enemies of yesterday are now the brotherly partners of todays Europe. Yesterday it was Macron-Merkel sincere hugging, continuing over 30 years of Fresh-German partnership symbolized by Francois Mitterrand (former French President) and Helmut Kohl (former German Chancellor). These two men that grew during World War 2, holding their hands together as they saluted the fallen on both sides at the Duaumont Fort in Verdun, show how can we harbor brotherly love once we set our differences (fueled by nationalism) aside and see that upon death we are all human.
I come from a town juxtaposed to the Rhine river, facing a German town on the other shore. These two cities are now very strong partners, with a solid bridge extended between them, making a bond between these two cities and symbolized by a Tramway crossing such bridge. The best remedy to war is the appeasement of our nationalistic fervors, cooperation versus competition (the formation of the European Union as we know it today was only founded at its beginning by a simple agreement between six countries on steel and coal tariffs), finding our commonalities instead of spearing our differences as a defiance and arrogance.
To all the fallen of this war, I would like to thank them for their service, for their courage and their ultimate sacrifice.

[Sciences/Junk Sciences] Zeolites, blood-brain barrier and “Autism Detox” scam.

Recently, it came to my attention of another scam popped up on social media. This scam came in form of the “Autism Detox” page on Facebook coming with the following description:
IMG_2005

“Zeolite”, “blood-brain barrier”, ‘detoxify toxins and heavy metals” and “cellular level”.
Incredible how much amount of BS claims can be packed in such a small vaporizer. Not only this was enough BS, the owner of this page went the extra mile and claims it is an “autism detox” as well.
I call this an utter amount of BS and since I am a scientist, I will explain why it is an utter amount of BS.

1. What are zeolites?
Zeolites are crystalline structure made of aluminum, silicium and oxygen. These crystals are formed by the aggregation of 4 oxygen atoms around aluminum Al3+ and Silicium Si4+ (notice how Avers that yells “shark” on aluminum in vaccines are fine absorbing aluminum from zeolites).
These frameworks of AlO4 and SiO4 can form 3-D geometrical structures harboring charges and possibly acting as a caging structure as shown below (Moshoeshoe et al., Am J Mat Sci 2017):

As you can see different structures exist. Now, which zeolites are used in the product described in this “detox”? According to the vendor website (https://www.coseva.com/toxin-removal/advanced-trs/), clinoptilolite (CLI) (amongst water and a proprietary formula). According to Mosheoshoe and colleagues, CLI harbors the following chemical composition ((Na,K)6(Si30Al6O72) •20H2O)) and harbor the following crystalline structure:
Clinoptilolite

Notably, CLI also display one of the lowest cation exchange capacity (CEC) of 2-2.6 mEq/gram. In summary, CLI is a small zeolite crystalline structure with limited cation exchange (against Ca2+, K+ and Na+). First, it shows that these compounds have a molecular weight exceeding the size recommended for small molecules (~832 Da>500 Da), a ring size bigger than the tight junction pore (5.6 Angstroms>4 Angstroms) and an non-negligeable amount of molecular charges. All these features make CLI very unlikely to cross the blood-brain barrier and no studies have provided a direct experimental evidence that CLI crosses the BBB.

2. Does zeolites even cross the GI tract?

Good question! The only paper that I found discussing about zeolites is a paper from Cefali and colleagues (Cefali et al., Pharm Res 1995). Unfortunately I cannot access the paper but the abstract provides two important parameters: Cmax and AUC. In particularly, it also provides the value of aluminum hydroxide (yep, that stuff found in vaccines).
Cmax is indicative of the maximal concentration reached upon administration via extravascular route (IM, PO or SC). The AUC is representative of the total amount that reached the circulation from the time of administration until the time the drug becomes undetectable in blood. From the abstract we have the following information The mean plasma silicon AUC values (+/- S.D.) were 9.5 +/- 4.5 [Note: Zeolite A], 7.7 +/- 1.6, 8.8 +/- 3.0, 6.1 +/- 1.9 mg.hr/L [Note: Aluminum Hydroxide] and the mean plasma silicon Cmax values (+/- S.D.) were 1.07 +/- 1.06 [Note: Zeolite A], 0.67 +/- 0.27, 0.75 +/- 0.31, 0.44 +/- 0.17 mg/L [Note: Aluminum Hydroxide] for Zeolite A, sodium aluminosilicate, magnesium trisilicate, and aluminum hydroxide respectively. Although mean silicon AUC and Cmax values were elevated when compared to baseline after administration of the silicon containing compounds, only the AUC from Zeolite A reached statistical significance (p = 0.041). The mean plasma silicon Tmax values (+/- S.D.) were 7.9 +/- 6.4, 5.8 +/- 4.6, 6.9 +/- 6.3 and 8.5 +/- 3.4 hrs for Zeolite A, sodium aluminosilicate, magnesium trisilicate and aluminum Hydroxide respectively.”. Since we have a Cmax and AUC value for Zeolite A and aluminum hydroxide very similar, we can assume that both compounds may likely show similar bioavailability. Considering the bioavailability of Al is very low (0.3%), it is very likely that zeolite and CLI may not show a higher value that this one. Thus, out of 100g ingested of zeolite, maybe less than 0.3g will likely reach the bloodstream. In conclusion the amount of zeolite capable to cross the GI is very small and considering the volume of a TRS “Detox” (28mL), the amount of zeolite capable to cross the GI tract after swallowing a whole bottle of it is likely to be ZERO.

3. What about the rest of the claims?
As far we have seen:
1) CLI absorption at the GI tract is likely close to ZERO, even if you sip a whole bottle at once (see 2).
2) CLI cannot cross the BBB because of the physicochemical constrains (see 1). The only paper listed in Pubmed is a letter written to a journal with no scientific evidence or experimental data backing up the claim (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23224491).
3) The claim of detox is utterly BS: there are two organs that do it for you. The liver and the kidneys. Thats it.
4) Heavy metal detox mostly occurs via renal (kidney) filtration. Even if zeolites can trap ions like Na+ or K+, I still have to find a paper that shows me it can trap heavy metals (Cd2+, Pb2+, Hg2+…..). CLI has been shown to only trap three ions (Ca2+, Na+ and K+) with the poorest ability.
5) Claiming that autism be cured is not fallacious but criminal. Until now, there is no cure for autism. There is no evidence that chelating ions cure autism (chelation therapies have even been proven to be dangerous and responsible for the death of at least one boy). There is also no published mechanism of action demonstrating how a treatment can reverse a condition mostly identified as genetic.

 

[Metal/Opera Metal] Lux in Tenebris – To a New Eternity (EP)

After deciding to put an end on Darkonelly project band few years ago, Marion-Lamita have been working hard behind the scene to produce something different. The announcement back then left me skeptical and somehow disappointed. We can say that  her new project Lux in Tenebris has been producing something interesting. After releasing some solo titles on Youtube (that left me in a limbo, neither being enthusiastic nor being pessimistic about), Lux in Tenebris has released its first EP titled “To A New Eternity” last Friday. Because it is an EP, I don’t give a score but I will anyway give my thoughts on it. The first thing that strikes is the contribution of Liv Kristine (ex-Theatre of Tragedy, ex-Leaves Eyes). Liv has been always been supportive of small bands, in particular during their freshman album. Delain, Hydra…..
This is an EP of 7 titles lasting about 35 minutes with two interludes. We start the EP with  “Divine Mankind” bringing us Marion’s soprano voice, that same haunting voice from Darkonelly. What I like about, in this time in which female-fronted metal symphonic metal is facing a huge glut of bands relying heavily on post-production, is the very particular moderate use of the keyboards. The music in this one is okay, sometimes a bit cheesy. Tony is in the growls on this one, a first time for him. Fairly good for a first-timer. The second one, “Chaos in Beauty” is sounding in my opinion more interesting, sometimes reminding me of Therion. Thats a good track you should listen.
The third track “Mystic Euphonia”, is my opinion the worst track of the album. I don’t know, it must be the beginning of the song that induce some aversive reaction. I don’t like it. At all. The first interlude “Temple of The Soul” has this kind of tribal vibe that is not bad. “Triangle of Light” is my opinion, the best of the EP. It has this pharaonic vibes by the beginning of the song, a very good mixture of the guitars and the synthesizers. It gives me “la palate” so it must be good. Quickly follows the second interlude “The Imperator’s Arrival”.  The last song “The Grand Design”, again featuring Liv Kristine.  It is quite good, decent work here and I would definitely recommend listening to the song.

After almost four years since the disbanding of Darkonelly project, this is the first significative piece of work (in the form of a EP) to emerge from Marion’s effort during her transition into Lux In Tenebris. Although the EP is overall quite pleasant to listen, at this stage I consider it as a fairly rough and raw diamond. Considering it is a project mostly driven by Marion at this point, it is a decent EP to give a try on. It shows some potential, but at this time it needs refining to achieve an optimal shape. It also tells you that having Liv on board is likely that their artistic potential is here. Lets let the sunrise shed some lights and allow the project to emerge from the darkness into light, when opera and metal shed through the darkness.

 

[Videogames/Xbox360] Fallout 3 – 10th Anniversary

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the release of Fallout 3 by Bethesda, about 10 years after Fallout 2 was released. It was special, as its celebration came as I was beta-testing (through the BETA program) of Fallout 76, enjoying the 2 hours that Bethesda allowed players on the server.
. Initially, the Fallout 3 that we have been playing with is not the intended Fallout 3 that was expected from the original authors. Indeed, the creators of the original franchise were working on Fallout 3 under the project name “Van Buren” that was an evolution of the original series to an enhanced 3D isometric view. Following the bankruptcy filling of Interplay, Bethesda Software acquired the IP of the franchise, put the “Van Buren” project in a drawer and kept the franchise dormant for years. Only to reveal some aspect of it at the E3 previously to its release. At that time, Facebook and Twitter were not as developed as they are now, so I learnt a lot from glancing information on the Net.
Fallout 3 has a special meaning for me. It came few days after I was discharged from the hospital following surgery. I just had my first scientific paper accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and I was engaging into a journey called “thesis dissertation writing” (you only grasp it when you experience what it is like to spend two months writing and stumbling into writing blocks). I did not have yet a current generation console as I was more of a casual gamer (did not have much time for that, between two toddlers and long days on the lab bench). Yet, I was really interested to get my hands on this game. PC was out of question since I was a Mac person (even with Parallels, the MacBook Intel GMA950 was not meeting the requirements for playing Fallout 3). I was therefore left between an Xbox360 and a PS3. I went with the Xbox360 for many reasons but primarily because I saw in the Xbox lineage a direct descendant of the SEGA Dreamcast. I am a SEGA fan, and I always kept Sony guilty on accelerating SEGA demise. Like it or not, I was not impressed by most of Sony PS1/PS2 library, as I always felt that the visual over the gameplay was the prime motivator.
I got my first Xbox, an Xbox Arcade (512MB memory) because I was on a budget, from a Swiss Gamestop (I think it was a time Gamestop started to invade Europe), with a Swiss-German copy of Fallout 3 (because it was the only version I could put my hand on with the console, later traded it to a UK version). Plugged in and the first thing you get on is the loading screen and the music of Inon Zur, that will set the tone for the Fallout series by Bethesda (with the exception of Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 76 that are not using the same tones).
You start with the character creation as you are born in a Vault 101 clinic. This was the first time you could shape your character as much in terms of body and face feature (the original Fallout only allowed you to choose name, age and gender). The experience at the vault is marked by sequence of life (toddler to give you the basic controls, setting the S.P.E.C.I.A.L.; child 10th birthday giving you the choice of dialog and basic shooting skills); 16th and the G.O.A.T.). Upon which, the game really starts as you are awaken by the Overseers’ daughter telling you to run for your life as your Dad left and you are now considered as persona non-grata. Here we are, starting with just a security baton, a security guard outfit and fighting off radroaches while wandering into a 3D vault. Until you reach the Vault 101 door. You see the massive vault door opening, sliding and leading you to the exit of the cavern. As you walk out, you are blinded by the sun. A bright light, only to be welcome by the grayness of the Wasteland. You wander around discovering a lost civilization, yet you also see that life has survived out there, even lead to the rebuilding of some sort of civilization as you encounter Megaton.
You encounter for the first time dialogs with non-playable characters, learn the basic trade and barter (basically as a homeless, as I made my first caps selling the junk I cleaned around (such as cups, plates, silverware, junk cans, empty bottles….). You quickly learn the mechanic and learn about the armor/weapons conditions and repair. It was a blast to finally be able to wander into the Wasteland in a 3D environment. Also the ability to revisit the V.A.T.S. system that brought back some of the experience I had with the original Fallout (except that now it was a real-time) and the quickly-annoying “bullet-time” effect.
Yes Fallout has it dose of gore, but it was too clean. Gone was the dark humor, the sarcasm of the original. It felt too polite for me. Even the chems had little incentive for me (except the Buffout). Also gone the use of transportation vehicle, that as this day remains out of reach. I remember my first attempt to fix the motorcycle standing near a wall in Springvale HS, only to scrap parts from it.
Fallout 3 also introduced the infamous concept of “DLC” making you pay for the add-ons and really make you consider if waiting for the “Game Of The Year Edition” was the better choice. With the initial game price tag being about $60, and 5 DLCs being $10 each, you quickly end up spending double the sum on the game (not even mentioning the Collectors Edition, that could bring it to you up to $200). Also, the more-than-generous skills that basically made you expert in everything by level 20 and also the most ridiculous ending (right before the final quest, you find a sentient and friendly Super-Mutant named Fawkes that is immune to radiation. Yet, they ask you to sacrify your life to enter the water purifier belching lethal doses of radiation, in which you ultimately die from).
Yet, despite these defaults, I liked it and spent a good 200 hours playing this game over and over. It was a pleasure to visit the locations, with an impressive job done by the developers to map most of DC monuments and the region to match the real geography with a certain accuracy.
Since I still have an Xbox360, I may be tempted to fire again this game, while waiting for Fallout 76 to come.
“War. War never changes….”