Bethesda is currently working with Microsoft to remove Fallout 3’s new expansion, The Pitt. Players of both the PC and Xbox versions are reporting rainbow textured raiders, and an abundance of floating exclamation points in the new DLC. Bethesda is blaming the screwups on “corrupted” files, but my guess is that they simply rushed the product and didn’t think anyone would notice.

I wasn’t really looking forward to The Pitt anyways, as the last DLC to be released for Fallout 3 was Operation Anchorage, which took place inside a virtual reality simulator. Now, to me, placing your expansion inside a VR world just screams “I’m too lazy to actually write a storyline that will actually impact the game world,” and I passed on that, but The Pitt is supposed to take place in the real Fallout 3 world. I hoped that maybe this expansion wouldn’t be a rushed piece of shit, too, but I will be avoiding this, and probably any further Fallout 3 expansions like the plague.

I don’t know why I came to expect anything else from the same people that brought us all horse armor.

Spore Ruined Christmas

January 4, 2009

I received a copy of Spore for Christmas, and was genuinely excited to play the game. I had held off buying it as soon as it came out, and nobody had anything too bad to say about it (Besides a couple of lawsuits over SecureROM). Spore is a good game, and I have been enjoying it, although I’m not sure if the tormenting ordeal to get it to work was worth it.

Installing the game worked as it should, but as soon as I clicked the icon to run Spore, it crashed. I got a screen resolution change, and then an error that really didn’t tell me much. Rather than messing with the settings, I Googled to see if other people were having this same problem.

It turns out, a pretty substantial amount of people have had/are having the same problem. I sifted through pages and pages of Google results of errors similar to mine, and never really found a clear fix. Dozens of people were having problems with the game, and in each help thread I found, they really weren’t getting anywhere. For every suggestion on what to do to fix Spore, there were three more people asking for another possible solution.

I fiddled with Spore until about 4AM, when I finally found the solution. Three re-installs and a lengthy SecureROM removal process later, I got the game to work by installing it in a folder on the desktop. Let me repeat that. I got Spore to work not by installing it in the default Program Files folder, or even a folder directly on my C: drive. I have no idea why this works…it just does. It seems that not many people know about this method, but the few places I’ve seen mention it seem to have a couple of people that this worked for.

Spore is a decent game, as I said, but it is broken. So broken that the default install directory causes the game to crash. Actually, pretty much anything will cause Spore to crash. I have had Spore crash on me more times than I am comfortable with on both the PC and Mac versions. If anything, EA should be sued for distributing a program that barely works, in addition to distributing non-consensual software.

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