Originally posted on 03/23/2006 at 1up.com

Certain words in the English language die after time. That is to say, they become archaic. I LOVE these words. They're like hidden nuggets of linguistic gold that you get the chance to pick up every so often in your life. They're best when saved for that perfect moment, the moment when absolutley no one sees it coming. At that very precise moment when your friend calls you a douchebag, and expects your retort to be fuckface, or asshole, or crusty jizz-rag, etc. BAM! You hit him right in the face with "Yeah, well you're a scallywag."

Some words are classified as officially archaic, and others not, regardless using a dead term always implies a certain amount of humor. Telling someone that they are "solid gold" would in my opinion, definitely bring about as much hilarity as calling them a "coddleshell." ... Of course with words like coddleshell you have the added benefit that by using such outrageous terms you can use them in the absolutely wrong context and none would be the wiser. In fact, a coddleshell is actually a modification to one's will. However, your simple friend surely does not know this, and will most definitely reply with a state of laughter followed with a sincere, "what the fuck?" ...

That was on my mind. It has absolutely nothing to do with video games, but I needed to expound. Now on to the cool shit. Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion has taken over my life, and as such I will warn all those near me, I might forget how to act in public, or even to bathe. Now, information about this game is popping up sporadically all over every gaming site on the whole Interweb, but I wouldn't dare try to make an all encompassing review, as they obviously haven't either. In stead, I'll simply state 10 facts about the game that I find good, bad, or just ... factual.

The Elder Scrollsian 10

1. The character creation system ... is fucking incredible. I don't necessarily like the style of all the characters, the 360 glossy sheen is so bleh. They got over it in Ghost Recon, so I guess there's hope for the future. Anyways, with depth like that, and a little different style, say Guild Wars or World of Warcraft maybe, games will no longer be riddled with characters that look the same. I'm serious man, there's like 10 different shape, position, and other sliders just for the fucking nose of your character. JUST THE NOSE!

2. I love that they call Magic, Magick. .... That's so cool, it reminds me of my days in the wonderful steampunk world of Arcanum. This game has similar depth and systems. Troika had alot of what this game has, just on a smaller, shittier scale. With 10 times as many glitches and broken quests. Oh well, at least they set the precedence. I'll love them forever just for that.

3. There is an infinite gold glitch already. Some say it takes away from the game. I say, it's probably on purpose, because for some people, a 200 hour game is downright daunting.

4. The most hurting part of having this game on my 360 is that I can't take screenshots. When a game is singleplayer, I'd at least like to be able to show other people how entirely pimp my battlemage is. Especially considering I paid more for the game than fucking PC guys anyways.

5. There are basically no children in the entire world. That is because the developers would likely catch a press shit-storm if you were able to joyously lay waste to toddlers. Regardless, it still seems awkward. I'd rather get bludgeoned to death by a mighty orc child-saving jesus than have no children in the entire world.

6. The game mostly levels as you do. The advantage to leveling is more skills and abilities, not an ability to trounce everything. This is different, but interesting.

7. There are more books to read in this game than in the entire goddamm library of congress. If you read them all, you sir, are a nutcase.

8. There seems to be an incredible backstory involving 16 demon princes, and one hidden prince, and all these ancient figures and forgotten places. The story seems so deep in fact, that I wonder if it all comes to fruition. Will I ever find the hidden demon prince, or is he just engrained to provide some filler backstory. Either way is OK I suppose, but if much of the history I read about in the zillion books in the game is actually just history and has little bearing on my particular game world, ... what a tease.

9. There is as far as I have discovered. No way to pan the camera around to the front of your character in third person view. This is dissapointing. I wonder sometimes, if my character even has a face in anywhere other than the menu screen. Also, when I die, my face always falls to the side for the zoomout on my body. This strengthens my opinion even more. I bet PC players can pan the camera to see their characters face ... what bullshit.

10. The loading area message comes up about every 10 seconds or so while exploring the landscape. Half that when riding a horse. I have experienced annoying frame rate drops in points, but this hasn't subtracted from my game for the most part. It's still a damn shame.

... and a finisher. This game is not the game of the year. It is damn amazing, and it's probably more proper to consider it a vision of what games will deliver in our near future. Except that games in the future will deliver this vision without the minor annoyances that plague Elder Srolls. However, it's still something to be experienced, if only to say that you were there when games started getting downright inspring.


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