that's like the fallout 4 theme I guess. you gotta wander the wasteland and it's gonna be super scary and dangerous and there are deathclaws which are the scariest things in the world! whoops lol here's a suit of power armor and a minigun as soon as you reach the surface and now you can kill this deathclaw right here no problem haha epic d;^) have fun
but then they decided to not really have the fog do anything when it comes to the actual gameplay or exploration, so it's not something that will bother you as much as they narratively want it to.
eeew, you didn't take their advice though, did you? like in that first bit you sorta have to use either the power armor/minigun since you're pretty much destined to be unprepared for that fight, but the game is pretty shitty if you use the power armor at all after that. i guess i'm talking mostly about the glowing sea, really, since the game kinda half-heartedly encourages you to go through that with some power armor, but if you ignore their advice it can become a pretty honestly terrifying and effective location if someone does what i did and go into it at a lower level without a whole lot more than a hazmat suit, a sniper rifle, and a pocketful of radaway. the more i think about it, the more i think the idea of throwing all the game's options at you right there at that first deathclaw fight was actually fairly clever, as it generally gives you an early primer for how you can choose to play the game. it worked that away for me, anyway, as i saw what using the power armor all the time was like and realized that this would make for a boring experience and elected against it, though i'm sure it had the opposite effect for other people.
so yeah, i don't personally hold it against a game when they give you the option to make the game exponentially easier but still generally keep it strictly as an option, rather than make it this unavoidably organic thing. i remember final fantasy 8 was like that, where you could just sit there and draw magic for half an hour at a time to make the game extremely easy, OR you could just rely almost exclusively on refining the magic from items that enemies drop and give yourself a more traditionally challenging experience. it's still fundamentally an easy game, but you can elect to play it differently if that lack of challenge is less rewarding. to some degree, i think a lot of roleplaying games are like that, where you usually have the option to just power-level or overuse balance-breaking skills/weapons and remove all challenge from the game, or try keeping a better pace and actually meet some resistance along the way.
the overall balance of the fallout 4 experience is still pretty fucked up when you get to higher levels, and i found the SPAWN LOTS OF ENEMIES sections to usually be more annoying and cheap than scary or effective, but i think the game does give you a pretty good amount of options as far as modulating how intense you want that experience to be, and generally informing you of that. you could, of course, argue that this is a weakness in itself, and i wouldn't be inclined to really disagree. none of this shit makes the game BETTER, really, it's just that the default/suggested method of playing the game makes the game lose a lot of its edge, and playing it differently kinda restores some of what is otherwise lost there.
ugh, this is kind of an unpleasantly VIDEO-GAMEY post but i'm just going to roll with it rather than put all my weight on the delete button.
RE: stolen DS. I lived with a guy back in 2010/2011 and he had a problem with drugs and prostitutes. Didn't really bother me because he was/is a nice guy and a good friend of mine, and I never really realized how much his problems could affect me until we started getting broken into regularly. At one point during a town festival (that I was attending of course) three guys broke into the house and grabbed all kinds of shit. My work laptop, my roommate's TV, some other shit that doesn't matter, and of course my Nintendo DS case with probably 30 games stuffed inside. I fucking loved my DS, I had all the Phoenix Wrights, Hotel Dusk, the Pokemons, some random dungeon crawler, Sim City, Mortal Kombat 3, the quirky but fun Brain games, Rune Factory 4, blah blah blah I'm forgetting so many games but I still have all the cases for these games and I want to cry every time I go through them. It was kinda funny though because these asshats were on bicycles (neighbors saw them and called cops) and were trying to ride off down the road with a 50+" TV in their arms lol. So yes the Phoenix Wright games were certainly the highlight of my NDS experience, but I really enjoyed a lot of my other games. It was an incredible system with some really fun interesting unique games. Hundley it's funny that you mention that the 3DS seems like it is nothing but sequels because all I have are sequels. Pokemon, Zelda, Zelda, Zelda, Mario, Mario, Resident Evil, Phoenix Wright. I don't have a single unique game and it's kind of depressing. Maybe it's my fault for not having as much disposable income as I used to. Maybe it's the industry's fault for not taking chances. This is why PC gaming is so important, and why I enjoy indie games far far more than AAA titles. Fallout 4 has really cemented that belief now, especially since they are REALLY dragging ass with mod tools. Oblivion has been the height of my Bethesda experience but only after Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul and Mart's Monster Mod coupled with a gazillion other mods. It was a fantastic experience that no other game has been able to live up to, I must have crawled every single dungeon in that game. I probably got burnt out on the formula after that.
IMHO this is what this topic should be like more often. When we get to talking about how the drug problems of our friends have affected our video game experience. I'm not being ironic, I honestly mean this. This is the good stuff, when these dumb experiences of playing videogames have some greater context beyond firing up a console between furious wanking sessions. I just wish you had a more fulfilling story to tell than a bunch of shithead burglars on bicycles. Maybe they should have considered stealing a car first??? At least you can be content with the fact that it was entirely doubtful that their crime spree lasted long with such deplorable getaway plans. The world is not usually very forgiving of notably stupid people like that.
I just hope you did not have a Pink Nintendogs DS with your name scrawled on the back in magic marker, as I may have been the unwitting benefactor of your misfortune.......
But anyway yeah, I'm pretty sure it's not your financial situation that's blocking you from unique titles on the 3DS(though mine is bad too so idk). I truly don't know of any either, and I threw that statement out there in the hopes someone would bust in here and throw out some great title that just passed beneath my radar. I remember my brother was thinking about getting a 3DS and I STRONGLY ADVISED AGAINST THIS seeing as how they weren't any sequels he was particularly itching for on the system, which is really the only reason anybody has for buying the damn thing. Like I only got it because I NEEDED to play Shin Megami Tensei IV and the new Zero Escape game(s), but I'm still at a loss for what else to do with the thing beyond that.
So yeah, it is totally depressing, but I look at it more that it was miraculous that the DS ended up being as good as it was, and wasn't something anybody should have been able to sit there and honestly expect. I guess it was probably a byproduct of the interface being something fundamentally new, coupled with the fact that development costs were generally quite low for the system, that prompted even established developers to try something new with it. Just throw something new at it because what the hell is this thing??? Maybe the next time a console introduces some fundamentally different way of interacting with it we'll see these wacky ideas come out of the woodwork that just wouldn't have existed for other consoles.
But we'll live even if that never really happens again. As you said, that's finally started to become the status quo for PC games, so we'll probably stay busy.