Tag Archives: resident evil

[Halloween 2016] Why/If You Should Play The Original Resident Evil

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For Halloween I’d been meaning to finally grab the HD remaster of the 2002 remake of the original Resident Evil, install it on my laptop, and play it while waiting by my front door to give out candy. The PC version is half-off on the Humble Store as of this writing (still Steam DRM though). I played the 2002 Gamecube version extensively, but spent a little bit with it before Halloween to remind myself just what it was about this game. By many modern standards it might be considered an awful game, but depending on your mindset and expectations it might still be a great game. Continue reading

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I Don’t Think We’ll Get Classic Survival Horror From Capcom Again

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With the 20th anniversary of Resident Evil coming up this year and Capcom partially celebrating it with the release of its remastered version of Resident Evil 0, it’s a natural time to start thinking about where the franchise that popularized horror in video games has gone and where it might go. The first episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 was one of the things I snagged during the last winter Steam sale and I just finished it up. It’s almost what I’d like a modern RE game to be, but some of its decisions have me convinced today’s Capcom just can’t get away from modern blockbuster video game trends.

I actually don’t remember a whole lot about the first Revelations game which I played through within a rental of the 3DS version, other than the final boss being really tough. The one main sense I and seemingly most people get from both games is that they are mergers of the puzzle-and-exploration focus of the older RE games and the action focus of the newer entries. They’re sort of a bone Capcom is throwing at longtime fans, but in my opinion if Capcom is going to do that, why keep the influences from the newer games? Why not just go all the way and make Revelations a brand new RE in the older style? Continue reading

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Video Game Anniversaries That Will Occur in 2016

Here it is — the list of what gaming-related anniversaries I found are taking place in 2016. This year is a big one too. A lot of major franchises are celebrating major anniversaries, to the point where some other websites have already taken notice. Red Bull in particular is totally on it. Many publishers of these major games have already begun to mark the anniversaries with new game releases too.

Part of this is because 2016 marks a major anniversary for at least two past console cycle transitions. This year it will have been 15 years since 2001, which was not only when the Gamecuube and original Xbox launched, but also when the PS2 received an absolutely monstrous lineup that included the beginnings of some franchises and major entries in others. 20 years ago was 1996 which was a transformative year in 3D video game design — three of the most influential 3D games came out that year. 1991, 1986, and 1981 also saw some major beginnings and landmarks a lot of people might not notice today. Continue reading

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Do RPG Weight Limits Need A New Approach?

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Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3 have made me realize that one problem I’ve never seen an open-world RPG solve is that of carry limits and encumbrance. I talked about it a little bit in 2012 but developers haven’t really done anything significant about it since then and I think the common game mechanic needs to be reexamined from multiple angles.

I understand why we have carry limits of course. It’s not about realism at all, but more like a rule of games because being able to carry and/or sell literally everything could break the difficulty. In many cases managing an inventory is supposed to be part of the challenge. My issue with the system though is that leaving it up to an arbitrary number above which the game restricts the player to walking speed seems like simple and haphazard design. This is especially true when the rest of a game like Fallout 4 or Witcher 3 is so complex. Other, technically smaller games actually tend to have a more measured and nuanced approach. Continue reading

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Late To The Party: Alien Isolation

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I ended up choosing Alien: Isolation as one of my October horror games for this year and I couldn’t really come up with anything else to write about today. I’m not done with the game yet but I think I’ve seen enough to do an LTTP post about it. I am of course almost exactly a year late on this game (I bought it on a Steam sale back in the spring), so maybe everything I’m about to write is pretty much what everyone else knew about the game by last Halloween. Continue reading

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More Games Should Have Limited Inventory Systems

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Usually I’m in lock step with complaints about how retail games from disparate genres have become increasingly homogeneous these days, but the inventory screen is one thing I actually wish was another part of the generally-accepted concoction. It and the itemization of objects it brings gives players more to think about and makes a game’s world seem deeper. Continue reading

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The Future Of Resident Evil’s Past

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Capcom seems to be pleased with the digital sales of its latest Resident Evil HD remaster which already has fans giddy. I think I want to put out what I’d like to call some realistic expectations for how Capcom might or might not build on this.

Mostly, my expectations are based on what Capcom is actually willing to do from a technology and production standpoint. It’s a little easier to see what potential re-releases might do better commercially, but it’s definitely not as easy as flipping an “HD remaster” switch on any given game, especially when you’re talking about games this old. Continue reading

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My Top Resident Evil 4 Moment

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You know how most horror movies have a part where one guy knows he’s cornered by the monster and just blindly attacks yelling before getting ripped apart?  I lived that moment once in Resident Evil 4. It wasn’t even a scripted event in the game. It was just an emergent thing that happened.

I’ve retold this story a few times online at places like 1up or BitMob but I was surprised when it didn’t show up on a search of my blog posts on this site. So, for RE4’s 10th anniversary, in case you hadn’t read it yet or couldn’t find it anymore, here’s my best personal experience with the game. Continue reading

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Third Party N64 Games That Didn’t Suck Volume 2: Winback

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Man y’know what? Forget PlayStation today.

The 20th anniversary of PlayStation has everyone going through their memories with the original console and I’m pretty much “whatever” on the whole thing because I never actually owned the original PlayStation. I begrudgingly got my first piece of Sony hardware — a PS2, towards the end of 2005, after the Xbox 360 had launched.

My old PlayStation memories are pretty much of just being on the outside looking in as people played Wipeout, Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear while I stuck with my N64, the typical Nintendo classics, and the third party games I talk about in this series. The next one up is Winback: Covert Operations. Once again, this is a re-edit of a post from 1up way back in 2009. Continue reading

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E3 2014: What Is Evil Within Shaping Up To Be?

One of the less talked-about games in all the shuffle of E3 is The Evil Within from Bethesda and Shinji Mikami. A bit of new footage and commentary from IGN has started to brighten my hopes for the game by revealing more about its structure.

There’s always been a feeling Evil Within is trying to recapture the feel of not only Mikami’s Resident Evil 4, but also games like the original Resident Evil. We just hadn’t seen much of any evidence of that. Pretty much every trailer I’ve seen for this game has been some kind of scripted event or maybe a chase sequence from a monster. I’ve seen little substance to back up Bethesda’s and Mikami’s claims.

IGN’s latest E3 demonstration is the most I’ve ever seen this game actually look like the aforementioned classics. We see them running through a mansion-like area that probably deliberately evokes RE1, specifically the Gamecube version. Plus the Bethesda spokesman confirms Evil Within is in fact not a linear game and that it will require some exploration. From there we can only speculate how all that will play out.

I don’t think we’re going to see exploration and puzzle-solving at the same slow pace as older survival horror games not only due to the combat focus, but also the differences between the hardware of today and the hardware of the mid 90’s. If you go back to those old games you realize part of their pacing came from the fact that every individual room was its own self-contained environment isolated by loading screens because that’s all the original PlayStation could handle. In today’s games, starting with RE4, players and enemies can freely run throughout an area the size of RE1’s mansion at a much quicker and more immediate pace. Resident Evil 5’s RE1 mansion replica proved that, and the whole environment felt smaller because of it.

Evil Within could end up feeling a lot like RE4 where individual sections are simply larger areas (Amnesia: The Dark Descent is another example). If that’s true, what’s gonna be the balance of combat versus exploration or puzzle-solving? All-in-all it’s looking like Evil Within could end up sitting somewhere in-between older survival horror games and newer action horror games.

Can it be argued some games have already attempted this balance? Leon’s campaign in Resident Evil 6 kind of tried this for a few minutes at certain parts, but didn’t really succeed. People like to say this of the first Dead Space game when looking back from Dead Space 3, which is a straight-up shooter. However I always thought even the original was an action horror game.

I think if you want a real survival horror game on today’s consoles you should probably wait for Frictional’s SOMA. It was never going to be a mainstream genre, but I’m just hoping Evil Within can strike just enough of a balance between satisfying fans of that genre and satisfying the demands of the retail games market.

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