I’ll be linking to the video review that goes along with this at the bottom of the article. Yay for new formatting!
Today, I’m taking a look at the game that started it all, Resident Evil. Well, the Sega Saturn version, anyway. That came out a few months after the PSX release.
Originally released upon the world March 22, 1996 for the PlayStation and later ported to the Sega Saturn, PC, and, much, much later, Nintendo DS, Resident Evil turned the gaming world on its head. Atmosphere and who-dun-it mystery, mixed with solid gameplay and crazy puzzle solving made the game an instant success around the world.
Let’s take a look!
Preface: Yes, I know the game is 21 years old (Goddamn, that went by fast), but I’m still making this spoiler-free because, believe it or not, there ARE people who haven’t played it yet. Also, I’m going to cover the overall story as it doesn’t really matter who you choose lore-wise, outside of some minor differences. In the end, canonically, everyone escapes regardless of how well you do, so take solace in the fact that if you failed to save anyone, they still kinda got out.
I guess. How’d you even get hired on with S.T.A.R.S.?!
Resident Evil starts with us getting recap of the events taking place on the outskirts of Raccoon City that have citizens on edge and the police working overtime. From here, we join the S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) Alpha team who is sent out to find their compatriots from Bravo. While en route to the last known coordinates of Bravo in the Akrlay Mountains, Alpha spots a plum of smoke rising out of the forest and decide to check it out.
What they find produces more questions than answers.
They find Bravo’s downed helicopter, but don’t get to examine it in any meaningful detail as they find themselves under attack almost immediately. In their mad dash to escape they rush towards the only thing they see– a mansion. Once they get inside, they realise that someone’s missing. Who it is depends on who you chose to play. If you chose Jill, Chris will be missing, and if you chose Chris, Barry will be missing.
Before anyone can really come to grips with everything that’s just happened, they hear a gunshot ring out and your chosen character is sent to investigate. When they find the source, they’re met with the recently deceased Kenneth of Bravo team. This is also where we get the iconic slow-turn-zombie scene.
From here on out, you’re left to your own devices to explore the mansion while trying to survive whatever creatures haunt its halls and the traps that fill its rooms…
Resident Evil is notorious for, at least, two things: God awful voice acting and tank controls.
I’ll get to the voice acting in a minute, but for right now, let’s talk about those tank controls. Personally, I love them. To me, they make perfect sense in a game with wildly differing camera angles coming at you constantly. They’re like an anchor, of sorts, because they don’t care what direction you’re faced, they work exactly the same all the time.
I know a lot of people don’t like them and find them confusing. I feel like those people are kind of stupid, but those are both opinions, so take them for what they’re worth.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely had my share of fights with the tank controls, but more often than not, they don’t hinder gameplay in any meaningful way. At least not outside of extremely high level play (I’m talking speedrunning, no damage, and knife only games here), but if you’re playing at that level, you could probably beat the game with a banana as your controller.
Outside of debatable controls, you’ll be tasked with solving a plethora of puzzles throughout the game. Puzzles can consist of something as simple as picking up a battery and placing it in a slot two feet away, or be as lengthy and in-depth as picking up a crest in one room, going to another and playing a piano, running one emblem to another room to replace the one you used to replace it with, leading to a grandfather clock sliding out of the way for a key that’s used in the mansion.
…ok, that SOUNDS way more complex than it actually is. I promise.
Along the way, you’ll come across some bosses, some of which have multiple strategies that can be employed. Maybe you don’t want to deal with that Giant Snake, well, you can run past him, grab what you need, and run out. Well, ok, if you’ve practiced it, you can, otherwise the old Nope Rope is probably gonna chomp that ass.
And that giant spider? Make him destroy the webbing for you if you don’t want to risk fighting him.
So, something that was sorely missed and there are a few things that I could’ve done without…
In my recent play through, one of the biggest hindrances of this release, was the lack of aim-assist, the increased enemy numbers (this is partially due to playing Chris because fuck me for picking the dude), and their difficulty. This was done to arbitrarily increase difficulty and boost rentals. For me, this added a ton of unnecessary stress and made the game more of a chore to play at certain points. That isn’t meant to imply that I didn’t have fun, because it’s goddamn Resident Evil and that’s what I do, so obviously I did, but I had to employ some strategies I generally don’t use in a normal play through like the ones mentioned above and serious dodging practice that I, honestly, probably needed.
If there’s one thing the Saturn got right, and I really mean that, it’s that it was the first release of any Resident Evil game with Battle Mode. You’ll have to clear a set number of rooms as quickly as possible with limited ammo, but definitely enough to finish, and enemies that get continually stronger with each passing room. There’s even a special zombie floating around in one of the rooms that’s a hell of a lot stronger than any other zombie found anywhere in the game.
All that said, there’s definitely something else the Saturn got right, and that’s looking good.
There’s a very distinct difference when it comes to the Saturn version of Resident Evil and, well, basically every single other platform’s release and that is the look of the character models. In the Saturn version, it looks like the colors are far more varied, deep, and vibrant than the other versions. The skins for the characters look amazing, but due to poor lighting and really rough jaggies on the models, they’re almost ruined.
On the flipside, the other versions have much better lighting, and cleaner character models. It’s a small thing to note, but I feel like the characters look a bit beefier in the Saturn release, as well. Everyone looks too damn skinny in the other versions. Literal fucking bean poles. What do they eat in Raccoon City?
If I had to point out something I wasn’t a huge fan of with the Saturn release, it’s definitely that the character models don’t look too great. At a distance, the colors and their blending can look great, but in some instances, it looks a bit washed out or faded. At some points, the lack of lighting even makes enemies look pretty bad. Hunters, for example, look pretty strange. Instead of a decent green, they look almost black and gooey. The Ticks in the mines do too. Well, the Ticks look more like walking lumps of shit, if I’m perfectly honest.
Does it hold up today, though? Well, yes and no. The colors, for me, hold up incredibly well, but the weaker, more jagged look of the character models is kind of a pain to look at.
Atmosphere is what makes up about 85% of any Resident Evil game, something they seemed to lose sight of with 5 and 6. Don’t worry, we’ll talk about those two in the future, and no, I won’t beat up poor RE4 again. Especially not after that last review.
A major part of the game’s atmosphere comes with the music, the ambient sounds, and the sound effects that bring this world to life.
Once you have the dog’s clicking nails ingrained in your head, you’ll be jumpy as shit for the rest of your life when you hear something that sounds even remotely similar. Seriously, my brother, stepdad, and myself all still get on edge when we hear anything that sounds like them.
The music direction is great and it shows when the music is calm, subdued, and quiet, or nonexistent, and then swells to a heart-pounding, anxiety laiden orchestra of “You’d better be on your damn toes.”
Every little thing in Resident Evil has a distinct and tell-tale sound. Zombies sound like they’ve got shoes full of squishy porage, Hunters have very bass-y, thick, heavy footfalls, and of course, the dog’s clickity nails. You’ll always know what’s waiting for you after you get through a door just by the sound the enemy makes when moving.
Enemies aside, the weapons you get to use all sound like they’ve got impact and actually hold some power to them, even if they’re a bit on the weaker side. Looking at you Beretta… I love the sound the Colt Python makes, it sounds like it’s gonna fuck up whatever it hits, and it damn sure does.
Ok, ok. I know. You’re waiting for me to talk about the voice acting. Well, let’s dive head-first into this dumpster of bullshit.
Jesus. H. Christ. Who the fuck directed these poor people? I mean, there are so many factors to consider; was it bad direction? Bad actors? Both? Neither? Uh…huh, yea, right… Resident Evil’s voice acting is legendary for being some of the worst voice acting ever recorded, and with good reason. I mean, shit, it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for the worse video game dialogue EVER. Seriously. Go Google that shit right now. I’m not joking.
I don’t even have to make jokes about it. It’s like one, long running joke in itself. It’s campy as shit and I love it.
So, bad voice acting, inflated difficulty, and questionable controls definitely put a few dents in the game’s reputation, but what it gets right and doesn’t falter with are the areas of having fun, teasing your brain, and giving you plenty of reasons to go back and replay the game multiple times.
A first timer playing the game might get between 8-10 hours out of it, and after that, your time will be cut down drastically. Hell, my last run was just under 4 hours long, and I hadn’t played Chris’ scenario in years. You can easily get a sub 2 hour run once you’ve got an efficient route. Doing so will unlock some goodies for you. They tend to vary to a degree depending on the platform you’re on, but you can always count on a Rocket Launcher with infinite ammo with a sub 3 hour run. The PC version has a special weapon for Jill and another for Chris in addition to the Rocket Launcher if you do this. There’s also the dressing room key you earn for getting the good ending with either one for some extra dress up fun.
So, is it worth buying? Well, you can usually find a copy of Biohazard (the Japanese release), which isn’t just arguably better, it completely is, for $15-$20USD. The US release doesn’t seem to want to go for anything less than about $60USD for the DISC ALONE. Considering the drawbacks the US version has compared to the Japanese version, do yourself a favor and get the Japanese release.
Unless you actually still own a PlayStation in some form (PS4 currently withstanding because Sony are being fucking stupid about letting PS1 Classics roll out on it, but that’s a rant for another day…), and in that case buy the Director’s Cut Dualshock Version. Yes, that exact one, because the regular DC Version has god awful music. You can probably find the disc pretty cheap if you’re on the PSX/2 and it’s definitely cheap digitally on the PSN. I think maybe $10 on there, for it? I haven’t checked in a very, very long time. Anyway, pick this bad bastard up and go shoot some zombies and mutant freaks!
That’s all for now.
Take care and watch your backs out there. I’ll see you out on the streets of Raccoon City!
Link to the video (hammy acting by yours truly) below!
So, reason being, and my old regular readers (are you guys even still around?) know that I almost never post my personal life stuff on here, but I got married, started a family, switched careers, and haven’t had much time to even think about the poor blog. That said, things are starting to stabilize and aside from PC reviews, I plan to start putting in some current gen console reviews as well. I’ll get into that later.
Before I get any further, I want to give a huge, from-the-bottom-of-my-black-heart “thank you!” to an awesome blogger that goes by mh4wp. You can find his blog right over here! He nominated me back in June of last year for the Liebster Award and it means a lot, so I wanted to really say thank you again. Not just in a comment tucked away in an old review or some obscure place. Also, he’s got a book in the works about the political science of video games, which sounds awesome. I absolutely encourage you, not only to check out the book, but also the blog. Again, thank you so much for the nomination. It put me over the moon, even if I was 8 months late to the party.
In less exciting news, the console reviews I mentioned earlier will focus on Playstation 4 and its exclusives. Don’t worry, I won’t shun the multiplatform games. I won’t be able to review Mass Effect: Andromeda (and its glorious, juicy multiplayer co-op) if I do something as silly as that. Side note: I believe I also heard rumors on the wind of Marvel Heroes coming to consoles? It’d make sense given their beta testing phase of controller usage. If it does go through, I’ve got my fingers crossed for the ability to link my PC account to my PS4. I really don’t want to level 3/4 of the cast to 60 again. I mean, I would, but I don’t want to.
Ok, ok. Let’s address the big, fat elephant in the room. The Nuzlocke. Yes, I know. I FUBAR’d that one yet again. I just don’t think it’s been long enough since the original. I don’t have the drive for it again…yet. I know it was probably the most popular part of this blog. I also know I’ve horrendously failed Lord Emperor Branga by not completing my end of it and leaving his mud puddle garbage frog to rot in its PC storage bank indefinitely. It’s ok, though. Charles wasn’t exactly going places anyway.
Oh, jumping back to the console reviews and such (tangent thinking, even when you think you’re on the train after it hops off the rails, you’re not. Yay.), given that I can record video and take screenshots easily with the PS4, I’ll be using both features for future reviews on the system. I absolutely intend to make some videos for my YouTube channel (yea, I’ve got one of those. It’s right over here! Yea, it’s pretty small still.), such as Let’s Plays and, possibly, reviews. We’ll see how the video reviews go, I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time. Anyway, my first target in this whole new, crazy plan is the PS4 exclusive: Until Dawn. I know, it’s old at this point, but honestly, it’s a huge part of why I bought my first PS4 a few years ago. Of course, that one got sold, and the game hadn’t even been released yet, so no harm, no foul, I suppose. Anyway, with the new PS4, Until Dawn, and a huge amount of love for both, I’m setting my sights on it. I might also try to shoe in some older Resident Evil reviews, too. RE2 and Nemesis, most likely. I wouldn’t mind doing Code Veronica, too, if I could. Oh, and REVII, you’re on my list too, sucka. Better what yo’self.
I think that just about covers everything for now. Yes, I’m going to try and keep myself in check and the blog alive this time (my wife will crack the whip if I don’t). It should be infinitely easier now with the hours I’m working these days. No more wild and crazy schedules for this guy.
That’s all for now. You folks have fun, take care, and I’ll see you next time.
Before I start this week’s review, I want to give a big “Thank you” to my buddy Monger who donated this game to me (actually, it was quite a while ago that he did…). He’s got a YouTube channel here with some Let’s Plays and other things. He also streams regularly, you can find that right here. If you follow me on Twitter (Monger’s is right over here!), you might’ve seen me promoting his recent return to streaming, so give him a follow or two or three and come join us for the streams. They’re a hell of a lot of fun.
Another side note: Being incredibly sick this week, I totally forgot to get screenshots for this review, so in lieu of that, here’s the trailer!
Breach & Clear was originally developed by Mighty Rabbit Studios, published by Gun Media, and released for iOS in July of 2014. It was later ported to Android, Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and the Playstation Vita. Following up the X-Com review, it’s a tactical strategy game that’s actually quite a bit of fun. So, without further ado, let’s, well, breach and clear!
I’m gonna just jump right onto the game play, ok? Good.
It’s totally different to any tactics game I’ve played in the past. Mind you, I haven’t played a whole lot of them, but I really like how it works. You’ll start off with some number of doors you can stack your team on. Everybody on one door? Sure. One guy to flank the back while the others move in from the front? You can do that too. It’s flexible. Very, very flexible. I like it.
That’s not the main part of what made it feel so different to other tactics games for me, though. That would be the fact that you plan out your entire turn before anything happens. You chart your soldiers’ paths, even giving them the ability to stop, do something, then continue on. While you’re doing this, you can decide which way you want them to face, so if you need coverage over a few doors that aren’t open yet, you can get it.
After you’ve set all this into motion, you, well, literally set it into motion and watch the turn play out. Your team moves in, sweeping the area, taking down any enemies they come across. I really, really like the way this works. It feels a little more thought-out, I suppose is the phrase, than other systems. When I say “thought-out” I mean that I feel like I put a bit more thought into what I was doing while I was planning out my turns than I do with, say, X-Com, where I just try to move carefully and spend more time moving slowly and cautiously. I guess it’s a bit more action oriented.
Either way, enough rambling. The game lends itself very well to people of all tactics experience ranges.
Eyes Open, Rookie
Given that the game started out as an iOS game, it looks fairly decent. The animations are smooth and clean, they look really nice.
On the flip side, the character models look a bit generic, the portraits you can choose for your soldiers are pretty hilarious, and the bullets…oh man, the bullets. They look less like they come from a military based game, and more from something akin to the opening of A New Hope. Actually, that’s a pretty good analogy for how the game usually plays out.
Really, if you set the opening scene from that movie to play as you’re playing Breach & Clear, pause it between your turns, and then watch them both play out, I promise you it’d be eerily similar.
So, now that I’ve managed to mix Star Wars and modern military tactics, let’s move on!
Honestly, there isn’t much else to say about this one. It’s entertaining, there’s plenty to do, there’s soldier customization, loadout customization, some RPG elements, but it’s all so similar to itself that sometimes it’s hard to distinguish exactly what you’ve done.
That said, I’d put over an hour into the game before I’d realized it and even though it felt like I’d only done three or four missions, I’d actually done about twelve. This is good in the sense that it means the game had me engrossed enough to be engaged and keep playing. It’s bad in the sense that I didn’t actually feel like I’d had any variation. After I stopped playing, I felt like I should’ve been exposed to a bit more of the game by that point, but hadn’t.
Overall, it didn’t sully my experience, really. I still had fun with it, and I’ll still play it when X-Com delivers too many “That’s X-Com, baby!” moments for me to handle. As of writing, the game is sitting on Steam for a cool $14.99 (actually, it’s on sale for $2.24, remember that weeklong sale post I did earlier this week? No? Well, you would if you’d read it.), which to me just feels like too high a price point for what you get. I feel like $9.99 might be a better price for it, and anything under that (again, that weeklong sale), or even under $4.99, is definitely a green light to pick it up.
So, in the end, the game is a bit repetitive, a little generic, and somewhat bland, but, honestly, it’s a lot of fun. Go buy it. Right now. It’s on sale. Go!
That’s all for now.
You folks have fun, take care, and I’ll see you next time.
X-Com Enemy Unknown is the 2012 remake of the 1994 cult classic of the same name (sometimes referred to as X-Com: UFO Defense), and a reboot of sorts for MicroPros’ 1990 series in general. It was developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K Games, released on November 9th 2012 to the US for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows. It was ported to iOS and OS X the following year and found its way to Android and Linux in 2014.
With this being a turn-based tactics/strategy game, you’d think it’d be something I’m going to be totally crushed by, but surprisingly, it’s literally one of two tactics/strategy games I can play with reasonable competence. I know, I was just as shocked as you are.
This review only covers Enemy Unknown, even though I own the complete pack that includes Enemy Within, but Enemy Within is a review for another day.
Something else of note: There is multiplayer, but I won’t be touching on that in this review as I don’t have anyone to play it with.
We’re Definitely Not Alone Out Here
As someone who isn’t very well versed in these types of games, I’ve got to say, they made it very, very easy to jump in and figure out what’s going on without too much holding you back. It’s fairly easy to jump into, but like any game that revolves around strategy, is hard to master. Things like figuring out where to situate your base in the very beginning is a bit weird if you have no idea what any of the particular bonuses mean or how they’ll effect your game. The combat itself is quick, intense, and nerve-racking at points. At others, it’s calm and quiet, giving you a moment to catch your breath, but nothing in this game kicks you in the ass to pay attention quite like turning a corner into two giant Mutons that’re hellbent on smooshing your flimsy humans into paste.
That said, a well placed shotgun round can solve that problem relatively quickly, or you can flat-out miss your 95% chance to hit shots and get completely creamed. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen very often.
Either way, someone usually winds up as a puddle on the floor. I know that it’s a percentage chance, but how many times in a row is my guy gonna miss his shot? Oh, right, usually just enough to be critically wounded or dead. That minor complaint aside, the combat is simple enough to use and doesn’t take too long to get used to. This is great for people like me, who don’t generally play these types of games.
The only real issues I’ve had with the combat are weird, janky grenade throwing targeting, the rare 95% chance to hit but miss instances, and the awkward raising and lowering of the camera. I can never quite tell if my camera is at the height I’d intended it to be or not. Which can be frustrating on certain maps where gaining elevation comes in handy.
Moving through the field of battle, like the rest of combat, is simple and straight forward. You can move within a certain number of blocks and still have an action available, or you can go for distance and enter blocks outside that reach by “Dashing.” Dashing leaves you unable to use any action in most cases, but gets you around the map a bit faster. You might think I’m downplaying the depth of the combat sections, but don’t worry, if you put someone in the wrong spot, they’re fucked.
There’s certainly more to the combat, but I don’t want to spend the entire review writing about that!
You’re Not Even Safe In Your Own Home
While combat does make up a good portion of the game, it’s the base building that probably takes up the most time. It’s where the magic happens. A place to recruit, promote, and train your soldiers. Testing them for Psi abilities, scanning for any invasions or places of interest where the aliens might be, and research and development happen here too.
R&D is one of the key components to succeeding in X-Com. You can probably get by without it (Maybe? I dunno, I’m not skilled enough with this type of game to try it, but I’m sure someone has), but where’s the fun in that? You get to interrogate aliens, reverse-engineer their toys, and make some of your own! And the armor. Oh man, the armor in this game looks amazing. Every piece of it has a really cool, unique look to it.
I love the look of the armor here. In most cases you can even add some flair to the armor by choosing some minor variants in the customization menu. That menu also allows you to choose from a selection of helmets, faces, hair, races, nationalities, and a few other things.
Even the starting armor is cool looking.
Another key to success is making sure that you’re taking care of the countries around the world that keep getting hit with invasions. You’ll have to make choices when it comes to protecting the world, and weigh in the panic level of each country. If Australia happens to get to a full blown code red panic, they’ll pull funding from your X-Com project if you don’t help them and go at it alone. Of course, the less funding you have, the less you can do when you get your monthly income.
One big thing to pay attention to during this is what you can gain from protecting a country. Some might give you money, others might give you scientists or researchers to help your R&D area. You’ll have to carefully choose who to help and when so you’ll get the maximum effect.
I really enjoyed playing around with the base building aspect and the ability to dig up some dirt and place power generators wherever I could. It’s good to have something besides the R&D and running around shooting up aliens.
Like I mentioned earlier, some of your troops can test positive for having a Psi proficiency. This gives them some extra options on the battlefield and can really cause some fun times! Things like removing panic from allies, or out-right controlling non-robotic enemies come in handy the further you get into the game.
Have a nice kill box set up with your soldiers? Mind control that big baddie into walking into the center of it and getting annihilated. Everyone gets a laugh out of it!
There really is a lot to be done in the base that effects what happens on the battlefield and how your fights can turn out, so definitely spend some time there.
Know Thy Enemy
I haven’t touched on the story, so let’s go there next!
Honestly, it’s a pretty standard sci-fi alien invasion story. Aliens attack Earth, the world’s military forces join together, and work towards fighting off the menace.
At least, that’s the basic, boiled down version of it. More or less, you find out the lore of the aliens by interrogating them, examining their weaponry and gear, and spending time in R&D. I suppose it’s really more your story, your squad’s, and how they come out, if at all, in the end.
Yes, you caught that “if they come out of it at all” bit, didn’t you? X-Com features perma-death, and it’s no short supply. If you’re the type of player who builds a story around your troops, this can lead to some really upsetting moments when they die, or absolute panic when you see them taking shots and getting critically wounded.
In my case, I lost every single one of my original crew, save for one soldier. Jack “Hazard” O’Brien. He’s the guy showcasing the red suit of armor in one of the above screenshots. He’s survived 69 missions with one more to go before retirement, he’s also the last surviving member of his original squad. He’s a heavy drinker thanks to what he’s seen out in the field and runs into combat as if he has a death wish. Even if he does die in that last battle before retirement, he can die happy knowing that his apprentice Digkale will take his place and shred the alien menace. She’s got a natural knack for the kind of work they do, she’s quite a badass, and she’s even better at doing what they do than O’Brien is.
Yep, that’s about it for the story. It’s pretty simple and outside of the lore, you can make up your own backstories and whatnot for your troops if you’re into that kind of thing. I didn’t really get too into giving my soldiers stories until after my OG squad got almost completely wiped out. That’s when O’Brien’s story came around. After that, though, every so often I’d see one of them doing fairly well and start working on a story for them. Inevitably, they’d die. For whatever reason, O’Brien has the Devil’s luck and can’t seem to be killed.
Even though he’s got a nasty habit of getting mind-controlled almost every mission, is in situations he has no business being in, ones that would kill any other soldier, and has zero regard for himself.
Either way, I’m glad O’Brien is still with us. I still pour one out for ol’ Moose, though. He was the true OG. He was the only one who survived the very tutorial for me. That poor guy wound up being a neurotic mess up until it got him killed on a mission. I probably shouldn’t have sent him, but Moose was too valuable to have benched at the time. The mission he died on was the one that took out everyone else, except O’Brien.
Hmm, I guess that’s my story with X-Com. I just filled in the gaps, y’know?
Wubwubwubwubwub “Did You Hear That?!”
This game has some pretty awesome sound design, let’s just start with that, ok? Good.
The human starting weapons sound very much like they should. The shotgun is especially satisfying when it fires and connects. The alien’s laser weaponry has its own, somewhat standard, sci-fi sound, but is nonetheless just as satisfying.
The voice acting is no slouch, either. Some of the accents do sound a bit silly, but c’mon, it’s a campy sci-fi game and it’s fun. That said, the soldiers sound great. From smooth and cool when things are going well, to panicked and worried when they aren’t.
Every so often, you’ll hear alien chatter from a direction and might even get an indicator for it that the soldier who hears it will point out. It’s a pretty cool way to give you a bit of a hint as to which direction the enemy might be hiding.
Did We Win, Sarge?
Yes, yes we did, son.
X-Com comes from a genre that I typically don’t play, am not very good at, and don’t really care much for. So with that in mind, the fact that I actually got to the end and finished it really shows how easily it can be picked up by anyone interested in it. There’s something there for the occasional, casual tactical strategist like me, but there’s absolutely a lot more to be dug into for people who are hardcore fans of the genre. Now, I’m sure anyone who’s a mainstay in this genre already owns it, but for the folks like me, it’s definitely worth a look. X-Com 2 came out recently and I’m just waiting for it to get a nice big discount on Steam so I can snag it.
At the time of writing, the game is sitting at $29.99USD on Steam, which isn’t bad at all for what you get right out of the box, plus the ability of mods like Long War. If you’re like me and want to have the entire collection, you can get the collector’s pack for $49.99. That one includes all the DLC, as well as Enemy Within (which might even get its own review one day).
So, in the end, is $29.99 too much for me to suggest an out-right purchase? Not entirely. I logged 30 hours with it before I even realized what had happened. If you ever see it on sale, though, get it. Absolutely get it! And the complete pack? Would I say pay $49.99 for it? Oh, c’mon, my regular readers know me better than that! Of course not! The complete pack goes into “It’s a damn steal” territory at $25.99 for me.
It’s been a long time since I’ve done a review of this magnitude. Hell, it’s been a long time since I’ve done a review, and it could’ve been much, much longer, but I’m not trying to write a novel here. Anyway, X-Com was a wonderful romp through a genre I tend to avoid. I keep going back for more just because of how much fun I have and how accessible it is.
That’s all for now.
You folks have fun, take care, and I’ll see you next time.
The Final Chapter
Every reviewer, hell, every gamer, has that one game. The one they can’t figure out what the hell to do with. Do we love it? Do we hate it? Do we even know what to do with it? Resident Evil 4 is that game for me.
You guys have seen me lambaste this game with all the unforgiving heartlessness of some ancient deity hell-bent on destruction. In my last review for this game, I said I’d probably never play it to the end, I’d probably never actually enjoy it. I thought this would be the case, but someone close to me convinced me to sit down and play it because we were going through all the Resident Evil games and of course had to do this one. They’d never really played any of the RE games before, so I figured I’d just grin and bear it with 4 and get it over with.
This review is the result of the time I spent with RE4 during my “running the gauntlet” of the series, and it’s going to be the final one. After this review, I’m officially done fighting with this game.
There might be spoilers, too, so…don’t whine about it. The game’s 11 fucking years old.
Note: Yes, I’ll be reusing some of my old screenshots, so…shuddupaboutitscrub.
The Kennedy Comeback
Where do I even begin this time? Screw it, controls, it is.
You all know that my biggest issue with RE4 was always the control scheme. In the last review I did for the game, I said I actually didn’t mind them too much on this particular version. That’s still true, but my opinion on it has changed a bit. Quite a bit, actually.
It took some time for me to get used to the seemingly awkward turning, wide-but-limited mouse look, but when it set in, holy shit. Look out Ganados, Kennedy is coming for y’ass.
I feel like this play-through led to me finally really, really enjoying the game. Partially because I was playing it for someone else’s entertainment which meant I had to stop fucking around and actually try. The other part being that when I did become more accustomed to the controls, I actually started to enjoy playing. I wanted to see where the story went, I wanted to keep going, I actually wanted to play the game. I was having fun with a game that I never thought I’d have fun with.
Now, feel free to point and laugh, because let’s face it, it’s my own damn fault for not giving it more of a shot sooner. In my defense, the controls are still worthy of being called dog-shit in the other versions (The Wii version is still getting a free pass). So, yea, shaddapaboutit.
Oh, wait, there is one thing I really couldn’t stand, and that was that the Del Lago fight didn’t use an inverted mouse setting at all. It’s ok, though, I still harpooned that floating, potato-shaped fuckwit into Oblivion. Stupid Lake Potato.
Rolling Rocks, Train Rides, and Secret Villain Bases On Tiny Islands
What more could a Saturday morning cartoon show writer ask for in a story setup?
It was alright, I suppose. I didn’t feel incredibly invested in it. It wasn’t deep or moving, not that it really needed to be. It’s Resident fuckin’ Evil, after all. There were some pretty neat elements, like the Salazar family supporting Los Illuminados. That was pretty cool, but most of it seemed to just be funneling you from point A to point B. I mean, that’s generally the point of the story in any game, but this one still didn’t do much for me. I just didn’t find it as entertaining as I found most of the other storylines in mainline Resident Evil games. I was going to say that I like the other RE games for their incredibly outlandish stories and silly situations, but then I realized that I’m playing a game wherein the main character is dressed like a gangster from the 1920’s, using MegaMan’s arm cannon and his cohort is wearing medieval armor, all while sitting on a nice Victorian styled mine cart with plush red leather seats.
Even before that situation becomes an option, the whole thing really does fall right into the series’ bowl of insane situations. Leon always seems to get the weirdest shit too. A giant, toothy turd that’s trying to eat him on the train ride out of Raccoon City. A floating lake-potato that’s also trying to eat him. A fucking skeletal T-Rex also trying to eat him on top floor of a skyscraper.
Why is everything trying to eat him?
I was far more interested in the relationship between Leon and Krauser than anything related to what was actually happening during the story of 4. I’ll have to go play one of the light gun games that details this in more depth sometime.
Honestly, I was surprised at how little Ashley was used as I got farther into the game. It seemed to me, from what I’d read everywhere else, that she’d be a constant annoyance, but she wasn’t that bad. Definitely not bad when you stuff her into a suit of armor Freddy Fazbear style.
Not much more to say about that, really. Moving on.
Queue The Eye-Candy
The game still looks pretty good. That, obviously, hasn’t changed. And won’t. Not until we get the RE4 remaster that Capcom is no doubt going to do about 15 years from now.
I don’t have much to add to that, so have some screenshots.
The Sound of Music
The game still sounds fine, too. What? It’s a re-re-re-review. I don’t have anything to add! Hush!
Ok, except maybe that Ramon Salazar’s voice is on par with nails on a chalkboard and I was glad to put that obnoxious little bastard down. Saddler’s voice actor did a pretty damn good job, too! He perfectly fit the hammy, campy atmosphere.
King Kennedy, Lord of The Swag
So, I’ve absolutely been more positive with this review. I may even, le gasp, enjoy the game now!
After my play-through, I just felt like I needed to have one final go with RE4. You know, settle it once and for all. It’s kinda funny to look back at the past reviews and slowly see the change between where I started with it, and where I’ve wound up with it. It’s become my favorite of the second trilogy, followed by 5, and then 6. So, yea, in order.
Like Capcom with the RE5 PC DLC, I’m late to the party, and I’m ok with that. I had plenty of fun with RE4’s base game, and even more with the Ada missions, and then professional difficulty. It was even better with I got the PRL 412. That thing is stupidly fun, and makes repeated runs even more entertaining. Some of the glitches add a lot of entertainment value, as well. Ditman, Double Gigante skip, Waterfall skip. All the others that I couldn’t pull off. It’s fun. Just plain, simple, pure fun.
There you have it, Resident Evil 4 and I have finally come to good standings with each other. Like I said, this is the final review of this game. I’m putting it to rest.
That’s all for now.
You folks have fun, take care, and I’ll see you next time.
I figure I’d do a quick post with a short-list of games that I’m still looking at for review. You guys know the score, so here we go!
Console (Yep! Just don’t expect too many screenshots. Probably official trailers, if anything of that nature.)
I think that’s a pretty good little list to start out with. Not sure where I’ll be starting, but I know I’m gonna try to take it a bit easier this time. I know, I’ve said that before, but 8 seems reasonable and most of these I’ve already played or beaten. That means it’ll be a bit less stressful for me, which is always good!
I do still have a few games from my old lists that I’m considering, like the Obscure series. I’ll just have to see how it goes!
I also updated the Facebook Page. There’s also Twitter, which I use more regularly. Anyway you read it, they’re all connected and lead back here. If there are any other outlets that anyone knows about, feel free to hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, here, wherever!
Remember to tune in tomorrow for my final round with Resident Evil 4. We throwdown at 8PM EST.
So, you might remember my Resident Evil 5 reviews, and if you do, you might even remember me harping on the PC release for not having the DLC at the time of writing.
Well, fuck me, Capcom actually gave PC players the DLC! I wanted to make a note of it before too long, and someone got a bug up their backside about it.
It released March 26, 2015 (holy shit, my reviews feel ancient now…), and it’s currently sitting at $14.99 on Steam. Considering RE5 itself costs $19.99, I’m giving Capcom one of those sideways looks that just says “Reign your shit in before you hurt yourself.”
I’ll just maintain my stance on it by saying that I think $14.99 is a bit too much for DLC to a game as old as RE5, but if you’ve never played it and absolutely love 5, it’s worth it. Just maybe wait for it to go on sale.
Anyway, back to work on the fourth, and final, RE4 review.
Yes, I know, I’d intended to do that Nuzlocke and it didn’t happen. Life’s been…crazy, to say the least. Things are finally calming down and cooling off, so I’m going to try to dedicate some time to my poor, neglected blog. I’ve missed it a ton.
I definitely plan to continue doing reviews, it’s a staple for this place and it’s what I enjoy doing. I also plan on having one final round with Resident Evil 4 to legitimately close the book on that particular game. Yes, yes, I know. I’ve scrapped with it three times so far here, but this next one will be the last one. I promise!
As for Nuzlockes, that’s definitely still a possibility but also a very big “maybe.” I certainly want to do another one, considering how much people seemed to enjoy the first one, but I need to make sure I can actually sit down and put time into it.
And for “new” stuff, I’m considering doing video (or audio) supplements as part of the reviews. I’m more inclined to do audio versions of the reviews (they wouldn’t be 100% verbatim), but still enjoy video editing. It’s too early to really decide right now. It’s a toss up.
Anyway, I just wanted to jump back in, actually post something, and let everyone know (does anyone even still read this blog? Sit down, Miles. You’d probably still read this if it got entirely wiped out.) that, yes, I’m going to be getting this train wreck back on track and pumping away.
Well, that’s all for now.
You folks have fun, take care, and I’ll see you next time.