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!
Now, this is a sale!
Phew, that’s quite the list. Every one of them worth it. Well, at least I hope Dead by Daylight is at this point.
Back to work on the Until Dawn review and some other projects. It’s all coming up on YouTube soon, right over here.
There, the most important stuff is out of the way.
Yes, the new DooM’s multiplayer is in open beta and free to play between April 14 – 16 (if I’m remembering right). I’ve been poking at the reviews section for it, and a lot of people seem upset with it. Oh well, we all know I don’t take other’s reviews into account. Ever. Especially before playing something myself.
Anyway, get out there and get that beta going!
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.
Resident Evil: Revelations was originally released for the Nintendo 3DS back in 2012, but the PS3, PC, and XBox360 got to have their own versions the following year.
On the 3DS it was the first game to support the Circle Pad Pro outside of Japan. I spent a majority of my time with the game on the 3DS, and the CCP made it a million times easier to play, but I’m not reviewing the 3DS version or the CCP. I’m here to take a stab at the PC version.
Coming Full Circle
I’m not sure if Capcom was using this game as a fanservice or just trying to get another Resident Evil game out for fun. I say that because this is the first game in the series that has actually had Chris and Jill as the main characters since the original game.
Now, I never actually finished the campaign. This is because Jill’s half is so goddamned boring and repetitive that I had to put the game down.
I guess I should start from the beginning.
A year before the game’s story starts, there’s a bioterrorist attack on a futuristic island city called Terragrigia. Hunters roam the streets, slaughtering people. Other B.O.W.s run rampant, as well. The only way to stop it is to fire a laser from a satellite and destroy the entire place, civilians included. A year later, the games picks up on a beach head and carries on.
You start off as Jill, she’s on a shoreline with her new partner Parker, and they’re learning to use a new machine called the Genesis. The Genesis is used to detected strains of viruses and…well, I’m not really sure what else, that’s about it. You can use it to find hidden objects, like ammo or hand prints.
While they’re checking out the beach, some of the creatures laying around on the beach decide it’s a good time to wake up and attack. After dealing with the monsters, Columbo informs Jill and Parker that Chris and his new partner Jessica have gone missing a ship called he Queen Zenobia.
So, of course, Jill and Parker head out for the ship and the game begins proper from there.
It Was A Dark And Stormy Night
Capcom did a fantastic job going back to the series’ roots with this entry. Well, in the beginning of the game, anyway. The first few chapters for Jill definitely feel like they would’ve belonged in the old, more horror oriented games. Creepy lighting, weird noises, rain, lightning, atmosphere. It’s there.
The game looks good and makes sure to be spooktastic while doing it. This is all ruined by one thing, though.
It’s not the gameplay, I’ll get to that later. It’s not the graphics, I’m too busy praising them for that to be the case. It’s not the sound, that sound’s fine.
It’s the fact that the ship is so damn boring to explore and move through, that the game loses any sense of suspense. Everything looks the same after the game sheds its initial horror atmosphere and lets you roam freely. There must be some company out there that manufactures dull gray corridors, because if there is, they made serious bank on this one.
Now, I’ll grant you that you go between Jill’s scenario and Chris’, but it seems like Chris’ appearances are just too few and far between. On the bright side, Chris and his new partner Jessica aren’t on a dull gray ship. They’re stuck out in some snowy mountains!
The mountains you find Chris in aren’t exactly the pinnacle of variety, but they’re a hell of a lot better than that stupid ship. Yes, I guess you could say the ship is supposed to feel claustrophobic with its tight corridors, but even the original Resident Evil presented itself with some variety in color in the mansion.
I think part of what makes the ship sections so boring for me is that Jill’s entire purpose for being there is to find Chris.
Actually, that’s just a dummy that’s made up to look like Chris, so Jill decides she needs to find out what’s going on on the ship after finding out that it’s just a mannequin. In addition to the dull, same-y corridors of the boat, you’ll find dull, same-y enemies.
All of the enemies in Jill’s side of the story look almost identical, with minor cosmetic changes to show a variant in mutation. Some shoot harpoons, some have giant claw-blade forearms to attack with. Most are just lumbering drunks that try to bite you. A few headshots will put any of them down without much fuss, though.
Over all, the Jill’s side of the story isn’t strong enough to stand on its own due to a boring environment. Chris does get a little more slack as he’s trying to hunt down Il Veltro and obtain any evidence he can to prove that they’re reemerging.
So, there you have it, half the story is kind of interesting while the other half is bogged down by boring, repetitive environments.
While I’ve praised RE4 HD, RE5, and RE6 for their controls, I feel that this entry has the perfect medium. Even by default, the aiming is steady, not too loose, not too tight.
The ability to move while aiming is helps immensely as the enemies can creep up faster than expected, and in Raid Mode (more on that later), that can be the difference between success and failure. There is a bit of sway while you’re on the ship, but power ups and gun customization can help with that.
The only thing I really have an issue with in the control section is the awkward dodge mechanic. It seems to work when it feels like it. I couldn’t get it to happen with any frequency on the 3DS or PC version. If you can master it, it’s incredibly useful.
I really don’t have much to say about the controls this time, they’re solid, do their job, and respond very well, the dodge mechanic withstanding.
Below Deck, After Hours
The place I’ve enjoyed myself the most is Raid Mode, but there is a major drawback that I’ll get to later.
Raid Mode is sort of like Mercenaries Mode from other RE games. Sort of.
You’re given the option to choose a character, a stage, and then are tasked with making your way to the end while collecting power ups, points, and clearing house.
As you clear stages, you’ll gain levels, Battle Points to buy gun upgrades, costumes, and characters.
As the picture says, you can find weapon cases laying around that give you more add-ons for your weapons. You might get one that increases damage, critical hit chance, or increased fire rate. The equipment isn’t limited to those three, though. There are quite a few different enhancements you can find and stick on your weapons.
Hell, one of mine automatically shoots when I aim it at an enemy, and if I aim away from them, it stops. It’s pretty insane.
You’ll also notice that enemies get their own enhancements for Raid Mode. Speed, strength, defense, or even size can change depending on how lucky, or unlucky, you might be.
Once you’ve braved the enemies and made it to the end, with arms full of upgrades, you’ll find a giant crest that needs breaking to actually complete the level.
Also, I just wanted an excuse to use that screen shot because it shows off how pretty the game is.
After finishing a map, you’ll get a result screen showing how many of the extra requirements you managed to meet, miss, or forget about. You’ll get bonus experience for completing them, and even more if you manage to meet all of them.
Like I mentioned before, it’s important to customize your weaponry to make your life easier while you’re trudging through these maps.
Yea, I have a lot of Raid Mode screenies. I really, really liked Raid Mode and can see myself spending more time on it in the future. I like it a bit more than Mercenary Mode, to be honest. It gives you a clear goal and lets you see it through, if you can.
So, that drawback I mentioned earlier. You have to finish the campaign to unlock all the Raid Mode stages, which is understandable, but blargh, I don’t wanna!
To make it a bit easier, you can take a friend along in Raid Mode, too! Sorry, I really didn’t know where else to put this.
In short, Raid Mode is flat out awesome, but is it enough to warrant this game getting a passing grade?
The Real Revelation
Right now, RE: Revelations is on Steam and sits with a whopping $50 price tag. Holy. Shit. Now, I got the game on sale a year or so ago with all the DLC. Between the ham-handed story, bland environments, and pitiful enemy variety, I can’t recommend this for $50.
Raid Mode does make a good case for itself with “But I’m awesome, and you get me, too!” To which I reply: True, but I’d say you’re $20 at best, so hush up, Raid Mode.
While you can pick up the Complete Pack for $10 more and get all the DLC, I still don’t see it being worth it. Not on PC anyway. I’m sure you can find a cheap copy of it on consoles, or 3DS, for around $20. While you won’t get the DLC included that way, you’d probably still be spending less in the long run.
So, yes, I’d drop $20 just for the Raid Mode alone and treat the campaign as the add-on, but $50-60 for the game is just too much. When it goes on sale again with all the DLC included (let’s face it, it’s on Steam, this will happen again unless we’re invaded by aliens or Ragnarok comes early), I’d say upwards of $30-35 is easily worth it. Try catching it on sale on Steam if you can, because there’s definitely fun to be had and you might enjoy the campaign more than I did. There’s also a demo on Steam, which I’d definitely recommend checking out first if you’re curious at all.
I know I might’ve just rambled on there, but those of you that have followed me for a while know that I tend to be a bit tight on the wallet. Bargain bin or bust!
I think that just about wraps up this review, join me next time when I jump into Bastion! I’ve heard that it’s really good, so I guess we’ll see.
That’s all for now.
You folks have fun, take care, and I’ll see you next time.
Resident Evil HD Remaster (REMaster from here on out) was recently released for PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox360, and Xbox One. It was originally released on Gamecube in 2002 and took the fanbase by storm. Unfortunately, I didn’t own a Gamecube at the time, so I didn’t get much play time. Now that it’s available, and cheap, it’s time to take a look at it for real!
Where do I even begin? It’s a remake of a remake of an iconic game. While it’s not a total overhaul, REMaster does offer up the ability to use classic tank controls or alternate controls. I went straight for tank controls. They just make more sense with fixed angles. Honestly, I have no idea how the alternate controls work, but I imagine they make the game more confusion to navigate.
There are some minor differences from the original controls, like the ability to do a 180-degree quick turn, and using more modernized aiming and shooting mechanics.
Other gameplay related things include the addition of Crimson Heads (super zombies), Lisa Trevor (doesn’t seem to ever die), new areas of the mansion, new versions of old puzzles. It’s so good!
The controls are tight and responsive, there isn’t really much to say; they’re tank controls and they work.
Aside from the controls, there are numerous changes to the game’s canon, mansion’s architecture, and the general layout. It’s like a whole new game!
So, the big draw for REMaster is the ability to play in HD at 60FPS while looking at awesome environments. At least, that’s what it would be if the game didn’t have some issue for a group of users (myself included) that made the game run in slow-mo no matter what tweaks you’ve made. 30FPS, 60, Variable, low settings, mid, high, whatever it is, it doesn’t do anything to help. Even when I made tweaks with my processors, it still ran in slow-mo. At the time of writing, I’m waiting, and hoping, that there’s a patch soon to fix this and add support for more systems. It seems to affect people at random. From people who have computers way above the recommended requirements to people who meet them and anyone in between. It’s a real downer, especially when you have a PC that can run circles around it.
Either way, it runs fine on consoles from what I’ve seen. How about a wall of screenshots? Good!
REMaster is even more stunning that it was when it was just REMake. It’s nearly 13 years old and still looks amazing. Then again, I still see SNES games that I think look better than some modern games, so, yea.
There is one thing that bugs me about REMaster. The addition of the B.S.A.A. costumes for Chris and Jill. Now, I love these costumes, but when you try to use them in this, they just look so out of place. They don’t fit. I’m fairly sure Capcom just ripped them from Lost In Nightmares and stuffed them here without doing anything to help them fit the setting, and that just makes them look ridiculous here.
So, the game is still as impressive as it’s ever been, but if you happen to be unfortunate enough to encounter the slow-mo bug, you’ll just have to try to tweak the game into running a little better or just wait it out. I’m currently in the second camp as my PS3 has become a professional dust collector.
The sound design for REMaster is right on par with the graphics. Ambient noises from the dusty old mansion will keep you on your toes, and the groans and screams of Crimson Heads and Lisa Trevor will keep you light on them.
It might just be me, but it seems like the gunfire almost has a muffled sound to it. Like it’s being pressed down on by the dreary-ness of the mansion’s atmosphere to make sure no one knows that you’re alone and in trouble.
I love it.
4. Itchy. Tasty.
I’ll cut to the chase this time – this game is worth every bit of $20 on console and PC, so do yourself a favor and just buy the damn thing already! If you’re worried about the slow-mo issues, well, I wish I could say there was a demo, but as far as I know, there isn’t. Maybe you’re reading this long, long after it’s originally gone up and there’s been a patch to fix the issues, in which case I have two things to say; 1) Why’d you wait so long? 2) I hope it’s working out better for you than it is for those of us right now.
Other options would include just tweaking it and hoping for the best. Either way, if you see it on sale, snap it right up, and if you don’t see it on sale, snap it right up.
Next week’s review is Resident Evil: Revelations! Man, as much as I love Resident Evil, I’ll be glad to be done with the series for a while after this.
That’s all for now.
You folks have fun, take care, and I’ll see you next time.