Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Remembering the Horror: A Resident Evil Retrospecive pt 3

Part 2 of the retrospective ended on a high note. With the release of Resident Evil 4, much of survival horror had changed; in fact, much of gaming in general changed after the 4th entry. But with the much lauded Resident Evil 4 out of the way, were could Capcom go next with the series?

Resident Evil: Deadly Silence
Release Date: Feb 7, 2006
Platform: NDS
Lowest Price: $10
Highest Price: $350

Released in 2006 as a 10th Anniversary for the franchise, Deadly Silence was a remixed and upgraded port of the PS1 original. Deadly Silence featured 2 modes of play. One was the original game, untouched and still amazing. The new mode is called Rebirth, and featured ample use of the touch screen in both puzzles and a 1st person knife mode.

You see every now and then the game would throw you into a first person view,  where you fought various enemies (including the Yawn from the attic). Get through a fight unscathed and you got an item (ammo, health). This lead to a nice amount of variety. But also lead to that mode feeling very easy. There's nothing quite like winning 6 magnum rounds by swiping at some zombies. The puzzles though, took a nice added variety that added flavor to the game. Sometimes a little glitchy, but the touch screen was well implemented into the general game.

That is to could poke Jill's ass.

As far as re releases go, Deadly Silence was a good port. It added extras that made it worth trying, but also kept the flavor of the original release. It did however make a few improvements. For one it added quick turning. For those unaware, the first game never had quick turning, this made evading enemies a tad bit harder. But in Deadly Silence you could whip yourself around and get out of trouble. The bigger addition though, is a dedicated knife button. Much like Resident Evil 4, you could hold down the left shoulder button and pull out your combat knife. Your knife was no longer an item you had to equip, it was always with you. And this lead to much more free form tactics; like shooting a dog and then running up and knifing it to death.

It's sad Capcom never revisited the idea of continuing re releasing the original trilogy on the DS (or even the 3DS). I feel like it was a well done port, and expanding on that could have benefited the people who missed out on RE2 and RE3.

Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles
Release Date: Nov 11, 2007
Platforms: Wii (and soon to be on PS3)
Lowest Price: $3.24
Highest Price: $200 (really? this game isn't even that old)

You know how I said it would be nice to see Capcom re-introduce the older games to a newer audience like they did Resi 1? Well, this game tried that.

This is not how you do that....

Being a light gun game didn't help. I won't fault the game for that, as it stands it's a interesting approach to the game. It took the Gun Survivor concept and made it work. Sure there were issues...actually, a lot of issues (cursor lag and game imbalance the more egregious).

Umbrella Chronicles revisited the Raccoon City incident, the Spencer Mansion, and the training facility where RE0 took place. It also threw in a new scenario set in a Russian research center. The game was fun overall, but how it presented the story was...silly.

Imagine if you will, Paul W.S. Anderson directing the games cut scenes. The most aggravating of which is a blatant copy of the Laser Hallway from the first film.

Yes...this is what we wanted Capcom...after hearing us bitch about those fucking awful shitty popcorn movies, we wanted the games to follow that exact path.

Of course...Resi 4 did this as well.

Of course not all of it was stupid and silly, it's just what was really fucking stood out.

And then there's T-A.L.O.S. A tyrant covered in computerized armor controlled by the Red Queen AI.

No....just no, god no

Did I mention that's fucking stupid?

Resident Evil 5
Release Date: March 13, 2009
Platforms: 360, PS3, PC
Lowest Price: $3.12
Highest Price: $200 (I don't want to live in this world)

In short.....fuck this game.

It's hard for me to like Resident Evil 5. If that name wasn't attached it would be a fairly mediocre third person shooter. With the name, it's an affront to the fans that built the franchise.

The addition of co-op is probably one of the biggest offenders. The idea of a partner takes away the solitude and desperate struggle to survive. Resi 4 was creepy for the fact that throughout most of the game you are alone; sure you're armed to the teeth, but you are alone. In this game, you have two agents armed to the high heavens with weaponry. Ones even capable of punching boulders for fucks sake


Now throw in the fact that co-op is mandatory...and it's even worse. If you're without get no respite what so ever. 

In fact, the game punishes you for not being online. Sheva's AI is horrible. She'll waste ammo and herbs, she'll steal ammo, she won't use grenades, she'll stand still waiting to be hit, she'll do anything she can to end you.

And try this on professional...where everything is like a one hit kill, and you have so little time to revive your partner you lose. I did this...I died inside.

Don't worry, it's almost over

Then you get to the story, the utterly silly, ridiculous story. Super powered metrosexual villain? check. Partner turned enemy whom you save? check. Retarded lackeys who are used to slow you down? check. Spencer, who has been alluded to for years as the founder of Umbrella, is finally revealed. Has the weakest excuse to form Umbrella ("I want to be a god"), and is killed within 5 minutes of screen time, possibly less. Jill is made a central plot point, but is forgotten till future DLC let Capcom correct this.

Then throw all this together with archaic gameplay mechanics and forced co-op, and you have a shit game. Add in the fact the game re-uses animations from Resident Evil 4, and also has scenarios that feel like a highlight reel for Resident Evil 4, and it looks like a lazy attempt at making a game.

Darkside Chronicles
Release Date: Nov 17, 2009
Platforms: Wii (PS3 version to be released)
Lowest Price: $1
Highest Price: $150

Darkside Chronicles is basically a continuation of what Capcom started with Umbrella Chronicles. As far as I know most of the issues were worked out. But for most of all, it's the same. Just this time is focuses on Leon and Claire's stories. Retelling Resi 2, Code Veronica, and a new story Operation Javier. interestingly enough, that scenario brings back the T-Veronica virus, now if only Resi 6 can bring G-mutants back into the fold. For all intents and purposes it's more of the same. With some slow mo cutscenes and flaming zombie judo throws.
Why do Zombies never have any junk?

The Mercenaries 3D
Release Date: June 28th, 2011
Platforms: 3DS
Lowest Price: $1
Highest Price: $78

This game gets a lot of hate. From the fact its a minigame being sold as a full price retail game. It's got no option to erase save data. And Leon isn't in it. All this is nit picking. The save data is a non issue for an arcade style game. Leon isn't crucial to a list of 8 characters. And you can argue if any game is worth the price they ask for.

I happen to feel Mercs 3D is a very solid game, save for a few technical hiccups and design choices.

This game was meant to be a technical demo, to see if a game like Resident Evil 5 could run on a handheld using the MT Framework mobile engine. And Capcom made it work, the game is fairly good looking, with only framerate issues with distance enemies. Capcom seeing that this could work, and the fact Mercenaries in and of itself lends very well to quick play sessions, decided this could be a full on game.

The game works, and it works well at that. It added the addition of moving while shooting (I still don't use it, but it's there), and online co-op. There was also a perks system, where different perks would give you advantages and let you tailor a character to a certain stage and weapon set. The only issues I saw was a lack of stage variety, weapon setups, and game mode variety. Seeing as Mercs was spawned from Mad Jackal, I thought it would have been a nice addition to add a mode akin to it. Or even a pure survival mode at that. what's there is fun, although in long sessions it all feels the same. In the end though I would say this game is well worth getting, especially when it drops in price. $40 for a minigame is steep, and we have a pricey hobby.

Of course this game helped pave the way for Revelations, which is looking to be the Resident Evil game to beat this year for me.

It's a big year for Resident Evil. With 3 games, and 2 movies, it's either going to lead to too many good things. Or to too much and people have stretched themselves thin, thus leading to products no where near as good as they can be. Capcom seems to have learned a lesson with Resi 5, making 6 look more streamlined and fluid. And Raccoon City looks like a worthy spin off.

And Revelations.....oh dear god. It looks like Capcom looked at what made Resident Evil special for me and made my dream game. All it needed was Claire and Hunk and I'm off to dream land.

Resident Evil has a long, colored history. It took gambles and made huge impacts on the games we play today. For a franchise to last 15 years and still be strong is a hard thing to do

And here's to hope for another 15, take good care of her Capcom, and make the gamers who made your game what it is today proud to be Resident Evil fans.


Humor Tumor is currently making Jill very uncomfortable....

1 comment:

  1. I still feel that RE5 was a lot of fun to play coop split-screen.

    Awesome retrospective so far!