Resident Evil – PS1, Sega Saturn, NDS

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You have to give it to Rebecca: she finds an underground industrial complex with sharks flopping around on the concrete and doesn’t even flinch.

In 2010, I worked as a tour guide for the Split-Rock Lighthouse in Minnesota. In the lighthouse keeper’s house, they kept an old typewriter with a little card saying, “Please don’t type on the typewriter.” Bored with my job and with no fucks left to give, one day I changed that card with one that said, “An old typewriter. If you had an ink ribbon, you could save your progress.”

However, despite what you’d think, the kind of person who gets their kicks slaughtering zombies and running around abandoned buildings collecting junk doesn’t really overlap much with the kind of person who wants to see phallic buildings with giant flashlights in the Minnesota wilderness. I even witnessed a mom read the card to a six-year-old girl without so much as a twinge of confusion, as though it made perfect sense given the context. I guess a lot of people just glaze over in any setting that’s even remotely educational.

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These crows have little tolerance for the unwashed masses who don’t appreciate art.

One of the big decisions I had in reviewing “every” Resident Evil game is just how many different versions of this game I’m willing to slog through in a row. Seriously, there’s the original, the directors cut, the directors cut Dual Shock Ver, the game cube remake, Resident Evil: Deadly Silence, as well as a battle version for the Sega Saturn. Apparently there was even a game boy color port in the works before Capcom realized that was pure fucking stupidity. So naturally the ROM leaked and plenty of fans were willing to pay a literal ransom in order to play a 32-bit game on an 8-bit system with a 166×144 display.

Short answer: I’ll post about the original and the Game Cube remake. I’ve done Deadly Silence already, and the others just don’t seem different enough not to drive me crazy with repetition.

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Chris shoots a plant, the prequil to Chris Punches a Rock

You have your choice of playable characters. Some of you know Chris Redfield from Resident Evil 5. It’s worth noting that before he was a hulked-out Call-of-Duty wanna-be who punched boulders, he was a terrible actor in an ill-fitting cop costume who shot plants. Jill, on the other hand, before adopting her femme fatal look for Resident Evil 3, went into life-and-death situations dressed like she was on loan from the French Foreign Legion. The major difference between them—which will become a trend in the world of Resident Evil—is that boys have more life, while girls have more pockets. You know: exactly the opposite of the real world.

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Seriously…you want me to shoot a plant?

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Fortunately, launching itself head-first through the window gave it a concussion, and he’s rather easy to avoid after that.

Resident Evil is just an escape room where you get to shoot things. Focus is less on combat, more on conserving bullets while you solve puzzles to proceed. It is frustrating at times that, by the game’s logic, a grenade launcher and an herb both take up the same amount of space in your pockets, but I think to how many things slide out of my grip when I’m just walking from the couch to the kitchen. I suppose I don’t really need to leave a trail of junk that I’ve tried to stuff in my pockets to feed my kleptomania. On those occasions when one must do battle with a monster, I doubt they’d wait for me just a minute while I pick something up.

Final Score:

Jill – 5:47
You’d think for as many times as I played this game, I wouldn’t suck quite so much.

Chris – 4:20 “What a tough guy! You’ve closed this case completely!”
God, even the congratulatory text somehow manages to come across as a terrible actor.

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Resident Evil Zero – Game Cube, Wii, PS3, PS4

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Rebecca’s hot, but you have to take Billy too if you want the handcuffs.

“Traaaainnsss! TRRRAAAAIIINNNS!” God…a zombie game that starts on a train. What’s next? Fighting ghouls in an open field of grains? Perhaps being stalked through a hospital full of the creatures hungry for sprains. Oh! I got a good one: Resident Evil 8, opening on the Raccoon City Stock Exchange, where the living dead are on the move for capital gains.

Hey, Capcom took my idea for Resident Evil 6 starring a grown-up Sherry Birkin.

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Zoinks! I sure hope we don’t get lost in this creepy train, Scoob!

My favorite thing about the first section of this game has got to be picking up a map for the train. I mean, it’s a train. Who maps a fucking train? It’s practically a one-dimensional vehicle. You know what? Let me draw a map of the train right now: ————— Mischief managed, there, Harry Potter. You know where everyone is? On the train. Right there. Look, not to be judgmental, but if you’re the kind of person who needs a map for a train, maybe we should just chalk up your being slaughtered by leeches as nature taking its course. Survival of the fittest.

Anyway, Resident Evil Zero: Aptly named because that’s how much ammo I had by the end of the first section. Have you ever tried going after a shambling hoard of corpses in one of the old-school RE games with just the crappy knife they give you? I’ve never felt so much like a post-op hernia patient than when I’m systematically trying to plunge my arm into those fetid, rotting garbage disposals.

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Step one: work together to find a way around a train. Step two: team up to fight leeches.

Here’s an idea, guys: everyone on the planet has seen zombie movies—they’re not going to bleed out if you slash them enough. GO FOR THE GODDAMNED HEAD! They’re zombies! For the love of all that is Rebecca Chambers fan hentai, they TELL YOU WHERE TO AIM! “Braaains! Braaains!” (You ever see a zombie movie where they actually, specifically eat brains? No!)

Knife combat seems to be less a thoughtful inclusion in the game and more some rogue coder’s attempt to overcome the deep-seated scars after a childhood encounter with a drunken mohel.

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The innovative partner system allows you to waste ammo at an all new rate as your dumb-ass partner blasts a bird with a grenade launcher you forgot you had equipped.

Ahem. Anyway, I suppose if I’m going to play through all the RE games (give or take), I ought to say something about each one specifically. Okay, “Resident Evil Zero is Capcom’s first attempt to introduce a partner mechanic that no one ever asked for or wanted.”

The plot follows Rebecca, the hot, kid-sister type who serves as Chris’s sidekick in the original, as she works her way to the Spencer Mansion. She teams up with Billy, the mistaken-criminal with the heart of gold. He pulls a daring jailbreak, cleverly spying his chance to escape when his guards are devoured by monsters. It turns out Umbrella was pulling experiments on prisoners and he was likely on h is way to be given the full Albert Wesker beauty makeover. That was kind of a cool element.

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Ah hell yeah! Who could say no to free leeches?

The villain is obviously auditioning for a better role in a Final Fantasy game. Picture the standard disgruntled employee type. Except when you work for a grocery store and your boss shortchanges your time card, you steal a few grapes and walk out with a few office supplies. When you work for Umbrella, they assassinate you, and you get revenge by stuffing a few dozen genetically engineered leeches into your pockets and wreak bloody havoc with a biblical-style plauge.

Seriously…I wish I could wreak bloody havoc when I was mad.

The game follows the series’ usual formula in Capcom’s unerring, Mega-Man-style manner. However, they do get rid of the magic boxes to store extraneous items. Instead you just scatter your junk on the floor like some redneck family’s lawn.

Final Rank:

Wait…what? Did I miss something? I didn’t get a grade. What the hell!

Metroid: Other M – Wii

 

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I know I live an awesome life of adventure as a kick-ass space bounty hunter…but maybe I’d be happier taking care of a whiny shit-factory who won’t develop a reasonable circadian rhythm for up to a year.

At the end of most video games, characters are pretty powerful. That poses a problem for direct sequels. If you want to go through the process of growth all over again, the game has to do something to turn back the clock, wipe out all the progress, experience and common sense, smash all the items, cancel the credit cards, take out a second mortgage on the house and smash the headlights on the car, just for good measure. And yes, developers might get a little bored with cliched catastrophes, I get that.

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Ridley is confused as fuck as to what he’s doing here and why Samus is suddenly interested in his potential as a father.

However, I’ve never had a story line interfere with gameplay quite so bad as in Metroid: Other M. Coming straight off her adventure on Zebes, Samus starts to question whether using an infant as a meat shield between her and mother brain might have crossed some sort of line—you know, the kind that gets you put on an FBI list. She intercepts yet another distress call—because Nintendo isn’t tired of all their cliches—and runs into her former commanding officer intercepting the same distress call, thus beginning a whole, wacky will-they-won’t-they scenario like some sort of outer-space sitcom.

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i gotta be honest, faults aside, this is exactly how a 3D Metroid should play.

So here’s the catch: Samus still has all the equipment from Super Metroid. She just decides not to use it unless Commander Adam tells her its okay.

Where shall I start with that one?

It isn’t as unreasonable as everyone seems to think that a highly trained and competent bounty hunter would, out of either respect or the spirit of cooperation, find wisdom in submitting to authority. But I find it increasingly hard to put faith in her training and competence when she sits basting in a pool of fourth degree burns, waiting for daddy’s permission to turn on the air-conditioning.

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Samus, depicted here mercilessly slaughtering a wounded animal, immediately after worried that her biological clock is ticking.

So maybe I could ignore a shitty storyline that turns one of my childhood icons into a weak-willed gender stereotype drowning in her own Vagisil, as long as the game play is good, right? For the most part, it’s a good game, after all. And when she’s not crying about her biological clock in a cut scene, she is literally tearing the limbs off monsters with her bare…er…power suit. Except Metroid loses something by removing the scavenger hunt aspect. Knowing she has the brains, heart, and courage all along has two obnoxious side effects: one, either she gets to an obstacle that we know full well she can overcome, but we have to file it away for later, or two, the good Lord Adam giveth what Samus needs as soon as she needs it. Either way, it actually makes the game a little less fun to know you’re not going to find anything really useful or powerful as you scuttle back and forth on the ship.

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Um, excuse me guys, I can’t use missiles unless I’m rooted to the spot and I need just a moment to get the wii remote to figure out where its…no fair! Time out! Time out! I should have bought that Pip Boy!!!!!!

Fire Emblem – Path of Radiance

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Uh, yeah, do I really have to write another entry about Fire Emblem? Just play the damn game already.

But while I’m here, we need to talk. Every time you defeat an enemy in, well, just about any game, the corpse goes through some dying animation, then digi-mortis sets in and they vanish from the screen. Evil is punished and the hero goes on with his quest. Everyone is satisfied, right?

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Like independent contractors on the death star, a horse’s personal politics deeply influence which riders it will bear.

Except I noticed something this time around. If you’re fighting against a mounted unit, the enemy soldier slumps down on his horse, and then both of them vanish. That poor, innocent horse! Just shoved still-breathing into the grave like the horse of some deceased pharaoh. What happens to it? Where does it go?

Fire Emblem HorseApparently this was a big enough issue that the game had to weigh in on the ethics of mount loyalty. At the very end after felling the evil king, there’s a lengthy (unasked for) cut scene involving an extremely minor sub character being in love with the king’s mount (both pictured to the right). This runs on in Fire Emblem’s traditional style of half National Geographic documentary and half verbal dysentery.

While the game was true to form and well worth playing, I think I cared more about high school history exams than the ending to the game, which felt like it resolved nothing at all and was just trying to sell you the $90 sequel for the Wii. (Is that a Dolphin I hear chattering in the distance?)

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Dear god, will someone just take Twitter away from Trump already?

The Legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild

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Sometimes, a company puts out a bad game. Square Enix, for example, decided what fans of the Final Fantasy series truly wanted was the experience of a steaming dump being flushed through a long straight expanse of cyberpunk sewer pipe. And Nintendo put out Skyward Sword, assuming that long time Zelda fans wanted to double down on the incessant tutorials from Captain Obvious the companion character. But while Square decided to rectify their problem with two sequels worth of more sewer pipes, Nintendo took a long hard look at themselves and decided to go back to their roots.

Enter Breath of the Wild, Nintendo’s re-interpretation of the original NES gameplay. Appealing not just to modern players, but people like me who have played their games since the eighties, Breath of the wild evokes a sense of that past by employing a non-linear, open world, de-emphasizing the mandatory nature of items and casting a girl I went to school with as Princess Zelda.

Okay, Nintendo….that’s an oddly specific move on your part. I gotta be honest; I’m flattered, but that’s a little on the creepy side. I fail to see how that would appeal to anyone except me and like a dozen people I went to school with.

It’s a good choice on their part, though. We were in a handful of plays together, and I even played one of her backup dancers when she played the demonic seductress Lola in “Damn Yankees.” I have pretty good memories of Trish. I mean, how awkward would that be if I had ever dated or even had a crush on Zelda? I don’t think I could stand playing Zelda if I constantly had to be jealous of a mime who dresses in a full-length tunic and pals around with faeries. And Trish pulls off a pretty impressive British accent, considering she grew up in a town where people talk like someone held a Canadian accent face-down in a toilet for about seven minutes.


This is how people talk where I come from.

The game? Oh yeah. It was good enough. I’m not supearance on Iron Chef being one of the goals of the quest. I’m pretty sure Link just went and bought health potions, rather than spending a dozen hours brewing up food that, let’s be honest, probably just went into his sack and grew fuzz. I mean, sure it restored all my hearts…but what if I needed that effect of 20 seconds of cold resistance?

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At least he’s a pig again.

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Wait, you’re not a televangelist, are you?

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Oh dear god, I take it back. Keep the rupies, just go back into the pod!

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Hey, back off buddy. You can’t assume my cultural knowledge is the same as yours. Someone needs a little sensitivity training.

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The Deku Tree looks like you just crapped on his lawn.

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Huh. How about that. Usually that doesn’t happens unless I’m on a few mushrooms myself.

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Kabuki-posing fish me. Don’t you just want to be this guy’s friend?

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Okay, gotta be honest, the attention to detail is pretty fucking awesome.

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Uh…is that…is that a sex thing?

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At the end of his dance, sparkles shoot out of his maracas. I swear that’s not a euphemism.

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Uh, Link, you know you’re supposed to wipe it down before you sheathe it, right?

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Then we’ll see you in the sequel, Trish.

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When these guys play hide and seek, they go hard core. I imagine at least a dozen koroks die of exposure each year due to untalented seekers.

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Uh…you wanna help me out a bit?

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These guys. Apparently a cross between a walrus, my cat Ozzie, and Mr. T.

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And this is why we need male protagonists…because how else would we dress up so fabulously!

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The, uh…porcelain shrine?

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Finally got that Tremors reboot we were hoping for!

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Nintendo trying to cut a deal with Lego.

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On the other end of Hyrule, a giant cat is going nuts.

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Just a woman infatuated with her ball. Nothing to see here.

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Oh, that’s right…horses like food, don’t they?

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…ouch.

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Casual Fridays for the questing industry.

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Wait, you’re not my local congressman, are you?

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Xenoblade Chronicles II

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First up after my triumphant return…Breath of the Wild! But honestly, I don’t remember much about that right now, so here’s Xenoblade Chronicles II.

Great literature makes us think about difficult questions, and Xenoblade II is no exception. I swear wholeheartedly it’s the first time I asked myself how sentient a sex doll has to be before the hamster overlord that created it is morally obligated to ask for consent.

I can’t quite figure out if the interspecies lust for an adolescent robot is an unfortunate trend, or the game’s subtle way of acknowledging it has a Pokemon complex when it comes to tits. The game’s core mechanic revolves around collecting “blades,” superhuman cheerleaders who are intrinsically bonded to you and cheer you on, giving you super powers in combat.

Yeah, I totally see how this plays into the male power fantasies but…god damn it, Ms. Sarkesian, just this once I don’t give a damn. I might just risk the reputation that comes from digitally collecting people if I can finally have that bond with the hot blonde girl with massive cans like the girl I was just friends with in high school.

Oh, and it’s a good, solid game that improves upon the flaws of the earlier. And all that. Now lets get to a few of the literally hundreds of photos I snapped of this baby.

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Even fucking Chewbacca can’t compare to this…even if Chewie can keep it in his pants.

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*snickers like a twelve-year-old*

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This is literally how I feel when Hollywood puts out another shitty reboot and I get three hits on my blog from someone looking for BDSM on my Shadow Hearts 2 entry.

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The game is actually breathtaking…and not just for the women.

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*snickers like a school boy*

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Wait…are they going to recap the plot of Avatar: The Last Airbender?

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Shouldn’t you be wearing a gas mask when you ask that?

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Classy dialogue.

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The scriptwriters accidentally transcribed the conversation in the writers’ room.

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Mythra, I can guarantee I have never focused on anything nearly as hard as I am now. (*snickers…hard as I am now*)

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Masterpon Tora is apparently Master Roshi in disguise.

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Xenoblade plays to a key audience of boys with Napoleon complexes who all secretly desire to wake up with hot girls in their beds…

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…while still speaking for what would happen if adolescent me had ever woken up with a hot girl in my bed.

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I have like forty shots of this capybara. Apparently I really wanted to show this to you.

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Just some roly-poly hamster women in a steam bath. I don’t see what the problem is.

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For a combination sex-battle bot, Poppi actually has a lot of personality.

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There’s a rack that holds up its own towel.

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Game says what we’re all thinking.

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Okay Jake…stop taking pictures of the hot blonde chick.

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Press X!

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Seriously….I really must have thought this capybara was the coolest thing since Mythra’s chest.

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Day of the Triffids, except not as British and stupid.

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Okay…one more tit shot.

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*Snickers like I was back in sex ed*

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By the time this article posts, this will probably be Trump’s new press secretary.

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And for the ladies….

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Help me Obi-wan Kenobi

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Seriously, the creepy-crawlies in New Zealand make me want to move back to Minnesota.

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Rocks friends.

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The Xenoblade world’s equivalent of a chain gang.

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So now its…better?….that a hamster built a sex bot?

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Don’t get excited…he’s trying to convince a human female team member to take a bath with him…thinking she’s a guy.

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These guys.

Welcome Back

Thanks, Internet, for your support, which as usual came in an avalanche that wouldn’t dampen my socks.  I guess that’s God’s way of saying not only do I not get readers, I can’t even enjoy a nice snow day out of my whole ordeal.  In the past several months, I broke everything off in the U.S., packed up and moved to New Zealand. I had hoped it would be this wonderful, unspoiled Middle Earth where the weather was always nice and the people wouldn’t try to lynch you for saying such radical things as science is real. While parts of that turned out to be true enough (and I at least found myself with a full-time job for the first time since I lived in Korea), I also found myself in Auckland, which is the municipal equivalent of getting your head stuck between the balusters of the stairs, a concrete hell of traffic congestion that I doubt Tolkien had in mind when he envisioned Middle Earth. And if the city wasn’t a disappointing enough place to find myself, the sole antidepressant that doesn’t cause an avalanche of side-effects isn’t available here. So I’m trying to adjust to the standard drugs, which will make you feel good enough at the mere cost of not being able to sleep at night or stay awake during the day, gaining obscene amounts of weight and still starving all the time, having dysentery and constipation re-enact Street Fighter II in your gut, and have all sexual functions melt down like Chernobyl.  What could be greater?

 

So at the nadir of my existential quandry, after swearing off writing altogether so long as everyone on earth refuses to read my work, I get pinged by WordPress: “Thank you for auto-renewing!” …fuck. Figures that the universe would know my one weakness; my projection of sentience onto inanimate abstractions.  So I guess if I’m paying for it, I can at least use this blog to chronicle the games I’ve played.  I don’t really feel like crafting the full-length articles I did before, but I’ll at least draw something up every time I finish something new. And fortunately I don’t have much of a backlog, having recently finished a few 100+ hour games.