Resident Evil is one badass game!

RE1DC_USSo, I finally finished Resident Evil this Halloween and I have to say that I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I do. It’s truly scary, very claustrophobic and immersive.

The story, while a bit narrow, is good. It really unfolds in a great pace and is sure to keep your attention all the way to the end. It picks up intensity exactly when it’s needed. The story isn’t the game’s strongest point though, and combined with way awful voice acting and script, can make you giggle at times.

However, right after the cut scene ends and the game once again overwhelms you with it’s haunting atmosphere, you surely won’t be giggling much longer. It gives a strange sensation but never take away from the horror. I’ve read somewhere that they intended to make the game like a cheesy low budget horror movie and that does explain the dialogue for sure, if its true. But I’m glad that doesn’t show anywhere else in the game.

One thing however that I found extremely hard to get used to in the beginning is the static angles and the controls. It didn’t take to long however to used to and now I can’t see a Resident Evil without it. Most people seem to dislike the style in which the early resident evil is made on. I think it’s great, and I’m glad I’m not like people. You can’t switch the camera angles yourself at all, which puts you at the games mercy and preset angles completely.

This may sound like a bad thing and it would be, if the game wasn’t so awesomely designed. The thing is, this only make the game even more claustrophobic, and the designers have really put great care in making the angles very creative and creepy. They show you just enough sometimes to get your heart pounding and just enough so that you won’t know exactly what is coming up. Sometimes they show the area you’re in from a perspective so you see some extra creepy ambiance at the expense of your own visibility. But this isn’t bad and the fact is that it’s done intentionally, and very well at that.

Sometimes you will walk into a room and be at such a narrow angle that shows just about nothing until you dare to step out into the room. But do you dare to step into it? What if it’s something there? Well, then you better use your ears. Combine that with the fact that the game gives you limited saves and a very limited inventory, you truly feel like you are struggling to survive. But it never gets annoying, it’s just part of the great atmosphere.

I mentioned the controls earlier and while they do feel strange at first, they really are good and simple and you realize that with this games unique “angle system” there could not really be any other way to control the character. The combat can be a bit clunky for sure, but in the end, this is not necessarily a combat game and whenever you do fight, the clunkiness only enhances the survival feel of the game. It also can give you panic in certain moments.

The game itself is fluid. No slowdowns, no glitches and the replay value is pretty high too, considering you have two characters that you can play as, however they actually alter the gameplay and progression quite a bit. It also gives you different supporting characters for each. If Chris Redfield, you take the harder path, while Jill Valentine is the easier one and she also has a lockpick which is really useful in my opinion.
The backgrounds and characters are all amazing and much more creepy than I imagined they would be. There are a lot of ambiance everywhere and the mansion just brims with grittiness in a way games doesn’t capture today. The sometimes smudgy graphics on the ps1 only helps with the feeling IMO, but not even once does the graphics look bad. The designers really did the best out of the hardware they had to work with back then and the result is really uniquely terrifying.
inside_PSN_RE_DCOn top of all the great stuff, it also has multiple endings and even some “roleplay esque” choices which will determine some peoples fate in the game. The game is also truly non linear so you can explore the game in whichever pace or order that you want. It has a good difficulty, its not too hard but not too easy either. The puzzles are involved and elaborate and also helps the games creepy atmosphere a lot. They make the game even more claustrophobic and gives that mystical sensation, but at the same time they aren’t annoying. Well designed all in all. It’s different from today’s games in the sense that you can often not solve the puzzles right away, but instead they continually loom over you and progress in a very natural and immersive way. This really adds to the horror value and makes the game much more interesting. They don’t make genes like this anymore.

Also, the music is great. There usually isn’t any music in the game at all, but when there is, oh shit. When the music plays, you really know something terrifying is going to happen. The games sound design is actually pretty amazing. You constantly have to listen for footsteps to keep track of monsters or other creepy stuff because, as I’ve mentioned earlier, you can’t see them properly at all times. This keeps you invested in the sounds at all times and you are constantly listening for anything suspicious. And sometimes you will think there is something there (or could be something) because you keep hearing some rattling trees or howling wolves, and then you enter another room and it’s just dead silent, which in this game is equally haunting. It really keeps you on your toes. The game uses sound as a pretty effective horror mechanism, and it really works. Damn.

As a conclusion I also have to mention how cool the various real life video sequences are in the game. They have real actors that looks like the characters in the game. I just love that. So, if you haven’t played this game yet, you absolutely should!
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Retro Game Weekend: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Megadrive/Genesis 1992)

12917-sonic-the-hedgehog-2-genesis-front-coverSo, for this Retro Game Weekend, we decided to play through Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as I’ve never played any of the Sonic games.

I found it really funny, albeit a bit to fast pace to be truly enjoyable. The graphics are wonderful, colorful and creative. It is easy to get a hang of the controls even though the game takes you for quite a ride at most turns. Another awesome thing in this game is the music, I loved all of it!
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One thing I would have wished were a bit better is how you control Tales in the co-op mode.  He can technically be controlled by the other person, however he is rarely on screen nor much help besides in boss battles. I could see it as maybe a hard thing to fix when it is supposed to be so fast paced but still.

Some negative points in the game is the lack of variety in the stages, besides the Casino ones, they were awesome. Also the end boss was the easiest of them all, what gives? Especially when most of the other bosses sure gave a challenge. Good thing I had Tails there as he is immortal and could land hits where I could not.

It is surely a well worth game to try out if you can and I’ll absolutely try other Sonic games as well.
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Mass Effect: Andromeda, what a sad disaster…

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So, quite few days ago I finished Andromeda and I couldn’t really bring myself to blog about it. Yet another disaster and I didn’t really wanna have to rant. Again. But here I am, going to rant about what a shitty game this really is. Maybe I should start out with what few points Andromeda really did well. Sadly I can count them on one hand.

The cast is great, the missions for them are fun and somewhat different from the other quests that were in the original franchise. There were some great arcs and fun quests to do. Though I can’t in my wildest dreams understand why people love “Phoebe”. She was really poorly done with a cliche personality. Sure, Cora were the same, as well as Vetra. Yay, the female cast including Ryder sucked. Woho.
However, the movie quest must have been one of the most fun quests I’ve ever done. I just wished it could have been grander and maybe incorporated romance a bit.
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Some of the scenes were nice, when there actually was a cutscene which really didn’t happen often. The game sure lacked those compared to the original Mass Effect. Even though the companions were nice, the romance options were lacking, once again. I had to pick between two guys or what felt like every female in game. Sure I’m all for romance between sexes but do I really have to be force fed it myself? Do I really need to go lesbian to enjoy some romance? How come guys can get so much more than females? Well, at least I got to see some man ass, even though the sex scenes faded to black.

Overall the gameplay was poor. It lacked the deepness and story that I associate with Mass Effect. You went from planet to planet, time and time again, without it ever feeling like an open world game. The quests just kept coming, more empty than the last. In the end, I just finished the main quest as fast as I could as I was sick of it. I tried to like it for what it was but it was just to poor. The loading times were the worst. Took forever to just start the game, and that was before the title screen. It loaded just as slow after. I managed to do millions of things in between, which made it just that much worse.

Speaking of long loading screens, the game crashed on a few occasions as well, making me wait longer for the loading than I actually spent playing the game some days. Throw in some other glitches like companions staying dead until I reload, some people hang the game when I talk to them and that some battles were like a slideshow, and there you have Andromeda. I play on a beast of a machine so lag shouldn’t be a problem.

Also, the fact that I played on low graphics should have helped, right? Not at all. I played on low graphics as I couldn’t stand the stupid “bookeh” and other strange effects. The low graphic settings made the game more beautiful, what gives?

The game didn’t give me any sense of achievement either. It had neither good quest rewards nor a want to level up as it didn’t have any skills that I really wanted to invest in. In the end I just placed some points to get anything, but I still finished the game with many points left not spent. The enemies were few but reused way to many times, in multiple boring battles that just seemed to go on forever.
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Speaking of forever, I really could go on forever with all the downsides of Andromeda but then the post would be way to long. I couldn’t have been more disappointed with this game. Even Skyrim with its lack in everything and DA: Inquisition with the overly buggy hands were better than this. Where did it all go so wrong?

Overall, a poor game for a short spanned and young generation. I’m pondering if I’ll even play the next Mass Effect coming out, I don’t think so.

Retro Game Weekend: Mario Party is the perfect weekend game. (N64 1998)

So, last weekend me and my boyfriend felt like playing something together and started up Mario Party for the N64 for some cozy time in the sofa. Of course I won our round.

It is a really nice game to play, with all the fun little quirks and mini games. You can choose between some of the characters from the Mario franchise. From Peach, Luigi and Yoshi to Wario, Donkey Kong and Mario himself.

It’s like a board game, where your character is a pawn that moves around. You roll the die and your character moves. Along the way, you can end up on different spaces, some good and others are bad. Each round you’ll get to play a mini game. Mini games can be both good and bad depending on how you do. You lose or earn money from each one and there are quite a few.
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The boards that you play on are very different from each other. Most are colorful and filled with fun stuff. Each board have a different take on how you’ll play it.

For example on one map, you can plant flowers that steal stars from the other players and on another you can pay roadblocks to force other players to pay way more just to get by them.

The goal of the game is to collect as many stars as you can, the one with the most stars in the end wins. You can buy stars, steal stars and also win stars in the end depending on which awards you get. For example, who had made the most coins in mini games and such.

In the end, it is a well worth game to play with friends. If you haven’t tried it already, you really should.
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Clothing: When you feel that your closet is a bit lacking in the epic department.

So, instead of doing something DIY for once, the other week I bought this awesome Witcher shirt from Grindstore. The colors and motif really spoke to me. Not only is the game damn great, the shirt is really epic looking. The quality is way better than I thought it would be and the shipping didn’t take to long. I’ll absolutely order more from that store in the future.

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Retro Game Weekend: Battletoads (NES 1991)

2219621-nes_battletoadsSo, this weekend me and my boyfriend felt like playing through Battletoads for NES. Because, that is what you casually feel like on a Friday night, right? Well, we sure got to work for it.

It is surely an addictive game. The game has some nice variation in what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re almost never doing the same thing which is unique especially for a NES game. The level designs are amazing, it rewards skill without being unfair. It is damn hard, but despite it you always want to play more.

Though some parts are unbelievably hard, like the rat race for example. (We did really just get to that part in the game, stupid rats.) Truth be told, that part is way harder than the famous “Turbo Tunnel” in my opinion.

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There’s that stupid rat…

Some levels that really stood out to me were the “Snake pit”, It had a really creative level design and was really fun to play through.

Also, the game has some really great graphics, with quirky details and badass toads. On top of that, the awesome music is making me bob my head a lot. It sticks in your head for quite a while.

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And the turbo tunnel.

All in all, we were unable to beat the game thanks to the previously mentioned rat. That was a shame, but to be honest, I’m quite happy that we even got to that point. It was almost at the end anyhow, and to be able to beat it we’d have to practice a lot.

As I said, a really great game, but surely not for the feint of heart. I absolutely recommend it if you want a good and challenging NES game to try out.

Retro Game Weekend: Pilotwings (SNES 1991)

So, this weekend me and my boyfriend played Pilotwings. It is surprisingly fun for a flight simulator and a game well worth trying as it’s strangely addictive.

The point of the game is that you’re training to gain licenses to fly. You get a couple of objectives to do, and you’re expected to reach a certain score to continue. Each level of the licenses adds more difficulty and different obstacles to get past.

I have to say that the hang gliding and skydiving is the trickiest to master, and the rocketbelt is the most fun to do.

Besides the objectives, the game is rather open for experimentation. You can fly wherever for example, at least until your fuel runs out (which takes a little while). It’s fun to explore when you’ve mastered all levels already.

Overall, it’s a short game but a really fun one. It’s one of those games that you should try at least once.