New blog entry a day in advance, covering Resident Evil 4 as well as the Extra Life charity tomorrow (and my plans for it).
New blog entry a day in advance, covering Resident Evil 4 as well as the Extra Life charity tomorrow (and my plans for it).
Posted a day in advance, as I would have no time to write this up and post it on Saturday because of Extra Life.
I have said this multiple times when talking about this game, but I’ll say it again. How the hell did I miss this game before?
It’s not surprising when a new game in a series, be it upcoming or recently released, prompts me to check out past entries. RE6 has been met with harsh criticism, and rather than play that to see just how much it fucks up as a game, I decided to play a game that would let me understand why people like it. Of course, Resident Evil’s gameplay took a major shift when 4 came out, so the question was do I try playing old school RE, or play RE4. I chose the latter, as I wanted to play something that I knew would have not controls that were awful.
15 or so hours later, after playing the main game and Assignment Ada, I really don’t care whether or not this is called Resident Evil. I like Resident Evil 4 because it is a superb, kick ass action game.
Granted, it takes a little while to come to grips with the mechanics of the game. First hour of the game had me struggling to find my rhythm fighting the Ganados and surviving in general. The first village battle that has you holding out until the bell tower rings was so brutal I chose to reload my save and do that scenario over just so I’d come out of it without my health in the red. By being smarter and searching the environment for supplies mid battle, I got my hands on a shotgun and came face to face with Dr. Salvador. The results were far better.
I continued playing, and as I improved my skills, I faced new and varied challenges, discovered neat, Kojima styled attention to detail in certain scenarios, and just had a damn good time in the course of my 15+ hour playthrough. From the village, to the castle, to the island, not once did I think the game was going for too long or should’ve ended sooner. You cover so much ground in the game, and new things are constantly being introduced and added on top of the game. That was one major part I found surprising about the game, even with the 48 times that I died during the course of the game. Not a dull moment at all.
Another major part of this game that I really enjoyed, once I got past the hurdle in the first hour, was the action. It’s certainly different than your typical 3 person shooter and definitely not as fast as other Japanese games. It’s slow and methodical, and different random elements like the likelihood of a Plagas revealing itself from a Ganado or the chance of a headshot instantly killing an enemy and so on. And the things you can do with aiming at particular body parts or any object in general. Shooting an axe that’s thrown at you out of the air makes you feel like a badass every time. Even with the random elements mentioned before, there’s still enough skill required during combat that you can easily leverage against those unexpected moments. Really well designed, top to bottom.
The combat in particular is what makes me consider maybe checking out RE5. Again, much like I don’t care whether or not RE4 is a Resident Evil game, I don’t care about RE5 being a Resident Evil game. I just want more of this kind of action and RE5 looks to be more of that.
One thing I’ve always heard about RE4 is that while it’s not “scary” like the old RE games were, it’s got a lot of tension. And I certainly felt it. The damage that a Ganado can dish out is rather significant, and that first village battle definitely solidifies it as you have to contend with mobs of villagers without getting trapped in a corner. And then there’s more. You have to hold out against them while trapped in a really tight spaces like a house, or a cage in the castle. I ended up running out of ammo in many cases, and some boss fights resulted in me using only my knife to do damage. The boss fight with the 2 El Gigantes comes to mind, as I dropped one into the lava, and the other I ran out of ammo and had to knife him until the Plagas revealed itself for the third and final time. Then there’s running from Salazar’s “right hand,” which was a right bastard. The regenerators and iron maidens were the only things in that game that were actually downright creepy. That heavy breathing and grey, featureless body. They reminded me of the Heaven’s Smiles from killer7, though without the creepy laughter. RE4’s got great action, and great tension to boot.
Of course, there have been multiple versions of RE4 released, so which version did I play? Because it was the one with the highest availability on Gamefly and didn’t require 2 discs, I got the PS2 version. Granted, things like the cutscenes being prerendered and in general technically inferior to other versions, I still had a terrific time playing through it. Of course since I’ve got the PS2 version, that means I can play the Separate Ways campaign, which I will be doing tomorrow during my 24 gaming marathon for ExtraLife. Since I am super stubborn about owning the original version of every game, I’m thinking I may not miss Separate Ways if I get the Gamecube version in the future. Assignment Ada was a nice distraction, but it is short, and hard, and kinda made me hate the Krauser fight more than I did the first time as Leon.
There’s still for me to check out in RE4, but I gotta say, I can’t get enough of that game. The action, the tension, the atmosphere and presentation, I loved it, even on the PS2. 2005 to 2006 seems like the highest point in Capcom’s history in my memory, having played Okami, God Hand, Devil May Cry 3, and now Resident Evil 4. Fucking amazing.
Nothing really new since last week. Was still playing Bloodlines and Thief until RE4 came around.
Like I said at the start, the reason for this blog going up a day early is because Saturday I'll be joining other duders on the site by playing video games for 24 hours for charity. This year I noticed that the day for it falls on my birthday tomorrow, and felt like I should make my birthday something special this year by taking something I already do almost every day, playing video games, and play them 24 hours straight while raising money to give to children's hospitals. Don't know about you, but that sounds like a win-win to me. Thankfully I've had friends and family who are supporting me in this and have donated towards this as well.
So tomorrow the marathon starts. What will I be playing? How will I be presenting it? Well, I lack any proper streaming equipment, so I'll be doing updates via Twitter. If you are in some way interested in following where I am in my game playing, here's the link
Now then, the games. What will I be playing. More or less in this order.
So that's the line up. Looking forward to doing this.
I am at a lack of saying something other than thanks for reading, so...thanks for reading.
Oh, and if you feel like donating, here's a link. Would be great to reach my goal during this event. If it doesn't, well, 75% is still a good accomplishment.
So damn close to Saturday. I pretty much got my lineup of games down, though not everything is concrete. Things could go on longer than planned for instance.
Nevertheless, the basic lineup:
Two more days. Can't wait to do this.
Even though I've technically moved onto other games than the main one I'm writing about, there are still things that can be said about Borderlands 2.
I really didn't plan on getting this game at launch. All it took to convince me otherwise was going to the Gearbox panel at PAX, seeing footage of Borderlands 2 like the customization and the upcoming Mechromancer class, and then receiving a free season pass for the game. After being able to make just enough money to buy the game, I prepurchased the game on Steam so I would get those little bonuses with it. I am now on True Vault Hunter Mode, and while I am no longer spending the majority of my time on it, I still enjoy the hell out of it. It is Borderlands, but better, and even after spending 83 hours on the first game, I don't feel burnt out by this one. You know I've been keeping track of games that after playing them I think will be on my GOTY list? Here's another one.
What about the game's quality hasn't been mentioned already? The increased variety in worlds, the better enemy AI, the fact that the PC version is better than the first and looks oh so fucking awesome? Yeah, it's so great. Well, sometimes in the case of the enemies. It is great that they just don't run in a straight line all the time, they try to use tactics to take you down, but playing as Zer0 by myself, which I assume is part of it, I find myself dying constantly, even in the endgame on normal. Granted, I died a lot as Mordecai in the first game, but I did not feeling I was going through tough and unfun battles once I got my skill trees set up the way I wanted and had the weapons I wanted in the latter half. Here? There are some really really REALLY hard enemies that I just want to run past because they take so damn long to kill, and it takes very little time for them to kill you. A rocket launcher did solve the problem, but I then had to go and find a good one to use.
And now in True Vault Hunter Mode, its almost like an extension of that, where its only the badass enemies that take too long to kill. I probably should just stop playing solo and find some people to play with, because it is hard going it alone, at least as Zer0. I'm betting its still tough either way, but your not as fragile when playing other characters like Axton or Salvador.
Still, even with those frustrations in battle, everything else was very enjoyable during my first playthrough. I for one don't mind the new characters, I think Handsome Jack is a humongous asshole that you really genuinely hate the closer you get to the end, and Tiny Tina is just as obnoxious as she is funny. Actually, all these characters are kinda funny just on the merit that they are insane. They've all got some screws loose somewhere. As for the characters you played as in the first game, they're not all equal. I played as Mordecai in the first game, and seeing what he goes through during the game I felt particularly strong about. And Brick's reveal was awesome, in fact, everything with him then on was pretty awesome too. Roland was probably the dullest, but that probably comes with his background as a former Crimson Lance.
I'm glad that I got this game and really enjoyed the hell out of playing it. Unfortunately, I'm now broke, and more awesome games are coming out that I'd rather play on PC but can't because I got no money. Almost regret buying this game, but not quite.
I got this game for free courtesy of ArbitraryWater, and have played about 6 hours so far. It is pretty much Deus Ex with vampires, and has some problems still even with the fan patch applied. But the systems in place are cool, and the fiction behind the World of Darkness is interesting. More on this game in the future, I guess.
That new Thief II patch retroactively works with Thief Gold, and after thinking about the game again, I decided to do a new playthrough, this time on Hard. Already done the first four levels, and as always, I like the sneaking missions with human enemies more than the undead missions. The new objectives on higher difficulties does help make the missions more interesting, depending on what the mission is of course.
College is still going alright. I haven't done much else with that 3D model for my portfolio, and instead have been drawing stuff that might get in there. Probably easier and less time consuming than working on a model while trying to figure out Blender at the same time.
Also, two weeks from now is the ExtraLife charity, which I will participating in on the Giant Bomb team this year, because October 20th is my birthday. Right now I'm in the process of getting donations and sponsors for me, and already got one from a good friend of mine online. The rest I'll mostly be getting from family members, as my parents sound supportive of me doing this, mostly because of the charity aspect. That's good too, but this is also me getting to play games for 24 hours straight, which I've never done before and sounds exciting. So everybody wins.
And that's it. Again, with the 24 hour marathon two weeks from today, I'll probably be too busy playing games to post a blog that morning. That's okay, as I'll just post the next one a day early. Friday still counts as the weekend.
All I remember from my time of watching Cartoon Network was Toonami. Even at 5 or 6 years old I didn't really care much for the other shows, and the ones I did actually like, like Batman TAS, Samurai Jack, and Megas XLR, ended up on Toonami eventually.
Would've created a new banner image for this entry had I not been so occupied with Borderlands 2. Damn you, Gearbox!
I like giant robots. Especially of the Japanese variety. After watching all of Gurren Lagann early last month, it got me way more into the concept of super robots, whereas I was more familiar and interested in the real robot genre with stuff like Gundam and Armored Core. During that time of being obsessed with super robots, I watched Genesis of Aquarion, read in depth about the Super Robot Wars series, and I remembered a game that one of my friends had for PS3, called Another Century’s Episode R. Since my friend doesn’t lend games that are still in his backlog, I figured I’d buy my own copy. It only cost me about 25 bucks on eBay, atleast it wasn’t damn near a hundred dollars like it was with Max Anarchy (though I didn’t have to pay for it, the price was still kinda ridiculous).
Given that this is a Japan only series, and the contents would make localizing it absolute hell from a licensing stand point, here’s a brief summary of Another Century’s Episode. From Software, creators of Armored Core and other mecha games of varying quality, created a more action oriented version of Super Robot Wars with gameplay that could be compared to something like Zone of the Enders. And unlike SRW which was a mix of super and real robots, ACE started out primarily with Gundams and other series that fell under the real robot genre. This was the main focus for the series’ first three games on PS2, with at least one or two super robot additions.
And that leads to Another Century’s Episode R, the series’ first and only game on PS3, and compared to the previous game is quite different. The lineup of series is varied between real robot series like Gundam and Macross as well as super robot series like Genesis of Aquarion and Overman King Gainer. And again, it’s different compared to the PS2 games, though that results in ACE being a rather middling game. A middling game that I have no problem playing because you don’t see anything quite like this and I like the lineup of robots because there was at least one series I knew in and out before going in that I could interpret what the hell the characters from that series are doing.
That series I keep mentioning is Genesis of Aquarion, with the titular Aquarion being a combining robot (similar to Getter Robo) ranging from about 46 to 51 meters in height, and its signature move is the absolutely ridiculously awesome Mugen Punch, an attack that extends the robot’s fist to incredible lengths, reaching the goddamn moon. So I chose that series as my first route, which led to me playing a few stages designed exclusively for Aquarion before the other series enter the story and everything starts going down a unified route. There are about 11 routes to play through, meaning you have to play through the game almost a dozen times, which means having to play the same 15 or so stages again with additional missions created for that route you’ve selected.
Even with the game’s middling quality, at least the robots play mostly different from each other. That thing with Aquarion’s height is accurately represented in both cinematics and gameplay. Aquarion is huge, while the Knight Mare Frames from Code Geass or the Arm Slaves from Full Metal Panic are the smallest (though Bonta-Kun is the smallest, once you unlock him). Playing as the Aquarion makes every enemy that is not a shadow angel look like a flea. Some of the units can’t fly while in certain forms (like the Valkyrie’s Battroid form), while the Arm Slaves can’t fly at all. Aquarion is the only combining robot in the game, and not only can you switch out the pilots with other characters from the series, but also you have access to all of Aquarion forms during a mission with a press of the right analog stick. Meanwhile the Valkyries from Macross have their signature forms they can transform into, from jet to Gerwalk to Battroid. And let’s not forget the various special moves you can perform that are from the robots’ different series. With all the attention to detail regarding accurate size and abilities, how could a game like this be disappointing?
Well, the problems come down mostly to the controls. For one thing, the game has an absolutely shitty camera and lock on system. When an enemy appears on screen, the game automatically locks on to it for you to attack. And it will randomly switch to the next target when it’s destroyed. Switching between targets is done by pressing L2, and the only way to cancel the lock on is to hold L2. During this you can move the right analog stick to move the camera. Holding those triggers on the PS3 controller aren’t fun, and when you let go of the trigger, the game won’t lock on to another enemy until a few seconds later. It makes no sense why they couldn’t have mapped the transformation abilities to the D-Pad instead of the right stick and then use that for camera control.
Other problems throughout the game are the boss fights, particular with huge, gigantic robots that will knock you away should you touched them when a part of them is moving, regardless of the speed at which they are moving that it would cause some sort of damage. The last problem with the game is the melee combat. All the attacks, even from the smaller units that don’t have to move as slow as the Aquarion, just feel really sluggish and deliberate that it feels disjointed from the speed at which you’re able to move and dash. Just shooting enemies is boring unless they are really weak to begin with, but the melee becomes more problematic when you include the above boss battles that I mentioned. It’s rather frustrating.
But despite all that, I’m willing to keep playing this game. I can admit to this one being a guilty pleasure. The gameplay is disappointing and it sounds like the PS2 games in the series would be far more playable and enjoyable, but I just like the series line up and the overall attention to detail with the different units. I’ve already played through the routes for Aquarion, Full Metal Panic, Macross Frontier, Code Geass, Gundam Crossbone, currently in the middle of an Overman King Gainer playthrough, and I’ll probably keep playing until I have completed everything. I don’t regret paying the price that I did for this game.
It would be pointless of me to write in depth about Borderlands now that Borderlands 2 is out now. I'll say that I have now finished all the DLC (excluding Underdome Riot), so I now know how Claptrap's New Robot Revolution goes. General Knoxx is still the best DLC.
The game I've been playing all week, and it's awesome. Next entry I'll have more in depth things to write about.
I replayed a little bit of this the weekend before Borderlands 2 came out. Still flawed as ever, but the characters and story are still well done. I especially love the mission in Taipei.
College has been alright so far, nothing real interesting to speak about that. As for my portfolio, I've been messing around in Blender trying to find how to best approach making a model in that software. Depending on how well it looks, I may or may not make it an item in Skyrim. Maybe Morrowind? At least I've had some experience in that game's editor.
And that's it. Still going to continue with my bi weekly schedule for this blog. Next time the main game will be Borderlands 2. Speaking of which, I need to return to playing it.
Got this one today from doing a little side quest. A Hyperion sniper rifle that does slag damage. But that's not the most interesting part.
The gun nags at you. When you reload, it complains at you for wasting ammo, or that you had the sense to stop shooting once in a while. When you do crit damage and kill an enemy, it'll try to guilt trip you for ruining his family or saying he was probably having a bad day before you came along. Also says you don't exercise enough, from time to time.
The stats on it are still great, took a while to find another good sniper rifle to beat out my previous one, and this is what came along. The stats along with the nagging gives me good reason to put it in the Claptrap stash in sanctuary, I think.
Okay, may not get that copy of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn from a friend for my birthday, but I'm still set for Another Century's Episode R, Borderlands 2, and other games I end up playing. Speaking of Borderlands 2, if anyone has the game on PC and would be willing to play it with me during the event, I'd be glad. Also will have the Mechromancer DLC by that point and plan to try that class for the marathon.
@Xpgamer7: Sure sounds like a great time.
@Hailinel: Wow. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that game when you get it. As odd as it is for me to say now, I'm kinda curious about it now.
@sarge1445: I'll make a note of it. I had thought about going to the one on Saturday because of Jonathan Coulton, but the description for the Harmonix Game Show swayed me.
@Xpgamer7: Yes I am. I'm glad I am now referred to something other than my user name.
Use your keyboard!
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