A Defence of Resident Evil Survival Horror Controls.

This... admittedly seems a tad random and almost comes across as a sort of reactionary post to something recent that's been making the waves throughout the interwebs. In a sense it... is sort of reactionary, but rather to the general sentiment regarding the classic Resident Evil games and how they control. Most importantly originating from the consensus of how widely accepted both RE4 & RE5 play, despite RE4 in particular featuring the exact same tank controls as the classic games. I've also always thought of it as a little unfair to how restrictions like not being able to move & shoot in those games is admissible and is commonly justified with such reasoning as ''you don't need to move & shoot'' for example, by @brad in particular.

This Brad, however, respectfully disagrees!

Which of course is 100% true. RE4 is a game that is specifically designed around the fact that you cannot simultaneously move & shoot, only that's similarly how I've always viewed the controls for the original games. I think one of the main fallacies is I would imagine most people often tend to compare the new and the old too directly; because RE4 is a shooter, people then judge the older games and how they control as if they are also shooters which... well, they're not. They're games that feature the act of shooting, but they're not really shooters.

Anywhoo, a blog like this is something I've wanted to post for like forever, but laziness and all that... Weirdly enough--and this isn't the first time--what brought about me actually finally writing up my thoughts on the matter in detail was as a forum response, specifically to @believer258. Only this time I figured I should actually reformat my post, expand it a wee bit, and place it up as a blog.

So... woolah... ?

First Things First

Now, for reals, I would never classify the controls of classic Resident Evil games as being... accessible; they're very unorthodox to say the least. Despite that, because the original games' were rather slow paced and emphasised atmosphere and exploration over most facets, I never felt like the controls were much of a hindrance. The older games may still have had plenty of combat, it was all very rudimentary; most bosses for example primarily required that you simply run away, shoot, run away, shoot ect.

Who needs to move & shoot when you're the mayor of Stunlock City!

The basic source of challenge within the games was that you had to decide between whether it's best using up ammo to kill this hypothetical zombie rather than try to run away. Your attempts at trying to get through a combat encounter without actually engaging in combat might mean you get damaged along the way, due to the intentionally claustrophobic environments, but... hey, you gotta adapt! And that's basically the core appeal for me and survival horror in general: being forced to adapt because you've run low on supplies and having to then think outside of the box and mix up your strategies. It's why I'm also a huge fan of The Last of Us not purely for its story, but because it also had some rather punishing gameplay that focussed on ammo conservation and improvisation. It's essentially what a modern-day survival horror game should strive to resemble, and that's predictably the reason why user-reception to the gameplay is rather mixed, given the nature of survival horror being a divisive one.

Boss battles admittedly tend to clash against certain philosophies regarding survival horror, by placing an enemy in front of you that must be killed to continue the game forward as opposed to giving you the chance to alternatively run away. But as abbreviated earlier bosses--in Resident Evil at least--are rather simple in design and instead exist more for spectacle and/or narrative purposes. Running low or out of ammunition is supposed to be a genuine fear, and should that happen in the midst of a boss battle... well, that would really kinda suck. It's a tricky system to balance, though Resident Evil games usually offset this potential nuisance by making sure there's likely to be additional ammo you can acquire somewhere--if not outside or near the boss arena--to beat it. Not the most elegant of solutions, but... whattayagonnado.

Camera Angles & The Why of Tank Controls

Barry Burton abides by no control scheme but his own. This includes Press X to God Mode.

Camera angles existed for the purpose of accentuating the atmosphere and directing specific scares; it allowed a lot of freedom for the game to actually show you what they want (or don't want) you to see. However analogue control (for a time) didn't quite mesh with camera angles very well. Think the original Devil May Cry, which had camera angles but also allowed you more freedom of movement; it lead to instances of you running from one angle to the next and then having to awkwardly shift to pushing the stick in the opposite direction sometimes. Whereas with tank controls pressing up always made the character move forward for example, regardless of the angle. Though like I said this was only for a time, as with games like Onimusha 3 and the Outbreak games they had evidently figured that issue out, or at least smoothed it some so it wasn't as much of a frustrating hassle. In any case that is why I believe they stuck with the tank controls for so long even when analogues were introduced to controllers.

Now, there's also the complaint concerning camera angles that you can get blindsided by enemies that you couldn't see. But every enemy in a Resident Evil game had a tell, be it a squishy footstep or growl for example, so you would always know if something was close by. Plus from Resident Evil: Director's Cut onward you had auto-aim available, so even if you couldn't see the creature your character would always aim directly at whatever may be within the vicinity. As such, I've always thought that the camera angles never got in the way that much, and they greatly benefited in attributing to the atmosphere of the games a great deal, especially in the first and its remake. Whatever grievances camera angles may have dealt the gameplay, the cinematic direction of the environments more than make up for it.

Though ironically enough I see no reason why being able to move & shoot wasn't implemented into the main games. Outbreak: File 2 introduced such a concept and I think may very well have been the first of the franchise; it didn't drastically change the formula, but it was a nice touch that offered you a little more leeway in allowing you to slowly walk backwards while pulling off some handgun shots at whatever it is you're fighting. Though the enemies you encountered in File 2 were so damn fast to begin with that you were better off skedaddling all the same. Stupid zombie lions...

And Hey, It Could Always be Worse!

For as often as people like to complain about the Resident Evil games controls, they're really not too bad when put up against the many imitators and inspirations. Tank controls aside, Resident Evil's were still what I would genuinely describe as ''smooth''; they were always responsive and animated well--no worse than RE4--and games like RE3 and the remake in particular have a surprising amount of speed to them.

Fear Effect

Though the Fear Effect games for example even I think are rather clunky, which is ironic given that in these you can simultaneously move & shoot, and even have access to a 4-way directional evasive roll. However because you would often face against enemies that could shoot back (least during the beginning segments before demons and magic and shit is introduced), the tank controls weren't quite up to snuff I think. It did at least have a basic stealth system to it, which was outright necessary to utilise in certain levels like Disc 2 for the original. But nonetheless, the animations were somewhat lethargic and not always the most responsive. I still fucking adore the Fear Effect games mind you, particularly the second, but even I would have difficulty in trying to defend the combat. And yet weirdly enough I'm to believe @jeff actually quite enjoyed it...?

Dino Crisis

Funnily enough I would also consider Dino Crisis to be a little less than ideal as well. While the first in particular is aptly described as ''Resident Evil with dinosaurs'', controls-wise the movement is a little more sluggish; primarily by way of how there's a slight build-up when you start to run, which differs from Resident Evil in that once you begin running you are off. Though that's not my primary issue with the gameplay, and unfortunately enough it's actually related to its one defining element that was to set it apart from Resident Evil -- being the dinosaurs.

As you may expect, the dinosaurs are pretty bleedin' fast. In fact they're even faster than you, which was never the case in Resident Evil beyond maybe boss monsters. They're also incredibly strong and your starting pistol has like zero stopping power and a comically slow firing rate. As such, whenever a dinosaur enters a room (it was often randomised) you were in some deep dinosaur doodoo. Of course, that's the point, but the speed and overall aggression of the dinosaurs simply felt they were a bit too much for the controls to handle. You were at a pretty significant disadvantage, much more so than in a Resident Evil game. I have completed Dino Crisis however--twice in fact--but I don't think its combat is quite as well designed as Resident Evil. Because again, the enemies in Resident Evil are typically slow & sluggish, and even the zombie dogs of the series you were always just ever-so-slightly faster than.

...It has its moments, though

Though hey, at least you can move & aim in Dino Crisis! No, not move & shoot.... move & aim, which I always thought was a rather peculiar inclusion; not like it actually provided any mechanical benefit, either. With all that said, I'm admittedly not so much a fan of Dino Crisis for many other reasons besides. Like how the game takes place pretty much exclusively in drab, boring facility buildings. This was their first survival horror game that tried out 3D backgrounds as opposed to pre-rendered, which while it allowed the camera to sometimes pan alongside you, it meant the environments lacked the superb amount of detail pre-rendered offered. Plus, again, there was very little variety to a lot of it. As the plot went along you simply just kept moving on from one drab facility to another. And dinosaurs in general I never thought were as interesting nor certainly unnerving as the monstrosities that hounded the heroes of Resident Evil. So I'd say without reservation that I actually greatly prefer its more action-orientated arcade-shooter sequel. Jeez, you can't even walk in that game! It's probably about as drastic of a divergence as what Resident Evil saw when RE4 came about.

Silent Hill 2

Another fine example would be Silent Hill 2, which frankly controls like salty garbage. Even by Silent Hill standards SH2 was especially clunky -- even the original I'd say controls better. Its melee combat was practically broken; the difficulty with which it takes James to try and swing that bloody wooden stick you'd think he was suffering from a whole series of mental cognitive problems beyond the... y'know, psychosis and stuff. It would constantly keep bouncing off of stuff and was just a total mess to try and utilise. Fortunately firearm ammo was practically raining from the skies on the Normal combat difficulty setting, which I'd gather is the developers having a little self-awareness that their combat is even more clumsy than it should be.

Oh! Conclusion!

If there's a tank out there that can effortlessly sidestep a rocket, I wanna see it!

So, such is my explanations & justifications of why I think those old zombie games--for what they are--controlled perfectly fine. Now, I'm not demanding that everybody should now be inclined to agree with me, just that hopefully some may at the very least better understand why those old games continue to have their fans so many years onward. After all like I mentioned above, one of the core concepts of why I liked playing Resident Evil games of old was because of the fear of noticing your supplies dwindle and being forced to improvise. Even if because of their age there wasn't that much to improvise with beyond running away... still, early days and all that. Though of course there's still the B-movie storytelling and grotesque monster designs, they also certainly add to the appeal.

The beginning of a beautiful relationship.

That very gameplay scheme is why I really enjoyed the Outbreak games (well, the first one anyway), because it felt like it was the culmination of what Resident Evil was about but for a more modern era. It had degradable melee weapons for example and randomised zombie encounters, alongside analogue control & being able to move & shoot as I previously mentioned. And of course online cooperative multiplayer, even if we didn't have access to it over in Europe for the first game. Though even whence it was belatedly brought over with the sequel, I myself lacked the components for online play anyway, so... That's part of the reason why I prefer the original, as the sequel was made to be drastically more difficult to account for the introduction of online play; playing it solo was truly something of a nightmaaaaarrrrre.

Really, it's not like I specifically enjoy tank controls and think they're better than regular analogue control, I just (usually) have no problem with them. Camera angles, however, I am definitely in favour for and think they legitimately have merit in building atmosphere, especially in conjunction with pre-rendered backgrounds. It's a style I wish we could one day see if only a slight resurgence amidst the indie scene. If not, hopefully The Evil Within will then at least continue the slowly encroaching modern-day survival horror renaissance...

I swear, my anticipation for that game to live up to what it's selling itself as I'm finding to be far more terrifying than just about any horror game >_>...

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A Defence of Resident Evil Survival Horror Controls.

This... admittedly seems a tad random and almost comes across as a sort of reactionary post to something recent that's been making the waves throughout the interwebs. In a sense it... is sort of reactionary, but rather to the general sentiment regarding the classic Resident Evil games and how they control. Most importantly originating from the consensus of how widely accepted both RE4 & RE5 play, despite RE4 in particular featuring the exact same tank controls as the classic games. I've also always thought of it as a little unfair to how restrictions like not being able to move & shoot in those games is admissible and is commonly justified with such reasoning as ''you don't need to move & shoot'' for example, by @brad in particular.

This Brad, however, respectfully disagrees!

Which of course is 100% true. RE4 is a game that is specifically designed around the fact that you cannot simultaneously move & shoot, only that's similarly how I've always viewed the controls for the original games. I think one of the main fallacies is I would imagine most people often tend to compare the new and the old too directly; because RE4 is a shooter, people then judge the older games and how they control as if they are also shooters which... well, they're not. They're games that feature the act of shooting, but they're not really shooters.

Anywhoo, a blog like this is something I've wanted to post for like forever, but laziness and all that... Weirdly enough--and this isn't the first time--what brought about me actually finally writing up my thoughts on the matter in detail was as a forum response, specifically to @believer258. Only this time I figured I should actually reformat my post, expand it a wee bit, and place it up as a blog.

So... woolah... ?

First Things First

Now, for reals, I would never classify the controls of classic Resident Evil games as being... accessible; they're very unorthodox to say the least. Despite that, because the original games' were rather slow paced and emphasised atmosphere and exploration over most facets, I never felt like the controls were much of a hindrance. The older games may still have had plenty of combat, it was all very rudimentary; most bosses for example primarily required that you simply run away, shoot, run away, shoot ect.

Who needs to move & shoot when you're the mayor of Stunlock City!

The basic source of challenge within the games was that you had to decide between whether it's best using up ammo to kill this hypothetical zombie rather than try to run away. Your attempts at trying to get through a combat encounter without actually engaging in combat might mean you get damaged along the way, due to the intentionally claustrophobic environments, but... hey, you gotta adapt! And that's basically the core appeal for me and survival horror in general: being forced to adapt because you've run low on supplies and having to then think outside of the box and mix up your strategies. It's why I'm also a huge fan of The Last of Us not purely for its story, but because it also had some rather punishing gameplay that focussed on ammo conservation and improvisation. It's essentially what a modern-day survival horror game should strive to resemble, and that's predictably the reason why user-reception to the gameplay is rather mixed, given the nature of survival horror being a divisive one.

Boss battles admittedly tend to clash against certain philosophies regarding survival horror, by placing an enemy in front of you that must be killed to continue the game forward as opposed to giving you the chance to alternatively run away. But as abbreviated earlier bosses--in Resident Evil at least--are rather simple in design and instead exist more for spectacle and/or narrative purposes. Running low or out of ammunition is supposed to be a genuine fear, and should that happen in the midst of a boss battle... well, that would really kinda suck. It's a tricky system to balance, though Resident Evil games usually offset this potential nuisance by making sure there's likely to be additional ammo you can acquire somewhere--if not outside or near the boss arena--to beat it. Not the most elegant of solutions, but... whattayagonnado.

Camera Angles & The Why of Tank Controls

Barry Burton abides by no control scheme but his own. This includes Press X to God Mode.

Camera angles existed for the purpose of accentuating the atmosphere and directing specific scares; it allowed a lot of freedom for the game to actually show you what they want (or don't want) you to see. However analogue control (for a time) didn't quite mesh with camera angles very well. Think the original Devil May Cry, which had camera angles but also allowed you more freedom of movement; it lead to instances of you running from one angle to the next and then having to awkwardly shift to pushing the stick in the opposite direction sometimes. Whereas with tank controls pressing up always made the character move forward for example, regardless of the angle. Though like I said this was only for a time, as with games like Onimusha 3 and the Outbreak games they had evidently figured that issue out, or at least smoothed it some so it wasn't as much of a frustrating hassle. In any case that is why I believe they stuck with the tank controls for so long even when analogues were introduced to controllers.

Now, there's also the complaint concerning camera angles that you can get blindsided by enemies that you couldn't see. But every enemy in a Resident Evil game had a tell, be it a squishy footstep or growl for example, so you would always know if something was close by. Plus from Resident Evil: Director's Cut onward you had auto-aim available, so even if you couldn't see the creature your character would always aim directly at whatever may be within the vicinity. As such, I've always thought that the camera angles never got in the way that much, and they greatly benefited in attributing to the atmosphere of the games a great deal, especially in the first and its remake. Whatever grievances camera angles may have dealt the gameplay, the cinematic direction of the environments more than make up for it.

EDIT: *One such example of a superb use of camera angles is amidst the original Resident Evil's painting puzzle room, which features a murder (!!!) of crows perched above. There's no music, no sounds beyond your character's footsteps and the sporadic ''caws'' of the crows. The angle is situated with the crows at the forefront, watching you from above. As you're going around pressing buttons the camera keeps a lot of its focus on the little shits, building tension as you await for if they should eventually start attacking. The way it's arched down with the crows looming above you gives a great visual metaphor of death and its eternal gaze upon you at that.

Overall with the way the angles present such a cinematic presence, it almost begins to resemble as if you're playing the game amidst a cutscene.*

Though ironically enough I see no reason why being able to move & shoot wasn't implemented into the main games. Outbreak: File 2 introduced such a concept and I think may very well have been the first of the franchise; it didn't drastically change the formula, but it was a nice touch that offered you a little more leeway in allowing you to slowly walk backwards while pulling off some handgun shots at whatever it is you're fighting. Though the enemies you encountered in File 2 were so damn fast to begin with that you were better off skedaddling all the same. Stupid zombie lions...

And Hey, It Could Always be Worse!

For as often as people like to complain about the Resident Evil games controls, they're really not too bad when put up against the many imitators and inspirations. Tank controls aside, Resident Evil's were still what I would genuinely describe as ''smooth''; they were always responsive and animated well--no worse than RE4--and games like RE3 and the remake in particular have a surprising amount of speed to them.

Fear Effect

Though the Fear Effect games for example even I think are rather clunky, which is ironic given that in these you can simultaneously move & shoot, and even have access to a 4-way directional evasive roll. However because you would often face against enemies that could shoot back (least during the beginning segments before demons and magic and shit is introduced), the tank controls weren't quite up to snuff I think. It did at least have a basic stealth system to it, which was outright necessary to utilise in certain levels like Disc 2 for the original. But nonetheless, the animations were somewhat lethargic and not always the most responsive. I still fucking adore the Fear Effect games mind you, particularly the second, but even I would have difficulty in trying to defend the combat. And yet weirdly enough I'm to believe @jeff actually quite enjoyed it...?

Dino Crisis

Funnily enough I would also consider Dino Crisis to be a little less than ideal as well. While the first in particular is aptly described as ''Resident Evil with dinosaurs'', controls-wise the movement is a little more sluggish; primarily by way of how there's a slight build-up when you start to run, which differs from Resident Evil in that once you begin running you are off. Though that's not my primary issue with the gameplay, and unfortunately enough it's actually related to its one defining element that was to set it apart from Resident Evil -- being the dinosaurs.

As you may expect, the dinosaurs are pretty bleedin' fast. In fact they're even faster than you, which was never the case in Resident Evil beyond maybe boss monsters. They're also incredibly strong and your starting pistol has like zero stopping power and a comically slow firing rate. As such, whenever a dinosaur enters a room (it was often randomised) you were in some deep dinosaur doodoo. Of course, that's the point, but the speed and overall aggression of the dinosaurs simply felt they were a bit too much for the controls to handle. You were at a pretty significant disadvantage, much more so than in a Resident Evil game. I have completed Dino Crisis however--twice in fact--but I don't think its combat is quite as well designed as Resident Evil. Because again, the enemies in Resident Evil are typically slow & sluggish, and even the zombie dogs of the series you were always just ever-so-slightly faster than.

...It has its moments, though

Though hey, at least you can move & aim in Dino Crisis! No, not move & shoot.... move & aim, which I always thought was a rather peculiar inclusion; not like it actually provided any mechanical benefit, either. With all that said, I'm admittedly not so much a fan of Dino Crisis for many other reasons besides. Like how the game takes place pretty much exclusively in drab, boring facility buildings. This was their first survival horror game that tried out 3D backgrounds as opposed to pre-rendered, which while it allowed the camera to sometimes pan alongside you, it meant the environments lacked the superb amount of detail pre-rendered offered. Plus, again, there was very little variety to a lot of it. As the plot went along you simply just kept moving on from one drab facility to another. And dinosaurs in general I never thought were as interesting nor certainly unnerving as the monstrosities that hounded the heroes of Resident Evil. So I'd say without reservation that I actually greatly prefer its more action-orientated arcade-shooter sequel. Jeez, you can't even walk in that game! It's probably about as drastic of a divergence as what Resident Evil saw when RE4 came about.

Silent Hill 2

Another fine example would be Silent Hill 2, which frankly controls like salty garbage. Even by Silent Hill standards SH2 was especially clunky -- even the original I'd say controls better. Its melee combat was practically broken; the difficulty with which it takes James to try and swing that bloody wooden stick you'd think he was suffering from a whole series of mental cognitive problems beyond the... y'know, psychosis and stuff. It would constantly keep bouncing off of stuff and was just a total mess to try and utilise. Fortunately firearm ammo was practically raining from the skies on the Normal combat difficulty setting, which I'd gather is the developers having a little self-awareness that their combat is even more clumsy than it should be.

Oh! Conclusion!

If there's a tank out there that can effortlessly sidestep a rocket, I wanna see it!

So, such is my explanations & justifications of why I think those old zombie games--for what they are--controlled perfectly fine. Now, I'm not demanding that everybody should now be inclined to agree with me, just that hopefully some may at the very least better understand why those old games continue to have their fans so many years onward. After all like I mentioned above, one of the core concepts of why I liked playing Resident Evil games of old was because of the fear of noticing your supplies dwindle and being forced to improvise. Even if because of their age there wasn't that much to improvise with beyond running away... still, early days and all that. Though of course there's still the B-movie storytelling and grotesque monster designs, they also certainly add to the appeal.

The beginning of a beautiful relationship.

That very gameplay scheme is why I really enjoyed the Outbreak games (well, the first one anyway), because it felt like it was the culmination of what Resident Evil was about but for a more modern era. It had degradable melee weapons for example and randomised zombie encounters, alongside analogue control & being able to move & shoot as I previously mentioned. And of course online cooperative multiplayer, even if we didn't have access to it over in Europe for the first game. Though even whence it was belatedly brought over with the sequel, I myself lacked the components for online play anyway, so... That's part of the reason why I prefer the original, as the sequel was made to be drastically more difficult to account for the introduction of online play; playing it solo was truly something of a nightmaaaaarrrrre.

Really, it's not like I specifically enjoy tank controls and think they're better than regular analogue control, I just (usually) have no problem with them. Camera angles, however, I am definitely in favour for and think they legitimately have merit in building atmosphere, especially in conjunction with pre-rendered backgrounds. It's a style I wish we could one day see if only a slight resurgence amidst the indie scene. If not, hopefully The Evil Within will then at least continue the slowly encroaching modern-day survival horror renaissance...

I swear, my anticipation for that game to live up to what it's selling itself as I'm finding to be far more distressing than just about any horror game >_>...

Outro Music?!

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100,000 Wiki Points!

Huzzah! The big 100K! Only took me, like... 4.5 years I guess. I can't remember when it was exactly that I got into wiki'ing, but I know I at least started becoming active on the site as a whole at around the summer of 2009. And oh, what a summer that was...

Anywhoo this here 100K is mere chump change compared to the truly dedicated wiki editors out there, and we have in fact of course just had @hailinel post up a blog celebrating his recently surmounted 200,000 wiki points. Talk about timing. So... er, yeah, in comparison my 100K quickly begins to shrivel and recede away when placed into the big picture. But damn it all, I at least consider this a success, and by gum am I going to sleep soundly tonight with roughly about 30% less tears.

What I Wiki

Unlike the most prominent of wiki editors on the site, I'm a little more... focussed. Though most I notice are doing God's work and are scouring the wiki and editing whatever they can.

Users such as @bobafettjm and @saturdaynightspecials in particular I see everywhere. Myself, I tend to gravitate more closely to Resident Evil pages. It's a franchise that was (once) very dear to my heart, and the original PS1 trilogy practically defined my childhood. I was so obsessed with 'em during my pre-teens that I would even imitate the tank controls in real life... Which is as weird as it sounds.

*unrelated gif to break up text wall*

In any case, it's a series that I've found is tethered to me whether I like it not. In some cases I'm happy that I've managed to retain so much information regarding select games of the series, as it's helped pay dividends with regards to then editing their pages. However you of course have the more... modern day Resident Evil games... and, well, that's where this strange devotion suddenly doesn't seem quite as beneficial.

Nonetheless, it's still managed to leave me spiking right up as the top and basically primary editor for the Resident Evil 6 page... Even when it's a game I may despise with every fibre of my being, I'll still uphold the law of neutralness regarding the wiki and will translate what I've played into cold, hard information. I guess in that case I didn't suffer through that game for nuttin'. Mostly anywhoo, as it's not quite as filled out as most Resident Evil pages that have my stamp on it; there's still no Story segment nor an exceedingly long list of enemies and boss battles bios for example. But hey dat gameplay segment's s'alright.

As such, the myriad of Resident Evil-related pages will thusly have my contributions on there somewhere anywhoo, if I'm not actually already the top editor. I've also spent many an hour creating the oh so many minor Resident Evil character pages that I'm sure many wouldn't even recognise to begin with. Dario Rosso anyone???..

Part of why I primarily stick to what I know is because while you can do research and watch videos ect., it still won't quite the match the act of actually playing the thing for yourself writing up a wiki page with that particular perspective in mind. I'll do some research to joggle my memory sure, but I primarily prefer to write in-depth for games I myself have invested some time in already. It's why I would consider my wiki'ing to be of a somewhat comparatively short reach. It's not like I exclusively only stick to Resident Evil, though, and there are plenty of other pages I've helped contribute to. The Uncharted series is one such franchise I'm also invested enough in that you're going to find a lot of my handywork all over 'em, for better or worse. My dedication to the Resident Evil series also sees to it that I've I've stuck myself to The Evil Within page like glue.

''hasta luego''

That said, I do also like to search far and wide for the opportunity to do some smaller contributions; fixing the formatting, removing all instances of second-person, removing video game title italics, and I do what I can should I spot some dodgy grammar. Though make no mistake, I am certainly no grammatical connoisseur myself, but as you would expect there's a lot of pages on here that are just terrible. Trying to make some sense and remove all of the dumb jokes from the Tales of Symphonia character pages in particular was a helluva chore...

Besides Resident Evil, I would say my other ''specialisation'' is voice actors and actresses. Given that my ultimate dream in life would to in fact become a voice actor, I'm instead doing the next best thing by stalking the many denizens of the career. I've gotten to the point now where I can call out a good many voice actors/actresses by ear, though it also helps how you've got the same handful appearing in games over and over and over an-

There's a lot of 'em out there that are a little more obscure, so I like to go out of my way to make sure that as many voice actors I can find are represented on here. Or in the case of a few of my faves, such as Roger Craig Smith, will even write up a little bit of their history and how they even got in the biz in the first place.

Why I Wiki

To be quite frank, I live both a rather pointless and fruitless existence -- neither point nor fruit do I have going on over here. I have little in the way of talent or skills to speak of either, and I'm reluctant to even call what I live as a ''life''. I'm far from the only one who's surrounded in misery, though, so I don't want to spin my 'sob story', especially when I know many on here have got it much, much worse.

I'unno

Point is, fooling around with the wiki actually makes me feel productive. I enjoy being apart of a (very slow-moving) initiative to building what should hopefully become the greatest and grandest video game wiki of them all. Plus, I enjoy writing, and while I'm not especially good at it... working on the wiki is a good way to sorta brute force my writing ability up a few notches each time. Even if that also means I'm sure I've gained many a wiki point from correcting my own mistakes... Sometimes my motivation can be a little fleeting, but there are still moments to this day were before I know it I've just spent like 6-hours straight writing up minor Resident Evil character bios.

So, yeah, I find that editing the wiki to be quite gratifying. But it can also be the most frustrating thing ever, given how damn broken it can be sometimes. The complete lack of exposure on the site certainly doesn't help, either. It's not like I'm in it for TEH GLORY or anything, but given how damn important this thing is supposed to be, a little wink and a nod on the site that this thing even exists would certainly help inspire others to assist. Plus there's little things, like how we still can't bleedin' delete images off of pages.

Nonetheless, the drive still exists if only because again it feels like I'm contributing towards something. And for now, that's all that's necessary. But yo seriously why in the fuck do I specifically hafta head into a Person page's Credits category to add games they've worked on rather than being able to add 'em via the main article??

Who I Wiki...?

Barry Burton.

er, wait what

And That's That

So then, a big ole congrats to me, I guess. This blog has now officially served its purpose for providing a bit of autofellatio, so all that's left is to bring it to a close. Though again, my own contributions are but a dot when compared to certain other users.

Plus points aren't everything. The users that scour far and wide and do all of the less glamorous editing via sorting out Releases and simply messing around with grammar and the like are the ones that are putting in the real effort. They are the underground troopers, hidden from sight but still highly vital in the war effort... you could say. Point is it's an even more thankless position to dedicate yourself to editing just about everything the wiki has to offer, even in small doses. I spent a solid 2 hours or so just continually adding People pages for The Evil Within, and there's the odd few times where I've been going around fixing classifications--primarily for voice actors--from 'unclassified' too. I don't do it that often, but I've done it enough to know it can be fucking gruelling work.

Anywhoo, here's to another 100K points in the near future!

Er, actually 100K points is quite a lot... here's to another 75K? Nah, nah, more like 50K, that sounds like a less intimidating goal; there are only so many Resident Evil pages after all! And on that note, here's to another 5K or so eventual points from the inevitable Resident Evil 7 page, I suppose

outro music sure why the hell not

41 Comments

Holy crap is this thing short.

He looks imposing enough, but it still left me surprised to find this guy was the end boss

So, yeah, I just completed this lil gem here and was surprised to find my apparent playtime clocked at just a little over 4 hours... 4 hours, and that still included much backtracking as I tried to remember where those doors with the three eye emblem things to return to where. Though its noticeably short length definitely mixes in with the rest of the game, which overall just sorta feels... incomplete, or at the very least like it's some sort of tech-demo that was to set the foundation for the rest of the series, most especially the much more well put together Onimusha 3 and Dawn of Dreams.

I didn't necessarily dislike this game, though, but... the way the ending just sorta ends, after a rather lackluster boss fight, and without you fighting Nobunaga nor even getting to play as Samanosuke in his Oni form--one particular feature that became a staple shortly after with its sequels--left me with the impression that either the time alotted or its budget wasn't quite enough to make the game they intended.

For starters there's the way the game is designed, which makes stuff like the classic Resident Evil games come across as linear by comparison! The Resident Evil series are a good example to bring up at that, given the many similarities between the two related to the camera angles, tank controls, herbs, and prerendered backgrounds. But difference is in Resident Evil, you often still felt like you were progressing through a larger design; in the original game, you began in the Mansion, then you entered the Residential Building, the underground caverns, and then of course finally ended up at the Umbrella lab.

There was always multiple environments for you to eventually lead into as the game went on, whereas in Onimusha it felt like I was continuing to simply run around in circles amidst the Keep, until I was eventually lead into the demon realm or whatever, only for me to almost immediately face against two bosses in pretty quick succession, and then game over. I

Then there's that side character Ninja lady, who's inclusion felt a bit forced, and she ultimately didn't amount to much. She pretty much plays like Samanosuke, only she can't absorb souls, nor does she have any of the demon weapons, and there was simply nothing unique about controlling her.

This guy's voice sounds like a cross between Krusty the Clown and one of those talking chipmunks

It's still a pretty fun game, though, and it was certainly interesting to head back to find out how this series began. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it still manages to hold up at that, as it still looks pretty good courtesy of its beautifully detailed backgrounds, and its simplistic hack & slash gameplay is much like how I remembered it from Onimusha 3 -- fun, while deceptively rudimentary, with a much larger focus on timing more so than stylish combos ala Devil May Cry. Though the camera angles admittedly proved to be a nuisance sometimes, given its much more faster-paced action gameplay, but I was still able to get through it without any serious issue.

The writing and the voice acting are also horrendously bad as well, though that was the norm for a lot of games of that era of course, most especially Capcom's. But it didn't get in the way too much, and if anything proved to be rather entertaining, as if you're watching some poorly dubbed martial arts movie.

I guess I can understand why this game impressed so much upon release, as it is one of many of Capcom's technical showpieces, and undoubtedly made for a solid benchmark for the power of the PS2 at the time. Though with the release of its many sequels, two of which are undoubtedly its superior, the original kinda feels redundant in the grand scheme. But again, as a curiosity, it certainly served its purpose and I'm glad I finally got around to this. Also, unlockable panda outfit. That's almost as good as the gorilla centurion outfit in Shadow of Rome! Almost.

Though getting back to the start of all this, I was genuinely surprised to find how short this game is. There doesn't appear to be a pantheon of unlockable shit either, like most Capcom games. Although that panda bear outfit is still a cute novelty all the same. I've read that its original xbox version added in a notable suite of content at least, but it is a port I unfortunately lack access to =X

/rambling

TL;DR;

Good game, if still primarily obsolete with the existence of its much superior sequels. Hell, I'd even say that Onimusha 2 is a much better game, if not a more interesting one, after what little I've played so far.

Now goddamnit, Capcom, where's my damn Onimusha reboot/belated sequel?? The least you could do is give us a HD collection for Onimusha 3 & Dawn of Dreams! Just... y'know, something. Despite the shit-flinging from the claws of Capcom Megaman has to put up with, at least that guy is still getting acknowledged!

30 Comments

I have some criticisms for Grand Theft Auto V.

So, GTAV ya'll!

Now I had initially wanted to post this mudda days before, but... well, to be frank I am one shamefully lazy individual, and... that's all that really need be said. But I done did it, I finished it, I was able to translate my thoughts into words with just barely serviceable results. And now, I can finally share with the world my reasons for why I think GTAV is a sack of flaming turds.

...No, no, I actually really enjoyed my time with GTAV, and it's currently still my No.3 on my top ten of the years list. But, sometimes you have to lay on a little abuse to the things you love, just to show how much you truly love it. Right? That makes sense? Well, whatever, point is I'm criticising this son'bitch, because for as much as I enjoyed it, there was an awful lot of nagging going on in the back of my mind. Oh, why isn't this better, or why isn't this in here anymore, and so on. This is a long one, though, so... nobodies going to read it for one thing, but for the hypothetical readers, I must reiterate that I mostly enjoyed this game. But my oh my is there still a lot on my mind that I just have to share.

*Also, spoilers ahead!*

So, tough love initialising in 3... 2 ...

The lack of interactivity within the world.

This is the first thing that really dug into me as the game went on. Considering how GTA is slowly morphing into an ultra violent edition of The Sims, with the appeal of living life within their constructed worlds to be almost as appealing as the story/gameplay, I was disappointed with just how little there is to actually interact with. Watching the pedestrians go about their daily lives is still really interesting at least, and poking around to see how they'll react is one of many parts of what makes GTAV so impressive. I just wish there was more to it, though.

Y'know, thinking back, I'm pretty sure the prologue mission is the only mission in the game where you actually carry a duffel bag.

I wish I could actually just sit down on a bench, or give money to a homeless person as I'm walking by. There are dozens of shop displays you can physics with, but nothing you can actually buy. I'd love if they allowed you to customise the characters' home furnishings to some small degree, by buying a lot of useless junk you can dot around. There's a whole theme park as well, yet only two rides that you actually go on. I mean, it's still an improvement over GTAIV, with a theme park that was doomed to an eternity of nothingness, but even so. If you're going to allow me to ride a ferris wheel, let me also play whack-a-mole, or use a UFO catcher. Let me buy cotton candy as an alternative to a can of Sprunk to heal myself!

Each time I would uncover a little town in the wilderness of Blaine County, I should be excited to explore and see what stuff I can do in there. However, what it usually results in is the same selection of vehicle, gun, and clothing stores, only with a different set of surroundings.

There's an awful lot of buildings that you can't enter, either. Which even includes the burgershots and diners, despite being accessible even in GTAIV before it. And it's quite frankly pretty ridiculous that even the buildings you can eventually own are also just big blocks with textures. Of course, this could purely be a technical limitation... but it's something that would have gone a long way in helping Los Santos feel all the more alive.

Where ma side stuff at??

OK, so this is definitely down to, in-part, being spoiled by San Andreas. It's surprised how with each subsequent release of an open-world crime game, it only tends to make San Andreas seem all that impressive. I mean that thing is fucking packed. The world is obviously significantly smaller when put up against its contemporaries--which is also undoubtedly apart of what makes San Andreas appear ready to burst--but still, when you begin to list down the sheer variety of activities, it starts to look pretty fitting of the name Elder Scrolls: San Andreas more so than Grand Theft Auto.

BTW I FUCKING LOVE GTAV'S DRIVING... Just to balance this out a little.

What was especially jarring, though, was how all that stuff was all on the plate of one guy. GTAV with its generally superb three-character structure felt like the perfect opportunity to start stretching out the activity list and begin reintroducing the sorta stuff that naturally wouldn't have fit someone like Niko, or even CJ for that matter. Unfortunately, Trevor is the only one who has any notably characteristic activities; both Michael and Franklin have barely anything for them as unique characters to partake in. Michael in particular is also strangely devoid in the way of the Strangers & Freaks missions at that.

In any case, I was hoping that Franklin would allow for more of the rudimentary, more gangsta-inspired sorta stuff. Like getting involved in gang wars with Lamar, or playing Vigilante in a cop car ect. Michael could... I dunno, partake in some small bank missions on the side?

Once they start opening up the opportunity to buy properties, I was then expecting a whole set of unique missions ala Vice City and San Andreas. And while Franklin does at least have the occasional special taxi fare, and Trevor has his weapons smuggling, a lot of them of course are just a bunch of boring ''collect this truck'' or ''defend the building'' or whatever. There's no business management, nor (as far as I can tell) do you improve the business by completing the generic missions so you can get higher weekly payments or other possible benefits for example.

Now of course don't take this as me saying that GTAV is devoid of extra-curricular activities to get involved with, but again given the three character structure, I was expecting a little more in store to find within the world. There's not even any gambling, and while sure there's the stock market, it doesn't compare to the hours I enjoyed playing Texas Hold 'Em and Blackjack in RDR. Oh, and Flying School but no Driving/Boating to round it out? There's certainly enough races to undergo, even if they're all also incredibly easy...

In any case, coupling what I consider to be an... unsatisfactory amount of side junk with the general lack of interaction with the world, and it leaves Los Santos looking weirdly empty once the story's done and dusted.

Where's ma pool at??

This is the first GTA in a while to not feature any classic game-within-a-game; even GTAIV had Qub3d!

I'm sure I'm likely in the minority here, but I really enjoyed the whole friends/dating feature in GTAIV. Now I must also add that I found it to be just as annoying whenever Roman would call you up for bowling bladdy lol ect. blah. But, the actual feature itself I thought was really neat, and it was a natural way for you to dig into some of the minigames while also learning more about the game's supporting cast.

While GTAV still gives you the option to hang out with your folks... there's fuck all to do with them! OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration to be fair, but what they have on offer this time isn't nearly as appealing. Rounding up the list of stuff on offer, I believe there's:

  • Going to the cinema -- all the 'movies' are fucking awful, and borderline exhausting, to sit through. Plus for the longest time there's only the one available to watch.
  • Golf -- Pretty fun.
  • Darts -- just as easy and boring as it was in GTAIV.
  • Getting drunk -- Bloody laaaame! Not only do you sober up so damn quickly, but the animations don't fall apart nearly as much as they did in GTAIV or RDR. In fact all the characters can hold their liquor pretty well apparently, considering how easy they find it to stay on their feet. The fun of getting drunk in GTAIV was watching everybody trip over each other, and there's zero of that sort of potential nonsense to be had in GTAV. The conversations are still pretty funny, as is the fact that you can potentially get the cops on your tail when 'drunk driving', even though you can drive as recklessly as you want when sober without fuss... so long as you don't run someone over.
  • Strip club -- hehuhehuhehuhehuhehu... Nah, in all honesty it's quite frankly rather boring.
  • Tennis -- Kinda crappy.

That's all I can recall as of now, and with certain characters like Jimmy, all you can basically do is play darts. It admittedly mostly comes down to the omission of pool, which was one of my favourite past times in GTAIV. Hell, what's even worse is that they still actually put in a pool table in that very same bar where you play darts! It's like Rockstar are actively taunting me, the rat bastards... I do think it's awesome how you can have all three main characters hang together and go cause havoc, though.

Also, why can't I hang out with Wade??? D=

Where's the point of Franklin at???

Franklin just... never felt like he truly fit in the grand scheme of things with GTAV. This was very clearly a game written around the uneasy relationship between Michael and Trevor, and Franklin as a result sometimes tends to come across as a third wheel, like he's just there; a thug who just so happens to share a friendship with Michael. This is most notably because he has the most uneventful singular stories going on in his own missions, and his relationship with Lamar in particular just tends to go in circles. They constantly keep bickering about how Lamar's an idiot, and how Franklin is abandoning his old lifestyle behind for his selfish ambitions, and... well, that's kinda it.

He's at least voiced just as well as the other two characters, but there was nothing especially distinctive about him. Despite being playable, he oddly enough felt like a supporting character more so than someone who's supposed to be on equal footing as Michael and Trevor.

Such wasted potential...

And then there's Chop, who appears in I think one mission and then... well, that's him outta the way I guess! God, and I was so excited was you saw him sitting in the car alongside Franklin! I envisioned that he could help you out in combat, or at least would have a series of activities to play with him. But no, all you have is a tennis ball to play fetch with, and that's it. You can of course teach him tricks or whatever with a bloody iphone ap at least, but I unfortunately lack such a privilege.

One particularly awesome feature I thought up was how they treated the dog in Fable 2; specifically taking Chop with you and using him to find buried treasure or whatever around the map. Like, he'd start barking once you're near a new stash; fit it in as (yet another) collectable set! The least they could have done is allow him to tag along should you ever decide to hang out with Lamar. In fact isn't Chop supposed to be Lamar's dog in the first place??

Where's ma... The story.

/sigh... The story. I mean, what is it? I guess this time around it's much more focused on characters--even more so than usual--than an overarching narrative. Michael and Trevor's relationship in particular is what is supposed to steer this thing along. And in fact, the way they introduce both Michael & (especially) Trevor each are both perhaps some of my favourite story moments. But there are stretches in this game where... it feels like there's just no momentum, no reason to even keep going.

Part of it definitely comes down to no imposing antagonists. I guess the FIB guy comes close, but I was never... intimidated by him or feared for my character's safety, unlike when I had Tenpenny on my case in San Andreas, or Dimitri in GTAIV. The crew's quest for the almighty dollar works well enough, but there's also the annoying string of them all working for a bunch of people in the midst of it, and yet getting nothing out of it. The worst was that guy Devin; stealing all those cars, which I recall where pretty fun missions, only for him to leave you with nothing, and Franklin once again complaining about not getting paid and then doing nothing about it. Michael's family dynamic was also a lot of fun as well, only for them to disappear from the game for 2/3rd's of the whole thing.

...Pretty much.

The ending is also terribly anti-climatic and feels forced. Like, we've just done the Big One, oh but now everybody just suddenly starts getting antsy with one another because now we're also going to force Franklin to choose between killing Michael & Trevor, I guess. The way they present your choice just feels lazy and hackneyed... I mean the guy just shows up on your doorstep and then, welp, decision time!

So, naturally i went with Option C, because why wouldn't you? And then the mission plays out where you defend against the onslaught of Merryweather and co, which is a lot of riotous fun as I'm RPG'ing a PMC to death. But then, hey, how about we just brush away all those other antagonists that outright disappeared from the story in one fell swoop?

...Really? Considering the power and reach behind some of these folks, it not only feels pretty ridiculous regarding the ease it takes to off these guys, but the fact that there's no consequence for any of it is just... lame. Of course, the story had already gone on for long enough I suppose and they needed to wrap this thing up. But still, despite what is supposed to be the Happiest Ending Of All Time Yaaaaay, it ironically enough left me feeling a little down. Deflated, you could say. Like... that's it?

Miscellaneous stuff

Car Customisation

It's pretty undeveloped; even San Andreas allowed you more options at hand, and there's not even NOS. It's certainly an improvement from GTAIV, given that you couldn't even choose the colour of your damn vehicle, but again... San Andreas, ya'll! That happened, that exists!

Clothing

Why can't I create my own custom outfits?? Considering how often the trio love to slip into something different, why in the Hell can't I set aside and save my own personally pieced together outfits?? Seriously, Rockstar.... seriously.

Collectables

There's close to zero reward for actually collecting 'em! That, and there's still not even any sort of in-game assistance to locate them. I had actually decided to buckle up and collect the 50 letter scraps, but that involved me constantly darting between the computer in my living room, back into my bedroom over and over, and my reward? Fuck all. A mission involving a character that you've never met, with zero payoff besides your chance to kill him. I mean for fuck's sake, Rockstar. It's 2013!

Police

There's no feasible way to victory by instead going on the offensive. Which is extra weird because Rockstar themselves implemented such a system in their DS debut with Chinatown Wars. I believe it involved you having to destroy so many cop cars and they'd eventually halt their advance; Sleeping Dogs also featured a similar system in play as well. Now while I do enjoy car chases involving the police, being able to actually fight back is something I've longed wished for in this sort of game. They wouldn't even have to disappear completely, either. So long as they could at least give you some time to breath, for them to stop their never-ending onslaught for a few minutes would be enough.

It would help give the police encounters a little more variety, and could allow you to at least consider fighting back instead of just staying on the lam. Otherwise, what's the point in fighting back at all? You're so fragile to begin, so knowing that it's just never going to end... it can make your last stand feel ultimately pointless, and knowing in the back of your mind that you could potentially push these bastards back would probably make it a lot more exciting.

Skills

The're borderline useless. So, hey, leveling up shit. Feels good, don't it? It certainly did in San Andreas! (echo echo echo...) It was one such feature that helped give the impression that CJ was truly (and even literally) growing as the story went along. Pretty much everything you did in that game had a skill attached, and each time you leveled it up, it had a noticeable effect. Some were minor, like car handling tightening up some, but others were more noticeable, such as now being able to dual-wield sawn-off shottys, or finally being able to move & shoot!...

Of course, they couldn't quite imitate how it was in San Andreas, because by the time CJ was at his max, a lot of his skills are what we consider the norm now. But nonetheless, that's no reason why they couldn't have implemented more skills, or at least give the base ones more immediate effects. Such as allowing you to throw people (realistically speaking; not Saints Row Olympics level) once your strength stat was high enough, or giving you the capability to take hostages once your shooting skill increased, and so on. In GTAV, they don't really have any truly noticeable effect, and most will have likely maxed out without you even realising it; they're pretty much the definition of superfluousness.

On their own, they at least help further distinguish the three characters, but if anything I probably would have preferred that they stayed at their current level. That way each character can forever feel like their own character, instead of all three eventually being a masterclass in shooting, driving, running, and being able to hold their breath long enough to swim to Atlantis and back.

Vehicle Management

OK, so... Rockstar at least learned of the error of their ways from GTAIV and brought back garages -- big ole thumbs up from moi. And yet, I'm often still so reluctant to take my own personal cars out for a spin from fear -- fear that I'll potentially lose it, including any money I may have invested in functional upgrades. They at least have the impount lot, so vehicles you've simply left elsewhere will (usually) show up in there, but why don't I have a personal somebody to bring me my car? Why can't give my cars insurance so I can use them as sticky-bomb'd rockets with no anxiety over losing it? Why would they implement these features in the Online yet omit from single player? Why Rockstar, why?! Oh why oh why oh why oh why oh w-

The outer-world Radio/Internet/TV Humour

It's bad. Like, really bad. There are barely even any jokes, just a lot of 'shock' humour that's meant to leave you roaring by how completely edgy and crude it is, maaaaaan. God, that America's Got Talent parody thing is quite possibly the worst of it all. It's all just so, so bad, and Rockstar should downright be ashamed of themselves for featuring such lazy, dumb, and utterly pathetic attempts at 'satire' within their game; even by GTA standards, this stuff is just... it's so bad.

The most frustrating thing about this is they can very clearly do a helluva lot better. A lot of the character interactions in the story are often really, really funny! Everything to do with Trevor in particular is fucking great! Frankly the Housers brothers need to lock up whomever writes that putrid garbage--preferably with their own material for extra punishment--and either hire someone else, or write it themselves. Because surely they're not the ones who also write everything around the side, right? Right?

Surely not... ?!

In Conclusion

Also there was only like one zombie like what the like fuck like

In a certain type of world, GTA V would go on to be a genuinely innovative open-world title, with Rockstar still at the top of their game with nobody who can even begin to match their brilliance. However, this is not that world; this is a world where Saints Row exists, where Sleeping Dogs exist, hell where even Mafia exists for that matter. And I'm not bringing them up to compare them all directly, I'm just pointing out that other games exist, and guess what? They actually pull off a thing or two better than GTAV! Saints Row has clothing & vehicle customisation nailed to the ground; Sleeping Dogs actually has collectables that are worth collecting; and if Rockstar would actually lay down the hubris for a few minutes and observe what else is happening in the industry, then they could start learning a thing or two from other developers. Nothing major, just.... why can't I create & save my own custom outfits GAWD. Of course, it's probably going to be tough to see anything over the giant fort made out of money they're living in.

Now this is once again the moment where I'm scheduled to reiterate that I still primarily enjoyed my time with GTAV. The driving is superb, there's a lot of truly memorables missions throughout the story (fireman heist mission; Blaine County bank robbery; chasing Molly through the airport), and the visual detail of the world is second to none. It's just that, like a lot of people, I happen to really like me some GTA, and I thusly hold this series to a particular standard. GTAIV was a little more forgiving because it branched off into a completely different direction, and I personally loved the story, so that made the removal of everything that we once associated with GTA much easier to swallow. GTAV on the other hand was very clearly attempting to bring things back to what they once where, to how GTA is more usually portrayed: a big, dumb power fantasy with oodles of shit to do. And it certainly nailed it to a certain extent, but... San Andreas, you guys.

While it's usually not the case and is often a blanket statement from people who are afraid of teh channnnnnge, this time I genuinely believe that more could have been done with GTAV had it not been for the resources & time spent with GTA Online. And although GTA Online is... oookaaaaay? I would have gladly exchanged all of that for more of what I remember loving so damn much back in ye olden days of your Vice Cities and San Andreaseseseseses. And on that note, whoo boy do I have a thing or two to rattle on about regarding GTA Online.

TL;DR

GTAV is the worsest game eva and i hate its stupid poopy pants!!!!!!

36 Comments

£5 well spent.

Everything about this game's visual production, from the graphics to the animations, is brilliant

I've always been curious in checking out the Lost Planet series. The idea of this extremely weighty and animation-heavy shooter has always sounded pretty appealing to me, in a similar way to my fascination with the Monster Hunter series at that, given that Lost Planet is essentially, ''what if Monster Hunter was a TPS''. Though while I'm still waiting on the off-chance that Monster Hunter is released on a console I own or am going to own (AKA, not a Wii U), I'm outta luck on that front. But Lost Planet is ever accessible so I finally decided to give it a shot!

Lost Planet 2 wasn't exactly the most well received of games, nor was the reception to the reception... the reaction to Brad's two star review was bad enough that it created a mini-disaster. Of course an outcry of utter outrage at a review isn't exactly rare, but Lost Planet 2's is certainly up there with the likes of the Catherine and, yes, the recent DmC review.

After putting in roughly around 13 hours thus far, a lot of the criticisms are most certainly justified. Some, however, I've found to simply be a matter of taste. The plodding movement speed and animation-heavy actions of your characters? Bloody love it! All the more so for the ultra-powerful mech 'Vitality Suits' you can use. Much like for the same reason as to why I've always enjoyed the driving in GTAIV, the weighty nature of the mechanics just make everything about you feel tough; like you're lugging around a giant suitcase full of 20 ton badassery. Lost Planet 2's shooting also has a really great kick to it. Weapons feel powerful and have superb sound effects, and the meaty roar of its shotgun is especially pleasing to the ears.

Even besides the sound effects, the game in general is still quite the production power-house. Given that it's Capcom it comes to little surprise, considering even 2009's RE5 still looks really pretty to this day. I was pleasantly surprised to see how there's a good variety of locales at that, all of which carry their own specific style of atmosphere from the early snow blizzards to the late game spacefaring.

For as video game-y as they are, giant, glowing weak points always makes for a fun target to shoot

However, while I have enjoyed my time with Lost Planet 2, I'm still a little reluctant to call it a good game. Pieces here and there I've genuinely found to be a lot of fun--the giant, glowy weak-spot equipped Akird boss battles in particular--but there's still a swath of problems to contend with. I should also note that the game's been patched a couple of time since its release, so the version I've played was assuredly a great deal friendlier than how it was at launch.

Even still, the fact that it's built from the ground up as a multiplayer game only to disallow drop in/drop out capability is insane. Though weirdly enough people are still playing this thing! With a little patience as I hanged around in my lobby, I was able to pick up two randoms; too bad they decided to leave after only one chapter. And that's another thing; the way the game is segregated between sections that can sometimes literally be completely in like 3-5 minutes long is awkwardly designed. Consistently having to go through load screens and menus, and then having to wait through the ''get ready - Go!'' load at the start of every level, only breaks up the pacing of the game.

Furthermore, the story is a nonsensical mess, with you constantly switching between generic facemask wearing pirate faction after pirate faction, all of whom lack any distinctive characteristics (besides the silly 'Banditos') and for the most part are defined by their outfits and their 'cool' generican (generic American...) accents. All in the name of stopping some evil corporation who barely exists beyond a name. To say that the story is undeveloped would be an understatement in any case. Which is unfortunate, because the cutscenes are well directed and carry a lot of style to them. Of course Capcom in particular are known for being all style little substance, so a story that only barely hangs on shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

Not being to use your customised characters in the campaign until you've completed it, however, was. I mean seriously, the cast of this game are more avatars than they are characters, so forcing you to play as the defaults for the sake of 'canon' or whatever the Hell is really strange. That said, the amount of weapons and cosmetic doodads you can unlock is really appreciative, especially for someone like me who loves him some variety when it comes to their video game characters. The roulette wheel you unlock the stuff from does seem annoyingly biased in the title category, but I unlocked quite a few goodies just from a single completion.

One thing that really took me surprise was how easy this game was. Again, I must reiterate that it's been patched a fair bit since launch, but hearing all of the horror stories involving the train bit in particular never left me with the same impression. Don't get me wrong, the train akrid boss battle is a load of bullshit if you're trying to manage the cannon (especially in single-player where it's practically all up to you), but falling back on the helicopter VS on the cart below was all I needed and I went through little hassle. The ending boss battle was a little confusing, though, and not to mention anti-climatic. But overall I'd say the game is perhaps a bit too easy least on the normal difficulty.

Laying waste in a VS made for some of the most fun I had in LP2

The fact that any sort of AI for the human enemies barely even exists was the biggest contributor. It's been a rather common occurrence for where a human enemy will literally just stand there, empty headed and confused about what's going on around him. Until I add to that empty headedness when I nail a headshot with my ridiculously overpowered Plasma Sniper Rifle. And even when they take action, they'll do little besides shoot at you on the spot. Of course, AI of all kinds has also never been one of Capcom's strong suites.

And even with all of that said, for as much as I enjoy playing the game, there's still some control squibbles that can get on my nerves. Like how you can't use your grappling hook mid-jump or the awkward input you need just to do an evasive roll. See, you can only roll from a crouching position by then pressing X; not only is this an unnecessarily needless combination of inputs, not only do you crouch by pushing in the left analogue stick, but there's option to set it to toggle, either. You have to permanently hold in the left analogue stick to crouch... and press X from that position to roll. It's fucking lunacy!

LP2 also still has its competitive multiplayer of course, but after 3 years on when pretty much 9/10 server is being run by a Japanese player, I found it pretty difficult to compete as I keep getting creamed by weapons I've never even seen before in the story. Plus for as much as I enjoy the heavy everything about this game, I don't think it fitted the competitive scene quite as much.

Still, tinkering about in the campaign has been a bunch of fun, and I got a solid 13 hours worth for a fiver. I originally headed in to LP2 mostly for 'scholarly' purposes, so all in all I came away pretty satisfied with the end result. Make no mistake, even after the fixes, LP2 is a highly flawed game. But there's clear ambition here and some of it at least managed to hit the mark. You just don't find many shooters like this anymore, and LP3 looks to be a lot more generic in regards to the gameplay and is unfortunately an UE3 game at that. The writing and its story still look to be well and beyond prior Lost Planet's, but it's unfortunately comes with the price of morphing into much blander style of shooter.

At the low price Lost Planet 2 can be found at nowadays, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to try out a shooter that's a little more methodical and deliberate. It's no doubt all the better on PC as well, so getting three mates together to shoot down some giant alien bugs--if this style of game appeals to you--is more than worth the pittance

Start the Conversation

£5 well spent.

Everything about this game's visual production, from the graphics to the animations, is brilliant

I've always been curious in checking out the Lost Planet series. The idea of this extremely weighty and animation-heavy shooter has always sounded pretty appealing to me, in a similar way to my fascination with the Monster Hunter series at that, given that Lost Planet is essentially, ''what if Monster Hunter was a TPS''. Though while I'm still waiting on the off-chance that Monster Hunter is released on a console I own or am going to own (AKA, not a Wii U), I'm outta luck on that front. But Lost Planet is ever accessible so I finally decided to give it a shot!

Lost Planet 2 wasn't exactly the most well received of games, nor was the reception to the reception... the reaction to Brad's two star review was bad enough that it created a mini-disaster. Of course an outcry of utter outrage at a review isn't exactly rare, but Lost Planet 2's is certainly up there with the likes of the Catherine and, yes, the recent DmC review.

After putting in roughly around 13 hours thus far, a lot of the criticisms are most certainly justified. Some, however, I've found to simply be a matter of taste. The plodding movement speed and animation-heavy actions of your characters? Bloody love it! All the more so for the ultra-powerful mech 'Vitality Suits' you can use. Much like for the same reason as to why I've always enjoyed the driving in GTAIV, the weighty nature of the mechanics just make everything about you feel tough; like you're lugging around a giant suitcase full of 20 ton badassery. Lost Planet 2's shooting also has a really great kick to it. Weapons feel powerful and have superb sound effects, and the meaty roar of its shotgun is especially pleasing to the ears.

Even besides the sound effects, the game in general is still quite the production power-house. Given that it's Capcom it comes to little surprise, considering even 2009's RE5 still looks really pretty to this day. I was pleasantly surprised to see how there's a good variety of locales at that, all of which carry their own specific style of atmosphere from the early snow blizzards to the late game spacefaring.

For as video game-y as they are, giant, glowing weak points always makes for a fun target to shoot

However, while I have enjoyed my time with Lost Planet 2, I'm still a little reluctant to call it a good game. Pieces here and there I've genuinely found to be a lot of fun--the giant, glowy weak-spot equipped Akird boss battles in particular--but there's still a swath of problems to contend with. I should also note that the game's been patched a couple of time since its release, so the version I've played was assuredly a great deal friendlier than how it was at launch.

Even still, the fact that it's built from the ground up as a multiplayer game only to disallow drop in/drop out capability is insane. Though weirdly enough people are still playing this thing! With a little patience as I hanged around in my lobby, I was able to pick up two randoms; too bad they decided to leave after only one chapter. And that's another thing; the way the game is segregated between sections that can sometimes literally be completely in like 3-5 minutes long is awkwardly designed. Consistently having to go through load screens and menus, and then having to wait through the ''get ready - Go!'' load at the start of every level, only breaks up the pacing of the game.

Furthermore, the story is a nonsensical mess, with you constantly switching between generic facemask wearing pirate faction after pirate faction, all of whom lack any distinctive characteristics (besides the silly 'Banditos') and for the most part are defined by their outfits and their 'cool' generican (generic American...) accents. All in the name of stopping some evil corporation who barely exists beyond a name. To say that the story is undeveloped would be an understatement in any case. Which is unfortunate, because the cutscenes are well directed and carry a lot of style to them. Of course Capcom in particular are known for being all style little substance, so a story that only barely hangs on shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

Not being to use your customised characters in the campaign until you've completed it, however, was. I mean seriously, the cast of this game are more avatars than they are characters, so forcing you to play as the defaults for the sake of 'canon' or whatever the Hell is really strange. That said, the amount of weapons and cosmetic doodads you can unlock is really appreciative, especially for someone like me who loves him some variety when it comes to their video game characters. The roulette wheel you unlock the stuff from does seem annoyingly biased in the title category, but I unlocked quite a few goodies just from a single completion.

One thing that really took me surprise was how easy this game was. Again, I must reiterate that it's been patched a fair bit since launch, but hearing all of the horror stories involving the train bit in particular never left me with the same impression. Don't get me wrong, the train akrid boss battle is a load of bullshit if you're trying to manage the cannon (especially in single-player where it's practically all up to you), but falling back on the helicopter VS on the cart below was all I needed and I went through little hassle. The ending boss battle was a little confusing, though, and not to mention anti-climatic. But overall I'd say the game is perhaps a bit too easy least on the normal difficulty.

Laying waste in a VS made for some of the most fun I had in LP2

The fact that any sort of AI for the human enemies barely even exists was the biggest contributor. It's been a rather common occurrence for where a human enemy will literally just stand there, empty headed and confused about what's going on around him. Until I add to that empty headedness when I nail a headshot with my ridiculously overpowered Plasma Sniper Rifle. And even when they take action, they'll do little besides shoot at you on the spot. Of course, AI of all kinds has also never been one of Capcom's strong suites.

And even with all of that said, for as much as I enjoy playing the game, there's still some control squibbles that can get on my nerves. Like how you can't use your grappling hook mid-jump or the awkward input you need just to do an evasive roll. See, you can only roll from a crouching position by then pressing X; not only is this an unnecessarily needless combination of inputs, not only do you crouch by pushing in the left analogue stick, but there's option to set it to toggle, either. You have to permanently hold in the left analogue stick to crouch... and press X from that position to roll. It's fucking lunacy!

LP2 also still has its competitive multiplayer of course, but after 3 years on when pretty much 9/10 server is being run by a Japanese player, I found it pretty difficult to compete as I keep getting creamed by weapons I've never even seen before in the story. Plus for as much as I enjoy the heavy everything about this game, I don't think it fitted the competitive scene quite as much.

Still, tinkering about in the campaign has been a bunch of fun, and I got a solid 13 hours worth for a fiver. I originally headed in to LP2 mostly for 'scholarly' purposes, so all in all I came away pretty satisfied with the end result. Make no mistake, even after the fixes, LP2 is a highly flawed game. But there's clear ambition here and some of it at least managed to hit the mark. You just don't find many shooters like this anymore, and LP3 looks to be a lot more generic in regards to the gameplay and is unfortunately an UE3 game at that. The writing and its story still look to be well and beyond prior Lost Planet's, but it's unfortunately comes with the price of morphing into much blander style of shooter.

At the low price Lost Planet 2 can be found at nowadays, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to try out a shooter that's a little more methodical and deliberate. It's no doubt all the better on PC as well, so getting three mates together to shoot down some giant alien bugs--if this style of game appeals to you--is more than worth the pittance

Start the Conversation

£5 well spent.

Everything about this game's visual production, from the graphics to the animations, is brilliant

I've always been curious in checking out the Lost Planet series. The idea of this extremely weighty and animation-heavy shooter has always sounded pretty appealing to me, in a similar way to my fascination with the Monster Hunter series at that, given that Lost Planet is essentially, ''what if Monster Hunter was a TPS''. Though while I'm still waiting on the off-chance that Monster Hunter is released on a console I own or am going to own (AKA, not a Wii U), I'm outta luck on that front. But Lost Planet is ever accessible so I finally decided to give it a shot!

Lost Planet 2 wasn't exactly the most well received of games, nor was the reception to the reception... the reaction to Brad's two star review was bad enough that it created a mini-disaster. Of course an outcry of utter outrage at a review isn't exactly rare, but Lost Planet 2's is certainly up there with the likes of the Catherine and, yes, the recent DmC review.

After putting in roughly around 13 hours thus far, a lot of the criticisms are most certainly justified. Some, however, I've found to simply be a matter of taste. The plodding movement speed and animation-heavy actions of your characters? Bloody love it! All the more so for the ultra-powerful mech 'Vitality Suits' you can use. Much like for the same reason as to why I've always enjoyed the driving in GTAIV, the weighty nature of the mechanics just make everything about you feel tough; like you're lugging around a giant suitcase full of 20 ton badassery. Lost Planet 2's shooting also has a really great kick to it. Weapons feel powerful and have superb sound effects, and the meaty roar of its shotgun is especially pleasing to the ears.

Even besides the sound effects, the game in general is still quite the production power-house. Given that it's Capcom it comes to little surprise, considering even 2009's RE5 still looks really pretty to this day. I was pleasantly surprised to see how there's a good variety of locales at that, all of which carry their own specific style of atmosphere from the early snow blizzards to the late game spacefaring.

For as video game-y as they are, giant, glowing weak points always makes for a fun target to shoot

However, while I have enjoyed my time with Lost Planet 2, I'm still a little reluctant to call it a good game. Pieces here and there I've genuinely found to be a lot of fun--the giant, glowy weak-spot equipped Akird boss battles in particular--but there's still a swath of problems to contend with. I should also note that the game's been patched a couple of time since its release, so the version I've played was assuredly a great deal friendlier than how it was at launch.

Even still, the fact that it's built from the ground up as a multiplayer game only to disallow drop in/drop out capability is insane. Though weirdly enough people are still playing this thing! With a little patience as I hanged around in my lobby, I was able to pick up two randoms; too bad they decided to leave after only one chapter. And that's another thing; the way the game is segregated between sections that can sometimes literally be completely in like 3-5 minutes long is awkwardly designed. Consistently having to go through load screens and menus, and then having to wait through the ''get ready - Go!'' load at the start of every level, only breaks up the pacing of the game.

Furthermore, the story is a nonsensical mess, with you constantly switching between generic facemask wearing pirate faction after pirate faction, all of whom lack any distinctive characteristics (besides the silly 'Banditos') and for the most part are defined by their outfits and their 'cool' generican (generic American...) accents. All in the name of stopping some evil corporation who barely exists beyond a name. To say that the story is undeveloped would be an understatement in any case. Which is unfortunate, because the cutscenes are well directed and carry a lot of style to them. Of course Capcom in particular are known for being all style little substance, so a story that only barely hangs on shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

Not being to use your customised characters in the campaign until you've completed it, however, was. I mean seriously, the cast of this game are more avatars than they are characters, so forcing you to play as the defaults for the sake of 'canon' or whatever the Hell is really strange. That said, the amount of weapons and cosmetic doodads you can unlock is really appreciative, especially for someone like me who loves him some variety when it comes to their video game characters. The roulette wheel you unlock the stuff from does seem annoyingly biased in the title category, but I unlocked quite a few goodies just from a single completion.

One thing that really took me surprise was how easy this game was. Again, I must reiterate that it's been patched a fair bit since launch, but hearing all of the horror stories involving the train bit in particular never left me with the same impression. Don't get me wrong, the train akrid boss battle is a load of bullshit if you're trying to manage the cannon (especially in single-player where it's practically all up to you), but falling back on the helicopter VS on the cart below was all I needed and I went through little hassle. The ending boss battle was a little confusing, though, and not to mention anti-climatic. But overall I'd say the game is perhaps a bit too easy least on the normal difficulty.

Laying waste in a VS made for some of the most fun I had in LP2

The fact that any sort of AI for the human enemies barely even exists was the biggest contributor. It's been a rather common occurrence for where a human enemy will literally just stand there, empty headed and confused about what's going on around him. Until I add to that empty headedness when I nail a headshot with my ridiculously overpowered Plasma Sniper Rifle. And even when they take action, they'll do little besides shoot at you on the spot. Of course, AI of all kinds has also never been one of Capcom's strong suites.

And even with all of that said, for as much as I enjoy playing the game, there's still some control squibbles that can get on my nerves. Like how you can't use your grappling hook mid-jump or the awkward input you need just to do an evasive roll. See, you can only roll from a crouching position and by then pressing X; not only is this an unnecessarily needless combination of inputs, not only do you crouch by pushing in the left analogue stick, but there's no option to set it to toggle, either. You have to permanently hold in the left analogue stick to crouch... and then press X from that position to roll. It's fucking lunacy!

LP2 also still has its competitive multiplayer of course, but after 3 years on when pretty much 9/10 server is being run by a Japanese player, I found it pretty difficult to compete as I keep getting creamed by weapons I've never even seen before in the story. Plus for as much as I enjoy the heavy everything about this game, I don't think it fitted the competitive scene quite as much.

Still, tinkering about in the campaign has been a bunch of fun, and I got a solid 13 hours worth for a fiver. I originally headed in to LP2 mostly for 'scholarly' purposes, so all in all I came away pretty satisfied with the end result. Make no mistake, even after the fixes, LP2 is a highly flawed game. But there's clear ambition here and some of it at least managed to hit the mark. You just don't find many shooters like this anymore, and LP3 looks to be a lot more generic in regards to the gameplay and is unfortunately an UE3 game at that. The writing and its story still look to be well and beyond prior Lost Planet's, but it's unfortunately comes with the price of morphing into much blander style of shooter.

At the low price Lost Planet 2 can be found at nowadays, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to try out a shooter that's a little more methodical and deliberate. It's no doubt all the better on PC as well, so getting three mates together to shoot down some giant alien bugs--if this style of game appeals to you--is more than worth the pittance.

20 Comments

So, how about that DMC2, eh?

I'll be honest, I hadn't actually played a whole lot of DMC2. I can always remember playing through the first few missions, and not enjoying myself while doing so, but I always forget why. So since I've recently gone on a DMC binge, ignited by DmC, I decided to head back into DMC2.

...Good Lord.

zzzzzzzzzzz

It's fucking crazy to think this is in the same franchise as such greats like, well, every other DMC game. It's sort of difficult to truly articulate how bad this game is. I mean, the gameplay is functional, the camera's actually a helluva lot better than it was in the original DMC. But everything else just looks and feels so lifeless, boring, and utterly mind-numbing. The environments for starters are some of the most generic bollocks that I can recently remember! I mean I've admittedly only played throughout the parts where it's all creepy, empty French city streets, but when I pile that on top of the completely comatose enemy AI, your overpowered guns/daggers that you can sometimes literally just stand there shooting ad infinitum, the complete lack of everything involving the cutscenes, I simply can't be bothered to play any more of it.

It's all so incredibly generic and mediocre. This looks like some bargain-bin knock-off of DMC more than an actual DMC game. For as surprisingly serious as the first one takes itself, it still has some small semblance of personality throughout its aesthetic and the cutscenes, whereas DMC2 is completely dry and nonsensical. Dante might as well be a mute (also where did the coin thing come from) and the way cutscenes just end makes the game feel unfinished. From the few bosses that I fought, some don't even have any kind of introduction! It's like literally entering a room and, oh, I guess I'm fighting this giant tentacle monster now for some reason. The bosses themselves are also poorly designed, like that aforementioned tentacle boss, which I didn't even know how to beat exactly.

Its weak-point is its neck and head, but you can't go near it because it's got this constant aura of purple farts surrounding it. The idea is to attack its giant tentacles, which I suppose then give you an opening, but as soon as I managed to damage one of 'em enough to recluse and start on another, it will have already sprouted back again. I mostly won this by taking advantage of the incredibly OP devil trigger and just kept barraging my way through.

Also who the fuck is this Lucia and why does she already have the devil trigger at the start of the game and yet there was literally no formal introduction? And what Unholy Fucker decided that you now enter through doors automatically?! There were a few times where I actually accidentally entered a different area in the midst of a fight because I got too close to a door. Furthermore, all of the doors pretty much look the same as one another, fitted with some some drab texture, so you basically have to hope for the best by just running into door after door to see which will friggen work!

ALSO also, the timing to try and pull off different combos (like triangle triangle, pause, triangle) is frustratingly difficult because they give you what feels like a milisecond of a window to implement the pause. The style meter too is so fucking backwards. I kept trying, what looked like, different combos by mixing in air attacks, drop attacks, back+triangle attacks and yet it barely ever moved. Turns out it only increases the more you simply attack an enemy, but they all die so fucking quickly and the environments are so fucking spacious between each enemy that I can barely ever get higher than a fucking D for any sort of style combo! And when the Hell do you even learn any new moves?? Simply upgrading my weapon's ''power'' doesn't give me a whole lotta sense of character progress/building. Again, I didn't play a lot (maybe up to like mission 4 or 5), but I put in enough time that I should have been given the opportunity to actually invest in some new bloody attacks.

While the combat itself is--as I mentioned earlier--functional, it overall feels really limp, especially as Lucia, who does multiple attacks per button press (so pressing triangle will make her do two swipes with her swords) which, imo, upsets the balance of feeling like you're pulling off those attacks. It comes across as very button mashy; all you need to do is just mash triangle and watch her do a whole flurry of shit.

So, the positives? Well both the camera and the platforming are a significant improvement from the first game. The way Dante and Lucia are almost reaching the Heavens with their double jumpin' can be surprisingly fun to mess around with, and customising your Devil Trigger with all of these additional gems is a neat idea, too. But these small specks of growth are far too high a cost considering everything else that was lost or destroyed in the process.

DMC2 feels like it has no identity. It's all so incredibly monotonous and boring that I can finally understand why so many people have gone so far as to essentially disallow the idea that this game even exists. There's a part in the game where I'm walking along and then suddenly, some orb falls out of the sky hitting your character and you have to reach a certain destination before it drains you of your health. First off all, my brief description is literally all that happens; walking along, orb hits, health starts draining. They've put this sort of scenario in just about every DMC game, but in the others there's a purpose, and there's some actual tension as you struggle to fight while your health is also draining in the process. But for DMC2, not only does it actually drain your health at a barely noticeable rate, not only is the combat still so pitifully easy, but using Devil Trigger will always just regenerate your health right back up anyway! In DMC3, you're actually permanently in DT mode, so you have the extra power, but your health is still steadily dropping by the second. Here... just... nothing. And I think that examples speaks to how incredibly lazy, half-baked, nigh half-finished DMC2 feels. I understand that we're fortunately more or less past all of the angry hubbub concerning DmC, but the people during that catastrophe who would actually rate DMC2 above DmC are either insane, or were very clearly just lashing out for the sake of childish rage.

I've noticed that the general consensous towards the DMC HD collection is:

  • DMC1 - Aged poorly, but worth looking into for curiosities sake given that it's the forbearer for its entire genre.
  • DMC2 - It was terrible then and it's terrible now.
  • DMC3 - Still the height of the series and a fantastic game through and through.

I'd say they're all pretty much spot on.

48 Comments

Yummylee's Top Ten... Yummiest (??) Games of Twenty Twelvington!

Pardon the stupid title, but it's just so I can call it something else other than ''top ten of 2012'', and creating the implication that I eat video games is... well, I'd like to think it helps it stand out an extra 0.2334%. Anywhoo:

Video gaming in 2012! The year where I officially began to grow jealous of PC gamers and truly loathe the poor performance issues of console games. Sure, it's kinda always been that way, and by virtue of me being a console gamer for the most of my life (though I did used to play a lot on my PC when I was younger), I don't ask for much. But when we've got games like, say, Far Cry 3 on the PS3 that are chugging along at like 20 fps or less... Fuck that. Fuck that right off. And what's more infuriating is so many gaming publications don't even regard such problems; both that and Assassin's Creed 3 have all been reviewed highly across all platforms, in some cases like Gamespot where each version is awarded the same score! I frankly think something is very wrong with reviews when a game's console port, that will actually give me eye strain the framerate is so bad, is receiving just as much praise as its PC equivalent.

OK, I didn't exactly plan to start this GOTY blog with my little tirade about the plight of the dirty peasant console gamer, but this can at least act as a disclaimer as to why Far Cry 3 isn't on here, when I know for certain that if I could play it the way it was meant to be played, it would be. So getting back to the matter at end, I shall give to you my completely important and valid opinions about my otherwise favourite ten games of the year!

10. Warriors Orochi 3

Actually, since I've also got some long-winded blog rant coming up after sinking around 200+ hours worth into the meat of the entire Warriors franchise (sans Rockstar adaptation unfortunately), I'm gonna leave this one blank. Suffice to say, Warriors Orochi 3 is a pretty fun game. Nearly everything else that preceded it? not so much.

9. Spec Ops: The Line

My reaction to Spec Ops: The Line was rather surprising, but not in the way you'd think. I only ''crossed The Line'' a couple of weeks ago, after the swarm of hype and buzz had already circulated, stating The Line to be something special. The story was meant to act as a bold step forward for military shooters, but the actual gameplay was a little below what one would expect from a shooter released in 2012.

It's been a noticeably stellar year for depressing video games, hasn't it?

Ironically enough, I found the story to be a wee bit disappointing, and the shooting to be surprisingly engaging. I understood that it was meant to be competent at best, but the shooting overall worked surprisingly well within the context. It all felt brutal, with the way enemies drop via but a few bullets, and the weapons all had a great sense of power to them. Especially as the game goes on, it starts to feel downright draining; the shoot outs are a little long, but I can imagine that's the point and while I was never 'bored' exactly, as the game progresses and our characters continue to degrade into broken down sacks of mud, I was left taking a few breaks here and there. The game also has a superb soundtrack that very lightly balances between making you feel like some sort of badass while at the same time accentuating the completely messed up situations Captain Walker and his team have found themselves in.

The fact that you're mostly gunning down fellow US soldiers in particular was a brave move for the story to take, as was the direction the moral compass sharply directs you towards during the middle of the story. It's a shame that the ending and its twist is super cliché, but the journey to that point was wrought with harrowing scenery and a highly engaging batch of shoot outs up to that point. The writing is pretty good overall, though, and Nolan North definitely pulls in one of his best performances across his entire catalogue of work.

8. Darksiders II

I can completely understand why some are pretty down on Darksiders II. I can understand because I'm one of them! Sort of. There's a lot I like about Darksiders II, even if it's weaker than its predecessor overall. The combat is one such aspect that was greatly improved upon and a made for a great deal of fun, as was the smooth platforming controls and stimulating puzzles. Despite the exhausting amount of time you spend doing the bidding of everyone, including such quests that have quests within quests, and the terribly disappointing and noticeably rushed ending, I was left feeling... content with it all.

WHY WASN'T THERE MORE OF THIS

The absurd amount of collectibles and the fact that there's no reliable checklist to keep a track of them all was the true bane of this game for me. Had it not been because of my own collectible anxiety, and the fact that your collectible collection actually resets in NG+, I would have gladly invested another 20 hours. With its utterly engrossing soundtrack, enticing loot rewards, and fluid combat that could easily match with some of the best character-action systems out there, Darksiders II succeeded just enough to top where it faltered.

7. Spelunky

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU! FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU... Oh, Spelunky. As many can relate, this is the sort of game that has a very love/hate sort of reception - in that even the people that love it probably have some form of hatred bubbling under the surface. I'm as ready to compliment its great controls and addictive platforming and utter unpredictability, to then consequently tear my eyes out afterwards due to that very unpredictability. The caveat is while the randomisation means that you're forever being presented with new and sometimes wholly unique obstacles, it also means that there's a high degree of luck that you have to rely on.

Seriously, trying to bring that fucking key across three worlds and then - oops, you've just entered a stage where there's no light so you have to try and carry a torch as well as the fucking key itself! I haven't even completed it so to speak - the Temple stage was just too much I'm ashamed to admit. But with every snippet of tooth that was chipped away as I grinded my teeth in frustration, it would all lead to a resolution of Miraculous proportions when I would in fact get that fucking key to that fucking tunnel fucking man fucking fuck ffffffffFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUSOHDFQSDASD ihaUDHqasisuGartittiesjOPSQMINNNNGEDWQ HRFC'ERFWRFGEWIFahsahspHSAHahps

6. The Darkness II

The Darkness II is such a game that speaks to a greater question within gaming. When put against its predecessor, The Darkness II is as such a much... safer game. The original, for as shooters go, was surprisingly creative and unique even, with its HUB, side missions, putting in the entire To Kill a Mocking Bird movie for your viewing, first person hugging, and all of the craziness that occurs during the WWI segment. And yet despite that, The Darkness II is an irrevocably better shooter.

*insert joke about GB's Vinny and this guy being called Vinnie*

The shooting gameplay in the first was kind of a slog frankly, and there was a noticeable shortage of Darkness powers to call from. Darkness II on the other hand has some superb shooting, but it's all confined to what is basically a corridor crawler. It's also significantly shorter at that. It left me asking the question about whether it's worth it for a game to improve upon its gameplay at the expense of a more creative design? Fortunately for as corridor crawl games go, The Darkness II is a standout, with its highly fetching art style just to start things off. And again the shooting is just so riotous and fun, with a decent selection of weapons to the more expansive list of Darkness powers. It's a particularly fast moving game at that, but not in the Call of Duty sense with explosions every which way, but by the utter brutality that your own attacks conjure forth. Using a car door as a shield and then using it to slice a bad guy in half is never not fun. And those executions are fucking gruesome and could potentially even make Kratos himself blush.

It's a shame it has to be so short, but it almost adds a sort of... coziness to it all. It's a strange way to describe a game that involves such an array of decapitations and mutilations, but the length, and not to mention The Darkness II being one of the few ''B-grade'' games out there, gives it an almost ''indie'' feel. The great cast of characters and dialogue also further its likeability and is one such aspect that has survived the 'downgrade' as it where. The shooting is super fun to utilise, but it's the symbiotic relationship between Jackie and The Darkness himself, a list of hilarious supporting characters like the Woody Allen-inspired Johnny Powell, to Jackie's tragic struggle as he tries to get over the death of Jenny, that allowed it to stand out all the more for me.

5. Journey

I'm not an exceptionally... cultured individual, and I'm not exactly all too bright, either. The majority of my family is made up of an entire clan of dopes, and there's nothing that I can do about it. I am what I am, and I've accepted that fact... more or less. Point is I'm not the sort of fellow that divulges in the truly 'artsy' side of media. I've never bothered trying out any of thatgamecompany's prior work just as an example, but the amount of high praise that was being lavished all over Journey forced my hand, so I indulged the shit out of this thing.

And it's so fucking beautiful. Like, maaaan, playing through this and witnessing its wonders suddenly makes the world around me feel that much brighter, and all of life's problems feel petty in comparison to the sheer magnitude of what was on display on my TV.

Man, I just, like, y'know?

OK, no, I'm stretching it a little there, and I don't mean to mock it, because Journey truly is an outstanding experience. The utterly gorgeous visuals are a treat for the eyes, and the act of travelling across this barren wasteland was almost bittersweet. For as beautiful as everything looks, the somewhat open-ended story and noticeably lonely adventure I went through made me feel... I dunno, it just made me feel damn it! The way it integrated cooperative gameplay was also memorable to say the least; I don't think I'll ever forget when my anonymous companion and I tried our best to brave that mountain, nor when you then fly up that son'bitch all the way to Scarf Heaven or whatever. Watching my little brother play it afterwards, I was surprised at how it still got to me just by watching it all again.

4. Sleeping Dogs

It's just goofy fun - pure and simple I honestly haven't had this much fun traipsing throughout an open-world crime game since Saints Row 2! The story, while predictable with some kinda 'eh' characters, was entertaining to follow regardless. It's the open-world madness that I especially enjoyed; sprinting throughout the world, bulldogging poor civilians onto the pavement, throwing people into the trunk of my car, then jumping out with a gun in slo-mo and watching it explode just with a single bullet was forever hilarious and devilishly satisfying. Or when I'd drive around in a car but would pull out my gun, which also enacts slow-mo, and just drive around knocking people over. What was great was how even the music was slowed down to a degree, making it all sound like something out of Enya's discography.

Five seconds from now he'll be in the trunk of my car. Underwater.

I had a surprising amount of fun messing around with the guns to be honest, mixing it in with the slow-mo like the aforementioned examples. But then there's still the fast, fluid and hardhitting melee combat and the large number of rewarding collectibles. Sleeping Dogs is one of those games that after all is said and done, you then go back just to make your own fun. It quite frankly out-sandbox'd Saints Row The Third for me personally and gave a world with a great deal of detail and stuff happening; so much so that then proceeding to wreak havoc across its streets was made all the more hilarious.

Certain issues aside, like a lot of the throwaway girlfriend characters and that the vehicles feel like they're made of tinfoil, Sleeping Dogs was a treat to behold. As someone who was rooting it for a good long while before its release, it made for a pleasant surprise to witness its reception and see there are plenty who would agree.

3. Silent Hill: Downpour

Oh, Silent Hill. As seemingly everyone else continues their apathy, I can't help but cling on to what little I have amongst the depressingly little amount of survival horror stuff to be found. On consoles most especially. I'm more than willing to admit that at least a part of my forgiving nature for Downpour perhaps stems from the fact that, well, what the fuck else there? Regardless, I had a really enjoyable time with Downpour. It's basically classic survival horror, only taken to a grander scale with the mostly open town of Silent Hill to explore. It has its share of problems sure. The enemy design and lack of variety was disappointingly weak; the soundtrack, while fine, doesn't strike the right level of making me outright disturbed while I'm playing; and most importantly of all, the story is kinda rubbish and doesn't have a lot of consequence. I had already envisioned where it may be going and it sounded like it could unveil to be something messy but... no dice.

Boxart is not bad, either.

Now a Silent Hill game starring a naff narrative will leave many wondering what else would there be to latch on. Fortunately, exploring Silent Hill itself was really intriguing and appropriately unnerving at times. The small multitude of self-contained side stories littered throughout were also rather interesting, such as one involving you warping into a film, to another where you have to rewind time using a gramophone. And then there's the fantastically creepy Hansel & Gretel psychological set-piece. It was most importantly refreshing to finally be handed such a large portion of the town to explore; part of what was so enjoyable about the first Silent Hill's was exploring at your own leisure for additional supplies or just to simply uncover more of the town.

If there was perhaps a little more competition in the horror department, Downpour might not rank so highly, but it would have still snagged a spot somewhere on here all the same.

2. Borderlands 2

Hey, I liked Borderlands! A lot! So much so that Borderlands 2 quite literally being more of the exact same didn't faze me. Thing is what made Borderlands 2 so special to me was, Borderlands 2 was not only more of the same, it was more of the same but better. Practically everything about it was improved upon! You've got this radar instead of relying on that antiquated compass thingy; each class has, like, double the amount of skills available (though I did miss playing as Lilith, if only because of how OP she got); the majority of the quests all feature voiced dialogue; and furthermore, I actually grew to care about the story!

That's what left me surprised during my playtime, as I travelled across with some actual goals in mind; an actual narrative to follow! There were admittedly still a lot of rather annoying characters, though, with Scooter in particular - especially since his voice actor changed his voice up a little from the original to make him sound even more annoying. Just... fuck that inbred shit. Fortunately there was Handsome Jack to balance it out... Sort of. He's a detestable cunt, but because he's meant to be. I grew to hate him thanks to the brilliantly effective performance by Dameon Clarke and some pretty decent writing to go with it. Yes, some of it is hit and miss, but overall I was still left with plenty of reasons to giggle (Mal the Hyperion robot especially) and actually have some additional motivation besides ''MOAR LOOTZ''.

Any complaints that it's too iterative are totally justified, but for myself I just couldn't resist more opportunities to Borderland and Borderlands 2 delivered what I wanted on a silver platter. It also gave me a Dwarf to play as, and video games need more playable Dwarfs damn it all!

1. The Walking Dead

A lot of discussion was brought up about whether this is even a game. I can certainly see why such a question would arise, given that the most prominent form of character agency is via dialogue choices. But there are still other such adventure game tropes in there, like occasionally going on a pixel hunt or even turning into some shooting gallery. They're not exactly very taxing, and that radio puzzle during the first episode is a particularly moronic ''puzzle'', but just because they're bad if not highly rudimentary doesn't exactly detract from whether it's a game or not.

It probably stands out all the more because certain episodes feature more agency than others; riding high off of Episode 5 with pretty much nuttin' but dialogue options, it's an understandable conclusion. When taken as a whole 12-15 hour game, compiling all of the episodes together, I think this deserves to stand as a game. However, I'm still conflicted because the reason why I've got it up as my No1. is because of the story and the way you can shape your own Lee, not because of how ''solved'' how to put batteries into a radio.

Very similar to the Mass Effect trilogy, The Walking Dead has a very strong illusion of choice; an awfully strong smokescreen attempting to make you think your choices actually matter. What it excels at significantly more so than Mass Effect at, however, is you building upon your own interpretation of the main character, Lee. You won't be choosing the gender/name/origin, but you build relationships with the cast; they'll perceive you differently; they'll remember things you may have, or haven't, said and so forth. Besides that, there's still plenty of actual decisions to make of course. Some of which, while may not shape how things will play out all that much, will have a lasting effect on Lee himself and any other such characters. Clementine especially. It goes to places other such franchises wouldn't even dream, and it's right to commend such an ambition. As an adventure game, the story and the writing obviously trumps all else, but it really succeeds in how your own player choices are taken into consideration. One such scene nearing the end where you're ostensibly ''judged'' by the game for all of your choices, while a tad incredulous, was a particularly standout moment as it addresses what sort of man you have turned Lee into.

You. By which I mean me. By which I also mean player... right? Yeah, that sounds like something someone who knows what they're talking about would say.

Special Mentions!

I just also want to add two other games which while aren't... ''officially'' apart of my GOTY 2012 list as they were released in prior years, still stood as two of my favourite games of this year:

Gears of War 3

I really enjoy me the Gears games, so not only did I find Gears 3 to be a damn fine shooter, but also to be the best Gears game of the three. A fantastic campaign, if a little flat during the middle segments when you're travelling through the desert-y areas, with some superb offerings in terms of both multiplayer and cooperative. I even managed to snag in some online time--which is a rarity for me on the 360--with and overall, Gears 3 basically lasted me through the summer. I wrote up a blog detailing my experiences with both Gears 3 and my temporary return back to Uncharted 3 at that. It's too bad I got around it so late because it would score a pretty high mark on last years. And when I've got friggen Hydrophobia Prophecy on there, then you know I was a little starved for choice.

And I actually sort of liked Hydrophobia Prophecy btw.

As such I'm really excited for Judgment, if not only for another Gears campaign, but to also potentially join in the chainsawing online along with the flock of other such new players so I'll perhaps be on some even ground for a change.

Valkyria Chronicles

Turns out I bloody love strategy games. I mean I played a staggering amount of Hogs of War when I was a little cherub, but I kinda veered away because most tended to flock to the PC. Playing Valkyria Chronicles has also left me a little disheartened that I didn't check out XCOM, as I'd have probably end up sticking that on here at that. Anywhoo first things first: The story, the characters and the overall quality of writing are fucking terrible. OK, terrible is maybe a little harsh and fucking terrible is a bit of a violent tinge that perhaps isn't required -- point is it's not very good. It's filled with a bunch of melodramatic rubbish, generally poor voice acting despite the pedigree (basically everyone who voices acts in video games is in this thing), and a sea of terribly archetypal characters.

The idealist main hero who loves nature, what a goofball! The love interest who... um, is a girl? The step-sister who's of a race that has suffered prejudice! The middled aged guy! Robin Atkin Downes! Who basically does nothing but spout exposition! The eeeeeevil Maximillian guy! A fucking pig mascot?! Gah, and the writing! I'll mostly read whatever it is the characters are gabbing, just for context, and then skip the audio because quite frankly, barely anyone ever has anything all that interesting to say. And I have to admit, I actually giggled when one of the major characters was killed. I'm not a cruel person; I haven't made a habit out of laughing at death, but FFS... What's that you say, Main Hero? You want to be the bridge that connects all life/race/animals/whatever? Fuck you, you annoyingly good natured, soft spoken, 1-dimensional twat!

That's enough of that in any case. I only listed such 'qualities' because that then only speaks to how awesome everything else is. There's a lot of versatility here, which is perhaps nothing new to strategy (or is it tactics?) game vets, but for myself I couldn't help but be impressed at how many options the game gives to play your way. And while it starts off slow, it's to your own benefit as things steadily begin to become more and more complex. Managing all of the classes, weapons, experience points, R&D, tank parts, and with how seemingly every mission introduces new sorts of obstacles -- it can feel a little overwhelming at times. What I especially enjoy is how difficult this game feels, whether it actually is or not, and how it then results in such resounding satisfaction when I manage to beat a level. A superb game, and one more reason as to why I'm grateful for my PS3. Its graphics still look pretty alright considering its age, though the character models during the cutscenes and 'talking head' scenes animate poorly and look more like dolls.

It's been quite a refreshing experience as well, as action/adventure and shooters tend to stand at the forefront of my gaming habits.

Other Stuff!

And here's some bullet points to showcase other games that I've generally enjoyed, but not quite enough to make the cut:

  • Mass Effect 3 - Yup. While it's definitely the worst overall Mass Effect game, it still features some of my favourite moments across the entire trilogy. Plus the shooting is pretty great.
  • I Am Alive - Great gameplay, if a little fiddly, and while the story is pancake quality flat, there's still just dat survival gameplay!
  • Dragon's Dogma - If this was contained in a smaller scale, like a dungeon crawler, or at least had the decency to feature fast travel, mounts or a dynamic world that didn't spawn the exact same bandits and monsters in the exact same places every goddamn time, this could have easily ranked as one of my top five games of 2012. The actual gameplay is fantastic, but the open-world nature is like a poison that slowly saps the energy out of the game as I'm forced to walk everywhere.
  • Max Payne 3 - Another solid game, with some incredibly heavy and appreciatively weighty shooting. Story was a little confusing and not all that engaging, and the fact that you can't skip the cutscenes placed too many hurdles to leap across when playing score attack mode, but I had a blast all the same.
  • Hitman: Absolution - I was really mixed during the early portions, but fortunately as it turns out they're the worst segments in the game. It just kept getting better and better, with a lot more sandboxy areas to fun scenarios like that one segment in the desert -- jus' so fucking cool, man! Now this too had a high chance in snagging a spot on my oh-so-prestigious (and Yummy) list of honours; however, as many will agree, the shitty design of the checkpointing and disguises were severe enough to drag so much of the good down with the bad unfortunately.
  • Lego Batman 2 - Perfectly fine Lego game; in fact I'd go as far as to say it's a pretty great Lego game. But that's all it is, and after doing the same thing for so many years, the repetitive combat is only becoming more prone to criticism, and the allure of exploring missions with alternate characters is long gone. The open-world HUB was really fun to explore and mess around, though, and it still managed to get a hearty 12 hours or so outta me.

Annnnd here's a list of games I wish I could have played this year but couldn't, most likely because of the unfortunate limitations I have courtesy of my rubbish PC, or because I just never got around to it:

And that's that, another year wrapped up as it were as I'm probably going to spend the remainder of this month playing the stuff I'm still currently playing. Hopefully XCOM will probably appear somewhere on me next years.

Er, and here's some outro music I guess.

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