On the most recent Friday before I wrote this blog, I found myself on a failed quest to buy boots that resulted in my being in the video game section of the local Target. Within the span of a few minutes, I decided not to buy Metal Gear Rising: REVENGEANCE, because I decided that $60 was too much to pay for such a short game when I have no source of income, and use my dad's money any time I buy something. Then I thought about getting Borderlands 2, which was on sale for $40.
But all of that changed when I saw what Target had for $20. Resident Evil 6. So, I bought it. Because I make poor decisions.
A little while later I was at home, because I went home for the weekend after not having been home for over a month since the start of the semester, and usually I end up back home for a weekend before a full month goes by. This is meaningful because, if you don't already know, I leave all of my video game apparatus at home so I can focus on schoolwork. Well, "focus."
The first thing I did was check PSN to see if I had gotten one of those codes for $10, because I figured that someone like myself, who had been a member of PSN since I bought my PS3 in 2007, and had spent over $250 buying things in the years since (I did the math) would surely have been considered loyal enough to get one. When I saw that I did not get one, I turned the PS3 off and put Resident Evil 6 into my 360 and started installing it. While the disc installed, I laughed at the fact that the game had no manual, but had a second disc with the languages other than English on it, for those who wanted to play the game in another language and didn't mind installing that second disc to the hard drive.
And once the game had finished installing, I turned it on, downloaded the patch(es) for it, and prepared myself for the worst. Because I make poor decisions.
Instead of taking me to some sort of main menu, like a normal game, Resident Evil 6 opens with a "Prelude" that acts as something resembling a tutorial, albeit a rather poor one, especially for a game with no manual. After I got through that I was at the main title screen, and went through the options menu to adjust my options, which leads me to the first of several things that made my experience with RE6 different than that of most who played it, and help explain my opinion of the game.
In the time since the release of RE6, Capcom went to the trouble to patch the game in several ways to try to improve the experience. The first thing I saw in the options was the ability to change the field of vision, which I did. However, I hadn't noticed this in the in game options I saw in the Prelude (and actually, I knew about that being patched in beforehand, which is why I went to the main menu options after the Prelude), so I then had to go back and forth between Mercenaries Mode (which was faster than loading into the campaign) and the main menu options before I got to a point where I felt comfortable with the FOV. I made sure all the other options were set to my liking, which included turning off the default targeting reticle and turning it back into the laser from RE4 and RE5. But I did not turn on the patched in option to have the game auto-complete QTEs, because I thought that would be going too far to make the game easy.
Once I was done in the options, I went to the campaign, and started playing as Leon Superfly Kennedy, with the game set to Normal. And thus my journey through Resident Evil 6 began in earnest.
That was on Friday, and as of this writing, it's Sunday. In the time between, I spent about 18 and a half hours playing RE6, with most of that being the campaign, all on my own, no co-op. In that time I beat Leon's, Chris's, and Jake's campaigns, but didn't start Ada's because I knew I wouldn't have the time before I went back to college (where I currently am). So, what do I think of it?
Honestly, I enjoyed most of it. I liked just about all of Leon's campaign, despite thinking there were a fair number of poorly designed encounters, and a boss at the end who shows up too many times. The story is total nonsense, but it's so ridiculous, crazy, and dumb that I can't help but like it, even if it is total nonsense. It's for the same reasons that I like things like Snakes on a Plane or Planet Terror. It's really, really dumb, and I think it's glorious in its stupidity.
Chris's campaign started to drag a bit toward the end, but I felt that through most of it I was constantly either on the verge of running out of ammo, or literally out of ammo. Ammo was never really a concern when playing as Leon or Jake, and I really don't know why I had so little of it as Chris. Maybe I was just being too inaccurate for my own good. I dunno. But aside from the final boss, which I wasn't doing well at because of my lack of ammo, I enjoyed most of my time with Chris.
And then there's Jake. Hoo, boy, Jake. Let me wait a minute on Jake, and instead I'll talk about the core combat in RE6. While I definitely don't hate this game like many people do, I'm still not going to try to convince people that it's something great, or that it's really even good. I'd say that it flirts a line between all right and good. Even after spending a good twenty minutes messing around with the FOV to get it just right, the aiming never felt as good as a game like Gears of War, or Resident Evil 5 does without any adjustments at all. And that's not even taking things like the poorly designed roll mechanics into consideration.
And then there's healing. Given the type of game RE6 is, it really should just have regenerating health. It sort of does, but it's Riddick or Resistance Fall of Man style health where it heals up to a certain point, but you have to use a health item to get it up higher. And that's where it gets too convoluted for its own good. To heal, you either have to use a first aid spray, which just fully heals you (but those are very rare), or use herbs. But you can't just use herbs, first you have to mix them and put them into your one button healing slot. In the Prelude, the game teaches you how to do this, but it doesn't tell you about the quick way to do it without fumbling through the inventory to manually mix herbs. I just discovered that you can hold RB and push X to quick mix herbs by accident. Later I did briefly see how to do that flash in a pause screen, but something like that should have been in a better tutorial, or a manual.
But the combat. Most of the time it works well enough that I can take down enemies and have fun doing it. In my experience with the game, most normal encounters with enemies aren't really that tough, and I haven't really run into things that I remember hearing or reading about closer to launch that people complained about. I mean things like having enemies constantly pouncing on you and knocking you to the ground. Am I just lucky?
I think not. Probably the biggest change in the patch(es) is also the one that I know least about. According to the internet, Capcom patched the game to make it easier. But how or where? I dunno. I didn't find that info. So what I'm saying is that, much like with Dark Souls, the game I played was made easier, which in turn made my experience better than most other people's (though, I will accept that some may have liked the grindier Dark Souls of late 2011 better). I mean, I enjoy the combat in this game enough that I was actually playing Mercenaries Mode for fun. I got a 50 kill combo and 73,000 points once, even though the game only considered that a C Rank. But whatever, I had fun there.
But back to Jake. Oo, Jake.
I knew going into this game that Jake's campaign was the worst. But getting through things that I remember people complaining about with few problems (like the rope climbing bit) made me feel like perhaps Jake's campaign had also been patched to make it better. And it probably has, but it definitely has some rough spots.
And by rough spots, I mean that almost all of Chapter 2 of Jake's campaign is AWFUL. The rest of it I actually enjoyed a good amount. I think Jake's hand to hand combat is fun, and I think Jake has the best final boss of the three final bosses I've fought thus far (it's a fist fight over a pit of lava). But man, Chapter 2!
It started off well enough. But soon I found myself doing things like fighting through a blizzard. At first I thought it was neat, because not many games have blizzards in them. But when things like being shot by a sniper from behind that I couldn't see happened, I quickly soured on it. And then there's the icy hill path, which I only slid down all the way once, but I can't ignore how poorly designed that bit is. Then there was the snowmobile bit, which wasn't awful, but I still died more than once. And after that was the stealth sequence.
Yup, a stealth sequence. The stealth sequence actually isn't hard, it was laughably easy. And just laughable, because the "guards" are these weird bug creatures that Jake was literally slapping out of the air. It was so dumb that I actually laughed. But the laughs quickly ended when I got to the end of that part of the game, and what is easily the worst part of the game (at least in what I've played).
Jake and Sherry (the requisite co-op partner) found themselves in a large room where the big fake-Nemesis guy was guarding a corpse with a key that the duo needed. So I boosted Sherry up onto a thing so she could sneak around and steal the key whilst I distract the thing. The only clue the game gives is to use remote bombs. It doesn't say where, just to use them. So, I figured the thing to do was to run to the middle of the room, set a bomb, lure him onto it, and detonate the bomb, which would stun him.
Of course nothing of the sort happened, and what followed were about twenty or thirty attempts at this awful part of the game, every attempt resulting in either Sherry (who, as an AI partner, usually has infinite health) or Jake dying. And it often made no sense at all, with the monster going after Sherry, despite my shooting at him with a magnum and her doing nothing other than grabbing a key.
Eventually I stumbled my way through it (pro-tip, use the bomb on the spot where you boost Sherry up, and then run to the other side of the room, he's attracted by the sound of the bomb), and I got through the rest of Jake's campaign, which I had some fun with. Again, that melee combat, while still kinda clunky, is ridiculous and silly, and I like it.
And here I am, about 3/4 of the way through RE6, and with several weeks before I'll be home again and able to keep playing. And like I said, I've enjoyed most of it. The game is still really clunky overall, and I fully understand why many people hate it, especially given that the game I played is (even on normal), a lot easier and less frustrating than the game people played back in October. But I'm having fun with it, even if buying it may have been a poor decision at the time.
Don't take that the wrong way though, I'm not saying other people should play it. If you're like me, and you like things that are really dumb, and really ridiculous, and if you have a high tolerance for games that are clunky, then you might also enjoy it. But even then, don't pay any more than $20 for this game. Even $25 seems like it'd be a stretch. There are definitely some genuinely good moments in this game, and I feel like those moments are probably worth experiencing if you are a fan of Resident Evil, but those people have probably already played this game. Either that or they're like me, and just waited until the game was $20.
So, yeah. I still have to play Ada's campaign, which will likely happen in mid-March, when I have a week off from school. After that I'll do another thing saying what my final thoughts are, but unless Ada's is somehow worse than Chapter 2 of Jake's campaign, I doubt my opinion will change much. But who knows. This game is weird.
I do definitely make a lot of poor decisions though. I'd like to try to turn that into a semi-regular blog thing, actually. Just write about poor decisions that I make and try to justify them. The only problem is that most of them are things that aren't worth writing about (though I suppose an argument could be made for Resident Evil 6 not being worth writing about). But I mean things like getting dinner, and eating pizza and french fries instead of something healthy. That's definitely a poor decision, but not one worth writing a blog about.
So maybe you'll be seeing "I Make Poor Decisions" returning. Maybe not. Only time will tell! In the mean time, I expect someone to comment here about how I am a crazy person for enjoying this game, or maybe a fellow crazy person will comment by saying that he agrees with me. I can't be the only one on GB with poor taste (regarding third person shooters), right? I mean, a website with so many thousands upon thousands of users...
Oh well. As this continues to be the Year of Luigi, I leave you, once again, with a picture of everyone's favorite ghost busting plumber, Luigi.