As of June 29th (which coincidentally happened to be when I posted my previous blog) I have been doing this for 4 years. What. I… what? Man. Starting from a rather basic write-up about how Goldeneye was ok despite having aged rather poorly, to that time I accidentally talked about fighting games and it blew up in my face, to that time (last week) where some prick said I came off as an “over-privileged teenager” because I didn’t especially like Jade Empire, I’ve written a lot of these, guys, and I’m not stopping yet. Blogging has been a reliable constant between me being in high-school, starting college, doing poorly in college and now taking a break from college so I can figure out what I want to do with my life. I’d also like to express my appreciation for Ryan Davis, another constant in my life whose presence has sadly been cut short, leaving a hole in Giant Bomb, like a cake without someone to sit on it, or a metaphor without a comparison that makes sense. Other people have said it better and more eloquently than me, so I’ll stop there. I'll miss you Ryan Davis, for as much as I can miss someone I've never met.
Also video games:
Yes I have moved on to playing Chrono Cross, no that blog isn’t going to be for a while. The only thing I can say for certain at this point is that I like it so far, but I’m also clearly not that far in. I get the impression that Chrono Cross isn’t incredibly long the way some PS1-era JRPGs are (it’s no Dragon Quest VII, for example), but I still fully expect to spend more time than desired on this particular game.
Unlike Gods and Kings, whose biggest additions were two mechanics from previous Civ games and some small but important tweaks to combat and diplomacy, Brave New World seems to be more interested in fundamental changes aimed at making the endgame more interesting as well as adding civilizations that benefit from these changes, such as Brazil being geared towards the new cultural victory (double tourism output during a golden age) and Morocco getting larger bonuses from trade routes. Venice is probably the most interesting civ, since they can’t settle new cities and can only expand through puppet states. While this would seem a crippling handicap, they also get double the number of trade routes and have unique great merchants who get double bonuses from trade missions and are also capable of annexing city-states. Between these and the ability to purchase units in puppet states, I had an inordinate amount of money by the end of my game, allied with every city-state and capable of pumping out armies for absurdly low prices. Between all of these things, I think it safe to say that I’ll be putting a couple dozen more hours into Civ V in the near future.
But that’s not what you came for.
I attempt to explain my thoughts about a video game:
I don’t hate Resident Evil 6. Despite everything that convinced me to wait for the price to drop to $20, despite its blatant, overbearing problems, I’ve mostly enjoyed my time with it. Hell, I’ll go one step further and say that I liked it more than Dead Space 3, a mediocre slog that will only be remembered as a footnote to the first two games, and also that part where the moon was a necromorph.At least when Resident Evil 6 is bad, it’s not from a lack of trying. And try it does. Oh, it’s misguided both from what influences it takes from big-budget western games and from what it takes from the Resident Evil franchise as a whole, but as an expensive, big dumb action game I had my moments with it.
And that’s really what it should be called. Resident Evil 4 may have brought the series into the realm of modernity, but it was still a very deliberately paced title that still used a lot of series hallmarks and had a gloomy atmosphere on top of that. Resident Evil 5 added co-op and thus removed a lot of the slower, quieter moments with only one real puzzle to speak of, but the shooting still created tension and encouraged a slow, deliberate style of play. Resident Evil 6 says “Eff that noise, here are explosions. Also you can roll?” Ok, that’s a bit reductive, because of the way that the stories are split. Leon’s campaign is probably the closest to the older Resident Evil games, Chris’ campaign wants to be Gears of War, Jake’s campaign has a bunch of poorly-conceived set-pieces and Ada’s campaign is more puzzle focused. All of them have explosions and QTE sequences at some point.Jake and Sherry probably have the worst lot of the bunch, with some particularly terrible forced stealth and vehicle sequences sandwiched in-between them being chased by a guy who definitely isn’t Nemesis and those parts were probably my least favorite… until I started Ada’s campaign and realized that her stuff was probably the worst. Leon and Chris have it relatively better in that department, a rather hilarious and out of place sequence where Chris fights a giant invisible snake notwithstanding (the only way that would've been ok is if Chris mentioned his previous experience fighting giant zombie snakes). Still, the game loves itself some insta-death QTEs in a world where games have finally, finally started moving past “press X to not die”. I should probably note that they made QTEs easier at some point than they were at launch, but that doesn’t mean that some of them weren’t a bit too much.
The combat is sort of bad but I like it anyways? Oh, it’s still Resident Evil inasmuch as melee attacks and aiming for the head are incentivized, but you can still dump like a madman and get away with it for the most part. The real problem comes from the part where the camera is too close to your character. While from the outside this seems like a rather superfluous thing, not being able to see enemies behind you is rather crippling. Add the swimmy camera and the non-laser sight based aiming and you can understand why my initial reaction to this game was unflinchingly negative. But then I got used to the controls and the way the shooting worked and I will fully admit to sort of liking it. At least Capcom tried something different, between the larger focus on recoil, the way you can defensively roll and the quick shot. Does it necessarily work out all the way? No. No it does not, for reasons any given negative review can tell you about. Melee attacks will sometimes miss despite the prompt showing, zombies love to jump on you for a guaranteed one damage and the part where you sometimes have to take cover is sort of crummy.
The story is well produced with motion-captured actors doing far better performances talking about B.O.W.s and similar insanity than RE6 probably deserved. Between Leon being snarky, Chris being incredibly angry, Jake being Troy Baker and Ada being mysterious and sassy… I have to admit that it works. Better than Revelations’ bizarre story at any rate. Not exactly Oscar-winning material, but this is proof that raw money can make something inherently dumb into something watchable. I don’t even care that some crucial plot details are hidden away as bonus content. Resident Evil stories have always required a bit of irony to enjoy and the absurdity involving a clone of Ada and Jake being Wesker’s son are just par for the course in my book. Neo Umbrella. Just saying.
And that’s about it. I’m not going to pretend that RE6 is a good game by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s a certain elegance to its badness that I’ve latched onto. That, or I subconsciously conditioned myself to not hate this game because it has the Resident Evil name, which also seems quite possible at this point. Either way, with that RE 1.5 restoration project moving ahead quite nicely, it’s safe to say that even those who disliked this game have something with that name to look forward to again.