Happy Monday Duders - ALIVE! 01/25/16

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Hungry? Why wait!
Hungry? Why wait!

I'm reporting in from the Blizzard of '16 to let everyone know that I threw on a coat and scarf to wander about in the one-foot plus of snow we received in my area. Upon exiting my warm home, my wife was watching Amazon with my daughter by the fire, I immediately wanted to run back inside and finish another episode of The Man in the High Castle... but NO, I persevered for around 3 minutes or the length of time it took me to get to and from the mailbox and trash bin back to the front door. I returned a changed man, I had seen things (mostly just a ton of snow) but I knew at this point I needed more challenges in my life like those treacherous 5 steps leading to my driveway.

I was ready. Ready for the terrors I faced in gaming this week. I've had nightmares of my Ethan Hawke-esque (I don't think I ate anyone while I was outside in the cold but it's really all a blur) trek to the mailbox but it was all to prepare me for zombies, Eldritch horrors, and a 15 year old PS2 game running on a PS4. So, here's what I played this week:

Resident Evil Zero HD

I did not play the Gamecube version of this game when it was released and had totally forgotten about it until the remake/remaster/Capcom was announced and having played nearly every other game in this very up and down series I decided to give this a shot when it popped up on sale on Steam. The very first thing that I noticed when I booted this up was that the graphics look extremely nice for a game of this age and design. I had an idea what to expect having seen the remake of the Gamecube version of the first RE last year (this is getting very convoluted) but I was still surprised at how nice the character models looked. The initial cutscene and the opening sequence on the train are both very well done and set up what the two protagonists are going to be up against while also showcasing a cool setting, the runaway train.

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So, let's talk about those two protagonists. Rebecca and Billy are equally as terrible/OK as any other duo in the entire series. The voice acting does them no favors but if you played a Resident Evil game, ever, then you expect that. My favorite part of what I have played so far, which is around 3 hours, is that the main villain has a reasonable motivation and looks TOTALLY ridiculous. I mean honestly the design of that character just mashed together as many things as possible to come up with an antagonist that looks like a cross between Danzig and failed mid-2000's wrestler Mordecai.

I haven't finished it yet but I do intend to keep going and ride this train to the end of the tracks to see what it has in store. Sorry.

Darkest Dungeon

I bought this over the Steam Winter Sale because of the great word of mouth it had received during its Early Access phase and nearly jumped in a couple of times before a full release but decided to hold off. I'm not sure what has changed but I know that I love the look of Darkest Dungeon, the character designs are fantastic... the Jester has been the coolest looking character I have seen in the few hours I have been playing. The loop is pretty basic to this point, you wander through a dungeon and move slowly forward while going from room to room fighting monsters and trying to find gold and treasure. However, the combat quickly adds a few layers of complexity. Positioning is extremely important, if an enemy is too far away or blocked by the corpse of one of it's allies that you have already killed then a melee focused character may not be able to reach them but a ranged character may be able to hit them with a pistol shot or a grenade. There is also a hub area where you can recruit new characters or allow some of your party members to relax from the nightmarish journey they have been on... something that you will have to do because they will begin to slowly go insane with fear as your adventure gets darker and crazier.

Dark Cloud

I was a teenager when this was originally released on the PS2 in 2000 and always admired it from a distance as something that I would probably enjoy but never really had the time to fully engage with. I was busy playing Final Fantasy, Wild Arms, Star Ocean, etc. to really jump into another lengthy RPG. Now, I am an adult... with a family and less time to play games, so what better time to jump into a lengthy RPG from 15 years ago than now?!?!

I'm absolutely not Link... trust me.
I'm absolutely not Link... trust me.

I'm only a couple of hours in but already see the appeal, building your town back up while travelling into a dungeon to find homes, roads, trees, or even people in giant rock eggs is something that I can totally get behind. The characters I have met in the town so far are different enough to add specific personalities that can hold you over for the hours and hours it will take to beat Dark Cloud. I'm not sure what is ahead for me but I do plan to play this to completion. I hope I can stick to that because after the first time I played this I went into the PS Store and purchased Dark Cloud 2. I have incredible self-control, just ask my backlog!

Until Next Time

I originally intended to include my thoughts on Fallout 4 in this blog entry but that turned into a whole giant thing. When I sat down to write my opinion on it I ended up going into way more detail than I expected so I plan to make that my very first review here on Giant Bomb. YAY! I'm still working on it and hope to have that out in a couple of days, but we shall see.

A small tear rolls down my cheek when I see how large the aforementioned backlog has grown to be so I plan to use this blog from here on out to dig a bit into that and document my thoughts on the justified or totally questionable purchases I have made over the years. So, here are a few things I plan to play for the next blog:

Go Play Some Games

After such a long break from writing anything it's nice to get back into sharing my thoughts on the dumb things that I play. I hope whoever out there that reads this can get a bit of enjoyment from it and if you do let me know in the comments. I love interacting with all of the other Duders here and last year this blog series allowed me to do just that on a regular basis. I felt like I was getting into a bit of a groove with my writing last year when I went on hiatus so I hope I can get that back. Thanks for reading... and have a Happy Monday Duders!