RElapsed Fan – REintroduction to the Series

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Posted by Nightriff (7193 posts) -
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Sometime around early 1997 my older brother (by 10 years) brought home an unknown game system that I had heard very little of. It was something called the “PlayStation” I think it was. At this time, why would anyone need a gaming system besides a Nintendo 64? I belated my brother on not getting a N64 because everyone at school had that and not this “Japanese thing” or whatever it was. Regardless he presumed to set it up in his own room where he had his own personal television Over the course of owning the console that year he bought home several games I specifically remember: Jet Moto where I always played as the Butterfinger characters as it was my favorite candy, another racing game called Metal Gear Solid that had like a bazillion discs (I never played the game in my defense), a cool demo disc with a ton of games I could play (something that finally impressed me) and another game that he said I couldn’t play when mom was around as he would get in trouble, that game was called Resident Evil.

This image is pretty much my first memory of Resident Evil
This image is pretty much my first memory of Resident Evil

Over the next few weeks my brother would proceed to come wake me up late after my parents had gone to bed to come play Resident Evil. Looking back his main motivation was probably to scare the shit out of me for his own entertainment, and it worked. We didn’t have a memory card (or he would never let me have my own save, don’t remember specifically) so I never got very far in the game but I didn’t care. This was a creepy mansion with the walking dead and I was scared shitless. It was years later that I found out people made fun of the hilarious lines and FMV video, but I was 8-9 years old and took it as seriously as a Rated R movie. I vividly remember the hallway where some dude sounded like he was eating a guy…what the fuck? And he slowly turns around and HE’S FUCKING DEAD! I froze there my first time as I was freaked out and proceeded to let the dude bite the shit out of my neck. Another time I was watching my brother who was “crazy” far into the game (or I assumed he was) where there was this dead dude in the chair with a grenade launcher. He picked up the weapon and the crows began to attack him mercilessly, he freaked out and proceeded to fire all of his grenades, missing all of the attacking crows, this was the first time that the game got to him when I was present and it was great (I’m still unsure if this scenario actually happened or whether it was a story I fabricated to brag to my friends at school on the playground). From that point on I was a fan of the Resident Evil series and I wanted to consume as much of the series as I could.

I guess I'm one of the few to like you Billy...
I guess I'm one of the few to like you Billy...

Looking back now I was never as big as a fan as I thought I was. There are a number of factors that led to this: I was a child so I had no sources of income to buy games; my parents hated video games so when I would get a game it would have to be very selective; I didn’t follow any sort of gaming magazines or websites so I had no idea there were other Resident Evil games; again I was a kid so my tastes and desires in terms of video games often changed, I very well could’ve wanted a game only for that game to be usurped by another cool game that I saw walking through Target, at a friend’s house, talked about at school, etc.

My next experience with the series would be the REmake and RE0 on the Gamecube. God damn I was impressed with the graphics in those games and this would also be the first time I actually beat a Resident Evil game. I have a lot of reverence and respect for those two games even to this day. REmake was just such an amazing game and legitimately scaring with the addition of the crimson heads. RE0 was just so cool that I could control two characters and switch between them at will, they would help in combat, I would have to solve puzzles by leaving them in another location, and this was just so revolutionary to me at the time that games could do that. These two games along with Eternal Darkness really defined the years I owned my Gamecube and paved the way for probably my peak fandom when I played Resident Evil 4.

What a great first impression this was
What a great first impression this was

Once again I never really followed gaming in anyway except from my brother. We were visiting him (probably around mid to late 05) and he had this game that he wanted me to play, Resident Evil 4. He let me play all the way through the town survival part and I was blown away. Everyone coming to attack you, barricading yourself in the house by blocking the windows and the door, the intensity of that scenario still haunts my memory. Wait that sounds like a chainsaw, what the fuck are they doi-HOLY SHIT THEY ARE COMING THROUGH THE DOOR WITH A CHAINSAW. Next thing you know I have a chainsaw in the side of my neck and I was sold on the game. My brother who had recently beaten that game and was looking to shell the game as quickly as possible sold it to me, it was probably way overpriced but I really didn’t care, I just wanted to play this game. Resident Evil 4 to this day is probably the game I have beaten the most times. I easily played it at least 20 times in a row at one point, constantly starting a New Game + right after escaping on a jet ski and turning the sexy President’s daughter advances down. I consider RE4 as one of the best controlling games ever (fuck you @jeff, you’re wrong), contains a fun action/horror story, amazing visuals and atmosphere and a kickass hero. Resident Evil 4 was that one game that I come across every once in a while that captivates me for months on end and I can’t stop playing.

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Then Resident Evil 5 came out. This time in my life I was just working during the day and hanging out with friends at night. Had a job but no expenses so I was swimming in cash and bought anything I wanted, because I could. I had purchased the GC version of RE2 and 3 and intended to play before the release of RE5, but something called Metal Gear came into my life and never got around to beating them before March like I had intended. I remember getting off work at 9:30 PM, met with my friends in the parking lot and heading to the GameStop to wait for the midnight launch of RE5. I super pumped as everything I had seen about the game was awesome and reminded me a lot of what I loved about RE4. Now don’t get me wrong, RE5 isn’t a bad game by any means, it just didn’t feel right to what I had learn to love and respect of the series prior. It was fun to play but after 2 or 3 playthroughs I was done. When the DLC was released I bought those and intended to give RE5 another go along with the DLC, but I stopped a few hours in. It just wasn’t the same experience and I had fallen out of love with Resident Evil.

Over the years since 2009 I flirted several times of rekindling my love with the series. But no plans ever came through. Until recently there was a thread about 8-4 Play and when they did a RE focused podcast. Now I’m a sucker for video game series talk, I’m still pining for the cut 20 minutes of Resident Evil discussion that occurred back in 2011 that Ryan cut from a podcast. So when I heard that there was an hour + long discussion I had to check it out. And what do you know, I sit here now planning out a series playthrough of the Resident Evil games, and I can’t wait to start. Just 4 dudes sitting around and talking about Resident Evil was really enough to convince me to try again, and by starting and (hopefully) writing these series of blogs will keep me honest. I would like to thank specifically @yummylee and @quarters for answering questions I had and giving suggestions on how to approach this task.

After consideration I decided to go based on chronological order rather than release order. A lot of me returning is the main story that connects all the games which I’m a big sucker for in video game series. I know people shit on Nintendo releasing the order of the Zelda games, but I find that type of shit cool and interesting. Therefore the order I plan on approaching these games will be:

  • Resident Evil 0
  • Resident Evil 1: Director’s Cut
  • Resident Evil 3 (Up until Carlos)
  • Resident Evil 2 (Claire A/Leon B)
  • Resident Evil 3
  • Code Veronica X
  • Darkside Chronicles - (these games are unplayable with a controller, disbanding them from the playthrough)
  • Umbrella Chronicles - (see above)
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Revelations
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Revelations 2
  • Resident Evil 6

For the most part I will be playing all the games off the PlayStation systems (except for 0). When it comes to Darkside and Umbrella Chronicles I might just take Quarter’s suggestion and watch the cutscenes on youtube, but maybe when it comes time to play them I’ll feel like playing a railshooter. And, as Quarters suggested, I’ll be throwing in the anime films for the lore (I remember enjoying Degeneration when it was first released) just for the hell of it. And again, just for the hell of it, I’ll play the recent REmake somewhere down the line, I want the initial experience of the Director’s Cut and then eventually take a stroll through the game I actually beat at some point.

My main goal is to enjoy the series, so I will be avoiding the urge to rush through the series as quickly as possible. I do best with series’ when I have a palate cleanser between games (like what I’ve been doing with the MGS series this year) and unless I really want to start the next iteration, I’ll use the same philosophy. And I want to start writing my thoughts down more often about games, so another goal is to write down hopes, thoughts, memories, theories of each game before hand and then come back after I’ve completed it to counter or back up my initial thoughts. I personally love the before/after type of writing and thus I’ll be doing the same. And as I advance in the series I want to go back and add additional thoughts to games if my opinion has changed. Since I’m starting with RE0 (and it’s a game I have tons of nostalgia for) I hope to express the memories I had of the game, the now impression and then future thoughts looking back on the game compared to others in the series.

I want to enjoy the series as much as I can so there is no time table on when I’ll be playing each game, but rather just the order will keep me focused. I don’t like the idea of planning out a schedule because I never know what game will grab my attention for a few weeks and eventually I just keep delaying playthrough after playthrough. If I beat at least one game a month I would be happy with that pace as I advance in the series.

I would like to thank the community, Giant Bomb moderators and crew for being awesome throughout the years. In only the few years I’ve been here a lot of people of come and gone but for the most part the attitude and atmosphere as always been the same and I thank you guys for that. Comments, suggestions, criticism, tips, hints, corrections would be most appreciated. Goal is to start Resident Evil 0 within the next few days, I’ll have to find all my Gamecube shit first….

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EDIT: Blogs Will Be Posted Here

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#1 Posted by deactivated-5b031d0e868a5 (935 posts) -

Any particular reason for the Claire A / Leon B choice in RE 2?

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#2 Posted by Nightriff (7193 posts) -

@freezyfrog: I've been told that is canon, I haven't found any info suggesting otherwise.

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#3 Edited by deactivated-5b031d0e868a5 (935 posts) -

@nightriff: Good to know - I look forward to your future posts!

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#4 Posted by Yummylee (24646 posts) -

@freezyfrog: I've been told that is canon, I haven't found any info suggesting otherwise.

Indeed it is, as has been noted on our very own meticulously detailed RE2 page ;) And I wish you well on your endeavour! There's so many RE games that I haven't written up a huge blog about myself, so your blogs will likely act as a window for me to then start rambling in return :P Though it's too bad that you've chosen what is probably the worst venue for an RE blog series, as they're such games that never attract much attention on the GB forums for whatever reason.

Still, I at least will be sure to give them a read and comment as they come!

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#5 Posted by nevalis (116 posts) -

Good luck with your endeavors! I loved the RE series during its heyday, but mostly stuck with the RE2/RE3.

For some reason, I always did Leon A/Claire B, and, like a jerk, I'd take the SMG in Leon's game. Poor Claire.

In RE3, I decided to play through with no weapons (besides mandatory fights), and no saves. The quick turn, dodge, and push mechanics made it possible to navigate through crowded areas. It made the Hunter encounters fairly intense.

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#6 Posted by Young_Scott (145 posts) -

As a big RE fan (who cares too much about its silly lore for my own good), I wish you the best of luck on your endeavor!

I feel that REmake and RE4 represent the best of their particular styles, but RE2 (or arguably Code Veronica X) and RE5 are close seconds for me.

And then there are the games that have issues, but some super interesting ideas, like the Chronicles games and the Outbreak series (the latter of which is a bit of a mess, now, but was incredibly ambitious at the time and probably deserves a modern interpretation).

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#7 Posted by Nightriff (7193 posts) -

@yummylee: Yup, RE doesn't get the same pull in the forums like MGS does as an example. And if the blogs end up just being you and me having a discussion, so be it. That means I at least wrote blogs about the games to begin which is really one of my main goals. I've wanted to, for a while now, start writing down thoughts and opinions about games that I've played. Feel like this is a great excuse to start this.

@young_scott: The lore was what I originally enjoyed back in the day so I'm very much looking forward to learning about all the viruses and shit. Its very campy lore with a lot of bullshit but I hope to just enjoy it.

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#8 Edited by Quarters (2658 posts) -

@nightriff Hey, as a slight update, watch Damnation before Revelations 2. Having now finished Revelations 2, Damnation actually comes first.

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#9 Edited by Nightriff (7193 posts) -

@quarters: Thank you for the update, you've been great

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