Tag Archives: Resident Evil 5

Some relatively recent games that I didn’t like

The Warriors (2005)
developer: Rockstar Toronto
publisher: Rockstar
system: PlayStation 2
GameRankings score: 83%

Like Manhunt and Bully, The Warriors uses the PS2-era Grand Theft Auto engine.  However, the gameplay is totally different.  Warriors is basically a linear, story-driven beat-em-up, supplemented with tedious graphitti assignments.  I didn’t hate this game but, like 90% of beat-em-ups, the fighting mechanics are too simple.  The characters are all totally unlikeable and mindless rampaging is actually difficult given the closed nature of this release.

Resident Evil 5 (2009)
developer/publisher: Capcom
system: Xbox 360
GameRankings score: 86%

This was a really big disappointment, especially since the dipshit critics gave it such a relatively strong score.  I swear that there is industry bias for and against certain series and I think Resident Evil is on the better end of that deal.  Going into this game, it appears to be a continuation/extension of the game mechanics introduced in the excellent Resident Evil 4.  Well, looks can be deceiving.  Yes, there’s an over the shoulder view but almost every other element from RE4 has been trashed.  The controls, everything from running to fighting to simply restoring your fucking health has been totally clunked up.  The old Resident Evils were clunky due to design/technology limitations.  In this game the clunkiness seems to be based on stupid, intentional decisions.

You may have heard of the controversy surrounding this game, which involves a great white hero gunning down armies of black zombies in Africa and how Capcom attempted to address this problem by adding a “black” sidekick character.  The sidekick is a complete failure.  She gets in the way, she holds you back, she’s annoying and she appears to be at most half-black, with very caucasian facial features.  This game was a real letdown.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)
developer/publisher: Nintendo
platform: GameCube
GameRankings score: 96%

I don’t hate this game but 5.5 hours in I don’t feel like playing it any more, which in my mind is a pretty big indictment for a Zelda game.  Naturally, the critics loved it but why?  Remember the first Zelda game?  A dude gives you a sword and bam! you’re off on an adventure.  Within an hour you’ve found the first dungeon.  This fucking game spends the first couple of hours on linear fetch quests that take place entirely within some dump of a village.  You can’t enter the main overworld until you’ve found someone’s cat, found someone else’s favorite baby basket, rounded up some goats, ugh.  Everyone sits in their exact spot in the village saying their exact same thing like we’re still in the Super NES days.  Link is saddled with an annoying sidekick elf/monster/whatever thing and he sometimes turns into a wolf.

The game has a great look to it but just seems to come up very short in the category of personality.  Its predecessor, The Wind Waker, had a lot of issues but it was bursting with great personality and it looks great.

Left 4 Dead (2008)
developer: Valve
publisher: EA
system: Xbox 360
GameRankings score: 89%

I bought this game because I really liked Valve’s The Orange Box compilation for Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, and Portal.  I did not give a flying fuck about the online-only multiplayer-only Team Fortress 2Left 4 Dead looks a lot like Half-Life but it’s about as deep as Team Fortress 2.  In other words, it’s basically designed for you to go online, turn off your brain, and play through its rather short missions over and over.  I can’t think of any other game with so little content that was given such a high score by the critics.

Prince of Persia (2008)
developer: Ubisoft Montreal
publisher: Ubisoft
system: Xbox 360
GameRankings score: 80%

All of the games on this list have pretty good visuals but this game definitely takes the cake in this regard.  I love the look of this particular PoP game, much more than its PS2/GameCube/Xbox predecessors.  Unfortunately, the gameplay took some really stupid steps backwards.  There are a lot of little changes that mostly feel like they were made for the sake of changing something, anything.  In the Sands of Time trilogy games, the trigger buttons were used to dash along walls in a very reliable and tightly controlled manner.  Now, you kind of jump at a wall and hope the game understands that you want to run along the wall and not jump off of it.  The fighting has been completely retooled, completely for the worse.  The one thing that very obviously improved in each Sands of Time trilogy game was the fighting, but that’s been abandoned for a hilariously stupid, slow-motion, scripted battle mechanic.  It’s too bad the action in this game sucks because the Prince seems pretty likeable, as opposed to the sad cunt found in Warrior Within and The Two Thrones.

“2009 Games I’m Looking Forward To” Follow-up

At the beginning of the year I wrote about some then-forthcoming games that I was looking forward to.  Most of the games on the list have now been released.  I’ve only played a couple of the games and won’t play the others until they’re much cheaper but here’s what the critics think of them (courtesy of aggregate scorer Gamerankings.com).  As you can see, some seem to have turned out quite nicely while some appear to be disappointments.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (Rockstar)
DS: 93%

Street Fighter IV (Capcom)
Xbox 360/PlayStation 3: 93%

Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost & Damned (Rockstar) *downloadable expansion*
Xbox 360: 90%

Punch-Out!! (Nintendo)
Wii: 88%

Resident Evil 5 (Capcom, Xbox 360/PlayStation 3)
Xbox 360 score: 86 (59 ratings)
PlayStation 3 score: 87 (52 ratings)

Madworld (SEGA)
Wii: 83%

Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Atari)
Xbox 360/PlayStation/PC version: 78%
Wii/PlayStation 2 version: 72%
DS version: 56%

Bionic Commando (Capcom)
Xbox 360/PlayStation 3/PC: 73%

The Lord of the Rings: Conquest (EA)
Xbox 360/PlayStation 3/PC version: 55%
DS version: 53%

Conclusion: Well, LOTR, Ghostbusters and Bionic Commando look like stinkers, especially when you consider the nerd reviewers probably gave them free points for nostalgia or fanboy reasons.  I’m most intrigued by Madworld as the scores are really love-it or hate-it, much like God Hand, created by the same development team.  The End.

Xbox 360: One Year Later

It’s been about a year since I bought my Xbox 360. So was it worth it?! Was it a mistake?! Maybe. On the one hand I haven’t bought very many retail games for it. The problem is I was never going to go out and buy a bunch of $60 games to play on it so everything I have is either used or a cheaper Greatest Hits re-release. Here are the retail games I’ve purchased:

Perfect Dark Zero (about $7 used): It sucked. I barely played it at all before selling it. Thanks for nothing, Rare.

Kameo – Elements of Power (about $6 used): I played it longer than Perfect Dark but it was just boring so ditched it. Thanks for nothing, Rare.

NCAA Football 2007 ($5 used): I just bought it to have a semi-recent football game. Really not that different from PS2 football games except for improved graphics. Still, for $5 it was worth it. I played a season or two, no big deal.

Gears of War ($25 or $30 used): I guess this was my attempt at playing one of the monster hits for 360.  I probably should have just waited until it was even cheaper because one of the big draws with this game is online multiplayer, which I’m unlikely to use.  The single player story portion of the game IS VERY GOOD but could have been longer.  The gameplay is like Resident Evil 4 but with a fuck you up Contra sensibility.

then I went many months without buying anything new for the 360 until . . .

BioShock ($30 new – greatest hits type price): I played the demo for this one and rushed out to buy a copy.  Oops.  I still haven’t actually played the game.

The Orange Box ($25 used): The game that someone or other called ‘the geatest value in video game history’.  It contains a port of the PC hit Half Life 2, plus the expansions Half Life 2 Episode 1 and Half Life 2 Episode 2 and a shooter/puzzle game called Portal AND a crazy team-based fps called Team Fortress 2.  I loaded Team Fortress 2 and saw that it was online multiplayer only and I got pissed.  So haven’t played any of the games yet.  Oops.

Grand Theft Auto IV ($30 used – Christmas present): Great game.  Wrote about it elsewhere.

Xbox Live Arcade Games – 360 has a lot of games that you can download.  I actually think this is an awesome service, as it allows smaller companies to make simple, old-fashioned or even super innovatively risky games that sell for cheap.  And contrary to what I may have written in the blog earlier, you do NOT have to have a paid Xbox Live account to buy download games.

Prince of Persia Classic ($10): A great game.  It’s a remake of the original PoP but with 3D graphics and a look inspired by the reboot series from 2003.  Glad I bought it.

Pac-Man Championship Edition ($10): Another great game.  It could have been conceived in the early 1980s but it wasn’t so there!  It’s a lot deeper than the classic Pac-Man but really just as simple and intuitive to play.  Six different modes, all of them quality.

Bionic Commando Rearmed ($15): Billed as a remake of the NES Bionic Commando, it’s more of a reimagining.  Many of the levels are different, the bosses are different, etc.  It’s a great game.  GLAD I BOUGHT IT.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix ($15): This has been a huge hit on XBLive Arcade but I haven’t gotten into it yet.  For one thing, the 360 controller sucks for this game.  Another issue is the ‘upgrades’.  Basically, all the sprites and backgrounds have been redrawn but not for the better.  Yes, they’re clearer but the new art was provided by the losers at Udon comics, an American company that makes Street Fighter comics.  The animation isn’t improved at all.  If someone in the background only has 2 frames in their movement in the original, they only have 2 here.  Lame.

Demos

It may seem like my 360 purchase was ill-advised and it probably was.  However, in spite of the small number of games I’ve actually bought and played through for the system, I’ve played a lot of demos.  The great thing about XBox Live is that huge amount of demos available.  I remember when I was a kid there were so many NES games I just wanted to try, whether they were good or bad.  Well, you can do that sort of thing now with Live.  Some of the demos are pretty long and probably give you as much of the game as you actually want to play.  For instance, the Dead Rising demo appears to be untimed and allows you to run around brawling with zombies to your heart’s content until you’re either killed or wander into a restricted area.  Last night I played the demo for Watchmen game.  It was no great shakes but now I know for sure.  It even let me play for over 20 minutes before I triggered some cutscene that ended it.  Soon I will check out the Resident Evil 5 demo.  Lots of demos!  Is cool.

2009 Game Releases For Which I Have Cautious Optimism

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Rockstar – Nintendo DS

It’s a brand new entry made specifically for DS.  The runs in full 3D but the standard camera view is overhead with 360 degree movement.  It takes place in Liberty City (again) and focuses on all them crazy East Asians I hear so much about.  Supposedly, the game’s been in development for over 2 years and hopefully the result will be high quality.

Grand Theft Auto IV: Lost and the Damned

Rockstar – Xbox 360

This new installment is a downloadable expansion for GTAIV.  It uses the same environments and all that jazz but features a new story, characters, missions, etc.  It’s kind of stupid that it’s not being released for PS3 but that’s the nature of today’s insulting exclusivity contracts.

Dragon Quest IX: Protectors of the Sky

Square Enix – Nintendo DS

I haven’t really played much Dragon Quest but I can’t help being intrigued by this release.  Akira Toriyama’s art looks fun, as usual, and I like playing RPGs on the go.  Plus, by the time it comes out the game will have been announced 3 YEARS earlier.  With that kind of development time, it had better be awesome.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Atari – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2

Why am I excited for this game?  Let me count the ways.  First, it was written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, the homies what writ the moviez.  Second, the characters are all voiced by the actors that starred in the movies.  Third, this ain’t just some game.  This is the script that was meant to be Ghostbusters III aka Ghostbusters Go To Hell.  Yeah, that’s right, the GBz go to HELL in this game.  Now, none of that has anything to do with the actual gameplay but it’s enough to make a mediocre game at least pretty enjoyable.  But if the gameplay is there then this game will be awesome.  PS – The X360 and PS3 versions will feature realistic graphics while the Wii and PS2 versions will have more cartoony visuals.

Street Fighter IV

Capcom – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Hey, it’s the latest game in the Street Fighter series and actually looks like a new game with a really distinct art style.

Resident Evil 5

Capcom – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Well, RE4 was a great game and this looks like more of the same in a good way.  This time, the action takes place in Africa and it has black people.  Still, even with a solid game engine, Africa, and black people, most of the people that made RE4 great have since left the company.

Bionic Commando

Capcom – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

My optimism for this game is extremely cautious for several reasons.  First, there haven’t been very many previews of this game yet.  Second, I know very little about the developer, GRIN, although they did do a very good job with the 2D Bionic Commando Rearmed release last year.  Third, this will be the very first 3D Bionic Commando game.  Most series made the 2D to 3D transition about 10 years ago but old BC is a late bloomer.  On a final note, Mike Patton, one of my favorite singers/musicians/composers is providing the voice of the main character.  Hopefully he will use the money to make another Tomahawk album.

Lord of the Rings Conquest

EA – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

I’m really not very fond of the LoTR films but my interest in this game stems more from the development team involved.  Pandemic Studios were the force behind the 2 Star Wars Battlefront games, which I actually liked a great deal.  If you’re not familiar, it’s basically mayhem with dozens of troops running around waging a battle.  When the guy you’re controlling is killed you just take over another dude and keep fighting until a side wins.  So the game will probably be fun even if it does have orcs and that kinda garbage.

Madworld

SEGA – Wii

Remember the RE4 guys I previously mentioned that have left Capcom?  This is their first game for SEGA and it looks like a doozy: it features visuals that look like they were ripped right out of Sin City, ridiculously bloody action, and a Running Man-style storyline.  The development team, now known as Platinum Games, made one of my favorite over-the-top PS2 games, God Hand, and I demand more of the same, God bless them.