Why I still love Resident Evil

Image

Ever since Resident Evil 5 came out, fans and non-fans have claimed that Resident Evil has changed. That it’s no longer Resident Evil at all. There’s too much action and not enough survival. I cannot disagree, it has changed but I believe that change is for the better.

Change can be good. Things have dramatically changed since the first Resident Evil on PSone, the graphics have improved, we have better story-tellers, technology has leapt forward and games are much longer than they used to be. Imagine if games companies kept using the same tactics over and over again, no one wants to play the same game twice. When a sequel comes out, we think “what’s different? What’s new?” Which is why games have to keep evolving. Look at Spyro, it was a failing game franchise, doing the same things but worse with each release and then Activision had a great, money making idea for Spyro and it’s popularity has sky-rocketed since. Spyro has been reborn, all due to one fantastic idea. 

It was a similar story with Resident Evil, even gamers now will tell you how great Resident Evil 4 is and how it’s the best in the series. It was different to the previous games, there was more action, more suspense but it still managed to hang onto that horror feel. However, Resident Evil 5 was not given as many praises even though it’s the best selling Resident Evil game of all time. Many felt the African setting wasn’t scary enough, it wasn’t dark enough and I agree but RE can’t keep doing the same thing.

Image

It seems that many fans would rather Resident Evil was constantly set in a mansion, walking down long, dark corridors, waiting for things to pop out at them, but hasn’t RE done this so much already? It’s old school and sometimes old school is good (see the DLC for RE5) but it can’t be done all the time, we would get bored. As much as I love Albert Wesker, if he was the villian in every RE game, I would get bored of him.

RE6 is trying out a lot of new things. It has three stories instead of one, which intertwine and though it will be hard to get right, it will be amazing if Capcom pull it off. There’s new characters, there’s old characters, friends are fighting with each other, new enemies, new inventory system, the list goes on. RE is a series that needs to be kept fresh or it will go as stale as a zombie rotting in Raccoon City. It may have moved away from it’s roots but most games need to in order to survive among the action-packed modern day games.

For me, Resident Evil is still Resident Evil, it has the characters I love, the zombies I like to shoot but with a new twist, something that keeps it fresh. Yes it may not be a traditional RE game any more but I played RE5 to death and if millions of people enjoy playing it as much as I do, who are you to argue otherwise?

Why is there a huge lack of split-screen games?

Image

This past week has been spent with my boyfriend at his house. We both love to game and so, in the weeks before, we tried to find a new co-op game we could play together. We wanted something new that neither of us had played before so we could explore a new story together. However, we looked everywhere, on the backs of every box, and not one of them had split-screen co-op.

But, almost every single game had online co-op. Mass Effect 3 and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City for example would have been perfect with split-screen co-op. Why then do they choose to do it online over local? The most obvious answer is that almost everyone has the internet now and with online gaming growing every minute, perhaps online gaming has become more popular than playing with someone in the same room as you. However, where’s the evidence to prove we don’t play with our “real” friends anymore? When I moved to university, I made gaming friends and we would buy (and still do) a game on the principle it’s local multiplayer – no one wants to come round and watch just one person game at a time. But there is a huge lack in these games and it’s becoming even more common to not have local multiplayer it seems to me games companies are missing out on a huge market. Families, students, couples…these are all the sorts of people that love to play games together and I feel that devs are missing out on targeting these groups.

It doesn’t make much sense to leave it out either. An online server costs money to run and maintain, and sometimes those servers eventually get shut down when they’re not so popular anymore to save money. A local version of this would cost them next to nothing in comparison, it would be so easy to implement so why don’t they? It seems we are being punished for having real life friends or playing with our families and that doesn’t seem right.

Image

Local co-op can make a crap game good in some cases. Okay, some would argue the polar opposite but hear me out. My boyfriend and I finally found a game with local co-op during our week together. Neither of us had played it before and it was under a tenner so it was perfect. It was called Hunted: The Demon’s Forge and it had been given average reviews but we thought we’d give it a go. It was good fun but I think the experience wouldn’t be as fun if you were playing it alone.

There’s no evidence to suggest gamers have gotten more anti-social in the past few years, in fact the Wii has proven we love to play games together, so please developers, don’t leave us without local co-op when you include an online version.

Maxim’s “gamer girl” competition

Promotional girls for Xbox - making us girls look dumb.

As my American followers will know, Maxim are currently running a “gamer girl” competition. The winner will get a photo-shoot in the magazine and get to represent female gamers everywhere. Will Luton quite rightly wrote a disapproving article on the contest, stating it was showing that, yet again, for females to get ahead they have to take their kit off. And I agree, as you know from my previous posts I hugely disagree with taking your clothes off to get ahead but here’s something that may shock you.

I was going to enter the contest. Naturally, it’s for US residents only so I was slightly disappointed. ‘But you, a feminist, why would you enter!?’ Well, it was mainly going to be an experiment – i.e see how many votes I could get without showing any flesh. But it was also, partly to show what a real girl gamer looked like to the rest of the public. By “real girl gamer” I mean, your average girl next door who plays games, which is what I am. I’m not a model and I never will be, I’m not attractive enough, or maybe I should say, I’m not stereotypically what men find attractive. I’m no Jessica Nigri.

I was voting for someone I support yesterday, a gamer called Starslay3r. She made a youtube video calling out to her thousands of followers to vote for her because she’s a professional gamer (it’s true) who has been, and would be, a great spokesperson and promises not to take her clothes off. I hope this girl wins, I really do because I know she would be the kind of person if, even if she was forced, would flat-out refuse to do bikini shots if Maxim asked her to. At least, I hope she would anyway. If a girl like this wins, who’s fit to do the job and represent us girls properly I will be glad. There are however, a lot of girls on there who are squishing their boobs together for votes, literally. Some girls even have innocent pictures as their main image but when you go into their profile, their other pictures are them in a bikini or pulling down their hoodie zipper to show their boobs. Yes, you have boobs, congratulations so does every other woman here. The problem is, maybe not just with Maxim magazine, but with the girls who enter it who are just as bad – they’re happy to show skin to move up in a contest.

These aren’t the only girls who do us gamers a bad name either. I’m not a fan of Ami Nakajima (obviously not her real name) and Jessica Nigri (who I mentioned before). These two ladies represent certain games at gaming events. Ami represents Wipeout 2048 and Jessica is currently promoting Lollipop Chainsaw. These girls are at these events in skin tight, cleavage boosting outfits. They go out of their way to get male attention, they do ridiculous poses with them and they talk about the games. The funny thing is, when you actually sit down and talk to them, they’re great (well, I can only say this for Ami). She knows all about the game, she works in the industry and she’s, a little too much, obsessed with it. And that’s great! That’s what a female gamer should be but unfortunately when you wear outfits like that, every man in the room is too busy staring at your tits to really care what you’re saying and it makes us girls look crap. We turn up in out jeans and t-shirts thinking – is that the way I should be dressing just to get people to listen to me? The answer should be no.

This isn’t just me being a jealous girl and complaining, if a man can complain about Maxim’s competition, that makes me feel a lot better as a lot of people will see a girl complaining and laugh and say – oh they’re just jealous. This is not the case. A lot of people dislike the term “girl gamer” and I agree it has some negative connotations but I would like those to change. I want a girl, or group of girls, to represent us (and no, not the Fragdolls, please) who are normal girls who play games like any normal man. We don’t need women who look like models, who game in their bikinis or who think it’s sexy to lick a controller, just an average girl to represent us would be great.  Someone to prove you don’t need to show flesh in order to be popular. Is that really too big a request?

PlayStation Orbis: The games industry VS its customers

Image

As you might have heard there are rumours flying around the internets that the next PlayStation will be called “Orbis”Make of that what you will but the article also says it will lock games to a user, meaning no more second hand games. This backs up what developers have been saying to us for a while – second hand sales massively affect their revenue. The problem is – what if consumers want to borrow their mates games because they can’t afford a new one? What will become of them?

Thus the argument begins. Is the games industry more important or its customers? Take me as a good example, I’m a student. I can’t afford to buy new games, I can’t remember the last time I bought a game, instead I’ve been borrowing friends games (or even letting them borrow mine!). I also know many other friends, who do buy games fairly often, also borrow games off each other. What happens to us? Boo hoo you can’t play new games so you say but this means I become a dissatisfied customer. I start losing faith in my PlayStation and move onto a different console and then the games industry still gets affected. Or I spend my money on games and become poor when the games industry becomes rich. Can I really win?

Shops will also suffer, CEX could close down (let’s not forget that there are rumours the new Xbox is going to use the same anti-second-hand disc system too). GAME relied heavily on second-hand sales because it’s where they got their biggest profit margins and HMV no doubt do the same. Surely keeping our high-street open is more important? Or at least, just as important. Blockbusters would also be affected if there was no more borrowing going on.

Image

Some would say – so what? You can’t really borrow PC games and they do okay but their games are cheaper to start off with and with services like Steam, I’m pretty sure people trade account details to “borrow” the odd game. Do those devs suffer…?

However, if it really IS affecting the games industry like they say it, then surely having a games industry at all is more important because if we didn’t there would be less jobs, no gamers and no games shops. So maybe it’s better to support it and give up our hard earned cash for every brand new game. But if there are no customers, there’s no games industry, swings and roundabouts…

Will you lose faith in the industry if the rumours are true? Perhaps it’s all part of Nintendo’s secret plot to win everyone over if the next Xbox and PS really do decide to follow through with such an idea.