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Resident Evil: Conflicted

Resident Evil. What left could be said of this roller coaster-of-emotions of a franchise? A series that laid roots in survival horror and then dropped it to capitalize on the dudebro shooterman genre that keeps the heart of modern video games pumping.

Whether that is a legitimate decision is ultimately left up to the individual, but to me, the issue lies not within the direction Resident Evil is facing, but rather, the capability of the publisher and developer to make, well, good games.

And that's my issue with Resident Evil today. They are poor action games that feel like they are trying to convince themselves that they are still somehow survival horror. How can you forget the marketing campaign of Resident Evil 5? "Fear you can't forget". There was so much conviction within the campaign. "You are going to be terrified. You are going to scream for mercy, but there won't be any." etc, etc. They painted the picture that, hey, this game is gonna be scary. Then of course it came out and you'll probably end up playing co-op with a friend, talking over cutscenes and laughing about other stupid shit, like I did. It's hard to be afraid of anything in that environment. Taking a game in which you are alone and outnumbered by hoards of enemies and then, uh, giving you an equally equipped partner takes out any tension. Suddenly jump scares aren't scary. Suddenly being outnumbered means nothing. The fear has been removed.

With Resident Evil 5 however, I felt conflicted. I wanted a survival horror game, but what I got was more attuned to action and glory. Whereas I wanted to walk down corridors, fearful for what may lurk around the corner. I did not get that. I got, instead, "action game".


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A tale of love, life, and a barking dog


I've spent the last two, no, three weeks, shitting my brains out due to some weird stomach virus I got for some fucking reason. It got me thinking, what kind of Beauty & Beast member would I be?

See, when we first moved into our new apartment about a year ago, I was really nervous about sound. The last apartment we lived at was in government housing and our neighbors were the worst. They had this weird fixation on me and so every time I would make a noise, they would complain. They never even met me, I mean shit, people got shot at least once a day in that neighborhood so I wasn't going outside any time soon. It turned me into a recluse. Worse still, it made their fixation on me grow deeper. I have always been a night owl and so I sometimes sleep during the day and stay away at night. It's just who I've always been.

But I make noise sometimes. I can get loud, although not too loud. But their fixation shifted into this weird fantasy where they thought I was listening to them have "adult time", if you know what I mean. Every time I would make a noise, they would be over knocking on our door, complaining about the pervert upstairs listening to them. Ironically enough, I bought a pair of 5.1 Surroundsound Wireless Stero Headphones for my PS3, so I couldn't actually even hear what was going on in my own room, much less next door.

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MGSV: Going off the rails in a Phantom Train

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain seems to be bursting at the seams with ambition, from what Konami has released in these past few weeks. First we get a brand new trailer, some hot new screenshots, and press even got to see a live demonstration of the game played behind closed doors at E3. And their reactions say a lot.


Phantom Pain is an immediately stunning game. The scope of the mountainous landscape littered with canyons, livestock, villages, and creeks is staggering. Riding your horse across the plains brought shades of Red Dead Redemption, even down to the way the music would swell as you neared a dangerous area.
Writes IGN.
Before Snake heads towards the enemy camp, he surveys his surroundings. It's a gorgeous scene. The Phantom Pain's stunning open world is 200 times bigger than Ground Zeroes', we're told. This is true next-gen gaming, I think. Then Snake's horse takes a dump, right in front of the camera. We see everything, from the rear, in all its 1080p60 glory.
Writes Eurogamer.
All told, The Phantom Pain is the most complex Metal Gear Solid game yet, and I can't wait to dive into it headlong; under the cover of a cardboard box, of course.
 Writes Gamespot.

From the sounds of it, The Phantom Pain is a popular game amongst the people who got to see it at E3, and this is why. Just today Konami has released a 30 minute video of this demo onto the internet.



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Ground Zeroes: The first non-Metal Gear Metal Gear. Part Three, Final.

Ground Zeroes issue number 121423: hashtagnothinguponcompletion.

This is a big detractor for me as a fan of the series and someone excited for the game: You get nothing for getting 100 percent. Absolutely nothing. Again, big shock. In past games you would get get a bundle of things depending on conditions met such as: A Tuxedo costume that you can wear when replaying the game, a bandana(Editors note: This almost said banana) which gives you infinite ammo, a stealth camo device that turns you completely invisible to enemies, allowing you to poke and prod and preform all sorts of not-very-nice activities. You would also sometimes receive a weapon such as a Revolver or a Patriot, with infinite ammo.


You know, Joaquin Miller, I have no idea why you are still here.


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Ground Zeroes: The first non-Metal Gear Metal Gear. Part Two.

One big issue I have with the story of Ground Zeroes is one of the most confounding to me: The new voice of Snake. After David Hayter was fired and Kiefer Sutherland was hired, it really wasn't easy for me to accept. It still isn't. The voice of the english version of Snake for over 15 years and let go without notice because they were shifting focus from voice acting to facial capture.

I need an adult

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Ground Zeroes: The first non-Metal Gear Metal Gear. Part One.

With the release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes we have witnessed the next entry in the Metal Gear Solid universe, but was it good, or was it bad? Once upon a time(Read: One month ago) I thought it was good, great even, but now I'm not so sure.

One reason is probably the most disappointing: The glitches. Metal Gear Solid often has little to no glitches found within its titles and the ones that are there are so small and trivial that it's not worth mentioning. Ground Zeroes is littered with bugs that make me question many things, particularly the FOX Engine's reliability.

One bug not particularly exciting were the disappearing bodies. On PS3 and PS4(And Xbone360, I'd wager) the bodies would disappear if there were a handful of them in the same area. One such occurance of this was during the Side Op: Rogue Threat Elmination, in which I had tranq'd one of the targets and he fell down invisible. The map showed he was still there but never the less, I had to return later to find his body laying there, as it was before.

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On Ground Zeroes; Pricing, Length, and Entitlement

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes has drawn up a bit of controversy in these past few days. It started with a Game Informer article, which says they were able to finish the game in "about" two hours. That was shortly followed up with information that Kojima Productions speed-runners were able to finish the main mission(Of which there is only one. The rest being side missions.) in 5 minutes.

The controversy surrounding the game chalks it up to being a cash-grab for Konami, a clear plead for more money. They've hit a "roadblock" that Ground Zeroes could clear, people say. Konami needs money, and they are splitting this segment of the game from the rest of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, to earn it back, and that's not cool, people are saying.

The reality with this scenario is that The Phantom Pain is an unknown amount of time away and bears such a drastic change from the traditional Metal Gear Solid formula that it would benefit both the fanbase and Kojima Productions by easing players in with a tutorial. But it's not just a tutorial, there is a narrative that will lead players into the next game, The Phantom Pain.

This way, with as far out as The Phantom Pain could be, they can incorporate feedback right into the game and improve it even further. But for some people, this isn't good enough.

Let's look at the pricing for Ground Zeroes.

  • Retail PS3/360: $30.
  • Digital PS3/360: $20.
  •  
  • Retail PS4/Xbone: $40
  • Digital PS4/Xbone: $30.

Hmmm. It's actually quite pricey, isn't it? It may be quick to write off most people as "the internet" we all love to hate, but when you look at the numbers, for a game that can be potentially completed in 5(Read: FIVE) minutes, those higher numbers start to look worse and worse.

It's definitely interesting to see a reduced price for a small taste of the game, that definitely makes sense and it's nice to see publishers making such forward progression towards the realization that digital games are cheaper than retail games, due to no case, and less overall cost to them, the additional price on the PS4/Xbone versions are not so nice.

In practice, you could end up paying double the cost for one version of the game than the other. It's nice to think that Konami would be so progressive with its pricing for digital being less, but it forces me to think the opposite when you see next-gen versions are more expensive than their predecessors.

When you boil it down, what advantages does the PS4/Xbone versions really have to offer? Better graphics? Faster loading times? Is that worth paying twice the price for it?

When you boil it down to looking better and loading faster, under all of the grime and glitter, it's the same game. No additional content will be applied to the next-gen versions, no additional support is planned. When you buy the game, you get the game, whatever version it happens to be.

In my opinion, people have a right to be peeved about the situation with Ground Zeroes. In my boat, I have always planned on buying digitally for the PS3, which in my opinion, is the most appropriately priced version, $20. For $20 you get one short mission and 5 side missions, and a couple of cutscenes. You also get to play around with the brand new mechanics, weapons and world of Metal Gear Solid, which is the biggest selling point to me, but not many people would agree with me on that.

For a time, you could get a game titled Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag for around $40 when it was on sale. That game consists of at least 50 hours of content. For someone without a lot of money, that $40 commitment is a no-brainer. Assuming you like the Assassin's Creed formula, you are getting tons of content per dollar. A stark contrast to the content you will find in a game like Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, which is already the spark of debate around the net.

How much you spend vs. how much fun you have, that's something you'll have to figure out for yourself. But as Hideo Kojima and the rest of Kojima Productions have recently posted around their social media counterparts, they truly believe in the quality of their product and will proudly see the title on shelves next to games very much like Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.

Regardless, there are people out there that would probably pay even more.

On second thought, maybe $40 isn't so bad...

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