Saturday, February 22, 2014

Diary Entry #10: OverBlood > Resident Evil 5

                After five years of ignoring Resident Evil 5, I finally bought a copy. Eager to play, I actually picked it up almost immediately after my last blog post. Resident Evil 4 is easily one of the crown jewels of its time, taking all of the classic elements of survival horror and remixing them into something bold and fresh. There's still limited ammo and healing items, but you have to use them a lot more often as the action elements of the survival horror experience are really stretched to the breaking point. If the game was any more actiony, it probably wouldn't be a survival horror game at all.

                Which is how I feel about Resident Evil 5. Since I've started, I've already been through three variations of the house scene from RE4, where droves of enemies come bashing through windows to attack you. I don't even think there's been one puzzle, a situation that's tarnished much of my experience. The adventure aspect of survival horror is really what draws me in. If I wanted to just blast away at everything in my path, I'd play Serious Sam.

                So I stopped playing after chapter 2-2 or something. Final thought: RE4 wasn't broken up into levels, right? The individual section setup in RE5 just makes the whole experience seem too linear.

                I did, however, recently enjoy Overblood. A survival horrorish game by Riverhillsoft, Overblood is more of an adventure game with some bad action elements tacked on. Much of the time is spent solving puzzles and finding paths around fatal traps, which makes it more akin to the developer's previous Alone in the Dark clone, Doctor Hauzer. Doctor Hauzer was released for the 3DO in 1994 exclusively in Japan, making Overblood the only real taste America got of Riverhillsoft's style.

An R2-D2 ripoff with an
arm on it's head.

                The death sequences are pretty amazing. At one point, there's a giant fan you can get sucked into, mauling you to pieces. My personal favorite is early on in the game, where you need to push a floating statue over before you remove the anti-gravity chip that keeps it afloat. If you don't, the statue comes falling on you head, leading to instant game over. Evidently Doctor Hauzer is just filled with instant deaths like this. I'm excited to try it out.

                The one thing I truly loathe in Overblood is the bland combat. Occasionally, a mutant will pop  up, jumping all around the room and punching you to death. Since this is the only enemy in the game aside from the final boss, these battles never get any tougher. Keep hammering the punch and kick button at the right times and your golden. Still, the puzzles and storyline definitely take precedence, giving Overblood a huge edge over Resident Evil 5.

                Recently, I've also been interested in picking up the worst games of the last console generation. Generally, most games nowadays are rarely declared terrible. If anything, they're labelled generic, given a 5 or 6 out of 10 rating, and that's the end of it. Back in the NES days, there was a strange allure to bad games. Take Athena for example: it's a terrible game, but it's much more fun to pick up and play than Aliens: Colonial Marines. My goal is to discover the so-bad-it's-good games, the ones that are great because they're so stupid.

Courtesy of Mobygames. Athena sucks
in the best way possible.

                On Wii, I've found Cabela's Survival and Cursed Mountain. The former is a rail-shooter mixed with ridiculous mountain scaling gameplay, while the latter is a Resident Evil 4 clone with absolutely no brain. Pickings on my PS3 are much more interesting, including Vampire Rain, Time and Eternity, and Terminator: Salvation. With it's hobo Metal Gear Solid approach, Vampire Rain is easily the crown jewel of this selection. I'll go more in depth as I actually get around to playing these games.

                Since I finished Overblood, it's a little unclear what I should play next, but I'm thinking it might be Dino Crisis 2 or some Game Boy Advance stuff.

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