Tagged: Survival horror

Resident Evil Revelations 2 (Switch): thoroughly sensible action horror

It’s no Last of Us, but Resident Evil Revelations 2 is very good at what it does. The story is cheesy as Resi should be, the atmosphere creepy but not unrelentingly so, the action engaging and the controls butter smooth. Overall Revelations 2 does a fine job of combining elements of the pre-Resident Evil 4 and post-Resident Evil 4 games. Continue reading

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Dead Space (PS3) – Resident Evil 4 to the bone

Alongside Mirror’s Edge, Dead Space was EA’s other critical darling/commercial flop in the Wii/360/PS3 era. Unlike Mirror’s Edge, which is an original attempt at a first person platformer, Dead Space is a loving tribute to Resident Evil 4. It’s a tightly paced re-imagining of Capcom’s classic with some cool twists of its own. A handful of hours in I’m greatly enjoying it, and can recommend it above Shinji Mikami’s own spiritual successor to RE4, The Evil Within.

The aforementioned twists on the formula are: environments with zero gravity, and vacuums with a limited oxygen supply; unique weapons that depart from the usual pistol/shotgun/submachine gun formula; a heavy emphasis on dismembering foes. Where I’m at in the game, these have all proven themselves to be strong additions to the tried and true winning formula for the third person shooter laid down by Resident Evil 4.

How about that formula then? It’s been executed extremely well so far. There’s the strong sense of atmosphere, with plenty of tension as you encounter increasingly ghoulish scenes aboard the space station USG Ishimura. There’s the quick pace and a clear objective at all times. Frequent interactions with your capable comrades on the intercom or in person serve a dual purpose, just as in Resident Evil 4: they offer a welcome spot of relief from the grisly surrounds, as well as keeping you clear on your next objective. The Dead Space devs did their homework, that’s for sure.

There’s still plenty more of Dead Space for me to see – I hope – so maybe things will change. But as it stands I’m having a great old time and I can’t wait to see what other surprises the devs have in store for me through the rest of the game. I’ve also heard nothing but positive things about Dead Space 2, which I am dying can’t wait to check out too.

Weird Video Wednesday: WTF moments with Forbidden Siren 2 (PS2)

It was obvious from the off that something wasn’t quite right with this girl. You play as the guy helping her, and when you find her she’s stumbling about in the dark with zombies everywhere, a little bit too concerned about finding her mother as opposed to her own survival. Plus other normal people you come across accuse her of being a witch and attempt to physically assault her several times. All in all there are some pretty bad omens for this character. Still, when she starts undressing, well, let’s just say it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

For fear of spoilers, I haven’t watched this entire video. The first half of the video is a minor spoiler (i.e. something you come across quite early in the game), while the second half is from somewhere beyond where I’ve gotten to in-game. To be honest, I might never make it to the video’s second half in the game, as Forbidden Siren 2 (aka Siren 2 in North America) can be a frustrating experience; on more than one occasion I’ve started a level, only for something crucial to not activate. Net result: I run around completely clueless for an interminable period unsure of what to do, go to GameFAQs, discover that the game withheld some vital information, and then I swear. Lots.

Silent Hill 1 & 2, locked doors and videogames as a unique medium.

This post came about thanks to an argument with my partner over writing about videogames. Is there a way to speak about games that takes into account its uniqueness as a medium and doesn’t rely on ways of analysing films and books? Previously on this blog I’ve written about Ocarina of Time, and its links with The Arabian Nights and Disney’s Aladdin, but in doing so I was forced to ignore the gameplay of Ocarina of Time, which is by far the dominant way players experience the game. So how can we talk about games as games and not as anything else?

The first two Silent Hill games I see as two major milestones in gaming. Many critics, reviews and fans compare Silent Hill games to films: Jacob’s Ladder and David Lynch films are perhaps the most frequent examples. And they’re not wrong – there are definite links and influences being passed on. But at the same time no film can be seriously compared to Silent Hill (not even the Silent Hill films).

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Pu Li Ru La (Saturn) and the Cute Yellow Flowers

In case my previous post wasn’t explicit enough, let me relate now that I have been extremely excited for the arrival of Pu Li Ru La on Saturn. Incredibly, Lauryn Hill even altered the The Fugees’ song Fu Gee La so that she now sings  “Pu Li Ru La” throughout the chorus. I mean wow, seriously it’s so amazing that she would do that for her fans, even if it is just my imagination, like my mother keeps telling me.

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THIS. GAME. IS. SO. CUTE.

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Gregory Horror Show (PS2) Review

No, not Rocky Horror, Richard O’Brien has no role here in this discussion. Gregory Horror Show is a licensed game, based on a Japanese CGI TV show and later anime series of the same name. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Gregory Horror Show and the original TV show is its unusual art style, which makes characters look like cutout paper figurines.

gregory horror show ps2

Gregory Horror Show lets you control an unnamed character who, finding himself in a hotel run by the vaguely creepy mouse-owner Gregory, borrows the body of a child from Death himself. The child-body will allow our nameless hero to collect souls from guests in Gregory’s hotel, a favour requested by Death in exchange for the hero’s freedom from the hotel. In order to collect the souls from the hotel guests, the silent protagonist must befriend, deceive and annoy said guests in order to get them to hand over the souls, voluntarily or not. What is certain is that every soul taken from a guest makes that guest your enemy from there on out, and you quickly discover that you must avoid them to preserve your own sanity, which in this game functions essentially as a health meter. There are Resident Evil references including the use of Green, Red and Yellow herbs (this is a Capcom game after all), but the two play nothing alike. Instead, Gregory Horror Show is a unique hybrid of puzzle, survival horror and adventure, with a dose of Animal Crossing for good measure. Continue reading