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Mr Azar

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  1. Ah. So it's like how Resident Evil 2 was split into two discs, one for Leon and one for Claire.
  2. Mr Azar

    Metal Slug

    So, after nearly one and a half years, I finally opened my copy of Metal Slug Anthology and began playing it with a cousin. It does not disappoint, and I now regret not opening it earlier.
  3. In the meantime, you can just use TinyURL with Youtube links to solve the linking issue.
  4. Are they really entirely different games?
  5. It's a decent game on it's own. But a terrible Resident Evil, that's for sure.
  6. My bad . Fixed. I forgot that being thorough on the internet is a bad thing .
  7. You get used to the controls fairly quickly. In any event, running is usually the best course of action .
  8. Here are a few more for now. http://www.amazon.com/Folding-Grappling-Hook-Ninja-Gear/dp/B0009PGVG8/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1233171705&sr=8-2 http://www.amazon.com/Heinz-Spotted-Sponge-Pudding-10-Ounce/dp/B000II27QE/ref=tag_stp_st_edpp_ttl http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Urine-Lure-32-oz/dp/B0006IGZSM/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1233171757&sr=8-1 http://www.amazon.com/Fly-Parasites-10000-Eggs/dp/B0001KWFHU/ref=tag_stp_st_edpp_ttl http://www.amazon.com/Cloverdale-Fresh-Whole-Rabbit/dp/B00012182G/ref=tag_cdt_pa_edpp_url http://www.amazon.com/Wedding-Chapel-10-Wood-Roof/dp/B000HUQ1C4/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=miscellaneous&qid=1233171791&sr=8-1 http://www.amazon.com/Dagobert-Wooden-Toilet-Throne-Solid/dp/B000BRA28M/ref=tag_stp_st_edpp_ttl http://www.amazon.com/JL421-Badonkadonk-Land-Cruiser-Tank/dp/B00067F1CE/ref=tag_dpp_lp_edpp_ttl_in (Never trust a used tank salesman!)
  9. While we're on the subject, I am continuously amused at what Amazon sells sometimes -> http://www.amazon.com/Underhill-Farms-Venison-Carcass/dp/B000IDQDYQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=grocery&qid=1233171231&sr=8-3
  10. The "Used and New" section, from the title alone, is a bit of a misnomer: Amazon only needs to have one or the other .
  11. It's a shame Amazon doesn't sell used food: the savings would be quite considerable.
  12. No, I wrote it quite some time ago, and not in just one day. Also, saying that I disliked it alone doesn't explain why I feel that way. At least with the above, you can understand where i'm coming from (if you are inclined to read through, that is).
  13. It is my belief that the game, Resident Evil 4, fails as a survival horror game and as a Resident Evil game. As such, I am going to explain why I feel this way. I’m going to break this explanation down into three sections: why RE4 fails as horror, why it fails as “survival”, and why it fails as a Resident Evil game. As a forewarning, the result is quite a lengthy essay…only venture in if you are pure of heart, bold of spirit, and bored enough to read the whole damn thing. I. Resident Evil 4 Fails as Horror "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." – H. P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature H. P. Lovecraft was probably the greatest American horror writer since Edgar Allen Poe, and was definitely one of the most influential. He can therefore be considered an expert in the subject of horror. But what do we mean when we say "the unknown"? Let’s compare two games of the Resident Evil video game franchise: the 2002 remake of the original Resident Evil (hereto after referred to as REmake), and the 2005 game Resident Evil 4 (hereto after referred to as RE4). (As a side-note, almost everything that applies to REmake in this essay also applies to the other classic Resident Evil games.) In REmake, you explore a mansion, along with some other areas. In this mansion, some rooms have zombies; other rooms have other, more powerful monsters; some rooms have traps or puzzles (some of these have monsters as well), and some rooms are empty. As a result, you never know what you will encounter when you enter the next room. In RE4, set in a village of homicidal peasants, there are virtually no puzzles or empty rooms, and very few traps. However, almost every room has at least a few monsters, with most having quite a few monsters or one or two very powerful monsters. Let’s examine the psychological effect this has. In REmake, every time you open a door, you don’t know what to expect behind it. There might be a few zombies forcing you to dodge and/or kill them, there might be a more powerful monster forcing you into a fight for your life, there might be a deadly trap that can only be bypassed by solving a fiendish puzzle…or it’s possible that you will find an empty room to provide a respite from the mounting horror of your situation. The very fact that you don’t know what to expect makes you hopeful, yet hesitant. While you hope that there is a room where you discover healing supplies, ammo, and the like, you know it’s just as possible that you will open the door to find a horde of zombies or worse. This is a good example of what Lovecraft meant by fear of the unknown. Even the safe areas provide little respite from the horror, as these brief moments of safety simply allow the true horror of the situation to sink in. Although you are safe at the moment, you know that you must soon again venture out into the zombie-infested areas of the mansion. In RE4 there is one really great movement where you do face the unknown. The first Regenerator (one of the only enemies in the game that would have been at home in the classic Resident Evil games) you face is a mystery to you. Although you keep shooting and shooting, it doesn’t seem to die. Unfortunately, Capcom ruined this potential by having you only face one Regenerator before you find a note telling what its weakness is. Also, you basically know that behind every door will be a dozen or so Ganados. There is no real unknown factor. Occasionally you might find the odd room with more or fewer of the monsters, or a room with a more powerful monster, but you basically know to expect a lot of action when you walk through the door. There’s less anticipation and a mounting sense of horror because you have the same expectation every time you enter a new area: nonstop action. This brings us to another topic: that of action vs. horror. In my mind, too much of one diminishes the other. Let’s take a look at two popular film franchises, and how the increase in action in later installments all but eliminated the sense of horror. Alien was an extremely popular and influential movie. And, despite obvious science-fiction elements, most people consider it to be more of a horror film than anything else. That being said, there wasn’t a lot of action in the film, and most occurred off-screen. It had a sequel, Aliens. Aliens had a ton of action, but it never captured the sense of horror its predecessor had. There wasn’t time for the sense of horror to mount…it was largely one action scene after another. The Evil Dead is another landmark horror film. It only had a few characters; five college students who have decided to spend a weekend at an old cabin in the woods. Unfortunately for them, they soon discover that the woods are haunted, and evil spirits begin to posses them, one by one. The amount of action varies between Ashley (the main character) fighting for his life with either one or two of the possessed, to moments when the evil spirits either torture him mentally or simply leave him alone to let his mind do the torturing for them. This film inspired a couple of sequels, the second being Army of Darkness. This film abandons all pretense of horror in favor of action and comedy. It still retains some gore (nothing akin to that in the original, despite the much higher budget) but it never achieves any moments of true horror. REmake is more akin to Alien and The Evil Dead, where RE4 is akin to Aliens and Army of Darkness. The originals focused on creating an atmosphere of fear and horror, while the sequels put minimal focus on these elements in favor of action and (in the case of Army of Darkness and RE4) comedy. Since I mentioned atmosphere, let’s explore the atmosphere of the games. REmake has a great atmosphere conducive to horror throughout the entire game, with the high mark being the decent to the Death Mask chamber. RE4 actually starts out with a good atmosphere conducive to horror in the village section, but this is somewhat lessened by the fact that the sun is shining through half of the village section. When you later move to the brightly-lit castle section, the atmosphere is all but ruined (with the notable exception of the portion where you control Ashley), and the island section makes it even worse. At one point you actually call on an assault helicopter for air support. I don’t think I even need to explain why this ruins any sense of horror that that section could have potentially possessed. There’s also the bastardization of the character of Leon Kennedy, which leads to a ruining of the atmosphere. In Resident Evil 2, where Leon first appears, he is a caring, humble guy who behaves in a believable way while trying to escape an unbelievable situation. In this way, he’s much like the character of Ashley from The Evil Dead. In RE4, it’s fairly obvious that his character arc followed that of Ashley (who assumes the nickname of Ash in Army of Darkness). Both become extremely arrogant jackasses who spout out horrible puns and taglines like it’s going out of style, and begin to act in completely unbelievable ways. To summarize this section, it is my belief that Resident Evil 4 fails to achieve enough elements of horror to truly be considered horror. It doesn’t have much in the way of the unknown, it abandons horror in favor of action, and it never achieves the atmosphere necessary to foster the feeling of horror. As such, it fails to provide the horror aspect of a survival horror game. II. Resident Evil 4 Fails as “Survival” I feel a need to further explain what I mean by “survival”. Obviously this means more than just surviving to the completion of the game…otherwise practically all games would have this categorization. Mario games aren’t referred to as survival-platformers, and with a good reason. To me, the “survival” element of survival horror games requires a certain amount of strategy. You have to carefully manage your ammunition and healing supplies to make sure you will have enough when they are needed. You need to think ahead about what you will need to carry with you. You need to carefully consider if a monster can be simply avoided rather than risk entering battle with it. And finally, if you feel a sense of control going into the situation, then the survival aspect is diminished. In REmake, ammo is scarce. In fact, if you play on the harder difficulties, you probably don’t have enough ammo to kill every enemy in the game. Likewise, your healing supplies are fairly hard to come by. To succeed in the game, you have to be stingy with both. Many times playing the game I have been limping around in the “Caution” status while only armed with a handgun and maybe a dozen rounds. But in RE4, ammo literally falls from the sky like manna from heaven (well, ok, if you shoot the birds). Because of ammo drops from fallen enemies, the best way to gain more ammo is to expend it. Likewise, healing items and money can be gained in this manner. This takes away from the “survival” aspect of the game. REmake requires careful inventory management, as you only have six to eight inventory slots (depending on the character you chose to play as). You can’t simply carry all the guns, ammo, healing items, and key items you have found around with you at once. But in RE4, this is exactly what you do. You’re given a large attaché case, which you can upgrade to become even more massive. Inside this case you can store all your weapons, ammunition, and healing items. In a further bit of bizarreness, any key items or treasures that you find don’t even take up room in this attaché case, Leon simply sticks them in a extra-dimensional space or something (hey, it’s the only explanation I can come up with). As for where Leon stores this attaché case that has to weigh well over twenty to thirty pounds while he’s leaping through lasers, I have no clue. Not only does the inventory management in RE4 eliminate any “survival” elements, it defies common sense and the laws of physics. In REmake, because of the scarcity of ammo and healing items and the necessity to manage your inventory so tightly, you will often be forced into the decision: Fight or Flight. Will killing a group of enemies be worth the expenditure of ammunition and healing items? Or would it simply be easier to run around them. This decision lies at the heart of survival horror. But in RE4, this decision never really matters. You are likely to come out of the battle with more ammunition and healing supplies than you went into it with because of the ammo drops. So the biggest decision when faced with a group of enemies in RE4 is what type of gun you will use to shoot them. So this aspect of “survival” is negated in RE4 as well. Finally, the feeling of control, or rather the loss of it, is a major element in the “survival” aspect of a survival horror game. In REmake, you don’t really have any true sense of control of the situation throughout the entire game. Every time you think you might be gaining an advantage, something happens to pull the rug out from under your feet. A ceiling begins to descend on you, or a Crimson Head leaps out of a coffin to attack you, another character you had considered an ally betrays you, or a Tyrant bursts through the floor of a helipad right as you are about to escape. But in RE4, for all of the reasons I’ve stated in the previous paragraphs of this section, you never feel a LOSS of control. Hell, even when you are momentarily taken captive, you are allowed to keep your weapons and ammunition so that they are readily available after your scripted escape. So RE4 fails to provide any sense of a loss of control. To summarize this section, it is my belief that Resident Evil 4 fails to achieve enough elements of “survival” to truly be considered “survival”. You don’t have to manage your supplies or your inventory, you don’t need to decide if simply avoiding a battle is a better idea, and you never really have a loss of the feeling of control. As such, it fails to provide the “survival” aspect of a survival horror game. III. Resident Evil 4 Fails as a Resident Evil Game In my mind, there have been four aspects that have defined the Resident Evil games: they are survival horror, the involvement of the Umbrella Corporation, and the presence of the T-Virus and the associated zombies created with its outbreak. As I proved at great length in the first two sections of this essay, RE4 does not provide an experience that can be considered survival horror. The lack of Umbrella, T-Virus, and zombies in the game is also rather obvious. Furthermore, aside from the involvement of a few shared characters and an introduction clip that has no connection to the game that follows it, there is no real connection to the storyline of the previous Resident Evil games. So I ask you…how can a game that fails to include any aspect of the six previous in the series be considered a true sequel? Resident Evil 4 is a completely non-related game that would have better served both its own interests and that of the Resident Evil series if it had been published as a new IP. --- And, on a smaller note, the music in RE4 was forgettable, whereas I can vividly recall the "Save Room theme" of REmake and Resident Evil 2.
  14. Looks like my ess..explanation will be coming up any day now .
  15. My apologies for misinterpreting the intent of your words, then .
  16. Not only do I own 4 Resident Evil, but beat it twice. If you're interested, Nekofrog, I will explain my stance.
  17. I am completely serious, and, if anyone is curious, i'll explain why I feel that way. And yes, while there have been moments of adrenaline fueled action in past games (which worked out nicely in the Remake for Gamecube, as it was used well in the East hallway), it has rarely been a continuous feed like 4 Resident Evil was.
  18. Three things -> 1. All those games had auto-aim. 2. They weren't primarily action based games, so total control (such as with a First Person Shooter) didn't matter. 3. Pre-rendered environments, at the time, made that a little difficult to implement due to static camera angles.
  19. Mr Azar

    Thank You!

    The great thing about a video game music remix is the compromise between safety and change: you still get the familiarity of the tune you love, but in a way that's new and different.
  20. The series pretty much went downhill after 2002. It would take a serious shift from mainly action back to mainly horror to make up for the pile of feces 4 Resident Evil was.
  21. Basically, when you play music on your PC, is it okay to have the internal (Windows) volume cranked up all the way, or is it best to lower it in order to save your speakers from wearing out sooner? Are there optimal settings I should be using? If it helps, I use two speakers and a subwoofer.
  22. That sounds very involving, Kaliai. The things we do for games...
  23. There's also Edge from Final Fantasy IV: not only is he an accomplished ninja, but he is the ruler of a kingdom!
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