Tuesday, September 21, 2010

List: The Ten Worst Things that happened to Resident Evil

Resident Evil has had its ups and downs throughout it's 14 year long history, but for the most part it's been considered one of the best franchises in gaming, and especially in horror-gaming for that matter. But if one were to truly analyse, with full bias of course, the franchise and find the worst things that for some reason made it into the games or its spin-offs then we'd find some really stupid things. Ladies and gentlemen, read on after the jump to find the Ten Worst Things that ever happened to Resident Evil.

Number Ten: Paul W.S. Anderson
First introduced in: Resident Evil (Film)
Became a problem in: Resident Evil (Film)

Yeah, I figured I'd get this out there before heading on with the more game-related matters. I hate the Resident Evil films directed by Anderson in every way possibly imaginable. And it's not necessarily because of the fact that it has less to do with the original games than Hitler had to do with world peace, in fact I couldn't care less about that since adaptations often tend to deviate from the source material, and sometimes that's actually good. The problem with the RE films is the terrible writing, acting, directing and for the first film even the awful visuals. Milla Jovovich as Alice is probably one of the worst main characters in any film series released since the turn of the millenia. That's right, I just said Alice is worse than Bella from Twilight.

The story itself is laughable, and it seems that they've actually forgotten to include any story at all in the latest film 'Afterlife'. Paul W. S. Anderson should stay away from films, if RE isn't proof enough then check out his adaptations of Dead or Alive or Alien vs Predator. Yeah, that's right, he made those too. Paul W. S. Anderson is proof that Uwe Boll is underrated, and I'm really not a fan of Uwe Boll.
Number Nine: The First Person Shooter
First introduced in: Resident Evil: Survivor
Became a problem in: Resident Evil: Survivor
Was fixed in: Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

I love FPS games. I've played Doom and Duke Nukem since as far back as I can remember, and it doesn't stop there. But for some reason when Resident Evil turned from being a Alone in the Dark-esque Survival Horror and turned into a Doom clone something went terribly wrong. You played as Ark Thompson, who contrary to popular belief is part of RE canon, and was sent out by Leon S. Kennedy to investigate an island. The premise was great and could probably have been a classic RE title if it wasn't for the bad execution. Graphics were underwhelming, level-design was bland and and the controls were terrible. The game was also short and surprisingly easy.

But the awful things doesn't stop there, some years later came non-canon Resident Evil Survivor 2: Code Veronica. The name suggests that it would be an adaptation of Resident Evil: Code Veronica, but you'd be mistaken. The game features some elements and locations from CV, but it's not really an adaptation. Thankfully, in 2007 CAPCOM came to their senses and released Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, a rail-shooter retelling some of the previous games and filling in the blanks between. While it wasn't a free moving FPS like Survivor, it was a very fun game and things got better with it's 2009 sequel The Darkside Chronicles.

Number Eight: Partner A.I.
First introduced in: Resident Evil Zero
Became a problem in: Resident Evil: Outbreak

CAPCOM seems to have trouble with partner A.I., it worked great in Resident Evil Zero on the Nintendo Gamecube, but one year later in the PlayStation 2 exclusive Resident Evil: Outbreak it became a huge problem. In Zero, all the partner did was shoot zombies to protect you and that worked just fine, but in Outbreak you suddenly needed to be able to comunicate with the A.I. and even make it trust you. Did it work? Well, what are you reading? It was a mess, the A.I. could suddenly run off only to return at the end of the stage without having any contact with you in between, not to mention that it had the bad habit of refusing you help whatever the situation was.

In Resident Evil 4 the partner A.I. once again was a problem. The girl who follows you throughout more than half of the game, Ashley, had the bad habit of always standing in the line of fire or walking into a beartrap lying in the middle of the road. Not even in Resident Evil 5 did it work correctly, the A.I. most often just stares at you when you're in need of help, which on the harder difficulties almost always ends with an instant kill. It's not just Resident Evil either, CAPCOM had some serious trouble with the A.I. in other games such as Dead Rising as well. Hopefully they'll get it working some day.

Number Seven: One Hit Death/One Hit Dying
First introduced in: Resident Evil 4
Became a problem in: Resident Evil 5

In Resident Evil 4, you were probably surprised the first time you realised that full health was not a defence against the creepy Dr. Salvador with his instant kill decapitation attack. It made the game a little more tense whenever you heard the revving sound of a chainsaw, but for some reason that wasn't enough. In Resident Evil 5 we have a whole bunch of enemies with the ability to either give you instant death or instant dying, which means that you have some seconds, then you die. These included the chainsaw maniac, the scary Reapers as well as the close range attack of the Executioner if you didn't manage to shake him off in two seconds. But the most notorious ones in my opinion are the regular enemies.

Wait what, the regular enemies? Do you mean on Professional? Nope, I'm talking about the stupid close range attack in which you get a few seconds to shake a regular enemy off, if you don't, they'll eat your face and you'll be down on dying. Fun right? Great concept. I could be mistaken with this though, maybe it doesn't happen on the low difficulties, I'm mostly playing Veteran after all, hence why it's not higher.

Number Six and Five: Jill Valentine and Albert Wesker
First introduced in: Resident Evil
Became problems in: Resident Evil 5

Before I say anything, let me state this. I LOVE Jill Valentine, she's one of my absolute favourite female characters in any video game franchise. So what's my problem with her? Every little thing that was added to her character in Resident Evil 5. My favourite villain in gaming? Albert Wesker. So what's my problem with him? Every little thing that was added to his character in Resident Evil 5. Hence why I'm writing number six and number five together.

In the opening video we find out Jill is dead. Yeah, the only mention of Jill being date previously is in the marketing for RE5, no other game has been leading up to this, it comes out of nowhere. We later find out that she appaeranly fell out a window together with Albert Wesker while trying to save Chris Redfield, they never find any of their bodies in the water below and they're now both considered dead. First of all, they did not find their bodies and Chris knows of Wesker's superhuman strength and near invincibility. Why the hell would be think that Wesker died? Not to mention the fact that when Chris finds out that Jill is alive, he still thinks that Wesker is dead.

But let's not talk about Chris utter stupidity, I could go on forever about that. Jill was taken away by Wesker who started some experiments on her, he found that she was apparently immune to the T-Virus due to her long exposure to it in Raccoon City. I'm personally not a fan of this plot point, but I'll let it slide for now and focus more on what suddenly happened after this. Wesker creates a new virus that makes Jill his personal bodyguard/slave, the downside is that it only works for a short time. Because of this he makes a large spider-like contraption that he glues to her breasts that keep on injecting her with the virus. Read that sentence one more time. Yeah, it's not just stupid, it's unnecessary "sexy" as well. Why would Wesker place it there? Was he a fan of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man? Because that's the best explanation.

In other thoughts, why does he let Jill live? Chris just rips off the boob-hugger and tosses it to the ground, so why not include some safety mechanic? Wesker swore to kill off them both so it shouldn't it be in his plans to, I don't know, kill them? Also, why can Jill perform anti-gravity attacks? I know Alice in the RE films could, but even there it was stupid. First I though Wesker had given her similar super powers to his own, but that's not the case since in the later released prequel to RE5 she still has those moves. Also, for some reason Wesker made Jill's hair blonde. Why? I have no idea, first I though it was because he wanted to hold her identity a secret. The thing is, as soon as Chris sees her he knows it's her, which even I didn't.

Further proof going against that theory is that he gives Jill a full cloak and mask to keep her unknown, and only lets her take it off when he's doing a "Surprise! It's Jill!" scene, so obviously she must have become blonde for some other reason. Care to tell us CAPCOM? Didn't think so. After that Jill decides that Chris and Sheva won't need help so she just let's them leave and stays behind, good plan Jill, after all you're the one who have been with Wesker for a few years and know of all his plans. But enough about Jill, let's finish Wesker. Previously in the series Wesker has been collecting viruses and such, he's trying to create a world that he controls, the essence of this is still left in Resident Evil 5, except now it's suddenly evolution and natural selection he wants to create.

The problem here is, you can't just create evolution or natural selection, because then it's not evolution or natural selection, it's mutation and killing. Also, he talks against himself towards the end when he first says to Chris "I'm not destroying the world, I'm saving it!" then shortly after that proclaims "Do you really believe the world is worth saving?". Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid and STUPID. Enough of this.

Number Four: Puzzles
First introduced in: Resident Evil
Became a problem in: Resident Evil 5

Puzzles have always been a part of Resident Evil, even people hating on Resident Evil 4 for straying off path can't disagree that it had some puzzles that required a little thinking, then came Resident Evil 5. RE5 has about three puzzles, not only is that fewer puzzles than RE4 had in its first 60 minutes, they're also easier than any puzzles ever seen in the franchise's past. The hardest puzzle consists of directing laser beams, the difficulty on how to do this varies from 1/10 to 9/10. How you may ask? Well, it depends on if you're playing with a friend or with the A.I., but since I've already ranted off on the A.I. I will spare you the details on it.

The thing is, RE5 is a linear game and the puzzles not only feels forced but they're also stopping the action, which is the big fun thing about RE5, fast tense action. It doesn't get any better with the fact that all the puzzles
are placed in about the same spot in the same chapter, it's just not a good game design.

Number Three: Shake-Off
First introduced in: Resident Evil
Became a problem in: Resident Evil 5

Shaking off enemies are common in games, especially when the games features zombies. But with Resident Evil 4 we lost the zombies and that trend continued with Resident Evil 5. But another thing that came with RE5, and partially with RE4, was the increase in shake-off enemies. Every enemy, that doesn't instant kill you, has an attack that forces you to a 'shake-off' by slamming the left stick left and right. I would say that it's unresponsive, but I think that's just my controller starting to break down after to many frantic shake-off's.

The thing is, when every enemy have those attacks, be it Majinis or Lickers, it starts getting repetitive and annoying. Dodging is almost uncessasry since every enemy can use its homing hold attack and force you to a shake-off. This becomes less of an issue later in the game when most enemies have firearms, but it still leaves the first part of the game filled with this annoying on screen text telling you to shake your enemy off.

Number Two: The Tyrant
First introduced in: Resident Evil
Became a problem in: Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

First of all, I'm sorry. I hate Nemesis. Let me explain. In Resident Evil we were introduced to the tyrant, the monster of all monsters. He was terrifying and was one-of-a-kind. Then all of a sudden, he wasn't one-of-a-kind and pretty much every RE game had new tyrants everywhere. But where it really became annoying was in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis where the Russian tyrant called "Nemesis" was introduced, and seriously, he looks ridiculous. He's barely scary, he looks like a mess and why the hell would he wear clothes? The trend with tyrants continued, and Nemesis is far from the worst one, but he was certainly a taste of things to come.

Another memorable, stupid, tyrant was Pluto, the fat tyrant from Resident Evil: Dead Aim. Then again, everything from Dead Aim was stupid, including its four tyrants. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles introduced T-A.L.O.S. which were more armour than man, but I guess that's how you improve a giant walking piece of death, you give it armour. Maybe that's why Nemesis wore clothes? ...Nah.

Number One: The Health Bar
First introduced in: Resident Evil 4
Became a problem in: Resident Evil 5

Hating on Resident Evil 5 much you ask? Yes, I love RE5, but it has many problems. What's so bad about the health bar? Well, in Resident Evil 4 we had this fun thing with the health bar in which we could eat yellow herbs and upgrade our maximum "Green" health so to say. RE5 removed this by giving us no upgrade whatsoever, but that's not really the problem, that only shows why RE4 had a more fun system. No, the problem comes with the forced co-op "Dying" part of the bar. When 3/4's of the circle is knocked down you get to the last part that automatically goes down to zero unless your partner is able to save you, this is referred to by people as either "Dying" or "Downed". The reason that "Dying" ruins so much is because at many points in the game and its DLC you're so far away from your partner, sometimes even literally seperated, that there's no possible chance of recovering.

When playing the game single in Mercenaries mode you have the possibility of spamming B or Circle in order to recover health, but since that's not in the main game it doesn't count. The worst of it all is if you're playing on Professional difficulty, yes I know it's supposed to be hard, but having almost every attack auto send you to dying really removes the enjoyment you get out of the game. In Resident Evil: Outbreak there was a herb-gun letting you shoot herbs to a character further away, why couldn't we have that? The reason this comes on top of everything is because it's been haunting me for such a long time that I can barely remember when I first noted it and even more so these last days when I've been playing a lot of RE5. Bottom line, if you want co-op you better give us the herb-gun or let us recover ourselves.


Right, I'm done. Yeah, maybe I was a little hard on Resident Evil 5, it's not even the Resident Evil title I dislike the most in the main series of games. Oh well, I've finally got these rants off my mind. Time to find something else to complain about. Until next time, HERB-GUN!

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