RE2: Claire Campaign Complete

I’ve finally completed Claire’s Campaign in the Resident Evil 2 Remake. It took me just over a month to complete both campaigns, and there is still plenty to do in the game, but for now I’m calling it done. I could start up the 2nd Run Campaigns, or run the other smaller scenarios that were part of a free DLC. However, I’ve had my fill of this game for now, but I know I’ll come back around to it eventually. In total, it took me about 12 hours to finish of these campaigns, with Claire’s feeling a touch easier to complete.

The Police Station and other areas of the game remained the same, though there were different paths used and some areas that were inaccessible completely to the individual characters. One major difference was that there wasn’t the Tyrant following you around all game, but it felt like you ran into “G” (pictured above) more often.

Another big difference between the two campaigns, is that instead of interacting with Ada, this time you run into Sherry after a fight with G. Turns out that she came here looking for mommy, who is another character you should remember from Leon’s campaign, though you do talk to her more as Claire. Also, this means that instead of being able to play as Ada for a short time, instead you’ll play as Sherry, who is taken by the Police Chief to an abandoned orphanage. Later, Sherry will become infected and it’s up to you to save her, though her mother dies in the process. Good times.

I found the third fight with G to be the most difficult. It stumped me on two different (short) play sessions, but I eventually bested the Dragon and moved on with the story. Instead of fighting the Tyrant when trying to escape the self-destructing facility, we instead end up fighting G for a fourth time. It was laughably easy though, as you’re given a mini gun just before the fight and his attacks were dodged without much effort.

Overall I got a better record. I saved about three less times, but finished the run in under five hours. There are trophies and bragging rights for people who can run through some of the harder modes in an even shorter amount of time. I don’t think it’s something I would try for, but the achievements are there for those that want them. I loved the game. This is how a remake needs to be done, and I can only hope that more classics get the updated treatment.

Sales should be coming for this title soon enough (probably by the Summer) so if you can get even a small discount I’d jump on it.

RE2: Leon Campaign Complete

The last time I spoke about this year’s Resident Evil 2 Remake, I had just started the game and was gushing about it’s “new nostalgia” factor. Since then, I have wrapped up Leon’s campaign and started on Claire’s, already nearing the underground passage portion of the game. After clearing the first “chapter” so to speak, I came to find out that they really packed in a bunch of new game plus stuff into this remake. Originally thinking about only Leon and Claire’s campaign, I figured this was a maybe twenty hour game at best.

It turns out that my first run at RE2 took just under nine hours. I’ve probably played Claire for about two, so I should be clearing it in about six more. That’s near that original twenty hour mark I mentioned, and as it turns out there are “2nd Run” campaigns for both characters, along with a “Hardcore” mode that doesn’t autosave and has stronger enemies/less supply drops. I hear there are alternate “real endings” after the 2nd Runs, and apparently you’ll have to do all this stuff if you’re achievement hunting.

I’m not sure what will happen. I’m really enjoying the game thus far, but I’m likely to move onto something else after I finish Claire’s campaign. However, that does leave something to come back to, since those runs are supposed to play out a bit differently and show you the true ending so I think I’ll have to come back to it. I know with Resident Evil 5 & 6, I played through them time and again, partially to earn trophies but also because my best friend and I could co-op through them. When it came to Resident Evil 7, I played alone and I only played through once. I don’t see myself wanting to binge through the game another two times so immediately, but I do see myself checking them out further down the line. I do own the game, after all.

Part of the reason I’m hesitant to commit to extra runs is because I have other games I’m looking at wanting to play. In most of my downtime I’ve been playing Apex Legends, and poke around in other games here and there, but I like to try and keep at least one game in the rotation that I can complete, Resident Evil 2 being that game for the moment. Next I’m looking at buying either Anthem or Devil May Cry 5, the latter of which is getting better reviews at the moment, but both carry a $60 price tag. I’d think completing DMC5 would be faster and it’s something I’d likely move on from after a single playthrough, and Anthem isn’t really a game you complete if it ends up even remotely like Destiny. Whatever the case I’m going to finish Resident Evil 2 before I buy another game. But that should be soon, and I should have something new to gush about shortly thereafter.

Whatever the case, the Resident Evil 2 Remake is fantastic, and you really should pick it up if you’re a fan of the series. The new additions make it feel like a modern game, but it still holds true to its classic roots, and I love that. Highly recommended!

Life in 2019

It’s been a couple of months since I did an IRL check-in and because the amount of blogging I’ve been doing has tapered off a bit, I thought I’d take some time on my Sunday evening (which is actually Wednesday, but such is life when you work at a 24 hour establishment) to talk a little bit about what’s been going on. First, a quick recap:

We decided to move away from LA due to crazy cost of living to a more inland location which is a place I had lived a good portion of my life. This happened back in September of 2018. We knew that we were going to move by the end of December, and though I started looking for work starting back in September, I didn’t really get much in the way of progress going until December, in which I took a few days off of work to come out here and have some interviews. I essentially applied and had the interview for my current job all within the same month, but I didn’t have any solid answers about if I actually got the position by the time we had moved out here. Things were tense. Money was tight.

I kept looking for work, but then in mid-January I was called by my current employer who asked me to go in for a drug test. I was told I would be contacted by Backgrounds next, but the call didn’t come for a couple of anxious weeks. Once I received that call it was time to produce documents, get finger printed and jump through any other hoops they deemed necessary. Thankfully I passed all of the tests and was hired at the beginning of this month, and well, that should explain some of my absence.

I work a graveyard/early morning shift. The position is salary so there are days when I get to go home early and still get paid for my eight hours, which is a plus. There’s paid benefits, retirement, etc. The hours aren’t great but the salary is decent and cost of living is way down compared to where we were, so all in all its a move in the right direction. My girlfriend has managed to get some income as well, so we are doing well again, and the stress that I had has been relieved. My schedule however is another beast. I’m pretty much used to it by now, but it is a daunting task to go to bed in the afternoon. Sometimes I come home and take a nap followed by a waking period followed by another nap before I get up at 2 am to head in to the job. Other times I stay up until the evening and then get one bigger chunk of sleep. Neither has really been a preference, and being able to have that flexibility means I can always get things done or sleep, whichever comes first.

So bottom line, I appreciate your patience with me, I hope to get back into the swing of things, but blogging on the regular is hard when you don’t have as much time to play games to blog about. I had one advantage at my last job and that was the ability to occasionally blog at work, which will never happen here. It’s not a big deal though, I have had major life changes many times over the life of this blog, so I know I’ll settle into a new routine and find the balance once again. I haven’t had as much time to game/blog, but I have been doing some stuff, so I’ll break that down for you now, as it should outline near future posts.

I didn’t have the financial ability to attend the prerelease for Ravnica: Allegiance due to the above described scenario, but having an income again means the ability to dink and dunk my way into more Magic Cards. I still have a dozen or so decks in the works and I’m always finding cards from the new sets to brew around, or cards to add to my existing decks. As such, I purchased a Fat Pack, the Guild Kits and some extra packs from the new set, and I’m happy with the purchase. I happened into Teysa Karlov and Judith, the Scourge Diva which are two decks I’ve written about recently wanting to build, and the guild kits are excellent ways to supplement your collection along with packing in cool dice, stickers and pins. My girl also got me one of those mystery cubes they sell at the box stores and I got a handful of cool cards out of that as well.

I started a big MTG card organization project. I had done this is the past where I separated all of my commons/uncommons into boxes based on colors and took the rares/mythics out and put them into a binder. Over the course of the last few sets, I acquired a good amount of cards that I had thrown into a single box and needed to sort through. I completed step one of this today by getting those commons/uncommons into their appropriate boxes, and now the other box has mainly EDH staples and things I see myself actually using in it. Next up is going through those cards to put them into current decks and those in progress. Then I’ll have to pick the next deck I want to finish and purchase the singles necessary, though I have a wishlist a mile long for singles as it is, just to have them while they’re less expensive than they’ll eventually be.

On the gaming front, I’ve been crawling my way through Resident Evil 2, and haven’t played as much as I would have liked. I intend to play more this evening. It’s been a blast from the past so far, and I intend to share my thoughts once I complete both Leon and Claire’s campaigns. I’ve also played more Apex Legends, but not as much as my best friend. I went to his house the other day and we were taking turns on his account and rolled over level 26, while I’m a lowly 13. Apparently I’ve created a monster, as I was level 4 or 5 when I first saw him jump on. We’ve found another of our local friends that plays as well, so I might just have a dedicated team of three to play with so that’s promising. I have a pretty good knowledge of the map at this point and have had a few dozen kills spread about a few characters. Still have only managed one win to this point though, but I’ve been top 5 multiple times.

A while back on Twitter I bitched about wanting my job to start because I had RE2 and Magic cards and Anthem to buy, and obviously I accomplished the former two things, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on Anthem yet. I still think it looks like a great game, but there has been a fair share of positive and negative reviews along with plenty of opinion on how it could be better or why it’s the worst. I’m completely torn about it at this point, mainly because it’s a $60 title. I could justify buying it with my next pay check, and though some bloggers I trust have said good things, I’ve also fallen into this trap before with games like No Man’s Sky or Monster Hunter World. I don’t want to end up regretting the purchase, so I’m still on the fence. Plus, I haven’t completed the last two Bioware games, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect: Andromeda are still on my hard drive ready to go… perhaps I should finish them first?

Honestly, I don’t know what’s going to happen. At this point I’m just enjoying myself as much as possible in my free time, and I’m hoping to get more settled to where I can blog more often and potentially podcast again. Thanks for hanging out while I checked-in. Happy gaming, where ever you find yourself.

Early Impressions: Resident Evil 2 Remake

Another full remake in the style of the recent Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy or the 2017 Shadow of the Colossus (we also know about Final Fantasy VII and Crash Team Racing re-dos coming soon), this year we finally get our hands on the treatment for Resident Evil 2. It’s not the first game in the series to be remade (there was a newer version of the original game created years ago), but it happens to be one of the strongest entries in the franchise, and when I first heard about this in 2016 I knew I’d want to play it. Unfortunately, due to moving and looking for work, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get myself a copy when it first came out. I figured I’d wait for a sale and get it later on this year, but then my lovely woman gifted it to me for Valentine’s Day (thanks babe!).

Let me first note that I have only put in about 3-4 hours so far, so these are early impressions, but I can still elaborate on the pros and cons that I’ve seen so far.

1998 was a long time ago. I was sixteen when this game released, and probably a little bit older before I first played through it. You’ll have to excuse me if my memories of the original game are a little fuzzy. It’s likely that I’ll talk about not remembering something, or thinking something was different and perhaps it was just like the original. I have to say that the game feels new and different simply because the over the shoulder camera view from games 4-6 is back — a difference from the locked cameras of the original, and the latest game in the series that moved to first person camera. One thing that immediately stood out to me is the introduction. It feels completely new, as I don’t remember starting out at a gas station before hitting the Raccoon City Police Department; I just remember a short scene and then being there. Perhaps that’s just my memory playing tricks on me. The graphics are pretty amazing though. They’re similar enough to Resident Evil VII in quality, and as I said having the free look camera allows you to see all of the little details.

Before long you are at the front of the RPD, as expected. The game progresses from this point (and to the point I have played so far) as a sort of mixture of nostalgia and a whole new experience. We’ll go with “New Nostalgia.” The mood feels appropriately apprehensive but there haven’t been any jumpscares that I can recall. I’ve felt anxious for sure, but I sort of feel like I know what to expect at the same time.

The gore level seems to have been turned up a notch, even compared to some of the newer titles. Obviously they didn’t have the technology to pull off these visuals back in 1998, but even in the 2010’s games it didn’t look like this. I’m not put off by it, zombies aren’t exactly friendly and I want to feel the tension even if I am not jumping out of my seat.

What’s most familiar is the item box, typewriter and inventory/crafting systems. I remember spending plenty of time having to micro manage my inventory while exploring the game the first time around, and this remake is no exception. You’ll find keys, puzzle-solving items and supplies as you comb through the police station. Mixing herbs is back, and a new system for crafting bullets is in place. Your knife now serves the purpose of being able to directly slash enemies and get past certain barriers, it can also help you out of being grabbed by an enemy by giving you a counter attack. The police station feels familiar in that it looks to be laid out in a very similar fashion, and certain set pieces are reminiscent of the original. However, it does feel that this is a completely different place. My memory tells me to watch out for the Tyrant, and there will be parts outside of the police station, but I’m not sure if I’m mixing up my games at this point.

Whatever the case, I’m very happy with this remade edition of one of my favorite Resident Evil games. At this point I have just found the shotgun and encountered my first licker. Good times! I hope to be done with Leon’s campaign within a week and on to Claire’s after that. By then I should be able to afford a copy of Anthem! I’ll be back with more thoughts once I’ve completed the title.

What I’m Looking Forward to in 2016

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The New Year is here, and now that the holiday festivities are over, we can get back to focusing on the next wave of great games that will be releasing. Over the past month the blogosphere (and Internet at large) has been listing off its favorite games, moments and stuff of 2015 but why stop now? Let’s kick off 2016 with a list of games I’m most looking forward to, and some titles that I’m hoping for more information about.

Coming This Year:

Street Fighter V (February)

I’m a Street Fighter fan boy. Always have been, always will be. The mechanics required to play the game are superior to that of any other fighting game in my opinion. I’m really looking forward to the next title in the series, as I enjoyed Street Fighter IV, but I think there are some better characters in this iteration. I also love the fact that you don’t need a bunch of friends to be able to have people to play against (like we used to back in the day), you can just hook up with people online. Many fighting games die out over time, but Street Fighter tends to have staying power in that department. I hope to get this one on release.

XCOM 2 (February)

I loved XCOM back when it was a 2-D pixellated mess, and I especially loved the reboot of the series. I played the game on both console and PC, and look forward to seeing how the battles and grand strategy will play out this time. Apparently the aliens run Earth in the sequel, so you’re in charge of reforming the XCOM program and taking back earth. It’s not a huge twist, but it should be interesting enough.

Uncharted 4 (April)

I’ve talked about Uncharted 4 a few times over the past couple of years. It was announced at E3 year before last, and was on the last two of my E3: Most Anticipated lists, but it deserves a slot here as well because it’s actually coming out. The multiplayer beta was running a couple weeks ago and I really enjoyed that as well. It took the best elements of the multiplayer from 2 and 3 and ditched some of the stuff I didn’t really care for. The addition of the grappling hook adds a new element to an already vertically-minded game. I can’t wait to see how the story shakes up as well, in what will likely be the last entry into the series. I’m also hoping that we hear what Naughty Dog has up their sleeves in the way of a new series. Or perhaps we’ll be hearing about The Last of Us 2? One can only hope.

Doom (Spring)

DOOM, as it’s being called (but was at one point referenced as “Doom 4”) is sort of a reboot of the series. It’s taken the fast-paced, hip-firing action of the originals and paired that with today’s graphical capabilities. The campaign looks to be solid, carnage-filled fun, and the multiplayer reminds me of Quake III Arena. I managed to play some of the multiplayer Alpha on PS4 and it ran beautifully. I had technical hiccups when trying to play it on my PC though, so hopefully that won’t be the case once it releases. Either way it had an old school feel that was very welcoming and I look forward to it!

No Man’s Sky (June)

Provided this game goes off without a hitch, and is as grand as the vision I have of it, this will likely be my GOTY for 2016. I’ve spoken about it many times on the podcast and on this blog (it too made the last 2 of my E3 Most Anticipated lists), but it’s supposed to be out this summer. Originally I was under the impression that it was a Playstation exclusive, but it appears to be launching on PS4 and PC simultaneously. Either way it still looks fantastic and I can’t wait to go exploring. I’m torn as to which platform I should buy it on, because I’m hoping to have a PS4 with my tax return this year. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what the multiplayer situation is going to look like. I have far more friends on Steam than on Playstation Network.

Mass Effect Andromeda (Q4)

This is slated for a quarter 4 launch but it’s a possibility that the game gets delayed. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. That doesn’t stop me from being very intrigued. I loved the Mass Effect games, though I still need to get ahold of the first title, as it wasn’t ported until much later (originally an Xbox exclusive). I’m sure Bioware is going to have a whole new world with familiar ideas prepared for us, and I can’t wait to dive into another worthy Sci-Fi RPG.

Divinity Original Sin 2 (December)

I’ve honestly not played enough of the Original game, but I know that I rather enjoyed what I did play of it. Since this isn’t launching until December, I have the year to beat the original and be prepared for the sequel. I’m sure that it will be just as good. I’m a bit of a fan of the isometric RPGs of old, so I might be biased. Here’s hoping it doesn’t suck.

Final Fantasy IX PC (TBA)

Final Fantasy IX released back in 2000 on the original Playstation. One of three main-series Final Fantasy games to debut on the system, for some reason this one isn’t available on PC yet, despite pretty much every other title being on Steam already. Besides VII, this is my favorite in the series but I never got to finish it because my Playstation was stolen when my apartment got broken into. I’ve though about buying the downloadable classic version on my PS3 a few times, but now that it’s coming to PC I’ll likely just pick it up via Steam. I’m starting to toy with the idea of playing through them all, but I’d have to start collecting them from the beginning, as I currently only own Final Fantasy Tactics, and that’s it.

Dark Souls III (TBA)

Another fantastic game series that I’m too far behind on. I played through and completed Demon’s Souls, the first of the Souls games to come out as a Playstation exclusive on PS3. Dark Souls soon followed, and I own that one on PC, but haven’t beaten it just yet. I have Dark Souls II on my Steam wish list, and Bloodborne is a title I can’t wait to pick up once I grab my PS4. Dark Souls III will likely be a PC purchase just to keep that series all on one platform. As this one is still “to be announced” it’s possible it won’t release this year, but I think it will pop up. I’ll just have to dig into the older titles or it’ll end up in the backlog.

Allison Road (TBA)

This is one of those under-the-radar titles. Remember PT, the Silent Hills demo-thing? That whole deal got nixed when Konami and Kojima parted ways, but apparently the PT demo got some fan attention. Enough so, that a fan-created full-fledged game is coming, and it’s called Allison Road. Honestly, it looks equal amounts of creepy and awesome, and definitely has the same feeling to it that PT had. I just hope that they manage to keep things compelling. It’s supposed to release this year, but we’ll see.

Overkill’s The Walking Dead (TBA)

I didn’t hear about this game at all somehow. I’m a huge Walking Dead fan, including the show and the comics, but the only game that’s really hit the mark when it comes to that IP was TellTale’s two seasons that were mostly based on the comics. There have been other titles, but they were pretty meh. This one is also supposed to be based on the comics and looks more like The Last of Us, in that it’s a mixture of survival horror and gunplay. If I hadn’t been doing research for this article I wouldn’t have heard of this game at all (yet) so I’m glad I stumbled upon it.

Want More Information:

Final Fantasy VII Remake

This is the second trailer to have come out since E3 last summer, and it shows more in-game footage, but we still don’t have a total picture for the game. I feel like it’s going to be fantastic, but I’m not sure that it will make it out this year. As my favorite of the series, I can’t wait to see this in action and I hope that it holds true to the nostalgia while eliminating some of the dated annoyances coming from old-school mechanics.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

Another great classic title that is being remade. Capcom has gone pretty crazy with Resident Evil remakes lately, as many of the older titles have received HD upgrades. The original had a remake from top to bottom though, and it looks a hell of a lot better than it did back in ’95. This looks to be something of the same, where it’s not just an HD (resolution) upgrade, it’s supposed to be reworked from the ground up. If they preserve the storyline but give it a new coat of paint it should be pretty good. Time will tell, but it’s likely we won’t see this one release in 2016.

Crowfall

The game that still remains my MMO of the future, the next MMO I plan to play, the only MMO I’m looking forward to. Crowfall. There has already been some pre-alpha testing, and it’s likely they’ll be into either deep alpha or early beta testing by the end of the year. This latest video from the devs focuses on new systems added to the game, crows and vessels, which is a brand new concept in an MMO world, and looks to tackle some of the issues present in the current crop of titles on the market. Honestly I’ve been hating on MMOs for a long time, but I still love them. I just don’t love what’s on offer (even if I dip my toes in them once in a while). Crowfall is the only game I’ve ever backed on Kickstarter, and there’s a good reason for that. They are trying new things and sound like they’re going to hit the nail on the head. I can’t wait to see what further developments occur and I hope that it meets expectations.

Indivisible

Finally, a game that came out of left field for me. I happened to get Skullgirls packed in with a Humble Bundle, and as a result caught word of that developer’s next project, called Indivisible. The Kickstarter page had a downloadable alpha demo that was surprisingly fun and unique. The game combines platforming and turn based RPG mechanics with some elements from 2-D fighting games like Street Fighter. It’s hard to describe, but cool to play with. They were successfully funded but the game isn’t due until 2018, so I’m just hoping for more information before year’s end.

So there you have it. What games are you looking forward to the most in 2016?