I completed RE4 nearly 2 years ago and then swiftly moved on to something else in my life. When I powered on the game this past weekend, I saw some new menu options that I vaguely recall being unlocked after winning the game. One of the bonus options is called Assignment Ada wherein the player assumes the role of a supporting character named Ada Wong who is tasked with a subquest of collecting 5 MacGuffins.
This <10min quick play on YouTube has me thinking that I worked entirely too hard to clear the Assignment Ada bonus game:
This speed run is predicated on the fact that the enemies in the game are famously slow on the uptake and don’t react quick enough while the player sprints right past them.
The first time I reached the boss of the assignment, I thought he might have been impossible to beat. Much of the battle seemed to consist of so-called quicktime events where failure to press a random pair of buttons at the precise moment when prompted results in immediate death. RE4 is generally a quite popular and accomplished title, which makes it that much more ironic that it has 2 big features that receive so much criticism, including these quicktime events (the other point of contention is the escort mission, which I am probably alone in enjoying). These event junctures instantly transform a game of skill into a game of chance.
I quit in frustration the first night and gave it another go the next night. This time, I mostly honed my combat technique and studied the most efficient and, more importantly, stylized methods for dispatching foes. When I made it to the boss, I was extremely well-equipped with both weapons and health items. With enough practice I finally took him down.
And then I watched the above video and figured out that there was a much quicker way to take care of him. Figures. Reminds me of a certain boss in Resident Evil: Code Veronica (this guy, the Nosferatu)– first time around, he finally succumbed after I threw every single weapon in my cache at him. The second time through the game, I finally noticed the remarkably useful, specialized weapon nearby that the game was doing everything it could to nudge me towards.
Anyway, the good news is that Resident Evil 4 is still fun.
So I finally sat down and tried to actually enjoy a quality game– in this case, Resident Evil remake for the GameCube. Unfortunately, I soured on the game pretty quickly. I think it’s because it began to feel a tad repetitive. It went something like this:
break through to a new “area” to explore
thoroughly explore the area, knock out a few zombies and other new creatures
study the puzzles, bang my head on them
explore some more, make sure I got everything I can possibly collect by studying the colors of rooms on the map
if I can solve the puzzles, proceed onward to a boss battle and then break into a new “area”
otherwise, bang my head on puzzles some more
Yeah, there are walkthroughs out there, but I don’t feel like looking them up. The graphics are phenomenal in this remake. However, they can also get a bit repetitive.
I was heavily into gaming back in the middle 8-bit NES epoch (1989-1992). By 1994, my interest in gaming had pretty much faded. But in 2001, I picked up a used Sega Dreamcast for programming purposes. But I also procured a used copy of Resident Evil: Code Veronica. That game single-handedly revitalized my interest in video games. I hunted down used copies of RE chapters 2 and 3 for the Dreamcast only to find that they were direct PlayStation ports (I’m quite glad I skipped the early 3D epoch of gaming). Then there was Resident Evil 4 for the GameCube which can’t be beat.
So it seems I really ought to enjoy the first RE on the GameCube. There was something else about this game that nagged at me and the problem crystalized when I read this Cracked.com article: The 7 Commandments All Video Games Should Obey, in particular rule #4: Thou shalt make killing fun. I’m quite a ways into the game (though still only on the first of 2 discs) and I still only have a 9mm handgun and a shotgun. I mean, they’re functional, but also a little boring. Well, I have the combat knife too, but that generally stays in cold storage since I don’t have much carrying space to spare. RE:CV was far more generous with the weapons (heck, an early zombie is just carrying a pair of submachine guns for you to take). Handguns, full-auto handgun upgrade, shotgun, crossbow, flaming crossbow, grenade launcher with myriad grenades– those are all just a few of the weapons I remember off the top of my head.
Oh, RE:CV also had a magnum revolver, but that was a special use case. I’m reminded of this because I just got to the point in RE where I obtained a .22 self-defense pistol with 2 rounds. This screams “special use” because it probably wouldn’t even be suitable for shooting one’s own foot.
And of course, Resident Evil 4 switched up the entire series formula in every which way, for the better each time (though I’m probably the only gamer who actually enjoyed the escort mission aspect– I thought it added a fascinating dimension to the gameplay). In fact, I think if I’m looking for a quality after-work diversion game, RE4 might offer some decent replay value.
I’m trying something new– I’m trying to be a bit more normal in my game-playing habits, at least for a while. I.e., instead of working this like a second job and forcing myself to choke down another unheard-of game that has maybe a 1 in 10 chance of being marginally tolerable and then writing up both an eloquent blog entry and a complete MobyGames entry, I decided to game a bit more “normally” and unwind with some known quantity-type games when I come home from work.
Both games already have complete MobyGames entries and there’s no need for me to even gather more screenshots for either. One is the GameCube remake of the original Resident Evil game. I think I actually picked up this game on release day — even though I didn’t even own a GameCube yet! (I had every intention of purchasing one, and I eventually got around to it, perhaps 6 months later.) I have always appreciated the succinct pre-title scene in a morgue of some sort. It highlights perhaps the smartest action ever taken in a horror movie-type situation:
The other game is a 2003 title that I just picked up used– F-Zero GX, also for the GameCube. I just started playing this and the first thing that confuses me is why the game bothers to present so much on-screen information– I can’t possibly afford to avert my gaze from the insane action to actually study what any of it says. I look forward to improving to the point where that’s possible.