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Review: Resident Evil REmake HD


Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: PC (Steam)
Released: January 19, 2015

Resident Evil/Biohazard HD Remaster (Resident Evil REmake) is an excellent addition to the library of any survival horror fan.

An HD remaster of a remake of the original Resident Evil, Resident Evil REmake brings the classic survival horror game into the 21st century with updated graphics, a new control scheme, and a refinement of various puzzles and encounters from the original.

The game looks brilliant, all things considered. Bringing about the look of modern horror games only serves to further improve the atmosphere of Resident Evil REmake.

If you’re familiar with the original Resident Evil, you may recall the “tank” controls that it sported. While the original control scheme is still available, Resident Evil REmake introduces a new control scheme that allows Jill (or Chris) to move and turn freely. While this is a vast improvement over the original tank controls, it is sometimes hindered by the fixed camera angles, which are still present and, from time to time, present issues with aiming and navigation.

Unlike more recent installments in the franchise, you cannot run and gun your way through REmake. The Spencer Mansion, in which the game is set, is a maze that requires careful navigation and will have players fighting to survive as they move from room to room, attempting to progress. Ammunition is scarce, as are healing items, and, as such, players will have to manage their resources, know when they should kill an enemy, and know when they should run.

The atmosphere stays spot-on nearly all the way through. Time and time, again, you will yourself unnerved and forcing yourself to progress. Encounters with enemies are tense as you try to survive, managing your ammunition, and attempting to overcome various monstrosities that, almost always, have the upper hand. But it is in the quiet moments that the game really comes to life. As you pass from room to, seemingly, lifeless room, it’s hard not to hold your breath for the next trap or encounter, breeding a fear of the unknown and anticipated.

As for the story, it’s a Resident Evil game. Umbrella is cartoonishly evil and it’s up to you to clean up, or, in this case, survive, their mess. Still, journal entries and atmospheric story-telling throughout the game provides some interesting and, at times, meaningful back story, as you try to piece together the history of the Mansion’s captives.

In terms of performance, I did notice some drops in frame rate, despite playing with the graphics settings and having a PC that should have no trouble running the game on its highest settings.

A brilliant game that delivers on all fronts, with only some minor hiccups, Resident Evil REmake is an exercise in true survival horror, and an example of what a remake/remaster should be.

I highly recommend it. 8.5/10

PC Gamers Rejoice! Steam to Offer Refunds


Today, Steam announced that they will begin offering refunds for products purchased on their storefront for nearly any reason.

In the past, it has been very difficult to get a refund for anything purchased via Steam. This has long served as the bane of PC gamers, everywhere. As PC games move more and more to an “all digital” future, a reliable, easy-to-use, and consumer-friendly storefront is absolutely essential to ensure the longevity of PC games and consumer confidence in the mainstream distribution services such as Steam and GOG.

Consequently, this serves as a step forward for Steam quality-control. For some time Steam Greenlight has been abused by various “developers” who manage to release games in broken states, often under the guise of “early access”. Still others do nothing more but purchase Unity Engine asset packs and re-sell them as a “finished” product.

With refunds in place, the amount of buyer remorse will see a drastic reduction. And consumers can browse Steam with a greater degree of confidence, not needing to worry whether their purchase will be worthwhile.

You can read Steam’s announcement here: http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds

Equality In Ireland


On May 22nd Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote, with 73.1% of voters voting “yes” and 26.9% voting “no”.

The vote was held as a nation-wide referendum, which is required in order to make changes to Ireland’s constitution.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Ireland 22 years ago and civil partnerships have been legal since 2010. But, this referendum changes Ireland’s constitution to allow for marriage between same-sex couples, thus creating the same protections afforded to their opposite-sex counterparts.

This is a monumental moment for Ireland and a great victory for equality and civil rights.

I’m not sure, however, that this would work in other countries. Or, rather, that it should ever come to this. That is to say that civil rights are not something that should ever be debated or voted on. Regardless of popular opinion or the beliefs of the majority, no one should be denied equal and fair treatment under the law.

In the United States, we are currently awaiting the ruling of a Supreme Court case which may declare same-sex marriage bans, nation wide, unconstitutional. Already we have seen state ban after state ban fall to federal judges.

The number of countries in which same-sex marriage is actually legal and recognized is pretty small. You can view the countries which have legalized it here: http://i.imgur.com/4DjHzuc.jpg

In recent years, marriage equality has gained momentum. But there is still a long way to go. It’s hard to say what, exactly, would be the best means by which to encourage more governments to legalize same-sex marriage. Would more referendums be useful? Or does that just open up more issues?

Personally, I feel that referendums would be very problematic in more conservative countries and that they can provide “ammunition”, for lack of a better term, for those who are against marriage equality. That is, those who are against can cite popular opinion from polls as further reasoning why LGBTQ+ people shouldn’t have equal rights. Essentially arguing that because popular opinion may not be in their favor, that it is only a part of the “democratic process” that their rights be denied.

Regardless of the process by which it is achieved, the change in Ireland’s constitution is wonderful and a victory in both civil rights and, simply, basic human decency. I hope to see the U.S. and many more countries follow suit in legalizing same-sex marriage and equality for all, regardless of sexuality.

You can read the article here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32858501

Fallout 4 Leak?


UPDATE: Today (6/2/15) Fallout’s official website began featured a timer, set to 24 hours, that is actively counting down.

The countdown seems legitimate, with the timer being shared by Bethesda’s official Twitter account and the website belonging to Zenimax, Bethesda’s parent company.

So what does this mean? I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. It could mean a new Fallout game, maybe a teaser. But, all that we can say for certain is that something Fallout-related is about to go down. And I’m incredibly excited.

You can view the countdown here: http://fallout.bethsoft.com/

Recently a 3D contract artist, working for Miranda Studios, updated their LinkedIn resume citing work they had done on a “Fallout 4 Cinematic Trailer”.

The citation was quickly removed as Miranda Studios, owned by Guillermo del Toro, went into damage control mode.

Sites which had reported on the LinkedIn resume were sent emails demanding that their stories be pulled, as someone had violated an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). The problem came when several sites realized that they had never signed an NDA, implying that someone in the industry has.

The presence of an NDA has been speculated to add weight to the authenticity of this resume citation. Often, when fake trailers, announcements, or leaks occur, NDAs are not cited, as either none exist or existing NDAs have not been violated, due to the leak being illegitimate.

Bethesda has yet to comment on this. But we can hope for a statement soon, and maybe, hopefully something at E3.

The pressure is on. Is Fallout 4 really happening? I mean, it has to be, right? It only makes sense for Bethesda to be working on a sequel to the post-apocalyptic RPG.

You can read the article here.

D&D: A Basic Guide to Player Conduct


So, friends and I have been playing an ongoing D&D campaign utilizing the 2nd Ed. ruleset for over a year now. In that time we’ve learned a lot about tabletop RPGs and our preferred play styles. Sometimes, this means creating and incorporating new rules to suit our DM and our party.

To that end, I’ve come up with this brief list of rules for player conduct. It’s by no means complete and, truthfully, I may not be the most qualified to compile such a list. But, even so, they serve as a basic guideline for conduct during our sessions and I hope you will, at least, find it interesting as well.

About:

Players are the core of any game. Any campaign, regardless of how skilled or unskilled the DM, will succeed or fail based, in most part, on the conduct and involvement of its players.

This short guide lays down a few basic rules for the conduct of players during a session.

Rules:

  • Be courteous. Be considerate of your fellow players and the DM. Do everything you can to pull your weight in the campaign. Don’t let everyone else put in all the work. Your DM wants you to contribute to the campaign.
  • Don’t be late. If your campaign has a set date for sessions (every 3rd Tuesday, for example), clear that date on your calendar. Don’t make other plans. The DM and other players are taking time out of their schedule to play the game at a time that is convenient for everyone. Don’t make them wait, don’t bail out.
  • AVOID INATTENTIVENESS. Others will take notice if you’re constantly distracted during the session. Constantly needing to have things repeated, taking too long to decide on an action in combat, repeatedly dropping out of the session for long periods of time, or just generally not engaging with the rest of the party in favor of outside distractions. Understand that each session is not just on your time, but the time of others. When you, as a player, are inattentive, you draw out the session unnecessarily and waste the time of both the DM and other players.
  • Avoid distractions. Try to avoid playing with your phone, turning on the TV, etc. Others at the table will find this distracting and it will detract from your ability to focus on the game. If you are playing online: avoid playing loud music, keep noise to a minimum (turn down the TV, ask roommates to mind the volume), avoid browsing the internet extensively which may cause distraction and cause you to miss things.
  • Practice roleplaying. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But it is essential to the campaign. Practice in your spare time and feel free to ask others for help.
  • MAINTAIN YOUR CHARACTER SHEET. Keep track of EXP, gold, items, etc. If you miss a session, be sure to ask the DM (prior to the next session) what you missed and what changes should be made to your character sheet. It is your job, as the player, to maintain your inventory, EXP, and character. Do not expect other players or the DM to do so or pick up the slack for you. They have their own characters to maintain.

For The DM:

  • Do not repeat yourself. If a player has genuinely not heard you, that is one thing. If a player constantly needs you to repeat yourself due to inattentiveness, don’t. It is a waste of your time and the time of the other players.
  • Do not punish your players. If a player is inattentive, so is their character. They need not necessarily be punished for this, but the session should continue without them. Other players should not have to wait due to the inattentiveness of one player. Take control of their character or make an excuse to leave them behind. (i.e. Do not punish, but do not reward poor conduct, either.)
  • Encourage your players. If a player is genuinely struggling in any area, do all that you can to aid them. But do not play the game for them.

WOW, WoW is actually good!

ImageSo, I’ve always had a grudge against World of Warcraft. Being a fan of the original Warcraft games, I really didn’t like the direction that the series took after Warcraft 3 and WoW was announced. I also have great contempt for the subscription model that it and other MMOs use, in addition to just hating being forced to play a game with other people (I’m more of a single player person), I am of the belief that once I buy something it is mine and I shouldn’t have to pay to keep using it.

I’ve tried many times, over the years, to get into WoW. None of these attempts were successful. My wife once asked my why it is I’m trying to get into WoW, if I don’t like it. The answer I had was that I love Warcraft and no matter how much I would like otherwise, there isn’t going to be a Warcraft 4. All I have is WoW. It’s like if your favorite baker made the most delicious pies in the world but one day decided that he was only going to make key lime pie from then on. You don’t like key lime, but you enjoy his pies so much that you eat it anyway just to take what you can get. Granted that simile isn’t spot on, but you get the idea.

Anyway, 5 days ago I began my most recent attempt at trying WoW. I got the Mists of Pandaria 10 day trial and created a Worgen character. And, strangely, I’m really enjoying it. I like the Worgen starting area much more than any other I’ve tried and I like the story driven quests. So far, I really like the game now as opposed to pre-Cataclsym.

I honestly, couldn’t name too many key differences in the experience, as I don’t really recall my other attempts to get into the game very well. But, the starting area seemed more focused to me, I’ve noticed more story driven quests, cut-scenes in the starting area, and less farming and fetch quests. I could be wrong, however, and maybe the game isn’t all that different and I’m just enjoying it more now than I have in the past. Either way, I’ve started playing now and, as much as I hate to do so, am considering buying game time.

Fly Me To The Moon, And Then Leave Me There..

ImageIn 1997 one of the greatest RPG’s ever made, in my opinion, was born.  Mega Man Legends, or Rock Man Dash in Japan, was introduced as a Mega Man 3rd person RPG.  It was the 3rd series of the Mega Man franchise and held no place in the original Mega Man/Mega Man X timeline, instead being a new stand alone game.  This game introduced us to the latest incarnation of the Blue Bomber: Mega Man Volnutt, a “Digger” who explored ancient ruins with his friends Roll and Data.  The world is covered by vast oceans and Diggers travel from island to island in flying machines.  When Mega Man’s flying machine, the “Flutter”, crash lands on the island of Kattelox he quickly befriends the locals and must save the island from pirates as well as an ancient evil that threatens to eliminate all carbon-based life on the planet.

In 2000 Mega Man Legends 2 was released and Mega Man and Roll continue their quest to find the “Mother Lode”, a legendary ancient treasure that dwarfs all others found in any ancient ruins across the planet.  Mega Man must find the keys to the Mother Lode and unlock it’s secrets.  However, the game takes a turn when Mega Man and Roll begin to learn more about their past, Roll’s parents, and the truth behind Mega Man’s existence. *SPOILER, SPOILER SPOILER* (if you haven’t played it by now.)  Mega Man must travel to Elysium (essentially on the moon) to save the world once more.  Once the “Master” is defeated by Mega Man, he has no way to return to Earth.  The game ends with Roll and Tron Bonne, a pirate with an implied crush on Mega Man, working to build a rocket to rescue our hero.

Fast forward to 2010.  After 10 years of waiting it is finally confirmed that our story will finally have an ending, Mega Man Legends 3 is announced.  A huge project using a “Dev Room” on Capcom’s website to gather loads of feedback from fans during the development process in order to incorporate their ideas into the game.  Capcom was not only finally making the game we had been waiting for, but they wanted us to help make it.  It was planned to be released on the Nintendo 3DS and a prototype game would be released for testing and fan input.

In 2011 the game was cancelled, outright with no real explanation to fans as to why.  Though the game was cancelled it was promised that the prototype would still be released.  Later Capcom went back on this and announced that no prototype would be released either.  Fans were devastated and upset that a game that they had become so invested in, provided so much input for, and had waited 10 long years for was dangled in front of their eyes with promises that could not be upheld and then yanked away from their reach.

It is now late 2013 and there is still a market for this game.  Fans managed to convince Capcom to leave the Dev Room open and today it, a Capcom group for a cancelled game, is #8 out of 81 groups over games such as Ace Attorney and Lost Planet.  The group 100,000 Strong For Bringing Back Mega Man Legends 3 has 103,348 likes on Facebook and continues to advocate for the development of this game.  This is in addition to various other groups around the globe who want to see this game be made.

Mega Man’s creator, Keiji Inafune, left Capcom in 2011 due to his personal issues with the company.  Capcom retained the rights to Mega Man, however, and still said that Mega Man Legends 3 would go ahead with development despite the resignation of Mr. Inafune.  This, however, fell through.  Since Mega Man Legends 3 it seems the Blue Bomber can’t get a word in at Capcom, with nearly all Mega Man titles being scrapped, with a few exceptions.

I, for one, still want to see this game made and thousands of others do as well.  I understand that Capcom must do what they believe is best for themselves as a company, but I implore them, there is a market for this game and there are plenty of ways to fund it.  It has been suggested that Mega Man Legends (Article:  http://www.at7addak.com/article/s/1615087846) should be promoted on Kickstarter.  What could it hurt, right?  If anything it will finally prove the market for the game without doubt.

I hope that Capcom will come around and eventually make this game for us, the fans.  I wish Mr. Inafune all the best and respect his decisions and look forward to playing his new game, Mighty No. 9, soon.  For today we will continue the fight, and hope that tomorrow will bring good news.  Legends Never Die.

Check out 100,000 Strong For MML3 here: https://www.facebook.com/GetMeOffTheMoon

Become a Servbot by registering in the Dev Room: http://www.capcom-unity.com/devroom

#getmeoffthemoon