Classic Corner – Resident Evil

Happy Halloween everyone! In celebration of the synonymous date of imaginative malevolence, I thought it would be appropriate to delve into a classic horror title in hopes of developing a state of uncomfortable anxiety, securing my next quick fix of adrenaline pumping intensity. Resident Evil is an astounding experience that appropriately fits the stated criteria; inducing an abundance of atmospherically eerie goodness, boasting brilliantly crafted level design that is arguably unrivalled to this very day, and a surprising emphasis on non-linearity and intricate puzzle implementation that mirror the minutia of the renowned adventure genre. Although Resident Evil arguably fostered the Survival Horror genre, and has never been dethroned in terms of pure structure, Resident Evil is a conspicuous homage to the tried and true fundamentals of the adventure genre, cohering the structural puzzle format of adventure legends such as The Secret of Monkey Island or King’s Quest and the non-linear progression of the Zelda and Metroid series. However, given the true nature of Resident Evil as a horror title and the sheer fact that Halloween is upon us, none of this would be relevant, let alone bare any sort of legacy, if the title that single-handedly pioneered Survival Horror wasn’t able to evoke any form of fear in the modern era of gaming. Resident Evil emits an unsettling nature that is quite difficult to describe; it’s this ineffable nature, however, that sets RE apart from the rest of the herd, as there are many intricate variables within the minutia of Resident Evil, making it fairly difficult to identify the true culprit of your instilled fear. Crimson Heads are downright petrifying as they’re basic instinct and structure are completely alien to the strategies you’ve developed thus far, making their imminent rise all the more terrifying. Familiar locales may alleviate yourself to a point of ease, but RE will take advantage of that comfortability and twist the very paranoia that consumes you, throwing yourself into a state of danger when you least expect it. Brilliant sound design will constantly keep you on your toes as its minimalistic music still evokes an unsettling nature that’ll undoubtedly crank your anxiety up to eleven, while enemy noises will alert you on the imminent danger that lies ahead. Regardless of what you’ll find on your horrific adventure through the Spencer Mansion, there will always be something to fear, and cherish the moments of tranquility as these instances are few and far between.

Continue reading Classic Corner – Resident Evil

Why Uncharted 2 is a Flawed Masterpiece

Obvious spoiler warning for Uncharted 2 and the series as a whole. You have been warned…

In honor of the successful reception and recent admiration of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, it felt appropriate to relay my thoughts on, what is easily, one of the greatest and my own personal favourite video game series of all time. More accurately, however, I’d like to dissect the unanimous favourite of the trilogy, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which also happens to be my preferred entry and unsurprisingly, one of my favourite games of all time. Originally released back in 2009, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves arguably set a golden standard for action-adventure as its impeccable pacing, jaw-dropping set pieces, and exquisite character development were second to none, mirroring that pristine joy of a thrilling, quality summer blockbuster. The original’s under-performances and limitations are largely responsible for its sequel’s success as expectations regarding Uncharted 2 were manifested with the original being the standard. Naughty Dog desecrated its initial standard and unfathomably exceeded expectations, improving on every minute detail that the original Uncharted crafted, outclassing it in every way imaginable. Uncharted 2 is the renowned example of how to make a proper sequel; improving and expanding on the initial formula, catering to what exactly made the original so beloved, and never giving into the fear of working with the safe and familiar, upping the ante ten fold if needed. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves exceeded its brethren in terms of sheer scope, fantastic writing along with the exceptional development of their beloved characters, impeccable pacing that’s second to none, its gorgeously cinematic world that raised the bar for graphical possibilities, its bombastically iconic soundtrack, and riveting expedition that boasts a mirroring quality to some of Indiana Jones’ finest work. Even though Uncharted 2 is a masterpiece, it is by no means a perfect game; there are actually several inconsistencies that are notable to say the least, and although they never detract from the masterful experience that is Uncharted 2, they’re still prominent factors that ultimately make Uncharted 2 a flawed masterpiece.

Continue reading Why Uncharted 2 is a Flawed Masterpiece

Super Mario Maker Review

Building perfection, one question block at a time…

Legacy is a word that is seldom used nowadays; the word has never constructed itself into an oversaturated, pretentious connotation and the vast, vigorous world of gaming haven’t the shortage of premium, quality titles that embody the potential and sheer definition of a legacy. Legacy is a matter of quality and time. Very few series have the pristine ability to kickstart a brave new medium of entertainment, one that is not only presently relevant but also healthier than it has ever been, breathing new, imaginative life into this expansive world. The Super Mario series not only crafted the world of gaming that we know and love today, but it pioneered a beloved genre to perfection and also introduced iconic characters that’ve become synonymous with the entire gaming medium as a whole, with Mario himself becoming the public face of the Big N, which at one point was a renowned playing card and toy company. Thirty years later and Mario has undoubtedly seen his fair share of sequels, successors, spin-offs, and inspirations, arguably taking massive responsibility for the popularity and success of the 2D and 3D realm of gaming. With countless masterpieces under his belt such as Super Mario Galaxy 2, Super Mario Bros 1 & 3, Super Mario 64, and Super Mario World to name a few, Mario has unquestionably become an icon and staple in the gaming community due his unparalleled relevance and punctual ability to deliver a quality gaming experience. For Mario’s thirtieth anniversary, Nintendo have cooked up something special that marks an innovative step towards the series’ evolution; Super Mario Maker gives fans the necessary tools to create a minute, yet idiosyncratic piece of Mario’s very own legacy. Super Mario Maker is essentially two games in one beautiful package: an exquisitely precise 2D platformer that accentuates that iconic responsiveness that is synonymous with the Super Mario series, and a brilliantly intuitive design tool that incomparably outshines all of its respective ilk in nearly every way imaginable. Super Mario Maker somehow managed to find a superlative equilibrium so that fans and newcomers alike can enjoy the experience to its fullest. Fans will undoubtedly bask in all of its nostalgic glory while newcomers, like myself, can perceive the structural template of Super Mario Maker as a small slice of Mario’s history.

Continue reading Super Mario Maker Review