Welcome back to another edition of “I’ve completely failed at posting anything the last couple months.”
Here’s what I’ve been keeping busy with!
Resident Evil 4 Remake
Perhaps the easiest way to explain(excuse) my latest lapse here on WordPress is the release of the Resident Evil 4 Remake. I’ve mentioned in the past(once or twice) how RE4 is one of my absolute favorite games and how much the game has meant to me over the years, so while I didn’t feel a remake was entirely *necessary* I was 100% on board to see what Capcom had up its sleeve in regards to modernizing a game whose influence can be seen in just about every single modern AAA game. It’s been over a month since its release and I’ve completed (almost)two playthroughs of the game.
I absolutely love everything about the RE4 Remake. The core experience is still intact, but this time around there’s a number of improvements that have been made to both the gameplay and characters. The idea of pausing the game every time I want to swap between your attaché case full of weapons feels rather archaic after playing the remake and being able to assign shortcuts to the d-pad on the controller. Capcom also introduced a parry mechanic – something I didn’t know I needed in my life, but feels spectacular after spending almost the entire second half of last year playing Sekiro. Parrying chainsaw attacks is never NOT gonna be fucking awesome. The characters in the remake also feel like fleshed out participants in the story, rather than NPCs to interact with between fighting off hordes of ganados. This is especially true for characters like Luis, who is given actual purpose this time around, and Ashley, who has spent the past 18 years as one of the more disliked characters in video games. Seeing an actual bond forming between Leon and Ashley as they fight their way out of rural Spanish villages is one of the highlights of the game. Of course there’s a few gameplay segments that were altered or outright cut from the original game, such as the laser grid corridor, which admittedly felt a little out of place in the original game anyways, or the U-3 boss fight in the suspended cage…maze(?) in the latter stages of the game. This was honestly one of my less-enjoyed boss fights in the game, so the subtraction doesn’t personally bother me that much.
The RE4 Remake feels like returning to a game that you’ve loved for many years, but find yourself appreciating even more upon returning. I’m loving the game enough that I’ve even set my sights on the platinum trophy, which should keep me busy for a little while longer given the 4-6 playthroughs required, among many other things…
Berserk Volume 1.
In my last blog post…two months ago, I mentioned that I had wanted to push myself to actually read a goddamn book. I guess *finish* reading a book is probably more accurate here? I picked up Volume 1 of Berserk(Deluxe) back in December and have had it within reach at my work desk to read in place of mindlessly doom scrolling Twitter. I could easily recommend a dozen other bloggers that are more well-versed than I am about anything manga, so I’m not gonna go too much into descriptive detail about, but I finished it just the other day and I gotta say, I really…liked it? Berserk has influenced/inspired a million different games, which is one of the things that prompted me to check it out. After just the first few volumes, it’s impossible to NOT notice the ways it influenced From Software games alone. Bloodborne or Elden Ring have countless Berserk references – one the most immediate is how the Hunter’s Mark in Bloodborne looks eerily similar to the Mark of Sacrifice. I’m definitely looking forward to checking out more in the future.
Ok. So…in the most recent of 2023’s twists and turns, I’ve found myself once again playing Fortnite. I played it a few times back in 2018 after the Battle Royale mode was released, but it didn’t click with me as much as Call of Duty: Black Ops IV’s Blackout mode or Apex Legends. I did return to Fortnite after the in-game world was sucked into a black hole(yes, it was a whole event) and the new map emerged as part of the game’s Chapter 2 shortly afterward. This time around I enjoyed the game a lot more, especially the Star Wars crossover event(December 2019). This lasted for a month or two before I became, once again, distracted by whatever other games I was playing at the time(DMC V and Streets of Rage 4?). It was only a couple weeks ago now that I randomly(mostly) decided to jump back into Fortnite and have been consistently playing the Zero Build mode with my wife. There’s plenty of things that can be said and plenty of opinions concerning Fortnite’s impact, positive or negative, on gaming and pop culture since its release nearly six years ago, but it can be a genuinely fun experience to play whether by yourself or with others.
I’m also hearing something about a new Zelda game coming out in a matter of days…
Thanks for reading!