Things I Hate(About Games I Love)

You ever have a game that you LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT except that one thing? It could be an enemy, level, storyline progression, etc. and, while it doesn’t necessarily cause you to dislike the game any less, you still have no particular eagerness to experience when replaying the game – i.e. Ocarina of Time’s Water Temple. In an utterly uncharacteristic display of pessimism(sarcasm?) I’ve decided to throw out my most disliked parts from some of my favorite games. Starting with…

Super Mario Bros. 3 – Plumber Hell

Super Mario Bros. 3 has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I love it as much in my adult years as I did as a kid. As much as I love it, there’s still one part of Mario 3 that I still have an intense dislike towards. World 7 – Pipe Land is easily my least favorite part of my favorite game. As the name would suggest, the entire goddamn world(well, nearly) consists of a maze of goddamn pipes, and wherever you find pipes you will almost assuredly find piranha plants, along with what seems like hundreds of Munchers, their younger siblings. If that wasn’t enough, Pipe Land is where Mario 3 throws some annoying puzzle-like sections in the castle stages. Perhaps I didn’t possess the level of patience as a kid(or adult) that the game requires to successfully navigate, but it’s definitely emphasized here, making it the one section in Mario 3 where I absolutely will not hesitate in using a Warp Whistle to leave this godforsaken level and to the next area.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Slip Slidin’ Away

Alright, so…Breath of the Wild may not even be my favorite Zelda game, but having invested just short of 300 hours into the game across multiple playthroughs that I *do* love the game. For me, I tend to think of it as an open-world game that encourages and (mostly?) rewards exploration first, and a ‘Zelda game’ second. I’m not exactly in the minority when I say BotW is one of my favorite Switch games, but I also understand where others may not hold the game in as high regard, particularly in how it deviates from elements historically found in other Zelda games. I could mention either the “brittle as an 80 year old’s bones” weapons, which seem to break after precisely 4 hits, or go into some unhinged rant about being driven to near madness collecting ALL 900 KOROK SEEDS, but honestly those don’t irritate me *as much* as they do others. No, the thing that frustrated me the most in BotW is the never-ending episode of ‘It’s Always Rainy In Hyrule’. One of the departures from previous Zelda games is the fact that you can climb nearly anything in BotW…as long as it’s not a wet(slippery) surface. What makes it frustrating is when it feels like the entire eastern half of Hyrule has been affected by this meteorological malice. Don’t even get me started on the Faron region – the Florida of Hyrule, where it’s seemingly ALWAYS RAINING. You need to climb that rock wall? Well you can be damn sure it’s gonna start raining…it never fails. Maybe I’m just exceptionally lucky??

Resident Evil 4 – Water Hall(& Oates)

I may or may not have mentioned it before, but…I love Resident Evil 4. It’s my favorite game(alongside Mario 3) and the one I’ve played through more times than any other. That does not mean, however, that it doesn’t contain a few sections that are a bit of a headache and it’s more of a conscious effort to push through. This brings us to the Water Hall, located in Salazar Castle. This is pretty easily my least favorite part of RE4. The sequence begins with Leon and Ashley making their way through the castle and entering a giant room with…an indoor moat. During this test of both patience *and* accuracy, Leon must defend Ashley from waves of enemies as she makes her way around an upper walkway to raise a set of platforms to allow access to the far side of the room. Sounds simple, right? Yes…mostly. The concept is as straightforward as it gets, it’s just the fact that it takes Ashley an absurd amount of time to get between the two cranks, all while an army of cultists waddle towards her with intentions of carrying her away like a lunch box. Once you make it to the next room…this is where the real fun starts. Leon and Ashley barely make it through the doorway before being greeted by yet another swarm of cultists in yet another large open room with almost no cover whatsoever. Once again, the task is protecting Ashley as you make your way downstairs to a back room where you both need to step on opposing floor panels to reveal…that’s right *another crank* upstairs which will lower the staircase to make it the fuck outta there. Again, this is pretty simple stuff, it’s just the matter of being hit with arrows, axes, and flails while trying to accomplish this AND keep Ashley from getting carried away(or dying). My Pro Gamer™️ strat is usually to immediately run for the downstairs room and play defense – it’s much easier this way as you have your back to the wall. There will be a handful of enemies that can drop from through the ceiling above you, which means you still have to remain somewhat attentive to your backside, but you can still focus primarily on the shielded(or iron masked) enemies being funneled through the narrow doorway. All in all it’s probably not the most *complicated* sequence, but I still feel blood pressure spike whenever I reach that part of the game, which has been about once a year since 2005.

Bloodborne – Forbidden Woods

Well done, good hunter. You’ve defeated Vicar Amelia in the Grand Cathedral and interacted with Laurence’s skull, prompting a flashback conversation between Master Willem and Larry where we first hear the line – “Fear the Old Blood.” Now that we have the password, the next thing to do is leave the Cathedral Ward and set out on a scholarly visit to Byrgenwerth College. The only obstacle in your way is the Forbidden Woods. This oppressive, maze-like forest contains countless beasts and a number of traps to bamboozle inattentive hunters, but the single element here that catapults the Forbidden Woods to “I love this game but hate this place” territory is actually quite simple. Snakes…fucking snakes. The latter half of the Forbidden Woods is infested with disgusting creatures very imaginatively named Snake Balls, which really are nothing but several venomous snakes tangled into a knot. Sounds horrible, right? Well, even better, there’s the Gigamax version too – Great Snake Balls(it’s alright, I’d laugh too if I wasn’t terrified), and upon reaching the end of this area you get to fight the Shadows of Yharnam, the obligatory FromSoft gank fight against three cloaked assholes that can, and will summon gigantic snake heads that emerge from underground and generally scare the living hell out of me. Again, I love the shit out of Bloodborne but I’m *not* the biggest fan of the Forbidden Woods. <end rant>

Thanks for reading!

Omnivore Update – May 2023

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!