Review: Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5
Available on PS3 and Xbox 360 (reviewed)

Resident Evil is without a doubt one of the most storied franchises ever to grace the TV. It single-handedly re-launched the “Survival Horror” genre (Alone in the Dark series was the previous game du jour) with its moody atmosphere and feelings of uneasiness when opening the iconic doors not knowing what to expect around the next corner. From the first time I booted the original Resident Evil game and watched the cheesy Full Motion Video intro I was hooked and instantly drawn in.

In the last 13 years, Resident Evil has spanned across 19 games for various gaming platforms, 3 Live-action movies, and 2 CG animated films, comic books and even paperback novels. With that much media related to the Resident Evil brand it’s easy to see this is a winning series. Without divulging too much information to save you from any spoilers, I can say that Capcom might want to look at a bit of a shakeup. Even though there’s a lot of good to say about the game, there’s equally a lot of bad.

In 2005 the powers that be changed up the series to a great deal of critical acclaim. I for one wasn’t so optimistic and actually didn’t particularly like the game. It felt too much like a baby sitting mission having to contend with the president kidnapped daughter and I wasn’t too keen on the idea of a “parasite” infecting people with a level of mind control.

Resident Evil 5 looked to build on the critical successes of Resident Evil 4 and takes the series to a new locale in Africa. You take on the role of series Alum Chris Redfield and embark on the journey with his partner and newcomer Sheva Alomar, an AI or second player controlled character who’s both deadly with a gun and a damn fine looking woman. Her AI is well programmed a she always seemed to provide the right amount of cover fire, and healing when required. I never had to get angry with the game because of her or myself dying due to poor AI. Usually it was due to my own carelessness and not Sheva’s.

The game play is your basic Resident Evil fare. Aim, shoot, run, kill, survive with some minor puzzles tossed in. One of the new additions to the game is the timed action sequences. They don’t really add much to the game other than a small level of frustration when you don’t expect it and have to do it over again.

Another puzzling decision to the game was have the enemies melt away after you’ve killed them revealing either money, treasures or ammo. The treasures can be sold for money and the money can be used in a store to buy new items likes weapons, armor or even health spray. Seems like someone at Capcom was a fan of Metal Gear Solid 4s Drebin? Ammo isn’t in complete abundance, but there’s enough around to keep you relatively well armed right to the end
The graphics are spectacular. From the dusty dry towns to the wetlands and everything in between is painstakingly realistic. This truly was a labor of love on the parts of the games artists. The music and sound is what you would come to expect from the Resident Evile series. It’s moody and adds a level of intensity to the game

While I can say that I really enjoyed this game, something was missing for me. After much consideration, my best explanation is that Resident Evil 5, while it is a very good game, just didn’t feel like Resident Evil to me. The game is too bright during the day, the bad guys aren’t creepy and I just wasn’t scared once during this game. What hooked me into the series were the mass zombie hordes coming after me, the lack of ammo, the claustrophobia of the locales and the overall feeling that something was lurking around the next corner waiting to dismember me.

This is a great game, I’m just having a lot of trouble thinking about it as a Resident Evil game.

Next time: Scare us. It’s what brings us back time and time again to this series.

Pros

– Graphics and Sound
– Story – Multiplayer
– Sheva’s AI

Cons

– Strange gameplay decisions (Enemies melt into items, can’t walk with a weapons drawn at the ready state)
– Just doesn’t feel like a Resident Evil game
– No real scary moments

Feed Your Console gives Resident Evil 5: 7.5 out of 10

Review: 3 on 3 NHL Arcade

3 on 3 Hockey Arcade
3 on 3 NHL Arcade
Available on PSN $9.99 or Xbox Live! 800MS points (Xbox 360 version reviewed)

As a big NHL fan (Go Sens!), I was a little more than mildly interested in this game when it was announced and immediately tried the demo and purchased it after just 3 quick games. The game features over the top arcade NHL type action with huge hits, fast game play, power-ups and 40 of the league’s top players.

The game starts off with you picking 2 forwards, 1 defenseman and a goalie then thrusts you into the action right from the drop of the puck. The controls are simple enough for a casual gamer using just the old school button pressing controls to the more controlled scheme those familiar with real NHL series using the analog stick. You gain access to a variety of power-ups by performing bone crushing hits and they range from rocket skates to a giant sized goalie.

Bored of playing the computer? Just jump online and get some users from around the world in on the action and play in some ranked matches.

The game might be too simple for some who are used to the dizzying array of options presented in the NHL series but it provides a cure to a rainy spring day itch. With any luck, there will be a sequel allowing online 3 on 3 leagues with more venues and even more crazy power-ups. Maybe this could be included for free with NHL 2010 and available online to the non NHL purchasers for a nominal fee? What do you think EA?

As my first real casual game purchase, I’m not disappointed. I’ve had a lot of fun trash talking my friends on Live! and beating them down while doing it. If a quickie game of outlandish hockey is something you might enjoy, this is a good one for you.

Pros:

– Fast gameplay
– Crazy power-ups
– Accessible controls tailor to everyone’s tastes

Cons:

– No online leagues
– Needs more power-ups and venues

Feed Your Console gives 3 on 3 NHL Arcade: 9 out of 10

Free Stuff on Twitter

Do you like free stuff? Well we do and we’re going to let you in on the secret of how to get it… Twitter.

Finding the right people on Twitter is the key to free stuff. Here is a few people we recommend following:

Oh and don’t forget to follow us here, as we will have free stuff to give away soon enough. Find more gamers like yourself on Xbox and on PSN.

Review: Pirates vs Ninjas Dodgeball

Pirates vs Ninjas Dodgeball
Well it happened again, more free arcade games on twitter, this time – Pirates vs Ninjas Dodgeball – courtesy of SouthPeak Games.

The basics of the game are quite simple and very straight forward. Pick a team; Pirates, Ninjas, Robots or the gruesome Zombies. Bash the other team with the bouncing balls while avoiding the balls they throw at you. Seems easy enough right?

The 2v2 matches seemed a little to easy – sailing through with out a hitch first the Zombies pressed my ninja pair as the battled through the tombstones on a grass court. Then facing off against the robots with their slanted ramps and neon world, quickly learning the skills of a dodgeball playing ninja (pass then attack). My story then travels to the booty laden beach where arch nemesis the evil pirates sit taunting. Defeating the pirates quickly I’m rewarded with the unlockable third character and step up for my first 3v3 match, only to start over in the same 4v4 process.

Having only four levels makes this a bit of a repetitive title, but the added team members and quirky story lines provide a much needed dose of humor. This title is one that will be fun to play for a short time or when you have a number of friend over and need to get out your frustrations.

Pros:

– Easy to pick up and just play
– Funny character stories between matches
– Unlockable levels and characters

Cons:

– Repetitive sound effects
– Only four boards

Feed Your Console gives Pirates vs Ninjas Dodgeball: 6 out of 10

Developer: Blazing Lizard
Publisher: Gamecock
Release Date: 03/09/2008
Platform: Wii and Xbox 360 (Reviewed)