When we see a door we expect us to be able to open it. When we see a key we expect to pick it up. When we get a pistol we expect to use it to kill stuff. When there's a hallway in Resident Evil, we expect it to be scary as hell.
There are all forms of expectations when we play games. Many are based on other similar games, like when playing an FPS you keep comparing it to how other FPS games work. If you get a handgrenade, you'd expect to throw it. Not to pull the pin, hold the grenade and then die.
Whenever I play a new Mario-game I can be sure of a few things. Like that it'll be accessible, charming and that I won't pee myself because of fear. Hopefully I won't pee myself at all, come to think of it. Anyway, my point is we always have references while playing and we base our expectations on those.
One of the most brilliant ones I've ever played is in the "Lost in Nightmares" expansion for Resident Evil 5.
Back in -96, the first Resident Evil was released and while the game became a hit, there was one part in particular that came to become an instant cult classic. I'm talking about a hallway in which dogs jump in from outside through the windows. The first time around, players weren't ready for it and it scared the living shit out of them, me included. I remember actually having nightmares... Come on, I was 10 years old.
Whenever people talk about scary moments in games, that scene is brought up.
All of the following Resident Evil games of course had more (in amount) scary moments but I don't think anyone was as effective.
In the Lost in Nightmares expansion, you're playing in an estate extremly similar to that in the first game and to the right of the main hall, just like in the original, there's an identical hallway and guess what; it gave me the chills. In addition, you also hear dogs barking. Not nice!
Déjà vu in all its glory. When walking in the exact same corridor again, you get that eerier feeling if knowing that you're in a very, very scary place, but because it's something new at the same time, you do not know what's gonna happen.
It's an excellent example of a good use of the references players that knows about the first Resident Evil have.
If you haven't played it, I'm not gonna spoil what does, or does not happen...
I'll let the first post of 2010 to be one of those post that makes it seem like the author think he's so cool and important that somebody actually cares what his favorite games are.
And another thing that makes my list even less worth while is that I'm not even sure I've played my Game Of The Year 2009 yet. I haven't played Uncharted 2, Assassin's Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2, Dragon Age, Infamous or Murasama: The Demon Blade yet, all that are games that I think I'll really like.
Last year I wrote a post about how amazing 2008 was for gaming:
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- Fable 2
- Mirror's Edge
- Fallout 3
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Valkyria Chronicles
- Castle Crashers
- Bionic Commando: Rearmed
- Mega Man 9
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
- The World Ends with You
- Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
- Soul Calibur IV
... And many, many more! This year has delivered a huge; gigantic even, pile of amazing games! I remember thinking that last year was a great year for gaming with games like Bioshock and Call of Duty 4, but damn, this year has been nothing short of superb!
I would go as far as to say that this has been among the best year of gaming ever. Right now I can't think of any other year with so many great games.
- Arcade Berg, 2008
Since there are so many games I haven't had the time to play yet from 2009, I don't dare to say if 2009 is better than 2008 or not. I find it doubtful, even though 2009 has been totally awesome.
Anyway, here I go, the best games released last year that I've actually played during 2009.
Best Single Player Experience
Batman: Arkham Asylum (360/PS3/PC)
Shortly after its release I wrote a post about it's wonderful fighting mechanic and I dare say that it's one of the best there is.
I even praised the game for its demo, because they nailed what a demo should be and how it got me hooked:
Best Multi Player Experience
Resident Evil 5 (360/PS3/PC)
I love Resident Evil 5. I've heard all of the complaints from the haters. About the controls, the AI, etc. etc. But I really do think the game is brilliant and that most of the game design choices are just right. I'm working on a little article about why the game kicks ass but I don't know when it'll be done. Once it is, of course I'll post it here.
I played through the game online with a friend and it was one of, if not THE best gaming experiences I had during 2009.
Both the game and level design is nothing short of excellent.
Best Game In A Genre That Isn't Good Enough To Be The Best Game Of The Year Because The Genre Doesn't Offer Me Enough Compared To Many Other
Tales of Monkey Island (PC/Wii)
I'm sorry if it sounds mean, but to me personally; an adventure game can't possibly be the game of the year. Nor could a puzzle game, a racing game or a sports game. But among all these categories I must say that the five episodes of the Tales of Monkey Island is a great, great adventure.
As a huge Monkey Island fan I was sceptic, but TellTale really respected the IP and released the best adventure game I've played in many, many years.
All URL's: 03/01/2010
Okay, so maybe I'm four years behind, but I finally finished Resident Evil 4 just now. Just in time for the release of numeric entry number 5.
Anyhow, I have some stuff I wanna discuss about the game but I'll save that for another day, it's 2:44am here at the moment.
Before I go; two things:
1. Great game! Some really smart game design decisions.
2. To my friend who said it takes about 22 hours to finish if you're a slow player who likes to explore, like me. Screw you! ...
I just saw the new CG-movie based on Capcom's Resident Evil; Resident Evil: Degeneration. It was... bad.
I enjoy the other movies in the Resident Evil franchise, especially the second one. They are in no way material for academy awards, but they're entertaining nonetheless. Heck, I even enjoy the Street Fighter Movie with Jean Claude Van Damme (I have a shelf dedicated to his movies in my movie collection!).
Degeneration was shallow, had weird pacing, boring characters (of course Leon S. Kennedy can't get killed or infected, just like with Claire) and seriously, the dialogue must come from the back of a cerealbox.
Sure, we've yet to see a really good movie adaption of a video game. Doom (an okay movie when you're hung over), Super Mario Bros., Double Dragon and Dead or Alive might not be great examples of high quality entertainment BUT I still always look forward to each and every video game movie!
As a video game fantast, I get happy everytime I hear about a new movie, even when Uwe Boll (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0093051/ available 10/12-08) is in charge.
For example, I'm really looking forward to the new Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0891592/ available 10/12-08) with Blood Moongood (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1291227/ 10/12-08), also starring in the upcoming Terminator Salvation!
What I want is a Monkey Island-movie, starring Bruce Campbell as Guybrush, John Goodman or Jack Black as LeChuck and Scarlett Johansson as Elaine! Btw, Uwe Boll may NOT touch that production.