Playing: Resident Evil 6 (PS3) (XBOX 360) (PC)

Resident_Evil_6_Cover

Every gamer throughout the world has at the very least heard of the Resident Evil franchise by Capcom. The latest instalment in the RE saga is Resident Evil 6, the first of its kind to feature 4 different story lines and story intersections. Although arguably the worst game of the series to date, the game still continues the storyline in a much wider scale than ever before, giving fans the world over another hit of one video game history’s greatest franchises.

The game’s storyline spans 7 months, starring familiar and newer faces. Leon and Helena, agents working with the president in the town of Tall Oaks, America are faced with a bio-terrorist attack that has turned the townsfolk into zombies. Chris and Piers, BSAA agents who worked in Edonia, are sent to China to rescue hostages amongst chaos and disorder. Finally Sherry, an agent chosen to escort Jake to safety in Edonia, works with her charge to find a cure for the newly developed C-Virus.

The game is by no means a traditional Resident Evil game. If anything, RE games haven’t being RE games recently. With times changing and video games with it, everything seems to be more action filled, more complex and more diverse. And RE6 is as diverse as they come. The storyline is non-linear which makes it harder then usual to understand the overall story of the game. Old characters are a welcome relief to the game which might as well no longer bear the RE tagline, yet the new characters are both refreshing and provide an exciting edge to the story. Yet amidst the heap of characters you’re given control over and the four full length stories available to play, fans quickly realise that this is no longer a survival horror… but an action horror. And that’s when all the magic disappears.

The game is a third-person shooter with rare hints to what RE games used to be. Although most prevalent in Leon and Ada’s campaigns, the good old puzzle solving aspect of the games is present, allowing players to experience the once shining lustre of the RE franchise. The A.I system is revamped for RE6, not only giving the player the option to command the actions of their partner, but allowing the A.I to be more competent and actually useful. Moreover, multiplayer is new feature added, sporting the unique Agent Hunt and the classical Mercenaries, both of which actually highly enjoyable. Another interesting point about the gameplay is that its four campaigns are distinct in their play style: Leon’s is primarily survival horror oriented, a nod to the original games; Chris’s is clearly action themed, forcing the player to keep their fingers on the trigger; Ada’s is heavily stealth based, especially considering it’s the only campaign that does not have an A.I. partner; and Jake’s is, essentially, a mix of all three.

If every other feature of the game was to be forgotten, the few aspects that shines through are the graphics, styling and music. Graphics are absolutely breathtaking, with each scene taking place in a beautifully created setting that immerses the player into the world. Even dull, underground passageways are designed beautifully, as are the flaming debris and buildings encountered in a crumbling China. The characters and monsters of the game are, as always, uniquely styled and portrayed, acting as one of the highlights of the entire game. Their fluidity and high quality animation are also very deserving of praise. As expected of any RE instalment, the soundtrack of the game is a key feature, making players feel exactly what the producers wanted you to feel. Whether it be the suspense of a creepy mansion, or the adrenaline of high speed chases, Resident Evil 6 doesn’t let fans down with its music.

Although it’s not exactly the great addition fans were expecting, Resident Evil 6 is an average continuation of one of Capcom’s most successful franchises. In my opinion, it wasn’t too terrible, but that being said, it could have had a lot of improvements made story and gameplay wise. It is saddening to see though its great departure from survival horror that many have come to love, and hopefully one day, we’ll see the next instalment going back to its horror roots. All in all, RE6 makes a delightful game to play for simple enjoyment, allowing people to enjoy a mix of the goodness of the RE series and an action packed story.

Bry Rating: 3.5/5
Recommended? For RE and Action Enthusiasts Only
Country of Origin: Japan
Developer: Capcom

Playing: Bayonetta (PS3) (XBOX 360)

Bayonetta_Cover

Let’s face it: SEGA’s games have lately been on the decline, not only in quantity, but in quality. Of the few gems that it has to offer, Bayonetta stands out in all its raunchy, addictive and intoxicating glory. It’s an action packed, hack-and-slash third person shooter – so naturally, its was impossible to pass up.

Bayonetta, an Umbra Witch that has lost her memories, sets out to uncover the mysteries of her past and the “Eye of the World”, a jewel she has owned from as far as she remembers. Sporting a wide of range of weapons, four guns being her favourite, she battles the armies of Paradiso Angels who impede her progress. Why they do this delves deeper into the world of Bayonetta (which is in turn, beyond the realm of this blog). She meets a handful of character who she seems to be connected to somehow – of interest a small girl named Cereza who calls her “Mommy”.

Bayonetta herself is a fiery, smart-mouthed, glasses-wearing woman with a flare for… sexual innuendo. Whilst on the surface she may seem like eye-candy for the teen male, her character is fleshed out through her relationships with other characters. Her development as a selfish character to one that acknowledges the value of compassion demonstrates not only the way people can change through life – but also how “sexual” characters in games (Especially women) can have a perfectly good story that adds depth.

Admittedly, the story of the game is hard to follow, choppy at best. In “compensation” players are given the satisfaction of an extremely intriguing and flashy form of fighting. The player controls Bayonetta as she glides across the screen performing amazing combos. It’s awfully satisfying – gaining momentum, performing timed backflips and executing a string of commands that makes her dance (Seriously). The game also has two additional mechanics when fighting – Witch Time and Torture Attacks. With Witch Time, the player has to narrowly dodge attacks to slow down the passage of time whereas with Torture Attacks, players complete a series of QTEs to finish of their enemies  (in an ever-so-flashy manner). Items that can be equipped consists of an array of weapons (ranging from katanas to magical ice skates) and magical ornaments whereas consumable items appear in the form of lollipops.

The visuals of the game are definitely encapsulating, especially when you consider that this was pre 2010Enemies are detailed and interesting to view, although in the later game colour pallets are swapped to make room for new enemies. Character designs in particular stand out though – they range in shapes and sizes but are all believable and executed well. As for the music in the game, all I can really say is that I’ve downloaded “Fly Me To The Moon” and “Let’s Dance Boys” and both are on the top of my playlist my phone. And computer. And music player.

All in all, Bayonetta is remarkable game that utilises incredible fighting mechanics, powerful visuals and a striking soundtrack. Although the story lacks a sense of clarity and is begging for more (Pst, Sequel), the characters in the game more than make up for it through their quirky personalities and backstories. If similar games like Devil May Cry bother you, or you have an unreasonable hate towards the rings from Sonic (Oh Sega references), then this game is probably not for you. But if you’re more than happy to experience the diamond that is Bayonetta – “Let’s Rock Baby!”

Bry Rating: 4.25
Recommended? Of Course
Country of Origin: Japan
Developer: Sega ; Platinum Games