Digital Death (Pt. 4)

Level 4: Japanese people are weird and why are the Russians always up to no good?

Remember how I mentioned that 1999 was the greatest year ever? Yeah, well 2000 was a giant pile of shit. Pretty much everything good from the previous year was torn away to be replaced with cruel, mocking reminders of what I had lost. Don’t worry, you can put away the world’s smallest violin, this hasn’t devolved into a pity party. I just have to set up where my head was at in the early 00’s and why for a solid few years I had all but moved away from horror (which included horror video games).

Instead, I threw on my wizard cloak, grabbed my phaser (set to sexy!) and got my geek on. Because of this, all my time went to things like the Dragonlance books, and JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games for those who have a life). The real world was scary enough, I didn’t need to add to it with video games.

That said, there was one exception during this sad horror-less period in my life…

Onimusha: Warlords (2001) Continue reading

Digital Death (Part 2)

Level 2. In which I lean to smash every piece of art I find because there must be a key hidden within.

Towards the end of 1995 something crazy happened. O.J. Simpson was found not guilty! Also, the PlayStation came out. Whereas one of these things would be relegated to a trivia question, the other changed the world!!!! Okay, maybe not, but the PlayStation was the tits and since I was a spoiled brat, I got one for Christmas that year.

It wasn’t that I didn’t love my Genesis…or my Sega CD…or my 32X (what can I say, I was a Sega mark), but it just seemed like the right time to try something new. I was already familiar with this whole cd business thanks to the Sega CD, but, if you ever played that piece of crap, you’d know that what I knew wasn’t much.

One of the first games I got (besides Ridge Racer which came with the system if my memory serves me) was a little diddy with a somewhat odd title called…

Resident Evil (1996)

Alright folks, here it is, the big daddy of horror gaming. Don’t believe me? Ever heard the term ‘Survival Horror’? Yeah, that term was literally coined by Capcom (makers of the game) after RE hit the scene. To be fair, RE didn’t really invent the genre. Alone in the Dark, which featured similar gameplay mechanics did proceed it. But since almost nobody played that game (definitely nobody I knew anyway), RE gets all the credit.

The story finds some special agent types, called S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics and Rescue Service), investigating disturbing reports from the forested area surrounding Racoon City. It seems that there have been some recent attacks and the victims appear to have been…eaten! Anyway, the S.T.A.R.S. unit head out…and promptly crash their helicopter in the forest. Doing their best Harrison Ford impression, they casually walk away from the crash like it wasn’t shit. Unfortunately, the woods are teeming with zombie dogs. The zombie dogs, or zogs as I call them, force them to take refuge in a massive nearby mansion (The Spencer Mansion).

The game starts as soon as the doors close behind you. Character options are either Chris Redfield (sharp shooter and all-around panty dropper) or Jill Valentine (the master of unlock37472-Resident_Evil_[U]-7ing—no, really, she is actually called this in the game. It’s like, shit, I can unlock like a champ, maybe I can be a master of unlocking as well…). Depending on who you pick, the story changes slightly. If you go with Chris, you meet jail-bait Rebecca Chambers. Choose Jill and mouth-breather Barry comes running to your rescue suspiciously fast. He reminds me of that weird cousin who always tries the bathroom door just after you go in. It’s like, dude, we all know you’re just trying to see somebody naked.

No matter who you select, the real star of the game becomes quickly clear: the house. This place is a work of art. Exquisitely detailed rooms. Confusing, yet somehow brilliant, floor layouts. Secrets and mysteries hiding behind nearly every painting or statue. Continue reading