Saturday, October 27, 2012

Frankenstorm

Just saying this as a disclaimer for the, I don't know, say four people who read this blog.

As you most likely by now have heard, a monumental, historic, catastrofuck hurricane, coyly named "Sandy", is cruising up the Eastern Seaboard.  It plans on jamming its windy dick particularly straight into New York/Long Island's ass, a raping we have not seen in many moons.

It's all but a certainty that myself and my surrounding areas will be reverted back to the stone age for an extended period of time.  Latest estimates predict around ten days, so if the blog goes silent for a while, that would be why.

Going to try to catch up on my Sunny reviews, as well as The Vampire Diaries and Fringe's new episodes before things go dark.

On a related note, for some odd reason, every time I hear the name Sandy being spoken with such stoic urgency, I cant help but chuckle.  Such a coy name for a disaster.  When Irene hit this time last year, you understood she wasn't fucking around.  With the name Sandy, I think of a shy schoolgirl.  I think of Olivia Newton John.  You know what?  Now that I think about it, "Summer Nights" seems oddly apropos considering the circumstances.


See you on the other side.


-VMA

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dexter - "Run" Review

"However, I do run if there's a bull coming at me with an axe."

Dexter - "Buck The System" Review

"It is a capital offense to be who you are."

Resident Evil 6: Final Thoughts

You know what?  I'm done.

I am not going to waste any more of my time bitching like a whiny fanboy.  I'm not going to record an overlong review talking about how shit it is.  You all know how shit it is.  It's been covered, many times.  And if you don't think it's shit, chances are you are precisely what is wrong with the gaming industry today.

The more I play it, the more bile I have for it.  Just about every single aspect of this game is broken in some way, most likely because they weren't utilized to make the game better, but to "broaden its appeal".  Blech.  Resident Evil 5 was bad by Resident Evil standards.  Resident Evil 6 is bad by game standards.

I am officially divorcing myself from my favorite video game series of all time.  I'm calling time of death.  The Resident Evil series is over, and given the sales already racked up by RE6 and statements by Capcom, there is no reason to hope that it will ever get any better.


Goodnight, sweet prince.


42% = ** = "Bad"


-VMA

UPDATE 11/19:  For some extra clarity, context, and so you don't have to backtrack, I'm posting the links to all of the separate RE daily complaints of October, which barely scratch the surface of all the issues I had with the game.  Can you tell why I decided to say fuck it?

Allow Me to Ruin Your Day

Here is a beautiful, High Dynamic Range photo of Autumn in Central Park:


Why is it that chicks dig Autumn so much? I cannot for the life of me figure it out. And DON'T cop out and tell me it's the Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Am I the only one who looks around and gets depressed that EVERYTHING AROUND ME IS DYING, to be inevitably consumed by an uncaring world making the slow march toward numbing frigidity ?

Have I ruined your day yet?


-VMA

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The North Allen Sessions

Totally forgot this was swirling around the web, so I guess I might as well link to it.

If you enjoy two dimension cheesy Garageband quasi-hiphop, you are in luck.




http://archive.org/details/Beatshock

-VMA

Saturday, October 20, 2012

RE6 Complaint of the Day #20

Wrestling moves?  Really?

The Vampire Diaries - "Memorial" Review

Mystic Falls takes out the garbage in this haunting, fantastic episode.

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia - "The Gang Recycles Their Trash" Review

"What do you think is happening right now?"


RE6 Complaint of the Day #19

The camera in this game is overly elastic, way too close to your character, and just plain annoying.

Hey, game?  If I want to check out your elaborate set piece, I will when I get a chance.  If I don't, that may be because I am pre-occupied right now with your endless horde of undead shape-shifters.  A polite suggestion would be nice, but if you want to wrestle away control to force me to look at your ZOMG exploding helicopter, then I have the right to wrestle you back to GameStop after I get smashed with an off-screen elastic limb for the fiftieth time this hour.


-VMA

RE6 Complaint of the Day #18

LET ME PAUSE THE DAMN MENU!

You realize that doesn't enhance the realism, right?  If I have a shotgun at my hip in real life, I know it's there, and can therefore retrieve it in a split second.  I do not need to cycle through digital interfaces in my brain.  The connection to thought and movement is instant.

This is inherently not the case with a video game, though that doesn't seem to stop Capcom from trying.  So i guess kneeling down and looking at your phone while getting your ass chewed is realism.

And I just had to take a piss.


-VMA

RE6 Complaint of the Day #17

The cover system is as broken as it was in 5, and you'll never use it, given that everyone has such awful aim that you can just run around the room aimlessly and remain hit free 95% of the time.  Why do I need to be aiming to take cover?  That's stupid.

And while I'm on the subject, the controls overall are so astoundingly convoluted that even a slide or dodge takes at least three separate buttons to complete.

Good luck with that.


-VMA

RE6 Complaint of the Day #16

Here are the controls for Gears of War 2, the control scheme for your standard third person shooter:


You should notice that moving the right stick allows you to turn, while the left stick allows you to strafe.  This is how it is supposed to work.  There's nothing wrong with this control scheme.

Resident Evil 6 says nah, we'll just make BOTH sticks turn the character, so you are constantly disoriented, often accidentally turning twice, unsure of where you are aiming at, to the point where you risk vertigo.

RE6 has so many useless options available for tweaking (who wasted the time programming "dominant hand"", yet a simple strafe function eludes me.

And I don't give a shit if even though it looks different it still is ultimately the same function.  If it looks different, I will react in kind.  I should not have to re-engineer my instincts for your stupid fucking design decisions.

Keep it simple stupid.


-VMA

RE6 Complaint of the Day #15

Skill points are useless.  The abilities cost way to much, and barely any even make a difference until they're level up fully, which would take at least two playthroughs of each campaign to achieve.

And I don't wanna.


-VMA

RE6 Complaint of the Day #14

The checkpoint system in this game is so liberal that herbs kind of become obsolete.  You can just die and re-spawn five feet behind you with full health and your herbs saved for the real fights in the game.

If only herbs weren't so unnecessarily complicated to use.  Seriously, we did not need a tablet system to shuffle through while our game is NOT paused.


-VMA

RE6 Complaint of the Day #13

Cheap.  Fucking.  Deaths.

Who didn't get flattened by that ambulance?  Who?!


-VMA

RE6 Complaint of the Day #12

Would you like to actually CONTROL the game you're playing?

Too bad.  There's only quicktime events.

This game is an interactive slideshow parading as a third person shooter.  Not to mention some of the sequences are cheap as hell, impossible to get on the first time unless you are a clairvoyant.


-VMA

RE6 Complaint of the Day #11

Did I mention it isn't at all survival horror?  Or anything close to resembling what made Resident Evil great in the first place?


-VMA

RE6 Complaint of the Day #10

Like playing as Chris?

Well, enjoy watching your invincible squad do all the work for you.

You wouldn't want to get in the way anyhow, unless you want to be caught in a perpetual falling animation, because apparently that's how firefights work.  A bunch of bullets fly around you and then one makes you fall down.

And there's still not enough ammo so you can't even get enjoyment out of mindless shooting.  It's flight or stand.


-VMA

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

RE6 Complaint of the Day #9

The story in Resident Evil 6?

Shit's fucked up.  Fix it.

The plot holes are as gaping as they've ever been, and it is as incomprehensibly told as anything else in the game, though the secret Ada campaign is designed to fill in the gaps.  This is akin to handing me a mayonnaise sandwich and forcing me to finish it before giving me the cold cuts.  You're a few steps behind Quentin Tarantino, Capcom, and you'd do well to realize that.


-VMA

Fringe - "The Recordist" Review

"A hero died today."

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - "Pop-Pop: The Final Solution" Review

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Vampire Diaries - "Growing Pains" Review

Take notes, Stephenie Meyer.


When you want to turn your lead character into a vampire, this is how you do it.

Dexter - "Sunshine and Frosty Swirl" Review

"There's just one last person I need to kill..."

RE6 Complaint of the Day #8

In Resident Evil 4's later levels, shooting the undead in its noggin would occasionally result in the parasite rearing its ugly head for an added challenge.  This told you to either conserve your flash bang grenades for easy disposal, or to not shoot them in the head.  It added strategy and tactics to the gameplay.

Well, that's just excessive.
Resident Evil 6 has zombies sprouting super-stretchy limbs, impenetrable shields or outright becoming a mini-boss if they so much as graze against a shell casing.  It doesn't matter where you hit them, and they become significantly tougher to defeat, no matter what kind of ammo you use, assuming you have enough.

So, in essence, you are actively discouraged from engaging in the firefights this game is supposed to be built around.  You don't feel accomplished or rewarded at all for fighting.  It's just not worth it.


-VMA

RE6 Complaint of the Day #7

This guy.  Fuck this guy.


Apparently realizing the tedium in its own fetch quests, Resident Evil 6 decides to pop this asshole in, a completely unkillable drunk with a name that looks as if the lead designer just banged his hands on the keyboard.  This gem stumbles around and forces you to waste all the ammo you don't have just so you can get to the next room.  Shooting it will earn you the privilege of fighting two monsters instead of one, and it will insta-kill you if your health is low and it doesn't like you.  Now, instead of being just boring, these sections are now boring and annoying.

Sweet deal.


-VMA

RE6 Complaint of the Day #6

One of the chief flaws of Resident Evil 6 is that it consistently makes design and gameplay decisions best suited for a survival horror game.  This would be great, except RE6 is an action shooter, where design and gameplay decisions like that are just awkward and irritating.

Simply put:  There is not enough ammo in this game.

Not nearly enough.

So firefights that should be strategic instead involve running around while desperately trying to seek ammo, giving up and then running at enemies to beat the shit out of em, even though their toting sub-machine guns.  The game spams enemies at you in relentless fashion and your almost always stuck without the proper tools of the trade, so the primary selling point of the game is rendered basically unplayable.


-VMA

Friday, October 12, 2012

On the Set of "Going Nowhere"

Going Nowhere wrapped production of Episode Five this past Monday.  A lovely cafĂ© in Sunnyside, Queens allowed us access for the shoot.  Here's a preview:



Episodes Three and Five have been completed.  Most of Episode Four, as well as half of Episodes One and Two need to be filmed.  Once those wrap, we will officially be premiering the series and airing all five episodes while we work on the back seven.


-VMA

Thursday, October 11, 2012

RE6 Complaint of the Day #5

Everyone in Resident Evil 6 must have bionic limbs, because if one so much as brushes up against the undead it sends the entire lot of them careening toward a nearby wall with exploding heads.  That is, unless, you run into this game's poor hit detection, in which case you'll be stuck doing the can-can towards thin air whilst your enemies casually sharpen their teeth.  Many times I'd run up to gun toting zombies just to give them a roundhouse with no repercussions, since it's way more effective that any weapon in the game, and that shit is just weird.

It is way too easy to punch and kick your way through this game, and I think I know why this is.  Stay tuned.


-VMA

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

RE6 Complaint of the Day #4

Wh -- where'd my dot go!
Please stop moving my targeting reticle!  That shit worked (barely) in a game like Silent Hill: Downpour because that game is a survival horror game not centered around combat.  I don't know what your newly coined "horror entertainment" means, but you are clearly an action shooter, and when you build your game around firefights, you'd better have accurate aiming, or you're in for quite the unrewarding experience totally void of strategy or tactics.

-VMA

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dexter - "Are You...?" Review

Retroactive vomiting time!!!

RE6 Complaint of the Day #3

Boss Battles:

Shoot at it until the game keeps going.

Laziest, most uninspired design I've seen yet in an RE game.  T-Rex, Bull-Horse, Spider-Fly, all giant skyscraper sized demons that can be retracted back into the same six foot human being who retains all higher brain function.  Seriously?  Even for Resident Evil, that is ludicrous.

At least in previous RE's it was at least implied that mutation was a one way street.  It has to be right?  You are organic matter.  You can't just pulverize deep tissue and magically restore it.

It's just shameless to me how badly Resident Evil wants to be Transformers.  The main Boss literally just grabs heaps of flesh and tacks it on for extra fortitude like he's fucking Optimus Prime.  Even the mutations look like transformations.  I know I'm in a way describing Uruboros here, but at least that was just an uncontrollable growth with no rhyme or reason to it whatsoever.  I could at least get on board with that.

Splitting your body up in blocks like you are a robot is just ridiculous.


-VMA

Monday, October 8, 2012

RE6 Complaint of the Day #2

Every time I watch a Michael Bay film, the entire time all I wish is for the fucking camera to ZOOM OUT.  This sentiment is all too applicable for Resident Evil 6.  To make up for lame, repetitive, and ridiculous action scenes, RE6 must wildly flail the camera to convince you that epic, mind blowing shit is going down.

It's not...

Slow the fuck down, game.  You spent all this time building beautiful environments, and I can't ever enjoy them because you rip the controls out of my hands with every alternate step to provide me with an incomprehensibly shot chase scene.

Pacing, is all i ask.

-VMA

Fringe - "In Absentia" Review

"I felt, for the first time, that we were supposed to win."

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fringe - "Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11" Review

Ah... Fringe.


I remember when this show was still on the fringe of premiere, and everyone was hailing it as the new LOST, since it was created by J.J. Abrams and its two-hour pilot also cost a staggering ten million dollars to make.

Sample



-VMA

RE6 Complaint of the Day #1

"In Medias Res" is used for STORY purposes, to hook the audience by providing a satisfying cliffhanger which raises intriguing questions and forces us to invest out of curiosity. It is not supposed to be a deli sampler for how many explosions, helicopters, and chases there are in your game. That just desensitizes us and lessens the stakes. You can't just plop me in the middle of your incoherent narrative and expect me to be on board.


 -VMA

On "Resident Evil 6"

.... I was right.


The full review is pending, as I have to wait until next weekend to play Co-Op with my friend who will be reviewing it with me in Guys on a Couch, a process that will likely take weeks.  I've only played Leon's campaign so far, but from what I've seen from that alone by the time I'm finished with the remaining campaign this video review will be two hours.  I honestly cannot believe what they've done to my baby.

Understand, I am not on some fanboy "oh it's just not the same" shit.  In fact, RE6 has made me look back on the tightly focused but woefully misguided experience that was RE5 more charitably.

Say what you want about Resident Evil 5 (and I will, so don't ask), at the end of the day, even with a couple of poor design choices, it was still a GOOD game.  It didn't carry any replay value for me because the environments didn't pull me in, the co-op was awful, and, well, it was just way too similar to 4 and considerably less inspired.  I just didn't feel the magic.  Not to mention that survival horror officially became survival action with that installment.

Much of the reason why Resident Evil 4 was so nerve-wracking was because 90% of the design decisions they made we had never seen before.  We were on a brave new frontier for 25 gloriously suspenseful hours.  It was exhilarating.  When you just rinse and repeat that formula, sure the game can't be called bad, but it loses most of it's sting.

But Resident Evil 6... wow.  Where to begin.  I literally have a gripe with every single design choice this game makes.  Almost every idea was a bad one.  This is, by far, the most homogenous collection of conflicting sensibilities I have yet seen.

I can't hold in my need to vent, so until my full review is up, I'm just going to post a different complaint every day.  Maybe more than one, who knows.  Most of this will probably make it into the review.

I leave you with my final thought upon finishing campaign 1:

"FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU"


-VMA

Friday, October 5, 2012

Upcoming Reviews

Because if I write it down, I will do it.


Fringe - "Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11" & All Season 5 Episodes

Breaking Bad - "Pilot" & Entire Series

Dexter - "Are You...?" & All Season 7 Episodes

Percentage Points - A video series where I disagree vehemently with a film's Tomatometer/Metacritic rating.
Episodes Planned:
1) Mystic River (87%, Shit)
2) Vanilla Sky (40%, Masterpiece)
3) Dumb & Dumber (39%, Amazing)

Guys on a Couch - Myself and friend Joe review things... from a couch.
Episodes Planned:
1) Resident Evil 6


I can take requests, but whether I have the time for them is questionable.


-VMA


"End of Watch" Review

"Follow me into the house..."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Question

I don't want to jinx it or anything, but there's a good chance that in two weeks, I will be employed once again.  I'll be the first to admit, it's been far too long a stretch out of the job market, and there were positions I refused out of sheer principle, because I still believe in this corroding land of opportunity, where determination is blind, where sacrifices for passion are commonplace, where if you work hard to enter a field, it will at least be enterable upon your arrival.  I also wanted to attempt to put my actual College Degree to good use, which did not include running in place in a field I hate for next to minimum wage.  That is why I went to college, right?


I digress.  Job.