Well ladies and gentlemen....I made the plunge. Not only did I make the plunge...I made it hard. Last night, I took in my 3DS XL and all of it's games and traded them in towards non other than a Playstation Vita. Oh I know, you can bring on all the hatred you want - "WTF is wrong with you bro?" "The Vita is worthless and has no games!" "Sony is the Antichrist!" Yes yes, fill me with whatever hatred you might desire.....however, when you're done venting, continue reading on and I'll tell you why I am absolutely stoked about my decision.
One thing that nobody can take away from the Vita is the fact that it is technically speaking, a very savy and advanced device. The entire front of the Vita acts as a touch screen, which really becomes more likable as you grow use to using it. It's very responsive, smooth, and fun to use. I've yet to have much use for the back touch screen, but I'm more than willing to entertain the use of it for the future - it's just a neat concept. Of course the layout and features of the Vita are very similar to that of the 3DS as well - there's a home button feature, you can take pictures, store videos and music, and of course check facebook, browse the web or watch Netflix.
One great edge that I absolutely must give the Vita over Nintendo's 3DS (and no, graphics do not count) is the Playstation Network. There is such a robust library of classic PSOne games, all listed at a pretty fair price, as well as PSP titles and even dlc Vita titles (many in which are cheaper to download digitally then to buy at retail value unlike Nintendo's eshop). I was giddy as a school girl to see some of my favorite Final Fantasy titles available as well as Harvest Moon Back to Nature (don't judge, I love me some farmin'). There are many dlc titles available through the Playstation Network, and I'm somewhat disappointed that I've not heard such things advertised in the media.
I'll flat out say that the Vita just naturally feels more like a portable console than the 3DS....that's not to say it's 'superior' by any means, that's just my personal opinion. Graphics wise, the games do look right on par with current gen consoles. I'll be that guy and even say that the addition of a right analog stick definitely helps this opinion (though they are definitely not the most comfortable analog sticks I have ever played with). The screen bolsters such a smooth and clear image that the 3DS well....doesn't. Needless to say, there is still sooo much potential left in this device, and I sure hope Sony get's their act together and does something about it.
"There aren't any games for the Vita you idiot!" - yeah I'm going to shut that guy up right now. How many of you have actually looked at the Vita's library? I was pleasantly surprised to see the diversity in it, and while not all of the Vita's games have gotten A+ ratings on Metacritic, I think there's more than meets the eye with many of them. I bought the CoD Declassified bundle with a copy of Ragnarok Odyssey, and both offer up an extremely fun gameplay experience. Yes yes, I know how much Jimmy hated Declassified (and rightly so, it's a pretty hunky turd indeed), HOWEVER, it does offer a sustainable Call of Duty multiplayer experience, one that is not on par with it's console brethren but is still very fun and addicting. Ragnarok is just gold, nuff said. I wouldn't mind getting my hands on Rayman Origins (a game far superior on the Vita than the 3DS) and the MGS HD Collection either, which still leaves me with games like Dynasty Warriors Next, Assassin's Creed III Liberation, Uncharted Golden Abyse, Gravity Rush and Phantasy Star Online 2. Trust me, there is much potential to be had here.
Sony is definitely on a downhill slope right now, and I'm hoping they get their act together soon because they're sitting on a mountain of potential. Once you've gotten over the financial hump, you can clearly see that there is enough in the Vita to make it far worth the investment. I'll have my fingers crossed that it's sales will improve and that Sony makes some more affordable bundles occur in the near future, E3 is just around the corner.
BTW, IF by some slim chance this blog sparks your interest enough to actually go out and get a Vita....don't hit me up for a referral. That shit's just silly.
I don't know about you, but I love to jump online and check the game reviews for all of the industry's hottest titles (or even better, the lesser known diamonds in the rough). I've probably embraced this concept even more since going into college, however as I'm nearing my graduation date, I'm also realizing that game reviewing that results in a score or rating out of 100 is *ahem* bullshit.
Well why in the world would I think that right? We all love getting high scores on our test - you get an 80 or higher and you feel pretty good about what you've done. That's all fine and dandy, and yes there's nothing quite as rewarding as sending mom home an assignment to post on the refrigerator door, however I'll be the first to admit that I've had my fair share of assignments that I put a lot of quality time and effort into that didn't quite reach that A (or B for that matter), yet I still pride myself in all the hard work I put into it, and I feel as though I gained more from those assignments then from my more successful ones.
How about we get back on topic? I think it's great to have paid game reviewers go out of their way to give us the insight on today's hottest games (no really I do), however I've grown terribly sick of the subjectivity and bias that goes along with it. Without pointing any fingers, I can think of a few certain game reviewers who just seem to think their opinion is higher then God himself, and that whatever they label a game should be the defining opinion of the rest of the world......well let me tell ya, it doesn't work that way. As a matter of fact, it only discredits that reviewer (in my mind), and provides for either comical effect, or me wanting to chuck my old broken Snes at them (rip old Snes).
I pride myself in being 'that gamer' who thought outside the box and enjoyed the poorly reviewed games for what they were. Example: Duke Nukem Forever - really liked it. While Duke was nowhere near the hottest up and coming fps games at it's release, it is a game that had been in development for 15 years (mostly in a measly apartment by a couple of poor white guys). Gearbox's Randy Pitchford in tribute to his founding father 3D Realms took the game under his wing and put it out to the public so that Duke could finally have his final showdown (well....at least for the time being). Really and truly, I enjoyed the campaign of the game, and I'm grateful to have received another book of one-liners thrown at me (even if they were slightly outdated). Another fine example: I Am Alive - really enjoyed the different pacing and elements of survival that went along with this game (it was basically about bluffing your way in and out of trouble). The ending was heartbreaking and left you wanting to know what the heck happened (I'm sorry, but video games these days very rarely execute this sort of emotion in me. Period).
The lesson to be learned from this blog (say it with me) "Take it with a grain of salt"! Seriously, think objectively and give the forlorn and neglected their chance to shine, because there is obviously more that went into those games then someone throwing money out the window and crapping on the fans perspectives (Capcom and RE 6 reference.....very fun game btw, you should actually try it). Stop feeding trolls and start thinking as an individual, or else you might just see your 'favorite' game developers jump boat and start developing strictly for ios/android based gaming.....and the apocalypse. Are you ready for the apocalypse? No? Didn't think so. [img][/img][img]
Preface: I'm a big fan of the Resident Evil series, as a matter of fact I've been on the series bandwagon since it's first installment for the Sony Playstation. Honestly I've always had a soft spot for Resident Evil 2; a game that gave me multiple nightmares when I was younger. I mean the game just flat out scared me, so much so that I had to use a gameshark to even play all the way through it for the first time. Anyway, it has been many a year since then, and really if you take a look back on the series, it's been slowly spiraling in the direction of RE6 for quite some time now.
Resident Evil 3 (while still very similar to 1 and 2) took a definite change in direction. Though the changes were subtle, it was obvious that the franchise was going to be branching out in a slightly different direction. Code Veronica? Yes, the game played faithful to the classic Resident Evil formula, but there were even more explosions and twists that pointed the series even further down the road to an action game rather then a survival horror (and yes, Code Veronica was still more heavily lenient as a survival horror, but just bear with me). Suddenly, the crap hit the fan. We had our hands on Resident Evil 4 (a great third person ACTION shooter imo), and the series would NEVER look back after this installment. With RE4 came a whole new perspective in the RE universe - yes many of the same elements from the original trilogy were still present (minor puzzles, random spooky things like the corpse sack in the dumpster, etc) however this game was more of a fast paced, sequential shooter then the top down survival horror we had come to know and love.
Resident Evil 4 was one of THE greatest games of it's time - to this day it is still a series favorite for many RE fans (and yet considered a disgrace by many fans of the original trilogy). One thing was certain through RE 4's success however - Resident Evil 5 would catch the attention of MANY gamers (and it certainly did). While RE 5 isn't known to be quite the same success as 4 was, it too was a fast paced, action third person shooter. One cool aspect to the 5th installment was the inclusion of co-op gameplay - something very new to the main series of games. While the adventure of Chris and Sheva were initially well received, critics of the series would come to despise it for it's racy background and 'over-the-top' action sequences (along with Chris's over sized biceps). How in the world would Capcom respond to the forlorn cries of the series beloved fans? To answer easily, with Resident Evil 6.
Resident Evil 6 is hands down the most controversial of the 6 main installments. It will likely be remembered as the 'snapping' point in the series when fans would lash out at Capcom for neglecting the survival horror aspects with which the series had been initially founded on. I'm here to offer up my $0.02 on the scenario though, and if you're reading this blog with an unbiased opinion then you'll see that Resident Evil 6 is perfectly justifiable as the game that did exactly what it was meant to do.
Let's start this analysis by quickly taking note of a very important concept - Resident Evil 4 was an action oriented third person shooter, NOT a survival horror game. RE 4 was also the beginning of the second main trilogy in the series, and really if you stop and think about it, you can easily group 1, 2 and 3 together and 4, 5 and 6 together - it really helps to make the game styles sync up.
When RE 5 came out, it was obvious that Capcom was trying to EXPAND off of the success of RE 4, not match it. Expand doesn't necessarily mean 'make better', moreso in this case it meant to open up different aspects of gameplay to keep the game fresh (co-op campaign and inventory system). RE 6, at it's core, did exactly what is was meant to do - expand off of RE 5. Essentially, it did this very successfully - 3 main campaigns, all with co-op gameplay (with an additional solo campaign featuring Ada) and a new game mode that allow for players to jump into each others games as monsters. It also introduced new gameplay mechanics such as walking and shooting, sprinting, and open melee attacks (a feature that is really essential at times when lacking on ammunition) While this may not have been exactly what fans wanted, it was a definite step in broadening the horizons of the second trilogy, and it was really done in a fairly sound manner that is solid and fun (different, but very adaptable if given a chance).
While Resident Evil 6 can be perceived as linear (a concept that it has been heavily criticized for) it's important for critics to remember that the previous two installments were the EXACT same way - you shot your way from one area to the next to progress the story with little encouragement for exploration other then shooting emblems, something you also do in RE6. Button mashing sequences are fairly frequent in RE6 as well...however, this is also nothing new to the second trilogy - this concept was heavily exploited in RE4, and continued into RE5. One 'downside' to RE6 could easily be the 'over-the-top' action sequences which are plenty and frequent throughout the game (moreso then the previous two games).....however that would mean neglecting that there have been 'over-the-top' action sequences in EVERY main installment in the Resident Evil series, especially 4 and 5.
In essence, Resident Evil 6 merely piggy backs off it's two older brothers in almost every aspect, and yet both of it's older brothers were very well received by critics. No, they aren't the survival horror games that many fans fell in love with initially, but they were the product of the NEW direction that the series was clearly going in, and you really can't fault any of the games in that essence. What's even more sad, is the fact that many fans knew that this change had been occurring the whole time, and yet they reacted as though they had just found out their parent had died in a car incident. There were no new surprises, no new shock and awes, simply what we all had come to know and expect (something that we bought well into and embraced over the previous two installments).
If fans want the series to go back to it's 'original' roots, then now couldn't be a better time - the second trilogy has come to a close. The story of the series has maintained it's integrity well (honestly Resident Evil 6 was far more engaging throughout then 5 was, and that's something that's pretty respectable in my opinion). Capcom could analyze it's strengths and weaknesses and go right back to square one (if they truly wanted to). The biggest issue, is the bi-polar reactions of the fan base - what exactly DO the fans want? Do we want classic Resident Evil, or do we want third person shooter run and guns? The two trilogies have made it clear that you can't do both (while 4 came the closest to achieving that, it was far from it). Whatever happens happens though, and the worst thing for fans to do is completely neglect it's latest installment and overly criticize it for aspects that have remained consistent for 3 running installments now.
Take all aspects into consideration here. Is it really Capcom who's playing Jekyll and Hyde....or is it the consumers?[img][/img]