By: Justin Hopkins
Resident Evil 8 Village has finally arrived and I was all kinds of excited for it. Follow up to the fantastic Resident Evil: Biohazard and the stellar work they did with the remakes, I couldn’t wait for this game. Plus, it was getting to dodge all of the promotional and advertisement for it. Which I was nearly spot on doing, although, not completely. Lady Dimitrescu certainly made the rounds online. Some good, with some great cosplays and fanart and some very wrong ways, but the game is here and now that I have played my way through, lets discuss shall we.
Game kicks off with an animated Fairy Tale, which turns out is being read by Mia to her baby Rose, much to Ethan’s chagrin. Still hung up on the events if what happened 3 years prior in Louisiana. After we put the kid to bed, we get into an argument with Mia, who just wants to move on. Which is interrupted by her being riddled with bullets and special ops rush in, being led by Chris. Whop take Ethan and baby rose. After a quick flashback, of another argument between Ethan and Mia, where she is about to tell us something, only he is interrupted by a call from work. When we come to, the car we were being taken in has been flipped, agent is dead and Rose is gone. So, down the trail we go. Coming out over a rampaged village, with a castle looming overhead. Finding a knife and a villager lives long enough to give us a pistol, before being killed by a Lycans. Managing to take him and another down, which sets off a siege. Despite, finding a shotgun, I elect to run around like a lunatic, to preserve ammo, not needing a Resident Evil 5 situation again. Using the ammo when needed and burning the clock to them leaving and enter The Hag. Who was kind enough to lock us in where we needed to be. After a bit of stumbling around, we find some Villagers, who are killed during a cutscene when the one turns, but lucky for us, we get a screwdriver and the crest we need out if the whole situation. Which allows us to gain access to the castle, only to be kidnapped by a guy who can manipulate metal with his mind. Taking us down with easy and dragging us off to the family. Who are arguing over who gets to kill Ethan Heisenberg won, but we escape his little track and manage to backtrack to where we were grabbed. Starting off to the main castle where we were greeted by The Duke, this games merchant. A jolly guy who knows more than what he says, but as long as he sells me ammo, he can take his time. Finally getting into the castle and started destroying the valuable, till we are yet again, whisked away by the three sisters, who stab us with sickles, and drag us to their Mother, Lady Dimitrescu. Who hang us on the walls and goes to inform Mother Miranda. Leaving us time to mangle Ethan’s hands that much more to escape. Starting to explore, loot and try to find the Bedroom Chambers. Where Rose might be held. Along the way, we learn that the sister’s are made vulnerable to the cold, and manage to take one of them out. When we learn that Rose isn’t here. Our objective changes and we are now looking for masks to escape. Dealing with the two remaining sisters, staying one step ahead of the roaming Lady Dimitrescu. Once we manage to get the doors open, it’s boss fight time, with the mutated version of Lady Dimitrescu. In a fight that felt like should have been harder. Regardless we get a treasure and a dirty flask. Moving back toward the village, The Duke informs us that we have indeed found Rose, a part of her anyways, her head to be exact, inside the flask. After finding a part to add to the key, he tells us the score. That Rose can be saved, but we must collect the three remining flasks, from the three remining Lords; Beneviento, Moreau. and Heisenberg, and that is where I will leave this for now.
This game is absolutely stunning. Right from the start, you get a really fun and pretty animation style for The Village of Shadows. When you stumble onto the Village. The scenery shot of the looming castle overlooking the small village was breathtaking. From the Rustic down trodden design of the village. The décor and architecture of the castle was stellar. The light and shadows blended through and glistening gold trim that was around the rooms. With the dank, claustrophobic sensation when you were running around the dungeon and basements. Quaint, beauty and unnerving feeling that lingered over Beneviento’s Dollhouse. Along with the swamp and the factory. They delivered on the graphics and arty department throughout and deserve the highest of praises for their work.
They really hit it out of the park when it came to the cast of characters in this game. Heisenberg oozed charisma, to the point I was upset that Ethan didn’t agree to team up with him. Moreau was both grotesque and sad. Seriously, felt bad when he was screaming out for Mother throughout the fight. That carried over to the sisters, Bela, Cassandra and Daniela. Besides just being fun little side bosses. When they were in trouble and started begging felt genuinely sad. Lady Dimitrescu got a loot of attention going in, for good reason. She was an awesome villain. An imposing figure to say the least and although her A.I didn’t feel like it was on the same level of Mr. X, but if she did catch up, her attack was devastating. Really wish she had more screen time, but for my money, Donna Beneviento was the best of the bunch. Her area was staged perfectly. Ramping up to the suspense and building on the psychological aspects was done to perfection and stole the show and I haven’t even talked about Mother Miranda yet. Who made for an intense final boss, who was a nightmare to everyone beneath her. Heisenberg saying that everyone, from him and the Lords to the people in the village have all been subjected to her terrible experiments, all to bring back her long deceased Daughter. Showing just how cruel and dark this desperate women would take things. Them you throw on characters like The Duke, a returning Chris Redfield, the Hag, and the constant mix-up of “Cannon Fodder” Monsters, made for a terrific ensemble.
All of this was made possible by the strong performances from the Voice Cast. Maggie Robertson was excellent as Lady Dimitrescu. Speaking with Class and sophistication that Lady Dimitrescu carries herself with. Nicole Tompkins, Jeanette Maus and Bekka Prewitt were great fun as the Sisters. Paula Rhodes was terrifying as Angie the Doll. Neil Newborn gave so much swagger and character to Heisenberg. Aaron LaPlante made Duke feel like the larger than life character that he is. Andi Norris may have had only one line as Beneviento, but I have so much love for that part of the game, I am shouting her out anyways, and so many many more. They put together a great cast who pumped so much love into each of their characters.
Spoiler time, Adding the bit that Spencer had been to the village, and Mother Miranda’s work with the Mold is what inspired him to create Umbrella and the T-Virus is an interesting choice that works for me. I appreciate the end they had so much they created and it actually caught me off guard. We have seen characters take a beating, but to have the twist with Ethan being dead. Dying at the hands of Jack at the start of Resident Evil 7, and this whole time, the mold has been keeping him alive was not only well done, but a needed one that took the story and elevated it to another level.
They needed that Jolt, because Ethan was a terrible Protagonist to have here. He worked so well in Seven, because they made it with VR in mind. Kept his personality next to none, because you were getting into the game and becoming Ethan. Something they did not have here. One step forward, even if you didn’t play VR. He was a new character, stuck in a house and dealing with all of this from new eyes and everything was shocking and could play to naivety. That doesn’t work here. He just says dumb things and started annoying me right from the start when he was complaining about the Village of Shadows story. They were aiming for a sad ending, but I was happy when he died and we got the play as Chris. Would have been happy to have ended the story with Chris, but as long as this is the end of Ethan’s road. Glad to move on from him. He isn’t the worst character, still better than Steve, but not mourning his loss. To be honest, think they could have kept everything with his sacrifice the same, but made Mia the main character at the end to fight Miranda may have worked better or just had Mia be the main character throughout.
A much smaller negative. they could have cut back on the number of puzzles. I know puzzles are a mainstay and should keep some, but when you have a Piano Puzzle, where all you have to do is slap buttons till you hit the right ones. That is not a puzzle. Just put the key on one of the Sisters, it’s fine and not just spam piano keys.
Despite the lackluster protagonists and tiny bits of negativity that really aren’t worth mentioning. The Pros far outweigh the cons. Resident Evil Village is still a great game. With gorgeous graphics and art design. A pretty decent blend of horror and action. Along with some great characters, I would strongly suggest picking up Resident Evil Village. Can’t wait for RE:Verse and where the series goes from here. Final Grade – B+
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
My recent Resident Evil kick has probably become a problem. With it being December and looking back and playing Resident Evil 2 and 3 and looking forward to Village. When I remembered I haven’t played Code Veronica yet. Made especially more appalling since I downloaded the game a few months ago and just haven’t sat down and played it yet. Claire is my favorite character in the world of Resident Evil, have no idea why I held off. May not know what happened going in, but she is on the cover. So, riding the wave I have been on for the series, figured now was the time to finally play and share my thoughts not only on it, but where I stand on the whole remake thing. So, lets dive right in shall we.
The game kicks open with a hood being pulled off Claire’s head and being struck down into a cell by the butt of a gun. Flashing back, seeing her racing through an Umbrella site in Paris. Bullets flying and high paced. Gets confronted, looking like she was outnumbered by ends up firing into gas canisters and taking them all down, but one guy comes up from behind and she is out of ammo. Coming too in her cell to the sound of explosions. The base they are holding her is under attack and the guard is injured and lets her go. Under the impression she won’t make it out alive regardless. Leaving him and the dead begin to rise from the ground and chase us off into another cut scene where we meet Steve, a prisoner who runs off, believing we would only slow him down. After checking out the barracks we make our way forward to a Palace, belonging to the Ashfords, Alfred and Alexia. After a bit of exploring. we run into Alfred who after trying to shot us, blaming us for the attack and going to enjoy hunting us. Before we can leave the Palace we have to go back in and save Steve, who wont give us the guns, unless he gets automatic ones in return, cause he is a nightmare, but we move along any. Opening up more areas, in the form of the Training facility and Underwater area. Beginning to bounce around all the areas, trying to get access to the plane and escape. Encountering the Bandersnatches after walking into a trap from Alfred and even more terrifying encounter with Albert Wesker, the man who was responsible for the attack on the base. Who after ragdolling Claire around, leaves after being called away. Leaving us to continue trying to finish our tasks. When we finally gain access to the plane and putting the final touches on getting it ready, we are confronted by a tyrant. Who not only fights us on the ground, but ends up on the plane and we have to get him thrown out of it. Only for the plane to be hijacked and flown Rerouted to Antarctica Base and we again, start our search for an escape. Steve finds a base seven miles away and all we got to do is use the drilling devise to punch through a wall, but Steve of course, screws it up and Claire has to fix it. Dealing with Alfred again, but we need to fight an even more dangerous Tyrant, Nosferatu. Who hit hard and poison us and the fight was a challenging one, but we finally took him down. Looked like we were finally free, but we see Alfred, holding on just long enough to unleash his Sister, Alexia, who easily flips our escape vehicle and knocks us out. Then we jump to see Chris arriving at the base we were at at the start, and we start again as Chris this time and that is where I will leave it for now.
Now, there is a lot to unpack and praise about this game and I am going to start with the monsters. The Bandersnatches were a great addition to the games. Being both a scary and imposing, but felt like legit threats that you had to account for. Not only being able to attack you from afar with their stretchy arm, but use the same arm to move from one floor to the next making it a challenge to runaway from and tended to have to deal with them instead of just run. Loved Alexia’s transformation into a giant flying bug monster at the end. Nosferatu is hands down the best in the game and ranks high on the list with Nemeses and Mr. X as best of the series. Monster wise, Code Veronica X delivers in spade.
The inclusion of Albert Wesker was pulled off spectacularly. The cutscenes that he was apart of were the best, especially when he fights Alexia. Feeling every bit of a big boss fight of these two superpowered being going right after that left me wanting so much more then we got. Add on the scenes where he meets Claire and facing off with Chris for the first time, Wesker kind of steals the show a good bit of the time. Only scene that comes close to matching was the reunion of Chris and Claire.
Alright, lets talk about the story. The game starts off really good. Claire getting fast and hardcore opening, with her taking out everyone in her search of her Brother and loved going around the base and setting up the Ashford Siblings as the big bads. Had so many types of threats and dangers and puzzles were numerous. Making you think about your next several moves and where to go, because going the wrong way could cost both health and ammo which could be detrimental later, but things seemed to start going downhill about the time you get to Antarctica.
One, last thing before we get to the negatives, I loved Steve’s death. He is the first main protagonist, that I can remember, who does not make it out alive. It at gravitas to the universe that not everyone will make it out live and really, the heroes kind of lose in the fact that Wesker is not only left standing, but he walks away, with Steve’s body. Building suspense for where they would go from there. This is also the only good thing I can say about Steve, because…
I actually think I hate Steve. Between the amount of cringe dialogue he has. Fact he kept turning his guns side ways and just opening fire like an idiot. Every single time I saw him on the screen. Had to fight the urge to skip the cutscenes cause it was so bad and early Resident Evil had plenty of cringe but Steve was pinnacle and just the worst. I get where they were going with this character, love interest of Claire, with full on stupid romantic song and it misses the mark in every possible way.
Going into this games, we seen Claire hold her own and fight her way through Resident Evil 2. Setting her up as a powerful character who can hold her own against anything that comes her way. This game starts off with, Claire running through an Umbrella Lab, with Guards chasing her, Planes firing at her location and blowing up gas canisters. By the end, she is constantly shoved aside by Steve… BY STEVE. Then, when Chris is introduced, that is really the end of your time with Claire. Only get control of her long enough to see Steve mutate, tell her he loves her and dies. She doesn’t even get her revenge. She is suppose to care about his death. should at least be the one who gets revenge for him. That goes to Chris. We open the game with her. We should really be finishing the game with her.
The last of the negatives is the way they handle the item sharing situation between Claire and Chris. A little bit of a heads up or some other way to pass stuff off. Had to reset the Nosferatu fight, because I wasn’t expecting the switch and left Chris with nothing to work with. They really do punish new players. Most of which I didn’t mind. All for playing smart and not dumb, but in this aspect, a little bit of foreknowledge would have been a massive plus.
Code Veronica X does need a remake, but not as is. The story and playthrough is just not good. Would pass hard on it if that is how they go. Especially, after the Claire we go in Resident Evil 2 remake. She started down down Stage three Birken. You can’t have her getting pushed aside by Steve and if they are going to keep the love thing. Do it better. Just so bad here and let her get the final fight against Alexia. Instead of Chris, who never met Steve. Let Claire avenge him while Chris runs down Wekser and we can end with a Wesker vs Chris fight. That we actually get to play out instead of watch.
I know that I have been rampaging, but Code Veronica X is a pretty fun game. Had a lot of what made Resident Evil special. Has plenty of horror, suspense and puzzles and replay value. Just going to skip the cutscenes. Final Grade – B
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading
By: Justin Hopkins
So, I have found myself in a Resident Evil kick. Been playing through Code Veronica X, 2 and 3, and bits of the first. Watching randomizers on YouTube and wanted to watch some of the movies, no not those ones, but one of the CGI Movies. Three years back I even did a review on Vendetta, but for some reason, I never went back and did reviews on the other two. So, lets remedy that shall we, and start at the beginning with Resident Evil: Vendetta.
The movie starts off with several news stories detailing what happened with the bombing of Racoon City and the terrorist attack of Inia. The rise of Wilpharma and the group known as Terrasave, who opposes the human testing they do and Curtis Miller being an extremist. We jump to the Airport and the arrival of Claire Redfield, meeting her friend and her daughter Rani. Who is left with her so her friend could get the car. Seeing reports on the protestors outside, There to protest the arrival of Senator Davis, a staunch supporter of Wilpharma. Meanwhile up one a plane, we see a sick passenger onboard. Back in the airport, the Senator tries to slip out unnoticed, but when Rani blows his cover, a protestor in a zombie mask starts to confront him, only to be scolded by Claire. Who is going to be arrested along with him for association, until a real zombie shows up and the airport turns chaotic. Claire spots Curtis in the crowd, before said Airplane crashes into the lobby and we jump to later. A military group called the STR has the airport locked down and everyone who was inside in quarantine. Angela is yelling at her Chief, her and Greg wanting to go in, but they are ordered to stand down, till a Special Agent arrives. Enter Leon S. Kennedy who hears their plan, tells them it will only be the three of them. Despite their protests. Not buying the zombies, till Angela is nearly bit for helping one and Greg’s overdoing firing at them does nothing. Have a reenactment of Claire and Leon running into one another and she takes them back to the survivors. Plan was to clear enough zombies away from the lobby and run out of the door. Everyone going go till Greg is bitten and the Senator knocking Rani into danger, which Claire rescues her in stellar fashion and they manage to get out. As things were settling down, Wilpharma trucks pull in. Caring the Vaccine. Turns out they had it the whole time, but because of Terrsave’s meddling. Couldn’t administer. Which rocks Claire. Leon does talk sense to her and that it wasn’t her fault, but right when he does, the trucks are blown up along with the vaccine. Turns out the terrorist behind the attack in India and here, are threatening to unleash another attack unless the truth about who knew about Umbrella and Racoon sity is revealed and that is where I will leave it for now.
There is so much good things to unpack in this movie that I am not sure where to unpack. While it was very much a Claire and Leon driven story, Angela is introduced really well and keeps up with them the whole way through. Did a stellar showing the pain and conflict going on in Curtis in scenes like, before he burned his house down, he turned every family photo around so they could watch him do it. When he is in his first form of the G-virus, he is smart enough to cover his eye with his big hand. Then they had a morale side between Terrasave and Wilpharma. After Umbrella and Racoon City, can see the importance behind the good work they stand for, but at times, you can see where it can hinder the process too. Then you sprinkle moments like Claire wielding an umbrella as a weapon and reenacting the meeting for fun moments.
I love when Claire and Leon are the main character. Besides the fact that they are my favorite (Claire) and second favorite (Leon) characters. They just work so well together. Leon being your fighter and Claire being more passive who wants to look after everyone, but when pushed, can run her way through anyone. For their first CGI Movie, it was so smart to bring these two into the fold for it. Angela was a fun character who they utilized quite well. Able to create the horror of someone experiences zombies for the first time and the awful realization of having to kill what was essentially at one point a human. Opening her up and showing her in an emotional state allowed me to believe she was ready to sacrifice herself at the end and could actually see her enter into the games at some point.
By no means do I know enough on CGI and Animated Movies to talk knowledgeable on the topic. Just what I see and go from their. For the most part, I did like a lot of the work on display. Can kind of tell it was their first foray into these movies. The setting were really nice and the action scenes were awesome. From Claire catching the gun as she cracked the zombie with a roundhouse kick to the head and blew them away. G-virus Curtis wiping out the military squad and the finale. Some rough bits here and there, but the only complaint I got is with Leon. Claire looks great. So does Angela and Curtis and even the Senator. Leon at times, looks so, for the lack of a better word, stiff. Especially when he is just idol and talking to people. It is not a major negative, because they have improved his look leaps and bounds in Damnation and Vendetta. Here though, it can kind of be a bit distraction.
There were some negatives, but honestly, they were not big enough to bring up. Overall I had a blast with Resident Evil: Regeneration. A great starting point to their CGI Movies which only got better from here. Big suggestion for you to check it out if you haven’t already. Final Grade – A
As Always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
Words can’t begin to describe my excitement, for my return to the zombie packed streets of one Raccoon City. Following the success of the wildly fun and thrilling Resident Evil 2 Remake, we have Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. The popular entry that marked the end of Raccoon City, and one of the only ones that I didn’t play much of as a kid. Played a little and became well aware of the threat known as Nemesis, but not much more. Which hyped up my excitement that much more. To play through and kill him for a change. Was my luck better this time around? Let’s dive in and find out shall we.
I’m always big on a story, and loved not only the story, but the pacing of it. Nemesis hits you hard right from the jump and it’s just go from there. Even when you don’t have Nemesis breathing down your neck, it still feel the game pushing you along. Worrying that he will either show up around the next bend or trying to get the Vaccine to cure Jill. Speaking of Carlos, his parts don’t feel to shoehorned in. Begining with him at the Police Station where he learns where the Doctor is, who knows how to make the vaccine. So, when Jill is infected, he knows where to go. Fact that it started with Carlos temporarily downing him with the rocket launcher was a nice touch. The Rocket Launcher being a big thing in Resident Evil games as the big finish. Even being the final K.O for Mr. X. Showing Nemesis brush it off upped the stakes.
Being that the events of this take place around the second game. This game had a lot of fun tie-ins with it. How the cop with the sliced up jaw and other hanging from the pipe ended up in their position, and pour Marv getting bitten by Brad. Even how the cop got into the locker and the hole in the showers. Could even save some time if you remembered the codes to the safe and lockers, which I did not. Now, I normally never catch the Easter Eggs. Astounded and amazed by others who have a keener eye, but when spotted one that was right in plain view that hundred of others probably already caught it, but seeing Morrigan Aensland on the sandwich board got a chuckle out of me for finally not being blind for a change.
Jill looked fantastic in the game. Coming off as not only a champ throughout most of the game, but the voice acting was spectacular in the aspect where she came off as vulnerable at the same time. Feeling more and more bad for her with her cries of pain when she would get ragged dolled around and every time she smacked off the ground. She felt like human who had to dig down deep to overcome. Big props to Nicole Tompkins for her vocal works on the character.
Now, to the monsters and no better starting place than the one whose name is on the cover; Nemesis. Back when two came out, had no idea for a while that there was a group of people who hated how difficult Mr. X was because of how difficult he was. Got a little worried over them weakening Nemesis for it, and so glad that they certainly did no such thing. He made himself known right away as a legit threat, where running was not only not a guarantee from how fast he could move, leaping back into the fray, or just pulling you back to him. Yet, he never felt overpowered at the same time. Always something around to aide you or get to a safe place. In his later forms, when he was more dog, he truly felt overwhelming and genuinely satisfying when you finally beat him, and great ending with the FINGeR.
On the other hand, the other zombies and monsters are no pushovers either. The zombies actually come across as legit threats. Even the ones on the ground are back in your face with a grab. The dogs continue their legendary status, and my god the Hunter Betas made me want to die in real life. At times, wanted the Nemesis back, instead of one Hunter B. And than we got the weird spiders… which I actually liked. You always read about creepy things like that happening to the NPCs’ in their journals and notes. To have it actually happen to you was an interesting twist and prefered them over Grave Digger from the original. They just work better and the setting was creepy and and unnerving. Not wanting grabbed again, but if you don’t take care of them. Can quickly get outnumbered.
I don’t normally like to address other people’s negatives. Everyone is free to have their own opinions and I have plenty of unpopular opinions in my reviews on a regular basis but feel like I almost have to this time around. No, this is not a long game. Even an achievement if you can beat it under two hours and to get an S or an A, have to do it under two and a half, with no deaths, and under 5 saves. My argument here, is that first, Nemesis was never a long game. Now, there is a whole story as to why it came out that way and I am not going into all the details, but they made it short on purpose, and to be honest, works better that way. The game is all about moving forward. Very little backtracking, with a massive monster making sure you do just that. Even with Carlos. They make it feel like you have to keep going forward. Anything you add to it, would threaten to throw off the pacing or start to feel stale.
Now, an actual bring up a real negative and that is how much I despise the shop section. The first two, encouraged you to beat it in certain ways to unlock stuff like infinite ammo in certain guns and costumes. Which worked so much better than the point system they have in place of it here. It is a small gripe, but just doesn’t feel as rewarding.
Before we get to the end of this, we got to talk about the other game that dropped with Resident Evil 3. That being Resident Evil: Resistance, and have been having a blast with it so far. Still very much in the learning curve of it and been only really playing Mastermind and has been a real joy learning as I go along. Which is such a huge part of playing Mastermind. You are far from effective at the start, but when you really start to grasp what to do. It unlocks so much more fun elements and more fun cards to play. Just got to Daniel and can’t wait to get to Alex and Spencer. I needed a new online multiplayer and strongly suggest giving Resistance a shot.
Resident Evil 3 has been another absolute blast from Capcom, who takes great care when t comes to remaking their prized games. Keeping what made them so much fun and bringing back to the world. Next seems to be Resident Evil 8, which if the rumors are correct sounds like a crazy game, but once that is done. Hope they start on the remake of another great, Code Veronica. In the meantime, hope you enjoyed by review and as always…
Thank You For Reading.