Resident Evil Welcome To Raccoon City Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
The excitement was palpable for this movie. I have loved the world of Resident evil for as long as I can remember. When a new game drops it feels like and event. I even love the animated films and can have some fun with some of the Anderson films. So, it goes without saying after the trailer dropped, was counting down the days. So, lets take the trip back to Raccoon City and see how well they did, shall we.
The movie kicks us off showing Claire as a little girl, at the Raccoon City Orphanage. Being awaken in the middle of the night. Seeing someone hidden in the far end of the room. Someone she has seen before. Waking Chris in the process who tells her it is in her imagination and tells her to go back to bed, but she goes looking for her. Tracking her down in a tent. Learning her name is Lisa Trevor, when she reads the medical tag on her wrist and she lives below. When she crawls into the tent, Doctor Birkin pulls her out. Asking why she is up when Chris gets her out of trouble, with a sleepwalking excuse. Back in bed and she opens her eyes. Seeing the doll from the tent and a good look at Lisa. When she screams, we jump to her waking up as an adult. Getting a ride from a truck driver. Who lectures for screaming in her sleep and wanting to go to Raccoon City. Which is becoming a ghost town since Umbrella has been in the final process of moving out of town. Taking his eyes off the road to make a pass and grab her leg. Missing a woman stumbling out into the road and runs her down. Claire jumps out and rushes to her aide and while she is trying to calm the driver down to help move the body. She gets up and stumbles away. Not realizing she disappeared till the dog gets out and runs to the spot. Lapping at the blood. The driver pulls him back, telling Claire to either come or stay, but he is leaving. Cutting to Leon where he is just waking up and falls back to sleep at the diner. Where Wesker sets a ketchup bottle on his head for a bet with Jill to knock off, which she does and wakes him back up. Learning that he was transferred from his last job, thanks to his Dad, on the account of shooting him in the ass. Jill sticks around when everyone leaves to wish him luck and assure him it will get easier, and we see the Waitress has blood coming from her eye. Meanwhile, Claire gets dropped off, and while she is walking away., The dog starts turning and bites his hand. Back with Claire she arrives at Chris’s house. After the creepy neighbors staring and closes the blinds. Allowing her the freedom of breaking in. Seeing pictures of Chris as an adult standing next to Birkin. Chris comes down for a not so warm reunion. Seems Claire had runaway five years prior after spouting conspiracy theories about what Umbrella was doing. Getting worse when she tells him what happened with the woman and shows him a video of a reporter explaining that Umbrella is leaving because of years of polluting the water and now something worse had gotten out and what was left of the city was doomed. After a brief cutaway to Birkin getting a phone call and he gathered his family to leave. A siren goes off, telling the civilians to stay indoors. Chris gives her money, telling her to lock up when she leaves and goes off to the police station. When the neighbor woman appears at the back door. Writing out the words, Itchy, Tasty on the door and he kid comes through the front. Hiding under the table. Claire asks if they need help, but they say she is the one who needs help. Before Mom crashes through the door. Claire manages to fight her off. Getting to the bike outside and speeds off to find her brother, while the city erupts into chaos.
I was a little worried when I heard they were mashing the events of the two games together. A lot of events to cover, but they really made it work for them. Never feeling like there was any wasted motion. Great pacing and always excited to see what was happening when they shifted from one character to the next. Escalating to a surprising conclussion.
While there was some excellent fan service, from Jill having lines like Jill sandwich and referencing the giant snake and spider. The truck Driver with his burger and brought the Mansion and Police Station to life in a beautiful way. They also made some changes to the lure and the story and for the most part, worked fantastically. The fan service bringing you to a familiar world, with slight changes that, for the most part (we will talk about a bad one later) but kept you surprised as to what may happen. Having the helicopter crash occur at the mansion and Sherry be found by Jill and Chris, instead of Claire. How they handled Wesker and Irons, but my favorite might have been with Lisa. One of the most tragic stories in the franchise and was nice to see her have a bit more. Could see Claire as a kid getting close enough to bond with the likes of Lisa and great scene of Lisa taking down a Licker and in the end, having the friend in Claire.
They had a really dark and gritty feeling that suited the world of Resident Evil. Loved they took the zombie transformation back to a more painful and twisted transformation instead of an abrupt one, with stuff like Itchy and tasty. Going heavy on the gore and mutations. All of which was a lot of fun and G-Birkin looked great.
The cast was spectacular. Kaya Scodelario had a fair amount of screen time and she killed it in her portrayal of Claire. Being my favorite character in the game, was excited over how well she did. Marina Mazepa was awesome as Lisa, with her hunched over movements and way she spoke. Robbie Amell not only channeled a lot of young Chris Redfield, but also looked a lot like him too. We didn’t get a lot of time with Neal McDonough’s Birkin, did excellent with bringing who Birkin is and I am really looking forward to see where Tom Hopper can take Wesker from where this ended. While, Avan Jogia did do a good job with what they had him doing with Leon, the problem being….
I hated what they did with Leon. He really was just a punching bag or the butt of the joke for most of this movie. It got to the point of where it was just sad, especially when he slept through the truck, flipping over and exploding in front of the police station while he is at the front desk. Great scene mind you, but expecting more from Leon S. Kennedy. Not expecting him to come off as action hero he would come across as later, but little better direction than this.
A bit more mixed, was the sound and it wasn’t just on me, but a friend I brought with me brought it up as well, where a times this sound gets to loud. It wasn’t throughout, but at certain points they could have dialed it back a few decibels a bit. Small nitpick, but when it happened, it got jarring.
So, what’s the final thoughts here? Floating between high B and low A. On one hand, I really didn’t like what they did with Leon. Could have been a better in between they could have gone with. On, the other, they did a lot of things right. You can tell they really do care about the world of Resident Evil. Entwinning fan service, with changes that did work, and most of them did work and it does far out weigh the negative. I want to see more come from this and hope the likes of Jill and Leon can get more in sequels. I do suggest going to check this out in theaters, for it has a lot to offer, especially for fans of the games. Final grade – A –
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
Resident Evil Village Review
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.
Resident Evil Code Veronica X Review and Discussion
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
Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008)
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.
Five video games I am looking forward to in 2021
By: Justin Hopkins
Just weeks left in what has been an.. interesting 2020. If anything, this year has been a blast with some fun video games coming out. From Ghost of Tsushima, Resident Evil 3, and return of Crash Bandicoot, but it is about that time to begin to look forward and there are more then plenty of video games to look forward to. Was a difficult task to not only dwindle the list down to just five, but in what order they should fall into. Before we begin, I do want to note that some of these games don’t have exact dates, only marked as coming in 2021 and one has less. As we know, that doesn’t always mean they can stick to it. Alright. good, lets dive in shall we.
HONORABLE MENTION: Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
This feels like Deja Vu. If you go back to my top six games anticipated games of 2020, this was my honorable mention as well. If they had slapped a date of 2021 on it, would be my number 1, with ease. While it would be nice to hear some more news about this game. Seeming to find nothing outside of a trailer that I have watched to many times at this point. Don’t get me wrong though, will gladly put this down again next year too if that means Ninja Theory are taking their time to do it justice. For now though, can only fall as an honorable mention.
5. Hogwarts Legacy
I am not a Harry Potter fan. Have read the books, watched the movies, and played the games and never really cared all that much for them, but would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about the idea of an RPG around this world. Creating my own character, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite features in a video game. Running around being an absolute villain. Sounds like a good time and earning the number five spot on my list.
4. Werewolf The Apocalypse: Earthbound
This game sold me on one thing, can play as human, wolf, or werewolf. I am a simple person, and the idea I get to play as a werewolf is amazing to me and the trailer was a lot of fun. It sounds like the game will have a fare amount of lore based off the little bit I read about the game on it’s web page. Playing as a man named Cahal, a man born under the full moon. Protector of Mother Earth Gaia, which is dying at the hands of the Wyrm. Both of which lay in the Greek Mythology and look forward to see how much they pull from that or something new or both, but in the end, had me at Werewolf. If things stay on track, can look for this to drop February 4th.
This one, seems like it is going to be a blast and maddening at the same time. Playing as Colt, trapped in a place called Blackreef where it’s inhabitants, including a skilled assassin named Julianna are trying to kill him. If you die, they day restarts and only way out is to kill 8 key individuals, before you are killed. Making you learn from each attempt to figure out how to achieve said goal. Trailer made Blackreef look like a colorful, a lot of orange, but colorful. Has a dark comedy feel with plenty of ways to kill and die and I will probably suffer them all and going to have a great time trying to figure out how to win. According to the sight, game should be releasing May 21st.
2. Vampire Masquerade: Bloodlines 2
Hey, another familiar game from last years list. It got pushed back which turned into a blessing and got to play the first game and now I am at a fever pitch to play Bloodlines 2. The first one had so much replay ability with so many different endings and paths to go down. Gameplay that changes depending on which class of vampire you select. So much love and care went into the first story and expect no less in the sequel. Oh I just can’t wait to play as the Malkavians again. They are the best, and this game is so close to being number one, but there was just one more that had to take the mantle.
1. Resident Evil: Village
It had to be. This is a series that I have a lot of love for. Even weaker entries in the series, I still love. I know that a bunch of spoilers have been leaked or something, I don’t know because I am actively avoiding that. Resident Evil 3 may be my favorite game of the year, Resident Evil 2 is a game I still play through and wouldn’t be surprised if Resident Evil: makes it a threepeat, but they got some competition.
And that is my list of five video games that I am looking forward to in 2021. I know it is on the shorter side of things and that is my own doing. I only ever want to know a little bit about a game. Wanting to avoid all else and get to experience it all when I sit down to play. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
Resident Evil 3 Nemesis review and discussion
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.
Saturday Sequel: Resident Evil: Apocalypse
By Paul Anthony
We are marching towards April and yes we are all locked up in our house and we totally forgot that it was Women’s Month and there are so many good movies that represent women in such a strong light and one of the roles that I grew up on was of course the Resident Evil franchise when it first came out way back in 2002. So I wanted to revisit that franchise for this blog. The first film was a big hit, the budget was 33 million and the movie ended up making nearly 103 million dollars and 70 million dollar profit. It is only natural that a franchise would soon start and just two years later we got a sequel. Like all the other films that are sequels, the budget became bigger increasing to 45 million but the good news is that fans wanted to see this film and the numbers increased to 130 million for a total gross and profit of 85 million which was a 15 million increase over the previous film but was it worth it?
Let’s talk about the plot, the film picks up directly where the first film left with Alice being caption and then tested on and when she wakes after amount of time that is wasn’t made clear Raccoon City had to deal with the outbreak and crazy enough, the city was locked up and quarantine from the rest of the country. Once Alice wakes up and escapes she learns what happens to the city. Along the way she meets and befriends other survivors who want to escape and expose the truth to the rest of the world. Well of course Umbrella doesn’t wan the truth to get out there, so they set out to kill all those who want to expose them. However a higher member of Umbrella lost his daughter and wants Alice and her friends to find his daughter and he will give them a way out. of course the fight begins but Alice manages to find the little girl. It is revealed that her father made the virus for her so she could be able to walk and grow like a normal child but the T Virus was taken from him and misused but at the same time he also created a anti-virus as well which his daughter has. When the final fight happens Alice has to go up against her old friend Matt who also bonded with the virus but mutated into some form of a monster though he and her are actually being controlled however they gave her free reigns so she doesn’t know and the fight is pretty much even until Alice gets the slight upper hand but she stops when she realizes who the monster is and Matt regains control and turns on Umbrella saving Alice but then the bomb drops and we learn once again Alice survives and is recused by her friends who also survived and the movie ends when the audience learns Umbrella wanted her to escape.
Well I have to say the movie was a slight improvement over the first film and did a good job at introducing more of the game characters like Jill. They gave us a story that we could get behind with learning what the outbreak was and so forth and they gave us that little thing with having Alice be some type of program and super human. I got to say I did enjoy the action mixed with Mike Epps comedy to switch it up. Certain things like that can go a long way. In the end I have to say I am giving this film a good 90 percent or a good A and I have to say it is one of my favorite sequels so far!
Top 7 Video Game Movies
By: Justin Hopkins
I know what you are thinking. That there are no such thing as a good video game movies. That they are all bad and should have never have happened, and others may say that there is perhaps one, maybe two, but no way could I actually have found seven. True, it was a bit of a challenge towards the bottom of the list. Wishing I could just go the normal route of Top 5, but with that said, I do enjoy all seven of these films. They may not be classics, but not asking for them to be. Just want to kick back and let the story take me along for a ride, with the tools that make the game they come from so enjoyable. Before we start, there was one rule, and it’s the same as always. I can’t judge a movie without having seen it. So, movies like Rampage and Detective Pikachu, along with a few others were out of the running. Alright, with that said, lets begin.
7. Dead Rising: Watchtower
The only movie on the list to not spend time in the theaters, which for me is kind of a surprise. It also took a second viewing for me to really enjoy it as well, but they do a lot of enjoyable things throughout. Going with a new lead character in the form of Chase was a bit of a questionable choice, but Jesse Metcalfe performed really well at the rule to make us care enough about him. They way they incorporated them making their own unique weapons and having a psychopath as the main villain was wonderful. Dennis Haysbert did great as the General. Fans on the game know there is always a conspiracy going on, and his soothing voice and tone really adds to the menace when you get to the end. Would be higher on the list had they treated Frank West better than they did, but still an enjoyable film.
Wait, please don’t go. Hear me out. I know, they did the game wrong in quite a few places. I am not disagreeing with you there. Had they dropped all the scientific and super soldier like shot. All they had to do is keep them demons from Hell. This could have been really something. The action was great. Liked the characters and set pieces. The actors did as well as they could with what they had to work with, and that First Person Point of View shot they did is still beautiful. Respect they had for the BFG. They had a fun assortment of demons, loved Pinky, and they could have easily swapped the science bits for demons and ran everything and would easily be jockeying for the top spot, and maybe have The Rock go full on Demon at the end, for Urban to square off with. Also, watching Doom Annihilation, this one is light years better.
5. Tomb Raider (2018)
This movie had a lot of things going for me, loved the story and the dark tones and atmosphere, but what really made this movie so good for me, was Alicia Vikander’s performance as Lara Croft. That she wasn’t this over the top can do anything characters. Playing her with gritty realism of a character who was in over her head. Having to scrape and claw and fight for her survival, because she isn’t the over the top, legendary Lara Croft yet. By playing it the way she did, left her so much room to grow in the future, and thankfully, we will be getting a sequel, which will hopefully be even better.
4. Resident Evil
Yes, this series went screaming down the draining faster than even I expected it to, and the seventh one, was one of the worst finales of anything I have ever seen in general, but the first one though. That is still a good watch. The atmosphere of the lab and the music were fantastic. The zombies were perfect and the Licker looked gorgeous. Even the fact that it transformed was reminiscent of the game. Feel the danger around every corner. Milla Jovovich gave us a character, at least for this movie, felt like a character that could have appeared in a Resident Evil Game. If Paul carried this much love forward, who knows how good this run could have been after the second one, but the first, Definitely still a good time.
3. Sonic The Hedgehog
This one and entry number 2 had to of changed spots at least a dozen times and they are razor close to one another. You can check out my review for this for more details, but they hit a homerun with this film. Sonic came across in a great way. Having a hyper friendly attitude you would expect for him to have. Fun use of the rings, and callbacks to the games. While, Jim Carrey was spectacular as Robotnik. Check it out if you haven’t. You’ll have a best.
2. Mortal Kombat
The song alone earns it’s spot as one of the best of all times. Almost impossible to say the name without trying to imitate the famous scream of, MORTAL KOMBAT! In all seriousness though, this is fun from start to finish. The fights were well choreographed and done so well. The characters all felt ripped straight from the game. The lines, as hokey as they were. All felt like something they would say. Again, if you want to hear more, can check out our review on it. Paul W.S. Anderson hit gold with this, and to many, it never got better. Well.. except for one, in my opinion.
1. Silent Hill
It couldn’t be anything else. When they take the entire opening scene of Harry chasing who he thinks is Cheryl until he is attacked by they Grey Children, and replicate it shot for shot with Rose and who she thinks is Sharon. The psychological elements are deep and great. From sins of the mother and the town being tortured by Alessa in their own version of Silent Hill and wanting to finally crush them for good. The gore was awesome and Jodelle Ferland is still one of the creepiest kids in a movie. Way she danced around in the blood raining down and then moving straight to the camera. Excellent from start to finish and wears the crown as best video game movie.
Do you disagree? Feel free to let me know in the comments. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed, and as always…
Thank you for reading.
My top 6 anticipated games of 2020
By: Justin Hopkins
It is a sad way to kick-off a new year, when you realize that a game you love, is just not for you anymore, but that is the way this year is starting for me. A game that I have loved for the best part of a year and a half, has finally pushed my last nerve and have to walk away. It is sad, but as I look into the new year. There is a lot to be excited for. So, one game may have come to an end for me, I have six more to look forward too. Before I start, got to say, I play on Playstation, so with the exception of my Honorable Mention. We will focus on Sony. Not that there’s anything wrong with PC or Xbox, just going with what I got. Cool, let’s get started than.
HONORABLE MENTION – HELLBLADE 2: SENUA SAGA
The only reason that this is sitting at Honorable Mention and not number 1, is that it is not confirmed for 2020. I haven’t bought an Xbox since the 360. The moment that trailer dropped, I knew I would be getting an Xbox X-Series to continue Senua’s Journey. I loved the first game. Such an intense, beautifully made game, with a gripping story that sucked you in the game with everything they did and can only imagine what they have store for the second game.
6. PREDATOR: HUNTING GROUNDS
It seems that I am in need of a new online multiplayer game and what better, than Predator Hunting Grounds. Seems like a very basic idea. You either play as your choice of Yautja and hunting a team of marines. The Marines are working together to complete their mission and escape alive. The concept art looks fantastic, especially for the Yautja and am really excited to use the bow and you get the skin from the first movie if you Pre-Order. As always, go into it with a bit of caution. Online multiplayers can fall apart quickly, but still willing to give this one a chance all the same.
5. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
This game is probably the one game I know the least about, but am strangely being pulled towards it. It action roleplay game, that sees you playing a young vampire in Seattle, and that was all it really needed to be said to win me over. As you play through, you learn new abilities through factions engaged in a civil war, and I just like it. Wish I could say why. Didn’t even play the first one. Just has a certain vibe that has really won me over, and if they have a fair amount of creative character, would be that much more happy for it.
4. MARVEL AVENGERS
Alright, so the first trailer did not do this a whole lot of justice. The Kamala Khan one though, did a lot better, and with test players hyping it up even more. Don’t know if this was announced, but curious on how many heroes will be involved, and the story looks interesting, and I have a weakness for Superhero games. Have even enjoyed the bad ones, so this one should be a blast. Especially, if we get to play as our choice of characters, or focus a bit more on the lesser known heroes.
3. RESIDENT EVIL 3: NEMESIS
Resident Evil 2 Remake was fantastic and set the bar for how a video game remake should work. They stayed true to what made it great. Tweaked a few things to change it up and gave side stories and than the original versions. We might not get all of that this time around, but with them saying they took what they learned in 2 and carried it over to 3 has me confident going in, and as a bonus, you get the online multiplayer that they have been talking about for some time now, Project Resistance. Capcom has a successful track with their remakes, and have no doubt they can make it at a hat trick with Nemesis.
2. Doom Eternal
I love the Doom Series. They are so much fun. The adrenaline filled carnage of playing Doom Guy. Running around killing everything in your wake. Game literally knows exactly what it is. Oh, this rocket launcher, isn’t enough. Well how about if it shoots multiple locked on rockets? Still want more, how about a movable turret? No, here is a gun that will wipe out everyone in a bloody paste and you get to carry them all around at your ready. Low on ammo. Get up and close for more, or use this chainsaw, and god yes, give me more. Can play these game all the time, and a pre-order for Doom 64. A big yes to even more Doom, and just misses out on the number one slot.
1. DESTROY ALL HUMANS
I don’t think there is any game series that brings back more fond memories than Destroy All Human. A friend of mine way, back in high school gave me a game he swore I could not beat without cheats, it was Destroy All Humans, and I did beat it without cheating. Bought a Wii for the lone purpose to play, Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed. Watched another friend fail for over 4 hours to get any points in human plink-o in Destroy All Humans: Path Of The Furon. I even have the Original on PS4 due to a charity giveaway, but when this game finally comes out, am going to be getting a copy and just getting lost in the world of Cryptosporidium 137 all over again. Graphics look spectacular and hope for some new content, but one way or another. Destroy All Humans is the game I am most looking forward to the most, in 2020
I know, I didn’t say Cyberpunk 2077. I am going to play it, but is a game I know less about than Vampires. I know they have been working on it for a long time and don’t want to look into it at all. Want to go in blind, and because of that. It did not make the list, but I am sure there is plenty more that didn’t make the list. Feel free to drop any in the comments. In the meantime, hope you enjoyed and as always…
Thank you for reading.
Friday Roundabout 1-10-2020
By: Justin Hopkins
Hello and welcome to another roundabout. Hope you all had a great week. As always, bringing my thought on rumors and news from around the entertainment world in the past week, and a little longer to touch on one rumor. With all of that said, let’s jump right in with the big Marvel story from the week, in Doctor Strange and the loss of the director.
It is a shame to see Scott Derrickson dropping out of the Multiverse Of Madness, sequel to Dr. Strange, especially due to creative differences. Was a big fan of the first movie, and felt Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance in Infinity War and the climax of Endgame definitely hyped up the urge to see his return. At the same time, not going to panic over it at the same time. Marvel has been a consistent machine at pumping out solid movies and with them having similar issues with the first Antman, they have some experience in righting the ship from creative differences with Directors. Hope that they can find a way to reconcile with Scott, but if not. Still hyped for this sequel.
Going from the big screen to the smaller one and movement on a remake of the classic 1981 Werewolf movie, The Howling, coming to Netflix. The announcement came in the form of Director Andy Muschietti working on an adaption for Netflix, which I find really exciting. Andy has said before that The Howling was a dream project for him to work on, and The Howling does have a rich story with some room to grow and take into different directions, and like all remakes, even if they don’t live up to expectations. Still have the classic to enjoy.
From there we go to the world of Video Games, and before I go into this one, need to stress that this is just a rumor. I tried to find something official but at this point, all I can find is speculation, but as a Sony player. Feel the need to give my two cents on this one. It has to do with various sites reporting that the PS5 will be backward compatible. Going all the way back to Playstation 1. If this is true, I would be elated. Would be satisfied with PS3 and over the moon to access PS2, but getting them all would be fantastic, and they really need that feature to compete with Xbox, who has announced that the X Series will do just that. With the PS5 due up later this year, really wish Sony would put out some official statements to curb some of the rumor trains. In the meantime, I have my fingers crossed that this rumor carries weight.
Speaking of games, we got a bit of what to expect from Resident Evil Nemesis. This is such a small thing to be excited for a game that I am pretty much Pre-Ordering the first chance I get, but they were talking about Nemesis himself, and to not expect what you remember. Learning from their time working on Mr. X in the remake of Resident Evil 2, and he will not work in scripted terms, but as he sees fit. Making him unpredictable and increase the horror factor. Also, Carlos will have a playable section, which will add even more new content. Truth be told, I am super excited for this game and any reason I can find to talk about it; I jump. Releases on April 13th, barring any delays and please, don’t let there be any delays. Need a new game to play.
There is a few trailers that have dropped. New Mutants and Birds of Prey seem to be the big ones, but have given up trailers for New Year Resolutions. Going to do my best to avoid trailers, after the first ones, because I am tired of them spoiling aspects of the movie after the first trailer drops, and encourage everyone to follow my example. #Nomorespoilersintrailers.
In close, want to congratulate Frozen 2 on becoming the highest grossing animated movie of all time, and hope you all enjoyed this week’s edition of the roundabout. As always…
Thanks for reading.