Resident Evil 0 HD’s success or failure will determine future of RE franchise

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Capcom announcing an HD remake of Resident Evil 0 may seem like another gimmick to appeal towards gamer nostalgia, but to the gaming community, its a representation of a cultural struggle that will determine the future of this iconic series.

Resident Evil was the leader in defining the concept of the horror survival genre, but now its future has been brought into question. Now a debate that has pitted traditional fans of the series against a new generation could be finally resolved by the success of Resident Evil 0 HD.

A Tale of Two Gaming Generations

Starting with the Fifth Console Generation, the Resident Evil series was the leader in defining the concept of the survival horror genre. However, the times changed and so did the series in the hopes of appealing to a new generation of gamers.

At first the new direction was welcomed by fans when Resident Evil 4 found the right balance of horror and action. Then everything changed when Resident Evil 5 abandoned most of the survival horror elements in favor of an action game. It all finally came to breaking point when Resident Evil 6 was released in 2012, being hailed as the worst game in the series. The result were a deep rift between a new generation of gamers and traditional fans while the future of the series was being put into question.

Adding insult to a disgruntled community was a special investment report that was published in 2013 that attributed the problems of the series to the fan base having become “too old.” Gamers were quick to express their outrage while the gaming media denounced the report as further proof that Capcom is failing to connect with its core audience.

Going Old School

In the Summer of 2014; Capcom announced that an HD remake of Resident Evil(based on the 2002 GameCube version) was in the works. The game took the player back to the traditional setup while visually being presented in 1080p and running at 60fps along with 5.1 surround support.

The announcement was met with enthusiasm and support from the gaming community, as there has been a strong demand to re-release the GameCube remake (dubbed REmake). Social media networks along with gaming sites were flooded with gamers voicing their support for the HD remake.

Resident Evil HD Remaster released on January 20, 2015, and it was highly praised by both fans along with critics. Despite being released at the end of the month and after the Holiday season, it was one of the best-selling titles of the year. According to Capcom; it was the fastest selling title in the series and one of the best-selling digital media titles. Sony also verified that Resident Evil was the best-selling game in January for both PlayStation consoles.

The Future Is Zero

Despite what fans are hoping for, the success of one game alone is not enough to determine the future of the series. Resident Evil 0 HD will be an attempt to recreate the success of Resident Evil HD to see if the series should return to its roots.

Should Resident Evil 0 succeed then the fans have sent a clear message to Capcom that the series needs to return to its roots as a true horror survival. It could also be the push needed for a proper remake of Resident Evil 2, something fans have wanted for a long time since its often hailed as the best game in the series.

However; if Resident Evil 0 HD fails then the ramification are going to be worse then more action games. The message sent to Capcom will be one of doubt that could jeopardize the future of the series. With no clear understanding of what the fan base wants, this could be a tipping point that could kill the Resident Evil series.

Gamers will have to wait until January 2016 to see if the success of Resident Evil 0 HD is the push needed to return the series to its roots. Or will its failure be the final nail in the coffin that ends the legacy of this pop-culture icon.

Written for GameSkinny
6/4/2015
Original Article: Resident Evil 0 HD’s success or failure will determine future of RE franchise

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Review: ‘F.E.A.R. Online’ brings the horror icon to the multiplayer world – 10/27/2014

FEAROnline

The concept of a free-to-play multiplayer game based on the iconic horror shooter may at first feel difficult to comprehend, but ‘F.E.A.R. Online’ is able to capture the series essence in an online environment.

Following the destruction of the Origin Facility in the first game, Fairpoint City has been overrun by demonic creatures led by Alma Wade while the Armacham Technology Corporation (ATC) is trying to cover up its involvement with an army of mercenaries. The government response by deploying the Task Force to eliminate the demonic presence and recover evidence of ATC’s involvement.

Its hard to imagine how a MMO game could be developed given the fact that the F.E.A.R. series was more of a single player game. To overcome this obstacle, the devlopment team created a Co-Op game with a story that runs parallel to the events of F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin.

The Co-Op missions are several different scenarios where up to five players must complete a series of objectives while battling swarms of Abominations along with squads of Replica soldiers or ATC mercenaries. The players start by achieving simple tasks (like bomb defusing) but as they progress more challenging tasks need to be accomplished.

However, no multiplayer game is complete without featuring classic modes like team deathmatch.

Players will earn experience after each game which will help them level up and gain access to new weapons. They will also earn points that can be used to purchase new weapons and gear or customize what they already have.

Unfortunately the game has a few issues that keep it from being perfect but they are flaws that can be overlooked. The biggest problem is how often it tries to milk the player to pay for gear or characters that could be used for a limited time.

Gamers can earn or purchase gear with points, but they have time limits on how long it can be used before it has to be repurchased. However, the need to purchase gear will not interfere with the overall playing experiences as a real gamer would not need to waste money on such trivial novelties.

One problem that is out of the developers’ hand is the community’s obsession with team deathmatch. Despite its amazing co-op gameplay, its hard to find or start a game due to the lack of players. However it’s real easy to find a game of deathmatch with plenty of players available to play.

Death match is fun but the co-op story offers gamers such a unique experience that it’s a real disappointment that many prefer to play the same deathmatch that could be found in every other multiplayer shooter.

Just in time for Halloween; F.E.A.R. Online is not only one of the best free-to-play shooters but also an ideal follow-up to one of the most iconic horror games of the Seventh Generation era.

Final Score: 4/5

Written for Digital Journal 
10/27/2014
Original ArticleReview: ‘F.E.A.R. Online’ brings the horror icon to the multiplayer world

Op-Ed: Capcom needs to stop forcing co-op into every Resident Evil game – 9/8/2014

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According to the details gathered by GamesMaster, ‘Resident Evil: Revelations 2’ is suppose to continue the style of its predecessor and return the series to its horror survival roots.

For devoted fans of the series this has been promising news as many have felt the series has abandoned its horror survival roots for a more action orientated game that is trying to tap into the Call of Duty fan-base.

Resident Evil 5 was a commercial success while many were disappointed over its heavy dependence on the action concept. Its success was followed by the train wreck of a game that was called Resident Evil 6, which was panned by gamers and most critics. Capcom attributed the failure of Resident Evil 6 along with several other games to their core fans being too old, an insult that was meet with a massive backlash from the gaming community.

Flash forward to the Summer and Capcom announced that an HD remake of Resident Evil was in the works and set to be released in 2015 for all major consoles. Along with the announcement of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, it appears that Capcom is actually listing to its fans and it could be rewarding in the years to come.

However there is a “but” to the news and that is the fact that Resident Evil: Revelations 2 will also feature co-op gameplay. Despite its efforts to take notes from the fans, Capcom still has an obsession with shoehorning co-op into every Resident Evil game.

Its understandable that Capcom does not want to churn the same game every year while looking for new ways to innovate the series, but forcing co-op into a game has not worked out all to well for them. Go onto any forum and its easy to see that gamers have despised the shoehorned co-op feature

Resident Evil 6 being the obvious example of how the co-op system was an utter failure in innovating while its feature in other the games was ignored by players. Unless its included as a side-game, Capcom is better just abandoning the concept of co-op in future Resident Evil games.

Resident Evil has always been the inspiration for horror games but major titles in the last few years have not been trying to force co-op onto the player. Dead Space and Alan Wake did not have to shoehorn co-op to be successful while the upcoming Alien Isolation is more focused the player trying to survive the horror scenario.

If Capcom is really interested in expanding the Resident Evil universe to the multiplayer world than it would be better to develop an open world MMORPG set in Raccoon City. The game could take inspiration from Grand Theft Auto: Online and DayZ while in the context of the Resident Evil universe.

Capcom is on the right path to restoring the series to its horror survival root but if it hopes for Resident Evil to be the example for other games to follow than they really need to abandon the concept of co-op in future titles.

Written for Digital Journal 
09/8/2014
Original Article: Op-Ed: Capcom needs to stop forcing co-op into every Resident Evil game

New ‘Silent Hill’ being developed by Kojima and del Toro – 08/12/2014

Silent Hill
Sony unveiled at Gamescom 2014 that a new ‘Silent Hill’ game is in the works and it’s being developed by horror icon Guillermo del Toro along side gaming icon Hideo Kojima.

It was first reported back in 2012 that Konami asked Kojima to create a new Silent Hill game, which he accepted.

The game was being promoted by Sony as “P.T.” before the gameplay teaser was unveiled it to be a new Silent Hill. The hour-long teaser features a character exploring the setting in a first-person perspective before revealing that del Toro and Kojima are responsible for this project.

At the end it’s revealed that the main character is played by Norman Reedus, from The Walking Dead. Not much details about the game is known other than it will be titled Silent Hills and that it’s being developed using the Fox Engine.

News of a Silent Hill game being created del Toro and Kojima has surprised the media while having gotten the attention of the gaming community. Gamers voiced their support for Silent Hills and welcomed collaboration between the two icons.

Many should have suspected that del Toro and Kojima were working on a project after two were seen hangout together at Comic-Con 2014.

With del Toro now working on Silent Hill, its unknown if his previous horror game is still in development or has it been cancelled. It was unveiled back in 2010 that he was working on inSANE but the project was put on hold after THQ went bankrupt.

Silent Hill is a horror survival series known for its eerie tone and for having help establish the genre alongside Resident Evil. The series focus on the supernatural forces that haunt a small town and the people connected to the evil presence.

Written for Digital Journal 
08/12/2014
Original Article: New ‘Silent Hill’ being developed by Kojima and del Toro

Gamers enthusiastic about ‘Resident Evil’ HD remake – 8/6/2014

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Capcom official announcement that an HD remastered version of ‘Resident Evil’ is in the works has been meet with enthusiasm and support from the gaming community.

Based on the discussions on social media like Facebook or news sites such as N4G, there has been a strong demand for Capcom to release an HD version of the GameCube remake (dubbed REmake) of the classic game. Many in the game media who are also fans of the series have voiced their support for the project.

Devoted fans of the series have been demanding an HD remastered version of Resident Evil for a long time. Many fans had missed out on the GameCube remake since they owned a PlayStation 2 or an Xbox.

The demand by fans was most vocal back in January when Capcom published a report that blamed the failure of Resident Evil 6 on its audience “growing old” while announcing an HD remake of Resident Evil 4.

After the announcement was made, the game’s official Facebook page was flooded with comments while many showed their enthusiasm by plastering the official Facebook page with the “Shut Up And Take My Money!” meme. One such fan was Souheil Abou Zelof who stated,Finally Capcom FINALLY , after all these years you did something right with the Resident Evil series , RE remake was the best RE game for me (also remake Resident evil 2 , it deserves one).

Rourke Keegan was another fan who stated, Seriously, this is the best news I’ve heard all year. REmake is my favorite horror game- and I have an extensive library (Silent Hill, Fatal Frame, Alone in the Dark). I have ABSOLUTELY no problem with buying this on every available platform. Capcom, you just got at LEAST four sales from this fan, if not five (it may or may not work on my computer). I cannot WAIT to see how pretty this is, cannot wait to unlock every trophy/achievement for this, and above all, REmember, REality, RElive!

James Cage was also an enthusiastic fan who stated, Thank You for bringing it to PS4!! Finally back to what Resident Evil is all about!!! Now start remastering RE2 next!!

Despite the enthusiasm, many fans also expressed their desire to see a remake of Resident Evil 2, which was never remastered for the GameCube.

The original Resident Evil was released for the PlayStation in 1996 and has been hailed as one of the greatest games for establishing the foundation of the horror survival genre. The franchise has spawned a massive franchise that includes many sequels and spin-off games along with a movie series.

Written for Digital Journal 
09/6/2014
Original Article: Gamers enthusiastic about ‘Resident Evil’ HD remake

Review: ‘The Last of Us: Remastered’ is a classic polished for the PS4 – 7/29/2014

‘The Last of Us’ was probably one of the most iconic games of 2013, having become a modern classic not due to its technical and gameplay innovations but because of its groundbreaking story.

With over 200 “Game of the Year” awards, The Last of Us has made its mark not only on video games but also on the cultural arts.

However one should not be foolish enough to compare The Last of Us with Grand Theft Auto V as they are nowhere in the same league. BioShock: Infinite would be its only true rival of 2013 as they both are story-driven games that shared the same concepts of a father and daughter relationship during a troubled era.

It’s always a challenge to improve an already perfect work of art but Naughty Dog would not settle for having The Last of Us be remembered as one of the best games of 2013. Like a perfectionist devoted to their work, Remastered is a polished improvement of a modern classic for the PlayStation 4.

To recap the story: 20 years after a deadly pandemic brings about the collapse of civilization, the survivors try to live on within the quarantine zones or out in the wasteland. Players take on the role of Joel as he becomes Ellie’s guardian during a journey to a resistance camp, as her blood may hold the cure to the infection that has ravaged the world.

As a narrative-driven game, The Last of Us was a flawless masterpiece that had an environment created with the picture-perfect graphics along with an ideal musical score. However it would be wrong to neglect the deep emotionally-driven performance of Troy Barker and Ashley Johnson in the main roles.

The game also brought something that has been long absent in the horror survival genre, the actual concept of horror survival. The gameplay is a return to the roots of the genre when gamers had to actually struggle to survive the horrors of the environment as opposed to fighting waves of zombies (or monsters). While many horror games have traded their survival concept for a Call of Duty-imitation, The Last of Us has instead drawn influence from classics like Resident Evil.

The Last of Us: Remastered sets itself apart from the original taking full advantage of the PS4’s hardware capability with a visual display of 60fps at 1080p. This gives the game a crisper visual image that adds more depth to the game’s environment while improving the fear factor.

However this is not simply another HD remake as the game offers more than a new coat of paint. As a bonus feature, the game also includes all the multiplayer map packs and the critically acclaimed DLC, Left Behind.

So why should a gamer give The Last of Us: Remastered a play-through if it was perfect back in 2013? The best answer is they missed their chance because they were most likely too occupied with Grand Theft Auto V or their last console was an Xbox 360.

Like Grand Theft Auto V and BioShock: Infinite, this is a title no gamer should have overlooked back in 2013. However for those who missed out on playing The Last of Us on the PS3 should add Remastered to their PS4 collection.


Final Score:
5/5

Written for Digital Journal 
07/29/2014
Original Article: Review: ‘The Last of Us: Remastered’ is a classic polished for the PS4

Rumored ‘DmC: Devil May Cry’ port reignites old animosities – 7/13/2014

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According to details posted on a Russian online retailer, a Next-Gen version of ‘DmC: Devil May Cry’ may be in the works and it has reignited old friction between old school gamers against fans of the reboot.

Retitled as DmC: Devil May Cry Ultimate, the game is a port that rumored to bring the series to a new audience. Not much details have been given but its expected the game could be unveiled at Gamescom.

Despite only being a rumor, the concept of a Next-Gen port has already reignited old debates among gamers. Once again message boards and chat rooms are besieged with gamers fighting among each other over the legacy of DmC: Devil May Cry.

Meanwhile many in the game media are stumped if such a port is in the works due to the game’s controversy among the fans along with its commercial failure. The reboot caused a major division between gamers who disliked the makeover and those who welcomed the change.

The biggest critique from fans was the game abandoned the series’ principal themes to make a simple hack and slash that was devoid of any real challenge. Fans of the reboot felt restarting the series was necessary while having brushed off critics as being upset over “changing Dante’s hair.”

Adding fuel to the flame were pundits in the game media who branded critics of the reboot as being “entitled“.

Due to the controversy of the reboot and the friction it caused between gamers, Capcom had to cut its projected sales by half. After its release, DmC: Devil May Cry would be critically praised while becoming a commercial failure.

Regardless if the rumors are true, old schools gamers and fans have still not forgiven Capcom for DmC: Devil May Cry.

Written for Digital Journal 
07/13/2014
Original Article: