Stolen Pixels #209: Please Let Me Arrest You

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Jul 6, 2010

Filed under: Column 88 comments


Chris Redfield is a Villain. I can prove it.

I am enjoying Resident Evil 5 a lot more than I did RE4, although that’s mostly because I’m less frustrated going in. For me, Resident Evil 4 was an interesting case of a game being ruined by incorrect expectations.

I didn’t play console games at all in the 90’s. I played PC games all the way. (Not that I ever took part in the “PC vs. console” debate, an argument so childish it should be sent to its room, forever.) I just didn’t have a console and didn’t care to. I missed basically everything between the Atari and the Playstation 2, aside from dabbling with them when visiting friends.

Once I started playing console games, someone handed me Resident Evil 4 and told me it was awesome and that I would love it. I had just played Silent Hill 2 and it had blown my mind, so I was looking forward to another experience like that. I mean, they’re both survival horror, right?

I went in expecting physiological survival horror like Silent Hill, and instead I got “emo boy-band goof fights Midget Napoleon for the president’s daughter”. So I wasn’t just disappointed in the plot, I was actually offended by its stupidity.

But my real problem with the game was the controls. I’d never seen a quicktime event before in my life. Worse, it was the first game I played on the Gamecube. I was still new to modern controllers in general, and completely new to the Gamecube controller specifically. (And it was horrible, anyway.) I wasn’t used to playing games with my thumbs, I wasn’t used to quicktime events, wasn’t used to “gameplay” during cutscenes, and wasn’t familiar with the button symbols. When I got the flashing prompt of “PRESS A AND B NOW OR DIE!!!!!” it was basically hopeless, because my reaction times were far, far too slow to pass the events reliably. Since events were chained together, being able to nail prompts with 80% accuracy wasn’t good enough. The fact that the game shuffled the actual prompts between attempts didn’t help either, since I couldn’t beat it with memorization.

If you have 80% accuracy, then you only have about a 20% chance to make it through an 7-step quicktime sequence. And if every attempt means you have to listen to dialog so stupid that Ed Wood will burn with envy, then by the time it’s all over you will believe that videogames cause violence.

People kept telling me, “It’s all about the gameplay. Just ignore the story.” I WISH I COULD THANK YOU.

Oh: And just a slight decrease in skill leads to a massive drop in survivability. At 75% accuracy, your chances of making it through are just 13%! Have fun!

So the game was really frustrating. I didn’t get the hang of quicktime events until near the end of it, by which point I was filled with hatred for the whole idea. I was expecting an “awesome” game of thrills and resource management, and instead I got a shooting gallery with an idiot plot and tedious gotcha gameplay. I really only finished it because I was bored. (I can’t imagine having that kind of free time now.)

But now I’ve been playing console games for a few years and I’ve got the controllers down. Quicktime events are now just annoying, instead of annoying and hard. And now I know Resident Evil is – either by design or ineptitude – pervasively, relentlessly stupid. The upshot is that I’m enjoying Resident Evil 5 a lot more than RE4, despite the fact that by all counts RE4 was the better game. I’m actually on my second trip through the thing and playing around with the harder difficulty level.


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88 thoughts on “Stolen Pixels #209: Please Let Me Arrest You

  1. Irridium says:

    “I missed basically everything between the Atari and the Playstation 2”

    Really? That means you missed the Timesplitters games. Shame, those games are amazing. And quicktime-event free.

    I played RE4 after playing God of War, so I was used to quick-time events. But the damn Gamecube controller made things more difficult than it had to be.

    1. Fenix says:

      Oh how I loved Timesplitters. Too bad my discs got run over by a lawn mower (don’t ask).

      Shamus, did you miss all the Zelda, Metroid and Mario games as well?

      1. Shamus says:

        I went back and played some of the old games. Zelda Ocarina of time, Goldeneye, a tiny bit of Perfect Dark, a couple of Mario games and Final Fantasy 6, 7, 8, and a bit of 9.

        1. Ian says:

          You should consider trying out the Metroid Prime games if you get some time. It’s one of the most atmospheric, ambient games I’ve played in the past decade.

          The controls (at least on the GameCube games) feel a bit clunky if you go in expecting it to play like a normal first person shooter. I’ve found that after getting used to them I was able to dodge projectiles as effectively as I could in other games, if not more effectively. Your mileage may vary, of course, and it’s entirely possible that the Wii versions could have entirely revamped the controls.

          1. swimon says:

            Oh Oh Oh! I want to tell Shamus on what to play :D

            In all seriousness Majora’s mask is better than ocarina of time so if you liked ocarina you ought to try it (one of my favourites actually^^)

            1. Factoid says:


              It was a good game, and it had a fascinating gameplay element with the time looping, but it lacked the emotional connection that Ocarina of Time had. That game knew how pull at the heart strings whereas Majora’s Mask was a more mini-game oriented kind of game with lots of fun gameplay but not quite on that same level.

              1. Miguel says:

                Funnily enough, I had the opposite experience. Ocarina was basically just A Link To The Past in 3D with The Best Side Character Ever (No, seriously, Malon is probably my favorite female Nintendo character), and Majora’s Mask was this deep emotional experience. Granted, they both have deep stories if you pay attention, it’s just that Majora’s Mask touches me deeper than Ocarina. If I could summarize their themes, Ocarina would be “Growing up”, Majora’s Mask would be “Healing”.

                Plus, it kinda helps that I loved Malon so much in Ocarina, and Majora’s Mask had two Malons, one who called you “Cute” and one who gave you a hug (No, seriously, if you defend her milk multiple times, there’s a chance of her giving Link a hug that places his face directly in the cereal box she stuffs under her blouse as opposed to the big rupee.)

        2. Blake says:

          Think of the Timesplitters series as the real children of Perfect Dark (and therefore grandchildren of Goldeneye) as they were all designed by David Doak and all have a very similar feel.
          Timesplitters took Perfect Dark’s awesome multiplayer and added around a billion new game modes, heaps of challenges (think L4D2 survival mode in split screen).

          Also if you play through Metroid Prime Trilogy on Wii don’t go in expecting ‘pow pow shoot aliens’ it’s more of an exploration/adventure type game that happens to have aliens to shoot at.

          1. Irridium says:

            It also gives you the ability to play with bots, which is awesome.

            Yeah Shamus, if you ever have time, I suggest checking out the Timesplitters games. They’re cheap, and great fun.

        3. Ramsus says:

          A bit of 9? You made time to play 8 but couldn’t finish the best (imho) of the ones you listed?

          1. Shamus says:

            I only got a couple of hours in. I got to the point where we crashed after leaving the city. Then my memory card failed, thus ending my PS1 funtime. I enjoyed what I played, but I no longer have time for FF games. :(

            1. Hal says:

              That is truly a shame; 9 is considered one of the better iterations before the PS2. Of course, it has enough secrets and treasure hunting to send a man into insanity, but I really enjoyed it.

              Do you have a DS? I’d recommend getting one of the anthologies and playing through the original (FF I) or II (IV in Japan). Respectively, they’re the first game and the first sequel brought to the US, so if nothing else it’d be a good look at where the series came from and what brought American audiences around to it.

              1. Deoxy says:

                I second this. FF 1 (US) is… well, you should play some of it and look at the walkthroughs for the rest, just to see what started it all. It’s got WAY too much grind for you these days, and the story is a lot lighter (there are no “premade” playable characters and only 6 classes).

                FF 2 (US) was the first (in the states, at least, and I know at least one of the two the states missed was a lot more like the original than the newer ones) that had the characters integrated into the plot as the rest of them do. It was very good.

                FF3 on the Super Nintendo is actually FF 6, which I still consider to be the best of the bunch, but you’ve played that one.

                1. krellen says:

                  FF6 is generally only considered superior by those that played it before FF7 was released. Those whom started the series with 7 tend to view 7 as the best.

                2. Joshua says:

                  Interesting comment. I liked VI better, but I had played it years before I played VII. VII was good too, but I thought the characters were too interchangeable, mechanics-wise. It was basically just take which three characters whose personality you like the best. From what I understand, VIII was worse, and I don’t know about the rest after that.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I must say,I admire you.Ive barely managed to go through fallout 3 and dead space once,and here,you are going through a game just as bad the second time.Impressive.

    1. thebigJ_A says:

      Has the internent come to the decision that Dead Space was bad? I’m honestly curious, because, while not one of the greats, I had alot of fun with Dead Space. One of the more atmospheric games of recent memory. Why is it considered bad?

      1. Axle says:

        I also realy liked Dead space, but I know a few people that had problems getting into it and couldn’t explain why exactly. After reading some user reviews, I think it’s got something to do with the slow pace and a couple of difficult places (the asteroid shooting seems to be a popular breaking point).

        I think that it’s an atmospheric, fun and challenging game.
        Even the story is decent enough to enjoy.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Im just talking about my experience.I dont know about the rest.I did enjoy it more than fallout 3,but it still was nothing special for me.It has bland monsters and an average plot at best.It has interesting weapons,but most Ive never used.It has some nice gameplay mechanics,most of which was selodm used.While its nice to focus on dismembering the monsters,it becomes old really fast.And the most interesting monster,the one composed of the body parts that are all alive,are introduced near the end,so theres too little of those.Its an average game overall.But as a survival horror,its horrible.

          Then again,my taste should not be considered universal.Ive slept half way through most horror movies that Ive watched.Literally slept.

      2. Josh R says:

        It’s just a bit dull. They missed the line between slow building horror and nothing happening for most of it. which is a shame.

        I still have it installed but losing my save about two hours in just killed it.

      3. Kdansky says:

        While I think Dead space is utterly horrible due to its controls that are beyond workable (on the PC), Dead Space Extraction is a great title. But then again, rail shooters with proper controls (the wii remote) are great and incredibly rare, so it’s good because there is no competition. There are so few railshooters on the Wii, it’s not even funny. Why, Nintendo, why?! You have made the perfect controls for it, and then you use them only for inane frenzied shaking?

  3. Dev Null says:

    Wow. Is that what Quicktime events are like? Really?

    I’m in the same boat you were in in the 90’s – never played console games, not out of some deep-seated religiopassion, but just because I never have. So I’ve always just sort of glazed over when people rant about Quicktime events, and assumed that it was something like the dialogue options in an RPG, badly designed and with a short timer. But its really like Silent Hill 2 suddenly breaking into a rousing round of Dance Revolution with a 100% success threshold, no pattern, and no relevance to the rest of the game? I’m…stunned. There’s a way to make a game good enough that you’ll voluntarily put up with that?

    Do they rip them out of PC ports? Or have I just never played a PC game that uses them?

    1. Shamus says:

      Resident Evil 5 PC has them.

      Quicktime events + mappable keyboard keys = MADNESS!

      I actually had to lay out my keys according to the needs of the QT events, not according to how the make sense to me. And fluttering a button in the typing position HURTS.

      1. Warwick says:

        You shouldn’t try Resident Evil 4 for the pc then. No mouse support at all and when it flashes the QTE buttons it either shows a rectangle or circle (in the style of the PS2 controller) and a number and you had to memorise which number corresponded to which key.

    2. krellen says:

      God of War’s Quick-Times are good enough that they don’t really detract from the game. Of course, this fact made it so that every game designer since has thought QTE was the source of God of War’s success and thus they must be included to have a Good Game.

      Someone needs to teach these people the “correlation is not causation” mantra.

      1. Steve Burnap says:

        As I mentioned below, God of War was one of the first console games I tried, and the quicktime events were hard enough to make me give up. God of War QTEs are great for an experienced console gamer (as I eventually become) but not so hot for someone new.

        1. krellen says:

          God of War was the second game I bought for my PS2 (that I bought only 5 years ago, long into its life), after a long stint of non-console gaming from 1995 on. Ten years’ rust didn’t slow me down.

        2. Veloxyll says:

          I still fail QTEs in God of war regularly. I find that if you have to think about what button to press, you’ll fail. If you’re new to the controllers (which I still am after a week of casual playing) QTEs will be the bane of your existence
          And don’t even get me started on the twirly Gorgon QTEs >.<

          I mean, getting a combo off is pretty cool. QTEs are just lame, after failing a few they just feel like you avoided something bad rather than did something cool.

          1. rayen says:

            QTEs are my main problem with god of war. besides slaughtering greek mythology (something i hold sacred (well not religiously sacred, but like really good stories(like LotR is to some))) the endless QTEs, something i can actually do really well, made combo attacks and chains and stuff just too easy and boring. I literally fell asleep playing god of war.

          2. Nyaz says:

            Argh, the gorgon QTE was just horribly annoying. After realizing I only managed it 50% of the time, I just ignored it and beat the bastards to death with the twirly-chain-swords-of-death instead.

  4. Jarenth says:

    Shamus, Shamus, Shamus.

    If the yelling doesn’t work, it just means you’re not yelling hard enough.

    Also, the Gamecube controller was awesome. This is fact.

    1. Blake says:

      Most comfortable controller EVAR!
      Most useful overall I’d give to the 360 controller as for games that need 4 shoulder buttons the 360 has the best configuration.

    2. Syal says:

      It’s possible you’re also yelling in the wrong language. They’re in Africa, aren’t they? Try an African language.

      I’ve always liked the N64 controller, with the Z-trigger and the completely superfluous third handhold. That was a controller that refused to be bound by trappings like “efficiency”.

      1. LafinJack says:

        Ooh, you should try playing Goldeneye with two controllers, one hand on each Z section and your thumbs on each T-hat. So much more fun to play, so much more superfluous!

        1. Syal says:

          Plus you can kill people in cutscenes!

          That setup turned Natalya into Kenny.

    3. Wil K. says:

      The Gamecube controller is, hands-down, the best controller I have ever used. It transforms the the N64 controller with its quirkiness into a living extension of your hand.

      Then again, maybe it’s just because I’ve always hated using the PS-style controller.

    4. Nyaz says:

      Maybe this is what the Kinect is supposed to solve.

      “Xbox! SHOOT!”

      1. Sumanai says:

        I know this is 5-6 days late, but:
        The kinect is supposed to turn the 360 into a Pokemon?

  5. Steve Burnap says:

    I also missed the console thing until I got a PS3 about three years ago. One of the first games I played was God of War, and I found it nearly impossible because I could never remember which button was X and which was Square. I basically gave up on the game half way through.

    A year later, with a lot more PS3 experience under my belt, I went back and had little troubles with sections that caused me bits the first time. Quicktime events are particularly bad for new users.

    On the other hand, more traditional games, like Half-life, Oblivion, etc. were a lot easier to just pick up and play, though it did take a little while to become at all accurate with the analog stick.

    1. Nick Bell says:

      The need to identify buttons by name is a good point. Even to someone who has made the PC->console jump with the N64, I still get stuck trying to find the X button. There is simply no context for that skill outside of the QTE events. In general gameplay, the button isn’t “X”, its reload.

      The worst is the fact that Microsoft thought they’d be cute and put their X button somewhere else than Sony. I understand the need to be different. But they should have used all new button labels or kept the one overlap in the same spot.

      Aside: Yes I know that the Xbox uses the letters and Sony uses shapes, so technically they aren’t the same. Doesn’t change the practical outcome.

      1. Blake says:

        The N64 controller actually did something very right with the 4 C buttons.
        Perhaps they should instead of being A/X, B/O, X/□, Y/∆ they should just be all one colour and be up, down, left and right arrows.
        Would be much much easier for anyone to figure out which is which and woudln’t hurt in any way.

      2. Ranneko says:

        Even worse than that, Microsoft decided to use the same AB XY as Nintendo, but put them in the opposite order. Instead of Nintendo’s clockwise XABY, you have YBAX on a 360 controller.

        It was really irritating going from my DS based mental map to the 360 and hitting X when I meant to hit Y and B when I meant to hit A.

        1. Kane says:

          I don’t really have any trouble going between Xbox and playstation set-ups, but somehow the Xbox to DS always gets me.

          And eh, Nintendo didn’t use XABY face buttons before the DS and the Xbox came before that. So, sorry bud, can’t complain to microsoft about that one *shrug*

          1. Dave says:

            I assume that by this comment you’re simply young and ignorant. The Nintendo DS control scheme is essentially a replica of the SNES controller, which had 4 face buttons and two shoulder buttons. It was released in 1990 in Japan, 11 years before the Xbox.

          2. Syal says:

            Before this comment, it hadn’t occurred to me that some people were unfamiliar with the old SNES controller. I mostly play Playstation games, but I always refer to the buttons as A, B, Y, and X.

            Now I feel old, and elite.

            1. Dave says:

              Yeah, after posting about this my wife and I were talking and it was really striking to think that an average college sophomore or junior these days probably first started playing video games on a Playstation, Playstation 2, or XBox. I remember being a kid and having trouble playing Pacman on the Atari and how excited I was to play Super Mario Brothers when I got my NES. Hell, for that matter I remember the original Mario Brothers before they became Super.

        2. f_t_r says:

          I just look at the colours, much easier to remember

      3. Gale says:

        “The worst is the fact that Microsoft thought they'd be cute and put their X button somewhere else than Sony. I understand the need to be different. But they should have used all new button labels or kept the one overlap in the same spot.”
        Well, uh… No? They weren’t following Sony’s button convention with the X button. Setting four face buttons marked ABXY in a cross was used by the SNES. So, like Ranneko mentioned, Microsoft “thought they’d be cute” and shifted around the letter buttons from what Nintendo’s setup was. Complain that Sony put the X button on the bottom of the cross with the Playstation, rather than the top like people were used to.

        1. The Scarlet Mathematician says:

          What I find funny about the Playstation controller is this: In Japan, a circle is used like a check-mark to indicate “correctness.” So lots of Japanese games used circle as their confirm button. Meanwhile, in the states, developers were using the X button as the confirm button. So, when games get localized, some publishers swap the circle and x buttons, and some don’t.

          My point? Sony’s controller isn’t even intra-platform consistent.

          1. Lambach says:

            Always takes me several hours to get used to playing FFT or Metal Gear Solid because of this.

  6. Dark says:

    I actually prefer 4 over 5 because of the fact that it is campy at times. The dialogue between Leon and Mr. Napoleon was pretty funny. Much better then Chris Redfield just shouting about Jill every cut scene.

  7. Kameron says:

    I only ever played the first two Resident Evils. I actually played RE2 first, on the PC, and the original RE when it was re-released on GameCube. They were my first exposure to survival horror and I liked them. Sounds like I’m fortunate I stopped following the series after that.

  8. PurePareidolia says:

    Oh come on, you think the gamecube RE4 controls are bad. Try playing it on PC where without mods, the quicktime events take the form of “press button 1 + button 3 not do die”. You can’t pause to check what button is which, the only way to find out is checking the bindings, but that won’t help because there’s still a half second delay as you have to translate “button 1” to “shift” or whatever it was.

    I got it as part of a bundle with Dark messiah after seeing it’s near-perfect metacritic score. I couldn’t get past the first Indiana Jones boulder run for about half an hour, then Once I finally did I got bored, to stop playing and never picked it up again.

    Truely the worst port I’ve ever seen. The only one that comes close is The Force Unleashed which weighs in at 30 gigs because they included five localizations worth of high-def FMVs and other forms of massive data redundancy. But at least I could play that.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Ugh! Really??

      You’d think it wouldn’t be that hard to get the game to translate the message to reflect your actual bindings (not sure how much it would help, but still….)

      1. Ranneko says:

        It is always annoyingly stupid when PC games don’t do this.

        You have remappable controls, the game has to know what button is associated with jump, why don’t you call a function to get that information when you are displaying a prompt or hint, rather than telling me to use spacebar?

  9. OEP says:

    RE4 is the best of the franchise, imo. It has all the wonky silliness of the originals, all of the mood and atmosphere, and a much better over the shoulder perspective for shooting.

    I have to agree that quicktime events as they are done in RE4/5 are an abomination.

    Having to redo the knife fight over and over really detracted from my enjoyment. And I didn’t feel any sense of accomplishment.

  10. JKjoker says:

    imho RE4 is superior to RE5 in everything except graphics (its close tho) and the pc port (which RE4 is horrible while RE5’s port is just slightly bad)

    i also felt more comfortable playing as Leon than Cris

    i did replay RE4 in professional and had a pretty good time, i regretted not being able to use the special unlocked weapons during this play tho something they did fix in RE5

    however i tried to replay RE5, and i made the mistake of chosing to do it as Sheva, the stupid hand switching filled me with so much RAGE (if you are going to go lefthanded on me at least give me an option to switch back to Cris jeez, or maybe there is one and i didnt see it, the options are really all over the place in that port its like they tried to obfuscate everything), i finally gave up and uninstalled it

  11. I have always preferred the silent hill games to the resident evil games. And SH2 is probably my favorite of all of them (thus far). I think it’s the only one to really capture the same feeling of “oh jesus what was that noise, I can’t see I can’t see I CANT SEE” that the first one had.

    Some more games that you probably missed out on that you should really try to find:

    Parasite Eve 1 and 2
    Twisted Metal series
    Legacy of Kain series

    1. Felblood says:

      Most of the Legacy of Kain series got PC ports, which are also worth digging up.

      Stay away from the torrents on this one, even if you are susceptible to temptation. Most rips of this game are missing the awesome (and sometimes awesomely horrible) voice acting that made the series worth finding in the first place. How did people survive before high-speed internet?

      1. That’s true, but I only ever played the first one on PC and I found the console version to be better so i didn’t bring it up. Its quite possible (and probable) that the later PC ports were superior. I don’t know. I don’t even own a console anymore so what do I know.

        What I do know is that Simon Templeman is what made Kain awesome.

  12. ccesarano says:

    Quick Time Events were the only thing about RE4 that I hated.

    They also seem to be the only thing other developers are copying. In fact, instead of having more of the open-ended environments like the best parts of RE4, RE5 decided they needed more quick time events with even more button pressing precision.

    Isn’t this industry great?

  13. kasper says:

    allright, this might be off topic, I don’t care. Anyone who does not like rpgs which revolve around the combat mechanics and have a few flaws stop reading now. Shamus. I invite you to play the persona (and i mean 3 and 4, not the wreck that was 2 or the hard to see original) series. It’s obnoxious at times, but you’ve proven to me with this post that you can handle it. If you can look past it’s flaws it’s got one of the best story exposition mechanics i know of (if there even is such a thing) rewarding you for exploring the story with gameplay benefits (imagine that) A combat system to say WOW! to, and well, basically thats it, i couldnt complete my trifecta. Still it’s awesome. try it out (it’s for ps2, if you don’t have that, i’d consider getting a secondhand for 60 bucks or something, it’s worth it IMO)

    That aside. I don’t know anything about the RE series, and judging by this post, I’m glad I don’t. Playing a good online shooter with friends is one thing, playing a bad single layer shooter… not my piece of pie

    1. JKjoker says:

      both persona 3 and 4 work perfectly at full speed in pcsx2 (the ps2 emu) with a medium range core 2 duo or higher (i say it first hand, i finished them both with the emu), no need for a ps2

      and everyone appreciates the addition of savestates in the emu

    2. DKellis says:

      Persona 1 is now available on the PSP (with an updated translation, no less), and it really shows its “Shin Megami Tensei WITH TAROT” roots.

      Having said that, I’m still partial to Persona 3 and 4, the latter more than the former. (Persona 2 had the problem of being released as two games, and the first one, Innocent Sin, never got released officially outside Japan, making Eternal Punishment more than a little confusing.)

      The flawed parts of P3/4 are as follows:

      – The battles are much more tactical than in, say, the Final Fantasy games. While this isn’t bad as such, since it requires you to use status effects and enemy weaknesses, it does mean that in the early game, it’s possible to get insta-KOed by enemies with insta-kill spells (Hama and Mudo), presumably because this is what Atlus thinks “tactical” means. If the main character dies, it’s game over, even if everyone else is untouched. (I suppose savestates in emulators solves this problem, as does starting in Easy Mode, which gives you ten continues.)

      – P3-specific: in P3 and P3FES, you cannot control your party members directly, leading to them doing stupid stuff quite often if you haven’t set up your party tactics just right. The option to directly control your party members was added in P4, and in P3P (the PSP version of P3).

      – To get to the point where you can fully control your character takes a few hours. This is not an exaggeration. Everything at the beginning is an in-game cutscene (where you can advance the dialogue and even pick dialogue options), or where you can run around a limited area which usually comprises of the savepoint and a “continue the game here” location. The game will tell you when you are free to do what you want to do. If you hate overly-long intros to games, P3 and P4 are not for you.

      – It’s a very Japanese-anime aesthetic. This is not a bad part to me, and indeed I love it, but if you don’t like anime, you probably won’t like the Persona games. Weirdly, Atlus has a strange tendency to translate one Japanese-honorific thing (“Yukari-cchi”) to another Japanese-honorific thing (“Yuka-tan”).

      – English voice-acting is… well, in P3 it’s mostly okay with a few exceptions, but those exceptions are glaring. P4 is actually quite well done.

      – Persona fusion skill shuffling. Expect to spend hours on this.

      Other than that, they’re pretty good games.

  14. WILL says:

    This is why I prefer Dead Space to Resident Evil any day.

    No annoying protagonist, an actually decent sci-fi setting and storyline plus controls that don’t feel like you’re controlling a tank. Also, the only QTE’s in the game are all mapped to the same button and are basically button mashing (not as bad as it sounds), which is much better than pressing an arbitrary button to not die.

    Hell, it even had some pretty cool and original parts like zero-g, focusing on dismemberment, those tentacle segments (which are absolutely terrifying the first time around), etc…

    The enemies are much creepier too. There’s some disturbing imagery in that game.

    1. The Scarlet Mathematician says:

      While I admit that the gameplay design is less cluttered, the setting of Dead Space always felt like it was trying too hard to be as good as System Shock.

      And, of course, wasn’t.

  15. Is there a cheat code that lets you by-pass the QTEs?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yes.You need to press in the span of 10 seconds this combination:X,X,X,down,left+Y,A,right,X+B,Y,up+X,down+A,B,A,B,B,X.But if you mess it up the first time,the second time the combination is X,X,X,down,left+Y,A,up,X+B,Y,up+B,down+X,B,A,B,B,X.However,the code works only for the quick time events that come in the nex 67 seconds.After that,you need to reenter it.

  16. John says:

    I fairly enjoyed RE5 for the tension the game has. It was never thrilling, or exciting but always pretty tense. And yes the cutscenes are amazingly stupid, even if pretty well rendered. It does undercut a lot of your very hard work when you slaughter your way through a level only to turn into an idiot who can’t pull the trigger at the end of it a cutscene.

    Still I had fun with it and I’d do it again co-op, but I never tried.

    Oh yes, and Sheva is hot.

    1. JKjoker says:

      you still care she is hot after what she puts you though in the last battle ?

      even before that point i just wanted her to die, now i want her to die painfully and horribly

      1. someguy says:

        hint: there’s one of those Quicktime Events (I believe that’s what they are called) which can shorten the whole thing :D

        1. JKjoker says:

          i dont remember it being “long” i just remember her dying again and again and again and again and again and again, i still dont know how she manages to get thrown into the lava, the boss never killed me that way, also she blocked my way a few times when i was about to get shot causing me to die

          1. The final battle wasn’t that bad, but I was sorely tempted to give up at the first Wesker fight, where the two of you actually split up, but Sheva still has a health bar and can (and will repeatedly) die without you having any control over what happens. I eventually got through that bit by hiding in a corner somewhere and mashing the “Get over here, you idiot!” button until Wesker got bored and went home.

            If they must have an AI companion, they should make it so that if Sheva loses health she gets knocked out until the end of the battle and you have to survive on your own. Tying her survival to your own just turns the whole game into one big escort mission, and everyone loves those, right?

  17. acronix says:

    The only game I played that had Quick Death Time Events was Ninja Blade, whose plot was so cliché I knew what would happen in the next ten minutes. The thing that game did right was taking away the “press X not to die”(except for the ones mid boss-fights), but instead would rewind a few button presses before. Still, immersion breaking, but a lot less troublesome than having to replay the last 15 minutes of play.

  18. Ramsus says:

    I still find quicktime events to be annoying. I haven’t played more than a bit of the God of War games because of this. I just feel like I’m being ripped off and not being given the boss fight I deserve so that instead I can see “super awesome moves” during my fight with it. I could just wait for after as they’re just going to show me more of those after I beat it anyway. Of course saying “I” beat it feels like a lie since all I did for the most part was press some random buttons so that I could watch the cutscene man beat it for me.

    I think overall I preferred RE5 to 4 as instead of having an escort quest for about half the game I had backup that could shoot at the things that the camera angles prevented me from seeing in time. Though I also probably had a different experience as I played the whole game through in Co-op so my Sheva was only as useless as the person next to me and I could actually yell at them and get a response when they did something dumb.

    1. Robyrt says:

      The first boss of each God of War game is essentially a tutorial, who can be beaten with nothing but QTEs, blocking, and the Square button. Later on, your battles get much more involved and satisfying.

  19. rofltehcat says:

    I also hate quicktime events. In all games.
    But I even played a strange dragonball game on a SNES emulator. The game was pretty much nothing but quicktime events. The enemy uses X as his next attack? Press X to block! Then hit any button to attack.

    QTEs kinda feel like Stone Paper Scissors, only they are more frustrating and the computer cheats.

  20. someguy says:

    Hah, I’m also on my 2nd playthrough of RE5… Chris wearing his Apocalypse suit now – seems more fitting. Playing it on the PC, though – and I was in fact wondering how you, Shamus, are able to stand the QTEs. I can barely -_- “Wait, what, G+R? Just let me mov… oh.”

    As for the comic: Word! As I have stated elsewhere around here, I am somewhat able to blind out a stupid story, but all. those. gun pointing moments?! (Also I was quite pissed about having to play a sluggish Tomb Raider for some time…)

    Other than that…, well, see above: “2nd playthrough” And Sheva is hot, yes :)

    edited to add: “Give me an egg!”

  21. X2-Eliah says:

    I wonder if perhaps this direction of games being all about ‘realism’, ‘seriousness’ and ‘grittiness’ is flawed in it’s basics.

    Consider – Shamus enjoys this game because he doesn’t take it seriously. Moreover, tons of people likes World of Goo (for example) as it had loads of humour and fun, same goes for GalCiv2’s AI messages, same for GTA4 vs GTA3 era (or GTA4-the ballad of gay tony) , etc. etc. ad nauseum.

    Maybe games should really regain their focus on, you know, fun?

    1. Yar Kramer says:

      You said it! The problem is that the actual decisions about that are being made by the idiot boards of directors who think that each pirated copy is a lost sale they would have gotten if they had more strict DRM. They think that “more realistic” and “has a single element borrowed from a more popular game” does translate directly to “more fun.”

  22. Josh R says:

    My copy of RE4 didn’t even tell me what buttons corresponded to the screen asking for numberpad buttons.
    I didn’t play it for very long.

    1. someguy says:

      I go as far as to say, the PC porting of RE4 as initially released was one of the (2?) biggest impertinences I have ever seen in maybe not only games, but software in general.

  23. angelofrawr says:

    Where did quicktime events come from? I remember first seeing them in a bad shooter series (like time crisis but worse) back in the late 90s, where your character would be running down a hallway and it’d say something like PRESS START or SHOOT HERE fairly randomly, but instead of failing the mission if you messed up you’d just have another fight/slightly changed story. I thought that was kinda cool – your character actually mimicked your reaction time and if you came around that corner too fast you’d actually get clocked in the head with a fire extinguisher. Anyone know what game this might have been? The only other story elements I remember is that you were running through a hotel trying to save some sort of hostage, and there were about three varieties of enemies on the screen.

    1. The Scarlet Mathematician says:

      Quick-time Events started (and got their name) from Shenmue. They were popularized by God of War, however.

      1. angelofrawr says:

        Mmmm maybe for consoles but I swear I saw them first in an arcade. Then again my memories so hazy back then who knows.
        I actually like the GoW events, just cus they’re easily triggerable and cinematic, and you always know whats coming.

  24. Soylent Dave says:

    After I got used to the dramatic change in gameplay between the previous Resident Evil games and RE4, I quite enjoyed that instalment.

    RE5, on the other hand, infuriated me like few other games ever have. I think transforming the game into a colossal escort mission – albeit one where the character you’re escorting burns ammunition at an astonishing rate if you’re foolish enough to give her free rein – was perhaps not a great idea by the developers.

    As for the story – no Resident Evil game has had anything other than a ridiculous story. They tend to vary a bit when it comes to creating atmospheric setpieces, but the story that ties these together is invariably bizarre, embarrassing, peculiar or all of the above (which can possibly be summarised as ‘Japanese’).

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