Wednesday, January 03, 2007

bought that an' never played it: against quiet desperation

Discontented with everyone, and discontented with myself, I realized my Dreamcast had accumulated much dust, disuse. I tossed down the last of the day's coffee and tore the lid off a half-gallon of diet, for buzz maintenance. Time for some play. State-of-the-art, turn-of-the-century play.

Due to ecstatic reviews, the immense power of branding, and my own intense affection for the films, I've managed to accumulate something like five Resident Evil games across three platforms. I have played zero Resident Evil games. I marshalled my resources, my sense of what's a sequel, what a remake, what a spinoff, and plumped for Code: Veronica.

An hour in, I was incredibly enthusiastic...and scared. Horror's a great genre for games--arguably even a better use of the medium than straight action--and this was adequately-done horror indeed. Scary, tense, compelling experience.

Two hours in, I was put off and alienated. The controls make simply walking around an empty room, a room wholly free of zombies, a colossal pain in the ass. Combine the difficulty of motion with the necessity of combat, and add zombies? My fear wasn't the fucking zombies, my fear was playing the game with the control scheme given.

Thought I should clear the palate with something brightly-colored and actiony. Maybe something with lots of button-mashing, maybe something with a polished control scheme... Lingered long over Zombie Revenge, then Space Channel 5, but settled for Marvel vs. Capcom 2. After all, I dropped nearly fifteen dollars on the title, tying it for third-largest Dreamcast expenditure--time to get my money's worth!

Wow. Big roster. Really big.

Man do I not know who any of these Capcom characters are. Or how to use them. This soundtrack is abysmal.

Wow. It's gonna be a while before I come back to this one single-player. Shoulda stuck with Soul Calibur.

Playing stuff I bought and never played, though, this is sorta fun. I should give Toy Commander another shot!

I will never beat Toy Commander. While I like it, kinda, I find it mind-flayingly hard. The controls are intensely sloppy (cocksucking analog stick), and that's a recipe for infinite frustration. It's pretty, though, and the sense of being toy-sized in big house is thoroughly enjoyable. Some missions are vague enough to let me just dick around and sightsee, but this'll pall soon, because there's no way I'm getting good enough at this mess to unlock much of the terrain...

By this time, I clearly needed a little infusion of successful play. Having a shit-thumbed night, though, so where I'm going to find that? Put in another couple hours of Evolution 2, an underrated little JRPG out of St!ng, who gave my beloved pink handheld the wonderful Riviera and the brittle, flinty, remote Yggdra Union. No matter how off I may be, I can wrestle through a turn-based, menu-driven combat system any time. Managed to advance the (fairly thin) plot a little, and snoozed through a boss battle I'd over-leveled for (not my fault: got lost in the dungeon). Right around here I noticed it was six in the damn' morning and opted for some sack time.

At least now I know my little 'Cast isn't lonesome. Next week maybe I can visit Ryo and Ulala for a few hours. I miss those guys.

1 Comments + Unabashed Criticism:

Blogger d.d. tinzeroes said...

"Some stuff is better than some other stuff" is engraved above the gates to the land of Reviewiera.

Sadly, sometimes (most of the time?) that stuff sucks.

But its still fucking better than that other stuff!

9:48 PM  

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