I'll do my best to write pieces on stuff other than Resident Evil 4. No promises, though.
When I first saw Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, I absolutely adored it. I hadn’t actually dated any human being at this point, like any self-respecting antisocial misanthropic middle/high school mankin, but I fell in and fell in hard with the ethos and romantic message of the film, especially the anti-hero characterization of the titular Scott Pilgrim. Years later, and in the context of the graphic novels and culture as a whole, the film does not appear in such a rosy light.
Arby ‘n the Chief, more than ever, strikes me as an artifact of its time—late ‘00s Xbox Live culture—and as created by a man who is smarter than he is capable of articulating at the time as he experiences growing pains both as a director and as an early adult in his 20s. And those growing pains—that fuzzy grey area between childhood and adulthood, and all the insecurity and uncertainty that comes with that—those are what give the show its surprisingly resonant emotional core and its funniest, most endearing moments, what led to its widespread success.
Asking for Call of Duty to have a different setting is like asking for a different wallpaper for your prison cell. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but it would be naive to think it’ll help you get out. And a Call of Duty in space is still Call of Duty.
In the seemingly endless waking nightmare that is our existence with the Star Wars and Marvel “Cinematic Universes,” we have been treated to a lot, a lot of talking about Star Wars, but it’s not exactly a critical discourse. It’s more akin to a nonstop ejaculation from—what I can only assume Disney’s horde of marketing people would condescendingly refer to as—the “enthusiast” demographic.
Saints Row: The Third should be, by all accounts, an unremarkable game. Most everything about it is “competent” and nothing more. The gameplay, running around and shooting with no cover, is fine. The missions are fine. The open world is mostly lifeless and small. Yet it was easily one of my favorite games of 2011, one that I plugged around 100 hours into over multiple playthroughs, and the entry of the Saints Row franchise that put the series on the map as more than a Grand Theft Auto clone. Why? What is so damn special about this also-ran open world crime game?
Upon finishing Resident Evil 7 on my third sitting in a scant seven and a half hours, my first thought was, "What now?" Well, fine, it wasn’t quite that philosophical—I laughed about Chris Redfield’s new boy-band-Ryan-Gosling-in-The-Notebook-ass-face and wondered aloud why the hell he was working for Umbrella now (the series’ stock Evil Corporation.) Still, despite the ending’s seeming dogged determination to wrap every story thread up with as pretty a bow as possible, I left feeling rather unresolved on the future of the series.
For the next few days, I’m going to be playing Resident Evil 7 every day and writing my impressions and thoughts as I go. Obviously, what I write will be affected by the gameplay of the day, but I’ll also expand the scope of my writing from time to time as needed. For this introduction and first piece, it is clearly such a time.
I have a weird relationship with the Resident Evil series. I started with Resident Evil 4 on the Wii in middle school, at a time when I was definitely unprepared for the ceaseless tension and difficulty in the gameplay. Yet, despite leaving every play session as an emotionally exhausted husk, despite having to pause the game and organize the inventory every few seconds to give myself time to breathe, there was something perversely compelling about the experience.