NirdBerd / Member

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NirdBerd Blog

Is it a backlog? Or is it a catalog?

So I'm not at work today because I have a fever and a heavy headache, and speaking to customers when you have a fever and a heavy headache is not the best idea (but playing games and blogging on Gamespot is?), so I stayed home...

I started using a website called Backloggery the beginning of this year, as I heard people use it to work on their backlogs or get motivated, or something.

I look at my shelf of games and I think; "I keep buying games but I have all these to play? But I'm not in the mood for _____ or _____" sometimes I buy a game because the price is good, the novelty of finally owning it, or any reason other than wanting to play it instantly.

You get around to it eventually, but the problem I have is how derogatory the term 'backlog' is used for a library of endless entertainment.

What sort of obligation does one have to complete x amount of games they have lying around? I'd say about half of the games in my backlog are probably mediocre experiences that are the probable reason why they were left on the shelf anyway, or just bec ause I played a better game, and got addicted to that, and by the time I finished that I bought another addicting game, etc etc.

A shelf full of 100, 500, or 1000 unplayable games shouldn't be considered a 'backlog' but instead a 'catalog', a library of games to choose from at your leisure, if you don't feel like playing it, then who gives a ****? If you're genuinely missing out on a good experience, research the game if you're skeptical about wasting your time, or wait for someone else to hear that you haven't beat the game yet and get all aggro on you, or simply suck it up and try to play it, and if you don't like it, you don't, if you're not into it, you're not.

I have over 100 unfinished games, but it doesn't bother me. It's a fact that I will never beat every single game and that's nothing to do with time, a lot of the games are either bad or I can't get into, or I just bought for the novelty of having it/another copy/version etc. Collecting games is fun, just as much as playing them to be honest.

I myself have a backloggery account, but I use it primarily to keep track of the games that I own, because I admittedly overlook a lot of good games in my collection when I previously used to artificially attempt to break down my 'backlog' by beating games that I wasn't even enjoying, when I could just be playing games I love at my own pace. If you're rushing through games, you're doing it wrong, but it took me a while to realise that myself..

Anyway.... games are a luxury, not work. Don't think about 'ways to reduce your backlog' but instead just play what you love. F*** everything else.

I'm currently playing through Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation (amazing game btw) and sometimes I play a burst of San Andreas when I want to relax, a game I've probably literally beat over 50 times, the game defined my teenage life (that and Half-Life 2 and it's source mods) and it still amazes me to this day. I could have been playing a bunch of other games instead of playing San Andreas 50 times, but I don't care...because I was having fun.

So don't worry about your backlog, and keep stacking up those new games on top of your current ones.

Resident Evil 6: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Resident Evil series is no stranger to any fan of the survival horror genre, and video games in general. The series has been a staple of the industry since it's debut on the PlayStation in 1996, and it's one of my personal all time favourite franchises. But with the release of Resident Evil 6, the hatred is more bitter than ever before. Resident Evil 5 and Operation Raccoon City certainly riled up a lot of people, but there is no doubt that this is the most polarising Resident Evil game to date.

I have had my copy since September 28th, so far I have amassed about 87 hours, having completed the game on all four difficulties, my first run being a Solo playthrough on Veteran difficulty, I have personally enjoyed the game, but, like everyone else, it does have it's problems, but not to the extent where most if not all mainstream reviewers have shot this game down and wrote it off completely.

Resident Evil 6 changes so much about the franchise that the differences between even this and Resident Evil 5 are night and day, and those differences are both good, bad, and terrible. I have defended this game on quite a lot of occasions, due to it received way too much hate than it truly deserves, because quite frankly, Resident Evil 6 is by no means a bad game...but it's not perfect either.

Resident Evil 6 features four campaigns, Leon, Chris, Jake and Ada. No one can argue that this game delivers a hell of a lot of content, with each campaign lasting approximately 5-6 hours long, Leon's campaign is slower paced, with zombies and a sort of more traditional Resident Evil 4 feel than the other campaigns. Chris and Jakes campaign are stuffed with action sequences, and it never really stops. Ada's also (sort of) leans towards a more Resident Evil 4ish feeling, and is probably my favourite campaign.

With the inclusion of these four different style campaigns, a lot of people have been saying that the series now suffers from an identity crisis, I'll be honest, it's painfully true. Eiichiro Sasaki, the director of Resident Evil 6, has attempted to respond to the cries of Resident Evil purists with Leon's campaign, and a dash of some segments from Ada's campaign, but this has left people questioning what anyone at Capcom thinks of the series anymore.

Resident Evil 6 is not the first game in the series to suffer from it's identity crisis with two different styles of gameplay. Revelations did the same thing, but it did it right.

I'm sure you are all aware of Capcom's ambition to captivate the demographic that Call of Duty appeals to, and that the survival horror genre is not profitable, and I can rant on all day at how ridiculously bull**** that is, but like anyone else, it's pretty damn obvious: Capcom is simply wrong. They are an additional developer that now want to live in Call of Duty's shadow by creating an action oriented game simply for the purpose of luring in that audience, it's a bad move all around, and the only reason Capcom says survival horror is not profitable is simply, and only because they look over to Call of Duty's sales and think "Wow! That game is doing really well, look at the sales figures! I guess nobody likes our game!"

Capcom have pretty much insulted us as a fanbase by thinking we are only into Call of Duty. Sure, I love Call of Duty too, but that does not mean I am only into action games, or Call of Duty games, and Capcom are mind numbingly ignorant to think that we as gamers are so simple minded and ignorant as to only enjoy one game. The fans of Resident Evil are the reason why the franchise has sustained itself through our own loyalty and love for the series, and they turn a blind eye to us for audiences that are into Call of Duty.

But ironically, this does not make Resident Evil 6 a bad game. I do not support the idea of Resident Evil being an action oriented game for the sole reason of bringing in the Call of Duty crowd, but it's still a decent game, it just makes some stupid decisions. This is where 'the ugly' comes into play, where the IDEA behind Resident Evil 6 is crippling the name. While Capcom try to appease fans of Call of Duty with this game, it doesn't really bear any resemblence to CoD in any sort of way, it just has more action.

New gameplay mechanics have been introduced in Resident Evil 6, such as dodging/rolling, sliding, a combat meter, counter-attacking and a skill system. These are additions that I like, and made the gameplay extremely enjoyable for me. This is why I like Resident Evil 6, the gameplay mechanics itself are very refined and the game is extremely amusing to play. In retrospect, I would not mind or care if these mechanics were in RE4, 5 or Revelations.

The new dodging mechanics excel in a way that you are in more control than ever. In Resident Evil 4 for example, fighting Verdugo, you had to rely on your own reaction to a QTE appearing on the screen to dodge him, in Resident Evil 6, you can freely decide how you will approach an enemy. Even with counterattacking a zombie or bloodshot that is pouncing you requires a very fast reaction when you can otherwise dodge or shoot them anyway (counter-attacking is also an amusing and satisfying gameplay element in RE6).

The inventory system in RE6 is no longer an inventory system, and is something more like Resident Evil: Revelations, except without the weapon box, you have a set amount of spaces that limit the amount of ammo, grenades and herbs you can carry. You can store the herbs in your tablet case to increase inventory space, but I use the term 'inventory system' very loosely, as in this game and Revelations, there pretty much isn't one anymore. You have 'inventory' just not something that you specifically need to manage every 15-20 minutes like in the previous RE games.

For weaponry, you have a predetermined amount of slots for guns, so you will never have to drop a gun in favour for another, you can just pick up as much as the game offers you. Using the weapons themselves is very responsive and very satisfactory to use, and as I said before, I'll say it again, the gameplay is very refined and because of this, it makes Resident Evil 6 a charm to play. You can't upgrade weapons, which I think is personally a good thing, and that step back to what the older REs had done is a step forward in my book. It also means you won't be blowing away enemies instantly like you could with fully upgpraded weapons in RE4 and 5. So I am pleased with the exclusion of upgradable weapons.

However, the exclusion of upgradable weapons meant the newly included skill system. The skill system is a nice addition to the game, as it adds a lot of variety to your experience. For example: Playing on Professional difficulty with Partner A.I. amendmends like 'Lone Wolf' in which your partner does not zap towards you to free you from an enemy, or to save you from dying mode. Or if you would like to play offensively or defensively, there are skills that tailor to a suggested playstyle. However I tilted my head ever so slightly when I realised you can have 8 different skill sets at any time, and you can activate a new one while deactivating your current skill set on the fly, mid game, which should not be allowed IMO as it deteriorates the strategy. But that's just a very minor nitpick as I do have the free will to just, you know, not do it.

These new mechanics however are not what hinders the experience of RE6 itself by turning it into a full fledged action title, it's our new enemy: J'avo.

While I don't really give a damn about gun-toting J'avo, since we've seen infected holding guns since the Plagas-Militia in Resident Evil 4 and 5, in 4 and 5 they were minute, and only appearing at the end chapters of the game, J'avo now wield weapons as a mandatory element in Chris', Jake's and Ada's campaign. For added annoyances, getting hit by either a high caliber weapon or absorbing loads of bullets, you eventually get stunned and fall over, so it's advised to take cover or dodge a lot in their campaigns.

I can argue that J'avo are armed and capable of using firearms because of the advancement and enhancements of viruses and the B.O.Ws they create, the initial reason why Umbrella even existed as a pharmaceutical company was to create the most advanced soldiers ever, I personally do not mind the gun wielding J'avo. This is very logical, but you can also argue that Capcom just shoe horned gun wielding enemies into the game because of their dream to captivate the Call of Duty audience, which would mean taking ideas from that game itself. Heck, I've even heard people relating the snow mobile escape sequence in Jake's campaign to the likes of Modern Warfare 2's 'Cliffhanger' mission. But I don't really know what to say on that part except "whatever", it only lasts 2 minutes.

Resident Evil retains it's traditional feel with absolutely tremendous and jaw dropping boss and enemy designs (just play the end of Leon and Chris' campaigns), and the bosses in Resident Evil have always been an amazing part of the series and has thankfully never changed, it has in fact, gotten better. The voice acting and cutscenes are at their peak and are also extremely satisfying, I'm not going to bother spoiling the game, but a lot of scenes are very well directed and are very immersive.

I have but one, very last problem to address with this game. While the campaigns themselves are long. Looking at them individually, they rush way too much sequences and dive head first into the plot without any real prologue/opening and a serious lack of connectives.

In Resident Evil 4 and 5, you actually made your way throughout the entire game by yourself, with 1 cutscene bridging each gap between the village, the castle and then the island. In Resident Evil 6, you are hunting the villain down by Chapter 3, and it just feels very rushed, those who have played and completed all campaigns in RE6 should know what I mean. Especially with something like Leon or Jake's ridiculously shoe-horned and rushed endings, that tell you completely nothing about the game, and are in no way satisfying like RE4 and 5's endings were.

Anyway, regarding the plot holes and rushed story, let's [firstly] talk about Jake's campaign. Minor spoilers, so read at your own risk.

Between December 2012 and June 2013 in Jake's campaign, we are left with a massive gap of nothingness, what can be described as nothing more than a massive plot hole, and hey, plot holes are everywhere in Resident Evil 6, but I'll list those in a second.

So when you Jake and Sherry are knocked out by Ustanak and taken into custody to a facility in Langshiang, China, the scene just skips 6 months later to Jake suddenly deciding that he doesn't want to be at the facility anymore. Okay, it's not like I'm expecting cutscenes spanning 6 months of Jake's life to establish itself in the game, but I'd like to know what the hell happened, instead of Jake and Sherry saying that they did "plenty" to them, with some half assed revelation about Jake learning who his father is.

Chris' campaign also begins in December 2012 aswell, but as a flashback in Chapter 2. The plotholes are all over the place in Chris' campaign, but most importantly, how Chris got away from Piers and decided to hide in a bar in Edonia for 6 months, and how Piers found him, instead we are shown a cutscene of them sitting at a bar together, with Chris leaning at the bar, a saddened drunkard with no recollection of his history (was it because of the Chrysalid that knocked him the **** out in December 2012?)

Also, Leon's campagin begins with him at Tall Oaks university, he obviously got there while everything was honkey dorey and no one was infected, because when they departed the underground in Chapter 1, everything was a ****storm, with the entirety of Tall Oaks being overrun with zombies, so what the hell happened when he got there? I would like to know, rather than the opening of Leon killing the president. Even Helena was flabbergasted and unable to comprehend what was happening, so everything certainly was sunshine and rainbows until they arrived on campus.

Without reading the archives and information in the special features section of Resident Evil 6, you will be missing a lot on the plot, Capcom also does a piss poor job of telling the story of Carla Radames, but it's not terribad enough to the point where you are constantly saying "Wait, what?" "Huh?", this is also because Capcom spoiled a lot of the story by revealing the villains of Resident Evil 6, and then essentially ruining the plot in Ada's campaign by revealing that she appears as the 4th campaign.

When the Resident Evil 5 trailers were around, you did not see an abundance of trailers of Wesker and Jill. In fact, no one knew Jill was even in the game until her mask was shot off. Resident Evil 6 happily establishes the villains by showing off, and talking way too much about Ustanak, Derek Simmons and Carla Radames.

End spoilers

After all of this talking, you probably think I hate the game, but I don't. Capcom just got way too excited with the advertising for this game and ended up revealing too much things, while there is tons of content to enjoy, Capcom essentially revealed 80% of the game through the trailers. And that is something that would disappoint anyone with any game.

Resident Evil 6 is a great game, very enjoyable and amusing to play, but the integrity of the campaigns dies out a lot faster than any other flagship RE title, it's definitely the worst game in the main series (I can't imagine saying RE Zero, 1, 2, 3, CV:X, 4, 5 or Revelations are better than this game), but to call it the 'worst' is too derogatory for what is a very good game.

I love Resident Evil 6, but because of the existence of 4 campaigns to appease the split groups of fans of the series, you are ultimately getting a lesser quality experience than that of the whole story mode in Resident Evil 4 or 5, since they do rush themselves quite a bit.

I don't think I'll carry on playing Resident Evil 6 to the extent I played 5 or 4, because the campaigns are artificially shorter than they are your first time, not because you know what to do, but because the actual level design themselves, in which it jumps to conclusions too much, forces the game to 'get to the point' and ends up being a shorter experience.

I know I've missed a lot of other things that should be addressed in the game, but I just wanted to focus on the main campaign, rather than the excellent Mercenaries or the meh Agent Hunt, and I also wanted to address the things that no one else seems to, which are the true problems with Resident Evil 6, rather than 'mobility' or whatever being a problem with the game, because contrary to what everyone says, those are not the real problems with the game. They are just [your] personal nitpicks because the controls aren't bogged down like the older games.

A great game, but not a perfect one, and also definitely not deserving of the low scores anywhere. I would give it a 7/10 if I were to 'score' it. It's not a bad game, just short lived.