Resident Evil: The “Oh Shit” Factor

Hubby have I have great discussions, which just proves our chemistry is still there.  Yet another discussion about the direction of the Resident Evil game franchise… sexy, right? We’re both pretty much in agreement that although the newer, more action oriented gaming style of RE4, 5, and 6 is pretty cool, with the over-the-shoulder first person shooter point of view bringing you closer to the action, we both miss the atmosphere of the first few games in the series.  Especially if you played the remastered Game Cube version with the added content, you’d likely agree none of the subsequent games in the series can match the mystery and creepiness of feeling completely alone and small in that vast mansion.  As hubby and I discussed (again) the points in which the “new” games differ from the older ones in the series, that led to a discussion about the creatures of Resident Evil, and how the newer RE games seemed to rely more on the “gross-out factor,” rather than actual scariness.  

This segued into which creatures in the franchise had the “oh, shit” factor–that being, no matter what weapon you have in your hand, the presense of these particular creatures have the power to make you (or your character, rather) run the other way, keening

                             oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, ohshitohshitohshitohshit!

under your breath the whole way.  Hubby finds my reaction to these characters a ceaseless source of amusement.  He makes fun of me, and I laugh.  That’s the kind of relationship we have.

Here are a couple of my favorite/most hated Resident Evil baddies.

The Zombie Dobermans–

Admittedly, as the games keep getting revamped and the graphics keep getting better, the newer incarnations of the Resident Evil zombie dogs (“Ganado” dogs, or “Majini” dogs, or “J’avo” dogs) should be scarier than the originals… but they’re not.   The best I can figure is that it’s the selection of weapons and ammo you have access to…or rather, the lack thereof.  In the newer first person RE (4,5, & 6) games, you have access to weapons that are varied and up-gradable.  Rifles, Magnums, high-powered pistols, grenade launchers, laser rifles, mine dart throwers…  But in the original RE game, until you accidentally stumbled on the locations where the grenade launcher or magnum were stashed, all you had was a pistol and a shotgun. They had a limited range of motion, due in part to third person perspective, and, unless you were particularly judicious in your use of it, very little ammo.

When you heard the tell-tale clicking of little doggy feet, (or worse, they jumped through the window and surprised your ass, usually in a pack) you knew there was a good chance you were gonna die.  You could try to stand and fight, or you could haul ass in the other direction.  Personally, unless I had a grenade launcher or a shit-load of shotgun ammo, I hauled ass.  Cuz those little fuckers are hard to hit, and it seems to take a whole bunch of pistol shots to put one of those dogs down!

Does somebody want a Scooby Snack?

Does somebody want a Scooby Snack?

RE 5 "Adjule" dog

RE 5 “Adjule” dog

RE 4 "Colmillos" dog

RE 4 “Colmillos” dog

The Chainsaw “Guy”

There are several incarnations of  this particular adversary, and they appear in both RE 4 and RE5. There is the ganado man with the burlap sack over his face, and there are a few spots in the game where you encounter one or more of what I refer to colloquially as “chainsaw bitches.”  The latter are women with bandaged faces and homicidal tendencies.  Both are aggressive, quick, and both mean instant death if they get close enough to decapitate you.  When I hear the tell-tale sound of the chainsaw or the shriek of those harpy bitches, I run the other way… at least far enough so I safely can plug them with my Magnum and thus keep my head attached to my neck.

A chainsaw and a bad attitude...

A chainsaw and a bad attitude…

The first time I was decapitated, I was in shock for a few minutes afterwards.  It's not the kind of thing you forget.

The first time I was decapitated, I was in shock for a few minutes afterwards. It’s not the kind of thing you forget.

The Iron Maiden–

sub-species of the Regenerator from RE 4, the Iron Maiden is creepy as shit.  The tell-tale sound of its approach is a sort of mouth-breathing version of lamaze.  It sounds funny, but this dude is a creep.  He’s covered in spikes and if you give him half a chance, he’ll project his spikes out like some sort of deformed humanoid porcupine, and try to impale you on them.

Part of the problem with a Regenerator is that it’s a pain in the ass to kill.  As you may have intuited, if you shoot one, especially in the limbs, it generally recovers fairly quickly.   The trick to putting down a Regenerator is to kill the multiple parasites living within it’s body.  For this you need a special infrared rifle scope that allows you to see the Plagas hidden in the creature’s body.  It follows that you need the time and distance to use said rifle, and since there are usually four to five Plagas in a given Regenerator, when I hear them coming, I back the hell up!

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

Come 'ere and gimme a hug!

“Come ‘ere and gimme a hug!”

I got your hug right here, bitch!

“I got your hug right here, bitch!”

Well, there are several more scary and anxiety provoking enemies in the RE franchise, but these are the main ones that come to mind when I think of the “oh shit” factor.  My policy with these guys is usually run first, then shoot!

What are your favorite RE characters to hate?

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Resident Evil: Retribution– Please, no more!

*This article is a discussion and overview of the film series, and while plot points are not discussed in detail there may be a few small spoilers, so reader beware.

I think the moment the Resident Evil film franchise went downhill was the beginning of the third film.  As soon as Milla launched into that tired monologue about Umbrella, it should have been a clue that it was the beginning of the end for the film series.  When will filmmakers learn that just because something has worked well before does not mean it should be repeated, ad nauseam?

When the third film opened on a desolate post-apocalyptic world, devoid of not only most human life, but much plant-life an water too I think I knew we were in trouble.  When the writers of Resident Evil: Extinction dumped Alice (whose character has no origins in the game series, other then supposedly being modeled “after the strong women in the Resident Evil games”) into that barren, desert-like wasteland, they erased much of the human element from the series.  Still, they attempted to hold viewers’ interest by dropping Hollywood heavyweights like Ali Larter, Oded Fehr, and Iain Glen into roles that corresponded with more popular characters creatures from the video games series.  (I say “more” because Resident Evil: Apocalypse did include a few game characters/creatures, notably Jill Valentine and the bio-weapon, Nemesis.)  The refugees that banded together for survival under the guidance of Claire Redfield and Carlos Olivera were still enough of a “human” touch to hold the film together, but by the time the fourth live action film, Afterlife, came out, the series was slowly circling the drain.

All of the clones that Alice had rescued at the end of Extinction seemed destined for some great rising up, only to be killed off rather unceremoniously in the first ten minutes or so of Afterlife.  It seemed (to me anyway) like the writer Paul W. S. Anderson, set up a scenario at the end of the third film that he was not prepared to see through.  Ali Larter reprised her role as Claire Redfield and Wentworth Miller came on board as Chris Redfield.  Albert Wesker and an “evil” Jill Valentine also made an appearance, however even the star power and in-game references couldn’t totally stave off the film’s inevitable descent into ridiculousness.

Resident  Evil: Retribution, the series fifth film, was… well, it was a bomb.  Stale  references to previous films and seemingly hastily re-introduced (and almost equally hastily killed off) characters from previous films only seemed to highlight the faults of this film.  The human element, the one that is fairly important if you want your viewers to actually care about the characters or their fates, was too sorely lacking.  To further support my point, I’d have to say the most interesting part of this movie for me was the very beginning where the family wakes up to a seemingly normal, pre-apocalypse day and are suddenly besieged by zombies.  (The family is comprised of Milla, Oded, and a little girl, who are all later revealed to be clones created for simulations in the giant recreated cities.) And I won’t even go into the spurious insertion of the Las Plagas element from the fourth RE game.  They might as well have left it out completely out for the handling it received.

The only thing that made these last few films even worthwhile were the outstanding creatures, like the bad-ass executioner inspired by the one in the Resident Evil 5 game, and the Lickers, which have always been a personal favorite of mine.  The giant Licker in Retribution was delightfully scary and gross.

Someone please execute this movie and put it out of its misery...

Someone please execute this movie and put it out of its misery…

Super Licker ...will lick u to deff?

Super Licker …will lick u to deff?

As to the rest of the film… maybe they should have bombed this film with Raccoon City.  At any rate, me thinks it’s time to bury this series and let it stay dead.  And considering what a RE fan I have revealed myself to be in past posts, that’s saying something!

"Anderson's gonna write a new Resident Evil film??? Quick, nuke the script!"

“Anderson’s gonna write a new Resident Evil film??? Quick, nuke the script!”

Hi, My Name is AlienRedQueen, and I Have Simulator Sickness

It’s time to discuss a very serious situation that also happens to hit close to home:

782px-Natsu%27s_motion_sickness_large

Motion sickness… while gaming.

First Person Shooters are common culprits for simulator sickness

First Person Shooters are common culprits for simulator sickness

Never heard of it?  Not surprised.  It’s probably not exactly the height of cool to be one of those people that gets headaches, feels dizzy, or even pukes (not me, thankfully) from playing their favorite video games.

I just got Resident Evil 6 as a Christmas gift from a friend and I actually haven’t been playing it day in and day out like I normally would, given my abnormal love of the franchise.  I was playing through the campaigns the first few days I got the game, with the friend that gave it to me, but I actually had to let him do most of the playing, due to the nauseating headache I was getting from the camera motion.  I haven’t fought one boss yet.  He always seemed to have the controller when the bosses came along (coincidence, I assure you.)

This is not new for me.  It’s happened before…and yet I played RE 5, ad nauseum.  And now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I had the same problem with that game.  I think I started popping Dramamine before gaming sessions for a while, and then I must have gotten used to the motion again, because it stopped bothering me.

There must be a mental component to it too, at least for me, because even thinking about it now is making me slightly nauseous.

Anyway, here are a couple tips if you suffer in the closet from this horrid affliction.

1) You may try desensitizing yourself with short gaming sessions, stopping for a while when you feel too sick

2) Take a dose of an anti-nausea medication like Bonine or Dramamine before you start to play.  In my experience, it does help with my motion sickness (travel-related as well,) but you should take it at least an hour before hand, as it seems to take quite a while to kick in, and it may make you sleepy.

3) Try slowing the camera down or changing the camera view on the game.

Here is a bit more about simulator sickness and some more tips on what may help.  Sadly, there is no cure. We must just suffer…but we need not do it in silence, my friends.  Maybe we should start a support group for weenies people like us, who get physically ill, but can’t bear to give up our gaming.  You can be the president…I’ll just be over here sipping my ginger-ale.

article_post_width_Resident_Evil_6

*if you’re a RE fan like me, here’s a bit more on RE 6 and the changes made to the camera view this go-around. I’ll give you a hint– they kind of suck!

The Not-So-Walking Dead (*warning,graphic)

Most of my friends probably know I love all things zombie, so I’m not gonna complain much when I’m watching any number of walking-dead/returned- to- life themed shows or movies.

Ooookay, that’s a white lie.  Okay, so I’m one of those people who was so sucked in by the Resident Evil games and the multitude of zombie movies that I like to entertain the idea that I wouldn’t become zombie bait on the first day of the apocalypse.  It’s not uncommon for me to be watching  one of these shows or movies and yelling at the people on the TV,  telling them every stupid thing they’re doing.

AMC’s The Walking Dead is no exception.  I love the show.  It’s a very character-driven take on the usual zombie apocalypse theme; I’d imagine the characters have to have more depth if the show is going to keep viewers interested for more than a couple episodes.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon is just an added incentive for me to watch The Walking Dead

But these people do some stupid shit!  For instance, if you were concerned with a blood borne contagion, why would you stab a zombie through the head (or any other body part for that matter?)  An interesting tidbit you may or may not have gleaned from popular crime shows is that when a person stabs another person, there is a high likelihood of the assailant injuring themselves on their own weapon.  By all means, why don’t we just invite the infection in?

But anyway, as much as I love my zombie movies, I can’t quite get past this one fundamental flaw in the whole idea of an extended “zombie apocalypse.”  In most of these stories, shows, and films, the source of the pandemic usually ends up being traced to a biological or physiological cause, most often a virus of some sort.  The creators of these shows want it to seem as if the scenario they are positing could be scientifically possible, if not exactly likely. Bear with me, because this is relevant to the point I’m about to make.

For the zombies to reach such an advanced state of decay, one of two things would have to happen:

1) They have to have risen from the grave a’ la the original Night of the Living Dead

or

2) They “newly” dead would have to continue to decompose after death, despite the fact that they remained mobile.

“You don’t just wake up looking this good!”

Either way, after decomposition progresses to a certain point, muscle tissue and ligaments are going to break down and locomotion will then be a scientific impossibility.  There are a bajillion changes the body goes through postmortem, beginning with autolysis (in the gut) and putrefaction ( microbial growth.)  Ultimately, these processes lead to liquefaction and disintegration of the body.  Simply put…   the very dead no walkee.

Bloating in the abdomen as autolysis occurs and gasses collect in the face, abdominal cavity, and scrotum. This body has spent approximately a week in summer-like conditions.

**I found this photo on the internet, but can speak for its authenticity because this same photo appears in one of my school books for a Forensics class that I had.  The information regarding time and conditions of death came directly from that book.

So basically, the zombie apocalypse would really suck for about two weeks, three tops… until everyone started to rot and fall apart… at which point it would probably suck even harder.

You’re welcome. 😉

*Edit: A friend of mine brought up a good point that I need to clarify:  A zombie pandemic/plague/whatever could indeed be perpetuated beyond two to three weeks, assuming people continued to be contaminated by contact with either the bodily fluids of the dead bodies or the undead.  However, the main thrust of this blog entry is that each individual dead body could not be mobile for an extended period of time once decomposition began to break down the muscles and tissues necessary for locomotion…  

I’ve put too much thought into this.  Maybe I need a new hobby.

RE5: “Wait…are those genitals?”

Alright, let’s skip the foreplay and jump right into the meat of this thing; despite the (very) obvious fan service with characters like “battlesuit” Jill and Excella Gionne (yikes!) fans of Resident Evil 5 may have noticed some definite sexual connotations about some of the various enemy creatures and bosses throughout the game.

Are those things taped in there???

Continue reading

RE5: The AI Partner Experience (Artificial Irritation)

Sheva Alomar and Chris Redfield (RE5)

What this picture should show is AI Sheva standing directly in Chris’ sight-line while he tries to kill multiple pissed off enemies that wield spiky spears, and wonky spider-bugs try to jump on your back.   Continue reading