Saturday!

Tiger Joe Tank Commercial

Way back when, a million years ago, Resident Evil had the worst controls of any video game out there. You moved your guy around the game as if he were a tank. It was *SO* frustrating and *SO* counter-intuitive. The really leaned on the whole “ammo is scarce” thing and save points were even scarcer so you really had to think about how you wanted to deal with zombies.

Did you want to use your knife? Did you want to use a bullet (or two or three or four)? Did you want to just run past the zombies instead of killing them?

This was nerve-racking. Especially the part where bullets were really, really scarce. You had to choose between using your bullets and running out of them and using your knife, or saving the bullets for something special and, in the mean time, using your knife. So you were going to be using your knife. You had to get the timing juuuust right and if you weren’t perfect, you’d get bit and have to go back to your save point which was WAAAAAAAY back behind you (and you only had but so many “typewriter ribbons” to use at the various typewriter save points so killing a zombie, running back, saving, running back to where you killed the zombie wasn’t an option).

So when Resident Evil 4 came out and actually had decent controls? It was absolutely amazing. I had friends that I was telling to get the game and I was yelling stuff like “you have to get it! They fixed the controls!” and they wanted to know stuff about the game. How was the lore? What was the setting? Were there still those silly puzzles where you had to put a chicken in the toaster to open the hidden door? And I just kept yelling “THE CONTROLS! THEY FIXED THEM!” I mean, I got into combat with the first guy in the evil village of the danged and took him out with the first shot. Stuff just *WORKED*.

This was one of the games that passed the “beat it and then immediately play it again” test. Why? THE CONTROLS! THEY FIXED THEM!

So when I saw that they remastered Resident Evil 4 for the PS4 (and it was only $20!), I jumped on it. And holy cow, are the controls clunky and counter-intuitive.

After playing stuff optimized for the Modern Era like the Batman or Spider-Man or Assassin’s Creed games, going back to stuff that was optimized for the Gamecube era is a huge eye-opener. The changes to design that were light years ahead of the PlayStation One era were improved upon and improved upon again to where we’re now light years ahead of them again.

I’m going to try to beat it, but… jeez. It feels like the tank controls all over again.

So… what are you playing?

(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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2 thoughts on “Saturday!

  1. I still contend that the developers implemented clunky controls as a tool to crank up the anxiety of the player.

    Right now I’m playing…nothing. There’s new free DLC for XCOM 2 coming out on the 9th and I just purchased the new DLC for Darkest Dungeon and I’ve been watching oldest boy play it, but I’m kinda dreading having to start over. I guess I’m just waiting for something to grab my attention.

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  2. Finished Spider-Man and got the platinum trophy for it.

    This game left me wanting more.

    That thing where the game makes tons and tons of references to previous events? I’d like to play that game. (Heck, a prequel where you do stuff like put these bad guys in the raft the first time. Where you work at the bugle and have JJJ yell at you on your cell phone because he thinks you’re a freelancer who abuses his good nature and break up with Mary Jane and hang out with Harry and JJJ can hire the Scorpion and you can fight against Wilson Fisk and, oh my gosh, they talked about so very many things that happened before the game started. I want to play that game!)

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