Resident Weekend

It feels like I haven't done a decent post in a while, so here is a shot at it since some fun stuff happened this weekend in conjunction with fun stuff coming up.

First off, Laura saw Monster Squad and Predator with her friends from work in NJ. For me, this is awesome cause both movies hold a special place in my heart (Monster Squad more arguably for the nostalgia factor). She is coming down this weekend and we are heading home to see my little nephew for yet another Indian ceremony (oh we have so many).

Now time for what I always do: games! This weekend was Resident Evil 5. So I've ranted pretty hard about how bad the controls are in this game but I have to admit, I am enjoying the game a ton. Let me make this clear, the games controls do not come second nature. They are not fluid and several times I have to tell myself what button to push and in what order vs it just coming natural. Now once you get "used" to it, the game does become fairly enjoyable but what I want to point out are some awesome features of the Multiplayer and "RPG" side of the game. When you start the game up, your character is permantly associated with your profile. Any items/gold you collect and upgrade will stay with you no matter what you do. So one cool thing that comes up is that after you beat a level, you can go back and play it again in the level select screen. You will take all your stuff with you into the level and carry it back out. This lets you go back and grind levels to get upgrade stuff for later levels. It also provides a fun way to play early levels with better weapons and be more effective (or just feel how much more powerful you are). Now the icing on the cake with this system is when you go into multiplayer you take EVERYTHING in your profile with you. The character you play (Chris or Sheva) has access to everything you do and when you leave the session, it carries back with you. I got the game on Friday and played a bit and when my buddy Doug got it on Saturday afternoon, I went back to the beggining of the game but I didn't mind cause I was scoring extra gold to improve my weapons.

The co-op experience is also very good. While the game does not provide the "randomness" of L4D, it does let you feel like you are developing a character with specific skills. While Doug became a long range specialist, I carried the Stun Stick which allows for some pretty incredible melee kills. The game forces a lot of benefits from good cooperation and its pretty apparent they though the whole 2-player thing out.

When you see how good the co-op is, its pretty dissapointing to see some of the UI failings. The biggest being that while you are in-game, you cannot move items to specific spots in your inventory. While this doesn't seem like a big deal, what you have to understand is that the d-pad syncs up with the inventory so if your grenades run out and then you find some more, they may not be on the right quick equip button anymore. I also have to compain about the overall ugliness of any text that appears. It really feels like its from 1994 and after seeing the incredible beauty of the Dead Space UI, this is just an epic fail for a game that has some of the most gorgeous out door enviroments.