… the worst part is that I know this post may be controversial. I strive for a simple life avoiding conflict, sensationalism, and internet rage so I’m going to don my best pair of ninja shoes to carefully navigate this subject and hopefully deal with a game beloved by many in a respectful way.
Resident Evil 4 is not a bad game; it’s just not the game I wanted it to be.
Spoiler Warning: This post avoids major plot spoilers, but does contain minor spoilers, discussion of themes, and the experience of playing ‘Firewatch’
When we play games that put us in control of ‘superhuman’ characters, we embrace that fantasy: an indestructible soldier, a deadly ninja, a suave & sexy secret agent. Even the ones with dark backstories, emotional pain, and addictions are expertly carved to create an unattainable perfection for us to clothe ourselves in for the time that we play and control them. These characters allow us to take facets of our own personality, fill them out into something ideal, and hopefully we will like who that person is. In the same way, a flawed, human character can magnify the flaws in our own lives. It can be uncomfortable to see the less flattering aspects of our own personality woven into the fabric of a playable protagonist and even more so when you are then forced to control their actions. The best we can do is to take this distorted, fairground-‘hall of mirrors’, reflection and use it to better understand ourselves and the people around us.
… Firewatch is populated with well-crafted, flawed, characters…
In what is sure to possibly or possibly not become a regular ‘thing’, because I’m not sure I want to go in for that whole ‘regular-thing-thing’ or not, I have decided to look back at something odd, gaming and retro which I remember from my childhood. ‘Sonic & Knuckles’ popped into my head the other day and has been rattling around there ever since. It was a big deal for me as a kid, being firmly in the SEGA camp, and was the last of the classic MegaDrive Sonic games. It was also a weird game, not so much for the content (which by this point SEGA had already set the formula for), but for the cartridge itself and how it fitted into the Sonic series at the time.
We glide through the water with greatest of ease; LEADBEATER AND STAINROD; Nameless creatures still slumber ‘cos we’re quiet as the breeze; LEADBEATER AND STAINROD;
Our fuel tanks stay full in this long moonless night; LEADBEATER AND STAINROD; Barely two barrels to old Venderbight; LEADBEATER AND STAINROD;
The Iron and Misery don’t take our trade; LEADBEATER AND STAINROD; With the greatest of care these fine engines were made; LEADBEATER AND STAINROD;
Each time we sing this in earshot of land… LEADBEATER AND STAINROD; Fifty echoes are ours given by the kind hand OF LEADBEATER AND STAINROD!
Don’t panic; I havn’t been overpowered by a group of lyrical pirates hellbent on spreading the word of their corporate sponsors via my blog. The above shanty (to be sung to a tune similar to that of ‘Blow the Man Down’) is my entry for the competition currently being run by Failbetter Games creators of ‘Fallen London and ‘Sunless Sea’ – Full competition details can be found here and I strongly advise you to enter.