Hey! How’s it going you July people? All good out there in Someplaceville? If you’re a sunshine-type person then I hope you’re out there enjoying the good weather, or if you’re like me then I hope you’re safely locked indoors away from all that pollen and we can collectively hope to get a few good storms out of the humidity. Either way it’s July already, and the more observant readers will notice that June’s Editorial.. well… it didn’t ‘exist’ as much as it normally does. The culmination of being busy in my personal happenings, being super busy at work, and suffering with a bit of good ol’ fashioned writer’s block meant that I took an impromptu hiatus from the 2nd half of May through the first half of June.
As with any hobby… or anything really… taking a break when you need to is generally sound advice. We all know the feeling of forcing something when we’re not in the mood and in my experience that rarely results in either a good feeling, or a good product. I’m not saying that writing is a magical process where the words instantly fly from my fingers to the page; but there’s a different feel to working on a piece when I want to do it to working on a piece purely because I feel as though I should do it.
During the hiatus and in the more peaceful evenings, I found myself craving some more PS1 retro-gaming action. I had mentioned vaguely that I was thinking of centring my next Twitch evening around the Director’s Cut version of the original Resident Evil, but I never quite found the time to dedicate an entire planned evening to it, so I settled for playing it sporadically whenever I managed to grab a gaming session. This was actually the better decision as I struggle with at least one section to the point that most of the evening saw me barely progressing at all.
This all links in to a bigger re-obsession with the original Resident Evil world…
… and yeah, I know I go on about these games quite a bit, but there’s something enchanting about them that I can’t quite ever seem to let go of. So, for anyone who it annoys, I’m sorry I go on about them so much, but it’s not getting any better any time soon.
… most of this re-awakening has occurred because I was toying with the idea of entering the world of speed running with my beloved Resident Evil 2; after all I used to be able to crack through a scenario pretty quickly. This turned out to be something simpler in theory than in practice, but it did reignite my interest in all things Resident Evil 2 (’98) as you might gather from my post-round-up later in this editorial. Whilst I did stream a RE2 scenario earlier this year in honour of the RE2Make (it’ll catch on I swear) I would like to go back and explore this game further, but let’s face it, going back to my PS1 edition isn’t very fresh at this point and I would ideally like it to hold some challenge that I’ve never done before, so I’m proud to announce an ongoing challenge which I’m calling:
“I’m Having Tofu Tonight!”
The ultimate goal of “I’m Having Tofu Tonight” (or IHTT) is for me to finally unlock and complete that illusive remaining challenge in the RE2 (’98) world – the Tofu scenario. Sure, every other Resident Evil player might be tacking this in the ’19 edition, but I’m going back to the roots and giving it a shot in the ’98 version. For those not familiar with the Tofu character or scenario, here’s a quick synopsis: Tofu is a block of tofu armed only with some health items and a combat knife. The scenario is identical to the 4th Survivor (Hunk) scenario consisting of a mad dash through enemy infested rooms from the RE2 sewers to the RPD Police Station roof. I’ve never even unlocked the scenario as it requires 3 completions of an A & B scenario pair (ie. 6 scenario in total) in the same save file with straight A rankings… but why stop with that? I’d prefer to take in the scenery at the same time so couple it with a more complete exploration of the game so the challenge will consist of me doing the following:
- Leon A & Claire B – 3 completions; A rankings
- Claire B & Leon A – A rankings
- Unlock All Special Weapons for Leon
- Unlock All Special Weapons for Claire
- Play using Leon’s alternative costume
- Play using Claire’s alternative costume
- Unlock 4th Survivor
- Unlock Battle Mode
- Unlock Tofu
- Complete the 4th Survivor (it’s been a long time since I’ve done this!)
- Complete Battle Mode (No idea how this mode even works)
- Complete Tofu Scenario (I’ve never done this – it could take some time!)
The more RE-savvy readers may notice that much of this will be incidentally achieved (unlocking special weapons etc.) during normal play, but hey! Who doesn’t like to put things on lists that they can easily check-off? Even MORE Re-savvy people will notice that the inclusion of the Battle Mode hints at something else; as the Battle Mode is only included in some versions of RE2, I will be undertaking this endeavour on the GameCube version which has involved me buying this version and remembering that GC games can be played on Wii.
In truth I’m pretty nervous about trying this; playthroughs of the game in recent years have often been pretty casual so just picking up A rankings might be tricky. Whilst the inclusion of Claire A & Leon B is a little redundant in terms of unlocks, it feels like undertaking so much without touching two scenarios wouldn’t be in the spirit of the challenge and besides I plan to use them to break up the repetition of the Leon A & Claire B runs.
Luckily I have cut myself some slack and don’t intend to try to marathon it (although it would probably be do-able in a weekend of solid gaming assuming I could concentrate for that long); whilst I’d love to get involved in a marathon, I’ll leave that to other, far more ambitious, players! The current plan is to chip away at this as-and-when I have time and post progress updates on a master-post (
that I’ve yet to create You can find it here!) along with comments on each of the playthroughs. Hopefully this will avoid continuous notifications for anyone who reads this not interested in Raccoon City. I could think about switching on a twitch stream if anyone would be interested in seeing how it’s going?
Whilst the posts have been sporadic in the past 2 months, I’ve still managed to publish a few. Kicking things off is appropriately the catalyst for the self-imposed challenge I spent so much time rambling about in this piece; a rundown of 5 versions of Resident Evil 2 that I’d like to own. With this undertaking I’ll be ticking off the GC version from this list and maybe one day I’ll get hold of that N64 cart to give the randomiser mode a shot too! As blog post go it was pretty cool to do a top 5 article that featured the same game 5 times!
Next up I spent some time with a screen strapped to my face playing Superhot VR. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable VR outing in which I found myself more conscious of every single turn of my head than I ever had been before. I’m still not entirely sold on the visual style, but the superb gameplay more than makes up for it.
After a hiatus I came back with a post relating to mobile gaming – one of the only source of gaming I had open to me in the work-travel week I spent out of the country and took a look at how I enjoy playing Armello. Striving for a particular win condition is one way in which players can up the challenge of a favourite game – let’s face it, self-imposed goals are often the hardest to hit!
Next up another article about the exploration of a marginally obscure Resident Evil Edition; the Director’s Cut of the original PS1 outing. Stating as more of an exercise in curiosity, I ended up playing through the advanced mode of this game, but also doing a little bit of online reading to find out exactly what this version was all about and why it even existed.
Finally I’ve been mulling over a chat message I received during a particular round of Apex Legends some time ago and it got me thinking about some of the behaviour that we associate with online gaming. The truth is that I’m not in a position to change the world, but maybe I can at least make things a little more pleasant for fellow players when they join my team, and if enough people do that it will being to turn things around. I know that many gamers, like myself, have difficulty squaring the inclusiveness and diversity in gaming today with the attitude of a vocal few who make online participation miserable for many.
…and that’s May-June! Happy July everyone!!