Resident Evil VII: A Most Terrifying Herb Garden

Spoiler Warning: I have tried to avoid spoiling major plot points, but I do mention and hint at some in game events… You have been warned.

Horror isn’t something that I would normally list amongst my interests; if someone suggested a horror movie to me then I’d likely scrunch up my nose slightly and suggest we watch Jurassic Park … again… but taking a more objective view, many of the games and movies I enjoy have horror aspects to them. Anyone who happens to have taken a passing stroll past my blog in the past will know that I’m a huge fan of the original Resident Evil trilogy for PS1 and upon hearing that the seventh instalment was a return to form for the series, I finally plucked up the courage to take a look.

… and I do mean plucked up the courage! I’ve been wanting to play this game since it was released, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed less of a stomach for outright horror, or maybe it’s just that horror has become more visceral in its presentation with improving technology. Either way, Resident Evil 7 did involve me playing for short bursts with breaks inbetween… Continue reading “Resident Evil VII: A Most Terrifying Herb Garden”

Immovable Viewpoint: Reminiscing About Pre-Rendered Backgrounds

With current generation PC’s and consoles able to render glorious scenes on-the-fly in almost photo-realistic detail… well, at least until the next step forward when we’ll all look back and wonder how we ever coped with the current blocky mess of low-resolution graphics… the idea of pre-rendering backgrounds feels like a quaint footnote in the annals of gaming’s heritage. It occupied the fabled spot of cutting edge practice for a few short years around the mid to late 90’s and is most closely associated with Capcom survival horror games (the early Resident Evil games and Dino Crisis) but was used in a few other notable games including Final Fantasy VII. Of course with my self acknowledged predisposition to Resident Evil 2 I do have a soft spot for this particular visual style and, having been reminded of it following my recent nostslgia trip into Devil May Cry, my brain has been idley mulling over the technique from a practical and stylistic point of view. The ‘What’ & ‘Why’ of pre-rendered backgrounds is worth picking over before getting to how I feel about them, especially as there may be (shockingly) more than a few people reading who’ve never experienced a game with fixed camera angles and pre-rendered backgrounds. Continue reading “Immovable Viewpoint: Reminiscing About Pre-Rendered Backgrounds”