The retro-excursion that I took last week in to the weird world of Overblood left me with a lingering thought about the game’s opening. At first glance the level of instant threat seems absurd; the protagonist wakes up and the player is immediatly faced with the prospect of seeing them freeze to death unless they manage to work out all the controls, find the auxiliary heating power supply, and the stylish (but laughably small) shiny gilet to keep warm. I could just chalk it up to poor game design, dropping the player in to instant life or death peril isn’t what we’re used to in the current age of gaming, but compared to its contemporaries, Overblood isn’t the only title of this era to pull this trick.
When I revisited the Men in Black PS1 game a little while back, I was reminded that it kicks things off in a similar way; player enters an apartment and if they don’t act quickly then a bomb, cunningly hidden in the shadows, will take out most of the buiolding and thankfully the voice acting of whoever they employed to do a Will Smith impression. Maybe these aren’t the finest examples of the ‘3D Action/Adventure’ genre for PS1, but even some of the system’s greats make similar moves. During my epic exploration of Resident Evil 2 last year, I rambled about how tough the opening of the game is; the dramatic intro leaving the player abandoned in a street, several zombies approaching them. I doubt new players would even have managed to work out what the aim button is before taking a chomping. Even though the opening of Metal Gear Solid doesn’t put the player in immediate danger, acting as a playground of sorts, it still presents what most would consider to be the core gameplay in its entirety. I’ve noted in the past that MGS has only six areas where the classic sneaky gameplay is showcased and, as the player undertakes this area unarmed and under-equipped, the ‘dock’ represents one of the trickier regions that the player has to work their way through all whilst the opening credits are still running. Continue reading “Hard Opening”
What do you mean you’ve never heard of Riverhillsoft? They’re famous for… erm… porting the original Prince of Persia to the Mega CD.
Overblood. I’m just going to let that hang in the air for a moment.
How or why anyone thought this would be a suitable title for this game… or any game… I’ve no idea. It is literally meaningless, but like the game it game itself, it’s best not to overanalyse.
Overblood (even typing it makes me feel weird) is a game by long forgotten developer Riverhillsoft that, kind of, falls in to the category of early survival horror for the PlayStation 1 as made famous by Capcom. I first heard of the game in my early teens; shortly after first experiencing Resident Evil 2, my uncle mentioned this “‘similar’ game called Overblood where you wake up in a lab, freezing to death”. I think it was this ‘similarity’ that kept the name locked in to my brain for all these years and eventually led me to pick it up on an eBay whim a couple of months ago. A few days later a battered copy of this long forgotten title turned up. An eerie green hued character adorning the box-art, alongisde the title in stark font, and tagline “A 3D Sci-Fi Adventure”. I popped in the disk and was met with a fast-cut intro montage featuring Reboot style animation and a host of sci-fi staples such as warning klaxons, unconvincing monsters, and characters with shocked expressions. Continue reading “OverBlood: UnderBlood”
With a new year comes the obligatory deep breath and sense of a fresh start. The promise of a clean slate, freshly dusted chalk board, or whiteboard when you’ve used that special spray to really… really… clean it. … setting aside the reality that the 3.154 x 107 seconds starting on 1st January isn’t different to any other arbitrarily assigned similar period of time… As … Continue reading Hundstrasse 2020: The Future is the Same
… and well a ho-ho-ho Happy Christmasness to all of you out there! I think this is the first time that I’ve published something on Dectember 25th itself. This post comes as part of a superb community event organised by those aforementioned blogger-nandos over at Livid Lightning and Later Levels (or Quadruple-L as I like to call them) in the guise of that richest of office traditions: The Secret Santa. Each blogger is assigned a counterpart to which they have to gift a virtual gaming item, all wrapped up in the form of a blog post.
The recipient of my own blogging gift if non-other than Nerdy Bookahs; those masters of all things MMO and indie related.
… of course it didn’t help that at the time of receiving my nomination I didn’t follow Nerdy Bookahs. Unlike a real office secret santa however, drawing a name out of the hat that you don’t recognise is actually a chance to get to know them through their work, so I scuttled off to find out a bit more about this blogging powerhouse. Almost immediately I discovered that their blogging exploits largely revolve around MMO’s “Oh no!” I thought to myself (I’m not sure why this has turned in to a narritive tale, bear with me, I may be going somewhere with this) I don’t know anything abut MMO’s, how am I supposed to come up with a suitable gift?? Continue reading “Happy Christmas Nerdy Bookahs From Your Secret Blogger Santa”
With the 18th of December upon us it’s time to sit back and take stock of the games I’ve played this year to pick a top 5. Long time followers will know that my own ‘Top 5 of the Year‘ is picked from a list of games that I’ve played for the first time this year rather than necessarily being released in 2019. This self-imposed rule set has thinned out my choices this year because, if nothing else, 2019 was characterised for me by retro-revisitings, or specifically the original Resident Evil 2.
My desire to revisit the original before taking on the remake led to an interest in the obscure unreleased games in the series, the different versions of the 2nd game, an overdue exploration of the director’s cut of the original and Code: Veronica, along with that self-designed marathon to really fully explore and rediscover the game that is responsible for such a big part of my gaming enthusiasm today. Couple this with the rediscovery of my PS2 games collection that involved replaying games such as TimeSplitters2, SSX3, and Silent Hill 2, and maybe it’s clear why my ‘New’ games played this year list is so small. It only totals 20 games compared to the 44 of 2018.
… and that’s not even considering personal events that have reduced my gameplay time somewhat…. Continue reading “The Official Hundstrasse Top 5 of 2019: It’s Been a Weird Year”
… aaand to nobody’s surprise the Resident Evil 3 remake was finally confirmed this week. As with the Resident Evil 2 remake earlier this year it will no doubt attract a new audience to the game. As with any new inhabitant in a series a loooong and established as Resident Evil, it can be tricky to navigate and really find your way around the various … Continue reading Navigating Resident Evil
Spoiler Warning: Lots of spoilers for Resident Evil: Code Veronica are here!
After digging out my PS2 games from my Mom’s attic earlier this year, I found myself revisiting a few of my favourites; Silent Hill 2, SSX3, … and finally Resident Evil: Code Veronica, before giving up sometime around June having scrambled through about half of the game. I decided to head back to that save file last week in an effort to clear some of the backlog playings that I have on the go, or more accurately before I felt like I could legitimately start file #2 of Resident Evil Outbreak.
RE:CV (X Complete; seriously Capcom, what is it with you and editions??) is an oddball of a game in the franchise and deserves a little backstory introduction, so settle back whilst I recline in my wing-back armchair and tell you the tale:
RE:CV has it’s origins way back with the original Resident Evil. Not only released for the PS1, the S.T.A.R.S. team’s first incident riddled adventure was also a bit of a standout title for Sega’s flailing Saturn. Seeing the reception of its sequel, Sega (like Nintendo) must’ve been straight on to the phone to Capcom asking for a Saturn port of Claire & Leon’s funtime zombie shooty-shooty. Unlike Nintendo however, Capcom concluded that the Saturn just didn’t have enough bits, or megs, or ram or whatever to handle RE2 and the idea was scuppered. Sega didn’t stop the conversation there however, they convinced Capcom to develop the direct sequel to RE2 for the yet to be released Sega console, the Dreamcast; a game that would become Code: Veronica. The only problem was that Sony also wanted an RE2 sequel on their system (and let’s not forget that by this time RE4 and Zero were already being developed for Nintendo; Capcom really spread themselves around). Capcom agreed, and an in-development spin-off title called “Last Escape” gained the ‘3’ to become part of the numbered games in the series and the third to be released on PS1 under the title Resident Evil 3: Nemesis in the west. Played in this context, these games seem to make much more sense with RE3 feeling lite on plot, but heavy on “here’s more of that Resident Evil that you like”, and RE:CV opening with a direct continuation of the plot from RE2. Continue reading “Resident Evil: Code Veronica … X.. Complete…”
Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers for the X-Files game on PlayStation 1
*To be sung to the X-Files theme tune*
It’s Mulder and Sculllyyyyyy,
It’s Mulder and Sculllyyyyyy,
solving X-Files if they caaaannnn,
… avoiding the smookiinngg maaannnn…
For at least some of this year we’ve been trying to re-watch the entirety of the X-Files. I’m not much of a binge watcher, so it’s been a drawn out process. We ran out of steam a few months ago somewhere in the Robert Patrick era…
… if you ever watch these then you need to pay special attention to he runs; arms flailing wildly. I imagine the director was continually yelling for him to run ‘less like the T-1000’: “More human, less robot Robert – yes! that’s it, wave those arms around!!”… Continue reading “X-Files on Playstation: Dang! That’s a lot of Photos of the Inside of a Warehouse”
Yes, it’s another Resident Evil 2 post.. and yes, this one is also super-geeky, but I think this is a really interesting port for so many reasons so just giraffe with me on this one ,ok? It’s no secret that 2019 has been my year of Resident Evil 2 revisiting. From my pre-remake stream, exploration of the re-imagined Raccoon Police Department, through to my marathon … Continue reading Resident Evil 2 on N64: Malevolent Tenant
It seems that despite my best efforts, I have indeed started collecting various editions of the game of games, Resident Evil 2… something that I desperately tried to avoid, despite writing about it. That recent marathon of a challenge, entitled “I’m Having Tofu Tonight!” started the ball rolling as I wanted to sample a few of the extra toppings available in the GameCube version which turned out to be a superb release of the title, and with my appetite wet I decided to embark upon playing the bizarre N64 port of the game…
… which I plan to write about on another occasion…
To do this authentically however I needed an N64 and a copy of the game which, whilst not the most expensive collectable out there, didn’t come that cheap. My natural thrift nudged me in the direction of doing this all with as least expense as possible, so the cart I’ve ended up with is unboxed and worn; like wise I picked up an N64 without controller or screen cable, but luckily I happened to have a controller from a previous escapade and a cheap video cable was only a few pounds of British monies. So now I have a fully functional N64…
… and no idea what to do with it. Continue reading “I Have an N64 and I Don’t Know What to Do With It”