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Ficfactor

FicFactor
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You know what's great about being on holiday in Ireland? You're expected to get sh1t-faced drunk the entire time! No one (save my poor liver) complains. It's awesome.
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Holy shit! Did you see the Metroid: Other M trailer?! Didja? Didja!?

If not, hurry over to Gametrailers. I'll wait...

...

Well? Sweet, don't'cha think? Fuck yeah!

As Yahtzee would put it, apparently there was a Nintendo thought-detection van lurking outside my home, because Other M looks to be exactly what I've been hoping to see in a new Metroid title.

A third-person action adventure that delves into Samus' backstory, expands the Metroid universe and calls back to the previous title, I mean, Adam Malkovich, anyone? Mother Brain annihilating the infant Metroid? And young, pissed-off Samus extracted straight from the manga?

GLEE!!

And what should sell anybody on it; it looks like a 3D Super Metroid. Hook, line and sinker, people!

Nintendo really pulled heir fingers out of their ass for this E3. Galaxy 2? Where did that come from?

The Wii also has the awesome-looking Silent Hill remake and the Darkside Chronicles to look forward to, re-imaginings of two series that I adore.

Relaxing the Nintendo love-in a bit, did you get a load of Metal Gear: Peace Walker? Four Big Bosses!? It's difficult enough to maintain my heterosexuality when confronted with one!

And Sony also unveiled a bitchin' FFXIV trailer! And it's to be released in the same year as FFXIII! SquareEnix, you spoil us... wait... it's online? A numbered Final Fantasy is online...?

RAGE!!

Did you learn nothing from XI!? Goddamnit, Square!

But, you know what? Nothing can kill my buzz after seeing Other M. Man, I feel like I'm sixteen waiting for Ocarina of Time to come out again.
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Resident Evil 5

3 min read
It's a good game. Actually, it's quite a good game. Which is a shame because it's a big ol' letdown. Anyone expecting an innovative classic re-imagining of the series is going to be hugely disappointed.

Save the amazing presentation (the graphics are eye-meltingly good) there's nothing new in this title that in any way feels a worthy original addition to the series. Its stunning set-pieces and gunplay, for all their pros, feel hollow when you remember how much you enjoyed this experience when it was fresh in 2005.

The co-op play is fun but critically flawed and should never - ever - have been made into the game's USP. Replacing zombies with ganados, I can handle. Axing most of the puzzles in favour of ostentatious set-pieces? Cool. Destroying any sense of fear or suspense by surgically grafting a partner to your hip? Unforgivable.

It would have made a nice extra, but even if it had been implemented far more elegantly than it actually has been, it has no place in a numbered Res Evil. That's why we have side games. I enjoyed the Umbrella Chronicles very much, but would not have been at all pleased had RE5 been a rail shooter. RE:Outbreak's cooperative play had its moments but it would just be silly to make the sequel to the universally praised RE4 into a monotonous ill-conceived co-op-athon, right?

Right?

Also, while the franchise's storyline has never been its strong point, the character motivations and revelations in this game feel like they were penned some ninety-percent into the game's development, in order to fit into the template of the (again I must admit, quite good) action game posing as my beloved Resi.

At one point our musclehead hero Chris calls the antagonist's scheme "something a comic book villain would do." In the earlier games there were always pleasing little moments of self-awareness and self-parody, but in RE5, I felt it was meant to be taken as a serious condemnation of the bad guy's (ass-pulled and baffling) plot.

Also, Capcom? The goofy lark that is Resident Evil does not require pathetically hamfisted themes of camaraderie and sacrifice. What it needs is more lickers (an enemy, which to the game's credit, makes a welcome return) and deranged midgets.

The game's finale is admittedly, a stunning visual and visceral climax,  but when it was over, I felt something that I've never felt after playing a true RE title before. Relief. Not that I had survived, but that the soulless experience was over.

Resident Evil 5 (like Silent Hill 5) has lost sight of what made it great. If Resi 1 was a tense, paranoid, jittery S.T.A.R.S officer conserving ammo for fear of encountering something in the next corridor, and Resi 4 was a corny, wise-ass secret agent triumphantly roundhousing zombie cultists while being gayer than Paris in Springtime, Resi 5 is like the suffocating Neptune that you discover in the original game after having drained the water from the Aqua Circle; a flapping, flaccid shadow of a once awesome and mighty beast.

That said, it's still a great game and you should definitely buy it. ;P
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Anyone else catch the new Resident Evil CG movie? It apparently bridges the gap between parts four and the upcoming five. While ostensibly a set-up for the new game, it's actually much more a standalone story, featuring fan faves Claire and Leon.

It's bloody terrible. "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" terrible.

The story's as poor as a standard RE game (which ain't exactly Joyce), the imaging isn't on par with older CG offerings and the acting, despite featuring some of the better VA's around, ranges from wooden to cliché.

Still loved it, though. It's great to see Claire is still alive (consdiering some of the rumours about Jill) and kicking, and Leon continuing to be an uberpimp.

A very gay uberpimp, but a pimp nonetheless.

Also, old fashioned T-Virus, slow, shuffling zombies? Hell yes!

So yeah, if you're gay for Res Evil like I am, this is definitely for you. Otherwise, avoid at all costs.
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MGS4

3 min read
The wait for Nintendo to finally ship back my Wii and copy of Brawl was made significantly less interminable by my realisation that I suddenly had the free time to play the final Metal Gear Solid.

And well...

I've cleared all the MGS games and I feel I have a fairly strong grasp of the intricacies of its massively convoluted history, but even I was left lost as to what on earth was going on during some of the more left-field revelations. And my tenuous grip on the main story was weakened every time I had to take bathroom break during the ludicrously long cutscenes, like a movie villain stepping on the hero's fingers as he hangs from a cliff.

But that said, even if you feel that you're just enduring endless exposition in serious need of some ruthless editing (anyone who has sat throught the game's mission briefings will know what I'm talking about), the story, elaborately tangled as it is, in enthralling and the gameplay (which you'll almost forget is part of the package at times) is the best that this series has had to offer.

So I guess like Hideo Kojima I'm talking/writing a lot while not saying especially much, so I'll get to the point. That being the point that I'm getting to, which being the subsequent juncture of this piece is the next part I'll discuss. I'll discuss right here. Here in this next paragraph. A "paragraph" being a distinct portion of written or printed matter dealing with a particular idea, usually beginning with an indentation on a new line, which is what you'll find below. Below this line, I mean.

The game is very praiseworthy, has fantastic stealth-based gameplay (and decent action-gameplay mechanics), astonishing presentation and unsurpassed voice direction and acting in a video game. That said, I would have appreciated an option to also play with the Japanase language track. Surely a "dual-layered blu-ray disc" (shamelessly and hilariously plugged in the game) would have had enough storage space for the second audio track.

So unless you've never played the previous games (even playing MGS1 would just about  suffice) or already have and know that this sort of thing isn't your particular brand of vodka, I would recommend playing this game and am also beginning to wonder at what point this journal entry morphed from a brief plaudit into me posing as a videogame reviewer? O_O
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On holidaying in Ireland by Ficfactor, journal

Major Fanboy-gasm Alert!! by Ficfactor, journal

Resident Evil 5 by Ficfactor, journal

Resident Evil Degeneration by Ficfactor, journal

MGS4 by Ficfactor, journal