Ubisoft new trademark for ‘Beyond Good & Evil’ sparks hope for a sequel

Game Review: Pocket Mortys

Release Date: January 13, 2015

Rating: RP (Rating Pending)

Staying true to what makes Rick and Morty a unique show, Pocket Mortys for the mobile device is a Pokemon-like game that is a treat for the fans.

One should not be quick to dismiss Pocket Morty as a cheap gimmick, as the game stands out from other free mobile titles while taking players on a journey that stays true to the tone of the show.

For those who are unfamiliar with Rick and Morty, the series follows the adventures of Rick Sanchez and his grandson, Morty Smith, as they travel either across the galaxy or between different dimensions and alternative realities. The niche of the show has been their surreal encounters mixed with Rick’s alcoholism and sociopathic behavior along with Morty’s naive but good natured outlook.

Overall; it’s basically Doctor Who on crack… and The Doctor is Trevor Philips from Grand Theft Auto V.

Pocket Mortys has the duo dragged into the world of Morty Training when the Council of Ricks (an inter-dimensional governing body that protects and rules over all Ricks) confiscate Rick’s portal gun after participating in an illegal fight. To reclaim his portal gun; Rick (C-137) must prove his worth by defeating several key Morty fighters and earn their victory badges.

Yeah, it’s literally Pokemon, complete with the same visual style and musical tone in the background (the word “Pocket” is in the title). This is not a bad thing and it should not dissuade gamers from playing, as the Pokemon setup actually makes Pocket Mortys a fun experience.

Players will have to train their Morty and catch new Mortys who have their own unique characteristics. At the same time, players will battle other Morty Trainers that are encountered in the game. Memorable characters and moments from the show also make an appearance, such as the Council of Ricks along with Birdperson.

Kudos need to be given to the development team for not forcing the micro-transactions as a key component of the game. Even though this is a freemuim game, the micro-transactions are not a nuisance and players will have a good time without having to pay anything.

Normally when a game mixes freemuim with a media license and rips-off another work it always results in a disaster. Yet, Pocket Mortys is the one exception to this notion as, overall, it’s a good game.

Pocket Mortys for the iPhone and Android is a game that stays true to the source material while guaranteed to get players “rickety-rickety-wrecked, son.”

Score: 8/10

Written for The Indiependent
1/13/2016
Original Article: Game Review: Pocket Mortys

5 memorable homages to David Bowie in Metal Gear Solid

The world of pop-culture suffered a tragic loss when David Bowie passed away on January 11, 2016. During his career; he released many memorable songs and performed in many critically acclaimed films while influencing a generation or artists.

Among those Bowie inspired was Hideo Kojima and that influence could be experienced in the Metal Gear Solid series. The game has made many references and taken influence from the works of Bowie.

These are the five memorable moments in Metal Gear Solid that were inspired by the works of David Bowie.

5. Diamond Dogs

One of David Bowie’s most memorable album and song was also the name of the mercenary army that succeed Militaires Sans Frontières after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. It may appear that Kojima just made another nod to Bowie, but there is actually a hidden meaning behind the use of Diamond Dogs.

The album Diamond Dogs focuses on a dystopian future with themes of totalitarianism that were inspired by George Orwell’s 1984. The use of this title could also be a nod to the phrase, “the dogs of war,” a term often used to describe mercenaries thanks to Frederick Forsyth.

The concept of totalitarianism and the role of mercenaries in modern combat are both common themes that the series has examined.

4. Major Zero’s code-name

Major Tom is a character who has become subject of several David Bowie songs with “Space Oddity” being the most well known. He is an astronaut that meets a tragic demise after technical problems hurl his spaceship into the darkness of space.

During the Virtuous Mission in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Major Zero informs Snake that he will use the code-named Major Tom during radio chatter. While Major Zero claims its reference to the movie The Great Escape (named after a tunnel), it’s actually a reference to the character from “Space Oddity.”

3. A plethora of androgynous characters  

Besides his contribution to the musical arts, David Bowie will be remembered for his androgynous style that was best represented with his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. This made him an icon in the LGBT community as he paved the way for other transgender leaders and icons as he took gender fluidity to the mainstream.

Ziggy Stardust also played a major influence on Hideo Kojima and the creation of many characters in the series. Among the most notable examples are Raiden and Vamp‘s depiction in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. One also has to note how Solid Snake underwent a transformation from being masculine figure in Metal Gear Solid to an androgynous figure in Guns of the Patriots.

The influence of Ziggy Stardust was not limited to male characters as several female characters were also created with an androgyny style. Strangelove from Peace Walker and Olga Gurlukovich from Sons of Liberty would be among the best examples to look at.

2. The Fury

Another tribute to “Space Oddity” in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater comes in the form of a cosmonaut who is engulfed in total rage. The Fury is a member of the Cobra Unit who is deployed to stop Snake before he could infiltrate Groznyj Grad.

Like Major Tom, The Furry was a space explorer who suffered after the computers in his spaceship malfunctioned. Rather then drift away into space, he was burned alive upon returning to Earth. The pain he suffered gave him a new vision of life as he was from that moment consumed by anger.

The Fury is just one of many moments in the game that explores the forgotten dark side of the Space Race.

1. The Man Who Sold The World (Spoiler Alert!)

This iconic Bowie song is played at the beginning of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and is the name of Episode 46. The song tells the tale of a person meeting their doppelganger while exploring the themes of multiple personalities. However, its inclusion was a major spoiler as fans were quick to deduce that the character they are playing as is not the real Big Boss.

During the events of Ground Zeroes, an MSF medic was badly injured while Big Boss fell into a coma. After undergoing facial reconstruction surgery along with hypnotherapy, the medic became a body double known as Venom Snake.

When the real Big Boss returned to the world, Venom Snake was also awoken and are immediately hunted by XOF. Following their escape from a military hospital, Big Boss begins establishing Outer Heaven while Venom Snake helps spread the legacy of Big Boss with Diamond Dogs.

This could either be the most brilliant twist or one of the dumbest endings, but it could be denied that “The Man Who Sold The World” played a major role in creating this plot line.

The world may have lost David Bowie, but his legacy will live on through his music, films, and the works of those he influenced.

Written for GameSkinny
1/12/2016
Original Article: 5 memorable homages to David Bowie in Metal Gear Solid

 

Game Review: The Mean Greens

Release Date: December 2015

Rating: RP (Rating Pending)

Many old school gamers will recall the Army Men series during the Fifth-Generation era and how it depicted the age old battle of Green vs. Tan. Those who wish to once again experience that war will take a liking to The Mean Greens for the PC.

The Mean Green is a third-person multiplayer shooter that has players fight as either the Green Army or the Tan Army in maps based on household locations. Individuals who either enjoyed the classic Army Men games or are bored with shooters that focus on gritty realism will enjoy this unique title.

The game offers players 10 maps to battle in along with a selection of 10 different gameplay modes. The gameplay modes are the basic ones found in any multiplayer shooter which include Death Match and Capture the Flag.

While the gameplay modes may not bring any wow factor, it’s the layout and design of the maps that make this game memorable outside the nostalgia elements. The Mean Greens features levels that are either inspired by moments from Sarge’s Heroes or are original designs that fit well into toy world setting. Overall; Virtual Basement did an excellent job of using the Unreal 4 engine to create these detailed maps that player will appreciate.

The Mean Greens’ greatest achievement overall is it’s so well made, that an old school gamer will forget how awful most of the Army Men games were. Come on let’s be honest; with the exception of Sarge’s Heroes and Air Assault, most of the Army Men games were either mediocre or just awful.

Some may feel the games only straight comes from its nostalgia factor, this is a wrong assumption to make, as any gamer will enjoy The Mean Greens regardless if they played Army Men. However there are a few issues that are holding it back and might make a gamer second guess themselves.

The biggest issue that plagues The Mean Green is the lack of a single-player campaign, which creates two major problems; the first is that the Army Men games were mostly known for their single-player campaign. The second is that there are already too many multiplayer games available on Steam while the most popular ones are free to download. Plus, The Mean Green mostly appeals to a niche audience- there have been a few times where finding an active server has been difficult due to be a limited amount of players.

Despite those minor setbacks, The Mean Green is a multiplayer shooter that will appeal to both old school gamers who want a nostalgic battle or a new generation of gamers who want to play something different on the PC.

Rating: 7/10

Written for The Indiependent
1/9/2016
Original Article: Game Review: The Mean Greens

Game Review: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (iOS)

Release Date: October, 2005 (Initial)

RatingM (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs)

1998 was the year when the criminal underworld of Liberty City would be changed forever thanks to the return of the prodigal son, Toni Cipriani. It was a defining moment in the 3D-era story arch, and gamers could now return to the city that introduced them to a life of crime with Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories for the iPhone.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is no stranger to mobile gamers as the original was released back in 2005 for the PlayStation Portable. Yet its arrival adds verity to a platform dominated by unique puzzle games, arcade ports, and freemuims that are an embarrassment to gaming. While casual gamers are consistently blowing their money to progress in some freemuim title, more dedicated and experienced gamers could enjoy this overlooked classic any time they want.

The story is set before the events of Grand Theft Auto III as the Leone Family are fighting both the Sindacco and Forelli’s for control of the city. Everything changes when Toni Cipriani returns from exile to once again serve Salvatore Leone. However it’s not the welcome he anticipated as he must once again start from the bottom and work his way up. Not helping his cause is the Leone Family being threatened by internal conflicts while Toni must also struggle to earn the respect of his mother.

It’s the classic crime story that fans love with The Sopranos and the works of Martin Scorsese being an obvious inspiration. At the same time it feels like a retelling of Grand Theft Auto III only with real character development as players witness the transformation of Cipriani as he grows to become one of the most notable leaders in the Leone Family.

For gamers who grew up playing the Grand Theft Auto series on the PlayStation 2, Liberty City Stories will feel like a crime spree down memory lane. Old school gamers will feel right at home as they return to the original Liberty City and interact with the characters they fell in love with back in 2001.

In regards to its gamplay mechanisms, it has the classic setup used in GTAIII along with features that were introduced in Vice City. Unique to the iPhone version is an auto-save feature that makes it more convenient for players to pick up where they left off. Add the sharper graphics that neither the PSP nor PS2 version had, and it makes the iPhone version superior overall.

However it’s far from perfect as it, too, has a few minor flaws with the most obvious being that the controls are a slightly difficult to use. Unfortunately this has been a problem that has plagued every version of Grand Theft Auto for the iPhone, hence most gamers will most likely be used to it by now.

Another issue is that Michael Madsen did not return for the role of Toni Cipriani, but this is something that can be easily overlooked if one feels that Danny Mastrogiorgio did an excellent job.

Despite its minor flaws, this is a good game to have for gamers who either have been looking for a good game for their iPhone, or need to kill time on their commute because they are not dumb enough to find Candy Crush challenging.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is not only a nostalgic crime spree but the games return to the mobile platform. Gamers who miss the good old days of the Sixth Generation console era will enjoy the return to Liberty City in the role of a familiar character.

Rating: 9/10

Written for The Indiependent
12/30/2015
Original Article: Game Review: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (iOS)

Top 5 Places To Get A Good Burger In Palo Alto

Palo Alto is a community that is best reflected by the selection of restaurants and food trucks that allow residents to expand their horizons. Yet if you want to be reminded of your carnivorous habits then fear not: there are several establishments that serve burgers. For this list, fast-food will be excluded and unfortunately In-N-Out will not be included because it’s just too obvious of a selection.

Max’s Opera Café

After a long day at Stanford Shopping Center, you might crave a big chunk of meat along with a cold beer. Max’s Opera Café has a diverse menu that includes their own unique hand-smashed burgers. Patrons could choose between an 8 oz, 10 oz or 16 oz of meat along with their own toppings. The fries are also delicious but so are the in-house BBQ chips.

Slider Bar

If you are craving a burger but would also like a unique experience, you’ll want to come to Slider Bar for lunch. This burger spot is well known for its specially crafted burgers and truffle fries along with an excellent selection of beer. Because we all know miniature versions of things are just adorable to look at, even burgers.

Slider Bar, 324 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA, +1(650) 322-7300

Palo Alto Creamery Fountain and Grill

Also known as Peninsula Fountain & Grill, this classic has been the go-to spot for those in the tech industry that want to take a break for eating healthy to enjoy that American creation. Located in the center of downtown Palo Alto near University Avenue, Palo Alto Creamery Fountain and Grill has an excellent selection of burgers and other American staples.

The Old Pro

Need an ideal place to watch a game while making the best of every virtue and vice? Then stop by The Old Pro. A sports bar in the center of Palo Alto, this establishment laughs in the face of all the bourgeois restaurants. Enjoy a few beers with a juicy burger or challenge your friends to ride the mechanical bull.

The Old Pro, 541 Ramona St, Palo Alto, CA, +1(650) 326-1446

Kirk’s Steakburgers

Located at Town & Country Village, across the street from Leland Stanford Jr. University, is the perfect burger spot. Kirk’s Steakburgers is the ideal place when you are craving a monstrous burger, like the Big Kirk, along with a variety of styles of steak fries. Its location makes it the perfect burger spot to check out before or after a Cardinals game.

Kirk’s Steakburgers 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA, +1(650) 326-6159

Disclaimer* – The writer was listening to Cheeseburgers in Paradise by Jimmy Buffet while writing this article. That will explain the many familiar references.

Written for The Culture Trip
12/11/2015
Original Article: Top 5 Places To Get A Good Burger In Palo Alto

 

5 controversies that will haunt the legacy of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was a long-awaited game in an iconic series, and one of the most highly anticipated games of 2015. It’s also a game that has been plagued with a lot of controversy during its development.

From a new voice actor to the infamous Kojima/Konami dispute, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has seen its fair share of turmoil. And some of those controversies could haunt the game forever. In honor of it being the fifth MGS title, here are 5 MGS V controversies that the game might never shake off.

5. Microtransactions

As the release date approached, it was unveiled that microtransactions would be part of the online experience. Players who participated in the PvP feature could develop extra Forward Operation Bases (FOB), using MB Coins as currency.

Fans were outraged, as the practice of microtransactions has been very controversial in the gaming industry. Other games have faced the same kind of backlash when opting for microtransactions in the online gameplay.

Things only got worst when Konami introduced FOB insurance, a feature that has players pay real money to recover lost resources. This only added fuel to the fire. Players bemoaned the microtransactions, while many in the media were quick to denounce the feature.

4. Kiefer Sutherland replaces David Hayter

The first big controversy to hit Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was the rumor that David Hayter would not return as the voice of Big Boss. Gamers were shocked to learn that the rumors were true, and that he had been replaced with Kiefer Sutherland.

Fans of the series were either outraged or conflicted, as Hayter had been the voice of Snake and Big Boss since Metal Gear Solid. On the other had, Sutherland was well-known for his role as Jack Bauer on 24, so we knew he had what it took to play a badass character.

But here’s one of the biggest problems: Big Boss is driven by resentment and the desire to continue the legacy of his mentor. Jack Bauer is the personification of a hero America needed to look up to in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. We all wondered whether Sutherland would be able to separate himself from that patriotic role and bring to life the much darker motivations of Big Boss.

3. Quiet’s outfit and sexual assault

The portrayal of women in gaming has been a hot topic issue in recent years, and the use of rape in games is always a lightning rod for controversy. So it should not have been a surprise when gamers had a problem with Quiet’s skimpy outfit and the use of sexual violence.

Back in December 2013, it was revealed that the ESRB had listed Sexual Violence among the reasons why Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes had received an M rating. This was because of an audio recording of Paz being gang-raped while she was detained at Camp Omega. Even though it was an audio recording, many gamers found it to be very disturbing.

And most of us were not too pleased with Quiet’s lack of clothing, along with the fact she never speaks. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the beginning of Mission 45: A Quiet Exit, shows Quiet narrowly escaping sexual assault by a soldier.

Many felt that her attire was at best juvenile and at worst incredibly sexist. And the lame excuse they gave us doesn’t really help either. She breathes through her skin because of the parasites? Sure. It seems that if hypnotherapy and extensive facial reconstruction can turn a random medic into a supersoldier, someone in the MGSV universe would be able to create more breathable fabric.

2. Ground Zeroes short playtime

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain were first announced back in 2012 simply as Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. However, the project was split due to the long development time and Kojima’s desire to give players a sample of what to expect.

Gamers were excited to sample the next chapter in the iconic series, until it was revealed that it had a playtime of only two hours. Many felt that Konami was trying to pass off a demo as a real game

Kojima assured gamers that there was more to Ground Zeroes then the main game, but fans were not appeased. The controversy forced the game to undergo several price cuts before and after its release. But for some fans, that still wasn’t enough.

1. The Kojima/Konami dispute

Of all the controversies that have plagued the development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, none has been as detrimental as the feud between Konami and Hideo Kojima.

News of a breakdown in their relationship first became public when the Kojima Studios credit and Kojima’s name were removed from all promotional material for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Konami also removed his name from the game’s official box art.

Next came one of the most controversial decisions of the year: Konami announced that production of Silent Hills had been canceled. The announcement enraged gamers, and Guillermo del Toro announced that he would never work on another video game.

Allegedly, the root of the dispute is that Konami is undergoing a change in structure, and they want to focus more on mobile gaming. At the same time, the leadership at Konami was not happy that the production host of The Phantom Pain had hit $80 million. More than likely, those were both contributing factors to the fallout.

The dispute has been a disaster for Konami’s public image, as most of the gaming community has sided with Kojima. The industry has taken a more mediated approach, either asking that they bury the hatchet or passively taking a pro-Kojima stance.

Despite the turmoil, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is one of the best games of 2015 and a fitting conclusion to the series. Did any of these controversies make you reconsider the game? What’s your opinion on some of these issues? Let us know in the comments below!

Written for GameSkinny
10/11/2015
Original Article: 5 controversies that will haunt the legacy of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Study finds low skilled gamers are more likely to be sexist

According to a new study, male gamers who are low or unskilled at playing online are more likely to demonstrate sexist behavior towards female gamers.

The study was conducted by Michael M. Kasumovic and Jeffrey H. Kuznekoff from the University of New South Wales, who observed over 163 matches of Halo 3 and coded the behavior of the players. The purpose of the study was to examine if the presence of a skilled female would be disruptive to the ego of an unskilled male, who may feel their sense of hierarchy is threatened (be it in a game or work environment).

The research team used Halo 3 because its a game that relies on skills and fast thinking, hence everyone starts on an equal footing. Plus all the subjects are anonymous and may not have a personal history with the research team or other players. Another reason is that because everyone plays as a SPARTAN soldier that has the appearance of being gender neutral.

Based on the data collected, male gamers who performed poorly were more likely to act hostile towards a female player. It was also noted that the unskilled player was less likely to act hostile towards a male player who was more skilled.The theory is that the unskilled male gamers would try to compensate for their failure by trying to act more masculine towards their female counterpart.

Meanwhile the study also found that male gamers who performed better were more likely to be respectful towards female players. This was because they didn’t fear that their hierarchy was being threatened while trying to get the attention of the female player.

All of the data was collected by observing and recording the actions of other players through Xbox Live, no consent was made and the team made no interactions with the observed subjects.

This has been the second major study done by Michael M. Kasumovic on the effects of video games on gender roles. It was reported over the weekend of July 10, that a study by him and Thomas F. Denson found that violent video games boosted the self-esteem of women gamers.

Looks like this may explain the behavior of those affiliated with the GamerGate movements, a legion of noobs that wants to protect their masculinity by lashing out at women gamers.

Written for Digital Journal 
7/19/2015
Original Article: Study finds low skilled gamers are more likely to be sexist

Op-Ed: Ellen Pao showed why only techies should manage tech companies

In only a few months, Ellen Pao went from being the face of gender discrimination in the Silicon Valley to a symbol of censorship. While some will blame sexism, her downfall is the classic story of why tech companies should be lead by techies.

After a crackdown of controversial subreddits in a move seen as an act of censorship and the dismissal of a popular administrator, the Reddit community was demanding her resignation. After much debate and damage control, Ellen Pao stepped down as CEO of Reddit on July 10.

Given her high profile discrimination lawsuit against, many have been quick to blame sexism of the Reddit community for Pao’s resignation. However this “social justice warrior” outlook is the most fallacious specter to examine her downfall (if you could even call it that). This instead is another classic example of why the leadership of tech companies should always be in the hands of the techies and not business figures.

 In theory, a business should be led by someone with the knowledge and experience in managing a business. However the rules in Silicon Valley are different while the guidance of old Wall Street are the foundations of failure. Tech is more then just an industry that aims to just make a profit, its the basis of an innovative and progressive culture. Old Wall Street is neither progressive nor innovative but a hound seeking a quick profit without a long term goal. Looking at the rise and fall of several tech companies will show a repeated pattern of why the leadership should be in the hands of the techies.

 

Under the leadership of Bill Gates, Microsoft was both a dominating force and a leader in the tech industry. That all changed when Steve Ballmer took over and the influence of the company began to decline. During his leadership, Microsoft failed to get a foothold in the emerging consumer tech market while most of their products failed to gain traction among consumers. When Ballmer left in 2014, Microsoft is only surviving because of Microsoft Office and the Xbox game consoles.

During Microsoft’s decline, Hewlett-Packard was having its own problems under the leadership of Carly Fiorina. Known as the company that established the Silicon Valley, HP fell into dismay with a series failures, bad acquisitions along with massive layoffs. Today her legacy remains controversial as many in Silicon Valley consider her one of the worst tech CEOs.

Another tech titan that fell from grace was Electronic Arts under the leadership of John Riccitiello. EA was once a leader of innovation in the gaming world, but that all changed when Riccitiello became CEO in 2004. Thanks to a series of gimmicks in an attempt to change the concept of the gaming industry, stock prices dropped while once loyal fans made EA earn the title “Worst Company In America” two years in a row.

Pao’s failure at Reddit is exactly the same reason why Ballmer, Riccitiello and Firoina failed miserably, none of these leaders were techies. When these companies were first established and during the height of their prosperity, it was the computer engineers who held most of the leadership positions. They had executives and managers with experience in business offering guidance but it was those who had a background in technology that had the real leadership roles.

However when the leadership role was passed to those who had no real experience in tech or were more business-focused, that is when it started to go down hill. Pao is a lawyer with experience in the finance industry; she had no real credibility to lead a tech company. Ballmer and Riccitiello were only involved in the business section of their respected company, they had no real understanding of how that technology aspect functioned.

On the other side of the specter are tech companies that are changing the world while being very profitable. Yet the leadership of these companies is still in the hands of those with a strong background in technology and computer engineering.

While Microsoft prospered in the 90’s, Apple was limping under several leaders who had little to no experience in managing a tech company. Everything changed when Steve Jobs returned to transform the company he established into the iconic brand that we know today. When Tim Cook took over in 2011, he had some experiences in managing a tech company but made the strategic choice to have techies like Scott Forstall advise him. This move paid-off as Apple has continued to prosper several years after the death of its founder.

At the same time, Google grew from a search engine service to become one of the largest tech service companies in the world. Besides maintaining the most popular search engine while providing a verity of digital services, its also one of the most popular companies among employees and job seekers. Google has a reputation of encouraging innovation while highly valuing and respecting its employees. Yet its leadership has been controlled by those with a background in computer science and while the current and former CEO were at one time a computer engineer. With a combination of progressive values and ignoring the advice of old Wall Street, Google has grown to become a leader in the global tech market.

Ellen Pao is a person with many talents and plenty of opportunities in the future, however having an Ivy League education does not make someone a “Jack/Jane of all trades.” History has shown that only the techies know how to manage a successful tech company while Pao is better setting up roots in another industry that will allow her to utilize her skills and knowledge.

Written for Digital Journal 
7/11/2015
Original ArticleOp-Ed: Ellen Pao showed why only techies should manage tech companies

Resident Evil 0 HD’s success or failure will determine future of RE franchise

Capcom announcing an HD remake of Resident Evil 0 may seem like another gimmick to appeal towards gamer nostalgia, but to the gaming community, its a representation of a cultural struggle that will determine the future of this iconic series.

Resident Evil was the leader in defining the concept of the horror survival genre, but now its future has been brought into question. Now a debate that has pitted traditional fans of the series against a new generation could be finally resolved by the success of Resident Evil 0 HD.

A Tale of Two Gaming Generations

Starting with the Fifth Console Generation, the Resident Evil series was the leader in defining the concept of the survival horror genre. However, the times changed and so did the series in the hopes of appealing to a new generation of gamers.

At first the new direction was welcomed by fans when Resident Evil 4 found the right balance of horror and action. Then everything changed when Resident Evil 5 abandoned most of the survival horror elements in favor of an action game. It all finally came to breaking point when Resident Evil 6 was released in 2012, being hailed as the worst game in the series. The result were a deep rift between a new generation of gamers and traditional fans while the future of the series was being put into question.

Adding insult to a disgruntled community was a special investment report that was published in 2013 that attributed the problems of the series to the fan base having become “too old.” Gamers were quick to express their outrage while the gaming media denounced the report as further proof that Capcom is failing to connect with its core audience.

Going Old School

In the Summer of 2014; Capcom announced that an HD remake of Resident Evil(based on the 2002 GameCube version) was in the works. The game took the player back to the traditional setup while visually being presented in 1080p and running at 60fps along with 5.1 surround support.

The announcement was met with enthusiasm and support from the gaming community, as there has been a strong demand to re-release the GameCube remake (dubbed REmake). Social media networks along with gaming sites were flooded with gamers voicing their support for the HD remake.

Resident Evil HD Remaster released on January 20, 2015, and it was highly praised by both fans along with critics. Despite being released at the end of the month and after the Holiday season, it was one of the best-selling titles of the year. According to Capcom; it was the fastest selling title in the series and one of the best-selling digital media titles. Sony also verified that Resident Evil was the best-selling game in January for both PlayStation consoles.

The Future Is Zero

Despite what fans are hoping for, the success of one game alone is not enough to determine the future of the series. Resident Evil 0 HD will be an attempt to recreate the success of Resident Evil HD to see if the series should return to its roots.

Should Resident Evil 0 succeed then the fans have sent a clear message to Capcom that the series needs to return to its roots as a true horror survival. It could also be the push needed for a proper remake of Resident Evil 2, something fans have wanted for a long time since its often hailed as the best game in the series.

However; if Resident Evil 0 HD fails then the ramification are going to be worse then more action games. The message sent to Capcom will be one of doubt that could jeopardize the future of the series. With no clear understanding of what the fan base wants, this could be a tipping point that could kill the Resident Evil series.

Gamers will have to wait until January 2016 to see if the success of Resident Evil 0 HD is the push needed to return the series to its roots. Or will its failure be the final nail in the coffin that ends the legacy of this pop-culture icon.

Written for GameSkinny
6/4/2015
Original Article: Resident Evil 0 HD’s success or failure will determine future of RE franchise