Resident Evil on PSVR is SCARY!

Jason has been dying to play Resident Evil 7 since he first learned that the franchise was going to be returning to its survival horror roots, and especially since he found it that it was going to work with PSVR! This video is the first bit of his gameplay, and trust me, I was dying trying not to laugh over in the corner while he was recording!

A to Z Challenge: (R)esident Evil

ResidentEvilMuch of my childhood video game history is riddled with happy-go-lucky plot-lines and cute, cartoonish characters, and that worked for me because I was a pretty wussy kid. But eventually I was bound to delve into something a little darker, and when I did it was with one of the most popular horror survival games of all time: ‘Resident Evil’.

In early 1994, game designer Shinji Mikami began work on a big new project. He had spent the era of 16-bit gaming working on Disney games for the Super Nintendo, but now the industry was shifting to the three-dimensional world, and Mikami wanted to aim his new project toward more mature players. He took influence from everything from George Romero’s zombie flicks, to a French game called ‘Alone in the Dark’, the later of which gave him the formula for the perfect blend of action and adventure, poured into a zombie survival scenario.

In March of 1996, Capcom finally released the first ‘Resident Evil’ game for the Playstation, and in a little more than a year it sold a million copies, joining ‘Street Fighter’ as one of Capcom’s biggest blockbuster games ever. From then ‘Resident Evil’ became one of Capcom’s biggest and most-loved franchises.

In the original installment, the player would begin the game as one of two characters – Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine – who are both members of an elite task force known as S.T.A.R.S. As their chosen character the player would set out to investigate the disappearance of fellow S.T.A.R.S., a mission that would take them to the outskirts of Raccoon City. The next thing the player would know, they’d find themselves trapped in a creepy old mansion, beset by zombies and other monsters. The player would then have to set out to explore said mansion, recovering clues to the mysterious outbreak, and solving puzzles to aid in survival. Throughout the game, different actions could be taken by the player that would affect the game’s ending.

In addition to the creepy setting and the relentless, undead antagonists, one of the things that made ‘Resident Evil’ suitably frightening was the fact that the playable characters were designed to be significantly weaker than many gamers would have been used to beforehand. Even though they were highly trained operatives, Chris and Jill were programed to be as fragile as any normal human, as opposed to being the kind of fantastical powerhouses that most games employed. This meant that gamers had to be extremely wary when using the limited ammo and healing items hidden throughout the mansion. This system added a second layer of difficulty to survival, and an extra punch to the panic gamers would feel when running into zombies.

I’m giving you the background of the original ‘Resident Evil’ because it is iconic, but the first game in the series that I actually played was ‘Resident Evil 2’. My best friend and I rented it one night back in our last year of junior high school, and it scared the beejeebus out of us. This installment was the first to introduce the Licker, a new mutation with enormous claws, an exposed brain, and an extremely long tongue. These days the dated graphics make the reveal a lot less powerful, but at the time it was top-of-the-line technology and seeing that horrible creature stalking toward us was like guaranteeing that I’d have nightmares for the rest of my life.

Actually, screw that. This thing is still creepy as f**k.
Actually, screw that. This thing is still creepy as f**k.

‘Resident Evil 2’ wasn’t my only experience with the series, of course, but over the years I’ve done a great deal more watching than playing when it comes to these games. The best example would be ‘Resident Evil 4’, which my husband became mildly obsessed with for quite a spell when we were dating. The story follows Leon S. Kennedy, a U.S special agent who is on a mission to rescue the president’s daughter from the sinister cult who kidnapped her. Shortly after arriving in remote rural Europe, Leon is faced with the realization that a new mutation of the zombie virus has overtaken this land. It was an amazing game with an interesting and clever twist on the limited-resources system, and I spent hours watching my husband play it when we were first dating. That, to me, is a big sign of an excellent game, that someone can thoroughly enjoy it without even actually playing it.

Have you played any of the Resident Evil games? Which is your favorite? Least favorite? Scariest moment? Please share!

Enjoying the A to Z Challenge? Why not check out some of these other participating blogs?

Visceral Video Games

You all know that I’m a bit of a gamer, but depending on your own personal experience with them you might be surprised to see me bring up video games in relation to Halloween. After all, the Mario Bros. aren’t exactly terrifying. Well I’m here to tell you that there are plenty of spine-tingling video games out there to give you a rush. Some of my favs? So glad you asked!

The franchise has gone downhill in recent years, but when I was a kid it was all about Resident Evil. This classic originally took place in a zombie-wracked Racoon City, and employed a strategic system of gameplay that involved a lot of sneaking around, conserving limited ammo and items, and, of course, shooting undead monsters in the head. By today’s standards the graphics are quite less realistic, but back in the day they were plenty good enough to scare the pants off me. I can still remember the night my best friend and I were playing the second game in the series and a Licker jumped through a window at us. The game controller went flying across the room as two squealing little wusses went scrambling for safety. There were a few nervous, embarrassed chuckles that night, let me tell you.

Tell me that wouldn't have made you soil yourself a little when you were a kid.
Tell me that wouldn’t have made you soil yourself a little when you were a kid.

Time went on, games came and went, and the next game to genuinely scare the bejeezus out of me was a gem called Fatal Frame. This interesting little series had a very different kind of gameplay wherein your character’s only “weapon” was a mysterious camera that could view and photograph ghosts. Your only means of fighting back against violent ghosts was to take pictures of them – the better the picture (according the game’s criteria), the more damage you did to the ghost. This could make for some tense moments as you struggled to get the perfect shot while ghosts swooped down on top of you with dead eyes and shrieking mouths. I have to admit that I never actually played this one myself. Instead I used to snuggle up beside my husband (boyfriend at the time) and watch him play. And that was enough. Every time a ghost popped out I nearly jumped through the ceiling, so goodness knows what would have happened if I’d actually been the one in control.

Nope nope nope nope nope.
Nope nope nope nope nope.

Several years past the days of Fatal Frame, my husband put together a funny ‘Zombie Box’ present for me for Christmas, and part of that present was a game called Dead Nation. It’s a post-apocalyptic world in which your character traverses the zombie-infested landscape while searching for the ‘safe zone’. It’s a top-down-view shooter, which isn’t usually the scariest of views to play a game in, but let me tell you…this game can be tense. There are lots of moments during the game in which you are absolutely surrounded by zombies on all sides, with no way out, and it really gets the blood pumping. Humorously, I actually found this game to be even more tense when I eventually downloaded it on my Vita. You wouldn’t think that you could get too jumpy playing on a handheld device, but if you’ve got a good pair of headphones on and are holding the screen right up to your face? Yeah…things can get pretty real.


But the game that gave me the most jump-scares and straight-up wiggins in the past decade or so? Well that honor goes to a game that isn’t even really, technically, a game. It’s a free download on the Playstation Store that is simply called “P.T.” and it came very close to giving me a heart attack more than once. I don’t want to say too much because it’s a hell of a lot creepier if you don’t understand what’s happening when you’re going in, but believe me when I say that if you want to have a creepy evening, download this game, draw the shades, and crank the volume.

Look for this image in the PS store, and then consider getting yourself a diaper to wear while you play.
Look for this image in the PS store, and then consider getting yourself a diaper to wear while you play.

Do you enjoy spooky and scary video games? What is your favorite? What’s your most memorable video game scare? Please share!