Resident Evil 4

I finished Resident Evil 4 yesterday. It's a very good game and hats off to Capcom for taking a new direction for the series. Capcom seem to have a strong product line with the likes of Resident Evil and Devil May Cry. I found that RE4 had a good difficulty level, being just tough enough to make you struggle to keep your character alive while not becoming so frustrating to make you just give up. Devil May Cry 3 is apparently nails, though I haven't had the pleasure of playing it yet.

Given how much of a zombie fan I am I find it a pleasant surprise that I liked the move away from zombies to cultists in RE4. The ammo supplies and such kept it action packed (rather than evasion packed) while still rewarding evading big groups of enemies.

All in all I found it a great move for the series and have really enjoyed playing it.


Marketting and the Blurring of Nations

This isn't a technical discussion nor that about a specific game; rather it is about something that has been brought up at least a few times about games before. I don't read previews; I entirely ignore most of the stuff about the development of a particular game; even a game I am fanatically interested in. As a person who has a desire to become a developer maybe I should take more of an active interest in all these previews but I feel the constant attention to the product dilutes my interest. When I read about great game I think fab, I want to play that when I realise it isn't hitting the market for another year I pretty much forget about it. Perhaps by the time that release finally hit's the shelf I won't have the slightest interest in it.

To this degree I subscribe to Steve Jobs', if you advertise the product on the Tuesday, sell it on the Wednesday, I don't care about first reviews; I care about the reviews I can read about a game on the day of release or a few days before. Of course, I am a little bias here, since I read reviews and news about games on international sites and, living in Europe, tend to have the last release of any game. Therefore you hear about a game, decide you want it, and then realise you have to wait another few months before they localize it for a European market.

So do you think there is a place for the countless previews and developer chats that occur months, possibly years, before a game release or do you feel that the marketing cycle for a game should be much shorter?


It's the Small Things

I've always found install screens to be of little importance in a game. I was very impressed with The Sims II install, which included a trivia game. However upon installing the Obscure demo I was presented with a screen that I have been with a few other games as well. It asks you your name and company. I don't mind putting my name in, like you would if you install Word but the fact that you cannot proceed with the install if you don't enter a company just pisses me off. It is unlikely that I represent a company playing the game; I know it is just a standard install screen but surely it doesn't take that much coding to remove company as a required field.