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14th July 2021: What A Senseless Waste

I have been feeling a little bit rebellious lately as I'm starting to get somewhat worn down by people screeching on the internet and trying to dictate what other people can and can't like in their entertainment.
In my opinion, you can like whatever you want as long as it's not illegal. After all, movies, games and the like are completely fictitious and fantasy, and are supposed to be about escapism. Last thing I want is shitty real life issues being brought up all the time, when all I want to do is get away from all that crap and enjoy myself.

The first game I played in this little "stand up to the online censors" segment is called Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story. This had people attacking it purely because the main character, a young woman named Mei, is fairly endowed in the chest department. I mean seriously, as if there are no women out there with big boobs. These people need to grow up.
You've also got to take into account that this has fairly manga-inspired visuals, and is set in a cyberpunk future where it's established that cosmetic surgeries are commonplace. On top of that, pretty much every other female character (and at least one guy I saw) was bigger up top than Mei was. Just proves that these critics didn't even look into the game at all.

Well gladly, the developers basically told these weirdos to go to hell, and that's why I decided to support them.

So what is the game, and what is it about?

Well as established, you play as Mei, someone who finds herself seeing things through her cybernetic eyes that nobody else can see, such as supernatural events and spooks. She finds herself trapped in an apartment block that has been sealed off from the world for the best part of a century (I think) and learns that she must exorcise the spirits and ancient evil from the building in order to escape.

The gameplay is very much like a point and click exploration game, but without the mouse as an interface. Instead you just use the keyboard or a controller. Unfortunately, I found it a janky and not very smooth experience, especially in terms of animation. I mean, the backgrounds scrolled by and animated in other ways very smoothly, but the animations of Mei and the other characters seemed very jittery and stiff, especially in faster motion such as running.

And there were bugs. Holy shit there were bugs. Even in the first few minutes there were obvious things like dialog seeming to skip or repeat. And the inventory, map and journal system was infuriating, as it reset each time rather than remembering where you were last time. And the map always loaded at the first floor, even if you were on a different one. Quality of life things like this should never be skipped from the development of even the simplest of games, yet they were here.

But the main issue I had was at one point I figured I'd got to use this key making machine, as I had got the code for it and could seemingly do nothing else to progress, but the game just wouldn't let me, so I turned it off. Then when I tried again later it immediately let me use it. Which was dumb.

Later on in the game, combat elements are introduced, but these are maybe the worst part of the game, as the fighting is laughably bad and clunky, consisting of pressing a single button to swing a sword at the right time, almost like a light QTE.

Overall I found the game quite disappointing, and definitely not worth what I paid for it. But this is because the game itself is pretty bad, not because of the proportions of the character. I actually think there was nothing wrong with the art style at all, and many of the characters were very cool looking. There were also interesting things going on with the story, though I didn't really get my head around a lot of the folklore that is alluded to throughout.

The ending was also a bit of a let down, despite the fact that quite an interesting thing happens, which is you playing as another character who is trying to figure out what happened to Mei while she was in the building. They could have done something really cool with this as you go through and piece together the puzzles, but everything just kind of stops and fizzles out and doesn't go anywhere.

Oh well.

The developers probably anticipated what was going to happen

The developers probably anticipated what was going to happen

Such incredible action mechanics

Such incredible action mechanics

Get away from me creepy naked ghost dude

Get away from me creepy naked ghost dude

I don't think mirrors work this way

I don't think mirrors work this way

Battling an evil ghost prostitute doll thing

Battling an evil ghost prostitute doll thing

End boss goes for her patented 'sneaky grope' attack

End boss goes for her patented 'sneaky grope' attack

30th September 2019: Resident Evil Maps

<Old Stuff>

By far the most popular things on my old site were all of the Resident Evil game maps that I made. My Resident Evil 1 Directors Cut maps were made in August 2011, which was a few months before I started doing my original computer gaming blog, and therefore they were never included in it.

It makes sense that they are the first things I bring back as part of my <Old Stuff> series of blog entries.

I got the Director's Cut of the original Resident Evil for the PS1 back in the 90s, but back then I only got to the underground section, and never actually finished the game. For some reason in mid 2011, I made up my mind that I was finally gonna get through it. And not only that, I was gonna make some detailed maps as I went on the adventure.
I started with Jill in normal mode, as that's what I tried way back then...

These maps were used by JPTR when making their Resident Evil mod for Skyrim called "The Evil Mansion", which can be found on Nexusmods and Steam Workshop. You should check it out. It looks freakin' awesome.

Jill standard mode, mansion 1st floor, 1st visit

Jill standard mode, mansion 1st floor, 1st visit

Jill standard mode, mansion 2nd floor, 1st visit

Jill standard mode, mansion 2nd floor, 1st visit

Jill standard mode, courtyard

Jill standard mode, courtyard

Jill standard mode, guardhouse 1st floor

Jill standard mode, guardhouse 1st floor

Jill standard mode, guardhouse basement

Jill standard mode, guardhouse basement

Jill standard mode, mansion 1st floor, 2nd visit

Jill standard mode, mansion 1st floor, 2nd visit

Jill standard mode, mansion 2nd floor, 2nd visit

Jill standard mode, mansion 2nd floor, 2nd visit

Jill standard mode, mansion basement

Jill standard mode, mansion basement

Jill standard mode, underground

Jill standard mode, underground

Jill standard mode, lab B1 & B2

Jill standard mode, lab B1 & B2

Jill standard mode, lab B3 & B4

Jill standard mode, lab B3 & B4

After going through Jill's normal mission, I decided to go through the Chris advanced mission, just for shits and giggles. Though it was more challenging (yes I'm talking to you, Hunters!) I much prefer this mode as it forces you to go to a lot of the parts of the mansion you could just skip passed during normal mode.

Chris advanced mode, mansion 1st floor, 1st visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion 1st floor, 1st visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion 2nd floor, 1st visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion 2nd floor, 1st visit

Chris advanced mode, courtyard

Chris advanced mode, courtyard

Chris advanced mode, guardhouse 1st floor

Chris advanced mode, guardhouse 1st floor

Chris advanced mode, guardhouse basement

Chris advanced mode, guardhouse basement

Chris advanced mode, mansion 1st floor, 2nd visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion 1st floor, 2nd visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion 2nd floor, 2nd visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion 2nd floor, 2nd visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion basement

Chris advanced mode, mansion basement

Chris advanced mode, underground

Chris advanced mode, underground

Chris advanced mode, lab B1 & B2

Chris advanced mode, lab B1 & B2

Chris advanced mode, lab B3 & B4

Chris advanced mode, lab B3 & B4

10th March 2019: Preparing To Face More Evil

Now, I've never really been tempted at all to play over-the-shoulder style Resident Evil games, but all the hype surrounding the remade Resident Evil 2 got me wondering. I grabbed a very cheap copy of Resident Evil 4 from ebay, as it is widely considered to be the best of that type.
As it is an XP game, I first installed it on my old XP laptop, but couldn't get any more than 15 frames per second. Thinking it may be something to do with mobile graphics, I dusted off my old XP tower that has been in storage since the mid 2000s, and tried to play it on that instead. First I had to sort out a very noisy graphics card fan, which needed some much needed oil, before I could even stand to give power to the old monstrosity.
Unfortunately, after installing, I was again faced with a very clunky and slow game that just sat at 15 FPS. I ended up having to install it on my current computer, and luckily it seems to work ok. However, I'm unhappy that it doesn't have mouse controls, and the mouse control patch I downloaded doesn't seem to work, so I'll have to use a joypad. Sigh.
I've only run around a bit at the start of the game, and I'm not sure if I'll get around to this any time soon, but at least I know it will be playable.

Still works after more than a decade in the loft...

Still works after more than a decade in the loft...

...though it needed a good clean.

...though it needed a good clean.

Well, this place looks inviting

Well, this place looks inviting

Run free, little doge

Run free, little doge

7th October 2014: Not Such A Shock

And then we tried one that I bought a while ago, System Shock 2, that I was really looking forward to getting into, mainly because it can be played 3-player co-op, and I thought me, Scoob and JIK could give it a go. In the end, I got tired of waiting for all of us to be available, so me and Scoob tried a 2-player game. I think I'd built it up in my head far too much, and was greatly disappointed. This thing was all kinds of clunky, especially the HUD and inventory. The combat and controls were also slow and frustrating, and we had no real idea what was going on. I went in expecting an interesting FPS horror game, and got psychic monkeys shooting energy balls at us. Hmmph.

The not so scary ghosts of System Shock 2

The not so scary ghosts of System Shock 2

The definitely not scary monkeys

The definitely not scary monkeys

7th August 2014: Ending Stauf

It's been nearly twenty years since I first played the 7th Guest with my mate Dave on my very first PC. Hours and hours we sat there, putting up with the annoying doll maker Stauf and his bizarre house of horrors, bashing our heads against the screen in a vain attempt to get through all the puzzles. Somehow we got up into the attic, and on to the last puzzle, which we could not finish. I don't think we could even figure out what we were supposed to do to complete it, and the game went unfinished for nearly two decades.

A little while back, we started playing it again, but it was on Dave's iPad version and we didn't get very far. This did however reignite the desire in me to finally see this damn thing completed, so I booted up my GOG version at last.

I'm still kind of hazy on the whole plot of this game. You seem to play as the spirit of a little kid who broke into Stauf's mansion years ago only to be hunted by the six guests who were staying there, as Stauf has promised them all their desires should you be delivered to him. You go through the building solving Stauf's puzzles, and witnessing ghostly flashbacks showing what happened in the past as all the other guests began to turn on each other.
By the end of it, it seems that your puzzle solving skills as a spirit in present day somehow save the kid when he was alive years and years ago.
I think. I could be wrong.

Well, I guess a rock solid plot wasn't what people were looking for when this originally came out in the early 90s. I think people were more interested in the freakishly weird mood of the game, and its technical aspects. It's considered to be quite revolutionary due to its cut scenes, 3D exploration and its CD-ROM release, and a lot of people on GOG are still giving it good scores. For me, despite enjoying it years ago, I would now struggle to recommend it to anyone that's not played it before. In fairness, it barely even deserves to be called a game, as it's just an array of puzzles, some that are very similar to each other, with very cheesy story bits in between.

Whatever I think of it hardly matters now. It's done, and gone, and I'll never have to think of it again...

Stauf sure likes his dolls

Stauf sure likes his dolls

Cake or death? Or cake of death?

Cake or death? Or cake of death?

Ha ha, goat face

Ha ha, goat face

Such wonderful acting

Such wonderful acting

Missing your chess pieces there dude

Missing your chess pieces there dude

Go on, stroke that tongue, I dare you

Go on, stroke that tongue, I dare you

The other six guests

The other six guests

This bastard actually scared us when we were kids

This bastard actually scared us when we were kids

You should see a doctor, seriously

You should see a doctor, seriously

Bye bye Stauf, at long last

Bye bye Stauf, at long last

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