Re: Resident Evil 5
I bought it a day early, loved it. The game is essentially Resident Evil 4.5, but that was one of the best games ever made, especially if you're a fan. You can check out my thoughts on the game on the Resident Evil RPG, in fact I'll put them here (spoilers of course).
I'm currently calling it Resident Evil 4.5, as without spoilers there as so so many scenes that are done to Chris and Sheva that were done with Leon. I'll just hint at one scene where it almost mirrors the left path after RE4's hut battle. And there's a few storyline details where I thought "No, do it this way." I'll elaborate below. Still a blast though, been playing it non stop since I got it.
I had a few issues with the story and game...Jill was brought up just a little too much for example. It's great we have Sheva and all but I'm thinking, Rebecca could have filled the partner role just as well, why not have an old character if this is going to round everything off? I actually have a couple of thoughts about this. And the good guys seems to be so clean cut they won't shoot someone when they get the chance. Several times Chris or Sheva could have shot Excella, stepped on the wound and tortured her for answers, and really they should have.
As much as we all love Jill I thought her storyline was overplayed a little. When Chris meets Sheva she's explicitly brought up. A few levels in Chris sees an image that although I'm not sure any of us would have picked it he identifies as Jill. That's about the only thing he says to Excella, demanding answers about Jill. And the payoff seemed...given how much Chris obsessed over her throughout the game him saving her was fairly understated I thought. I think perhaps the second scene was the worst offender, it played the Jill card too early. Below I explain how this could have been done differently.
Speaking of Jill, I like her as superhuman blonde ponytail badass, but her wardrobe is a bit iffy in my opinion. The purple bodysuit is fine, but having checkers on it? Same for Wesker, I'm not sure if this is a graphical issue but the Smackdown vs Raw games have the same checkered look on some of the clothing. But her BSAA outfit, somehow it makes Jill look a little plain, and it doesn't look like Jill, her body shape doesn't look like for her, she looks like a young girl playing soldier. And Chris' safari outfit, the shades! The grey hair! The look! Oh dear, his normal clothes before donning the BSAA armor looked great, I personally would have gone with this. And Wesker's scowl on the Mercenaries select screen apes how he's gone well and truely over. I was going to b*tch about Sheva and her alternate outfit but I've just noticed, she is playing Elena from Street Fighter.
Sheva. What can be said about her? I really like the character, she had a great look, great personality, and her AI would only sometimes fall over, otherwise she was a total badass. And if you leave her idle for a moment, she will laugh, she will actually laugh. We've had characters laugh in the game before, mostly sinister types, but that sealed the deal for me. Just the one nitpick I have with her though, and this is largely averted, if Chris needed a partner why not Rebecca? They'd worked together before and she hadn't been heard from in ten years. It would answer the question everyone wanted to know as to what happened to her by having her as Chris' partner, instead of having to come up with a new chatacter. However, this is lampshaded a little in Sheva, being from Africa, explaining about tensions over their involvement. As we all know the charge of racism was brought up by having the killing of blacks in the game, while ignoring the fact Wesker and Irving are the real bad guys and they're white. Sheva would have perhaps made it more accceptable, same with Josh and the other African good guys, so with that in mind I have no real complaints.
I do have complaints over the lack of answers though. At the risk of sounding like Chris, where's Rebecca? Leon seems to be not a part of the BSAA, still with the Secret Service, I'd have liked to see this detailed somehow. Umbrella Chroicles ended with Wesker being the hero in giving evidence against Umbrella, I was surprised this wasn't brought up as I'm sure Chris would have really been pissed about this. Nor is there reason given why the two hatee each other so much, I'm sure it's there in the files but Chris actively avoids explaining to Sheva. There's still a lot of unanswered questions, and if this is going to be the last game before we get an entirely different story then it's rather poor.
How about the game began with a little prologue where and Chris and Jill hunt down Oswell Spencer? I thought this for several reasons.
1. It wouldn't have to be a large deal. A few rooms before the Wesker boss fight.
2. Radio chatter could fill in many of the blanks. The BSAA file for example says it began with the Original Eleven...the surviving STARS are obvious shoe ins for this. Is Leon a member or is he with the Secret Service? Claire, or is she still a reporter? Carlos. Any of the Outbreak characters? And Chris and Jill wouldn't go it alone, maybe we could hear from Rebecca and Carlos clearing other rooms, or even have them appear.
3. This could be used to polish up a bit of the storyline. What do I mean? Well BSAA agents are meant to be psychologically tough right? Chris is still mourning Jill and doubts if it's worth fighting, understandable perhaps but maybe this could be downplayed a little. Edit the part where Chris sees Jill in the glass tank. Maybe when Sheva asks about Jill we could take out the flashback and have a rather powerful scene of Chris laying flowers at Jill's grave, like in the promotion images. By making such cuts I think it would improve the story, as the hint that Jill is alive isn't dropped and what is said about BSAA agents being mentally tough is backed up by Chris only really bringing the subject up when Sheva asked about it. That would have perhaps had more of an impact and set us up for Jill being revealed as working with Wesker at the end.
Speaking of Sheva, I've heard complaints about her AI. Perhaps a patch to improve it might be a good idea, as I've had issues with it as well, though by the same token understand she isn't going to play the game for you. Still perhaps it might be a good idea.
Have some characters in for Mercenaries mode. Give Rebecca a fully upgraded Beretta, grenades and first aid spray. Give Carlos the Sig assault rifle and handgun and he's sorted. Barry the Colt .357 or even the S&W .500. Claire could have the Kalashnikof and the bow gun. All Capcom need to do is add in skins and voices, or even just wing it and use Sheva or Jill for any downloaded characters. People would pay for this, charge a couple of bucks for Jill's STARS outfit or miniskirt and tube top.