Friday, October 27, 2017

Netto's Beginnings: First Horror

As I mentioned earlier this week, I don't do horror. So why would I ever play a horror game to begin with? Really, I'm not sure! I can still picture the day like it was yesterday though.

One day when I got to college, I walked into the math/science building's lunch hall, and sat down at my usual table in the corner by some windows. Since I car pulled with my dad, I would show up about an hour before my classes started, and I'd use that time to either play around online on my laptop (which eventually lead to the creation of Netto's Game Room), or I'd study and do homework before I had to go to class. That's when I suddenly had a strange idea. "I should start a new game series, and that series should be Resident Evil!" Yep, that's just about how it went.

(Same picture that helped me start it all)
Again I'm not really sure why I decided on Resident Evil, but I spent that day looking up information, and talking to friends on MSN about it. I guess a part of me had always wanted to play it, but I was always too scared to give it a try. Considering I was able to deal with the zombies in Dead Rising (which wasn't a horror game), Resident Evil seemed like it was no longer going to be an issue for me. Although, what was an issue was getting the money for it. I didn't make that much at the bakery since I had school most of the time, but as soon as I found the Wii versions of Resident Evil 0, 1, and 4 on sale on Amazon, I jumped on it. Despite buying these games first, they were not the first games I played. Instead as I waited for them I came across Resident Evil 2 on sale on PSN, and I ended up buying it and downloading it to my PSP and PS3. This was my first real experience with a horror game, and what I would play as I waited for the others to make it to my house.

The first thing I noticed about RE2 was the controls. Now I had played RE3 for a whole 30 seconds before, so I knew about the tank controls, but I didn't expect to struggle with them like I did. Escaping the zombies at the start felt like a chore, and I wasn't sure if I could make it through the game because of it. Even so I pushed on, and eventually they did grow on me. That didn't help with the other challenge I faced though, and it was one I wasn't really expecting -- very limited resources. Not only were items limited, but I had to find said items to save the game, and enemies took a lot more to kill than I thought! The game actually didn't freak me out because of the monsters and what not, it scared me because I didn't want to die and lose it all!

While RE2 might've been freakier back when it first came out, it was no big deal compared to today's graphics. There were some jump scares from time to time (but those mostly got to me because I was using headphones), but nothing I saw scared me. For a horror game, it wasn't quite what I imagined it would be like, but I also didn't care. Rather than being scared to progress it made me want to explore, and the fear of death made me be more careful about what I did. Sometimes I would save the game, run around without a care in the world, and then reload when I found the correct path, and other times I would restart if I felt I could handle something better. It made learning the game a lot more fun for me, and before I knew it I was at the end -- of Leon's story that is.

Playing as Claire was a lot of fun. By this point I understood the game much better, and I liked the idea of going back through the world with things being changed up. By this point all fear I had was gone, and instead I was able to fully focus on enjoying the puzzles that waited for me ahead. Then when it was finally all over, I found myself wanting more. More that would come in a box just a few days later.

My history with the RE series really took off from there. I played through 0 next, followed by 1, and finally RE4. This was also the game I was finishing up as I got the idea for Netto's Game Room, and it's the reason one of my first posts was a "mini review" of Resident Evil 4. Shockingly I never did find the series scary though. Sure there were creepy moments, but there was never a time I was too scared to advance. That is, until Resident Evil 7 in VR. That being said, RE did become one of my favorite series of all time, and I still look forward to each new release.