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Forum Home > THE RACCOON PRESS > Where did the series go wrong?

Deer Rest FOA
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Posts: 5



I've been a fan myself since the late 90's, or around 2000 at least. I think RE 4 is what caused the major screwing up of the series, even though it improved the gameplay nonetheless. I thought it was dumb how all the enemies dropped money and bullets, and it was too distant from how the franchise started out. It really made the whole arc with Umbrella from the prior games seem somewhat of a waste. Yeah, I get that action games incorporate stuff like picking up ammo and treasure, and whatnot, but I just thought it didn't suit the franchise to have things like that in it.


All the sequels have had their moments in terms of the plot and stuff, but they always really felt like annoying shoot and loot games to me, with a minimal amount of tension and nothing all that survival horror about them. Especially when they added in optional co-op features and campaigns that involved too much gunfire against a ridiculous amount of enemies, that I'll admit, didn't really feel like true staples of the series.


What bugs me though, is how Capcom rips off other companies and their games. Revelations 2 kind of copies The Last of Us (a lot) and 7: Biohazard rips off a lot of well-known movies, like Saw, Trancers, Evil Dead, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The game was decent, but I didn't like the fact that you never got to really see Ethan's face at all, and when Chris shows up, it doesn't resemble him anymore. And the fact that he works for the newly revived (blue) Umbrella also feels like a hard pill to swallow. The story also felt like Silent Hill 2, and hashtag, f*** Konami, by the way. With all their gambling machine BS, it's looking like we'll never get a real return to the scariest, fog shrouded town in gaming history.


The Molded also don't hold a candle to the likes of the Hunters and the Lickers. I thought the Resident Evil 2 remake was decent in how it sort of brought back the tension, but it didn't really feel like it stayed true to the original in certain other ways. I didn't like how they replaced the spiders in the sewers, and missed out the crows and the Plant 43 species, even though you do see one Plant 43 that is already dead, against a glass window in the lab. But hell. It was nothing like the first remake on the GameCube, and I reckon we'll never get a game close to that ever again, with how Capcom functions these days.


But... anyway. All of this is just my two cents, so it's fine whether you agree or not. Project Resistance looks like a heap of trash, though. I hope we can at least agree that Capcom is stupid to develop that over another Outbreak sequel)

November 5, 2019 at 4:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

George Trevor
Site Owner
Posts: 1124

Difficult question to answer because there is where the series went wrong in terns of its continued survival, relevance & growth, and then there's where it went wrong on a personal level. Because what displeased me so much is probably what is now responsible for Capcom being in a significantly better place financially, and the series having the renaissance it's been experiencing for a few years now, culminating in an audience embracing remakes of the classics, and the community broader & more inclusive than ever, with huge YouTube & twitch channels dedicated solely to the series, the like of which would not exist if Resident Evil 4 had not broken my heart and had stayed to Yasuhisa Kawamura's vision of the 'Hookman' and 'Castle' gameplay betas.


Enemies that drop ammo is the essence of everything that went wrong, the feature being inconsistent in the extreme with any of the elements that make up survival horror. But this feature and the combat focused gameplay that is its master saved the series from almost certain oblivion in the form of the Call of Duty-esque Resident Evil 5, and arguably saved Capcom too from a financial crisis. Without the broader audience these linear combat popularist games bring, Capcom would not have survived to be in the state it now finds itself, generating an audience for Resident Evil unprecedented in its size & community engagement.

 

Not that any of this requires or even justifies unimaginative development in the form of a poor man's Silent Hills, or bad writing & bad narrative planning in the form of Blue Umbrella.

 

While I agree with most of what you say, for what I wanted the series to be, in a perfect world where no other factors could determine the direction the series would take, I cannot agree with your review of the Molded! I find there random, irregular movements and design extremely terrifying, even more so than the fierce but predictable Hunters that are for me more easily dispatched than the Molded. And if you look at Project Resistance for what it was created & designed to be, not an Outbreak alternative, but a Mercenaries game with series progression at the heart of it, I feel it's a good decision and will provide greater depth of gameplay & community engagement than the Mercenaries bonus that now looks stale by comparison.

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Jessica... Lisa... Forgive me. May god justify my death in exchange for your safety.

March 21, 2020 at 4:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

TheOracleDragon
Administrator
Posts: 390

I can hear you about the things you said, I do miss the survival horror aspect of the series like the original three games had for us players. You had to think, plan, calculate, observe your surroundings, carefully pace yourself with items and ammo. This WAS survival.

 

The horror of the game comes from the enemies and way things played out, you can’t see what it coming or what will be waiting for you in the next room or around the corner, or even under a bed. In the recent games, they went with ‘more monsters make it scarier’ aspect. This may make you not scared at all since it’ll be just the overwhelming fear of dying and not being able to escape. It stresses you out whereas in the older games you felt the need to keep distance, conserve your ammo and feel that you will die if you act with the infected coming to you.

 

Sometimes the story can really set the tone like in Remake. We’re back in the mansion and learned from the original RE1 game that we will be dealing with zombies, Hunters, dogs, crows, Yawn, and a Tyrant. With the Remake, we have the fear and fright of what we will be facing. They added in Lisa which added more fear and tension when you learn you can’t kill her and had to keep your distance or suffer.

 

Resident Evil 4-6 we lost that fear, the tension, the survival aspect. With them having ammo, grenades, healing and currency dropping (4) for us players just made it feel pointless in the survival field. If you kill one enemy, you have a chance to get an item instead of finding it on your own by exploring locations. RE5 we had Sheva as a partner, if we had limited ammo and supplies it would have felt better as you would have to figure out how to keep ammo and not waste it. Once again, we get drops from enemies killed and currency for shopping.

 

Shopping can be nice but at the same time it takes away from searching for new guns (you do find some in the game but must upgrade them to max to unlock another gun).

 

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'The screams, the shouts, the pain, the nightmares...they'll never leave me, that asylum will never leave me...I suffer from it every passing night...what does Umbrella want of me?' - Shane Burns

March 21, 2020 at 6:41 PM Flag Quote & Reply

TheOracleDragon
Administrator
Posts: 390

Then we come to RE6 that is full on action, the story was interesting in some places but was a massive fan service to the Birkin x Wesker shippers. It would have been better if Jake was someone else. It would have been interesting, maybe even someone we haven’t seen in a long time. Anyway, we have dodging and avoidance with unique CQC in the mix which I found nice as it would help in survival, but once again it was too much of a run and gun, CoD way game.

 

I understand they wanted to go with a serious world threatening story that talks about war, outbreaks, and another world threat. The fear in China with the zombies felt more natural and with the infected using guns is an upgrade (much like the Cleaners). It’s tension with that but at the same time it doesn’t give the same survival horror, the only fear there is to not get shot or CQC by them. This can be an annoyance when surrounded and you are stun locked into being pushed around or knocked down constantly.

 

RE7 gave us a survival horror that had the mixed inspirations of a lot of things as you have pointed out. It did have a survival horror aspect to it in which you had to search for supplies and such, and once again we had the currency system to get more things.

 

Chris in the game was disturbing as it was nothing like the Chris we knew and if it was true it was being made the same time that Vendetta was being made at the same time, why didn’t they use that model for the game? They wanted to make Chris realistic, they could have used the actors that were a match to how he looked before. The fact they have him working with Blue Umbrella really set up a lot of red flags for a lot of us since it made no sense whatsoever and is the BSAA are working with Blue Umbrella, why in the world would they send Chris out of all their people. This made zero sense why Chris would even do this, and Capcom was just saying ‘This is the NEW Chris’ while the rest of us are thinking ‘This isn’t our Chris and why would be work for these people?’. It certainly is a bitter smack against us fans as well to Chris’ character. He wanted Umbrella gone and having Blue Umbrella being around makes it uncomfortable and confusing.

 

Capcom can fix this by going back to survival horror where you must plan, pace and take your time. Limited ammo, limited health.

 

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'The screams, the shouts, the pain, the nightmares...they'll never leave me, that asylum will never leave me...I suffer from it every passing night...what does Umbrella want of me?' - Shane Burns

March 21, 2020 at 6:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Ploppy54
Moderator
Posts: 1
Resident evil 4 was the beginning of the end for survival horror. I understand that the games needed to evolve to become profitable but it's a shame it lost its identity along the way. The first 3 games and outbreak are all about survival, trying to escape. The world around you is going to hell and you need to get out. RE4 you are taking the fight to them it's no longer about survival it's about action. The the enemies in the originals were grounded in realism, 4 onwards they just get bigger and silly, a giant stone statue chasing you? Boulder punching? The attention to detail has gone, being able to check your environment, hearing their thoughts on the people that have been living in the place before you get there, providing depth to the world and not just making it feel like a game map. The latest remake fails to capture the magic of RE2, (although its a good Resident evil game) And the characters, RE2 did something practically unheard of, it swapped out the heroes. They don't do it now but they had the balls back then to introduce new characters, now they are afraid to kill off or lose people. Chris should have died or retired in RE6 handed over to Piers but he shows up again in RE7. Will we see a return to true survival horror? I very much doubt it.
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..... And that's the bottom line because I said so!

March 22, 2020 at 12:22 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Inezh_Lover
Moderator
Posts: 18

Code Vero X was the last great Bio for me.

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https://raccoonstars.blogspot.fr/

March 30, 2020 at 6:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

BSAArklay
Moderator
Posts: 792

The series IMO went wrong when Capcom treated their talent poorly. Mistreatment of Iwao which caused him to leave taking many talented staff members with him. Which was later followed by under utilising the talented staff they did have. Kawamura and Aoyama for example. Afterwards Mikami left again taking talent with him. At which point they were left with the staff that played smaller roles in the early games development. People like Takeuchi and Kobayashi recieved enormous promotions which I don't think they would have recieved had some of the talent who left remained.


Capcom (or Japan as a whole) works differently to say a company in the West. In the West you would be promoted because you are the right man for the job. However in Japan you get promoted based on loyalty. So you have texture artists, weapons creators becoming writers and producers. This is where I think they went wrong.


Currently one of their best writers in the whole company Takenaka wrote some of the best background lore in the series history for RE5 and Revelations and then became a producer. I feel like they should be playing to his strengths and keeping him as the series lead writer. Like or hate 5 the amount of effort and care put into the background lore including the menu files were fantastic.


It's starting to show more prominantely now than ever before. If you have a talented writer than he should be writing. They also used to bring onboard extremely talented writers such as Sugimura, Kawamura and Iwao. But nowadays the writers they have brought in just haven't been interested in world building.

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"I've had enough of your bullshit! Your just another one of Umbrella's leftovers"

March 31, 2020 at 3:10 PM Flag Quote & Reply

TheOracleDragon
Administrator
Posts: 390

These are Wondermanrules thoughts on what went wrong with the series and how Capcom could fix it for the future. - I'm sharing these here as he would like to have them out theref or he's a RE hardcore fans and wishes to see the series to return to glory.

1. Zombies have to remain consistent. You can't just decide getting a headshot is the most difficult thing in the world because suddenly the virus gave them the skull density of tungsten steel .

2. Keep it all at night.

Even the day light scene in the original RE3 weren't as scary as the night time was. Outbreak and RE3 were decent but you know things got scarier at night because you couldn't see anything beyond a certain point. CVX made that 100 times scarier with the ocean fog and mist.

 

3. Stop changing the game models so drastically for characters.

 

This should be a no-brainer but they still haven't learned this lesson.

 

4. The heroes need to remain human. They aren't superheroes, ninjas or whatever the heck they're supposed to be regular people caught in this terrible situation.

5. If you have a villain make them worth the effort.

Wesker, the original Nemesis, the Ashfords… all of them are iconic because they had actual menace and unpredictability

 

6. Have a plausible story.

 

I get its science fiction but it's too heavy on the fiction elements anymore and not enough reality. Weapons should actually damage monsters no matter how big they are, melee weapons should be a given since it's a survival situation

 

If I'm trapped in a house with some freaks, I should be able to swing a chair at them or use a kitchen knife and not be manhandled like a bag of crap.

7. We don't need new viruses all the time. We got plenty to work with. When you start going into sentient mold you need to stop.

 

8. Make the monsters work. If a freaking mainstay is giant spiders, blood thirsty crows and zombie dogs you put them in the game. Anyone who cries they're too hard to do should be fired because they're a lazy hack.

 

 

9. Stop aging characters in real time unless you’re going to replace them with better ones at some point. As it stands now Most of the original characters will be aged out within a decade or two if the series keeps going. Learn something from comic books and Super Mario Bros. Don't age your characters into oblivion.

 

10. Puzzles, keys and backtracking need to be in Resident Evil. I cannot stress enough how much the game relies on these to build tension and makes you think. It distracts the player from the horror long enough to make it impact them that much harder when it happens.

 

11. Stop going for jump scares all the time. It's a cheap ploy in horror movies and it's even worse in games. They should be limited to 3 to 5 at the most and spaced out.

 

 

12. The game should take at least 8 hours to get through the first time. With all the puzzles, items, keys, files and every other thing you’re up against nobody should be able to breeze through a survival horror game in less time than it takes to make a bowl of Kraft Mac & Cheese

 

 

13. It doesn't matter how "great" your graphics are if nobody is using the graphics engine to its fullest and making the setting look realistic. The 2 and 3 remakes are the worst with this because for a city in the throes of a zombie apocalypse everything is fairly clean and tidy, and all the vehicle models are the same dozen they bought on TurboSquid just recolored. Look at the original RE2 and 3 and even ORC compared to the 2 and 3 remakes. Its destruction on a massive scale, the city is dirty and lived in before the zombies got there and screwed up stuff.

 

The games should reflect this.

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'The screams, the shouts, the pain, the nightmares...they'll never leave me, that asylum will never leave me...I suffer from it every passing night...what does Umbrella want of me?' - Shane Burns

April 5, 2020 at 8:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

M-Greg
Moderator
Posts: 87

Honestly, that has no single answer. I believe it went wrong more than once. And I would argue one of the most major times was in fact with 2002's biohazard. The very idea of remakes, remasters, reimaginings, and rereleases has been holding the entertainment industry back on numerous fronts for decades, not just in gaming. In the short term, they have positive effects, specifically in introducing new generations to classics. In the long term however, they stunt creative growth and ultimately serve a purpose of profiting off of beloved yet unoriginal ideas. Even the former effect is very hit and miss as often people only indulge in the newest releases of, say, games or movies with the modernised looks and never give the originating versions that came before a thought.

That is not to say that a well done remake is inherently bad; biohazard is still by far one of the best games in the series as far as I am concerned. But as great and faithful to the original as it was while also improving upon it in many ways, its very success was one of the earliest starting points in the foundation of the old idea regurgitation renaissance we find ourselves in today. And the trend is sadly not likely to end anytime soon. You can honor something and pay respect to it without nearly everything in that effort just being reused elements we have seen before. I am all for revisiting familiar iconic settings so long as they take place in completely new stories that expand and/or modify their purpose as the original BIO3 did for the most part with Raccoon City.

Instead of a remake altering the original BIO HAZARD, why could we not experience the beautifully tragic story of Lisa Trevor on the loose in the 2002 iteration of Spencer Mansion, new graphics and all, in the form of a prequel story all its own in which we play as Dr. Wesker hunting her and vice versa in a constantly shifting cat and mouse game? Or perhaps a different story set in pre-outbreak Raccoon City with S.T.A.R.S. as a complete team on a mission before their tragic downfall? Or even both ideas in one game with different scenarios to cover?

Most of the champions of BIORE:2 and BIORE:3, at least from what I have seen, have either never played the original games they are based on or did not play them until much later after being introduced to the series through bio4 or another, later title while also preferring those entries released since. Granted, I myself was formally introduced to the series as a whole through the Wii releases of bio4 and BUC, but I actively sought out the older titles on my own soon after and personally find them to be far superior to the ones we have been getting for the last few years now.

I see RESISTANCE as a tragically missed opportunity, much the same as ORC before it; a chance for a truly original addition to the Canon wasted on a multiplayer cash grab experience with an at-best hypothetical story. It could have been our glorious return to the OUTBREAK era with a fresh name and concept helmed by the delightfully cruel Alex Wesker or perhaps even the as yet totally enigmatic Christine Henry. Such a waste. And I say this as someone who defends BIO5 and BIO6, while I admittedly find bio4 in its official form to be obnoxious and overrated despite its pros. They are good games, but not what the series needed. I also crave the "Castle" assets, "Hallucination" assets, and so on seeing the light of day.

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The basis of controlling fear... Only those who've conquered fear deserve to rule the world.

April 12, 2020 at 8:38 PM Flag Quote & Reply

BudTheChud
Moderator
Posts: 18

RE4 was the main turning point for the series to go South, even though I think that the biggest problem with RE, especialy after reading a lot of behind the scenes material on this website and Project Umbrella, is that nobody actually ever had a clear idea about what to do with it. Every game was essentially developed with little regard to how it fit within the series - the only time they actually cared was with RE2, because they had a sudden success with RE1 and needed to establish a new IP like there was no tomorrow after the Street Fighter movie had almost bankrupt Capcom. Then came some questionable choices, like the exclusivity deal for the Nintendo GameCube: even I could've told them it was a bad idea - no matter how hard or limiting working on the PS2 was, they should've stayed there (RE4 was the best selling out of the three titles released on the GCand, still, its technically-inferior port on PS2 sold more). Sugimura, being a screenwriter, was probably the only who was after some form of coherency but, from what I understand, after RE2 his importance slowly faded away. 

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Why do I need a signature?

May 30, 2020 at 11:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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