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Published and Developed by Capcom, 2009

It has been about four years since the near-masterpiece RESIDENT EVIL 4 hit shelves and changed the series and the entire survival horror genre (for better or worse).  Leaps and bounds were made in terms of combat and pacing, replacing most of the puzzles and backtracking with faster paced gameplay and action. RESIDENT EVIL 5 has a lot to accomplish; not only does the game have to be as good, it has to reset the bar of standards in the horror genre. At the very least it succeeds with the former.

In order to properly look at this, I feel I have to look at it from two angles: The relationship to RESIDENT EVIL 4 and then the relationship to the rest of the series. In order to first view RE4 I had to put aside my biased perception of it regarding the lack of the RE universe “feel” and judge the game for what it was. I must now put aside my favoritism of RE5 regarding the return of the “feel” and look at RE5 for what it is.  RE4’s visual style and graphics can’t hold a candle to today’s, but after four years they are still easy to look at. In the next four years the same will be said of this new entry.  The environment and aesthetics are not only some of the best of the series; RE5 is one of the best games around in terms of creating an aura of immersion.

That being said, even though the series has certainly deviated from the first four entries (the fourth being Code Veronica), RESIDENT EVIL 5 definitely has the “feel” of a Resident Evil game (my main complaint of RE4). Also, several key plot points from those first four entries are discussed and Capcom has done a moderately good job of continuity linking the entire series up to this point. As I am sure I am one of the few people who cares about the mystique and conspiracy theories of Umbrella and the T-Virus, it was certainly welcome to be playing an actual RESIDENT EVIL game once again.

The Evening Write: VINYAN, Fangoria, RE5 and Moon Eating Planets.

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I’m thriftly acquiring a page from Drew McWeeny (he’ll always be Moriarty to me) and his Daily Read.  I make no promise that it’ll be a daily occurrence until I move to Austin and have much, much more time on my hands.  I also would not count on the content being horror exclusive nor all that well composed, this is supposed to be a blog after all.  I’ll do my best to stick to topics that are hopefully of interest to people who are, well, not me.

I didn’t grow up with Fango.  I didn’t even get into horror until I was 18, so I’ve only been buying the magazine for 5 or so years but man do I hate the new cover template:

Vince Liguano of Slasher Speak pointed it out when the change first occurred, but it wasn’t until the April issue arrived in the mail that I realized how much I missed the ‘ole film strip column.  Maybe its because the cover photo for LAID TO REST looks like DONNIE DARKO cosplay gone wrong, I don’t know.  All I do know is that it no longer carries the oddly regal weight it used to.  I hope they go back.

Despite almost all of the content being antiquated once it hits shelves thanks to the internet (whoever has to compile the Fear Film Forecast must loathe studio marketing departments), I still look forward to the magazine every thirty days or so.  I’ll pick my way through the articles at random, but I always immediately read editor Anthony Timpone’s issue introduction before jumping straight to the Video Eye of Dr. Cyclops.  I’ve been hearing decent things about DEAD IN 3 DAYS, so I was surprised to see the Doc give it one meager star.  I’m bumping it to the top of the queue to see what the hubbub is all about.

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