What we REALLY want!

4ec

 

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STEM, Matrix and VR

To accompany my previous post about The Evil Within 2.  I decided to delve deeper into the main theme of the game:  Virtual Reality.  Since the movie The Matrix, the thought of virtual world went mainstream.  To think that a person’s consciousness can be placed into a virtual world as real as the one you and I live in right now, truly gets us to think about our OWN reality.

The STEM system.

In The Evil Within series, that same idea of a virtual world is represented by a fictional machine known as STEM.  In short, the machine uses targeted areas of the brain in order to create a virtual world where all those participating will share a consciousness together.  Imagine a world that doesn’t have disease and that happiness can be made without even physically moving a muscle, this is STEM.  However, in the game’s story the virtual world that was viewed as a utopia, only ends up becoming a living nightmare.

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But I’m not here to write about the plot of the game, but to further analyze the virtual world from the real and fictional perspective.  After watching an episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” called “PTSDee”.  (Which was recommended from my wife, Louie.  See the 2 clips below.)  I began to think about what kind of true dangers lie in store for us, as virtual and alternate realities continue to advance in our everyday lives.

Lol, okay I know Always Sunny isn’t greatest example to bring up a serious discussion of the negative aspects of what can come from VR and AR.  But you have to admit, eventually the technology may get THAT GOOD!  (or BAD)  The Evil Within 2 addresses this in the worse case scenario.  Hundreds of people that are currently hooked up to the STEM system suddenly begin to die off and once the story goes into play; all hell breaks loose.  Everyone inside the STEM system either transforms, gets killed or hunted by their own shared virtual consciousness.

Knowing that a machine could either transport you into a paradise or a life as a vegetable, is horrifying.  Like this and The Matrix, if you die inside, you’re toast in the real world.  Add along the potential that any traumatic experience you see or experience in those worlds could affect you in the flesh.  Look at it this way, in games we die and retry until we overcome and succeed.  Now imagine yourself feeling REAL PAIN and DEATH.  Would we be the same?  If it got that bad, would we push on and continue using the technology?

Hell, there are a ton of questions that we can ask here.  That’s why I’ll leave it up for discussion.  Leave any comments below.

-Racoon Daddy

 

The Evil Within 2 – A Clearer Picture to an Already Cloudy Mirror

I should be saying “hey everyone, nice to see you!” But its been like 6 months since I last said anything on here. For now, I will save the summary and move onto my motivation to write today. I just finished The Evil Within 2; officially checking this off of my list.

Like everyone in the gaming universe, you’re going to here my muses and perspective. Hopefully you’ll choose to read further…most likely because that’s Metacritic is for! But if you do, there will a nice treat in it for you. (Actually, no there won’t) Okay, its safe to say I’m a little insane. But maybe that is because I’m still feeling a mild bit pseudo-PTSD from playing this game.

Starting off, I’m a vet of the series and survival horror since 1998, so I know my way around a hand crank, if you know what I mean. I play mine on hard and keep my eyes and ears trained, with the lights off! So you know, I like me some good scary shit!

Moving on!

The Evil Within 2 is a direct sequel in number and in story. (Which doesn’t always happen in TV, movies and games these days.) Following the events of the last game, Sebastian Castellanos is drowning himself on 1 bourbon, 1 scotch and…polishing off those bottles before he gets to that last beer and…

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Its safe to say that this detective’s life is in the toilet. (Hah!) Thankfully, a familiar face comes back into his life and tells him that the worst parts in his life, didn’t really happen and just an elaborate lie. (Save for all of the murdering and havoc caused by Ruvik, AKA the cheapass teleporting monk, from the first game.) Enter the evil corporation and a motivation for Sebastian to go back into the hell that made him miserable in the first place! BAM!! There you go, EW2’s intro in a nutshell.

Thankfully, not everything is as cliche as you’d think. Sabastian goes in, with a mission to fix “The Matrix”-inspired virtual network and rescue some very important people. In exchange, all of Sebastian’s problems will go away. (FYI, I’m trying to be as vague as possible, because there is a pretty good story to this game!) Sounds easy right? NOPE!! THATS A BIG…

Right as I started playing it, the game thrusted me right into the main antagonist. A seriously F*CK’D UP psychopath who really should’ve been written for “True Detective” season 3. (Come on. HBO!! DO IT!) All I can say is, he reminded me of one part Joker, another part Ed Gein (real life murder who inspired half of horror’s household names.) and a dash of a creepy department store photographer. To be honest, IT WORKED and everything related to him was either terrifying, disturbing or unsettling.

Playing EW2 DOES FELT unsettling and remained so for about 75 percent of the game. As for the survival horror aspect, the game makes you feel like every item counts. Even on normal, I was always looking to scrounge up parts and supplies. Some areas it became a gamble because maybe I didn’t sneak around the enemies good enough or used up too much ammo. This added to the tension when I was exploring new places, along with: the jump scares, when the game screwed with me or mundane moments that turn into “OH SHIT!”

I say that, because there was a lot of that, said by me during my exploration of the town of Union. Searching the town really feels like you are looking for survivors or clues, literally every area will have you on your toes. Sadly, once those areas were explored, the spookiness faded near the end. At this point, the game focused on combat, wrapping the game up and getting me ready for the final push. Ultimately EW2 did redeem itself with huge nods to the previous game and a good finale.

The Evil Within 2 does not leave you hanging or have asking all kinds of questions when everything is said and done. But it did leave itself open for a sequel. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and will go back and finish it on Nightmare, in the future.

I really cannot recommend this game enough you are a survival horror fans. Although fans of Silent Hill and atmospheric horror games may not like for its heavy reliance on combat and stealth. Hardcore survival gamers may think the combat make it easier, but that is what Classic Mode is for! (unlocked after beating it) Rest assured, you’re in for a wild ride that is well worth a trip or two.

One last thing…you’ll never listen to this song the same way again! Enjoy the warm and fuzzies!

As always feel to COMMENT and DISCUSS below.

If anyone is interested.

I’ve had a fairly active account on Quora for quite some time.  I’m always on there answering questions whenever I’m seriously bored.  I’m not really going to take any real personal questions, as I still prefer my anonymity.  But I can do my best to give you guys a fast response, should you have anything you want to ask.

It can range from gaming, science, philosophy, politics…hell, really anything!

So if you’re bored, come on over!  With that said, I’m going to go back to it!

Prepping up for holidays! Part 1

Yeah, yeah, its not even past Halloween and I’m talkin’ Christmas right?!  No one wants to hear about the long-ass lines to see Santa/Black Friday/parking/food/decorations/slash (lol!), do Christmas cards or deal with the family events.  But if you’ve got little ones, getting your shopping (or a planned out lay-away) over time is the way to go.

Personally, Louie and I went to Toys R Us and got it locked down last week.  Frankly, its a good strategy if you haven’t done it before and really doesn’t cut a hole in your wallet/purse.  That and we dodge all of the BS, while still ACTUALLY DOING the shopping.  Sure, I could do everything online and get a sweet deal.  But it just doesn’t feel the same.  Actually doing the legwork for me, seems to have a weird sense of self accomplishment to it.  Go figure on that one.

I know, ZERO care factor from ya’ll!

Overall, Grace is getting a pretty nice haul for her presents from us.  Most notably, she’s getting a 2DS with a few Mario games.  (With me quietly getting Smash Bros for it!)  🙂  Right now, I do feel she’s pretty young for it, but it seems that she gets on the phone a bit and plays Mario Run too much, along with the usual My Little Pony and Learning games.  But that is where we’re putting a limit on our mobile/gaming time to rainy/cold days, when we need a break or half hour here or there.

As of now, we’ve been pretty light on enforcement with the rule.  But I’d rather she spend her childhood outside, doing activities and less gaming/phone time.  Hopefully it will turn out that way, as I’ve always been a good balance of outgoing and a homebody.

But I really didn’t get any inspiration to write anything down about making a list until I read about the upcoming Wolfenstein: The New Colossus.  Which is one of my must-plays for the upcoming year.  For those that haven’t been following any of the upcoming titles, I’ll give a few bits about them.

1)      Wolfenstein: The New Colossus

If you grew up playing PC games, there is NO WAY you’ve never heard of Wolfenstein 3D.

It was the game that started the First Person Shooter (AKA FPS games) genre and got its reputation for its kill all Nazis gameplay.  The New Colossus is a direct sequel to both Wolfenstein: The New Order and The Old Blood.  (I know, confusing.  The latter is a DLC expansion that is just as good.)

What’s so special?    –  Well, The New Order is a phenomenal game that plays very simplistic.  With its single player only, story driven, shootfest that gives you the option to go stealth until the shit hits the fan.  Its gameplay barely penalizes you for just doing a kill em’ all type of run-through.  It plays just like it used to, when it came out way back in the 90s but runs smooth and combat is tense and satisfying.  That and the story is great take on an alternate-reality of the World War II.

The New Colossus is a clear continuation of that story and gameplay.

This isn’t Call of Duty, I assure of that!

Why am I excited?  –  The new setting and how the events changed things that happened from the previous entry.  It has a brand-new engine by Id Software, which is known for making some powerful engines that rival Unreal and Crytech.  (Which are what MANY of the games we play, run on.  In case you didn’t know.)

That and killing Nazis in Wolfenstein is way better than CoD:  Zombies, without question.

Also, I enjoy a truly mature gaming experience.  Which is where the title has no censorship, the violence, gore and nudity/sex is used correctly and not forced or thrown on a canvas like a trashy painting.  Wolfenstein did that.

Release Date October 27th

2)     The Evil Within 2

The sequel to the former director/creator of Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami.  The Evil Within was a pretty frightening game to experience.  Although it seemed to rely way too much on the mechanics of one of his older titles:  Resident Evil 4.  Which is a classic survival horror game, but most people saw TEW as a clone.  In response to that, The Evil Within was a GOOD CLONE gameplay wise, that did have its moments where you had more bullets than the enemies you were fighting.  But had MANY twisted, tripy and frightening moments.  The first game made me feel tense and on edge throughout my first playthrough.

What’s so special?  –  The first game left a lot more questions than answers, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It just left everyone that enjoyed or cared about the story, with a big fat, SO WHAT’S NEXT?!  Most likely, survival horror fans will pick this up, especially if Resident Evil 7’s move to 1st person didn’t sit well with you.  Which was a solid and well executed move for that series.  The Evil Within plays like Resident Evil 4, except on acid.  So you’re in for a wild ride!  It’s release is THIS FRIDAY THE 13th, so it’ll be a no-brainer for a great Halloween title.

Why am I excited?  – Years back, Shinji Mikami made a claim, that he was, “going to bring survival horror, back to its roots”.  Personally, he didn’t really do that in the first game.  Hopefully, he pulls this off and the second one is a phenomenal experience and succeeds on the market!

3)  Star Wars Battlefront II 

Two years ago, DICE released the first Battlefront and the gaming community went apeshit in the WRONG WAY!  Sure, it was DICE’s Battlefield sort of gameplay with everything done up in a beautiful Star Wars fashion.  But a large majority of its gameplay was focused on the multiplayer aspect.  Which is great and all for a military shooter, but this is STAR WARS we’re talking about here!

Seriously, where the HELL was this in the game?! Oh wait, it wasn’t.

The fan base for the series is MASSIVE with only Trekkies and comic fans being the only groups to rival that demand!  So they completely failed in catering to casual gamers that just wanted to boot it up and play a story/reenactment of the series.  That, and it lacked in content or was paid DLC.  (Albiet pretty good DLC)

I’ll admit, there was a lot that was done right about the game, too.  Walker Assualt was pretty cool and the Death Star DLC is pretty badass.  All of the content that was present was faithful and true to the series.  Space and X-Wing/Tie Fighter dogfights were a blast! (Pun intented.)  Battlefront II is set to surpass this in spades and remain true to fans of both shooters and the Star Wars series.

What’s so special?  –  Well it’s Star Wars, with plenty of vehicles, blasters and gadgets to use.  Also, it’s going to be a clear improvement over its predecessor.  Not only will it cover ALL three Star Wars generations, (prequel, original and sequel) it will feature a new story campaign that will cover the period between Episode VI (Return of the Jedi) and VII (The Force Awakens) using an original character.

Yesterday, I sunk my teeth into the Multiplayer Beta.  From what I saw, it looks to be a solid improvement.  The content has been TRIPLED and it seems that EA/DICE is doing away with paid DLC for this.  (SOURCE)  All of this covered by a teaser video featuring John Boyega (AKA Finn)

Why am I excited?  –  The beta is kinda making me a Day 1, which is NEVER what I do.  But this may be the Star Wars/Battlefield experience I was looking for in the first!  I’ve been a Battlefield veteran since Bad Company and Battlefront 1 was the only DICE title to let me down.  (But the DLC did make the game better!)  It comes out November 17th

  • That and well THIS!

MORE TO COME ON PART 2

 

 

She Netflix me. She Netflix me not!

Was just reading an article about Netflix finally implementing their price increase for their services.  You can read the article HERE

To save you guys the time, though.  The price increased to WHOLE DOLLAR!  Warning incoming mass rant from the internet masses!

This is kinda how I feel about all the ranting we do

I’m not one to side with large corporations and their legions of soulless white colored executives, but Netflix does put out some great original content.  For me its Daredevil and the Marvel series, as well as Stranger Things.  Also, there are a few on my list to watch:  House of Cards, Narcos, The Crown, Unbreakable Kimmie Schmit, Castlevania.  So that are a few things to catch up on.  Granted I still have cable, subscribe to Hulu, Amazon Prime and have a HBO subscription; so I may be wasting my money.  But it seems that the original content is what keeps me on Netflix.  Sure, I’ll watch a movie on there once IN A BLUE MOON.  But Is still enjoy just pulling it up and burning a flick.

Hell, I can’t even remember the last time really used any of my DVDs outside of gaming.  Even then, I’m still blowing dust off of them.  Speaking of that, there is still one major issue I’ve had with the service (as has everyone), which are the trash titles.  In terms of newer titles or the content library altogether, they either stink or all the other streaming networks have them up for view.

Hopefully with this jump in price, we’ll get a serious bump in quality movie content.  As a member for nearly a decade, this hasn’t changed in big strides.  NOW is that time for Netflix to give the subscribers what we want, BETTER MOVIES.

To market strategists:  BIG HINT

Honestly, the original content is great and want that production quality to be maintained and the good shows to keep running.  That and we don’t need anymore TV series added to the service, as there are clearly more than enough on there already.

Alternatively, there is HBO, which is way better at keeping their libraries current and content at a good quality.  But that comes at a cost of $15.  Yet, their movie and original content is VASTLY superior, as they keep their content gritty and very appealing.

I’m certainly not crying about a dollar.  But the company does need to put their big boy (or girl) pants on and improve that weak library going on.

What’s everyone’s take on how streaming services now?

Personal favorites?  Recommendations? 

It Cuts Deeper than Anything We Know

Following the unthinkable evil acts in Las Vegas, I found myself absolute disbelief.  For every time there is a mass shooting, it only seems to be getting worse with each horrible occurrence.  Seeing all of those people, so happy and peaceful, only to be cut down by a coward’s mad act of rage.  Yet it didn’t make me angry as to why it happened, but how those people still pulled together to mend what they could for all those hurt and killed.

You see, I’m not unfamiliar with the unpredictable acts of spree violence.  My father was once a victim (a survivor) of a spree murder, Howard Unruh.  I remember him telling me, “I was outside the barber shop, I heard loud ‘pops’.  Then screams and a woman collapsing in the street, then my leg went numb.  I hid inside and went behind a jukebox and waited, lighting up a cigarette.  I didn’t know what to do, I panicked!  He came inside the barber shop and froze.  Four maybe five shots went off and then nothing, except him and my heart ripping out of my chest.  Then he was gone.

Unruh lived to be placed in a mental asylum and lived the rest of his days behind bars.  Yet it never brought back the children, men and women he killed and scarred for life.  I know, because my dad was never always 100% percent right in his head after that.

Nor will any of the victims of Las Vegas, Columbine, Sandy Hook (and the list goes on) that will never be the same.  The innocent who lost their lives before they knew it, will always have:  fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, children and other family members that WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.

To the scum that did this to every one of these folks, YOU DESERVE WORSE than death and imprisonment.  I know it’s not right to think like this; but to the Steven Craigs and Howard Unruhs of the world.  I truly hope you are still suffering beyond death, as there is no redemption for you…ever.

As for me, I continue to read and learn more about this, to come up with an answer to why this happens?  What makes the random few want to forget everything that is wonderful and human about us.  Then make it a target of their own madness.

The Big FIVE!

Yesterday we celebrated my daughter’s 5th birthday, (Her name is Grace for those who don’t know.)  and I got to say, I feel proud and sad at the same time.

Overall, I’m proud of what Louie and I have accomplished as parents so far.  From the sleepless nights of feeding a peanut-sized baby girl to chasing around a little kid around the house, until WE tire out.  All of this being done, while she and I worked opposite work schedules and STILL managed to live comfortably.  (Granted, we continue to live paycheck to paycheck.  Let’s face it, the economy is going no where still.)

She’s made me so proud, with how far she has come in school and how she’s become so creative.  Sometimes, I stop and wonder, where did our creativity go as we grew older. Did maturity and circumstance douse our many of the creative fires we had as children?!  Or did it just hid away until our children could find it and point it out to us once again.  Truly, it’s a perplexing dilemma, trying to find that spark of inspiration or the drive to create something SHINY and NEW.  But maybe I’m thinking or searching to hard to realize that my own creations aren’t solely from the mind or the heart, but from EVERYWHERE AROUND US.

Experiences, our senses, the passage of time; the seed of creation is all right there!  For children, it isn’t that deep, they look to us, school, their friends and what they see and learn.  But as they age, the picture of their creativity becomes a jigsaw puzzle, that only continues to add more pieces as the time goes by.

Perhaps, that is why I should be striking while the iron is hot, while there are less pieces to the puzzle.

Away from my rambling now, let me get back to my girl’s big day.  It was filled tons of laughter as she led her friends around the park and they eventually got to beat on a My Little Pony pinata.  Mike Tyson in his prime couldn’t beat the ring time these kids had with poor lil’ “Pinky Pie”.  In 8 seconds flat, Grace and ten other children decapitated and spit the poor pinata in half.  They were happy as clams; WE…WERE…HORRIFIED!!

REST………..IN….PIECES!!

Needless to say, they had a blast; especially when Grace got her brand new FART GUN.  OH YEAH!  Nothing makes laugh uncontrollably like when people fart.  The smell is negligible…all she cares about the rip.

7…6…2 Millimeter Full FLATULENT Jacket  

 

As of tomorrow, summer vacation will start for both Louie and Grace.  (Louie is a teacher.)  So I’ll be picking up the pace at work and pulling the weight for a couple months.  It’s gonna suck, but I sort of feel re-energized where I left my writing behind.

 

Hopefully, you’ll be reading more from me and I’ll sharing more of my writing.

Wonderful….

Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble on this…but I have to postpone my NES Madness entries and blogging as whole for a little while.  I’ve realized over the past few months, my personal time has been getting less and less.   It has been a constant balancing act with spending time with my family, doing overtime shifts or writing to you guys.

Recently, my content has been thinning out more and more.  So I figured that this NES Madness would’ve been a great way to give you guys some fun things to read AND watch.  However, time has not been on my side and I’ve decided to SLOWLY trickle out my entries, from now on.  

For those who don’t know, I work 48-54 hour work weeks, so when I finally get a break to do some writing.  It either comes to me or not.  Recently, I’ve had the inspiration.  But my body doesn’t quite agree with my mind and I’m left tired most nights.

I know, it’s wonderful when I finally get the sparks to write, yet everything else in life is playing against that.  Although, so I’m very fortunate; I have a beautiful and supportive family, in good health and have a warm home to rest in.  For now, I’m going to use time as an advantage with my writing.  Maybe that will work better.

Beyond Expectations. Biohazard Resident Evil 7 final impressions

 

I’ve finished my Biohazard: Resident Evil 7 experience. Gotta admit, this was a GREAT game! Sadly, this is NOT a Resident Evil game. (Yeah…yeah, I know we’ve heard this before from SOOOOOO many haters/fanboys/political lobbyists/fake news.)

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This is NOT Resident Evil!!!     (NERD SAIYAN 3!!)

I’m gonna be straight with you. Like I said in my previous entry, ALL of the elements of a Resident Evil game is here…save for one exception.

 SPOILERS………………………………….THE RESIDENT EVIL STORYLINE.

That’s right RE fans, all of your beloved characters are practically non-existant. Resident Evil has always been known for it’s misguided story and convoluted characters. Yet those characters are LIKEABLE!! So where are they?!?! They’re not here whatsoever. So how Biohazard: RE7 connect to the series?! As far as the base retail game goes, you pretty much get name drops and 30 seconds of “Ooooooh!! Look who it is?!”

Gotta admit, I’m a little mad AND disappointed in regards to the game getting the Resident Evil title. I can live with that, but I love my Resident Evil characters and many of the little stories they get involved in. It’s really a shame that we didn’t have any familiar faces involved in Ethan’s horror story

WITH THAT SAID!!!! RE:7 looked, felt and moved like a Resident Evil game. Hell, if you had VR goggles, probably smelled like Resident Evil. Playing through the game was tense at time, requiring that all too familiar tight item management. This balanced the combat well and in some cases could have made Ethan a little heavily armed for survival horror vets. Fortunately, there is a “Madhouse” setting, which is really where the challenge is at, if you’re up for it. Personally, I used Gamefly (I’m on a budget!), so doing another playthrough isn’t going to happen.

 

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Chainsaw, do you take this Shotgun to be your lawfully wedded….NOOOO!    (BOOM!)              –SOURCE

 

Throughout the first half, the mood sets in with well placed audio and visuals cue to bring the tension up. Then as the first bits of action sets in and Ethan fights a losing battle against his soon to be nemesis, the Baker family.  All I can say, is that it’s one HELL of a ride!  Almost the same way Shinji Mikami became inspired by many of the 80s horror films to create the original games; the creators of RE7 took a page from films like The Ring, Saw and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Fortunately, it works and plays well with how the Baker family interacts (or terrorize, toy, beat or cut) with Ethan. (the player character)

What makes RE7 soo enjoyable is that twisted characterization of the family and the story’s simplicity. Granted there are a few things aren’t explained and they leave a few questions left. To be honest, it’s a Biohazard/Resident Evil game; which pretty much entitles all the unexplained parts to be explained somewhere in the optional text files.

Sometimes, simplicity works and here survival horror fans are treated with an excellent title, despite it leaving the fans of the series wanting a continuation of the regular series.

Just so you know, there are subtle mentions of the Raccoon City incident occurring and a teaser of ONE character from the main series… This means only one thing, the RE main story will continue, just not while wading through the Louisiana bayou.

 

denuvo-issues-response-to-resident-evil-7-crack
Hey buddy!!!  I think your marshmallow is a little too TOASTED!!!           –SOURCE