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.

This is kinda what I feel like when I didn’t do ANY cleaning and the old lady comes home…

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SOURCE

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.

 

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Hey buddy!!!  I think your marshmallow is a little too TOASTED!!!           –SOURCE

MGSV – Inspired Share

Over at the The Well Red Mage, I caught a share of Metal Gear Solids ending song.  “The Best is Yet to Come.”  Which is essentially my life motto.  No matter what, I feel life can be harsh, happy, tough, confusing.  Most of all its precious, because “the best is yet to come”, and life has sweeter memories to give us.

Even in our darkest days it can get better.

In an inspiration from his post, I’m sharing the EPIC Donna Burke, “Sins of the Father”.  Which truly captures the whole vibe that MGSV was.

It was EPIC, yet bittersweet, due to Konami (the company that produced the game) and Hideout Kojima’s (the creator) mistreatment during the development of the game.  Back when I finished this a year ago, I KNEW DEEP DOWN something was wrong with Konami.  (Turned out I was right…which you can read HERE.)

Anyways enjoy the song!

I can answer ANY question except THIS one!

What are we having for dinner?!  Oddly enough, this seems to be the most difficult question for Louie and me.  Which also seems to be a common issue in families and couples.

This is how I feel about it some times…

Typically, I’m home from work by 9am-ish fall asleep by 1030 and wake up around 5pm.  She’ll get home by 530pm and we’re always asking that same question.  What are we having for dinner?!

Being the gentleman, I ask her what she’d like?  (which us odd because even after being married for 5 years, we still finish each other’s sentences)  Yet we can never come to solution before it ends up being a late dinner!

Now, we’re both accomplished cooks in the kitchen.  She still beats me by a mile, I’ll admit she can bake and do thing’s I have no idea how do.

But it does frustrate the shit out of me, that even with all that, we can’t come to a solid conclusion.  It usually ends up in my court to be the decisive one and dinner is made by 730pm at the earliest.

So this goes out to everyone.  Do any of you go through this phenomenon most nights?  If not, some solid suggestions would be nice!!

For now, I’ll let Sam Elliot decide.. 

https://youtu.be/nZoyE1B7HHA