Why It’s Ok To Be Afraid of Change In Real Life and In Video Games

mass-effect-2-characters-wallpaper-3.jpgAuthor: Nathan Doverspike

As I search for the right words, the best way to say what’s on my mind, one phrase keeps coming to mind: everything happens for a reason.  While cliché and overused, it rings true for me, and I hope you as well.  Friends come and go, jobs are earned and lost, and money is always finite.  But that phrase, everything happens for a reason, is helping me cope with being afraid of change.

Change always seems to happen when it is the most inconvenient in life.  Whether it is a new job, moving to a new town, starting a family, making new friends, change always likes to butt in and threaten the comfort of routine you’ve seemed to surround yourself with.  It is comfortable to stay at the same job, comfortable to live at the same place for a long time, and comfortable to be content with the same friends and not branch out to find potentially new and exciting guys and gals.  Change is scary, and that’s totally ok.

Just like real life, change in your favorite game can be scary too.  Some games, like Mass Effect 2, do a phenomenal job of implementing necessary changes to an already fantastic series.  With characters like Mordin, Grunt, Zaeed, and Legion they took an already great cast from the first game and really ramp it up.  Unique loyalty missions, the ability to scan planets for resources instead of landing on each one (personally I liked that but it took way too much time), the occasional button prompt for either a “good” or “bad” reaction during dialogue, and the best ending mission for a video game I have ever experienced, it serves as a prime example for change resulting in positive outcome.

That isn’t to say that change always results in something turning out better than before.  Resident Evil 6 is one of my least favorite video games.  EVER.  I truly despise that game.  It changed so many things that made Resident Evil 4 unique, like well-developed characters, decent voice action throughout, a fantastic story, beautiful environments, satisfying weapons, pretty much everything was streamlined and watered down.  Resident Evil 6 was way more action than 4 (like literally all action), and I believe it suffered from a story standpoint.  Resident Evil 6 didn’t just give players three separate campaigns, it game players three excruciatingly poor campaigns with bad boss designs and some abysmal weapons.  Don’t forget that the U.I. was disgustingly ugly and the inventory management sucked too.  Last thing, the ending boss of the Leon campaign made me rage quit that nonsense, and I never went back.  In other words, change isn’t ALWAYS good.

The best way to deal with change in any situation is to keep an open mind and remain positive.  Even though Resident Evil 6 was damn near a disaster of a video game, that didn’t damper my excitement for a return to roots entry in Resident Evil 7 (see my review here).  Even unfortunate and upsetting events can lead to positive situations later in life.  The result won’t be immediate, but a positive attitude can turn a turd of a game like Duke Nukem Forever into something less awful (I think).  It’s normal to be afraid of change; just remember that everything happens for a reason.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Review

Overall, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is both a return to horror and a breath of new life to this decades old franchise.

resident-evil-7-house
The game strikes a perfect balance of being terrifying and gorgeous at the same time.

Author: Nathan Doverspike

I start to panic as my character takes their good old time unlocking a hatch leading underground.  He is right behind me: Daddy is coming. I hear him curse at me as he swings a bloodied spade wildly towards my head.  I luck out.  The hatch opens and I drop down into the claustrophobic crawl space littered with cob webs and a rusted lawn mower (no idea how that got there).  My heart won’t stop pounding as I contemplate just staying put for a moment to catch my breath, cursing Daddy for scaring the living hell out of me.  I can hear the creak from his brooding footsteps above, and I know I can’t stay here forever.  I need to get out of there and find out what in the world is going on here.  This is just a taste of the heart-attack-inducing moments to come, and I loved every second of it!

Ethan decides to go looking for his long-lost girlfriend Mia after he receives a video of her begging him to stay away.  Reckless, and slightly naive, he nevertheless travels to the swamplands of Louisiana to investigate her disappearance.  Once you arrive, all is not as it seems.  The family living there, the Bakers, clearly have a few screws missing, as well as a pile of other body parts along the way.  You fight them, as well as another form of enemy along the way to saving Mia and yourself.  While the game is slightly linear most of the way through, I never felt quite safe from the denizens of darkness.  Besides the safe rooms located throughout the game, no place was comfortable or inviting, and I prefer my Resident Evil that way compared to the travesty that is Resident Evil 6.

Speaking of gut wrenching, please do not play this game if you have a weak stomach or are prone to heart attacks.  That is a serious warning.  This game made me jump off the couch AND scream at the top of my lungs in just the first hour.  The first half is terrifying, and the second half keeps the scares coming but does focus a little more on linear level design and first person shooting gameplay.  While some might have wanted a complete return to form to Resident Evil 1-3 (this game has a house that resembles the mansion in RE1 and even references to the greater Resident Evil universe that are subtle but brilliant), I adored the blend of scares and stealth mixed with tense moments of action.  Even when you are stripped of your inventory during a section of the game, it never feels like it overstays its welcome.  The weapons all have a place, and I never felt like a weapon wasn’t useful or didn’t feel awkward aiming.  The pace is nothing short of a masterpiece, so much so that I began a new playthrough immediately following the completion of the game.  It has its bloody hooks in me that deep.

Overall, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is both a return to horror and a breath of new life to this decades old franchise.  Some fans may not enjoy all aspects of it, and I respect that.  However, I couldn’t get enough of this entry and can’t wait to see what the future holds for Resident Evil if they continue down this gutsy path.

Final Score:  9/10  Excellent