Sunday, November 18, 2012

'The Walking Dead' Episode 304: 'Killer Within'

Episode 304 "Killer Within" starts with someone making a trail of blood and guts of a deer up to the prison and through an open gate. He is drawing the walkers in on purpose, to get rid of Rick and his group, and boy does it have disastrous results.

While they are out taking about how they are going to clear the corpses from the prison yard, the two remaining prisoners, Axel and Oscar, approach them and ask if they can join the group. It was hard for them to dispose of the prisoners' bodies, some of them were their friends.

Rick doesn't think it's a good idea, but T-Dog says that they should let them in. Whatever they did to get in there, the world that disapproved of it is gone, and they deserve a second chance. Rick says no, and dismisses them.

Meanwhile, at Woodbury, Michonne is checking out the National Guard trucks and takes note that there are traces of wet blood in the bullet holes. When the Governor approaches her, she asks him about how the soldiers died. He tries to brush it off like it's nothing and tries to convince her and Andra to stay in his town.

At the prison, Rick tells Glenn to take a week's worth of supplies to Axel and Oscar and send them out of the prison and on their merry way. But the prisoners don't want to leave. They are terrified of what lies beyond the prison gates, and know that they don't stand a chance of surviving on their own. Axel (who is portraying a suspicious amount of gratitude and constantly is offering to help them with things) asks Daryl if he can give his motorcycle a tune up, and is denied.

Hershel is struggling to walk with crutches and has Beth and Lori helping him learn how to walk with them.

At Woodbury, Michonne tells Andrea that she is planning on heading over to the coast, to find a boat or an island to live on; someplace away from the walkers and a lot of people. Andrea, being the doe-eyed idiot that she is, doesn't want to leave Woodbury. She likes it there and is enjoying the peace and safety of the fortified community. Michonne tells her that there is something wrong with Woodbury, and the Governor. Andrea thinks that she is being paranoid, when in reality, she really ought to be listening to her. Michonne's gut instinct has helped them survive thus far, and it's mind boggling as to why she wouldn't listen to her friend now. The only thing that I can think of is that she has been seduced by both the Governor's charisma, and the charming appeal of living in a functioning society once again. But there is a vicious ugly truth hiding beneath all of the smiles and good manners, and Andrea will find out soon enough that she once again has fallen for the bad guy.

At the prison, they are clearing out the yard as Lori and Carl help Hershel step outside. Glenn and Daryl seem happy to see Hershel on his feet, or in this case foot, again and remark on just how tough that old buzzard is. But their happiness is short lived, as the group suddenly finds themselves surrounded by walkers.

Rick runs to help as the group is separated and scattered by the walkers. Beth runs over to Hershel and they lock themselves into a fenced-in entrance to the prison. Maggie runs off with Lori and Carl and they attempt to get to a safe place in the prison cell block.

T-Dog and Carol run to shut the courtyard gate. Unfortunately, there are walkers inside the fence near the gate and one of them bites T-Dog's shoulder before he can completely shut it. T-Dog and Carol then run into the closest doorway in the cell block.

Back at Woodbury, Merle talks to Andrea about the farm where she last saw Daryl. She points it out on a map and tells him that it's been months since they were attacked by walkers and driven away from the farm. Merle is positive that if he can get to the farm he can track his little brother down. He asks her to go with him, but she refuses. Merle says that they were both abandoned by that group, and then rescued by the Governor.

Andrea for some reason, display compassion for Merle and trust, which is weird. She quickly turns the other cheek the moment Merle apologizes for the things that he did to her. I wouldn't trust that man with a water balloon, let alone my life. But maybe that's just me. When Andrea asks him if the Governor is a good man, he tells her that he was on the verge of dying when they found him. He could've left him to die, but he didn't. Instead he took him in, so yeah, he's a good man.

Back at the prison, Glenn discovers that someone cut the gate and let the walkers in. Rick suspiciously eyes Axel and Oscar when they walk up to see what is going on, and accuses them of doing it. Suddenly, the prison alarm goes off, attracting more walkers to the fence. Oscar tells Rick that the back-up generators have to be running, as it is an electronic alarm. He goes with Rick to turn it off. Someone is messing with them, and that someone is dangerous and playing for keeps.

Meanwhile, Carol tells T-Dog that she doesn't know much, but she'll do what she can to help him with his bite. He tells her that they need to keep going and they continue to make their way through the labyrinthine hallways of the prison.

Carl, Maggie and Lori are running from walkers, which are appearing around every corner. When they find themselves surrounded, Carl finds the door to the boiler room and they run inside.

At Woodbury, Merle approaches the Governor and tells him that he wants to go find his baby brother. While he understands how he feels, he can't afford to lose him and refuses to let Merle go. He tells him that if he has more information on where he was last seen, or where they were headed, that he would let him go.

Back at the prison, Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Axel and Oscar split up. Rick, Daryl and Oscar head to the back-up generators. Glenn and Axel head off to look for the missing members of their group.

Lori tells Maggie that she's going into labor. Maggie panics, she doesn't know much about helping someone give birth, she's only done it with the farm animals. Lori tells her that she'll be fine as Maggie undresses her from the waist down.

Maggie tells Carl that he's going to have to help her with his mom, but he isn't sure what to do. Lori asks her to help her stand up and she starts pushing through her contractions, but she soon starts to bleed heavily, which is not a good sign.

T-Dog and Carol make their way over to the laundry room, but their path is blocked. They are out of ammo and have no other weapons.  T-Dog runs towards them shoves the walkers away, telling Carol to run. T-Dog is attacked and killed by the walkers while Carol runs off through a set of double doors, into the laundry room and disappears. Literally. The only evidence of her passing is her scarf. Just like when Sophia ran off when they were attacked by a walker herd on the highway and left her doll behind. I honestly hope that Carol shows up within the next couple of episodes. If she winds up a walker locked up in the Governor's shed, I'm really going to be disappointed.

What's interesting, is that while I was watching the episode and T-Dog voiced his compassion for the prisoners, I joked with my S.O. that he was going to die. And, wouldn't you know it,  he did die. Just like Dale, T-Dog  voiced compassion towards an unknown element, such as the prisoners, that want to join the group in an episode and he died. Is this merely a coincidence? Or is this going to become a predictable pattern that ultimately results in a cliche, like the extras that wear the red shirts on Star Trek that are the only ones to die on missions.

At Woodbury the Governor and Andrea are having drinks in his apartment. He tells her that is first name is Phillip, and that his wife died in a car accident before the world went all to hell. Andrea thanks him and he tells her that they can leave in the morning and that they are welcome to return to Woodbury at any time, which of course, turns out to be a lie. Andrea then confronts Michonne in their room, telling her that she wants to stay. Michonne, disgusted, leaves her in a huff.

Daryl, Rick and Oscar find the generator room and enter it, only to be attacked by Andrew- the prisoner that Rick left to die in a courtyard full of walkers. Rick drops his gun and Oscar picks it up.

Andrew tells him to shoot Rick. Oscar shoots Andrew and kills him, then hands the gun back to Rick. They turn off the generator and the alarm stops.

Lori is in serious trouble and is lying on the floor. She knows that she is not going to make and tells Maggie that she is not going to lose her baby, she has to cut her open. Carl was born via Cesarean section, and the baby has to be born that way too.

Lori tells Carl that's she's proud of him, and that he's the best thing she ever did in a very tearful, heartbreaking goodbye. Carl, crying, hugs her and tells her that he loves her.

Maggie then takes her knife and slices open Lori's stomach. She has Carl help her find the uterus and gently pulls the baby out. After a moment of coaxing, the baby begins to breathe and makes mewling sounds.

Carl looks at the corpse of his mother and tells Maggie that they can't just leave her like that, she'll turn. Maggie walks away with the baby as Carl raises his gun and shoots his mother in the head, to prevent her from becoming a walker.  They head outside to find the others and Maggie is holding the baby in her arms, tearfully saying "I'm sorry," over and over again.

Glenn rushes over to comfort a distraught Maggie and she sobs in his arms.

Carl stands there, crying as Rick collapses in grief and has a total breakdown, sobbing on the cold concrete while the others look on in shock.

Friday, November 16, 2012

'The Walking Dead' Episode 303 'Walk with Me'

In this episode of "The Walking Dead" we have the return of Merle Dixon, we learn more about Michonne, and see that Andrea has not grown as a character in the slightest since last season. Sigh.

Andrea and Michonne are out walking her pet walkers when they spot a helicopter crash. Curious, they go to investigate the plume of smoke. Upon their arrival, Michonne ties her walkers to a tree. Just when she's about to go and see if there are any survivors, several vehicles pull up, forcing the two women to hide behind some bushes.

The Governor, his right hand man Merle, and some of his men investigate the crash site. The Governor makes a point to stab the dead soldiers in the head, which shocks both Andrea and Michonne. They don't know that everyone who dies, no matter the cause, turns into a walker. The Governor finds that the pilot is still alive and they remove him from the helicopter and put him in one of the vehicles.

The pet walkers become agitated at the sounds of the men and their chains rattle. Michonne panics and cuts off their heads, hoping that they weren't heard, but they've already been spotted.

Merle Dixon tells them not to do anything stupid and when Andrea turns around and sees him, she faints.

Andrea comes to in the backseat of a moving vehicle. She is blindfolded. She calls out for Michonne, who tells her that she is there. Merle shushes them and soon they find themselves being driven to a wooden gate.

Hours later, Andrea awakens. She has received an IV treatment, probably because she was dehydrated and most likely has gotten some antibiotics. The doctor that is helping her won't tell her where she is, and informs her that she'll have to talk to the Governor about that.

Merle enters the room and talks to her. We learn that he almost bled to death after he cut off his hand and that if it weren't for the Governor finding him and taking care of him, he would've died. Andrea tells him that Daryl went to look for him in Atlanta, but he was already gone. Merle wants to know if he's still alive, and Andrea tells him that the last time she saw him was last summer.

Merle acknowledges that he was quite the jerk the last time they spoke, and thanks her for telling him about his baby brother. It's important to him that he gets out there and finds him. After all he's done to Daryl, Merle still feels a sense of filial loyalty to him.

When the Governor enters the room, Michonne pounces on him and demands to get her weapons back. He calmly tells her that they are free to leave in the morning, and that they'll get them back then. She's not happy with this and immediately doesn't trust the Governor. Unfortunately, her instincts about the man are soon proven right.

Andrea asks him why he shoved a knife into the skulls of dead men, and he informs her that he put them out of their misery and that anyone who dies becomes a "biter" aka walker. They didn't know, and the revelation is shocking to both her and Michonne.

The Governor gives Andrea and Michonne a quick tour of Woodbury- the fortified town that he runs with an iron fist- and escorts them to a room where clean clothes are ready for them. He leaves a man to guard their door "for their safety" and then goes on his merry way.  Michonne tells her that they need to get their weapons and get the heck out of Dodge as soon as possible. Andrea, visibly worn, tells her that they need to rest. Michonne acquiesces, but is visibly tense, watching everyone like a cat ready to strike.

The next day, the Governor walks them around the town and tells them that there are 73 people living there, and there has been no casualties since winter thanks to his strict nightly curfew. (Yeah, right.)
He leaves Andrea and MIchonne to wander the town and bask in the sunshine while talking with the locals.

The Governor visits the helicopter pilot, Welles, and asks him what happened. Welles tells him that he is working with a group of 10 men from the national guard and that he went ahead to scout for them. The place that they were camped at became over-run with walkers and they had to make a quick getaway. The Governor fishes for more information and finds out where he left the group and promises that he'll bring them back to Woodbury if he finds them alive.

At Milton's lab, Merle and Milton are arguing about something. The Governor interrupts and tells them to knock it off. He sends Merle to speak with Andrea to see if he can't get any more information about the group that she was traveling with.

Milton shows the Governor his latest research project, the corpses of Michonne's pet walkers. The heads are still alive. He notes that once the means to eat is removed, the walkers lose interest in attacking people. Michonne is smart, as she learned this and used them as repellent to ward off the roaming herds of walkers.

Andrea and Michonne are invited to breakfast with Milton and the Governor. They are visibly appreciative of the meal and Andrea engages in small talk while Michonne sits there, ready to bolt out the door at a moment's notice.

Milton asks them if they think that the walkers keep a trace of the person they once were, and asks if Michonne knew the men that became her walker pets. Ignores the question and asks for her weapons back. Of course, the Big G tells her to just take her time and rest while she can. She doesn't need to be in such a hurry to leave, right?

Once out of earshot, Michonne tells Andrea that she doesn't trust the Governor. Stupid Andrea, being the idiot that she is, wants to stay in Woodbury. She wants to enjoy the peace while she can. Michonne tells her that it's a bad idea. Andrea changes the subject by asking her about how she felt about killing the walkers that had protected them all winter. She retorts that it was easy and leaves her standing there, speechless.

The Governor, Merle, and some guys find the squad that the pilot Welles had left. The Governor drives up waving a white flag and steps out of his car with his hands in the air, urging them not to shoot, and telling them that they found Welles, that he was injured and that they're there to take them to him. When the captain puts his guard down and walks forward to speak with him, the Governor pulls out a gun and shoots him. His men pop up behind the squad members and kills them in cold blood. They take all of the weapons and their vehicles.

This scene is just ridiculous  How could trained military men, soldiers who have survived so long after the world fell to the walkers, be ambushed so easily and taken out without being able to return fire and shoot the Woodbury men dead? Seriously? And why bother with this sequence? It's already clear that the Governor isn't someone to trust, but instead of being subtle about it by keeping things ambiguous, they outright have him become a cardboard cut-out villain who murders people in cold blood. The men he killed were strong soldiers that he could've used to protect his town, but instead of recruiting them, he decides to just kill them and take their stuff. It just doesn't make any sense.

Soon after the execution of the soldiers, the Governor returns to Woodbury and puts their new vehicles and weapons on display, making a speech to the crowd about how it was unfortunate that the men didn't survive, but their weapons and ammo will make a good contribution to the town. Andrea watches this with a dreamy look in her eye, and it's clear that she's been tricked once again into believing that the bad guy is a totally cool dude that she so needs to get with, like now.

Andrea asks the Governor what his real name is and he smiles and says that he never tells.

After curfew at nightfall, we see the Governor watching pensively out of his apartment window and drinking whiskey. He enters a private room and sits in a big comfy chair and stares straight ahead, at the rows of stacked aquariums with live walker heads in water. The newest additions to his entertainment system are Welles and Michonne's pets.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

'American Horror Story: Asylum' Episode 2 'Tricks and Treats'

"Tricks and Treats" begins with the lovely Jenna Tatum hysterically running away from Bloody Face while she attempts to find her lover's cell phone in order to call for help. She is chased into the room where her hubby had his arm ripped of, and manages to get the phone just as Bloody Face stabs the love of her live to death. Well, sort of.... Even after being repeatedly stabbed in the chest, and bleeding profusely from the gaping wound where his arm used to be, he manages to muster up enough strength to body check Bloody Face later on in the next episode. Must be all that adrenaline.

Back in the past, Lana Lang's lesbian lover Wendy is sobbing into a handkerchief,  bemoaning the fact that she was so easily badgered into signing a legal document to have Lana admitted into Briarcliff. Her friends convince her to recant her signature and get Lana out of the asylum. That night Wendy leaves all of her windows wide open while she goes and takes a shower. Whatever possessed her to do so when there is a maniac killer on the loose murdering women in their homes is beyond me.

Shortly after walking out of the shower, Bloody Face kills her. Yeah. Didn't see that one coming.

Meanwhile, Lana has been busy writing on scraps of paper the events that are taking place in the asylum. Sister Jude steals her notes and Lana tells her that even though they are gone, she will still remember what she sees. So, Sister Jude tells Dr. Arden to give her electroshock therapy to cure her of her vile lesbianism, to make her forget.

 Ummm.... The writers do know that electroconvulsive therapy only causes the patient to forget the actual event of being shocked and once the confusion subsides for the most part their memory is intact, right? Typically, most people tend to recall events that occurred during the weeks prior to treatment, but there are cases where retrograde amnesia does occur. I'm betting that's what the all-knowing and all-powerful Sister Jude is counting on. This is yet another example of the ill-informed and often fictitious medical practices that keep occurring on this night time soap opera.

Sister Mary Eunice feeds the mysterious creatures in the woods and then asks Dr. Arden about them. She gets no real answer, but he does give her a candied apple and has to convince her to eat it. Yeah, real subtle with the symbolism there guys.

It's clear that Dr. Arden is crushing on the nun pretty hard, but not in the sexual way. At least, not yet.

Afterward, Shelley the nymphomaniac, throws herself on Dr. Arden, begging him to let her go outside for 15 minutes in return for sexual favors. He smacks her around pretty good, calls her a whore and a slut, etc. Shelley yells at him about how unfair it is that a man can sleep around but a if a woman sleeps with more than one guy at a time she's crazy and a deviant. It is revealed that her husband had extramarital affairs and wouldn't sleep with her anymore, so she got several men to join her in bed. When her husband found out, he had her committed. Nice guy.

Lana joins Grace in the hydrotherapy room after her encounter with electricity. Grace is naked and looking out the window wistfully,  which of course, is Lana's only weakness. Well, that and her utter stupidity. But we'll get to that soon enough.

Lana tells Grace that there's a way out of the asylum, there is a secret tunnel that leads out into the forest that Sister Eunice used to bring her into the place. Grace agrees to go with her, as long as she can take Kit, whom she believes is innocent. Lana doesn't trust Kit. She thinks he's a serial killer and doesn't want him to tag along.

Later that night, Dr. Arden invites a whore to his house. He prepared dinner and suggestively cuts a bloody roast while talking to her about intellectual things, like music and fine wine. The whore refuses to drink or eat with him and tells him she doesn't do that so that she can keep her wits about her. Finally, someone with some freaking common sense!

Arden wipes the lipstick off her face and demands that she act more lady like. She complies, and when asked to change into a nun's habit, she goes to his room and does so. While changing, she digs around in the boxes on his dresser and uncovers a pile of photos of women that were tied up and mutilated. Looks like Dr. Arden is a sadist, and a serial killer. Hmm....

She also picks up a button or cuff link and looks at it, but hastily drops it when he walks into the room. Upon being discovered, he attempts to stop her from leaving. The brave girl kicks him hard in the groin and makes a hasty retreat. Hopefully to report him to the police. Heh.

Dr. Thredson meets with Kit to give him a psychiatric evaluation in order to determine if he is sane enough to go to tiral. Kit tells him that he isn't crazy, that aliens killed the women, and that his wife Alma isn't dead. Thredson tells him that he is insane and lets him go.

On his way out, Dr. Thredson goes to speak with Sister Jude about the deplorable conditions of the asylum. She tells him that it's none of his business as to what goes on here, and that the patients are under her care, not his. Which is incorrect. Dr. Thredson is a state sanctioned psychiatrist, meaning, he works for the government. He witnessed brutal abuse, torture, and unsanitary living conditions. He sure as hell could shut that place down, with one simple call for an investigation.

This is one of the strange things about this series. The nuns are given absolute rule over the asylum, and are treated as though they have more authority and are given the power to make medical decisions, when they're not. They're not even nurses for crying out loud!

Dr. Thredson is not deterred by Sister Jude, and goes to finish his conversation with her. He walks in on her counseling a couple about chronic masturbation of all things. When he learns that the couple have brought their boy, Jed, in to be looked at because they believe that he is possessed by the Devil, he intercedes and offers to help in any way that he can.

Apparently, Jed has grown exceedingly violent and has been disemboweling livestock while speaking in tongues, but he doesn't remember doing any of it. Sister Jude, with her miraculous powers of GETTING THINGS DONE, tells the Monsignor about the boy and convinces him to perform an exorcism on him. Dr. Thredson objects to such barbaric practices and threatens to report Briarcliff to the proper authorities. Then, two minutes later, the exorcist magically arrives, and they force Dr. Thredson to attend as there must be a certified doctor present during an exorcism.

The Monsignor kicks Sister Jude out of the room when they start, telling her it's no place for a woman to be. This of course, leaves her miffed, and unable to retaliate. Again.

During the exocism, the lights flicker. The exocist is thrown up against the wall by an invisible force, and Jed starts to scream at him in Latin. Shortly thereafter, the power goes out, which unlocks all the doors in the place.

Lana and Grace make a run for the tunnel. Grace tells her that she won't leave without Kit, so stupidly, instead of running away with them, Lana decides to scream for the guards and they are caught dragged into solitary confinement.

Sister Jude re-enters the room after the exorcist is injured, and Jed taunts her, apparently speaking in her mind and telling her that he knows who she used to be a promiscuous drunk and a lounge singer named Judy.

Judy hit a girl one night while driving home drunk and instead of turning herself in and getting help for her, she drove away, leaving her to die. We also learn that Sister Jude slept with 53 men, and masturbates to the Monsignor. What a surprise.

Soon after, Jed has a heart attack. Just before he dies, he looks at Sister Mary Eunice, who is thrown back and falls unconcious. The demon has left him and entered the simpering idiot nun. Yay.

When Dr. Arden goes to visit Sister Mary Eunice, he spots her lying on her bed, with her leg exposed. He wakes her up and apologetically tells her that he is unaccustomed to seeing her out of costume (her nun's habit). She covers up her body and they have a warm fuzzy moment. Once Dr. Arden leaves, the crucifix falls off the wall.

Lana has Sister Jude taken to her office. The nun thanks Lana for turning in Grace and Kit. As a "reward" she gets to watch them get caned for their bad behavior. Lana is forced to choose a cane, so she takes one that Jude approves of. Before Grace is canned, Kit offers to take the punishment for her and receives it.

This is yet another episode of a TV show that can't decide what it wants to be about. Is it aliens? Demons? Or demon aliens? You tell me.

The only interesting thing that happened in episode 2 is that it is revealed that it is Sister Jude's guilt over a hit-and-run that is firing her rage and causing her to lash out and physically abuse the patients of the asylum. Not a very Christian thing to do there Jude. Whatever happened to turning the other cheek?

Now you know I just had to throw a butt joke in there, right?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Top 5 Reasons Why 'Resident Evil 6' is a Train Wreck

Dear Capcom, You Can't Please Everyone, 
so why not just make a game that appeals to your own fan base and not another genre's?

While it is understandable for a video game company to attempt to create a product that sells to the broadest audience as possible in order to make the most money, what Capcom did with "Resident Evil 6" is a dismal attempt to make a game that panders to several audiences that exist outside of its survival horror niche.

Contrary to what many in the gaming industry may believe, producing a unique game that isn't like all of the currently popular titles on the market is what makes a game title sell so well. That is why the original “Resident Evil” was successful in the first place, and why the franchise is suffering now. Unfortunately, Capcom didn't care about the playability of "Resident Evil 6," they only care that it sells enough units for them to make enough money to appease their share holders. This oversight has caused what has been lauded as the biggest, most epic Resident Evil game ever, to be received with less than glowing reviews from the gaming community.

For a while now, the game industry as a whole has noticed that action games with strong online co-op modes like "Call of Duty" and "Gears of War" are selling like hotcakes, and they want in on that cash cow. So they make their own version of the games and try to present them like they are something new and interesting, which makes the game format even more of a commonplace experience, which in turn spawns a teeming mass of cliches the likes of which the video game world may never recover from.

Such is the case with the Resident Evil franchise. Instead of letting a PR department create ads that gained the interest of the “Call of Duty” and “Gears of War” crowd, Capcom decided to make RE6 like those games, which caused it to stray even further away from its survival horror roots than it already has and stumble drunkenly into the cardboard cutout world of online co-op war games. Yay.

Capcom: "Listen sweetheart you're here to pour drinks and look pretty, so how about you shut your mouth and add the co-op to my horror war campaign? Everyone knows that survival horror is too small of a niche market for this big guy, and this guy needs to make the most money he possibly can. By ripping off 'Call of Duty'."

RE Development Department: Throws drink in Capcom's face. "Do it yourself you jerk."

The depressing thing is that this is the release of the biggest game in Resident Evil history. It had over 600 people working on it, and yet it is unpolished, and lacks uniformity of design and clarity of plot.

Talk about too many chefs in the kitchen. This game clearly suffers because of it.

Me too Leon. Me too. If by fat juicy steak you mean a good Resident Evil game.

There are so many things wrong with "Resident Evil 6," I could write a book about them, but I won't. Instead I've compiled a list the top five reasons why the game is so bad.

5. Shoddy Game Mechanics

"Resident Evil 4" was a near perfect video game. It had the correct balance of action and horror and a combat system that worked like a dream. If you shot a bad guy in the leg, he stumbled or fell down, allowing you to run up and take him out. The game mechanics were so good that they actually allowed the player to plan her attacks and create strategies for killing different bad guys. You could jump over and climb up just about any obstacle you can across. Unfortunately, this aspect of the game, which made it the most fun to play, was ignored by game developers that worked in "Resident Evil 5," and "Resident Evil 6."

In RE6, the game is set up so that when you run up to a table or other waist high obstacle, you can push a button and leap over it. But the command prompt to do so appears at random. It'll flash on the screen when you walk past it, but if you back up to get it to appear again so that you can indeed leap over the obstacle, half the time it doesn't even appear. This isn't the only command prompt that works intermittently. The combat triggers for instant kills and attacks appears only when it feels like it, which is usually not in your favor, but in the monster's.

When you are tackled by a monster, you have to waggle your thumb stick around and around until you break free. If you do manage to break free, you receive damage from the monster.

Add to that an overabundant amount of quick time events and you have one frustrating game on your hands. Any time the camera zoomed in and focused on something in the environment, I began to tense up and wait for the damned prompt to appear. It became a chore, instead of a random, in-your-face holy crap moment during intense action sequences.

Leon's campaign in particular is thoroughly over-saturated with quick time events, to the point where it feels like every single time the camera shows you something, you need to frenetically mash a series of buttons and triggers or you die and have to start the level over again.

The only game mechanic that they got right is the non-player A.I. The non-player character buddies that run along with you on your journey through RE6 are better than the insufferable one from "Resident Evil 5." At least they get out of your way when you raise a weapon and go to shoot something, and they don't steal any item from you when you pick it up. Man is that Sheva selfish!

Speaking of items, why the additional step for the healing green herbs? 

What possibly made the game developers think it's a great idea to make it even more of a hassle to use them by picking them up, going into the inventory, combining them together, and then putting them into "pill" form so that you can shake a container of Tic Tacs into your mouth whenever you're injured? That is something that I'd really like to know.

Oh No! Helena is hurt? Here, have a Tic Tac! It's minty freshness will restore your health bar!

MMMMmmmm... Tic Tacs. 


Yeah, I know, the health restoration system in Resident Evil is far from realistic, and I willingly went along with the whole green herb + red herb = more green herbs that remove poison and restore your health, but health tablets? That is where I draw the line.

4. Stupid Camera

One of the most noticeable things that should've been polished prior to the game's release is the camera. The camera is far too close to the character's shoulders, so much so that you cannot see what is happening directly behind you.

The camera in RE6 creates huge blind spots for the players, such as this one.
Where's Leon's left shoulder? What is standing directly behind him? The world may never know.

The area where the camera really sucks is when you have to run a character up a flight of stairs. Playing the game then becomes a dizzying, nauseating experience that gives me flashbacks of watching "Cloverfield" in the theaters. Half the time when I approach stairs my character decides to turn himself around and head the other way, even though I haven't moved the direction of the control stick is facing, which by the way, was a problem that the original "Resident Evil" title had. And it was something that had long since been fixed.

Now, it could be argued that the game developers were trying to maintain the crappy camera angles that existed in the original titles of the franchise, but I really don't think that is why the camera sucks so much. I think that it's just because it's a crappy camera that wasn't fixed prior to the release of the game. There's no excuse for it, especially with the graphics engines available today, and the sophisticated technology that the current gaming platforms use.

The camera in RE6 is frustrating to work with, and I found myself constantly fighting with it so that I could see what was going on around me in the game. I've been told that this is partially because I play the game like a moron and can't direct the camera properly, which may be true, but I know that I'm not the only one that has that problem because it was announced last month that there will be a patch to fix the camera in "Resident Evil 6" released sometime in December, 2012.

3. What Character Development?

While I did find the idea of old school Resident Evil characters interacting with each other, the cut-scenes were short, with staccato bursts of dialogue that just barely covered what was happening. For instance, during Leon's campaign, when he runs into Chris and Piers, the tension between Leon and Chris is palpable. It's also the only scene where Chris doesn't act like he is emotionally retarded.

Chris' campaign starts with him suffering from memory loss and in a drunken stupor in a bar in God knows where. Even with him starting out as a drunk, Chris' character still comes off as stiff, and bad with communicating his feelings, to the point where he is unable to tell Piers anything, other than the fact that he doesn't remember.

So... Chris, how did you develop amnesia? Did you have an accident? Did your mind purposefully hide the events away from you because they were too painful to deal with as a means to cope with a terrible tragedy? Or, is this yet another flimsy attempt at giving your character more depth? You tell me.

Oh wait, you can't. Because you don't like to talk about your feelings, let alone anything remotely personal that happened to you in the past. Ugh...

While Chris may have lost his men, his persona stake in the game just doesn't feel as urgent, or important (at least from an emotional standpoint of the player) because he isn't out to save anyone. His is more of an internal emotional journey, and unfortunately, this is Chris Redfield we are talking about. Mr. I-Can't-Talk-About-My-Feelings, not even with you Sheva, so leave me alone! Baaaaawww!!

Piers comes off as a Chris fan-boy who gushes over him any chance that he gets. There really isn't much to his character either, other than the fact that he's a B.S.A.A. agent.

Overall, Leon is the most emotive of the characters, and has the most emotional investment in the plot. It's personal to him, he had to shoot his close friend, the President of the United States, to put him out of his misery, and now he's out to help his new partner Helena rescue her sister. His personal investment made me care about what was happening to him, and wondering just how he is going to karate kick his way out of the current mess he is in.

Sherry seems to just be there to do her job. She has a personal history with the B.O.W.s (Her father William Birkin worked for Umbrella as a head scientist and created the G-Virus) and she is a survivor of the Raccoon City Incident. While she does remain loyal to Leon, who helped her escape Raccoon City, their cut-scenes are rushed and she doesn't seem to care overmuch about him and his well being. Either she is as emotionally cold as her mother Annette, or she just wasn't written very well.

Jake too, suffers from thin character development. While he is the brooding son of Albert Wesker (We-e-e-esker!!!), his attitude and amazing Olympic-class acrobatic abilities are not very convincing. He is supposed to be a cold blooded mercenary from the "wrong side of the tracks" working for the bad guys, and all he gets to do is run away from monsters and rescue Sherry a gazillion times. Of course, Sherry really didn't need rescuing because the G-virus mutated her and gave her a healing factor* like Marvel Comics' "Wolverine!"

*er... I mean, her magical "accelerated healing" ability.

A healing factor, seriously? That's the best you could come up with for Sherry? What's wrong with you guys?

Unfortunately, the cut-scenes in the cross-over sections of the campaigns are the best parts of the game.

2. Ridiculous Monsters
Overall, each campaign of RE6 has it's own feel, it's own combat system, and it's own monsters. Many of the monsters that show up in Chris' and Sherry's campaigns seem to be shoddy rip offs of other monsters from "Resident Evil 4," Code Veronica, and "Resident Evil 5." 

Resident Evil has had more than it's fair share of weird monsters, but RE6 seems to completely jump off the bandwagon. Gone are the mutated animals, the hunters, the lickers, the Tyrants. They are replaced with sub-par Bandersnatch rip-offs, Tyrant-cyborgs, and giant monstrosities that are several stories high. It's as though the art department took their inspiration from "Gears of War" and "Dead Space," instead of following the visual aesthetic of the previous games in the series.

Here we see Chris Redfield pre-steroid abuse fighting a Bandersnatch from "Resident Evil: Code Veronica."

Here is Chris during his steroid abuse at the night club.

Here is an alcoholic Chris Redfield post-steroid abuse fighting a long armed J'avo. 
I didn't waste any bullets on the first one that showed up. I cut sliced it to death with my huge knife. Cause I'm old school like that.

Both versions of long armed monsters are ridiculous, and annoying to fight. But they are nothing compared to the pain in the backside that is the Ustanak. 

I mean come on, a cyborg Tyrant? Why does it need to be a cyborg with detachable limbs that can be interchanged with others? Wasn't Mr. X and the Nemesis proof enough that a killing machine could be made by simply mutating someone into a hulking monstrosity? Why does it need a machine arm with a claw hand? Every time I see it I think of the little three-eyed green aliens from "Toy Story."

The Ustanak is a towering monstrosity that chases Jake and Sherry throughout their entire campaign. It's just one endless chase scene broken up by fights with the locals that both outnumber and outgun them. 

The fact that it is an unstoppable killing machine that literally chases Jake and Sherry across Edonia is not just ludicrous, it's annoying. The non-stop Ustanak boss fight with Leon and Sherry, just plain silly.

The worst thing about all of the enemies in "Resident Evil 6" is that they are bullet sinks. It takes far more shots to stagger an enemy, if at all, and usually it takes over 10 bullets just to kill one guy. Talk about overpowered, the enemies in RE6 are far too resilient, which makes combat both tiresome and irksome. The boss fights in general are often far too long, with the boss coming back over and over and over again, to the point where you're left screaming at the TV "Just die already!"

It's like the game developers couldn't figure out the game play pacing and second guessed themselves, which led to them doing the exact opposite of what they should've done. That, combined with a camera that you constantly have to fight with, pop up combat cues that don't always work when they should, and random quick time events that are sorely over-used, and you have a recipe for disaster, or, at the very least,a video game that is a torturous chore to play through, instead of a fun way to pass the time while scaring yourself silly.

1. Lack of Cohesive Plot and Vision

Resident Evil has gone from a slow burn story full of creeping dread and terror where characters had to investigate and solve a mystery to a game with holy-crap-that-was-fast! action sequences that are used as a crutch to hide the fact that there is little to no plot development occurring in the game.

There is also a lack of exploration. There was a time when you could click on just about anything in the environment and the character would comment on it. For such a small thing, this feature truly added depth to a game by providing the character's opinions on things. There are boxes and tables blocking your path that your character should very easily be able to leap over, and doors that are locked that should be simple for experience veterans of Raccoon City.

With all the potential story telling and drama of dealing with biological terrorists, I think that the Resident Evil team really missed the mark with this one. Sure, there are three different campaigns that intersect at certain moments, and we get to see the big names of the franchise talk smack with one another, but over all, there really wasn't much to tell as the game can be summarized as," Hey these terrorists did bad stuff, let's get 'em!" The End.

Capcom seriously needs to take a few lessons from 343, the team behind "Halo 4," and up it's ante by utilizing the back stories of the previous games and CG movies and making a cohesive over-arching plot about a bio-terrorism conspiracy to topple governments in order to create a new world order under the Neo-Umbrella banner.  Or at the very least, give their megalomaniacal bad guys a bit more panache and depth of character. I for one am tired of the vaudeville mustache twirling villains that Capcom keeps throwing at us. Give me a bad guy with a personal stake, one that firmly believes that he is doing the right thing, and that by eliminating world governments and creating a world where death is no longer the end of life, he can make the world a better place. A motivating factor other than greed would be nice too for a change. Just saying.