May 2021 Highlight

May Highlight may be a better description

It’s a quiet month for games that I am looking out for in my May Highlights. There is probably a heap of games that I haven’t paid enough attention to, being so busy in April.

It also doesn’t help that two of my April Highlights didn’t come out until the very end of the month! I have watched some Returnal gameplay for example, but I haven’t grabbed a copy yet.

Coming up to the end of the financial year, this is a busy time for me work-wise. This situation is normal and comes with the territory. But I do need to be mindful of how little time for ‘quality’ gaming I will be able to get it.

So it’s a light May Highlights, but and only one game is on my ‘Must Play’ list. Guess which one that is?

Resident Evil Village – May 7th

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

I am a Resident Evil fan. Naturally, this is on my radar! The story of the universe is convoluted, people scratch their heads coming in late, but anything with Resident Evil in the title gets my attention!

To date, I haven’t played any of the latest demos. I have it installed, but I couldn’t get time in the 8-hour window. 3 am to 11 am on a Monday? Come on, Capcom! I get that the timing is because Australia is in the EU store and sets the times (stupid timezones), but 24 hours for the demo would have been better for everyone!

Who would have thought Lady Dimitrescu would have gained so much attention?

Anyway, Resident Evil Village (I still think of it as RE8) comes out next week. I fully intend to be making my way through the game come Friday night.

If you have never played Resident Evil, you don’t have to play seven other games to get up to speed. The nice thing about the series is that story arcs tend to be contained in trilogies, even if there are continuing threads through them all. At most, you can jump into Resident Evil 7 Biohazard and be bought up to enough speed that way.

The change from traditional zombies to ‘monsters’ is a change that I am enjoying. The moulded from Resident Evil 7 were ‘meh’ as an enemy. Still, Resident Evil Village is bringing Vampires and Werewolves (or likely something similar) to the mix. This change lets Capcom capitalise on a lot of opportunities.

Are there werewolves, or a new monster that closely resembles the creature?

What opportunities? Different masterminds pulling strings, different story strands other than the standard T-virus ones, that kind of thing. Not every enemy has to be a new zombie mutation.

People got turned off with the first-person view as ‘not Resident Evil’, but many of those same people hold up Resident Evil 4 as the gold standard. Before Resident Evil 4 was released, it was derided as too different to the established formula. Today it is commonly referred to as the blueprint for third-person action games.

Resident Evil Village has the same feeling for me as Resident Evil 5. If the story doesn’t hold up, I won’t be excited for Resident Evil 9. Resident Evil 6 was, for me, the second-worst in the series. Mainly due to my lack of enthusiasm for 5’s direction. I don’t think Village will make the same mistakes, as they have a lot less historical baggage to lug around. But if they miff this, then 10 will be the next time I am excited again.

Time will tell, and it won’t be long now until we find out! Oh, and to be clear, Resident Evil 0 is the only game in the series I suggest people forget that it exists.

And Others

Yep. The only game I will go out of my way to buy and play this month is Resident Evil Village. I told you it was a light month!

People who know me may be surprised that I am not talking about two other high profile releases – Mass Effect Legendary Edition and Shin Magami Tensei 3: Nocturne HD Remaster.

I appreciate these games are coming out, but I am not excited about them.

With Mass Effect, I am one of the people that was disappointed in the run and gun gameplay changes after the first game. I didn’t mind the ending to the trilogy when it was released. I thought it was rushed and could have been expanded on to be endings depending on your choices, but it wasn’t terrible.

I have finished and fondly remember my playthroughs of Shepard’s storyline. I don’t feel like I need to play these games again. It’s a story I enjoyed, and I am glad people will be able to experience it, but I am just not overly excited about it. Bring on the next Mass Effect game, then watch my interest come back.

Shin Megami Tensei is a different story, but a similar outcome. It’s great that this classic is getting some love and coming to a new audience. But I don’t want a single re-release – I want the next in the series! Give me a release date for Shin Megami Tensei V, and then we will talk.

It’s also not a series that I think people will enjoy as much as they believe they will. Persona 5 got rave reviews (rightly so), and Persona is a spin-off of sorts from the main Shin Megami Tensei series.

Persona stands on its own. Shin Megami Tensei is an expansion of a manga and has much more history behind it than many know. Shin Megami Tensei 3 is like coming into the third series of a multi-season story arc.

Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t like the series – quite the opposite. But you know those people that felt lost playing Kingdom Hearts 3? Well, prepare for that feeling in spades if Nocturne is the first game you jump into!

Until next time,

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