Sunday, June 23, 2013

6/23 the day of the hedgehog

Twenty two years ago, a blue hedgehog was born. On the Sega Genesis, a gaming icon emerged from a creative team like no other under Sega's foundation. Built on a new system, outdoing all of its competition the title character blazed across tv screens so fast no one could keep up with him. Taking the name of Sonic Team, the developer consisted of an amazing array of talent, production, art direction, and music. It won acclaim for its design, presentation, and character.

Main villain - Dr. Robotnik
A genius scientist, who created a vast amount of cybernetics that emulated the physics of its enviornment. Since day one, this baddie has been after Sonic since they first fought one another. Until recently he's become more than a villain, but a character like no other.

Many years later the blue hedgehog named Sonic still influences gamers creativity today.

Genesis -
1991, Sega needed something to boost sales, their Mark II system faired okay. But they wanted killer app, seeing their competition pushing the Super NES with new concept of 16bit / 32 bit designs. Sonic and a few other titles were selected to pave the way for the Genesis to push everyone's buttons. Leading the way on a new console was challenging because most consumers were hungry for Nintendo next big idea. Although the systems were different, Genesis was on the same level as the SNES. Boasting a unique library over time, the blue character was the highlight of several games on the system. Mario had competition, and it was a speedy hedgehog wearing sneakers.

Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles
In Sonic II, the blue hedgehog was joined by a two tailed fox named Tails. Created as a new buddy, and a 2 player character, the lil guy did his best to keep up with his speedy friend. And at the end of their adventure, they board a plane nicknamed the "Tornado". This biplane was classic for taking them to new heights against the gigantic flagship.

The Red Echidna -
Sonic III introduced a new friend / foe, the protector of the Emeralds. A tough cookie, Knuckles strength was trust and eventually help Sonic & Tails prevent a huge catastrophe from taking his floating island.

Sega CD-
After becoming a household name, Sega decided to take on the CD game based format. But the main issue was memory, and disc loading. Aside from the issues, it gained an audience that played it for its content. Sonic CD paved the way for taking side-scrolling and some 3D levels. What made this game unique was its manipulation with time, being able to change past, present, and future. Depending on choices you made, the in-game world would eventually change on those paths you created along the way. Including the use of cutscenes at the beginning, middle and end (good or bad).

Amy and Metal-
A young lady kidnapped by the crazed inventor, calls for our hero's aid. Being chased by a robot copy of Sonic, is one thing, but when it just as fast its another adventure altogether. Metal Sonic would chase our hero to the ends of the earth, as the little planet took them across vast lands, and timelines.

3D Blast -
Before the nextgen craze of 3D graphics, developer Travelers Tales worked on a concept game that took Sonic on a mission to save his bird buddies "Flicky's". Taking a spin from Marble Madness, the game was made in a 3rd person perspective, or "outside" your point of view. Every level as mapped out in a strategic fashion, but also challenging boss fights versus Robotnik. Included like always was a catchy music score.

Xtreme -
The lost in the series, a follow up to 3D Blast, taking Sonic to new heights. Before Mario 64 dominated the market, Xtreme was bent on turning the world upside down. With isometric platforming, and intrinsic atmosphere, it was meant to rock the gaming world. Only problem was, it wasn't ready for it, the game engine was far ahead of its time. (Some years later, it has come back as we know it as "Lost World")

Dream-cha 9/9/99
With the release of the DC, Sega pushed its publishing to its limits. Sonic Adventure became the biggest game to date, boasting over seven playable characters, each with their own mission. With a new foe named Chaos, this guardian is fueled by emotions and energy via the emeralds. When past and present collide, his true form emerges calling upon a set of heroes that will fight to save their world. Sonic (speed), Tails (recovery and flight), Knuckles (treasure hunting), Amy (escape the wrath of an Eggbot, RE style), Big the Cat (fishing, yes fishing), Gamma (run and gun missions), and ? (play to find out).

Chao' -
This little character was introduced through the in-game system. Raising these creatures as a life sim, they obtain skills and can be used in mini-games throughout the game hub. In addition they can also be taken on the go via the vmu memory card. In fact they have their own life cycle, which can used in extent to collect a variety of rare versions of the critter. (more in SA2)

Sonic Adventure II-
With part I deemed as a success, Adventure II takes place shortly after their bout with Chaos and making the world right again. But this time around, a being from the past awakens to change Sonic & his friends lives forever.

Enter Shadow - a manifestation of another time, lost in the space colony ARK never to be awakened, thanks to old Robotnik for unleashing insanity. Turns out he has lost memories, a past that collides with Sonic's identity and a new power "Chaos Control".

Rouge the Bat -
An elusive hunter, like Knuckles, but with a fondness for jewels.Eventually they bunk heads in a contest to bring the emeralds together for their own reasons. But turns out she is working for someone outside the team.

Advance I-II - Mixing up the best of the Genesis days in a smaller format (like the Game Gear). With catchy tracks, and a variety of levels (including Chao mini-games).
Rush +Rush Adventure - Taking Sonic and friends on a 2.5D mission versus  Nega Eggman. Timelines are crossing over and only the heroes can stop them. *music by the fantastic Hideki Naganuma (JSR + JSRF music producer) and many more works!

Sonic Riders -
Mixing air boarding with racing, Sonic and pals take on new competition "the Babylon Riders". A legendary troupe that protected a lost island in time, only to be awakened by the Emerads power. A big competition pits the two sides versus one another in a race against time. (later obtained a sequel with free movement as its core design)

Sonic 2006 -
Branded as the rebirth of the franchise, sadly didn't win over the community. However it boasted a new voice acting crew, great music, and some moments that left us scratching our heads. But what it did deliver was a neat idea, new adventure, and some new friends (and enemies). What didn't help was how crippling the in-game engine truly was, with hiccups left and right, or unable to get past certain areas w/o dying. It is a true test of patience and dexterity.

Blaze the Cat - A princess of her own dimension, protects time itself. Watches over Silver like an older sister.
Silver the Hedgehog - A time travelling being from another world, trying to stop his timeline from being destroyed by an unknown force.
Princess Elise - The leader of Soleanna, guardian of the "flame of Ibby" (or the girl Sonic has to save in every cutscene.)

The power of the Emeralds takes Sonic on a quest to fix the planet. Taking on every continent, recovering all seven stones would bring the it whole. But the biggest challenge is night and day, tunring into a Werehog (a beast form, strong, fierce, but cannot speed up). Working with a new friend named Chip, to prevent the world from falling apart.

Next to Adventure I&II, Unleashed is the biggest game yet. With a multitude of bonus missions, side quests, and experience points that vary for either form of Sonic. This game will keep you coming back for more, and there is so much to explore and find.

Colors -
Planet Wisp, a lone place changed by Dr.Robotnik's evil scheme.Sonic and friends come to their aid, before their world is gone. Challenged by a world transformed amusement park, everything is turned upside down. Working with their new allies, sonic can become any element needed to save their world. One part Mega Man, Metroid, and another keeping to his roots. This fun game stands out on its own, and is worth the ride.

Generations -
Two worlds collide, past and present, classic and modern Sonic work side by side. With a crazy set of stages, and fun challenges along the way. Classic tunes remixed to either format of the title character. Its up to two Hedgehog's working together to save their  friends and worlds. If you were a part of any generation of the series, this one is for you.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Retro Classics - Mega Man I

While I was doing research to help my dad, I found myself listening to a Mega Man OST. Only to find out that the "Blue B" is going to be part of Super Smash Brothers (Wii-U) collection. Although I'm excited to see the character finally mash it up with all of his old rivals, its been way too long of a wait for it to happen.

Back in the day, this is where Capcom beat out its competition. Especially when it came to action / platformers, his main competition at the time was Mario, Metroid and few others that could compare with its futuristic theme. It was all about this robot with an arm cannon versus the maniacal Dr.Wily. The biggest challenge was the leap from A to B, all the while fighting everything that was an obstacle. From heights, to spikes, and numerous dangers (including the nefarious fall into the screen, if there was nothing = instant death).

The second closest game to its difficulty level was a game called Ghouls and Ghosts, and Castlevania. Both were known for being notoriously hard. In G&G, you were limited to 3 hits to Arthur's armor, if broken there was no way to protect yourself. (literally running around in boxer shorts!) In Castlevania, Simon Belmont was limited to a number of hits, hearts, and damage counter. However if you fell into a pit, or fell into spikes, this would end in instant death to Simon.

Another key point in surviving these titles was to obtain items to keep your energy going. No matter what was in your way, there had to be a way to snag health items to progess. Sometimes you could use upgrades... but here is where it gets interesting.

Power Up!
The biggest difference with Mega Man and his competition is his unique ability to absorb a boss's power. Once a boss was taken down, Rockman could copy a bosses moves and use them to progress through any level. *This concept idea was never used before, until later games used the design technique.Including the ability to choose from a roster of foes, once they were defeated you could go back, retrace any missed steps and move forward.

So in a way this series is part action / rpg, included the fact your health bar could also be extended. By collecting "E tanks" these would serve as a backup to your character's way of surviving every endgame battle. (including facing the baddie behind all of it).

That Doctor!
No not the British science fiction classic character. The nefarious Dr. Wily who began the great robot war. Giving them self thought, the rampage, the battles, and the domination of society by his creation. Oddly enough Dr. Light and Wily used to be pals, until his creative genius got in the way of their friendship. So Light created Rockman to "fight for everlasting piece!"

The music
One of the key points worth noting about this series is the bgm tunes. You will literally get these stuck in your head, even if you play at least one level. It is addicting as much as the game, becoming more of memorization (actually some of the music is key to timing a bosses moves, give that a try next time).

It is tough to describe what makes Mega Man a truly awesome series. In the beginning it was a "one trick pony", thankfully it succeeded in becoming a most loved game for 20+ years. With the only limitation being its fans, whether young or mature (oh and it will push your buttons, hard). It is a game of patience, dexterity, and lots of faith in what makes this series truly unique.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Game time attack - or how we're losing more story

Since the classic days of gaming, we have never had to worry about a built in timer telling us how long we have played. Till a few titles started branching out in that direction to gain new ground in pushing boundaries. As of late its become more of a ruse in order to deliver faster access to content, and later progression can be obtained through other means. I find myself tied in knots reading or writing about the subject. But it becomes a bit of a nag when the in-game campaign just ends.

Tomb Raider Underworld - Finally settling the old score, nope wait there's two more bonus chapters. But why aren't they playable? DLC only.. fudge. To be honest this still nags me, I really did want to take on those new challenges, but having to obtain more chapters by buying it outside of game sells it short. I am a bit thankful that the new TR actually keeps things fresh, so you are captivated with the in-game world already unfolding around you. If and there will be extra content, at least it will be for the right reason. (Underworld can be finished in less than 10 hours) New TR - still have yet to finish.

Resident Evil 5, 6, and Revelations - I don't quite understand how RE has lately become so short. 4 kept me crawling to find a save state (remember a thing called a typewriter?) As of recent entries, the main story campaign has been broken up into segments, and a lot shorter than usual. Not one to complain, but it does demand a bit more than 10+ from a first play through.

Onto positive notes, Metroid was one of the few forerunners that took on the "Time Attack" moniker design. Testing players agility and skill with how far they could push their skills and memorization with the in-game environment. It was there for two reasons: it was optional, and anyone could try it once they completed the game (or obtained hidden codes to use the functionality). Rarely do games host such options anymore, come to think of it, some want it to be a pay-to-play option pretty soon.

When it comes to enjoying a story, time shouldn't need to be a limit. It is up to the storytellers how long they can find a way to entertain their audience.

I hope to write another column like this soon. Not just covering recent titles with the issue, but even a few oldies that also dealt with the obstacle.

Lego Star Wars III - Clone Wars

Developer - Traveller's Tales
Publisher - LucasArts

Two years ago.. a game mixing Legos and Star Wars took upon the Clone Wars. Based on the mid-saga between eps II &III, Anakin is still a  good guy, Obi-Wan is leading their side to victory. In the meantime, the various factions try to work out the kinks in the dastardly plan of the baddies.

Although this game is two years old, it is a solid title all its own. I find myself humbled by how balanced, and real time active the game flow truly is always in motion. There is never a moment where a sequence breaks, it is all real time. So if you dawdle too long in the armory section, watch out. It is both engaging, and immerse with the SW universe even mixing a few jokes here and there.

From the character roster, there are tons to choose from. Either good guys or baddies, anyone can join the fun. **There is even a head to head arcade mode, unlocked by completing a few missions in the game.** Once you clear more levels, they can then be replayed solo or against a buddy. With the armory, there is an immense collection of things you can build, if you have enough blocks collected.

**Blocks can be collected by taking down opponents, objects in the background, or just interacting with the world itself. There are even hidden mini challenges in each level. So there is never one simple play through, go back and you might find a different experience altogether.

For more fun, your armory can also be upgraded with air and land vehicles. Plus you can summon a horde of Clone Troopers (if you have a leader on your team, they can be assembled in a heartbeat!) It is insane just how many multi-functions this game truly has, every mission comes with options.

I really can't explain how insanely fun this game is. If you haven't played at least one of these crazy titles. This is a must own!

Between the hidden notes - what if EDM's finest collaborated with game music?

Awhile back I had my first listen to one of BT's (Brian Transeau) hits from Electric Sky Church Music. And it made me wonder how things would be if EDM's top notch names took a spin on game music. But not just one game in particular, but a mix of sorts covering a generation of games in diversity, and sound. Although OCRemix has been setting the bar high with various indie artists (some now turned major). There has always been something unique about these creative sounds.

I brought up BT as an example because like his talented mind, many talents have collaborated with his Binary Acoustic project and much more in the past. Back when DJ's were in their beginnings it was about playing music, then came the scratch, later the sample, beats, and hit frappe'/ Now its about producing your own sounds, tweaking their composition, and fusing different elements to create a new sound. No longer is it simply some male or female DJ twicking, twacking or playing interlaced music from a playlist. It has become an artform of its own design.

Hideki Okugawa (SFII+III) From Capcom's Sound Team, Oku-sama is a talent like no other. Even going indie to create a unique sound using elements from games, and outside work. SFIII set the bar high when it came to composition, it no longer felt like an ordinary OST. Every song bgm had an element that evolved with each bout. SFIIITS messed with tradition and became heavy dnb, lacing some sweet tracks that gamers could never forget (or even try to outdo).

Hideki Naganuma (JSR+JSRF) Mixing jazz, punk, edm, and so much more, this game series could make you want to move. Best part about both games was that music constantly shifted in different directions, depending on how well you played. Or sometimes during engaging segments, the heavy beats would kick in with every motion surrounding you with sick shifts at every turn. (oh btw he also did the music for Air Gear and many more as Skankfunk)

Jes - A talent all her own, her voice can make angels cry (and she can hit some insane notes!) Plus her daily podcast "Unleash the Beat" is always worth a listen. (formerly a member of the edm crew aka Motorcycle)
**and has engaged in tons of collabs with various talents!

Beatdrop - crazy, creative, and loves breaking things down and mixing it up. It is simply awesome

Now the reason why I wrote this segment, is because I was reminded from Sonic Generations by just how far game music has truly come. From boops and bleeps, to harmonize, synchronized, and even orchestral melodies that were never considered during the early days of video game titles. I had never thought about it as a kid, what music would influence one of my interests. Till certain games started carrying a familiar theme, from a simple track, to even more complex tunes that would forever become stuck in my mind.

With music as of late, it has relied more on composition more than creativity. However it is not so with edm, some elements are influencing others genres. To be honest, consider the new Castlevania, in the past it relied on melodies with catchy beats, now its harmonized into orchestral dramatic action sequences. I mean where is the fun in that? Metroid Other M is another example, where themes were recognizable, but once fused with a different sound (or most of the bgm themes were missing).

For some titles, the concept works, considering Tomb Raider or Resident Evil. Both series have relied on less music, and more shock value (but some cues are there to relate dynamics, and sad moments). But when it comes to those epic moments, such as drama, direction, action, or comedic relief. It is rare that music doesn't play a part of something special as telling a story. Bayonetta is a perfect mixture of music styles blended together, from jazz, rock, synth, orchestral, and a few classic tunes.

As a whole, video games has developed over time, and will again. The biggest challenge is finding the right balance from talented characters the redefine the genre they broaden their audience and fanbase side by side. There is a place for all kinds of genres to work together. But I think it would be fun if well known names were to collaborate with one another on some fun titles no one would expect their names to be labeled on. Might even branch out their listening audience in the long run too.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Moving back and forth - the people behind E3

Looking over the E3 coverage, it seems that everyone wants something another has obtained before hand. No matter the format, there is always a battle over whom can label it, master it, or create it their own way. Sure its been this way for years, but the point being who can get it out the door first. What am I speaking of? For one, a lot of titles lately seem to carry the same theme. Or the price point is jumping all over the place because its exclusive.

A long time ago, some friends that hosted a show called held round table discussions covering A) the focus, B) the audience, C) what market , D) price point, and E) is it all worth it? I really miss shows like that covering every detail, where most are limited to breaks every five minutes. Here they had chats with developers, publishing insiders, focus group testers, and some from the ratings board. There was rarely a topic untouched, even by other shows like Electronic Playground (another awesome show) that gave viewers a behind the scenes look into the gaming industry most only read about in tech magazines.

E3 sorta took the format for granted these past ten years. I believe they are trying to bring back that side of the expo, given the coverage its a bit more open minded towards the journalists, insiders, booth presenters (in garb representing said title advertised) and the PR teams that keep everything going. From huge names, to the indie teams, all side by side in one big expo event that happens once a year.

Note: I have never been to E3, but read plenty from various sources in regards to what goes on, who's promoting what title, and the amazing people that make it happen. As far as a gaming console goes, that is just a hub to your digital escape, there is still a human element to make that title come to life.It may carry a label, but there is so much more some take for granted.

Here's to you, the unsung heroes and heroines of the gaming industry!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

E3 2013 - Is it real?

Welcome to E3 week: here's the lowdown
Sony's PS4 - premiere console, debut of the juggernaut to herald the future of Sony's gaming market.
Its main imperative it to carry over the PS3 userbase to its new format, and rejuvenation of the community.
Or it other words, its like comparing a sports car to a supercar.

Xbox One - Microsoft's new promise for their user base. New format, plenty of bells and whistles.
On the same level as the PS4.
**discussion of digital rights management with downloadable content vs user(s) rights to use of system
**this adaptation goes for both consoles

Wii-U - Nintendo's new bundle of joy, still working out the kinks. However its user base is slowly growing, unlike its past consoles not everyone is sold on the idea of its digital interface or price point. But on the plus side there are a bunch of yet soon to be shown titles at this year's event to produce more hype for the system.

3DS - Nintendo's other addition is currently doing alright vs Sony's PS Vita. Make that toppling its sales, and ease of functionality included with newly added content daily. Plus there are still titles yet to be released on crossed over platforms from the Wii-U with interactive connectivity. **a lot like the GB, GBA, and DS

PC - Never a slouch, our dear friend still survives on many titles. Still rivaling versus the great console battle, both indie titles and major releases have yet to push the newer markets to uncharted levels.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Current to Nextgen - The Awakening (or how DRM is getting in the way)

When you hear or read of the word "retro", you usually may think words like "past", "classic", or "post modern". Those words define past tense, although the title or console currently out is referred past tense when its next of kin hasn't even been released yet. Hype is scary, a new system is another story. That transition from one system to the next, feels like moving on / saying goodbye to an old friend and hello new one.

By far the biggest obstacle for most systems is backwards compatibility. Or in short term, the usage of playing a past consoles format of game discs library. Thing is not everyone jumps on the new format bandwagon. Aside from the fact the newer format may be more expensive and some may want to save up and wait for the game they actually want to play.

Note: for most who indulge in digital expression (thanks to Leigh Alexander, I can't write the word gamer anymore, it does feel like a bad word). That would mean we cling to the past, but honestly its smart to save up for that new title that's worthwhile, because it could be years or even months till that game you want to play is actually done.

For example: Nintendo Gamecube had a huge library of games that most of its user base loved. The Wii however was mixed company, but it did support the GD format carried over from the NGC. But after an amount of time, the format was discontinued because they want their user base to move onto what's next. There is however a catch to this, the Wii-U is rumored to carry over the huge library of games into a newer digital archive. **It was worked out for the Wii at first, but it was costly. Nintendo is trying it out again, but with the vast format increase, the Wii-U can support more data carry over coverage. But it may cost consumers more to branch over with the past format.

Say you wanted to play F-Zero GX on your Wii-U. Okay, find it in the digi game library, bought and now you can play. But limitations stand as there is no GC format controller, so can't play. There is in the works a emulator that N is working on to allow classic titles to be played with the funky controller. **and more additions to come.. yay for prices!

Another example: PS3, to PS4, say you've finally managed to push GT5 out for a final run. Oh wait GT6 is out the following summer (I wish that were true, but it takes nearly ten years for a Gran Turismo game to actually be finished) Can your save data be carried over? Or can you play your GT5 on a PS4? The issue with that is digital rights management. Limitations over gremlins, and usage of data that is literally making people tear their hair out.

Microsoft's Xbox One is also tagged with that same issue. Sure its a compromise to promise more new fresh stuff within its system. But the biggest bugger is being able to use the darn thing period. There is hope in promise for both of these new consoles. Just everything else is getting in the way of what consumers simply want to do, is play games on a gaming console. (*we don't need the extra bells and whistles)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Next Gen Vs Current Gen

I can't believe as I'm writing this, that we are talking about another generation of game consoles. To be truthful I barely found an Xbox360-S at any local store, Level Up (a former local retailer) went belly up earlier this year. There is something the loss of a store that affects your subconscious. With Gamestop dominating, there are very few mom & pop indie shops left that can stand to their tough market. Although with a varied hiring jump, or freeze (I don't know what's going on anymore).

When Level Up closed up shop, I felt a bit concerned. A part of indie markets die with that insurrection. They had a unique take on profit, distribution, and display. I rarely see that at GS, maybe they should adapt to that similar format, more friendly, more open minded. (and maybe a better price gap) There are rarely many shops that can actually be more friendly to customers, instead of the cold fish approach.

Person to person aside, I met another gamer today. Just sharing what we enjoy about games, and the hit / miss category as of late. 1) Why are some titles so short? 2) Is renting better than buying? 3) Tired of price hikes! We could go all day, but she was on the clock, had a fun conversation over many topics. But that is what counts, interaction with others. Are we beginning to lose that?

I understand the advent of smart technology, but person to person was always my repertoire. I cannot conceive working with a machine, and not knowing who makes it happen. For E3 I hope the following gets covered:

State of the gaming market- classic / retro, shorter games = better experience?
What ever happened past 10+ hours of gameplay?
Will DLC and DRM take over the market for good with PS4 and One?
Can Nintendo still stand up against the rest?
Does the PC market have a fighting chance?

Another market that's bugged me forever is the multiplatform design. Sure its conceived to push one system over the other. But man does it tick some of us off when something we begin to love finds a better publisher else where. Plus there is a ton of titles at this year's E3 that will floor everyone. (and some hidden surprises!)

Note: some good friends of mine are awesome PR's, musicians, producers, directors, and cosplayers. (and many more) All I can say, is that I wish them a safe journey to the event.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

RE - Misdirect Revelations ( the other side)

Upon wrapping up Revelations, I feel kinda left out on something. Although there are twelve solid chapters in this mini-game, it could have been a bit more. Sure its filler for 4-6 on who is "behind the scenes' with Umbrella taking the fall. But this Veltro is just a rebirth of what RE fans loved to hate, troublemakers. I do although give the writing team staff credit for trying to conjure up new ideas. (the name of the virus seems oddly familiar though)

So how does it work? - 3DS vs consoles
I remember reading about the game in concept as its own separate chapter like Mercenaries. This game however does connect with the recent entries in the series. It carries enough story baggage that take it back to RE Gaiden on the Game Boy (yup that olde brick we loved so much). Or for more categorizing, RE-Outbreak, the mmorpg RE title that was meant to be a universal nod to fans.

Being a handheld title, its easy to see the difference in content. Graphic wise it still carries over well, including the environment interaction, or background involvement. Come to think of it, it also builds off the use of the Genesis Scanner, a data collector that tags creatures, and helps you find items. Sadly that is all it does, it cannot divulge your entry collection with data of info logs. Although you can find informative notes from the on board passengers, or the Veltro crew that left stuff behind. I find it strange that they could have done so much more, but kept it in an easier to digest format.

However, on its console I do recall that was suppose to be some use of the Wii U pad as a scanner. But that didn't happen, kinda disappointing since most of the game resides on data collecting (even in the middle of a fight). (thanks to fellow RE fan "Rammspangle")

For what it delivers in: 1)story, 2)action, 3)suspense, and mystery. It all works out just fine, albeit the main campaign is on the short side (depending on difficulty level). Come to think of it, the character storylines interact with one another, where one path goes, another turns "left" or "right". I don't want to give anything away, but some of the team you work beside are not who they say they are. This is a very different RE than usual game, more like a game of "cat and mouse" with some conspiracy mixed well.

Revelations overall is a must play for any RE fan, if you're new to the series, or a longtime monster hunter. Note: this does take place sometime between 4-6, there are missing bits of time added in for good measure.
For those naysayers that think this game contains repetitive enemies, you are kidding yourself. The deeper you get, the more creatures emerge from all sides of the spectrum. A cruise ship turn "harbinger of doom" kinda scary concept come to think of it. Be sure to check out the demo out on Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, and its original format on the Nintendo 3DS

Be sure to visit for all of your RE needs. Plus if you haven't yet, create your own digi profile to unlock all sorts of goodies, and take part in online tournaments. New content added daily!