Resident Evil is one of the first video games to feature zombies in a Romero-like manner. After so many sequels and spin-offs over the years, it's time we ranked the series in ascending order to see what it takes to create a successful zombie game. Capcom has started to stray from the path over the past few entries of the franchise, resulting in a larger focus on action-oriented gameplay and less of survival horror, but a good game is a good game regardless of its premise or genre, just as long as it's done correctly. So mix a few herbs together, stay away from the windows and make sure you reload when no one is around, because it's time we go to Raccoon City and beyond as we rank the Resident Evil series from worst to first.
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Koei Tecmo and Nintendo may have skipped out on taking the Wii's Project Zero: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse out of Japan, but the House of Mario decided to cave to fans' demands and give Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water a digital release for Western audiences. As the Silent Hill and Resident Evil series have started to stray and stumble in maintaining survival horror, Maiden of Black Water ups the frights. This new Fatal Frame purposely maintains a slow burn in order to properly build up suspense, bringing back the ghostbusting gameplay of the Camera Obscura, which now utilizes the Wii U's GamePad to exorcise the dead. In an era when survival horror has skewed into action-oriented gameplay or defenseless first-person perspectives, Maiden of Black Water is a welcome, old school-style callback to survival horror's glory days. Unfortunately, Fatal Frame 5 suffers from simple control issues pertaining to its core gameplay that should've easily been ironed out. Despite its solid attempts at spirit photography, there are some basic parts of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water that feel underdeveloped, which can ruin the overall shot.
Dungeons & Dragons is essentially the grandaddy of most western RPGs. This pen-and-paper RPG is still going strong with expansions and spinoffs being released regularly even today. Since the dawn of video games there have been countless attempts at recreating the physical D&D experience in a digital form. The Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights series of games have been good approximations of the classic D&D experience, for example. Sword Coast Legends however seeks to recreate an often unexplored facet of this pen-and-paper RPG: the dungeon master experience.
For a time, the rhythm game genre was flush with games vying for your attention. While it could be argued there was a bit of oversaturation in the marketplace, the disappearance of these peripheral-based games happened so suddenly, it was as if they never existed at all. Then a funny thing happened. Somewhere out in the ether, the idea for a resurgence took hold. It was as if someone shouted from the rooftops, "Let there be (virtual) rock!" Freestyle Games answered the call for Activision, and the Guitar Hero franchise was never the same. In fact, it was better than it ever was.
After the underwhelming reception the masses had to Assassin's Creed Unity and its Titanic-sized glitches, Ubisoft has decided to take the franchise to the Industrial Revolution and turn the Templar war into Gangs of New York. All DiCaprio references aside, Assassin's Creed Syndicate is a proper return to form which makes amends for Unity's shortcomings while establishing itself as one of the finer entries of the franchise. The series last two solid entries, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin's Creed Rogue, took us across the Atlantic to the open seas of the new world, but Syndicate takes us to London as it's growing from the boom of the 19th century technology.
Nintendo is no stranger to cooperative multiplayer in its games. Recently, games like Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Bros. U have integrated four-player co-op in their main story modes. However because those games were designed with only one player in mind, the resulting multiplayer experience was chaotic to say the least. Nintendo has also given us great multiplayer experiences with games like The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures. The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes falls right in the middle of those two gameplay experiences.
Morality is a gray matter, a deep entity, and a thing that doesn't stop at the surface. It's also a subject that video games have played with constantly. Whether it was the evil Dragonlord presenting the hero with a choice to join his side at the end of Dragon Warrior in 1986 or Geralt choosing to sacrifice or save a dear friend in the more recent Witcher 3, video games have been attempting to capture the complexity of moral dilemma as a flexible mechanic for decades. The degree to which a game will go to accomplish that widely varies, but even the highest caliber releases supposedly punctuated by a choice-driven environment face a problem. Have games made choices truly matter? Can games capture the full effect of emotional baggage without sacrificing what makes a game fun? I’m not so sure they have yet.
We've seen countless classics known for side-scrolling and 2D gaming fail to make the jump to 3D over the years. The success of Final Fantasy VII, Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time left numerous studios and publishers experimenting and trying to shoehorn their famous franchises into some kind of 3D game to try and recreate the success that those games had. Unfortunately, not every major video game series was able to properly make the transition to 3D and abandon its top-down or side-scrolling roots.
The Halo series has long been the benchmark by which all other Xbox games are judged. There have been some stumbles in the great lineage of Master Chief as of late, in particular last year's Master Chief Collection falling prey to launch woes that would have crippled any chance for success a true sequel could have had. Now one year later, 343 Industries has returned with the first true Xbox One Halo game, Halo 5. There are a lot of new aspects 343's thrown on top of the existing architecture that's become so familiar to fans over the past decade plus, and most of them work quite well to help bring the Halo franchise into a new generation. There just must be something about second entries in Master Chief's life.
If cute things make you barf, then make sure the trash can is next to you every time you boot up Yoshi's Woolly World. Every single thing in the game could melt even the coldest heart. The enemies are cute even though they're dangerous, the Yoshis are insufferably adorable, and the unlockable costume colors for the Yoshis are just the best thing ever, especially with amiibos. Duck Hunt Yoshi? Ness Yoshi? They and the rest of Yoshi's Woolly World constantly made rainbows spew out of my mouth... but was it any good?