Tag Archives: Gaming

Fandom: The Comfort of a Good “Let’s Play”

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As a “Little Ferret” you will be allowed to help decide topics for the blog, and have access to patron only updates. Your name will be credited on every post for as long as you are a patron. This will also get you access into The Demented Ferrets official discord server. Join here today!

Hey everyone, it’s Kern here. This is just an introspection piece, and that’s why I’m posting it on a day that isn’t typically a blog post day. It’s just a few thought I have, nothing more.

About a year ago I was asked by an elderly relative, why gamers these days watch “let’s plays”, when we could just play the game ourselves? This older relative is an extended relative, a great aunt of mine. Unlike most of the family, she never quite understood why we played games in the first place.

Since she’s so old, I came up with the usual and easy excuses. I brought up money constraints, games can be an expensive hobby. I spoke of social interaction, internet communities can be very closely knit in some circles. Lastly I mentioned impressive feats of skill, some gamers are just the cream of the crop and the rest of us want to cheer that on.

However, those were all very impersonal answers to what I feel to be a very personal question. My aunt seemed to have forgotten she asked this question, and over the phone she asked it again just yesterday.

Cut her some slack, she’s very old. To put my family into perspective here, my mother (who used to be a gamer) is in her 70’s, my great aunt is in her nineties. The woman isn’t nearly as sharp as she used to be, she’s more forgetful about mundane conversations every single day.

Yesterday, I felt that I finally had an answer that was far more satisfying to me and far more appealing to my aunt.

I think we watch “let’s plays” because it fills some sort void. Something that is intrinsic to who we are as a greater community. It isn’t just entertainment, it becomes a balm for something greater. At least that’s what I think, and let me tell you why.

Today, my aunt is here and she’s watching my little cousin, her “great, great, niece” play a video game. She never did that when I was young, she was more ornery about games back then. More brainwashed that games were damaging to children. It took two full generations of gaming within the family to finally remove that stigma out of her.

Gamers of a certain age will recall the days of meager graphics and simple sound design. Times when we would run home from school, kick off our shoes, and grab the nearest controller. For a few perfect hours, all was right with our world. We’d take up gaming as a fun hobby before doing our homework, having dinner and going to bed. For many of us, these are memories that likely fill our heads.

Well, you would recall that if you were a little older than me at least. My recollection of the games started when I was still toddling around in diapers. Many of the early games I was exposed to came out sandwiched around the year I was born, 1989.

Games such as Mario and Mega Man titles were common household staples. A Boy and His Blob Trouble on Blobolonia was a beloved title in this house, though that cartage NES game finally died a slow death about eight years ago. The Mega Man ones are finally dying out too, but Super Mario Bros 3 is still going strong despite the heavy use.

I’ve said it before, but I came from a family of gamers, so the sounds of eight and sixteen bit games were often what I napped to in my earliest years. My father was the only one in the household that didn’t play video games. Anyway, I was one of those diaper clad toddlers that was handed a controller. I would push the buttons mystified, even when it wasn’t plugged in.

More importantly to my little and innocent soul, came the all too coveted nap time in the summer months. That’s when my extended family came over almost daily to spend countless hours enjoying the back yard, chasing the ice cream truck that passed by at the same time almost every day, and of course playing video games.

There was an eighteen year difference between some of my older cousins and myself. The shortest distance was still a lengthy one at a seven year divide. For me, there was no better way to fall asleep than to watch my family play games. Nap time for me was all about grabbing my pillow and blanket. I’d insist on laying on my favorite mat on the floor. I’d fall asleep watching those NES, Sega Genesis, and SNES titles. I eyed the lone Game Boy in the house and often got pretty bratty when I couldn’t see what was being played.

You could say I was a fan of watching “let’s plays” before they were ever really a thing gamers did in mass. I suspect they’re a sensation at all because so many gamers likely grew up like I did. With an older sibling or a parent playing video games as a key element of entertainment in the household.

Many of us probably grew up with that comfort, so it became something more than just a mere game. For me, it became an extension of family time. It was part of my personal identity in a very intractable way.

As I grew older, my cousins and sibling married off, eventually having children of their own. This tradition lives on. The huge age gap between me and my youngest cousins is about seventeen years. I’m the baby as far as the adults in the family go. While I’m now thirty-one years old, those little cousins are just now reaching their teens.

I feel old…

I also feel validated that they are growing up in a world where gaming is far more normalized than it was in my youth.

My family played video games, but most of the people I knew at school in the early 90’s didn’t. As a person that was constantly bullied I didn’t much care for having them as friends anyway. Back then I could barely hold a pencil, let alone play sports. Gaming was my major hobby.

Nowadays that stigma among other children has been thoroughly trounced, and gamers come from all walks of life. My cousins are growing up in a much more enlightened gaming generation, and I get to watch them mature within it.

That’s pretty damn special, I’ve got to say. After all, I firmly recall their earliest days. Actually Kresh and Ruka do too, to a small degree. After all, those little cousins were on my lap more often than not during hot summer days. Back then, we used Skype as a just barely functional for VOIP to play FFXI and other such games.

When I was fresh out of high school I was the perfect babysitter. Two toddlers roaming around diaper clad, a baby on the hip, and my games were on full display amidst the warm glow of the television. These children mystified, the same as I was in my earliest years. Now, they’re young teenage and tween gamers themselves. They’re just edging into the wide and vast world of gaming. Branching out from the insular family unit they clung onto when they were young, now they’re playing games together in small circles online.

Now they’re playing MOBA‘s with friends from school, and discussing what series they like in more interconnected and diverse ways. When you play games with kids, it is a powerful tool for teaching and engagement. I’m proof of it, and now, so are my cousins.

Sometimes it is very fun to play a game yourself, and my cousins agree. Every now and then though, I find myself missing the random phone calls. A small nightmare or a bad day at school prompting them to ask “Can I watch you play?” all while sounding so full of hope over something so simple. I don’t think I ever said no, now that I think about it.

Now that those days are gone and passed, I find myself wondering about it. What drove us to do that? Why were we so fixated? Why, amidst everything else, was gaming such a core comfort to the younger family unit?

Well, I don’t have an answer to that. I wish I did, but I don’t. There are too many factors to name. Maybe it was the comfort of a momentary escape. Maybe it was the bonding that occurred because of it, or maybe that was just because we liked games.

I think, in the end, the reasons are too diverse and personal to name. They’re so personal because we gamers aren’t a monolith. So, to answer the question, why do we gamers like to watch “let’s plays” so much? I go back to what I said before.

It gives us something we need, even if that thing isn’t entirely something you can measure. I think anyone who needs to answer that question for themselves will come to find their own personal story about why its so important. A reason why they watch instead of just playing themselves.

Something beyond the usual rhetoric and above the typical reproach. Intangible perhaps, but no less valid for its existence.

Why do you watch “let’s plays” and live streams? Let me know in the comments below.

This has been Kernook of “The Demented Ferrets” where stupidity is at its finest, and level grinds are par for the course. If you liked this content, please be sure to check out some other great posts down below. I’ll see you next time.

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier.

There is a $1 tier, perfect for blog readers, so don’t hesitate. Join today!

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 supporters of our content, currently all of them are in the “Demented Minion” tier.

($1) Little Ferrets: None
($3) Fandom Ferret: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.
($10) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret: None.

Massive Update: Please Read

Hello everyone, it’s Kern here once again, I hope you will continue to enjoy this content. I’ve got a massive update for you. Firstly, let’s dive into some site related changes.

The “Support Us” page has been changed up a bit, offering a lot less clutter and more overall information on what we do as “The Demented Ferrets”.

The second major change regarding this is the new update to Patreon related tiers. It used to be that we didn’t have a good Patreon tier for blog supporters, but we wanted to change that. Previously, you would have seen a card like this one on our posts:

Don’t forget to follow the blog for more content like this. Want to help keep the blog advertisement free? Please become a patron! This will also get you access into The Demented Ferrets official discord server. Join here today!

However, we’ve come to decide that it wasn’t really fitting for readers of the blog. Yes, keeping the blog free of advertisements as much as we can help it is certainly our main goal. However we felt that wasn’t enough, so I changed the card, and now if you’re a patron, you get more perks.

Going forward, the card now looks like this:

Don’t forget to follow the blog for more content like this. Want to help keep the blog advertisement free? Please become a patron! We have a $1 “Little Ferret” tier that’s perfect for blog readers.

As a “Little Ferret” you will be allowed to help decide topics for the blog and you will have access to patron only updates. Your name will be credited on every post for as long as you are a patron. This will also get you access into The Demented Ferrets official discord server. Join here today!

I think that this is vast improvement, because readers can now have a voice in what content gets written if you choose to join our patron. If you choose not to, don’t worry, you lose nothing. All blog posts going forward will still have a home here regardless if you are a patron or not.

That being said, if you’d like to have a voice in what topics get written or covered, please do consider becoming a supporter.

The first discussion poll is out now for all patrons. A new card thanking patron supporters has also been made:

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier.

There is a $1 tier, perfect for blog readers, so don’t hesitate. Join today!

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 supporters of our content, currently all of them are in the “Demented Minion” tier.

($1) Little Ferrets: None
($3) Fandom Ferret: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.
($10) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret: None.

Blog Content Additions and Changes

In general, Kern (the one writing this post) is the one that writes and produces all of the content you see here on the blog in written form. This has been the way it has been since Kresh and I started this whole idea.

You’ve probably noticed this, but much of our content is cross-platform to give you a variety of ways to enjoy it. If we have video content added, you can find that video up on our YouTube channel.

When it comes to longer running written media, such as Kern’s in-depth RWBY reviews and analysis they take a long time to make. This is because a video accompaniment is always included. Kern’s Collections take time for that selfsame reason.

That is why the majority of our content here is only in the written form. As games are completed on our live streams and more time is spent producing media, you’ll see the video related content on this blog continue to grow as well.

For the longest time, Kresh was only ever within the confines of live stream content found on our Twitch channel. However, in the coming months, that will also change.

In the future, Kresh will begin to have more of an online presence as more content is produced. As such we have two new images to help clarify what content is being produced by whom.

The blue bordered ferret is Kern, the pink one is Kresh. You can thank Ruka for making these, as she does all of our artwork, so thank goodness for Ruka on that front.

Upcoming Content

Kern has been hard at work preparing blog posts for you all. Known content being released for the rest of May looks like this:

  • Monday (May 24th, 2021) – Kern’s Collections: Death Note (written media and video content).
  • Wednesday (May 26th, 2021) – Kresh Plays: Crash Bandicoot. (written media and archived live stream footage)
  • Friday (May 28th, 2021) – Kern Plays: Dinner with an Owl.
  • Monday (May 31st, 2021) – Anime Review: Your Lie in April (written media)

As you can see, the rest of May is packed with both gaming and anime related content. When it comes to June’s content, that hasn’t been fully decided upon. Before I was the one to decide all of the blog content, but now the poll may impact the scope of content moving forward.

Content you can be sure to expect because it is already in the works is the following:

  • At least 1 “Kern’s Collections” (completely written, video edit in progress).
  • At least 1 “RWBY” analysis (scripting complete, video not yet begun).
  • 2 written game reviews (outlines have begun).
  • 2 written anime reviews (outlines have begun).
  • 2 “Let’s Play” posts (content to be determined).
  • 2 written opinion pieces (content to be determined).

Anything beyond that will depend on the voting suggestions and patron feedback.

Anyway, this has been Kernook of “The Decremented Ferrets”, where stupidity is at its finest, and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time!

If You Enjoyed This Content…

Please consider following us on this blog. We also have other platforms with content to enjoy. At the time of this post we have a Twitter, Twitch, YouTube.

PLATFORMCONTENTSCHEDULE
TwitchLive streamsTuesday: 9:00 PM – 12 AM (GMT)
Wednesday: 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM (GMT)
Saturday: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM (GMT)
YouTubeStream archive. Occasional Anime/Game/Movie reviews. Deep dives/analysis of RWBY.Videos upload Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
TwitterAnnouncements, Random tweetsWhenever a live stream begins or content releases. Doesn’t have a set schedule.
Our BlogAll kinds of written media including anime, games, RWBY and more.Posts are published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

There are plenty of ways to support us. To find out more, click the button below.

May Mega Update Post

Hi everyone, Kern here. Well, it’s May. The month of April was super stressful, with lots of things going on behind the scenes, but the month has passed us by, and now it’s time to dig into what’s happening for the month of May.

First of all, as you know we’ve switched time slots for Saturday. We didn’t get to really test it out because Kresh was sick on Saturday, so I pulled a later night stream as a result. Next week we will both try to be there with bells on. If not, i’ll do another late night stream again.

Late Night Jurassic World Evolution and The Tenants streams are what’s keeping me occupied the most. Tuesdays contain Final Fantasy XI content, and Wednesdays and Saturdays really depend on what game we happen to be playing.

So with all of that said, let’s get into what you can expect for content for the month ahead.

Live Streaming Content:

  • Random casual late night streams (FFXI, Simulators, whatever Kern feels like)
  • Tuesdays: Primarily FFXI content.
  • Wednesdays: Whatever Kern happens to be playing, with Kresh on co-comm.
  • Saturday: Whatever Kresh happens to be playing, with Kern on co-comm.

We had a lot of real setbacks last month that prevented us from performing at our fullest potential. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to be around more often at our usual times, it was that we couldn’t.

Kresh had some minor surgery that prevented headset wearing for a while. We tested out different set-ups for audio, but none of them sufficed to our liking on such sort notice. That and the simple fact that Kresh needed to recover put us in a tough situation for streaming reguarly like we wanted.

In the meantime, my mother (Reminder: Kern here) has been in and out of several doctors appointments on a weekly basis. If you’ve been around the streams or seen a few of my previous blogs on the subject, you know that her health is an ongoing uphill battle, and has been since last November. With blood transfusions taking place for her every Wednesday for the past 3 weeks, it’s been a bit of a mess, and one that my family is still sorting out.

Hopefully my late night streaming has provided adequate content for my absence. I’m doing the absolute best that I can.

YouTube Video Content:

The struggle is real here. You may notice that there is more gameplay content than edited videos. That’s because edited content takes so long to make. We are doing our absolute best though, you can be sure of that. 

Later this week the RWBY White Trailer Review will be released (with the included blog post here, as you can expect). Hopefully you’ll enjoy it.  I really hope you do.

Other content planned comes in the form of more Kern’s Collections, and a new segment is also coming called “Kern’s Character Spotlight”. I have high hopes that you will come to enjoy these segments as we continue to work on getting them out. 

The Blog:

The meat and potatoes of this post for all of you can be found here, because this is the blog. As usual our blog stands as our most diverse and robust section of content we offer, with all sorts of things to be had.

The video format of Kern’s Collections, reviews, and analysis come accompanied with the written script here. When the Character Spotlights videos come out, they will be treated the same way. 

On top of anime, gaming and fandom related content there are other bits and pieces here too, and I hope our website will only continue to grow in number as time marches on.

Written reviews in the works for gaming Include Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (the 90’s one). Once I’m finished with that, I’ll move away to a few non-horror rated titles for a while. I’m not sure what yet, but something. I have a few outlines, but nothing I’m ready to announce.

For anime, I’m working on a Claymore review.

Kern’s Collections posts upcoming in the process include Emma: A Victorian Romance and we’re still trying to sort out the Death Note video so that it can accompany the blog.

Character Spotlight outlines are still being worked on, but you’ll see the first one this month if all goes well.

Artwork/Other:

We have Ruka hard at work designing some stream cards and other things when Ruka isn’t helping me with video content. There isn’t much to say here except that artwork is in fact being worked on.

In Closing:

All in all, we’re all hard at work doing our best to provide you with the content we can, in the way best we can. It’s a bit rocky, no one can deny that, but we are doing our best to provide you guys wonderful entertainment, and we hope you enjoy it.

This has been Kernook of “The Demented Ferrets”, where stupidity is at its finest, and level grinds are par for the course. See you all next time.

WEDNESDAY Feedback – Gaming Polls

Don’t forget to follow the blog for more content like this. Want to help keep the blog advertisement free? Please become a patron! This will also get you access into The Demented Ferrets official discord server. Join here today!

Hey Everyone, it’s Kernook here. This blog has been around for a short while now. The Demented Ferrets began the blog our blog in January of this year, and I’d like to see just what sort of content you’d like to see going forward so this blog post is a bunch of polls to determine how best to continue our content going forward.

Before we get to that, I want to remind you all that we have a new time slot for our Saturday streams going forward. You can find us over on Twitch. New Saturday time: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM (GMT).

We hope to see you there. Now, with that out of the way, let’s discuss gaming content. If you’re up for it, please answer the polls, as it would be a great help to us.

General Questions

Gaming Questions

Thank you for answering the polls, as we hope to streamline our gaming content to best suit the interests of our readers. This is the first step in doing that.

That’s all for now, this has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

If You Enjoyed This Content…

Please consider following us on this blog. We also have other platforms with content to enjoy. At the time of this post we have a Twitter, Twitch, YouTube.

PLATFORMCONTENTSCHEDULE
TwitchLive streamsTuesday: 9:00 PM – 12 AM (GMT)
Wednesday: 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM (GMT)
Saturday: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM (GMT)
YouTubeStream archive. Occasional Anime/Game/Movie reviews. Deep dives/analysis of RWBY.Videos upload Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)
TwitterAnnouncements, Random tweetsWhenever a live stream begins or content releases. Doesn’t have a set schedule.
Our BlogAll kinds of written media including anime, games, RWBY and more.Posts are published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)

There are plenty of ways to support us. To find out more, click the button below.

You Wouldn’t Go To An End Game Raid without Being Geared. So, Why Would You Wander Around Without Your Mask? – A Rant

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Hey guys, it’s Kernook here. It’s time we have a little chat. My mother had a stroke back in November. This weekend she had to go in for three blood transfusions because her platelets are super low. Where I live, hospitals have been restricted to one visitor due to the Covid-19 protocols. She doesn’t have Covid-19, but this effects us, because today they tightened the restrictions, and no visitors are allowed inside.

I can’t even see my own mother. So those of us not even battling Covid-19 directly are being impacted by the idiots choosing not to be careful, and to me this is just not acceptable. That it needs to get to this point this late in the game is just absurd.

Blog posts may be late for a while, because frankly I’ve got bigger fish to fry. Same with YouTube, don’t expect archived videos for a while. I have bigger shit to tackle. However, this is one post that needs to be made, and it needs to be made today!

Perhaps this is just my logic as a gamer, but that’s just not how you play a game, and it’s not how you live life.

You don’t fight a big boss without drinking your potions and elixirs, buffing your raid, eating the right foods and being ready to face down that new boss that you’re about to fight.

This is what we MMORPG gamers do. We do it every raid night. We have no issue doing it every day, because to be a gamer you want to be at your best. You want to be an asset to your team.

If a raid was dying to a boss while being ill-prepared for over a year, that raid would have some serious breakdowns in communication and stability as a team. Some bosses are called “guild killers” for a reason.

Well, Covid-19 is our real world guild killer. It’s breaking down communication, it’s messing with our economy, and it’s dividing people. It is doing everything an end game boss in an MMORPG is capable of doing, and it’s doing it to the fullest.

When bosses drop what we call “AOE’s” or “Area of Effects” on the ground, we don’t stand in it for a reason. We don’t just go in unprepared. Our healers provide support, and we do our best to mitigate the damage. As many raiders say…

Don’t stand in stupid!

Come on raiders, we know the drill here. No, really, we do.

Covid-19 is one big ass “AoE” that has shit on the entire world, and it’s hurting people. Instead of collectively mitigating the damage as any good raid might, many are choosing to stand directly in the middle of it without that mitigation.

We have some people choosing to believe this isn’t real. That it is still, a year later, not a big deal. As though it’s a video game, or a figment of our imaginations. As if it’s not something to take seriously.

They don’t think we need masks, and don’t believe Covid-19 is still a pervading threat. These are the same sort of people that raiders would call scrubs in gaming. They’d be put on blacklists and kicked from raid groups for not being prepared.

Why? Because they are choosing to wipe the raid. They are choosing to hold ALL of us back from downing the boss.

You don’t get to play in the big leagues if you don’t pull your head out of your butt, listen to your raid leader and work as a team.

In Rift, back in the day when you had to fight the Matriarch of Pestilence that boss would put an “AoE” onto a player. That player had to run out of the group, or risk dropping that “AoE” down on the entire raid. It would kill a raid. So, what did we do? When didn’t spread the “AoE” we kept it away from the raid.

If you’re a raider, you’ve likely faced a boss like this. If you’re a gamer at all, you’ve likely taken down a boss that does something at least kind of similar.

Know what we should be keeping away from each other? Covid-19. The same rules apply. If you have the AoE, don’t spread it. If you know the boss does something that’ll impact the raid, you drink the right mitigation potions. You wear the right gear.

If most gamers can figure that crap out in a simulated environment, people working and living in the “real world” should have no issue grasping this concept. It’s not difficult, it’s not complicated.

Our front line workers are our paladins, clerics, mages and bards. They are both our tanks, and our healers. They are our raid leaders for our communities. We need to heed their calls.

When they said put on your mask, they’re saying that because they can’t just magically cast a little bubble to protect you. Real life is not a game, and choosing to defy these raid leaders now is putting everyone at risk. Not all guilds have good raid leaders, and not every doctor on the planet is giving the best advice.

When we lose people in real life, we can’t just cast a “raise” or a “revive” them. They’re gone, and they’re gone for good. It’s actual permadeath.

So, stop being selfish. Think of your community as your raid, and Covid-19 as the boss we have to down. I realize this is going to go over a non-gamer’s head. That most people won’t care about this and I may just be shouting into the void. You know what, I’m fine with that.

At least if I shout loud enough, maybe someone will hear. If just one person reads this and chooses to put their mask on the next time they go out, or think a little more carefully before hosing that next big party, then that’s a success.

That’s a mini-boss I’ve taken down, and as a gamer I’d take pride in that.

If you want the achievement of downing Covid-19, we need to raid together. This is not a boss you can beat alone. You don’t go into a new 10 man raid with three people and expect to win. You don’t go into a new raid without having the right mitigation and equipment.

So next time you leave your house, wear a mask. Get good gamers, and lead the charge, because society has their thumbs up tier asses on this one. It’s been a year, the boss is still active. We’re out of mana and our abilities are on cooldown. If we don’t want that enrage timer going off, we really need to down this boss, and down it now.

I have long concluded that it’s up to us to lead by example. To show the rest of the world that we know how to deal with this, and do it better than them. In a world where gamers are often treated like total crap by the mass media, this is a fight we know how to face down.

This is a fight we know how to mitigate.

We know to listen to our raid leaders. We know you need to have the right gear score. We know that we can’t just drop boss “AoE” and debuffs wherever we please. We know that you have to let the tanks be the tank, and the healers do the healing.

We know this isn’t a fight we can win unless those in the top tier guilds lead by example, so the scrubs can figure it out too. With the vaccines out, we’ve got the DPS to take down this boss. With our masks and social distancing, we’ve got the mitigation to tank this thing until then…

There’s no excuse anymore. We have to take this boss down, or progression ends here. Think about that.

Ever since the days of EverQuest, Final Fantasy XI (and FFXIV), WoW and Rift, we’ve been trained to handle these concepts on their most basic levels. So let’s get good and lead the scrubs. Let’s take down this boss and get back to normal.

Lead by example, gamers! Get geared, get good, and let’s do what we need to do.

This is a fight we know how to win. Stop faffing around and let’s just beat this thing already…

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content.

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.

If You Enjoyed This Content…

Please consider following us on this blog. We also have other platforms with content to enjoy. At the time of this post we have a Twitter, Twitch, YouTube.

PLATFORMCONTENTSCHEDULE
TwitchLive streamsTuesday: 9:00 PM – 12 AM (GMT)
Wednesday: 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM (GMT)
Saturday: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM (GMT)
YouTubeStream archive. Occasional Anime/Game/Movie reviews. Deep dives/analysis of RWBY.Videos upload Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)
TwitterAnnouncements, Random tweetsWhenever a live stream begins or content releases. Doesn’t have a set schedule.
Our BlogAll kinds of written media including anime, games, RWBY and more.Posts are published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)

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The Second Brick – Thoughts On ACCESSIBLE Gaming

Hey everyone, it’s Kernook here. In case you don’t know, I’m not just a blogger. I’m also streamer on Twitch along with my good friend Kresh. Together, we’re known as “The Demented Ferrets” and we play games several times a week.

Today I want to talk about something that hits very close to home for me; accessibility as it applies to gaming. This is why I thought it prudent to do another “brick post” today.

This time I’m going to give a bit of background on Dyspraxia, what it is, and how it can get in the way at the worst absolute times. Gaming is certainly one of them, hence the post.

Gamers tend to talk about new improvements while disregarding the old, but both have a place. The important little matter of nuance that has been lost in the greater discussion. This is a complicated topic when it comes to gaming, so please bear with me.

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First though, a brief primer on the subject. Dyspraxia is a form of developmental coordination disorder, also known as a “DCD“. I was born with it. It’s fairly common as I understand it. Although, I don’t have any personal friends who have it. That being said, there are plenty of famous people who do speak about it openly.

Daniel Radcliffe is a noteworthy actor that has spoken publicly about the disorder. He is someone I believe most people will have at least some familiarity with, given his role in the Harry Potter series. That’s why I use him as the example, but there are many more.

Now, before I continue, you need to understand that Dyspraxia has a very wide spectrum. Some people with the disorder are very low functioning. For others it would be very hard to tell they have it at all.

The disorder hinders motor skill coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech. It is a lifelong condition, there are no cures. Dyspraxia is a fairly distinct disorder and it can affect a person in many ways.

Why does this matter? Well, I have Dyspraxia and I’m a gamer. You kind of need to have good motor skills to play a game. It’s how you handle the controller, so it matters to talk about this kind of thing in the gaming community.

Accessibility is a word thrown around a lot in the gaming sphere, and often times with negative connotations involved with it. You can put your knee-jerking to the side though. I’m not here to bash developers. I’m hear to talk about my love of gaming when in relation to the disorder itself.

Accessibility is not the same as making a game easier, or in any way “watered down”. No, that’s just flat out idiocy. What makes a game accessible is merely just a wider range of options presented to the player. Therefore, when I am speaking of accessibility here, I am speaking from my personal lens.

My lens will not be your lens, even if you have Dyspraxia. Our level of severity regarding certain symptoms may be vastly different. The one thing I want to make clear here, is that gaming is not inherently inaccessible, and we need to think of accessibility in gaming differently.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach. The fact that gamers sometimes assume something needs to be added to a game merely to make it accessible at all… well frankly, that just shits all over the discussion in the first place.

It needs to stop, and we need to widen our perspective. Accessibility shouldn’t be a list of “must haves” or “bells and whistles” tacked onto a game as an afterthought. That is not accessibility, that’s being an asshole.

Rather, when we discuss accessibility, we should discuss it’s confines and trappings. Accessibility is always a two way street. Balancing careful planning with a mindfulness to your core player base is the key to success.

An afterthought for the sake of brownie points is never the goal. It should never be the goal. Do not tack on stupid things, just because people scream that they want it. Instead, carefully consider just who your game is made for, first and foremost. Then, after you have that clear idea in mind, think about how you might be able to include others based on that.

Accessibility does not include superglue and a prayer. They should not feel like options slapped onto a game like some sort of deranged clown car. They shouldn’t feel as if they’re bursting out sideways and cockeyed.

For example, when it comes to Dark Souls, I’d say that when it comes to pure gameplay, it is very accessible despite the difficulty. From a point of motor control, I’d say it holds up well. Yes, it’s a hard game. It’s supposed to be.

Just because it’s hard, that doesn’t make it inaccessible inherently in that very specific instance. When you discuss how accessible and game is, it’s all comes down to specific instances.

The game is difficult, but also carefully crafted. You can do battle at a distance, you can plan your attacks. With the multitude of ways that a player can broach fights, I would not say that the gameplay itself is at all “inaccessible” based on motor function. Merely that the game can have a large barrier to entry in other ways.

Under this one lens, it is therefore accessible. However, that is just one lens, and someone may in fact disagree.

Dyspraxia can hinder a person’s ability to participate and function in everyday life. Education, work and gainful employment isn’t always easy for people who have it. A large amount of the time you end up with Dysgraphia or Dyscalculia on top of it. However, that’s an entirely different set of issues, and I won’t be covering those.

What I will say is this. It is imperative that a gamer considers the games they play, and understand the confines of those games. What an accessible MMORPG to me, for example may be different than what you consider to be so.

Final Fantasy XI is a great example of an accessible MMORPG for me. Yes it’s old, and yes it feels a bit dated. That being said, skill in this game relies entirely on knowing what you’re doing. It isn’t exactly a “motor skill” heavy game.

Knowing what the enemies do and how to counteract them is half the battle. There are no quick time events, and there is no jump button. You have no need to handle blinding floor spit aoe’s that you might find in games like WoW, or FFXIV which are also MMORPG’s.

When I thinking of end game raiding, I think of all the mechanics that just turn out to be a pain in the ass. That being said, I call what would be vanilla Rift the pinnacle of end game raiding. The best, and most fun raiding I’ve ever had in a game, for me personally.

This is merely because even if a fight was difficult and AoE’s were tossed all over, I was never just flat out blinded by a boss I was fighting.

For me, the worst offender in this regard is FFXIV. To me, though I do like it, it is very inaccessible as a game in many ways. For me boss battles in FFXIV are not a matter of simply getting good. Sometimes they are a matter of stupidity. Occasionally, I just can’t see what the hell is happening. There is literally too much crap everywhere.

I have golf balls for eyes sometimes, hence the spelling errors that occasionally slip into blog posts. This is also why I tend to use a medium font, and not the “default” that is included in the editing tool.

When I think of a game that isn’t accessible, I think of a game that is stupidly difficult for the sake of it. Or a game that might have had a very small team, and therefore couldn’t hope to factor in gamers such as myself in the first place.

Sometimes artistic choices are enough to make a game somewhat impossible for me to play. Those games have a fan base, and those games don’t include me. This also includes games like Undertale which is primarily black and white, and terrible for me personally.

It took me a year to play and beat the game. This is not to say it isn’t a good game. It is to say the game is not accessible to me as a player. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It just hurts my eyes, and the way you play the game doesn’t help.

However it was such a massive hit that I played it merely to have a perspective upon it myself. That it isn’t a good one personally, doesn’t detract from it objectively. That’s a key distinction to make here.

All in all, people with Dyspraxia are not a monolith. There are a huge list of symptoms, and if you care to look at them, do so understanding that is a very fluid disorder. No one will ever have “all” the qualifiers, because the list is just too large.

So, why does this matter? Well, to me gaming matters. Therefore, my heart can only go out to others with motor skill impairments that inhibit them from fully enjoying a gaming experience the way they might like.

When we play games we see “game over” screens more times than an average player. Sometimes, these are just for dumb reasons. Perhaps a boss doesn’t choreograph what it’s doing very well. Perhaps in games that don’t allow you to turn off quick time events, you kiss your butt goodbye on those several times over.

However, if you don’t have some sort of motor impairment you might think we’re just bad gamers, or that we’re just flat out stupid. It’s not that, not really. It’s just that how we experience the game can and will be different from yours, and our ability to play the game reflects that.

This is why I actually love the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series of games. Particularly the ones with tank controls. In my latest review of Resident Evil 2 from 1998, I brought the matter up directly by saying this:

If you think tank controls absolutely suck, you’re in for a bit of bad news. They’re just as clunky as you recall them to be. Now, I’ve never had an issue with tank controls myself. For my personal situation, tank controls actually make the games easier to play, not harder.

There is a very direct reason for that. Given my Dyspraxia, which is a motor skill disorder, having limited movement allowed me to have better control over the character. I didn’t need to be careful of subtle movement, because the characters only move in very particular ways. When it comes to my thumb being clumsy, the game just didn’t pick that up. This meant I could pay closer attention to my environment, and not what my hands did of their own accord without my noticing. While I love tank controls, I do understand that most people hate them.

For me personally, it’s not a downside. Objectively speaking though, it very well could be. I won’t overlook that just because of my nostalgia or personal situation. “

If you want to read a few of my reviews for the resident evil franchise, you can do so here:

See, this is what I mean by we need to broaden our idea of what accessibility really means. Tank controls actually help me. I’d love if more games have them, and that’s why I love a lot of retro titles. Do I expect them? Absolutely not, but I would very much like to have them.

To me, they would be an accessibility that would improve gameplay.

The point I am trying to make is that this whole accessibility discussion has vastly jumped the shark in many ways. It is true that not all games will be accessible to all people, and it will be impossible to attempt to make it that way.

However, it is also true that using that as a blind excuse is just pure laziness. Nuance matters, and we’re starting to lose that.

Final Thoughts

If you are experiencing trouble as a gamer, I have just one bit of advice. Before you start pounding on the gong of accessibility, take a breath and look at all that gaming has to offer. There will be a game or two that will suit you. There will be a genre that allows you to love gaming.

Once you find those games, you can open your eyes to the other games like it, and the much deeper world that gaming has to offer. Instead of just focusing on the usual complaints, we need to think out of the box. It’s better for everyone, and that’s the whole point of accessibly in the first place. To reach as many people inclusively as possible.

It isn’t just about controller layouts and game overlays. It’s not just about including new add-ons, fonts, colors, keybinds, or multi-lingual subtitles. It’s about the larger scope of the experience we have as gamers.

Sometimes it’s about playing the inaccessible games to understand what needs to change, instead of what we simply want changed.

We need to be discussing ports and revivals of older titles. We need to consider that there are already a wealth of games suited for us that might need to be brought back onto current software. Perhaps some of these titles need to be brought back to life or brought over to other platforms.

Perhaps a gamer can’t play a Mario or Zelda title on a Nintendo Switch, but could play that very same title with a different sort of controller found only on PC, or by a third party company. We need to be discussing this too, and look at all of our options.

We need for developers to be our partners, not our enemies. We need fellow gamers to hear us out before biting our heads off.

These are the sorts of discussions we need to be having. These are the ones that should pervade the larger narrative. When we think of accessibility, need to consider tank controls and other methods of control in general too.

Hopefully you love gaming as much as I do. Hopefully I’ve given you something to chew on. Perhaps the next time the word accessibility comes up in context with gaming, you’ll look out of the box too.

If you’re an aspiring developer, or one from a huge studio, reach out to gamers. Sometimes that alone is enough. Nine times out of ten, we’re okay that a game doesn’t have something, if there’s a good reason not to include it. Knowing why a feature isn’t in a game is sometimes enough for us.

Sometimes just being talked to, so we’re included, is all that we need. Sometimes all we want is to be heard. We don’t want to feel useless, or that we’re just shouting into the void.

Communication is the first step, and it’s one that needs to continue being made, so yeah… do that developers, really. That first step will be an answer to a great many problems. After that, creativity is your foremost tool. Use it, and empower all of us.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets.

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

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At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.

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Fandom: Little Moments Matter Most

Note: This was an old post on the original “The Demented Ferrets” site, and prior to that it belonged to my personal blog. It is being placed here because this is now where it belongs.

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Minako and Rei from Sailor Moon are without a doubt a solid character pairing, even if they aren’t exactly cannon across all of the Sailor Moon media. Why do they stand the test of time? Simple, because their romance comes natural to those who see it within the subtext.

In popular media, when I think of reasons to sail any ship, it’s not the large cannon elements that come to mind. It’s the tiny things. Moments when characters might brush their fingers together when exchanging an object. Times when short quips and witty dialogue carrying a greater subtext within a scene.

Know what other ships sails really well because of this? Pretty much any ship containing at least two of the main four girls of RWBY. I ship nearly every combination because of how versatile they are.

Small moments make a ship, that’s a fact. It is particularly important if a series isn’t centrally focused on romance. Then the smaller moments matter even more. Long running series with advancing story arcs might not spend a whole lot of time focusing on romantic overtures. Instead, they tend to spread large romantic elements few and far between. Sometimes, the best ships don’t have any big moments at all. Sometimes they only have a series of small elements to craft a greater narrative. In this instance, subtext quickly becomes fan fodder.

I look no further than NCIS as an example. Tony and Ziva, or “Tiva” as the ship is named by the fans. These two are strong contenders in shipping because the slow burn is as hilarious as it is dramatic.

Romance between these two is the show in spades, but, it walks a fine line. The pairing never consumes the show. Instead, the fans consume the romance, looking for the little details hidden between the subtle character interactions. These two aren’t obviously a cannon couple until much later in the series. However, this didn’t stop fans from sailing that ship early on. It was only through implication and subtext that the relationship held any ground, at least, at first.

I think that personally this is sometimes the better approach. Fans have a gift for running away with subtext. Collective fans like making stories of their own. When moments are rare,it’s no surprise that fan-fiction itself becomes a selfish endeavor.

Fans meet their own desire to see character romance carried further than a series could have taken it. This is true for almost all media that has an active fan following.

Depending on the character pairing, strange ships sail fast. I think of the romantic pairing of Elsa and Anna from Frozen being a prime example of fandom running amok. Seriously, fans ship these two hard. I don’t see the draw in it personally, but it’s in the fandom for sure.

There is no conceivable way that Disney would have imagined their older fan base deciding to turn the sisters into lesbians…

Or that, even if they were on the GRSM spectrum, that they would ever be seen as romantically in love with each other. Then again, I can’t say that I’m surprised. Pairings revolving around sibling romance can be common in fandom, particularly of the animated variety.

Even without sibling romance, some stories become downright filthy as fans of a medium carefully craft and contort romantic relationships between characters. Ultimately, for better and for worse, fans have always been able to fill gaps that cannon material fails to provide. If little else, fan communities keep character romances thriving when long stretches of time pass without cannon material.

This is particularly important when large series take an extended break or the series eventually ends. At that point it’s up to fans to find a new source of entertainment. Some find this solace within the media that they already care for, writing or reading stories that reflect on certain plot elements within the series as a whole.

Deceased or retired characters in media find new life, and new stories because fan fiction and far art too. I think of characters like Pyrrha Nikos from RWBY, or Kate Todd and Ziva David from NCIS, as prime examples of characters that continue to live on in fandom because of the stories people write.

Without these stories, these characters, and their ships, they might have been left stagnant and forgotten. Within fandom, these characters will always live on. They will always be shipped, and the fandom will always triumhp.

That’s what little moments do. They’re powerful, and they can’t be disregarded.

This has been Kernook from the Demented Ferrets.

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content.

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.


If You Enjoyed This Content…

Please consider following us on this blog. We also have other platforms with content to enjoy. At the time of this post we have a Twitter, Twitch, YouTube.

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TwitchLive streamsTuesday: 9:00 PM – 12 AM (GMT)
Wednesday: 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM (GMT)
Saturday: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM (GMT)
YouTubeAnime/Game/Movie reviews. Deep dives/analysis of RWBY.Videos upload Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)
TwitterAnnouncements, Random tweetsWhenever a live stream begins or content releases. Doesn’t have a set schedule.
Our BlogAll kinds of written media including anime, games, RWBY and more.Posts are published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)

There are plenty of ways to support us. To find out more, click the button below.

Game Review: Resident Evil 1.5

Note: This was an old post on the original “The Demented Ferrets” site, and prior to that it belonged to my personal blog. It is being placed here because this is now where it belongs.

Please don’t forget to follow the blog. You can check out our platforms for other great content too. If you like the work that we do, please consider supporting us.


I want to take a brief interlude into the troubles of game design, and the subsequent cancellation of what would be Resident Evil 2‘s first iteration. Unfortunately, that particular version of Resident Evil 2 was canceled. It is now known by hardcore fans as Resident Evil 1.5. Frankly, this unreleased attempt of a game deserves a discussion or two, and that’s the reason for this post.

It’s a shame that director Hideki Kamiya, and producer Shinji Mikami, hadn’t been able to see eye-to-eye on the game. If they had, the Resident Evil 2 that we know and love might have been vastly different.

As a failed prototype, Resident Evil 1.5 is an interesting look into what Resident Evil 2 could have become. There is no official release of Resident Evil 1.5. Thankfully, the build of Resident Evil 1.5 was leaked on the internet back in 2013. Fans of the series have managed to cobble together some form of playable version.

If you look hard enough the content for 1.5 is out there. If you can’t find the game to play yourself, there is plenty of game footage among members of the survival horror community. It’s worth a look at the very least.

Failure to Launch

The original Resident Evil was a huge success. You can read my review of it here. Even if you don’t though, just know that the game was foundational to the survival horror genre. It proved that gamers had a true hunger for survival horror, and a ravenous craving for more.

Just a month after the original game released, development began for a sequel. The success of the first game was so large that it stood to reason that they’d make another. Hideki Kamiya was slated to direct the new game. Shinji Mikami was going to produce it. These two masterminds dove into their new concept, eager to make a much better survival horror experience.

They had big plans to surpass the fandom’s expectations when it came to the new game. Initially these two men had three core ideas on how to make the sequel even better than the original.

  • Firstly, they wanted to make playing the game feel more dynamic. They felt that the first game wasn’t as strong as it could have been in this area.
  • Secondly, they planned to vastly expand the scope of Raccoon City. They wanted to broaden the scope of Resident Evil‘s already compelling narrative.
  • Thirdly, they wanted to include a wider range of highly detailed and stunning pre-rendered backgrounds. This would lend the game even better imagery than what was provided in the original game.

Unfortunately, this new vision wouldn’t be the one to be published. Hideki Kamiya and Shinji Mikami had all of the building blocks for a great game in place. However, each of them had different artistic visions.

Originally, Shinji Mikami wanted to complete the entire Resident Evil story with the sequel before moving onto other projects. He didn’t want to linger on this franchise for too long.

Hideki Kamiya vastly disagreed. He wanted to make a longer, more complex story. He planned on using the sequel to expand on Resident Evil‘s core themes. to create a wider universe.

In the end, Shinji Mikami eventually took a few steps back from the creative development of the game. It was his belief that the game was lackluster. He felt that the narrative was lacking something important. In his opinion, the game mechanics and story just didn’t meld together seamlessly. He asked to be kept informed about the game’s development, but otherwise handed the reigns over to Hideki Kamiya completely.

During the development cycle, Resident Evil 1.5 was nearly eighty percent complete before it was scrapped entirely. A new scenario writer had joined the team and everyone agreed that it was just better to rebuild the game from scratch.

Key Differences

Firstly, I suppose, is the game itself. Resident Evil 2 as we know it today is vastly different from Resident Evil 1.5. Many of the assets from the project couldn’t be used in the release of Resident Evil 2, most of them had to be remade. That being said, some of the modded versions of Resident Evil 1.5 use assets from the Resident Evil 2 game. They do this to help fill in the gaps in the unfinished product.

The story has quite a few changes in it too. Now, to be clear, the story wasn’t completely fleshed out in Resident Evil 1.5, and that reflects in the media. That said, the story as we do know it is vastly different.

In Resident Evil 1.5, the S.T.A.R.S operatives manage to convince the authorities that Umbrella is up to no good. They report that Umbrella was directly involved with problems in Arklay Mountains and within Spencer Mansion. During the game, this is referred to as the “Umbrella Incident”.

The Raccoon City Police were shutting down Umbrella’s laboratories, but the city isn’t safe. A massive viral outbreak has overtaken the city, and it’s the T-Virus.

There is a lot of political intrigue in Resident Evil 1.5. Subtext and implication suggests that Umbrella only released the virus to quiet the naysayers and silence opposition. The story slowly unfolds as the player experiences two different scenarios, starring two different characters. There are some interesting additions to the supporting cast as well.

The first is Leon Kennedy, a familiar name to anyone who knows of the Resident Evil franchise.

Leon’s personality stays much the same, and his basic story plot does too. Very little changes with him, and its clear that he was fleshed out conceptually very well from the start. Leon is still the rookie police officer we all know and love, but thankfully this time around it isn’t his first day on the job.

The second character is Elza Walker. she is a student at Raccoon University. Let’s be honest, she’s no Claire Redfield, that’s for sure.

Elza is a motorcycle enthusiast who returns back from a long vacation only to find that the city is completely overrun with zombies. She ends up crashing her motorcycle into the main lobby of the police station and closes the shutters, locking her inside.

Classic Leon is awesome in both 1.5 and Resident Evil 2. Though, I must say, the same doesn’t hold true for Elza. I prefer Claire over Elza any day.

No matter what scenario is chosen, the goals are roughly the same. Players must find a safe way out of the police department, save any survivors, and get out of the city. As far as survivors go, there are several.

The Birkin family makes a full fledged return. Sherry is still a child that needs protection. Annette and William are her parents. Ada Wong, Marvin Branagh, and Brian Irons, have returned as well. In Resident Evil 1.5, their roles have changed drastically. This is probably one of the most important reasons to play Resident Evil 1.5, because it gives us a look at what these characters could have been.

I won’t spoil too much, but there are some interesting things to take note of. In this version, Marvin spends a great deal of time with Leon throughout the game. Ada is an employee of Umbrella, she was under arrest until the outbreak occurred. Brian is more level headed, and less murderous, but his role is very small.

Mechanics: The Good, The Bad, The Broken…

There are a few oddities to make note of. Computers in the game make a point to remind the player to save their progress, but, there are standard Resident Evil typewriters too. I’m not really sure why the save system might be implemented in this way, but it is an interesting little detail.

You’ll have to be careful when running around. The game was still in development when it was scrapped, so there are plenty of broken boundaries.

You clip through things that you shouldn’t be able to, and all enemies can be seen. Yes, that also means you can see them through walls.

If you notice, it looks like Leon is standing on the table in this photo, and there are plenty of moments like this. Trust me, that’s not a rug. I assure you that dark square thing is, in fact, a table.

Furthermore, there is a huge range of weaponry to choose from in Resident Evil 1.5, but some of the items don’t have assets. Using an item that doesn’t have assets will crash the game.

Puzzles look to be standard Resident Evil format, though most aren’t completely implemented. You can go through the entire game without collecting key items. This is likely a good thing.

Other than that, playing Resident Evil 1.5 isn’t too different from the classic Resident Evil 2. There are more zombies on screen at any given time, and even other enemies can come in small packs. Tank controls and fixed camera angles make a return, of course. Anyone who has played the classic titles in the series will be well acquainted with them by now.

There’s just one problem. The controller can be very wonky…

The game never had an official console release. That means you have to play the game using an emulator. If you’re like me, you use an Xbox 360 controller. The directional pad on Xbox 360 controllers are a piece of garbage, and it can make playing the game difficult. If you have a controller with a better directional pad, you should use it.

The rest of the mechanical changes are small, but I have to admit that I actually prefer most of them. Shotguns can still completely destroy a zombie. However, you can’t aim upwards to take off a zombie’s head. Shotguns will only rip the zombie in half. This can be used to incapacitate a zombie entirely. If you aim below the belt, you can even take their legs clean off. I have to admit, it’s a nice touch.

There is one awkward thing, though. When comes to health bars and status effects, your character will show signs of being injured by having ripped up clothing or seeping wounds. This was a nice idea in practice, but for me it kills immersion. Obviously when you heal back up, the wounds go away and the clothing goes back to normal.

This looks a little odd, and quite frankly, I prefer the limping and slower movement speed that’s found in most classic iterations of the franchise. It simply works better in my personal opinion.

Interesting Visuals and Soundtrack

The sound design is a masterful mix between the first and second Resident Evil titles. The music itself has that classic Resident Evil vibe to it, but there is no voice acting in the game. Due to the fixed camera angles, it’s important that each monster has an auditory cue so that players can hear when they’re just off screen. This ethos is the same in all of the classic titles, and it makes a return here as well.

Visually the game is impressive for its time. However, as a fan it’s hard not to notice something. There is a strange middle ground between Resident Evil graphics and Resident Evil 2 graphics. Resident Evil 1.5 fits perfectly in the center of all of it, showing off what would happen if you merged the two styles completely. Everything is slightly more improved visually from the first game, but, the Resident Evil 2 that was officially released is by far better looking.

My favorite place has to be inside the police station. There’s a cold, sterile feeling that comes along with it. The colors are often muted, meaning that even the brown cardboard boxes on shelves become eye-catching. Truthfully, it isn’t as interesting as the police station in Resident Evil 2, but, it has its own charm to it.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of good things to come out of this failed prototype of a game. In truth, there are some less than stellar things about it too. It has flaws in spades, but, that’s the point of playing it.

Resident Evil 1.5 is a stepping stone for classic survival horror. It conceptualizes a game’s development cycle in a way few prototypes can. That shouldn’t be overlooked.

The hard work and love that staff put into their crafted worlds can’t be understated either. This prototype was a steppingstone that showcases just how much effort it takes to make a series like Resident Evil.

Fans of the franchise shouldn’t miss the opportunity to experience this prototype in one way or another. If you have the chance to play Resident Evil 1.5, you should. If you need to watch someone else play it, you should still do it. The experience is worth the time, and I can’t stress that enough.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

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Resident Evil Retrospective Review

Hey guys, it’s Kernook here. Let’s enter into the realm of survival horror for a spell, shall we? This will be a retrospective review of Resident Evil. This review will only cover the original black box release of Resident Evil 1, for the PlayStation.

This review will not cover the directors cut, or the duel shock release of the game. That’s for two reasons. Firstly, the soundtrack was changed in both of those versions, and not entirely for the better. Secondly, even though I do have both the director’s cut and the original black box release, I usually don’t play the director’s cut version.

Furthermore, this review does not cover the Resident Evil remake. That’s a topic for a different day. It requires it’s own separate review. Today, I’m just going to be covering the original game. There’s a lot to cover here, so let’s get started.

Resident Evil as a franchise will always be very near and dear to my heart. In order to understand why, I need to give you a glimpse of my childhood. My personal upbringing with gaming isn’t necessarily something that should be emulated.

In 1989, I was born with Dyspraxia and Dysgraphia, which are non-curable motor-skill disorders. They’re also kind of weird, and when I was a child there was no good way to handle the disorders. Experts in the field of medicine sort of just shrugged it off. They weren’t entirely sure how to help alleviate the symptoms, which are a long list in and of themselves. Look it up if you want to, just know that not all of them apply to everyone. There is a spectrum.

What worked for me, probably as a fluke was incredibly lucky. I just want to make that clear. I don’t advocate for buying games for children who aren’t ready to handle the context of that game. Furthermore, I believe it’s up to parents to police their child’s gaming habits. It’s not for the media or the public to decide.

That being said, as a child I spent a lot of my time playing video games. I belonged to a family of gamers. My earliest memories contain eight-bit and sixteen-bit images splashed across the television screen. Sonic and Mario were my bread and butter. We were lucky to have a Sega Genesis, a Nintendo, and a Super Nintendo in the house.

Our gaming library wasn’t particularly vast. Thankfully, we had a large and active gaming family. My bother, older cousins, and even my mom, played video games. We often traded games and systems, to experience the best of all worlds. The medium of gaming was everywhere for me.

When I think about it now, playing the Resident Evil franchise in the late 90’s was one of the best experiences I could have had as a child. It helped a lot for my personal and particular problems. So, from here on out, when I talk about the franchise, just keep that. I do have a positive personal bias towards the franchise as a whole, and I won’t disregard that.

The Beginning: Sweet Home Mutates into Resident Evil

Any gamer that was around for the 90’s knows that it was a very experimental time in gaming history. Prior to the 90’s, playing games with 3D animation was laughable, expensive, and to casual players it was unheard of.

Frankly, 2D gaming was cheaper to develop, more accessible to gamers, and pandered to a wider family-style audience. In general, 2D gaming was just the commonality at the time. Occasionally computers offered a stepping stone into 3D gaming, but even that was limited at first. A lot of games that looked 3D weren’t. They just looked that way, using clever techniques and tricks of the eye.

Sony changed that with the release of the PlayStation. The powerhouse of a system opened doors for developers, and allowed gamers a glimpse into what fully realized worlds might look like.

Capcom, a Japanese video-game developer, had the bold idea of bringing one of their classic games over to the new console. Its name was “Sweet Home“. Now, here’s a little food for thought. Sweet Home was a title for the family entertainment system. It was made in 1989, so everything about it was made with the older platform in mind. Bringing it into a 3D space was going to be a monumental effort. The game was a fusion, containing both RPG and horror elements. Knowing that this would not be an easy task, Capcom asked Shinji Mikami to help them with the project.

To say that the project was a massive undertaking would be selling the matter short. Everything was against them in this effort. Sweet Home was a complex game with multiple story lines, and very intricately created puzzles. They couldn’t just up-heave the general concept, and then proceed to cram it into a 3D environment.

That surely would have been a complete disaster. Thankfully, that’s not what they did.

Instead, the ideas and themes of Sweet Home took on a life of their own. Eventually, from the ashes of all of those great ideas, a new game was born. It was known as Bio Hazard in Japan.

Unfortunately, there was another problem. They couldn’t use the name. A DOS game had already registered that name for a different brand, so Capcom couldn’t use it.

Capcom eventually re-named the title, and it became Resident Evil. The game, in a word, was masterful. There were plenty of horror games to play at the time, but none of them were quite like this one. With the release of Resident Evil, so too, came the birth of survival horror.

An Aside: A Plethora of “You Died” Screens

I was young when I began my Resident Evil journey. The first game I ever beat on my own was Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Prior to that, I didn’t have the skills required to beat the games. I tried, of course, but I always needed help. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis had a freakishly low skill requirement on easy mode.

With tons of weapons and ammo in the item box at the start of the game, it’s actually pretty difficult to die. Well, I mean, unless you just stand there and let zombies eat you.

As a general rule, survival horror is not an easy genre to play. It’s generally made for adults. It’s not aimed at it kids, nor should it be. I played the genre as a child, but I had an older brother that was usually with me. Forcing myself to focus on cognitive puzzle solving, basic game controls, memorizing maps, and recalling enemy layouts were some of the hardest things I ever had to do in a game. This is why I say that playing these games helped me more than I ever could have perceived as a child. They were foundational tools for many of the skills I became able to do after holding a controller and thinking outside of the box.

After playing Resident Evil 3: Nemesis on easy, normal, and finally hard difficulty, I was able to go back to the older games in the genre and play them on my own. Before that, I usually never made it beyond the mansion in Resident Evil 1, or the police station in Resident Evil 2. Before that, poor inventory management, terrible ammo conservation, and a lack of ink ribbons usually did me in.

Entering the Nightmare

Entering into Resident Evil, a bazaar string of murders runs rampant. Victims are being eaten alive.

Resident Evil features a fairly typical story. A rescue mission is taking place. With a string of murders running rampant across the fictional Raccoon City, it’s up to the police to find out what is really going on. In response to this, the Special Tactics and Rescue Service, or “S.T.A.R.S.” have been sent to look into the issue. Having been sent deep into the mountains, the first team has gone missing.

When starting the game, players get to choose between two characters. Both of them are S.T.A.R.S officers. One is a man by the name of Chris Redfield. The other is a woman by the name of Jill Valentine. Each one has their own story, and it serves the player to go through each scenario at least once.

No matter what character you pick, you have a few not-so-simple tasks:

  • First, you must find the missing Bravo S.T.A.R.S. team members. At the very least, you must find out what happened to them.
  • Secondly, you must find out what has been happening deep in the Arklay Mountains just northwest of Raccoon City.
  • Thirdly, you have to survive this ordeal and come out of it alive.

The opening cinematic is the same for both characters. You find out that the other team’s helicopter has been heavily damaged, and no one is around. A pack of deranged zombie dogs attack the group. In a desperate attempt to survive the attack, the alpha team members make a mad dash to the nearby mansion. They hide inside, where they believe it will be safe.

Instead, they’ve walked headlong into the nightmare. The a virus has spread throughout the entire mansion, infecting everything from humans, dogs, plants, spiders, and more.

The Basics

The mansion itself is a labyrinth of narrow hallways. A maze that needs to be traversed bit by bit, carefully and with an eye out for the looming dangers.

Tight camera angles and tank controls keep the player on their toes. Now, I’ll say this, a lot of people complain about tank controls. In this current era of gaming, I agree they can be a bit clunky. That said, I never had an issue with them. In fact, they were almost second nature to me. For me, I had more of a problem with inventory management and trying not to use up all my ammo.

The game-takes small cues from Sweet Home, Alone in the Dark, and other story driven horror titles. With limited inventory and never enough ammo, players will be forced to explore many areas to find the items they need in order to progress.

Certain keys have to be acquired, and backtracking will happen more than once. This was a risky design decision, but I’m glad it works so well. Typewriters for saving and item boxes for inventory management will be utilized often. They have been carefully placed in areas that players visit often.

On the topic of item boxes and typewriters, they are instrumental in playing Resident Evil. These are core game mechanics across most of the titles. Space on your character is limited, and it is imperative that you plan accordingly. This includes saving your game. In order to save your game, you require ink ribbons. You’ll usually find them in small batches.

Every time you save your game, it costs an ink ribbon. The supply is limited and on the first play-through you might find yourself running out. The ink ribbon is a doubled edged sword, though. Higher end game rankings require faster completion times, fewer saves, and less healing items.

Thanks to constant puzzle solving, there is a sense of adventure woven into the narrative. To be honest, it couples nicely with the campy dialogue and nods to classic horror as a genre.

Nowadays, the original Resident Evil might be a bit too campy, but I still enjoy it. I think it works well, given the graphics of the era.

Newcomers need to remember that the PlayStation era was before high fidelity graphics were even possible in gaming. In my opinion, the goofy dialogue only adds to the charm. In some ways, it has even helped to age the game. Back in the day there were some parts of the game I had a hard time taking seriously. Nowadays, I think it’s actually impossible. I feel like everyone has that moment when they want to laugh out loud at least once. For me, that reason alone makes it an experience worth playing.

The Combat

Really, there is only one form of combat in Resident Evil. You can either aim your gun and shoot, or choose to run away. Both options have their place, and it’s important to know what option suits the situation best.

Skilled players can do no “save, knife only runs”, but that isn’t something average players will master. Certainly not on their first try.

Learning the contours of the mansion will help you to make these all too important decisions. You can’t murder every enemy in the entire game. Your ammo is limited, and this key fact is what defines the survival horror genre. Well, that, and the tank controls for earlier titles.

Your job is simply to survive by any means necessary. Choosing a live-and-let-live approach comes in handy inside wide open rooms. Outmaneuvering slower enemies will conserve ammunition. Narrow hallways will require a more aggressive approach.

Due to the stationary camera angles and tank controls, sometimes enemies will be hiding just off camera. The developers planned for that, giving every monster in the game some sort of audio cue. They were careful to make every sound distinct and clear against the ambient music of the soundtrack. Zombies have their moans, dogs growl, hunters make a clicking noise whenever they walk, and so on.

Even boss fights like Yawn have carefully placed cues to warn you about what kind of attack is coming. In general, careful players can usually avoid getting attacked by a monster off screen, all they need to do is wait and listen.

If you take damage from an enemy, you’ll have to rely on herbs and first aid sprays to heal you. They’re in short supply, and every time you get hit you put yourself into a sticky situation. Your character will begin to hold their side if the injury is bad enough. If they continue to take damage, they’ll begin to limp slowly, and this makes avoiding enemies difficult.

There are several boss battles, of course. Yawn is a battle you face twice. With the right weapons and preparation, they’re never too hard. If you conserve your ammo properly the bosses shouldn’t be your largest threat. In fact, I’d say that most boss battles in this game aren’t that big of a threat at all.

Instead, I’d say that forgetting where you might have left a zombie or two is a much bigger problem. Backtracking after a battle can be a death sentence. Especially if you’re low on ammo and healing items.

Final Thoughts

The first Resident Evil game is a true classic among the survival horror genre. It isn’t insanely difficult, but it doesn’t forgive reckless new players either. The game has a learning curve, and it expects you to rise above every puzzle, enemy, and trap that it gives you.

The game is atmospheric in the best ways, utilizing visual assets in a way few games could back then. The musical sound design is flawless in the original black box edition of the game, ambient and often beautiful. The musical quality is abysmal when it comes to the directors cut, or the duel shock releases of the game. Sadly, that’s the trade-off you make if you can’t get a copy of the original.

The voice acting is campy at best, embarrassingly bad at worst, but a lot of that dialogue became a touchstone for gamers around the world. People attend anime and gaming conventions cosplaying as the characters. Fan fiction flooded websites, and fan art followed soon after.

Best of all, nowadays speed-runners collectively band together to experience the game, giving rise to an entirely new audience of survival horror fans. All of that cannot be understated.

Obviously, with the original game being remade, we got to visit the mansion once more with the Resident Evil remake for the GameCube in 2002. Many prefer the remake over the original. I certainly do as well. The remake eventually received a PC port, which is by far the most visually impressive way to enjoy the game.

That said, returning to the original game every now and then is vastly important to gaming history. Survival horror as a genre would be completely different than it is today without the original Resident Evil.

This has been Kernook of “The Demented Ferrets”…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content.

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At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.


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The One True Paring Fallacy

Note: This was an old post on the original “The Demented Ferrets” site, and prior to that it belonged to my personal blog. It is being placed here because this is now where it belongs. Some additional content has now been added as well.

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Artwork made by Rukangel, this piece is called “Asylum” and features Rei and Minako from Sailor Moon. Find more of her artwork on Deviant Art.


When fans of a series gather to form large social groups over a specific type of media, we call this a fandom. In general, fandom tends to be a positive space, but there can be occasions when it isn’t. Discussions can get heated and when fandom takes a a nosedive into negativity people tend to slip off and form smaller cliques.

One of the ways this can happen is when a fandom is overrun with the “one true pairing” fallacy. This occurs when fans collectively agree that two characters belong together romantically, no matter the circumstances, or the outlying opinions of others. I’ve seen this problem occur mostly within anime and gaming, but I’m sure it happens elsewhere too. It’s a rare problem, but it is nearly toxic to a fandom when it does occur.

Now, many people have personal “OTP’s” or a “one true pairing” that they love to sail as a ship. On its own, that’s completely fine. There is nothing wrong with that. As long as the “one true pairing” isn’t forced on others as the only ship to sail, there is no problem at all with having them.

This problem of the “one true pairing fallacy” comes along when a large contingent of the fan base adopts the “one true paring” mindset viciously. This usually happens in less popular media and welled established, fan communities.

A lack of widespread diversity can hinder a fan base. Eventually, that will cause these echo chambers to exist. Particularly in older fandom, where diehard fans have lingered around for years after the initial hype ended.

A fan simply has to love and enjoy the medium. Weather or not they sail any ship should be up to them. The “one true pairing” ideology shouldn’t need to apply.

I personally never wanted to sail an “OTP”, primarily because I don’t consume media that would require me to have one. I don’t believe having an “OTP” does me any good. I don’t gain anything from the media I care about by having one. In fact, I often think it does a media like anime a huge disservice by having an “OTP”.

Anime has a tenancy to leave an open ending. Several of them are just long running advertisements for its manga counter part. To see the full story you’d have to consume both pieces of media, and some fans like myself don’t have the desire to do both.

At the end of the day, “one true pairings” can be very powerful things inside of a fandom, and its our job as fans to recognize that. We need to be respectful of the ships we sail, and she ships of others. It’s the only way to keep a fan base growing, and all fans should want that. The stronger and more diverse a fan base is, the more fan based content will thrive.

Do you sail an “OTP”? Let me know in the comments below. This has been Kernook from The Demented Ferrets…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content.

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.


If You Enjoyed This Content…

Please consider following us on this blog. We also have other platforms with content to enjoy. At the time of this post we have a Twitter, Twitch, YouTube.

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TwitchLive streamsTuesday: 9:00 PM – 12 AM (GMT)
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TwitterAnnouncements, Random tweetsWhenever a live stream begins or content releases. Doesn’t have a set schedule.
Our BlogAll kinds of written media including anime, games, RWBY and more.Posts are published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)

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