Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Trail Running: The Latest Hit Video Game, from the Makers of Resident Evil

As far as gaming goes, I am a total novice. A couple years ago, out of the blue, my mom gave me and Christi a Nintendo Wii for Christmas, and until two months ago we've only used it to stream Netflix movies. Toward the end of the summer, though, we thought it might be fun to give a game a try, and so -- being zombie fans -- we bought one: Resident Evil 4.

The funny thing about it? As soon as I started playing, I found parallels between Resident Evil and trail running. The game opens with Leon -- the game's protagonist whose actions the gamer controls -- running down a trail, through the trees. After running for a bit, Leon even starts breathing heavily, as you do on the run.

During the game, you have to maintain Leon's life levels (the little green meter in the bottom-right corner of the screen), just like on the run. Once you rescue Ashley -- the president's daughter -- from the villains, you have to look after her life levels too. It's a bit like going for a run with other runners, or with your dogs. While you're looking after yourself you also need to watch those you run with, making sure your running buddies aren't going to bonk, and taking care to ensure your dogs are properly hydrated.

So what do you do to take care of your life levels, and the life levels of Ashley (or your trail-running companions)? It's just like running; you have to eat!

In Resident Evil 4, to restore your energy, herbs are the ticket. The little green plants appear as you're playing the game, sometimes as the result of slaying a zombie-type opponent; sometimes you just come upon it on the trail -- a little like the way you sometimes come upon a packet of GU that may have fallen out of a trail-runner's pocket inadvertently.

Then, there are the similarities in scenes. Much of the action in Resident Evil 4 takes place on trails in remote parts of rural Spain. It's arid, forested terrain -- not all that different from our Colorado trails. Sometimes in the game, you have to dodge falling boulders...

Other times, you have to duck into abandoned-looking shacks along the side of the trail...

...the similarities made me laugh last time I was out on the trail.

So, next time you hear a rustle on the side of the trail, step lively! It could be a bear, or a mountain lion... or maybe even a zombie! Keep your life levels up and your eyes open... and I'll see you on the trail!
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Blogger Brian said...

Is this just a veiled attempt at getting us to feed our buddy Ashley when out on runs together?

9:09 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Oh shucks... was my post that transparent? Well, if you're offering, know that I never turn down smoked almonds or chocolate-covered espresso beans out on the trail. ;-)

8:45 AM  

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