Review by ninjacow22
Think you know Resident Evil? Think again!
If you are a gamer of any sort, you must be familiar with Resident Evil. It is the game that practically invented survival horror games (Alone in the Dark came first, but Resident Evil improved the formula). Anyone who has played it will tell you the same thing: It's freaking scary! With an eerie atmosphere, outstanding audio and visuals, and head scratching puzzles, Resident Evil is a gaming classic. Fast forward a few years and Resident Evil is remade on the GameCube. Featuring all that made the original so good and more, Resident Evil is back and better then ever.
Lets get this out of the way: the graphics set a new standard on Nintendo's new hardware. The back rounds are photo-realistic and the character models are very detailed and pleasant on the eyes. The lighting effects are flat out amazing and zombies are all detailed and nasty too look at. Overall, GameCube games have to now live up to the visuals set by this game.
The sound practically makes the game scary. Gunshots are realistic, footsteps echo in the hallways, dogs howl in the distance, and various other subtleties add to the atmosphere. The voice acting isn't as bad as the laugh out loud dialogue of the original (do we not remember Jill Sandwich?) In fact it is done fairly well despite some cheesy moments that are few and far between. The music is terrifying and is very well done. Unfortunately, the music isn't used a whole lot but when it is, the game oddly gets scarier!
One minor set back is the stiff controls. Remembering how to use a counter move and lighting a dead zombie on fire takes time. The movement takes time and patience to get used to, bet it does become a second nature. You will get killed getting the hang of the movement and even into the late game, controls may still confuse you . However, getting a hold on shooting and inventory management is very easy and takes no time at all to get it figured out.
Game play: 9
You're stuck in a mansion and must solve puzzles and kill zombies. That's it and it works perfectly. Puzzles are cleverly done and usually require some real thinking to get done. The combat, which takes a backseat to exploration, is still suspenseful and fun. Some may be put off by the lack of real direction though. You are not told which room to go to or what to really do. It is up to you to explore and read documents to figure out what to do. Many will get lost a little but it does add some immersion into the game.
There are some changes to the original game though. Rooms are added and taken away, but there are also some obvious changes. One is the defense system. When grabbed by a creature, you can stab, use a tazer, or even blow up the creature without sustaining any damage. This makes the game a little more forgiving. Also, zombies don't just die. If you don't blow there head off or torch them, they come back stronger and faster. This makes the game even more terrifying and suspenseful.
All of what made the original good is here but also, a few things that lacked are here too. Backtracking is a real pain in the ass. You really get sick of certain rooms because you pass through them too often. Also, some puzzles seem like they were added at the last minute. These puzzles are very simple and easy to figure out.
Oh well, the game is still creepy and the story is as compelling as ever. There are some cool plot twists and the characters are likable (Jill is also pretty fine for an animated chick). Plus some of the scariest moments in the history of gaming (Remember the dogs? It happens more than once and it doesn't exactly happen in the expected area.) Also, the overall quiet nature of the game will get under your skin and get ready for a creepy new boss. Most will forgive the game's flaws because really, they are minor and don't hamper the fun too much.
There are two available characters to play as (Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine). So once you beat the game, you can play it again from another point of view. Also costumes and various modes await to be played. And who wouldn't mind going back just to plug a few zombies?
Buy or Rent: Buy!
Even if you are a Resident Evil veteran, this game is still worth your time. It's scarier, bloodier, and the puzzles are more clever then ever before. Plus the extra side plot and boss (Lisa Trevor) is terrifying and unexpected. This is the dominant Resident Evil and the best way to crap your pants!
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Resident Evil (US, 04/30/02)
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