Review by 1983guy
A different take on the original, but missing that classic feel
When the Resident Evil series switched to the Gamecube system right after the turn of the century it raised a lot of eyebrows. What was this series doing on a more kid-friendly system? Well, it turns out it was a pretty good move, although one that didn't last long. The original Resident Evil released back in 1996 (and the Director's Cut released in 1997) was a groundbreaking game that was a mixture of classic cult games like Alone in the Dark and Uninvited and also the B horror movie culture. The game was an instant hit and opened the door for a new genre in gaming.
Capcom decided to remake that game for the Gamecube and this game released in 2002 was the result. The game's story is changed only slightly this time. You still play as either S.T.A.R.S. members Jill or Chris investigating the Spencer Mansion and searching for the lost Bravo team. There are a few differences, though, including the addition of one new character/boss and the addition of the Trevor Diary that was omitted from the original game because it gave away too much story too quickly. If you are a veteran of the original then the puzzles have been changed to mess with your head. They are still pretty simple but maybe a bit more challenging than before. There's no Resident Evil 3 water puzzle in this one though, thankfully.
The first thing you will notice when you put in the game is how different everything looks. The graphics are a complete overhaul. It's not a true 3D game like Code: Veronica was, however. The mansion and other game areas are much more expansive this time around. There's more to explore and more detail is given to your surroundings. One thing bothered me, though. In the original game the library is a pretty important place but this time it's just a boss battle location. I felt kind of cheated in that regard.
I have two main complaints with this game. First, it's kind of sluggish. The original game moved along at a good pace. This time it feels like you're running in sand. Second, the game is way too serious. I was one of the ones who loved the cheese factor to the original. Not just the voice acting but the way the script was written with the intentionally cheesy lines and subtle humor from the characters. True, Resident Evil 2 and 3 were not as cheesy as the original either, but they still captured the classic feel of the series better than this game.
If you are looking for a good survival horror for your Gamecube well then you won't have much choice as the system only has a handful available to it. But you might as well get this game and you will probably enjoy it. Fans of the series should of course own this game as it is now considered the canon version of Resident Evil. However, I would urge anyone interested in the series to track down the Director's Cut of the original game and play that one first. It is much more indicative of how the series was meant to be.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Resident Evil (US, 04/30/02)
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