Review by unclehosh
Easily the prettiest Gamecube game ever.
I loved the original Resident Evil game. From the dark and disturbing atmosphere to the goofy and over-exaggerated voice acting, it was one of my favorite Playstation games. This remake of the first game takes the best parts of the original and improves each aspect in every way imaginable. This is easily the best Resident Evil game.
The original Resident Evil was incredible for its time, but the graphics are terrible now. The leap that Resident Evil took in just a single four year period is astounding. Everything looks unbelievably life-like. Lanterns light the nearby walls, thunder offers just enough to see a glimpse into a dark room, and even the monsters are beautifully detailed. Zombies walk around with dry and pale skin, and their blood shines in the light before splashing onto the ground. I have seen few games that look this amazing, and I would even say that this game can hold its own against present generation consoles. Most of the areas from the original game are present, but they are so detailed that I was unable to recognize them. Each environment looks perfect and helps the game offer some of the best scares in video gaming history.
Resident Evil is sadly lacking in terms of the number of actual songs. The ones that are present, however, establish the perfect mood. I have never played a horror game that made me scared just by hearing the menacing soundtrack. That does not mean that this game has awful music. The ending theme in the credits in done by an extremely beautiful violin and made me sigh with exhaustion after the epic finale.
The story is very basic. The player can assume the role of the ridiculously beautiful Jill Valentine or the hulky Chris Redfield. After being attacked by dogs, Jill and Chris flee into a nearby mansion with two other survivors, Barry and Wesker. Jill/Chris is separated from the rest of the team, and the player is forced to look for them in a mansion filled with monsters. It becomes more and more obvious that someone among the team is a traitor, and the house can be very deceiving. Scattered files shed some light on what happened within the mansion and create an undeniable tone of sorrow after discovering what happened to the people lying dead (or alive) before you. The game also introduces a new character that was not present in the original game, and she is far from normal. Lisa Trevor becomes easily one of the most frightening monsters in the series, and her journal entries are enough to make anyone feel sorry for the demented child. Everything from the writing to the acting help the story flow perfectly. The mansion can be considered one of the most menacing settings for a horror game.
Resident Evil offer a lot in the gameplay department. Jill and Chris handle differently, and each one has what the other does not. Jill offers more weapon and item capacity, and Chris offers better defense and weapon handling. Each weapon is very different, which help the player pick what will work for them. Resident Evil offers the ability to use defensive items when grabbed by the undead, like a dagger or tazer, which offers a great way to avoid damage. Swift 180 degree turns make navigating the mansion a breeze. Everything works pretty well, but there are some flaws. Doors still have unnecessary loading screens that the system is more than capable of deleting. Also, the static camera angles can become a small hassle, but only when the game decides to throw in a monster around a corner that you have no way of avoiding. Also, the game can have a problem when Jill or Chris are moving. Don't be surprised to get stuck on a wall or statue after using the game's somewhat awkward turning system. Also, new Crimson Heads are added to the enemy list. They are zombies that move about twice as fast as Jill or Chris, and they are extremely unfair if you have no defensive items. Lastly, cutscenes can lag as the camera shifts perspective. There may be a brief pause in dialogue as the camera turns to face a different character. This can get a little annoying. Lastly, there is no ability to move and shoot. This should not be a surprise from the Resident Evil series, but it is a feature that could have been easily included, especially when the aiming is a little stiff. In the end, the gameplay is fantastic. There are some flaws that stand out, but it adds a lot to make up for them. The game also offers some replay value by offering multiple endings and special weapons that make the game much easier.
All in all, the Resident Evil remake is a huge step up from the original. With its superb graphics, added areas, and much better voice acting, Resident Evil may be the new highlight of this series. Just a warning: don't play this game at night.
Final Score: 10/10
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Resident Evil (US, 04/30/02)
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