Review by SXITH

Reviewed: 03/30/02 | Updated: 03/30/02

The Most Thrilling and Fear-Provoking Game Ever Conceived

Whoever claimed the GameCube to be a kiddy’s toy, this review is dedicated to you. For you are mistaken, erroneous, and dead in the wrong. An all-new renovation has taken place with Capcom’s second greatest franchise (the first being Street Fighter). Titled Biohazard (truly a better name than the laughable “Resident Evil”) in Japan, the latest installment makes its way onto the Nintendo machine. And let me be among the first to say, this is probably the most thrilling and fear-provoking game ever conceived. Past attempts haven’t hit this mark of steep graphical horror nor haul up the sensation of numbing dread. Konami‘s Silent Hill 2, eat your heart out and whimper, Capcom’s Resident Evil has never felt or looked so gosh-darn spectacular. Don’t listen to those who believe that the GameCube’s version is merely a rehash of the PS1, half of the game is based on totally new areas, and not to mention even more explosive, edge-of-your-seat restlessness.

The initial thing players will react to (after noticing the graphical tour de force) is that those brainless, sauntering zombies past games expounded are gone. Replacing them are deadlier packs who hound your tail in a startling game of cat and mouse. Crammed with smarter AI, a host of zombie fiends make an appearance. Such menaces are the ones with elongated claws that cleave wind and flesh, chasing the player down hallways. RE’s arsenal of the undead just don’t know when to quit either. Not only frighteningly grotesque, the undead are relentless, no longer stopping in front of staircases, adding a deeper depth of suspense. Oh, and if you still assume that refuge is taken behind a door, think again, these zombies crash right through them and continue their chase for Jill‘s voluptuous. . .um, brain.

The combat and puzzle system work in much respect of its predecessors. Surely, Resident Evil fans will dive headfirst but find the surprise of all-new challenges. At the start, the player decides a role to choose, in this case Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, and a difficulty level. Depending on the difficulty level, the game will not be as simple as before, however Redfield’s scenario is generally tougher. Jill’s less taxing scenario is just the icing on the cake, whereas Redfield’s scenario is plagued with an escalation of unforgiving fiends, reduced amounts of health and ammo, and strict puzzle advancement.

Players now have the access of 3 different control schemes. Because I easily adapted to the default control , I ignored the concept altogether. Also, a knife defense system, an inventive tactic, has been implemented onto the game. It works when a zombie gets a hold on the player, then mechanically Chris or Jill will thrust the zombie’s attack off with his or her knife, and stab it directly in its skull. This allows an opportunity for the player to break free before the zombie bars its teeth on some flesh. Like bullets, the knife defense can be exhausted and are collected all through the mansion. For those who like to conserve, the player may set it on manual mode. Quite an additional number of moves are whipped out, such as slipping a grenade in a zombie’s maw and watching its head detonate. Picturesque, indeed.

Fastened with fresh lineups of innovation, Resident Evil swims in a whirlpool of excellence. While hard-hitting with obstacles every so direction, the game doesn’t go into a point of hopelessness. Such moments are when hordes of rushing undead, along with brand new creatures and bosses, come into the fray. Scare moments are back, and even more unsuspecting than ever. Currently in a time where the big screen has fails to make me crap in my pants, Resident Evil on the GameCube goes well beyond that and wins legendary status.

Kiss your senses goodbye and place a bib on your lap. The visuals will daze you, leave you drooling, and inflate your own personal wow factor into the heavens. This stuff is mind-blowing. I thought I seen it all when I sat through Episode II: Attack of the Clones's trailer , but this is proof that computer technology is boundless. Unbelievably detailed and decisive with every graphical effect, the atmospheric tone behind RE is gorgeously macabre. I have to admit, after playing the original RE, I zipped through the other offerings without a trace of fear. Bursting with GameCube muscle and a physically charged environment, this is a whole different story. All around, the surroundings actually work against you, playing tricks of illusion. Illumination from flickering candles or hanging light bulbs emit shadows and at times it’s hard to distinguish if the movement is simply nothing or a creature stirring all too near. Layers of rolling fog obscures insinuations of approaching fiends charging at you. Our favorite canines are back, quicker, and realistically crash into the environment when they miss the player. Detailed to the extreme, from the audio of guttural moans to masterfully designed backgrounds, the game’s aesthetic nature is seamlessly provocative. Originating from thousands of polygons, mixed with dazzling special effects, and just the right amount of gore, this is the best looking game in which all others of the genre will now be measured by.

I could ramble on and on about the spine-chilling venues, but I’ll leave that for you to ensue. Shinji Mikami, the man with the vision of Resident Evil dream, must be gloating right now. Of all the RE games released, this is probably what his vision truly was. Refining his skill from all prior games, he finally hones perfection in his franchise. In terms of audio, graphics, gameplay, but most importantly in scaring the soul outta’ gamers, RE gains pounds of its novel trademark. Mark my words, DO NOT MISS OUT on this masterpiece.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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