Review by Megnetto

Reviewed: 01/11/03 | Updated: 01/11/03

Bizzare murders by big mansion in Racoon Forest! Film at 11.

My first horror movie I ever saw was a small budget flick called, ''CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS'' on TV. I was very young not be scared of it, but when I saw it again years later, some scenes did send a chill up my spine. Since then, I've been watching almost every horror movie I've heard of similar to the first one. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, RETURN OF THE DEAD, EVIL DEAD, RE-ANIMATOR, etc.

I saw this game at a Wal-Mart one day in 1998 and bought it on the spot, even though I never heard of it before. Now that it has been remade for the Nintendo GameCube, I decided to write a review for the original game on the Saturn. The one that started it all.

In case you never heard the plot, it's not the one from the movie, even though it's based on the game. It's starts out when an elite fighting team called STARS was summoned to investigate a series of bizarre murders happening in the forest near Racoon City. The Bravo Team goes in first and is never heard of since, so the Alpha Team is sent. When the helicopter lands in the thick forest, they are attacked by vicious monster dogs. The pilot panics and takes off, leaving the crew behind. Stranded, they head to the large creepy mansion close by for protection. From there you, either as Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield, must explore the mansion and its surrounding to find out what happened.

The 3D graphics are breath taking and brilliant. The back ground scenes are in high res, beautifully rendered and detailed. However, the characters are not. Some look blocky and move like robots sometimes, but they look sharp and move smoothly with no lagging.

The audio in this game is incredible. Some of the sounds effects are creepy, ranging from zombies walking with a dragging limp across the hallway, to the undead dog growing before it's strike. The dialogue's crystal clear and dramatic, although I believe they got the cheesy lines from a rough draft script of FRIDAY THE 13. The music is ominous and very haunting. It fits very well to the story line, like when the exciting 'all of the sudden' music appears when a zombie just appears out of closet close to the character while his (or her) back is turned. Sorry to say, the disc doesn't have the music outside the game on any track. Just one track that says, ''Resident Evil''. Too bad, it would have great to play during Halloween.

The only fault I would find in this game are the controls. You press forward if you want to walk and press the B button the same time to run. If you want to turn left or right while walking or running, you have to hit forward/left or forward/right on the d-pad. Hitting only left or right would cause the character to stay in place and rotate clockwise or counter-clockwise. This sets up room for difficulty and mistakes, especially during the battles with the bigger monsters. This is worsen by the constantly shifting visuals. As you move, the perspective scenes changes, confusing you on where you are. It does add the suspense to this game, though and the control responses are quick with no slowdown.

This game was out sooner and longer on the Playstation, but there are certain added features in the Saturn. One is a new monster. An unnamed lab monster that is a cross between a Hunter and a Chimera. The other new thing is the Battle mode, which you get after you complete the game. It pits you with full arsenal against all creatures and you must destroy them all in a short amount of time. There are other surprises, such as different sub-plots, a new, more powerful weapon and a special key. So the reply value on that, even though you know all the scaring spots in the game and what's to come when you play it again. There is still a sense of dread and anxiousness when you face these creatures again. Wondering if you can kill the zombies with four or five bullets before they get to you and if you can pull off defeating the monster bosses the same way as before.

This is a truly classic game on any system. Although it was first released on the Playstation and revamp much later on Nintendo's GameCube, this is a must have for anyone owning a Saturn.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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