(Capcom, May, 2002)

I think everybody was pretty much shocked when Capcom announced in the summer of 2001 that their new next generation Resident Evil game was going to be a Nintendo Game Cube exclusive and not for the PlayStation2 like many were expecting. Capcom is going to try to remake Resident Evil 1, 2, and 3 all over again and this is the first game of their master plan. So how did they do on there first outing? Sadly this game is scary for all the wrong reasons.

If you're expecting me to go crazy for the new Resident Evil here exclusively on Gamecube then you may in for big disappointment, I'm hoping that you already know that I'm not a fan of the series but I did play this with a open mind only to be shot down yet again unfortunately. This is a remake of the original, and in my personal opinion overrated, Resident Evil with more areas, better more realistic graphics and more heart pumping sound, plus all new undead creatures to fight if you want to escape the old mansion alive but some things haven't changed either and there's the problem.

Like the original game, you have the choice between the S.T.A.R.S. police force members Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine as they investigate a forest at night to hopefully solve the murder mysteries of eaten people in the local area. The S.T.A.R.S. team is forced into a nearly by mansion after being chased by undead dogs, although they're safe for now, they soon learn the hard way that there is almost no one left alive here in this huge place and the survival game has just begun. Awesome story, eh? Jill and Chris can carry different weapons to fight those zombies in the game like Jill can equip a defensive item like a taser. The best part about these new defensive tools is that they can be equipped separate box so you don't have to mess around with these items at least, I just wish Capcom didn't force the player to throw away all the other stuff to solve a few a puzzles.

Even though this is a two disc game, it doesn't work on the character switch system like in Resident Evil 2 for the Playstation. This mansion is so big that it had to be made on two discs, so you're bound to find new areas like the sewers and the garden sections not found in the old game and there are even some new enemies as well. The Zombies are not the same old undead creatures from before, now you can light them on fire and you can feed them grenades in the mouth. It's a good idea to make sure their completely finished because these Zombies can come back even stronger than before if you just kill them with a gun and knife. Sometimes it's a better idea to just out run them and save your ammo which in all honesty is pretty boring especially since these undead guys are not too intelligent.

The new RE game looks really great with very extremely realistic graphics but it better look good because the backgrounds are on a single fixed angle much like the older Playstation titles were a few years back and not the like newer Code Veronica RE games for the PS2 and Dreamcast. Sure the game looks fantastic and the lighting alone will make your jaw drop but I still feel a little cheated working with a 3D character on a 2D background at least in this day and age. The characters themselves look extremely real so you can forget about the blocky figures of the past. Unlike the original RE this game uses Computer Generated graphics for the cinemas instead of the cheesy live actor action stuff that really took away from the horror at the beginning. In fairness Capcom really did everything possible to make this mansion look real and the fact all that there is so much detail here that it had to be spanned across two GC discs and remember that these GC discs hold over 2 times the data of a average CD.

The sound is great for what there is and the music just knows when to hit to build up some tension. You could be just walking down a very quiet hallway as the only sound coming from the game is your footsteps across a old wooden floor........ and then suddenly something crashes through the window to attack and that's when the heart pounding music kicks in. Sure the music is ok when it comes up but the sound effects are where Resident Evil really scored high. You'll hear loud gun shots as the gun empties its clips and you can even hear the tons of zombies eat and crunch away on human flesh if they get too close to ya or they're sometimes munching on somebody else you know in the background. You have to love that!

Sure, everything seems good so far but not every aspect of the past game was improved for the better here in this version. First off like before you can only carry so many items at one time and if you don't the right key for a door because you just didn't have the room or something then you may have to do a lot of tedious backtracking. What's worse about this NEW game (and it's a biggie) is that the super lame controls are same; you know, the truly evil Atari Combat, Asteroids controls from a old console that's been dead for nearly 20 years now! Here's a breakdown of what you have to do if you want to move your characters, if you want to move down but your guy is facing up then you would have to use the Right or Left arrows of the cross pad or analog stick to first turn and then when your character is fully turned around then you may press Up to move your character downward. You can run but only if a button is pressed down plus any game that has a turn around button is going to suck (anybody remember Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero?). Why not include a Normal control set up especially after all these sequels, uh? I would love to have the controls of Super Mario 64 here but no such luck. Does Capcom even listen to many complaints or even look at the slower sales figures anymore seen any Resident Evil after part 2? It just doesn't seem right this day and age and my scores are heavily based on controls.

Although I'm glad there is finally a horror game on the Game Cube (known for being another "kid's game system") but I just wish Capcom was more serious this time around on creating the ultimate RE game instead of just having the same issues go unaddressed yet again. The controls really killed any enjoyment for me despite some new sharper looks and louder sounds. I see no reason why the controls should be this way especially since the set up is basically for games with tanks in them not cops. Also the game play is a little on the boring side despite having some undead monsters jumping at you all the time. Saving your gunfire and going back and front for items is not too exciting to me. Resident Evil should please fans of the series for a few days anyways but if you're looking for the ultimate survival horror game than you are going to be disappointed.

Resident Evil
overall rating: 63/100
Look for RESIDENT EVIL on eBay here!

For 1 player only
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 8/10
sound: 8/10
gameplay: 6/10

(Ryan Genno) 2005

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