All things Resident Evil (Biohazard)

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
User avatar
Michiel K
Moderator
Posts: 1215
Joined: October 13th, 2015, 9:37 pm

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) *recording 07.01.2018

Post by Michiel K »

KSubzero1000 wrote: January 2nd, 2018, 11:23 pm I think it makes sense to keep the original and the 2002 GameCube version separate, on account of the latter having been fully remade from the ground up. The differences between the two are much more extensive than a mere graphics overhaul.
70% NEW CONTENT!

/marketing bullet point

User avatar
DomsBeard
Member
Posts: 3633
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 5:03 pm
Location: Doms Chin

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) *recording 07.01.2018

Post by DomsBeard »

I can remember seeing Resident Evil for the first time on PS1. A friend who lived over the road had a PS1 and had rented this 18 horror game so we gathered round to watch him play it.

I remember the opening cutscene and was amazed by the graphics and the opening into the main hall at the beginning. My friend was killed by the very first zombie after the cut scene as we didn't think about running back into the hall to where Bazza Burton was. My days were then spent trying to get round to his to try and see more of this amazing game. He was a couple of years older than me so had discover alcohol and women so he wasn't in much.

Fast forward a couple of months and another friend had some birthday money (I could never in a million years afford a PS1 back then, I was waiting for the N64 and knew I would not be able to get both) and he had a choice. A) Buy Resident Evil or B) Buy a memory card as he got a PS1 for his birthday but no card.

I managed to persuade him to get no memory card!. So we spent many evenings playing Resident Evil but with literally no way of saving it. I imagine this was like a harder version of Dark Souls :D

We made it as far as Fang over the course of several nights before he decided enough was enough and begged his parents (he was a well off friend) to get him a memory card which they did (he was spoilt).

The one stand out moment for me has to be this:



At the time it was terrifying, I had no health so he took my head clean off after that scene and it arrived just as you thought that you had got to grips with the game and all the locations.

Other highlights was looking at a picture in the lab with said friend and both going ''Hang on is that Wesker!''

So together we finally made it through this incredible game as Jill saving the legend that is Barry Burton (cannot do it without saying it in the intro man's voice) and headed off into the sun after defeating the Tyrant.

It is strange looking back that this is one of my all time top games but I never owned it until after Resident Evil 2 came out (I bought the Director's Cut).

And the music, the music!. The calmness of the save room music was needed.

It is a game that is heavily memed nowadays(unlocking etc) but at the time was a masterpiece for me. Yes the 2002 version is the better ''game'' but for me if I had to replay only one I would choose this every time for pure nostalgia. (which is ridiculous as I bought a Gamecube purely for the remake).

I could talk about this game for hours but I will shut up now.

User avatar
Sean
Moderator
Posts: 604
Joined: August 27th, 2012, 5:05 pm
Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Contact:

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996)

Post by Sean »

Alex79uk wrote: January 1st, 2018, 2:40 pm Do you know what date you'll be recording this episode? Thanks!
We're recording this Sunday, 07/01/2018.

User avatar
KSubzero1000
Member
Posts: 3365
Joined: August 26th, 2015, 9:56 pm
Location: Germany

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) *recording 07.01.2018

Post by KSubzero1000 »

I suppose I am a bit of an odd duck in the sense that while I do consider myself to be a massive Resident Evil fan (as a frame of reference, the only other forum I had ever spent any significant amount of time on before this one was a german-speaking RE forum where I used to get into passionate debates about the finer points of the RE lore), I never quite warmed up to the original Resident Evil and consider it to be by far the worst of the classic mainline titles.

My complete lack of nostalgia might be a factor: I didn't grow up around home consoles at all, the GameCube was the first one I ever owned and everything before that was uncharted territory to me. I first played the RE games around 2006, and while all the others, including RE2 and RE3, quickly secured themselves a place in my personal gaming Pantheon, the first one just felt rickety and contrived by comparison. The voice acting, despite being notoriously inadequate even in its direct sequels, is just painful to listen to in this one. The controls are stiff and the environments strangely lifeless, especially in the tunnel section. The few things that it does right, like the sense of locale, the iconic jump scares and layered item management were all improved upon in the much superior REmake. I've completed it three times overall (which is very low in terms of my personal RE playthrough statistics), the original version once and the Deadly Silence re-release twice. And I regret to say that every playthrough left me with a very lukewarm feeling, like I was playtesting something unpolished and with a lot of untapped potential. I am obviously very grateful for it paving the way for so many future classics and I can totally appreciate the impact it must have had on so many young players at the time of release, but whenever the time for my yearly series playthrough approaches, this is the one I will gladly leave behind without a second thought.

Resident Evil is not a bad game per se. It is an important and influential one, albeit quite mediocre when judged on its own merit. The fact that a full-fledged expanded remake came out only six years later and has since been used as the official face of the Mansion Incident leads me to think that Mikami-san and others might have felt the same way. While reading other people's thoughts on it, on here and on the general internet, I get the sense that the bulk of its appreciation seems rooted in pure nostalgia and endearing childhood memories. This game obviously means a lot to people and launched one of the medium's top franchises. For that alone, I'm glad it exists.


Three Words Review: Thankfully Rendered Obsolete

User avatar
Suits
Member
Posts: 3170
Joined: October 28th, 2015, 3:25 pm
Location: Chelmsford, UK

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) *recording 07.01.2018

Post by Suits »

It was Christmas 1997, I was 13 and had been gifted a Playstation from my parents.

Most of my family had all been in on the noise that I was getting a really expensive new computer system and all clubbed in and bought me games.

The only game that I demanded was Doom, the others were all potentially the first title that someone picked up, was the cheapest, or whatever was billed as the biggest game that Christmas.

I actually ended up with 10 games that Christmas, which looking back, although I received literally nothing else, was spoilt rotten.

I have an older sister, who had a slightly older boyfriend, making them about 15 I suppose. My sister is pretty chill and would often come up after she'd got home from being out and relax by watching me play whatever the game I was playing.

One day, her boyfriend, popped up to say hi and was pawing over my new Playstation, he saw Resident Evil (which happened to be the Directors Cut) and asked me if I'd played it yet - I said no, it didn't seem interesting. He was well keen.

From then on we spent the next week camped up in the loft room playing it. There would often be six or seven of us up there, made up of my friends, my sister and her lot, all experiencing this game in such a involved fashion. Just watching me play, yet all feeling involved.

Funnily enough, I didn't actually know, or appreciate that I would need a memory card, neither did my parents so we were resigned to starting over every time we wanted to play it.

My father was fuming when I asked him for a memory card and refused blind after spending £400 on a new console and didn't want to hear my reason for asking for more. My legend sister took me into Romford and bought me a memory card from Thatz Entertainment, in Romford Arcade.

Such wonderfully happy times.


Regards the actual game, its great, I love it dearly. I've not gone back and played the original-original game since the PS1 era. I did play through the DS version - Deadly Silence in 2009 and the XBL HD remaster the week it was released in 2015, although both different in their own right to the original, it gave me what I wanted and I enjoyed them both. I didn't actually get around to finishing the XBL version though.

There is an awful lot to to be said about the game though once you know and expect the flow of exploration, puzzles and story. I find going back to it hard too get that invested in as much as other games I go back too and does seem rather simplistic maybe.

Although I think someone going to it for the first time would still find it challenging, captivating and enjoyable.

That Mansion, Tank Controls, ECG's and the Save Room music, make this most certainly one of the most important games I've ever played. Far from perfect maybe but certainly essential to me.


TWR : Moon. Light. Sonata. :D

User avatar
ratsoalbion
Admin
Posts: 7458
Joined: August 28th, 2012, 9:41 am
Location: Brighton, England
Contact:

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) *recording 07.01.2018

Post by ratsoalbion »

Simonsloth wrote: January 2nd, 2018, 10:07 pm I wonder whether it is worth combining this podcast and the updated version.
Absolutely not. I think when you hear the shows in question you'll agree that one podcast would not have been enough to give our usual in-depth treatment to both.

There are many significant differences between the two games than a visual overhaul, and there are multiple versions of both the 1996 game and the 2002 game to discuss.

Trust us!
:)

User avatar
Marco
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: February 18th, 2017, 8:00 pm
Location: London

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) *recording 07.01.2018

Post by Marco »

ratsoalbion wrote: January 4th, 2018, 10:19 pm
There are many significant differences between the two games than a visual overhaul
The awesome FMV intro for one.
I only have one other thing to say:
This game may have affected me more than I care to admit. I can't play the piano but I taught myself the opening of Moonlight Sonata. Just in case.

User avatar
Alex79uk
Member
Posts: 6796
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 12:36 pm
Location: Walsall, UK.
Contact:

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) - *** Recording 7.1.18 ***

Post by Alex79uk »

Resident Evil was such a pivotal part of my gaming history, I couldn't not at least try to get some of my own memories done on record!

I'd owned a PlayStation for a little while when a college/drinking buddy who pretty much permanently crashed at my place at the time brought round a copy of a game I'd never even heard of - Resident Evil. No hang on, you need to do it in the scary voice - "RESIDENT EEEEVIL".

He'd already played thorough it but we put the disc in, and spent the entire night passing the pad and completed the whole game in one sitting. We laughed at the voice acting, spooked ourselves reading the weird notes left around and had an absolute blast gunning down zombies.

So many stand out moments of that game stick in my head, but I'll mention only one. The one that has haunted me for the last twenty years. I have an utterly crippling phobia of frogs. I can't look at photos of them. I can't even think about them without shivering. Even as I type this, I can feel the pangs of anxiety searing through my chest. So when you return from the sheds in the outdoor area only to be following by the Hunters, who look like upright frog people, OH MY FUDGING GOD WHAT THE RUCKUS IS THAT ABOMINATION!? The fact they then stalk you through the rest of the game lent a sense of terror and dread I have seldom experienced in gaming since.

Terrifying. Genuinely disgusting and horrible.

But despite this, I loved Resident Evil. I played it many, many times over. Usually as Jill for the extra inventory space, but I have done it as Chris too.

Regardless of games that came before it, Resident Evil, without a doubt, provided the template for survival horror for many years to come. It's a genuine masterpiece. It's also a game I've not been back to in many years, and one I suspect may not have held up quite as well as it has in my head and heart. But it's importance cannot be questioned.

THREE WORD REVIEW: Master of unlocking.

User avatar
Hunter30
Member
Posts: 54
Joined: January 25th, 2015, 4:43 pm

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) - *** Recording 7.1.18 ***

Post by Hunter30 »

Oh my. Just thinking about this game is threatening to give me a nostalgia overload.

I rarely replay games these days, partly because of time and partly because there seems to be a greater array vying for attention. Back in the mid-90s, as a teenager who relied on birthdays, Christmases, and the occasional trade in as a way of refreshing my game library, it was a different story. The original Resident Evil, along with the original Tomb Raider, are probably the two games I've replayed the most. I must have played through this 10+ times, including several gos while armed with the rocket launcher and infinite ammo.

It was my best friend that introduced me to the game. I can remember sitting in his bedroom and watching that intro for the first time: the typewriter spelling out 'Racoon Forest', the eerie music, the narration. Oh, and the killer zombie dogs. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before in a video game, filling me with both dread and awe. As I got older the B-movie sensibility and dodgy acting became rather more obvious, but back then it was mind-blowing.

I'd always loved ghost stories growing up, and was starting to get into horror fiction in a big way, devouring books by the likes of James Herbert and Stephen King. This game fed the same dark parts of my imagination - an interactive, immersive, haunted house experience. Also, although zombies weren't exactly an original concept, having of course featured heavily in George Romero's films amongst others, they weren't ubiquitous in popular culture the same way they are these days. Strange to think now that I can single out that first zombie encountered in Resident Evil, the one chewing on the unfortunate Kenneth in the corridor, as probably the first one I ever killed in a video game. Since then I've taken out enough to populate a medium-size London suburb. It just goes to show the relative obscurity of zombies back then that even Jill and Barry didn't seem to have much idea what they were...

Which brings us nicely onto the voice acting. Yes, it's basically terrible, but terrible in a way that I remember with affection. Even 20 years on, every so often I'll be in the pub with a few mates and one of us will randomly fling our arms around like a spasmodic puppet and say something like "oh my God, it's a zombie!"

When I got my PS3 one of the first things I did was to go into the Playstation Store and download Resident Evil, and I was genuinely taken aback by how dated it looked. It's funny the tricks that your memory can play on you - in my mind's eye Spencer Mansion and its inhabitants were vivid, rich, sharp, not the fuzzy, pixelated canvas I actually saw. This doesn't bother me too much -I don't place a great deal of stock in graphics personally - but it was a surprise.

I've never played the 2002 remake, until now anyway. Prompted by the fact that it's on the Volume Seven list, I've just bought it on Steam, and am planning to start playing it tonight. I'm coming for you Kenneth-eater!

There's so much more I could say, but I expect you'll get a shedload of correspondence about this one, so will leave it there.

User avatar
Hunter30
Member
Posts: 54
Joined: January 25th, 2015, 4:43 pm

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) - *** Recording 7.1.18 ***

Post by Hunter30 »

Alex79uk wrote: January 5th, 2018, 11:57 am So when you return from the sheds in the outdoor area only to be following by the Hunters, who look like upright frog people, OH MY FUDGING GOD WHAT THE RUCKUS IS THAT ABOMINATION!?
Just read this. It actually made me laugh out loud. :lol:

User avatar
Flabyo
Member
Posts: 3547
Joined: August 8th, 2013, 8:46 am
Location: Guildford

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) - *** Recording 7.1.18 ***

Post by Flabyo »

Are you going to mention the aborted gameboy colour port?

I’ve actually played it. For about 10 minutes, at a trade show at the Olympia in 1998.

Something of a shame it never came out, it was an impressive technical achievement.

User avatar
Alex79uk
Member
Posts: 6796
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 12:36 pm
Location: Walsall, UK.
Contact:

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) - *** Recording 7.1.18 ***

Post by Alex79uk »

Yeah plenty of footage on YouTube of it, and they did remarkably well considering!

User avatar
ratsoalbion
Admin
Posts: 7458
Joined: August 28th, 2012, 9:41 am
Location: Brighton, England
Contact:

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) - *** Recording 7.1.18 ***

Post by ratsoalbion »

Of course. Show notes are already done and every version is on there.

User avatar
Todinho
Member
Posts: 2127
Joined: September 24th, 2012, 2:27 pm

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) - *** Recording 7.1.18 ***

Post by Todinho »

Resident evil is a series that I Immediatly associate with my childhood, one of my earliest and clearest memories comes from me sneaking out of bed one night to watch my dad play videogames, he had just started playing and was making his way into the end of the hallway where the first zombie was, it sounds silly now but at the time the scene of the zombie turning around was literally the scariest thing I had ever seen making me scream for my life which to my dad that had no idea I was there was way scarier then anything happening on screen. I had nightmares with that scene for months but despite that I was still drawn to the game and I kept sneaking out of bed to watch my dad play to the point he just gave up trying to stop me, I watched him play through the whole game at the time and later would play it myself multiple times.

As for the game itself I think it holds up incredibly well,despite some aspects having aged terribly like the graphics&voice acting, and that's because the core design of it is really strong, having to carefully manage your finite resources with a limited inventory space it's what's at the core of the game, even your saves are limited and something you have to earn by exploring the mansion which adds a layer of tension through the whole game not only in those moments where you're looking for a save point but also everytime you're about to save making you think "Should I really save now or can I push it abit more?". Exploration is also a core part of the game, it's something you both dread and need to do because behind every door might be a new monster or scare but also it might have a new key item you need to progress, the game takes full advantage of that by having the iconic door transitions between rooms elevating the tension every time you go through a door.

How the game actually plays might be a problem for some people but to me it always felt perfectly fine, the tank controls never bothered me and the fixed camera angles work really well especially when you hear a zombie in the same room but he's off screen making you scared to take a step foward, combat also works fine with the auto targeting removing any possible frustration, if you aim at something 9 times out 10 you're going to hit it which once again reinforces the importance of resource managment, I also think the game is very well paced and the only part that drags it down for me is the mines section.

Resident evil is a very important game to me and I might have some rose collored glasses regarding it but overall I think it's a remarkable game that rightfully left it's mark on the gaming industry and to my mind it's still worth playing today, my only knock against it's that later games and especially Remake improve upon everything done here, but the foundation for the series and the entire survival horror genre was laid with this first game and think it's a vital game to be played by anyone who has games as a hobby.

User avatar
Stanshall
Member
Posts: 2370
Joined: January 31st, 2016, 6:45 am

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) - *** Recording 7.1.18 ***

Post by Stanshall »

I've never completed Resident Evil, on the grounds of suspect design and spoilers, but it's one of my earliest and most striking Playstation memories. I remember going round to my mate's house after school one Friday and playing for about ten hours straight. We managed to get to the big snake that night, howling with laughter at the dialogue and head shots, yelling at the TV and each other with the legendary dogs, and genuinely soiling ourselves with the hunters. It was one of the most intense gaming sessions I can remember with a single-player game.

The next day, we hit the wall at Plant 42, not realising that you could weaken it with chemicals and we ended up exhausting our entire supply of acid rounds, flame rounds and all our ammo. And we were stuck - albeit with several spare ink ribbons. I've never checked whether it was possible to somehow get more ammo but we just accepted our failure quite graciously, shrugged and started the whole thing again. Sadly, my mum came to pick me up before we got too far into our second run. My mate then completed it over the weekend, told me the ending on Monday morning and that was that. I've started again a couple of times, most successfully on the impressive DS port but I've run out of steam on each occasion. There was something glorious about that first shared experience which can't be matched, and which I won't forget.

Three word review:

A dining room!

User avatar
CharlotteDoomSlayer
Member
Posts: 2
Joined: January 6th, 2018, 6:36 pm

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) - *** Recording 7.1.18 ***

Post by CharlotteDoomSlayer »

When I was 14 years old my PS3 died. It was around 2008 or so and i was heartbroken that I couldn’t play the upcoming COD: World at War. I still had my old PS2, but after seeing how gorgeous the then-current gen games looked, it seemed impossible to make the leap backwards.

After sulking for a couple weeks, i was given a copy of RE1 for the Playstation by one of my mother’s friends. I wasn’t very excited, considering this game was 10+ years old at the time, but i decided to give it a try, not having anything better to do anyway.

I popped the game into my PS2 and...wow. The worst controls, voice acting and dialogue I’ve ever experienced. I ditched it after the first zombie (that fellow with the green suit) managed to kill me.

I gave the game another try not too long after though, and this time, it clicked. The mansion was a wonderful place to be and i was obsessed with solving the numerous, overlapping puzzles. The combat was a little tough to get used to, but once i figured out you could flick the analog stick up at the last second to pull off a headshot with the shotgun, it became as satisfying as Doom. I was hooked.

This kicked off my love for the series as a whole and i bought the rest of the games leading up to 4.
Somehow this unlikely 90s game stole my heart, even when all my friends were playing their 360s and PS3s. I never actually finished this back then, as i would always get to the part where the Hunters are introduced and then just restart the game. That changed just last month however, as i finally saw the ending cutscene on my 3DS. I felt surprisingly emotional watching the credits, realizing how much this single game had informed my taste in media from that point onward. My 14 year old self would shriek in horror if she heard me say this now, but I’m very happy my PS3 decided to break that summer.

User avatar
lowestformofwit
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: December 12th, 2016, 8:29 pm
Location: Merseyside
Contact:

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) - *** Recording 7.1.18 ***

Post by lowestformofwit »

I think the original Resident Evil gave me one of my most cherished gaming memories.

You see, in the mid-nineties my band would camp out at our guitarist's dad's house for many weekends for practice, a house which was fully detached in the middle of nowhere. By night we would bring out the Playstation and play titles we rented and picked up on the journey out to the country (while drinking copious amounts of alcohol - obviously).

My favourite gaming memory was discovering Resident Evil at random and we played a huge chunk of it at night with good friends, in the dark, in the house in the middle of nowhere with one of us controlling the game while all the others would pitch in with advice. It was a very tense experience.

I immediately bought the game after that first exposure and have been a massive Resident Evil fan ever since (actually been a massive horror/survival horror fan since that night too). I still have that copy of Resident Evil to this day. One of the few titles I am still proud to have in my collection.

User avatar
seansthomas
Member
Posts: 730
Joined: March 31st, 2015, 8:10 am

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) - *** Recording 7.1.18 ***

Post by seansthomas »

Resident Evil is not a game I adore, but it is one I remember incredibly vividly. I have so many strong memories of it and when I rewatched a run-through online recently, I still recalled the layout of that kooky mansion.

I think its because it's such an odd game. I was a bit baffled by Resident Evil when I played it as a 17 year old. I'm probably even more baffled by it as an adult. It's such a melding of ideas and influences that shouldn't work, but somehow do, and it was highly original for its time.

It felt at the time like a Japanese take on a Hollywood blockbuster through an approximation of Western culture, leading to its B-movie atmosphere.

The composite elements shouldn't gel: Live action cut scenes featuring stunted performances, zombie horror, a weird mansion that would be hard to go from room to room in if you lived there, double agent spies, strange controls, stranger camera angles, evil corporations, oversized animals, bizarre nonsensical puzzles, a lab run by a mad scientist, an obligatory self destruct sequence, a final foe who won't die and a melodramatic escape. And yet perhaps due to the sheer mad cap bizarreness of it all, it all hangs together and lives long in the memory.

The one part that blew me away at the time was playing the game as different characters and having an alternate experience. I loved that multiple playthroughs yielded greater and greater rewards and outcomes.

In hindsight, as is often the way with games compared to films or music, almost every facet of this title was executed better in subsequent sequels, whether it be the scares, replay value, action or storyline, but the original threw so much into the mix that many ideas developed here merely got repeated and the story had nowhere to go. That's why it'll always be the Resident Evil game I remember most acutely and warmly.

Three word review:

"No! Don't go!"

User avatar
Shenzhen88
Member
Posts: 2
Joined: January 7th, 2018, 1:04 pm

Re: 301: Resident Evil (1996) - *** Recording 7.1.18 ***

Post by Shenzhen88 »

I was late coming into the Playstation generation of gaming. I guilted my parents into getting a PSX bundle with Crash Bandicoot 2 and FF7 but I struggled to really get into the games on offer in my ignorant 8 year old mind. That was until an eventful day when I went to see my teenage cousin Mark.

He was playing Resident Evil 1 and I was enamoured. I hadn't been introduced to horror movies yet but I was hypnotized by everything this game offered. The sublime creepy music. The maddening twisting mansion. The seemingly unstoppable zombies. The angst rising door animation. It was my and most of video game players' introduction into the world of survival horror. I eventually managed to get a Platinum edition copy for myself (thanks responsible parents) I was that taken by it.

I must have played it only once or twice before putting it down for a good few years. The purely solo horror experience and difficulty was too much for my little mind to take. I even had a few night terrors from playing! My copy stood on my shelf for a good few years before I eventually plucked up the courage to revisit Spencer Mansion again after becoming acclimatised to the horror genre through movies and books. What followed was a B-movie-esque extravaganza with mutants, puzzles and guns that swallowed me up and spat me back out. I fell in love with awkwardness involved from the crazy mansion cum laboratory experiments gone wrong to the wonderful tank controls. I think the difficulty gets overlooked - in times of unlimited or rechargeable health & ammunition, it's easy to forget that you only had so many bullets to get through the game. There were a few times that I bricked myself ammo-wise, because I tried to take on all zombies without thinking tactically so I had to restart. When you come up against the nearly invincible Hunters, it's a problem to say the least. i think that was part of the charm - it was always you against the game with a proto Dark Souls "don't moan, get good" attitude behind it.

Does original Resi deserve it's spot as the game that popularised survival horror? Definitely. The creativity involved in sculpting a death trap like Spencer Mansion with iconic video game characters and moments earns this game a spot in gaming hall of fames. The nightmares and affection that it spawned within me have never gone away and it lit a match to my love for the franchise.

Does this original game hold up on it's own two feet after all this time though? I can't say yes. It's only nostalgia that carried me through my reasonably recent replay. The godawful but endearing voice-acting, the throwback graphics and strict save system will only put off modern gamers. I do have a big soft spot for the Deadly Silence re-release on the DS because the technology of that console actually added to the original Resi experience if people want to try out this game but bare bones PS1 era was made redundant by the sublime RE-make which raises the bar in every way.

As an originator, original Resident Evil deserves it's place in history but as a game played today with it's own mechanisations with countless re-releases, sequels and even a remake to boot, it's best left to history books.

User avatar
KSubzero1000
Member
Posts: 3365
Joined: August 26th, 2015, 9:56 pm
Location: Germany

Re: 307: Resident Evil 2 (Biohazard 2)

Post by KSubzero1000 »

While Resident Evil 2 does adopt the bare-boned structure of its predecessor, I think it makes the best out of it thanks to its strong directional flow and impeccable pacing. What makes this game truly stand out to me is its sense of steady progression and I often find myself playing through it from beginning to end (A and B) in one session without saving whenever I revisit it. It has this fantastic motivational quality to it, like you're always a few minutes away from the next iconic jumpscare, boss fight or location. Playing through this game makes me feel like I'm following these characters on their adventure and motivates me to help them overcome their hurdles. In a time when AAA games often like to asphyxiate themselves and their players by "offering" loads of insipid and repetitive content and leading to an inexorable burnout, I've learned to appreciate more and more the kind of short and highly polished experience that a game like Resident Evil 2 provides.

The combat feels smoother and more responsive than in its predecessor and the heavier focus on action gives an interesting insight into where Kamiya's career would later take him. I think that the Lickers are probably the best survival horror enemies ever created, thanks to both their strong and memorable visual design as well as their mechanical ingenuity. They're completely blind, in fact, and will not attack you unless alerted to your presence by way of running or shooting. Sneaking past several of them while low on health through careful positioning and patience can be an incredibly tense and gripping experience.

I really like the way the scenario/zapping system works. While you are mostly traversing the same locations, the four scenarios have enough little differences to make them feel distinct from one another. My favourite element has to be the two different antagonists, with the A scenarios focusing on G and the Bs on Mr. X. Restarting the game with the opposite character and being greeted by a completely new and implacable monster who follows you throughout the entire game is a stroke of genius. I'm sure that an argument can be made that the whole concept amounts to little more than useless padding by those who hate playing video games and want to be "done" with them as soon as possible, though. :P

This game also has one of the best soundtracks in the industry, from the looming melancholic quality of The Great Hall and the comforting respite provided by Secure Place to the sheer heartbreak of Good Bye Leon. Other games have had much more impressive orchestral scores since then, but every track in this game somehow manages to arrive at exactly the right moment and perfectly sets the mood. Full props to Masami Ueda and the others for achieving so much with so little.

The extras are very nice as well. While Extreme Battle is a tiny bit too unfocused for my tastes, The 4th Survivor is an absolute delight. Learning how to carefully zigzag between enemies as none other than HUNK and leaving a room without spending any ammo or healing items is a ridiculously fun and gratifying experience. The TOFU version is just the hilarious cherry on top. It is very much a one-trick pony with hardly any room for improvisation, but a one-trick pony with a fancy hairdo and a charming personality. Surely that stuff counts for something.

In many ways, it's easy to poke holes in Resident Evil 2. Why would a police station have such a bizarre layout, even as a repurposed art museum? Why is Leon falling in love with a woman he's only exchanged a handful of sentences with over the course of two hours? What's with the insanely dark subtext of G-Birkin being driven by his desire to impregnate Sherry? Why does Mr. X magically disappear as soon as you leave the room? But in the end, I think it is a perfect example of a game being greater than the sum of its parts.

Like with the first Resident Evil, I didn't play it when it first came out. And yet, despite not being driven by nostalgia in the slightest, I very much love this game. Saying that Resident Evil 2 is my favourite of the classic Resident Evil titles is probably not a controversial statement to make. So let me go one step further: I think it is the best game out of the entire PS1 library, barely eclipsing MGS which I think suffers from the dissonance between its over-ambitious premise and its technical limitations. Resident Evil 2, on the other hand, perfectly understands its own concept and executes it almost flawlessly.

I'm sorry, Kamiya. The world is a better place with Bayonetta, Õkami and all your other creations in it. But as far as I'm concerned, you peaked at 28.


Three Words Review: "TOFU? nom nom!"

Post Reply