Resident Evil review by Tyson

Overall

Buy

     The popular survival horror game has arrived on the GameCube and thankfully this is no simple port. Resident Evil has been completely remade for the GameCube and it is one of the best games for the platform and for survival horror in general. This is a game that I recommend everyone have in their GameCube collection.


Gameplay

     The story of Resident Evil hasnít changed since its PlayStation version which I find to be a good thing. You still play as S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactic and Rescue Serivice) members Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine who are searching Raccoon Forest for their other missing members. This search also takes them to a creepy monster filled mansion. Now Chris or Jill need to not only locate their other S.T.A.R.S. members but also find a way to escape this monster filled mansion. You will further the games story as you play by finding various notes or messages left behind by the people before you. I found this to be a very engaging story telling mechanic.

     Resident Evilís gameplay is a mix of old school adventure games and an action game. You will spend most of the game exploring the mansion and its connected areas while solving various puzzles. I found exploring the mansion to be very fun and it was exciting to see what was around every corner. Most puzzles that you come across are fairly simple by having you use an item at a specific location but other puzzles will be more creative. For example one puzzle early in the game has you getting a fake key that allows you to access the real version of the key. While this sounds simple it has various steps to complete this puzzle. First you will need to locate a dog whistle which you will then need to use at a certian part of the mansion. This will cause some mutant dogs to come and attack you. Killing these dogs will give you access to one of their collars which you can inspect to find this fake key. You then need to take this fake key to the room with the real key and replace it. Doing so will disable a trap in the room that would kill you otherwise. Then by having this new key you can access to more rooms in the mansion.

     The action part of Resident Evil pops up constantly throuhgout the game. There are various zombies, giant spiders, mutant dogs, and lizard like enemies around every corner. To battle these enemies you are giving access to various firearms. As you play you will get a pistol, a shotgun, magnum, and in Jills game a grenade launcher. While you get a good amount of firearms you are never given enough ammunition to take out every monster. This is where a lot of the games challenge comes in by deciding when you should fight and when you should run. To make the combat even more challenging a new zombie type called the Crimson Head has been added to this version of the game. If you donít kill a zombie in a certian way it can come back to life later as much more powerful Crimson Head. So killing a zombie isnít always the best option. Thankfully though you do get defense items to help you out. You can get defense items like daggers, small grenades, or a stun gun. These items can be used to escape from any enemy when they grab you.

     Resident Evil also contains a lot of other gameplay polish that helps make the game very enjoyable. Chris and Jill have various differences that make the gameplay experience different between the two. Chris can can take more damage but also has a smaller inventory then Jill. While Jill is weaker but she gets access to a grenade launcher weapon and has more inventory slots. There is also different side characters you will meet depending on if you playing as Chris or Jill. I liked how when you beat the game you get access to some new gameplay modes. Players who can beat the game quickly can also get access to some new weapons and costume as well.

     While I had a lot of fun with Resident Evil I can see some gameplay designs that can bother some people. For one in order to save you will need to collect ink ribbons which can be used at typewriters placed throughout the game. You will also need to go back and forth between save rooms to swap out items due to the limited inventory that Chris and Jill have. The inventory system can be weird at times as well. Why does a small key take up the same inventory space as a shotgun. Thankfully though these various gameplay designs didnít bother me. I felt that some of the games strategy was finding a way to work within these constraints.


Control

     The tank style control scheme remains intact in this version of Resident Evil. This is something that you will need to get accustomed to in order to be successful at this game. Such as attacking enemies can be a bit weird at first for many players since you will need to use 2 buttons. One button will ready your weapon while another fires. Still if you have played Resident Evil on the PlayStation then you will be comfortable here.


Graphics

     Stunning is one of the best words that I can use to describe Resident Evilís graphics. The character and monster models have been given a huge visual upgrade. The environments also have some neat effects as well. The water effects and lighting effects are just top notch. The game run as a smooth framerate but has a weird stutter during some cinematics. Thankfully this stutter doesnít take away from how great this game looks.


Sound

     The audio is just about as stunning as the graphics. The background music sounds greats and helps add to the games atmosphere. The characters have new voice actors and they do a good job though it doesnít have the same cheesiness as the PlayStation version. This can be a good or bad thing depending on how much you loved the voice acting in the PlayStation version.