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You have once again entered the world of survival horror: A REplay of the Resident Evil series

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As I said in the Resident Evil 2 remake thread, I’ve decided to go back and replay all the major games from the Resident Evil series in anticipation of Capcom’s next installment in the classic survival horror franchise. This thread will serve as a journal of that experience. I plan on posting my thoughts on each game as I go through the series while comparing them to my memory of each game. These won’t be “reviews” per se—more like updated thoughts and impressions of each installment.

 

Currently, I don’t have a set order I plan on playing the games in. The truth is I actually started this journey at the beginning of this month when I completed my latest run through of the REmake on PS4. Since then I’ve been jumping around a bit with regard to the chronology. I currently have a game of RE2 and RE7 in progress, and completed the Director’s Cut of the original game (my first time ever!) over the weekend. I’d like to leave RE7 to the end, but I have several hours of progress on it already and would hate to abandon it now and forget what was going on and have to start over.

 

My best guess is that I’ll complete all the classic-style games first, move on to the behind-the-shoulder trilogy, and finish up the two Revelations games. RE7 will be slotted in there somewhere, probably as one of the next couple games I finish.

 

The Story So Far...

 

Below are the games I plan on including on my REplay. I’ve included some brief thoughts on each. With the exception of the REmake and RE4, these opinions are all based on what I remember about them from having only played them once—in some cases almost 15 years ago.

 

Resident Evil Zero — (Last played circa 2003) The second game I ever played in the series. I bought it after falling in love with the REmake and hoped for a similarly great experience. I was... disappointed. I didn’t think it was a bad game per se, but there were certainly parts of it that I didn’t care for.

 

Resident Evil (Remake) — (Last played July 6, 2018 as Chris Redfiled) Probably one of my favorite games of all time. This was my introduction to the series. I’ve played it many times over the years, and I never get tired of it. The setting, the atmosphere, the characters... I love all of it. Along with Resident Evil 4, this is only other game in the series I have completed more than once.

 

Resident Evil: Director’s Cut — (Last played July 20, 2018 as Jill Valentine) I just completed this version for the first time over the weekend. Here’s what I posted in the RE2 remake thread about it:

 

 

Quote

So, I finished my first ever play through of the Director's Cut of Resident Evil from PSX last night. As I said in another thread, it felt like I was playing the alpha version of a game that came out a few years later after a lot more tweaking, development time, and far better graphics.

 

I enjoyed it for the most part. My biggest gripe, as you can imagine, were the controls and the combat. The former I suffered through, but they felt so inelegant and clunky. The latter worked well enough when fighting slow-moving zombies, but anytime I came across a fast-moving enemy, such as the hunters or bug creatures at the very end of the game, it was really frustrating. Unlike the REmake, your character doesn’t automatically lock on to the closest enemy when you get ready to fire, so you have to make sure you’re facing the right way before you do. Since there's no quick-turn move, it can be nearly impossible to run away from an enemy, turn around, and fire without taking damage.

 

Resident Evil 2 — (Last played July 19, 2004, LeonA/ClaireB scenario) I played this on GameCube and remember enjoying it for the most part. Perhaps the REmake set my expectations too high, but I didn’t fall for it the way many others have over the years. I do remember liking it more than RE0 though, which isn’t saying much.

 

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis — (Last played July 28, 2004) Similar to RE2. I liked it, but I didn’t fall in love with it the way I did with the REmake. In my mind, I think I might have liked this and RE2 about the same, although having the quick-turn move at my disposal may have given it a slight edge.

 

Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X — (Last played June 10, 2004) Currently, this is my second favorite of the classic-style games. I’m really looking forward to playing it again. It will be interesting to see how well it holds up.

 

Resident Evil 4 — (Last played December 27, 2013) One of the best games ever made. To date, I’ve purchased it on five different platforms (GameCube, Wii, PS3, XBox 360, and now Xbox One), and have played it many, many times over the years. This is another one I can’t wait to play again.

 

Resident Evil 5 — (Last played March 23, 2009) Definitely good, but not as great as its predecessor. In that way, it was a disappointment. That may not be fair to it though, as it’s hard to follow up a game like that. I enjoyed the DLC as well and plan on including both Lost in Nightmares and Desperate Escape in my replay of the game.

 

Resident Evil 6 — (Never completed) I played it for a few hours, grew frustrated, and turned it off. I hope to power my way through it so that I can at least say I finished it. Maybe after I get into it more, I’ll find something to like about it. I don’t know though. This is going to be a tough one.

 

Resident Evil Revelations — (Last played July 9, 2015) I played this on my 3DS and enjoyed it quite a bit. It captured a lot of what I liked about RE4 and 5. The biggest complaint I had about it has nothing to do with the game itself and more the hardware on which I played it—the little C-stick nub on the New 3DS XL was a terrible way to turn and aim. This time, I’m playing on the Xbox One X, which should make the entire experience more enjoyable.

 

Resident Evil Revelations 2 — (Never played) I’m interested in this one. I always liked Claire, so it’s nice to see her getting to star in another game. If it’s anything like the first Revelations, I’ll probably like it.

 

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard — (Never completed; currently playing) I like what I’ve seen so far, but I feel like things are going to ramp up before too long. This is definitely the scariest game I’ve played since the REmake, which is saying something.

 

That’s all for now. More to come as I play through the games. The next post will cover either RE2 or RE7. Obviously, thoughts and reactions for each game are more than welcome if you care to share.

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I played through the original on PS in 1996 and loved it.  This, and Tomb Raider were my "first loves" in the 3rd person shooter genre.  I've tried playing a few of the subsequent RE games, but never really stuck with the series.  I thought I was a big RE fan, but you sir, take the cake.  Bravo.  

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Didn't 

On 7/22/2018 at 11:45 PM, JFo said:

Resident Evil (Remake) — (Last played July 6, 2018 as Chris Redfiled) Probably one of my favorite games of all time. This was my introduction to the series. I’ve played it many times over the years, and I never get tired of it. The setting, the atmosphere, the characters... I love all of it. Along with Resident Evil 4, this is only other game in the series I have completed more than once.

 

Never played it.  You've now put it on my radar.  Resident Evil 2, Code Veronica, and 4 are the only ones I truly played and I love them all.

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7 hours ago, Scott Van Dyke said:

I thought I was a big RE fan, but you sir, take the cake.  Bravo.  

 

I’ll tell you what... Save the accolades until after I finish Resident Evil 6. Then I’ll feel like I’ve earned it. 😁

 

5 hours ago, foogledricks said:

Never played it [the REmake].  You've not put it on my radar.

 

I’m assuming you meant to say, “You’ve now put it on my radar.” If so, great! Although I am kind of nervous that you’ll start playing it, won’t like it, and blame me for wasting your money. I don’t think that will happen. The HD remaster is really good and offers more modern controls if you have a hard time with the old tank controls.

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Incoming opinion dump from somebody who used to worship the RE series...

 

REMake is a joy to play and really captures the old style with slick new graphics. I was never a huge fan of the original, beyond ‘horror game in haunted house must play’ but I also came to it after the much improved 2 and 3.

 

I used to have a soft spot for RE: 0 but that game did NOT hold up in any way when I played it again on PS4.

 

Ditto Code Veronica - it is freaking old ass looking and Steve is one of the most obnoxious characters in the whole series. The Alfred and Alexa stuff is fun and I do love some of the fights like the plane battle, and the absolutely miserable sniper fight, but it’s not aged well.

 

Amusingly, 2 and 3 are my favorites, but I haven’t played those in a while so it may be nostalgia. Playing 2 twice to get the whole story didn’t even seem like a chore back in the day, and the bonus ending was well worth it.

 

Revelations is a fun game; I really liked it and the little story twist was super fun. My only major negative is that ridiculous wetsuit they give Chris’ female partner.

 

I have yet to finish Revelations 2 or even play 6. RE4 is indeed amazing. I like 5 a lot, but it really needs a co-op partner to get the most out of it, which is unfortunate. I did it once but I can’t imagine doing it again. Revelations 2 is nothing like the first, from the little I played. It’s also heavily co-op based.

 

RE7 is flat-out amazing and one of the best in the series. It’s terrifying and a real breath of fresh air.

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43 minutes ago, Mark E said:

Amusingly, 2 and 3 are my favorites, but I haven’t played those in a while so it may be nostalgia. Playing 2 twice to get the whole story didn’t even seem like a chore back in the day, and the bonus ending was well worth it.

 

Just curious, what are your thoughts on the remake of RE2? Are you excited for it? Even with the over-the-shoulder perspective, it sounds like it’s still hitting that old-school survival horror feel, which would be awesome.

 

Speaking of which, I came down with a nasty cold the other day. I took a half-day off work yesterday to recover and ended up playing quite a bit of the LeonB campaign. I’m home again today, so I might actually finish it, assuming I don’t just sleep the entire day away.

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It looks gorgeous, changing the control scheme makes sense... I’ll probably get it... but it’s not setting me on fire like it should.

 

I laud Capcom for pushing the next-gen and making it look so good and the gameplay should be fine.

 

But. I worry about it still hitting that feel of the second RE. Especially the desperate first section where you’re fending off mobs of police zombies to get to the few weapons and bullets you can scrounge to make yourself survivable. We’ll see; Capcom has been doing good work lately. Part of me just wanted RE2 remade with the same gorgeous graphic sensibilities of the REMake, keeping the core of the game but with a nice lick of paint.

 

I’m not against it at all, just cautious :).

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5 hours ago, Mark E said:

It looks gorgeous, changing the control scheme makes sense... I’ll probably get it... but it’s not setting me on fire like it should.

 

I laud Capcom for pushing the next-gen and making it look so good and the gameplay should be fine.

 

But. I worry about it still hitting that feel of the second RE. Especially the desperate first section where you’re fending off mobs of police zombies to get to the few weapons and bullets you can scrounge to make yourself survivable. We’ll see; Capcom has been doing good work lately. Part of me just wanted RE2 remade with the same gorgeous graphic sensibilities of the REMake, keeping the core of the game but with a nice lick of paint.

 

I’m not against it at all, just cautious :).

 

Having just replayed the Leon A scenario, your memory of the experience is interesting in comparison to that of the actual game. At least for me. The only thing "desperate" about the opening is managing your way around the zombie horde to arrive at the police station and by that I mean running, not shooting. Muscle memory took over for me and I made it to the station expending very little ammo and I had not taken much damage. I also picked up the shotgun early from the dead shop owner in the intro (it was much easier to grab than I remembered). Once you're in the station proper, it's not abnormal to have 40-50 bullets on hand at a given time and there's plenty of herbs.

 

I only say this because I have a feeling that the remake will make for a more frenetic and desperate experience given the number of zombies shown in the videos and the return to more limited resources and the fact that RE7 had some legit tough encounters to contend with in the first half of the game. The first time you had to deal with that basement hallway of those black goo creatures was a bitch.

 

Oh and I disagree with you vehemently on Code Veronica. Yeah, Steve is a douche but the game itself holds up beautifully both visually and in the gameplay department as the first true 3D rendered RE experience. I would be humbly shocked if you sat down to play the game through a proper VGA box (and a quality upscaler) on the Dreamcast in 480p and told me the game is  "old ass looking". Especially compared to 2 and 3 running on the same console with extremely low resolution backgrounds juxtaposed with higher quality character models. I don't mean to say that I'm shitting on RE2 or RE3 as both game still have their charms and I love them but CV has aged remarkably better than those games from a visual perspective.  It remains one of my favorites in the series.

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17 hours ago, JFo said:

 

I’ll tell you what... Save the accolades until after I finish Resident Evil 6. Then I’ll feel like I’ve earned it. 😁

 

 

I’m assuming you meant to say, “You’ve now put it on my radar.” If so, great! Although I am kind of nervous that you’ll start playing it, won’t like it, and blame me for wasting your money. I don’t think that will happen. The HD remaster is really good and offers more modern controls if you have a hard time with the old tank controls.

Yes, you've put it on my radar.  I play so few games lately, I might wait for the RE2 remake and get my fix there.

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I cede that my memories of RE2 may be victim to old age at this point, but I am still sticking to my guns on Code Veronica. I actually prefer the juxtaposition of the characters and backgrounds in 2 and 3.

 

I might revisit, but it definitely has stuff I don’t like. Steve prominently and Uber-Wesker took things to a phenomenally dumb place :P. I liked the storyline and the themes, it’s one of the best. I mean, it might be better if I replayed it but I have never liked the look -  I mean I did change my tune on how much I liked Zero.

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I completed Resident Evil 2 today while I was home sick. As I mentioned earlier, I played the Claire A/ Leon B scenario. To recap, here’s what I said about the game in my initial post:

 

Resident Evil 2 — (Last played July 19, 2004, LeonA/ClaireB scenario) I played this on GameCube and remember enjoying it for the most part. Perhaps the REmake set my expectations too high, but I didn’t fall for it the way many others have over the years. I do remember liking it more than RE0 fthough, which isn’t saying much.



 

I enjoyed this run through the game—only my second ever—much more. When I played it the first time, I was mostly comparing it to other games in the series that were released after this one had been made. Those games were a bit more refined in some regards, so RE2 felt like a regression to me. Playing the original version of Resident Evil for the first time within the last couple days gave me a better context for how how this game improved upon its predecessor. I can better understand why fans loved this game so much and see what it did better than RE1.

 

That said, here are some random thoughts about the game in no particular order:

 

RPD is a great setting, although not as iconic as the Spencer Mansion in the first game. Exploring this space, especially as Claire, was my favorite part of the whole experience.

 

I appreciate the fact that this game gives you a better reason to play as both characters. Both Claire and Leon get their own unique campaigns that intersect with one another. This is a big improvement over the original, which was basically the same campaign for both Chris and Jill, but with a few minor differences. My only gripe is that the game didn’t take this concept far enough, in my opinion. Rather than explore the same spaces in a slightly different order, I would have liked more unique areas for both characters with a few points of intersection. As much fun as I had exploring RPD the first time around as Claire, it did feel a bit repetitive to do it all over again as Leon.

 

It had been so long since I played it, I had forgotten how Ada Wong and Sherry Birkin fit into the story. I’m not too deep into the lore of Resident Evil but it’s nice to get a refresher as a result of playing these games again, especially since both Ada and Sherry are playable characters in RE6.

 

Even though the main gameplay is still good, RE2 is unfortunately dated in many respects. The pre-rendered backgrounds look all right, but the polygon character models look blocky and low-quality in comparison. The cool CG FMVs from 1998—while an improvement over the godawful live action cut scenes from the original—look cheap and amateurish now. And the voice acting... well, that was never good.

 

I’m glad I took the time to play this again before the remake comes out in January. Like I said, it had been so long since I played it, I had forgotten most of it. Now that it’s fresh in my mind, I can more easily spot how and where Capcom is changing it. I was looking forward to playing it before, but now I’m practically frothing with anticipation for it.

 

Next up, Resident Evil 3. I might as well, since I have the GameCube hooked up. already. I’ll probably do CODE: Veronica X after that, then close out the classic-style games with RE0.

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8 hours ago, Romier S said:

I only say this because I have a feeling that the remake will make for a more frenetic and desperate experience given the number of zombies shown in the videos and the return to more limited resources and the fact that RE7 had some legit tough encounters to contend with in the first half of the game. The first time you had to deal with that basement hallway of those black goo creatures was a bitch.

 

Fuck, that’s exactly where I left off before I started my deep-dive of the PSX games.

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Resident Evil 3 is in the bag, baby! I completed Jill's Final Escape and laid waste to Nemesis once and for all.

 

I'll post some thoughts on the game in the next day or two. Since I’m heading out of town in the next few days, I’ll be taking a bit of a break from my RE marathon to play something else. It does feel good to have the PlayStation trilogy out of the way though.

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Time to talk about Resident Evil 3: Nemesis... Here’s what I had to say about it in my first post:

 

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis — (Last played July 28, 2004) Similar to RE2. I liked it, but I didn’t fall in love with it the way I did with the REmake. In my mind, I think I might have liked this and RE2 about the same, although having the quick-turn move at my disposal may have given it a slight edge.

 

One of the biggest problems for me when trying to remember how I felt about this game was trying to separate it from Resident Evil 2 in my mind. Having just replayed both, I can see why. First, they’re both PSX titles released roughly a year apart ('98 and '99, respectively). Second, they take place during the same time and same place (for the most part). Finally, they follow similar story arcs with Leon, Claire, and Jill all trying to escape the zombie apocalypse of Raccoon City.

 

Now, I did remember that 3 was Jill's game and that obviously had Nemesis, but I had forgotten that Raccoon City didn’t get nuked until the third game. In my memory, it happened at the end of both games. Replaying it obviously cleared that up for me, and I can see how both games are different from one another more clearly now.

 

Overall, I'd say this is a solid entry in the classic-style RE games, worth playing if you get a chance. I think a remake of this game could be incredible with today’s technology. Hopefully, Capcom agrees and has plans to do just that, assuming that the RE2 remake sells well.

 

Once again, here is a grab bag of random thoughts in no particular order:

 

This game is hard—harder, I think, than the other two PSX games. I not only died more often in this game, but had to go back and reload earlier saves because I got myself into situations where I didn’t have enough ammo or healing items to complete my goal. Additionally, the bosses seemed like they took a lot more hits to go down.

 

Perhaps I’m imagining this, but Jill feels quicker, more nimble than the characters in the previous games. Having the quick-turn ability is a big help in this regard.

 

I liked the fact that you got to revisit RPD—if only briefly.

 

Rather than spend a lot of time in one or two big areas (i.e. the Spencer Mansion or RPD), this game takes you to several locations which you only visit for a short time. You don’t spend too much time at any of them. As a result, I think the game feels a lot more linear overall.

 

You can tell that the creators want to take the series in a more action-driven direction, but they’re bumping into the limitations of the fixed camera angles, which aren’t always best for the player in this regard. The fixed cameras work fine for puzzle solving and exploration, but they do not work great on boss encounters.

 

This is definitely a late-generation PSX game. The graphics are probably the best of the PSX trilogy. I’m especially appreciative of the GameCube version, which I think is a noticeable step up in visual quality, especially if you have a set of component video cables.

 

As always, Type-C controls on GameCube are the way to go (for me)

 

Next up... Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X on GameCube.

 

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The big add from 3 that I remember was the emergency dodge. It took some skill/timing to get it right but once you did, it helped tremendously with the difficulty of the game. I've always had a soft spot for it and also think its a fine entry. Nemesis alone is worth the price of admission.:)

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1 hour ago, Romier S said:

The big add from 3 that I remember was the emergency dodge. It took some skill/timing to get it right but once you did, it helped tremendously with the difficulty of the game. 

 

Oh, yeah, that was something I did notice this time out. It saved me on a few occassions, but I had difficulty performing it reliably, partly because I had no clue how I was doing it. It’s the A button, I guess, on GameCube, based on what I’m reading on GameFAQs now. 

 

Thankfully, the game is extremely generous with its health items. Not only are there a lot of green herbs and health sprays, but there are also way more red herbs than there were in RE2. I needed them on those last two fights with Nemesis. Although, that’s partly my fault. On the very last boss fight, I forgot I had the rocket launcher and forgot to use it on his final form. I’m thinking it might have made things a bit easier. Whoops!

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Just a quick update on my progress. I finally made it to Chris' campaign on CODE: Veronica last night.

 

I defeated the last boss on Claire's campaign on my first try. I decided to play it safe and stock her up with a ton of ammo, weapons, and health recovery items, which certainly helped. Then I realized that Chris would receive all the inventory Claire left behind in the Item Boxes. So, I reloaded my previous save, put a bunch of those items back in the Item Box, and proceed to die like three or four times fighing that stupid boss. 

 

Oh well, at least I'm set up now for the rest of the game. Or at least so I think.

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Another game down. Thoughts coming (hopefully) in the next few days. Lots to unpack here.

 

 

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So, let's talk about, Resident Evil CODE: Veronica, shall we? I have lots to say about it, both good and bad. But first, here's what I had to say about the game in my first post:

 

Quote

Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X — (Last played June 10, 2004) Currently, this is my second favorite of the classic-style games. I’m really looking forward to playing it again. It will be interesting to see how well it holds up.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this game a lot on my second play through, and I still think gameplay-wise that it is better overall than the second and third games. What elevates it for me is how it takes the concept of the A/B scenario from Resident Evil 2—in which you play as two separate characters and explore the same places at different times—and improves upon it.

 

In RE2, both halves of the campaign are very similar in their structure. You go through the game as one character, then do almost the exact same thing again as the second, revisiting the same sites and solving many of the same puzzles. Sure, there are unique story beats for both Claire and Leon and it’s fun to see the two scenarios cross paths, but I find going through the B scenario repetitive and less interesting as a result.

 

In CODE: Veronica, you once again explore the same places as two separate characters—this time as Claire, then Chris. However, Chris’ campaign doesn’t feel repetitive because, even though he revisits the same areas (Rockfort Island and the Antarctic Base), he does so after Claire. The events of her campaign radically alter both locations, so when you return to them as Chris, you’re not just repeating the same levels again and redoing the same puzzles. In fact, the levels are so different they almost feel completely new. Places you could explore as Claire are now blocked off by fires and debris, but new areas open up to Chris that were never accessible to Claire. It’s these new areas I find most interesting, like the game is telling you, “You think you discovered all the secrets when you were here before? Think again!”

 

My favorite part of these classic fixed camera-style games is exploring the environments. They’re basically big puzzle boxes you need to solve, and figuring out how to get through them is always so rewarding to me. The fact that this game can have you thoroughly explore a place, only to bring you back there and show you even more was ingenious to me. For my money, CODE: Veronica has some of the best, most interesting level design in the series, second only to the Spencer Mansion from the first game.

 

Of course the one downside the way this game is designed is that you cannot pick which character to play as first. You always start as Claire, then switch to Chris at the halfway point. As a result, there’s no variation in how the story can play out. It’s a shame, but I can see why Capcom went the direction it did due to how complicated it would probably be to create two fully different campaigns where you could alter the order of the characters you play as.

 

Additional random thoughts:

 

  • This game is hard. I died a lot (30 times) and got stuck a few times trying to figure out where to go next. Part of that was my fault for not thoroughly examining everything in each room. I only had this problem playing as Claire though. I almost never got stuck during the Chris campaign.

     
  • The story is probably the game’s weakest aspect. After playing three games that talk about Umbrella, it’s interesting to find out more about the company and who was in charge of it. Too bad the characters of Alfred and Alexia Ashford are so terrible. The voice acting is particularly bad, and that’s saying something for a Resident Evil game. Also, the way they treat Alfred is not—how shall we say?—“woke.” I do believe at one point Claire calls him a “cross-dressing freak.”

     
  • Speaking of new characters, Steve Burnside has a real Raiden quality to him. Whiny and annoying are good ways to describe him overall, but I still felt somewhat bad about his fate.

     
  • It’s fun to see Wesker again after his absence in Resident Evil 2 and 3, but he is ultimately extraneous to the main story. Aside from his actions attacking attacking Rockfort Island, he doesn’t have any impact on the main story. He shows up, threatens Chris and Claire a couple times, then runs away with the T-Veronica virus he took from Steve’s body. I think it might have been better if he had had a more Darth Sidious-like role as the guy pulling the strings, but never coming face-to-face with our heroes.

     
  • I do not like the rooms toward the beginning that have respawning zombies. That’s bullshit. I accept that in the other games, new enemies will appear after you reach certain progression points, but just having them reappear no matter how many times you kill them is cheap in a game where your resources are finite.

     
  • I dislike how Claire is turned into a damsel in need of saving. Here we have a kick-ass female character who takes down hordes of zombies and other monsters, but still needs rescuing from both Chris and Steve by the end of the game. They even reinforce it during the last boss battle where you have to save Claire by shooting Alexia before she can knock her off the platform. It would have been great to have both Claire and Chris working together in that last fight.

     
  • It’s a minor thing, but I like how you can spin inventory objects around in order to examine them, just a you could in the original game. I missed this in RE 2 and RE3 and was glad to see the mechanic return.

     
  • This is the last game in the series that I will be playing with a GameCube controller. The rest I’ll be playing on my Xbox One X. It’s a shame really. Resident Evil works great on the the GameCube controller, as if the games were all meant to be played on Nintendo’s little purple wonder.

     
  • I’ve heard some people say that the graphics in this game don’t hold up as well as the old PSX games with pre-rendered backgrounds. Overall, I think it looks fine. I like having true 3D environments that allow the camera to move around. It feels more dynamic and exciting. Plus, the character models are far more detailed than they ever were on PlayStation. Having everything in 3D also means that the characters and environments blend together better.

     
  • That said, it boggles my mind to think that this came out only two years before the release of the REmake on GameCube. For that matter, it’s even more crazier to realize that there were only six years between the original Resident Evil and the remake.

     
  • People complain about Resident Evil becoming an action series rather than focusing on survival horror, but in playing all these early games again, it’s surprising to see just how much Hollywood blockbuster action they try to shove in each installment. I think about Resident Evil 2 and the tanker explosion at the beginning, followed by the helicopter crash, and the final escape sequence on the train at the end of the B scenario. I think of just about every major moment in Resident Evil 3 involving Nemesis. I think of the opening cut scene in this game, complete with Claire trying to outrun a helicopter shooting at her through the windows of an Umbrella facility. This is an action series, but with horror undertones.

 

That’s all for now. I think I’ve covered most of what I have to say about Resident Evil CODE: Veronica Next up, I’m closing out the classic-style series with the very last one ever made so far: Resident Evil Zero! What can I say, I’m excited to play the train level again. Everything after that? Well… at least I have Resident Evil 4 to look forward to after I'm done with it.

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As I also said on Twitter, the official in-game time says 10 hours 35 minutes, but it was more like 15 hours according to my Xbox. Most of that can be attributed to deaths and replaying areas that I screwed up or could have done better. This game was hard, y’all, and I was only playing it on Normal.

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It’s time to close the book on the fixed-camera Resident Evil games with a look at Resident Evil Zero. Here’s what I had to say about it in the first post:

 

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Resident Evil Zero — (Last played circa 2003) The second game I ever played in the series. I bought it after falling in love with the REmake and hoped for a similarly great experience. I was... disappointed. I didn’t think it was a bad game per se, but there were certainly parts of it that I didn’t care for.

 

Playing it again, I realized that Resident Evil Zero is a game that shakes up the established formula of the franchise with two new gameplay mechanics that sound great on paper but turn it into a tedious slog. First, you play as two characters at the same time and can switch between them at will. Second, item boxes have been removed completely, and characters can drop items from their inventory at almost any place at any time. 

 

At first this all sounds great. Two characters means double the firepower when battling zombies, giant insects, and Tyrants, right? Yes, but it also means spending more time in the inventory screen getting Rebecca and Billy set up with the right weapons, the right ammo, any key items you may need, and other essentials. It also means that you’ll blow through ammo and recovery items faster, making those items more precious than ever (if either character dies, its Game Over). It’s best to keep Rebecca and Billy together while exploring, but managing the character you aren’t controlling, often feels like a burden. They may start battling an enemy you just want to run past, or they could run out of ammo for their equipped weapon and stand there like a chump until you equip a different one.

 

Well then, surely being able to drop a useless item anywhere you want is a huge improvement over trudging back to those stupid item boxes you can only find in safe rooms, right? Again, be careful what you wish for. The absence of items boxes only serves to prove how useful they are. They make inventory management much easier and much faster than the system used in RE0. Here’s a step-by-step guide for adding something to the inventory from an item box:

 

  1. Stand in front of item box and press the action button to open it.
  2. Select the item you want to transfer to your inventory.
  3. Press the Confirm button (whatever that happens to be on the controller you’re using) and the item will instantly be moved to your inventory.

 

Simple, quick, and fast. Conversely, here’s how the same thing is done in RE0:

 

  1. Locate the item you need on the map screen.
  2. Walk to where the item is and stand in front of it
  3. Make sure Rebecca or Billy are facing the item at just right angle.
  4. Press the confirm button and watch the animation of your character bending down to pick it up.
  5. Fade to black.
  6. When you see the prompt, “Take the [item name]?” Select Yes.
  7. Fade to black again and return to game.
  8. Repeat this process for every item you want to take.

 

If you can’t pick up said item because your character’s inventory is already full, you’ll need to enter the inventory screen, see if something can be used or dropped, or switch over to the other character and have him or her pick it up.

 

The end result of these two changes is a game that moves at a much slower pace than it should. Each night I played, I made a decent amount of  progress, but it felt like wading through a thick swamp the whole time. At most, RE0 should take 7-8 hours to complete, which would put it in line with the RE2, 3 and the REmake. But as you can see from my tweet above, total game time clocked in at ten-and-a-half hours with an additional four-and-a-half wasted due to dying and restarting sections.

 

I appreciate the attempt to do something new and different, but I think these were the wrong choice. Sadly, this was the last of the fixed-camera games made.

 

Some additional random thoughts:

 

  • After playing three PlayStation 1-era games and a Dreamcast title, it’s startling to jump into the HD remaster of Resident Evil Zero. It’s an absolutely gorgeous game in almost every regard. The only blight on the presentation are the pre-rendered cutscenes, which look terrible now due to their low resolution.

 

  • As I mentioned in my previous posts, I’m a big fan of the “Type C” control option from the GameCube ports (this is the “Type E” control scheme on the Resident Evil remake for PS4 and Xbox One). This is the option that allows you to press the right analog trigger to walk forward instead of pressing up on the control stick or D-pad. Sadly, this wasn’t an option in the original GameCube version of RE0, and I had hoped the additional buttons on a Dual Shock 4 or Xbox One controller would make it possible to add this. No such luck. You’re forced to use either the control stick or the D-pad in order to walk forward no matter what. This took me a while to get used to, and I never felt like I did great with it.

 

  • For that matter, I didn’t like any of the control schemes the developers offered. I eventually settled on Type D in this version, but I still found the button layout less than satisfactory. They differed too much from the control schemes from the other games, and I often found myself pressing the wrong button to open my inventory, look at my map, or switch characters. I had hoped I would eventually adjust, but I didn’t. I had this problem during my entire run through of the game. I really wish there was an option to manually map the buttons however you like.

 

  • The train level is the most highly-regarded section of the game and with good reason. It’s extremely well designed, and visually stunning, especially in the HD remaster. That said, I also really enjoyed the Laboratory. Rebecca and Billy are split up through most of that area, and you spend more time exploring and solving puzzles and less time managing the inventory.

 

  • The Mimicry Marcus creatures, i.e. the leech monsters, are genuinely terrifying—easily one of the scariest enemies in the whole series. The music that plays when they appear send chills down my spine. At least a few molotov cocktails or a couple napalm grenades make short work of them.

 

  • I had forgotten how many giant insects there were in this game.

 

  • Of all the classic-style games, this is the most difficult by far. I thought the same when I played Resident Evil 3 and CODE: Veronica, but this one definitely featured the most deaths and required the most restarts in order for me to get through it. In addition to the more cumbersome item management system and relative scarcity of ammo and healing items, enemy encounters seem to happen in very tight, confined spaces. It’s easy to get grabbed by a zombie if you venture anywhere near one, and their bites do a lot of damage, especially on Rebecca. I swear one time a zombie just tapped her on the shoulder before Billy knocked it back with a bullet, and she went from Fine to Caution.
     

And with that, it's time to move on to the modern era of Resident Evil (which has actually been going on far longer now than the classic era) with the game that blew my feeble mind when I first played it on GameCube in 2004—Resident Evil 4!

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Resident Evil 4 campaign complete!

 

 

In case you're wondering what the heck is up with that clear time, apparently, if you leave RE4 suspended after turning off your Xbox One, the in-game timer continues to run. Hence, the nearly 38-hour clear time. I assure you, it did not take me that long to play this game on Normal mode. 😄

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I took a break from my run through the Resident Evil series in September to play a couple other games, but now I’m back to continue my journey through the world of survival horror. We’ve moved on from the classic era with its fixed camera angles to the modern era, with its trademark over-the-shoulder perspective. We start, of course, with one of the biggest and most popular entries in the entire series: Resident Evil 4.

 

Here’s what I had to say about it in the first post:

 

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Resident Evil 4 — (Last played December 27, 2013) One of the best games ever made. To date, I’ve purchased it on five different platforms (GameCube, Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, and now Xbox One), and have played it many, many times over the years. This is another one I can’t wait to play again.

 

For those of you interested, I dug up our review and discussion thread from 2005, which includes a staff review by yours truly. It’s fun to go back and see our reactions to Resident Evil 4 while we were all in the middle of playing it for the first time.

 

Resident Evil 4 Reviews and Discussion Thread (Staff Review Included)

 

Staff Review — Part 1Part 2

 

It’s been nearly five years since I last played RE4. That’s not as big of a gap as the other games I recently replayed, but it’s not an insignificant amount of time either. It’s long enough where I could have forgotten much of what happens in it from both a story and gameplay standpoint. I can think of other games I’ve replayed after a gap of five years or less where I barely remembered anything about them, so much so that the second run might as well have been my first time playing them.

 

Not so with Resident Evil 4. Throughout this entire run, I vividly remembered almost everything about it, including all of the levels, the boss fights, the action set pieces, and the story beats. Nearly every time I walked through a door, I would say to myself, “Oh, it’s this room!” It may have been five years, but it was all still fresh in my mind, as if I had just recently replayed it.

 

Granted, my ability to remember nearly every aspect of this game has a lot to do with the fact that it I’ve played it so many times already. This is the fifth platform I’ve played it on now, and I’ve certainly played it more times than that over the years. Still, I don’t think I would remember so much of it if it wasn’t so masterfully crafted and executed. 

I could go on, but in the interest of keeping this somewhat brief, I’ll just say that the fact that I’ve played this game so many times over the years, remember just about everything that happened in it, and had such a blast playing it again this time should tell you all you need to know about it.

 

And now for some other random thoughts:

 

  • I had a difficult time getting used to the controls on this version. I decided to go with the default control scheme on this latest release for Xbox One and PS4. This control scheme follows some of the conventions in more modern games, including using the right thumb stick for aiming and using the right trigger to fire your weapon. The first couple hours were a bit more difficult than usual for me as a result. I’m so used to the original control scheme from the GameCube, that I had a difficult time adjusting. Once I did though, it worked perfectly well and I was able to play the game with hardly any issues.

 

  • The visuals in this newest release are a mixed bag. It is both the best it has ever looked with a 1080p resolution and a rock solid 60fps, and a disappointment due to a lot of low-quality texture work in many of the environments and the fact that some effects and animations still run at 30fps. Perhaps its time for Capcom to do a full on remaster of this game ala Shadow of the Colossus.

 

  • Quicktime events. You either love them or hate them. They’ve never bothered me personally. To me, they’re just part of this game’s charm. I can understand why some people don’t like them though.

 

  • “Whaddaya  buyin’?” “Whaddaya selling?” “Ah, I’ll buy it at a high price!” God, I love the merchant. He should be in every game.

 

  • As I was playing, I kept thinking about Mark Brown’s Game Maker’s Toolkit video about the game’s dynamically scaling difficulty. Every time I died or I did really well in an area, I thought, “Will I notice the game getting it easier/harder?” That’s probably why Capcom didn’t say anything about it pre-release. It’s better not to know.

 

  • The voice acting in this one is a step above the others in the series so far. Yeah, it’s campy as hell, but every performer is 100% devoted to the cheese, that it totally works. I love it.

 

  • People describe this game as one big escort mission, but Leon spends a surprisingly large portion of it alone, even after initially finding Ashley.

 

  • Krauser always confused me. When I played Resident Evil 4 for the first time, he was portrayed as a character that I should already know about, like Ada. However, I couldn’t remember who this guy was or his history with Leon. I assumed at the time that I either missed seeing him in another game, or I did encounter him at some point, but forgot about him completely. After playing the other previous games recently and doing a little research, I now know that this was his first appearance ever in the franchise, so I wasn’t missing anything. It’s still strange that he was introduced like someone I should already know.

 

  • “Separate Ways” and “Assignment Ada” are decent bonus campaigns that would totally be released today as DLC for an extra charge. When I last replayed Resident Evil 4 in 2013, I didn’t play them. They were the one part of the game that I didn’t remember that well. 

 

  • I don't know why, but The Mercenaries has never interested me, despite how much people raved about it over the years. It's the only part of the game I've never really played at all.

 

  • Ashley offering herself to Leon at the end of the game was extremely cringe-worthy 2005, and it has not improved since. It was made even worse this time by the fact that my wife was watching when it happened. 😬

 

Next up is the game that had the unenviable task of following up this ground-breaking entry—2009's Resident Evil 5!

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