RE Gaiden has an odd and somewhat interesting formula, but it's the usual story for RE, too many poison bitches and not enough cures, too many zombies in narrow hallways that you have to get through but can't without fighting, yet not nearly enough ammo to handle them all.

Barry Burton actually gets a starring role here - if you're not up on RE lore, I think he was the "Jill Sandwiches" guy from the first game. He won't be getting any hot sandwich action here though ... at least I hope not, as his partners are Leon Kennedy and some little girl who is the object of obsession for this hideous tentacle monster you have to keep chasing around all over a cruise ship.

The game is a bit of an odd mix of action and adventure. You have a top-down view similar to that of Metal Gear : Ghost Babel. If a zombie gets too close to you you switch to a first-person combat mode, or you can initiate combat from a distance by using a crosshairs to shoot zombies before they get to you. Combat is the one really interesting mode of play here - depending on how close the zombies were to you when initiated, they will start at some distance in the background and advance until right up in your face where they can start clawing and biting away. You shoot/knife them by stopping a sliding bar within a certain range, which increases as the zombies get closer to you.

Despite some interesting qualities, the game is ultimately too frustrating and annoying to keep going with, like many of the RE games. The sound is atrocious, with silly moans and bad music - the Gameboy sound chip's one strength is that it can pull off creepy minimalist audio, but here we get lame anime-ish music instead. The graphics are as good as can be expected for the GBC and the combat  gets repetitive very quickly and is either too easy (when you have a gun) or too hard (when you don't).

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