RESIDENT EVIL / Capcom / Gamecube

Just before I played RE Remake, I played and reviewed Resident Evil Zero - the two games were released for the Gamecube at roughly the same time in 2002 as big-name near-launch titles. Ultimately, they're also the same story. Awesome work by Capcom on touching up the graphics and sound, but the insistence on sticking with the antiquated save system and tank controls basically makes both games unplayable for grown-ass people with lives.

I guess we need more material for a RE-view, though, so let's talk about the changes. Original series director Shinji Mikami is still at the helm with this one, and used this remake as an opportunity to add ideas to the game that he couldn't implement in the original. Thus, it's much more than just a graphical touch-up (though the ambience is easily its best quality). The overall skeleton of the game is basically the same, but RE Remake adds some significant layout changes, some new side areas and some new enemies including a major one that is attached to a significant side quest.

It also adds a whole lot of nasty "gotchas", but doesn't change the old-school save system in any way. As with Resident Evil Zero, that's ultimately what kills the game.

The worst of these is the Crimson Head, a new super-enhanced zombie that the regular zombies turn into about 30-40 minutes after you kill them. The most reliable way to prevent that from happening is to burn the bodies of the regular zombies, but you don't get that ability until well after these things start appearing and you can also only do it a limited amount of times without a shit ton of backtracking. Otherwise, you have to rely on an exploding headshot on the regular zombies, which is just luck of the draw - I read somewhere there's like a 10% of it happening on every kill shot with the pistol. Why can't you just stomp a zombie's head in once it's down?

Powerful new enemies aren't a surprise in a remake, and don't have to be a bad thing if the overall game is re-balanced to accommodate them. RE Remake wasn't. In fact, there appears to be even *less* ammo around to deal with these things. Hope you're an absolute pro at Tecmo Super Bowling all those zombors, you'll need to be to get through this one.

Aside from Super Juke Skillz, the only real answer to all this is knowing exactly what's coming ... arguably maybe fair in a straight remake, but that's out the window in a game that has been revised this much. So that means non-stop try-and-die, always a headache in any game but made much worse here by how long the stretches are between save points (often 30+ minutes of playtime) and the hard limit of ink ribbons around for you to save with.

Many people have fond memories of the original trilogy of games on the PS1. I would wager that those memories come from when they were kids / teenagers and had a whole lot more time on their hands.

Anyway, this received a much more modern update for PCs fairly recently and the controls were apparently changed as well, so maybe that one is worth looking at. I think only the most hardcore fans of the series and lore will be willing to put up with the Gamecube edition. Looks and sounds great, but plays like Enhanced Buttocks.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video