Resident Evolution

Hello one and all … Happy New Year to all of you who are celebrating the Year of the Rooster over the next few days. Festivals don’t seem to be as joyous nowadays; I guess once you’ve grown up it isn’t as big a deal as it used to be. Ha ha! Maybe I’m just jaded but it was all so different when I was a kid.

I borrowed Resident Evil 0 for the Nintendo Gamecube (GCN) and rushed through it over the past week or so just to experience what a traditional Resident Evil game is like. I must say that after playing through it once, I can see why the Resident Evil (RE) series is a big turn off to some people. Here are some of the gripes that I had about old-school Resident Evil.

Up is forward & “Back” is back
Resident Evil’s control scheme has got to be one of the most awful control schemes I have ever used in a video game. Pressing up on the analog stick or D-pad is very confusing and it took me awhile to get used to it. To be fair it did get tolerable after awhile.

Door-opening irritation
Loading times were a bit of a pain as the game required constant backtracking; forcing you (the player) to sit through loading animations of doors opening or climbing up ladders to load levels.

Insane & inane puzzles
Puzzles in a traditional RE game are pretty … um … “puzzling”. There is some logic behind it which isn’t that hard to figure out but the most frustrating thing about the puzzles is figuring out which objects in the backdrops are interactable. With no visual cues whatsoever the puzzles become a chore rather than a challenge to tackle.

After playing through RE0 it made me appreciate Resident Evil 4 all the more. I’m glad that Capcom dumped the old-school RE stuff and made a brand new game with RE4. Yes … for those of you who have been following this blog, I bought RE4 about a month ago and it was a fun romp. The developers focused on action but left in a lot of spine tingling moments at the same time. It’s a brilliant game, deceptively simple and yet addictively replayable. Within days of my first run through the game I went through it again after unlocking some of the super weapons just for the heck of it. I was in the middle of my 3rd playthrough on the “Professional” difficulty but then decided to pass it to my friend Kar Yean in exchange for “Resident Evil 0” and “Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem” because I wanted to find out what the backstory was for the RE universe. Eternal Darkness isn’t a RE game by the way, I just wanted to play it because I’ve heard so much about it. RE0 was somewhat disappointing to say the least; mostly because of the 3 points I raised in this blog. I’m glad that RE4 threw away all that and made a fresh start because RE4 was such a blast to play!

If you’re an action junkie then RE4 comes highly recommended. I had loads of fun and when I get it back from Kar Yean I’ll have some more fun with it. RE fans who love the puzzle elements might be disappointed with RE4’s simple puzzles but then again the action more than makes up for it. PLUS the enemies you battle are truly creepy; a hallmark of any Resident Evil game. Give it a whirl if you’re a Gamecube owner, if not wait till Capcom releases the PS2 version. My money’s on the Gamecube version though cos’ the game was developed from the ground up for the GCN and it’s unlikely the PS2 version will be as polished graphically as the GCN one. Resident Evil 4 definitely lived up to the media hype and certainly exceeded my expectations. Here’s my final verdict on RE4; a truly evolved form of Resident Evilness.

Fun Factor: 10 out of 10
Addictiveness: 10 out of 10
Graphics: 10 out of 10
Overall Grade: 10 out of 10

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