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Feature: Staff Memories of the Resident Evil Series

Posted by Nintendo Life Staff

Marcel van Duyn

Originally having played the first three Resident Evil games on PlayStation, I was immensely excited when Capcom announced they'd be remaking the first game exclusively for Nintendo. Of course, this turned out to be totally worth the hype, as "REmake," in my eyes, was and still is possibly the single greatest remake of a game ever made. The original game, looking back, is really heavy on the cheap B-movie style, especially with its hilariously bad voice acting, but the remake simply made everything beyond amazing. The graphics were unbelievably good and still hold up today because of the super detailed backgrounds, the characters actually had decent, believable voices, and of course, the shock moments were a lot scarier now because everything looked more realistic, some of the more infamous moments even being moved around to fool veteran players. Completely new additions like crimson heads, defence items, the entire Lisa Trevor subplot and a bunch of new rooms were also all great additions that fit really well and made me love the game even more.

After originally being announced for N64, seeing the release of Resident Evil 0 was also great, but it felt a bit lacking to me after the amazing REmake. It had some interesting ideas, like controlling two characters and splitting them up, as well as being able to drop items anywhere you wanted, but most of the time they just proved a hassle. Billy was better with guns and had more health, so there was absolutely no reason to ever use Rebecca (Especially not on hard mode!), and generally, you'd end up dropping all items in a central room somewhere, so they should've just thrown some storage chests in there in order to prevent backtracking to pick up a single key item you suddenly needed. Still, it really wasn't that bad a game and, if you ask me, gets a lot more hate than it deserves. After these two games, I, like many others, hoped for a RE2 remake, but Capcom didn't deliver there, unfortunately. I did end up buying the RE2, 3 and Code Veronica ports on GameCube for a complete collection, but it was still quite disappointing.

Next came RE4, which I had a bit of a different opinion on than most people. It was, undeniably, a fantastic game, but in the end, it just didn't feel like Resident Evil to me. Yeah, it had Leon, Ada, and a bit of Wesker and HUNK, but that was about it, really. No zombies, next to no puzzle solving, seemingly unlimited ammo rather than a fairly limited supply, and the worst of all to me, no fixed camera angles. A lot of people, for some reason, hated them, but I think they were a huge part of what made Resident Evil worthy of the term it originally coined - a "survival horror" game. Not knowing what was around that next corner other than some squishy munching sounds always made moving on to the next camera angle a tense moment, which I never really felt in RE4. There were a few minor creepy moments, but even with the bazillion different cool ways of dying you just felt so overpowered in the game - with multitudes of different upgraded guns, grenades, stacks and stacks of ammo and herbs - nothing really seemed all that threatening.

"REmake," in my eyes, was and still is possibly the single greatest remake of a game ever made

In 2006 there was an great enhanced port of the original PlayStation version of the first RE game on DS. I was honestly surprised that they managed to fit everything in there on a DS card, without cutting corners, and even adding a few cool new features. They even kept the awful real-life intro and outros! Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles on Wii were also quite fun, though the fact that the RE3 levels in Umbrella were all taken from Resident Evil Outbreak File 1 and 2 on PS2 instead of actually remaking locations from RE3 was unforgivable, if you ask me. None of those locations in Outbreak were even visited in RE3, and Nemesis only shows up in one of the three levels!

Since those two, it's been relatively quiet on the Nintendo front with Resident Evil games. I found Mercenaries 3D earlier this year to be quite a fun expansion of the mode found in 4 and 5, but I'm really looking forward to Revelations early next year. From what I played of it last summer, it seems like it's actually going to attempt to return to its horror roots again, with few items, creepy hallways and unexpected scares. Here's hoping!

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User Comments (21)



Corbs said:

I tried the original Resident Evil and just didn't like it. Never played another one after that.

That being said, nice Phil, way to work 'distillation' into the piece.



baba_944 said:

@Corbs me too but now I am getting it for the PC. Hopefully it plays like it's Console Counterpart! And happy Halloween!



NeoShinobi said:

RE2 was my first experience with the series, and it was also likely the first M-rated I ever played, I think I was about 10 at the time.

I remember all my friends talking about how freaky the game was, and here I was playing it thinking "ha, this isn't so bad".
And then I had my first encounter with the Lickers and, well... yeah.

Those b******* still creep me out.



Supremeist said:

I've had so many memories playing through the RE5 Campaign with my friend. Lol, and playing The Mercenaries. Other than that, not much.



Ristar42 said:

Ha, first time I played the first was rental from blockbuster too. I knew almost nothing about the game and had just bought a Saturn. The opening seems cheesy now, but looked so cool then.

I remember playing as Chris and meeting the first Zombie - scary stuff! RE2 impressed me too, but the later games never really matched those initial impressions.



Tasuki said:

I played the first one and second one years ago on Playstation and they were ok. What really made me a fan of the series was RE 4 Wii Edition. If you have never played this game or werent a fan of the RE series you should at least check out this one on the Wii.



TheGreenSpiny said:

Man, the REmake was fantastic game. By far the scariest gaming experience I've ever had. I never realized just how awesome that game was until I played the original game on the DS and that managed to scare me. Capcom was brilliant in how they remixed the REmake for people who had played the original version.

@Chris Ingram: Not sure what you mean by control limitations. The Wii edition play exactly the same except for the pointer controls. (Don't get me wrong the pointer controls are 10x more accurate, but still...

@Phil Reed: I loved your analysis of Lisa Trevor, probably the most horrific part of that game (or at least the Trevor family in general. Poor George!) I loved her boss fights in the Umbrella Chronicals. The way she regenerates her health super fast makes her impossible to kill if you run out of ammo. Wesker's snide comments about her were brilliant too.



Popyman said:

I wish there were more Silent Hill games on Nintendo consoles so you guys would talk about that series.



Slapshot said:

@TheDarkness The control limitations that I was referring to, is mainly the issue of not being able to move when you go into ADS (Aim Down the Sights) mode. While it is indeed still featured in RE4: Wii Edition, the quick cursor speed and accuracy with the Wiimote alleviated my frustrations I had with the Gamecube version, as you could take down the zombies much faster than when pushing an analogue stick and lining up the shot - which is also the reason that circle strafing is so prevalent in console shooters.



SPEtheridge said:

Ah all these RE look backs have got me going back through the games love this series, highlights for me are defo the shark tank in RE and the lake in RE4 oh and the cabin in the woods in RE when Lisa enters



warioswoods said:

I'll say this: zombies used to be much more frightening, before this lame obsession with them exploded over the past few years. Often seeing just a single Zombie in the REmake could be a harrowing experience... much like the Lisa Trevor bit that Chicken so eloquently explains above.

Now, pop culture is horribly over-saturated with zombie themes, and they've become little more than fodder for gross brutality and gore. I'd like for the whole zombie-apocalypse fantasy to just go away for a while; it has become tired, boring, and more a matter of mindless violence than fear.



Zach said:

@vonseux It's October. This is Resident Evil week. Next week is Castlevania week. This has nothing to do with advertising.



Ren said:

Just started playing the veronica X thing on ps2 and I've never played that one. It feels great to have the old tank controls back and the sound design scares when zombies sneak up. I wish there was a little more of that in RE4; it's a great game but it really doesn't scare like the old style ones do.
So what's the occasion for all the RE stuff? Halloween? I thought the next one isn't out for months yet.



TheGreenSpiny said:

@11 Slapshot: I think you missed the point here. This is not a shooter, it's survival-horror. The whole point is push your panic buttons by testing your fight or flight response. That's the reason you can't run and shoot in RE games. Take that away and you end up with a pretty generic shooter.



blackknight77 said:

I remeber the first time I played Resident Evil on the Sega Saturn. I never played anything like it before. Everything about the mansion was so haunting including the ticking clock in the dining hall. This game has always been about atmoshphere.

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