Feature: Staff Memories of the Resident Evil Series

Remembering the horror

Christopher Ingram

It was pretty much a typical Friday night in my freshman year of high school; late night run to the local Blockbuster with my cousin to rent a videogame to occupy ourselves throughout the weekend, but this trip would be something special, because I happened to grab the newly released PSone title, Resident Evil. Unbeknownst to us, we had just rented a title that we’d be ranting and raving over the following Monday at school, and one that would change the face of the survival horror gaming genre across the entire world.

Upon arriving at home and popping the CD in the PlayStation, we feasted our eyes on the awesome opening cinematic that had our main characters being chased into a house by some kind of crazed dogs. Soon we encountered our first zombie, and as the sunlight began to seep through our window shades, we simply couldn’t stop playing until we had survived this horrific nightmare. We didn’t care about the lack of sleep, and to be truthful, we didn’t want to sleep from fear of what may lay in wait inside our dreams.

We didn’t care about the lack of sleep, and to be truthful, we didn’t want to sleep from fear of what may lay in wait inside our dreams

We beat the game multiple times while waiting for the sequel to arrive, Resident Evil 2, and of course, it was knock-your-socks-off awesome when it did. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis landed soon after and the entire series seemed to be the talk of the school. Heck, even people who you’d never expect to hear talking about a videogame – it still wasn’t a mainstream pastime then – were talking about the games. But, seeing as they released first on the PSone, all this Resident Evil greatness wasn’t played on a Nintendo system for me.

It would be over five years before I felt that surge of excitement for a Resident Evil game once again, and this time it would indeed be on a Nintendo platform. Of course, I’m talking about the GameCube release of the graphically mind-blowing title, Resident Evil 4. I remember sitting there in absolute awe of the graphics that were filtering through my eyes. The gloomy pastels of autumn were beautiful to behold as I made my way down to the first village and got my first taste into this new breed of Resident Evil gameplay. Was this truly a Resident Evil title? How could something so beautiful be horrifying? Oh… I was about to find out!

While Resident Evil 4 was indeed fantastic, for myself, it was somewhat hampered down by its strange control limitations. No matter how much I enjoyed the game, I was constantly frustrated by the controls. Nevertheless, I endured and enjoyed the game immensely, but what I didn’t know then, was that this very same game would end up being my all-time favourite title in the franchise, and that came with the 2007 release of the game for Wii.

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition took the already superb GameCube game and fixed the once awkward controls by allowing the game to be played with motion and pointer controls via the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. Prior to this release the Wii had seen many mediocre attempts to bring motion controls to the shooter genre, but here they worked wonderfully and added a whole new layer of depth to the game. The graphics looked better than ever and the additional content that was featured on the PS2/PC finally made it onto a Nintendo console in this release as well. This is truly the best version of the game and one that I feel will stand the test of time for decades to come.

Throughout the years since then I’ve partook in many of the remakes and off-shoot Resident Evil titles on multiple Nintendo systems, and I’ve enjoyed each of them. Nintendo has always created hardware with unique interfaces, and it has always pleased me that Capcom continually takes advantage of this by bringing new innovations to the series with them. Nintendo fans have been left out in the cold in the way of Resident Evil 5 – which I don’t particularly care for – for a while now because of console limitations, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo lands the optimum version of the game in the future on Wii U; easily being able to feature exclusive control interfaces that revolutionize the game.

It’s sometimes hard to believe that the Resident Evil I know today, all started off with that late night run to Blockbuster so long ago. So here’s hoping for more Resident Evil awesomeness in the future, as I anticipate the release of Resident Evil: Revelations on the 3DS and more Milla Jovovich on the big-screen in the Resident Evil movies. Now… if only I could find an infinite supply of ink ribbons!

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