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Feature: Staff Memories of the Resident Evil Series

Posted by Nintendo Life Staff

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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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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