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Resident Evil

Developer: Capcom | Publisher: Capcom
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 04/30/02 | Genre: Survival Horror

In this age of port-happy gaming, it's not uncommon for a game to be rereleased on another format with a handful of minor additions. Survival horror fans take heed though, Capcom's GCN Resident Evil is a solid remake of the original Resident Evil for PSX. Boasting approximately 70% new or significantly altered content, this version is more than just a mere revision.

Graphically, the game is superb. The characters are constructed of a high number of polygons, and have detailed facial movements such as blinking eyes and moving lips for voice-overs. The backgrounds are an interesting and intelligent combination of elements. Primarily, they are high-quality, looping full-motion video. However, a transparent layer of polygons is also overlayed to allow for additional three-dimensional effects such as shadows. Capcom really did a fantastic job with the graphics, RE is one of the prettiest console games that I've ever played. No progressive scan, for those who were wondering though.

The sound was likewise reconstructed from the ground up. No Dolby Surround support, but all the music, voice acting, and sound effects were completely redone, and redone quite well. Even the dialogue has been rewritten, no more of the cheesy (yet lovable) lines like "the master of unlocking". The music is often similar, but different from the original. It's worth noting that swearing is a bit stronger and more frequent in this edition of the game, evidently that's the cool trend these days.

In terms of gameplay, I don't doubt that at least 70% of the game was modified in some fashion. Besides new areas and additional rooms, many pre-existing rooms are different now. Plus, even the ones that [b]look[/b] the same may have different items or attack scenes. New weapons have been added as well, including the defense items. Chris and Jill now have daggers and another unique weapon apiece that they can use to damage the enemy while deflecting a frontal attack. Gamers can't rely on these weapons to always bail them out though, as they aren't overly common, and get used up like most normal weapons do.

Control-wise, it's essentially the same as it was back on PlayStation. A quick-turn function is available, like RE3, but no 3D control scheme as seen on the N64 RE2. There are some interesting variations that move your character forward with buttons, and steer with the control stick, but it doesn't seem that Capcom is too fond of 3D control. Personally, I've never had too much trouble with the default scheme. Seeing as many gamers dislike this scheme and have begged for 3D control, (and it wouldn't been terribly hard to implement) I have to dock it a few points here.

The story has also been fleshed out more, with special attention to the history of the game's setting. This edition of the game has a lot of fascinating scattered information that clarifies the mansion's origins. A small handful of menacing new foes rear their ugly heads on GameCube too. Plus, there are even a few new surprises for those who beat the game while fulfilling certain conditions.

In conclusion, survival horror fans and even people who are fond of action games in general will definitely at least want to try this game. With two unique quests, greatly improved aesthetics, and tons of new content, I feel that Resident Evil is worth purchasing.

By Ross Woodard - 02/24/03
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Violence
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Screenshots for Resident Evil

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