When Resident Evil first hit the PlayStation in the spring of '96, it caused quite an uproar. Gamers and critics alike raved about its tense atmosphere, its cinematic feel and its gallons of blood, among others. Sure, games like Alone in the Dark had come before Resident Evil, but it was this game that really caused the boom of the survival horror genre from where I sit. Before this game, there were really only two games I was genuinely scared of. NES Godzilla with its creepy music (hey, I was 5, give a kid a break) and DOOM, the first person PC blaster that had imps and demons chasing you down through the tight corridors and halls of Hell. Then along came Resident Evil... and it reminded me of what it felt like to actually have a sense of dread as you navigated your way through the game. With this being October and all, it's a great time to look back on this classic horror game and remember what made it such a classic. Remember where you were the first time you played Resident Evil? I bet you do
(Special thanks to vgmuseum.com for the cover scan above)
Whether it was a stormy night in Sacramento, or a darkening late afternoon in Detroit, everyone remembers the very first time they played and laid eyes on this. It's just one of those games...
RVG & SSM TEAMS UP ONCE MORE!
As seen with Swagman, this will be a heavy Sega Saturn Magazine special. Their spectacular RE coverage and review has been fully converted for all to see and enjoy. My own thoughts sprinkled here and there as well
Sega Saturn Magazine: Best Damn Mag Ever
But before we jump to the SSM material, let me share with you a story from days past...
IT ALL STARTED WHEN....
Back in the day I had an out-of-town gaming group. I was really blessed, because those guys and gals were really special friends. Sure, I had my best buddy Nelson, but there's something about 18 kids coming together; legendary sleepovers that saw us staying up til 2 in the morning, while our parents were downstairs laughing having a good time too. It was these special bastards that introduced me to the EVIL. It was summer of '96, and by then I had largely slipped out of the gaming scene. At least, I was no longer reading game magazines and following up on it like I had in the earlier part of the '90s. So it was on that hot summer night that my friends, knowing what a horror freak I was, took me upstairs to show me this new "badass" game. I watched the B-Movie-like intro and was pretty much sold from there. I had never seen or heard of this game before. I had no idea what to expect, except possibly something I had never before witnessed...
Classic newspaper headline just like those found in horror movies. I remember thinking 'Who killed the people?' My friend then passed the controller to me. I looked at him bewildered, as if I had just seen a ghost
"We've already played it. Go ahead Steve..."
And so, it began...
After the cheesy yet tense intro, you find your three characters escaping into the safety of the secluded mansion, or so they think. A bit of corny dialogue occurs as they decide to search the mansion for their missing team members
And hey, who could ever forget that classic line....
"You, the master of unlocking..." ?
This was the first time a console video game ever made me leap out of my chair. Needless to say, my friends all got a good laugh out of it. I'm pretty sure it all happened to them the first time too, but of course, they all deny it. What a bunch of great friends huh?
And hey, admit it, this got you the first time too, didn't it?
[Nope... -Ed.] First time a console video game ever made me jump
Oh man, and then the dramatic, cinematic first zombie scene...
As you realize the true horror behind the murders...
... the abominable creature turns his attention to who else but you!
You knew for sure then you were in for one hell of a ride!
Careful, it's a dark mansion and you never know what's behind ya...
YIKES! Where's Jeff Daniels when ya need him?!
Chris Redfield's old friend and partner. Former SWAT team member, Barry maintains and supplies weapons for all S.T.A.R.S. members. He has over 16 years of experience, and has led many successful projects. Barry is a trusted ally, but has had some trouble with his wife and 2 daughters recently. He may look or sound depressing at times
Previous member of S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team, and already stationed in Raccoon City, Joseph was recently promoted to serve as vehicle specialist for Alpha Team. Many members of Bravo Team are jealous of his promotion, but he was moved up by Wesker himself. Joseph is young, enthusiastic and very curious
After being kicked out of the Air Force, Chris became a drifter until he met Barry Burton. Barry recruited him for the newly-formed S.T.A.R.S. Now Chris has been reassigned to a smaller unit at Raccoon City headquarters to prove himself quickly. Chris is tough, smart and strong
An intelligent soldier that has rescued many S.T.A.R.S. members from danger in the past, Jill has been reassigned to Raccoon City just like Chris. She is excellent with mechanical devices such as lock-picks. [She's the master of unlocking ya know -Ed.]. Jill has strong moral convictions and fights for what she believes in. While she can hold many items, her small build puts her at a disadvantage
Brad is a computer expert and a great information gatherer. Unfortunately, his fear of dying draws much heat from his fellow soldiers. His lack of enthusiasm for rushing into danger has earned him the nickname "Chickenheart." While Chris is a qualified pilot, Brad flies helicopter for Alpha Team
Wesker has risen quickly inside the S.T.A.R.S. organization and currently leads the Alpha Team. Viewed by many as a "cool guy," from his snappy haircut to his perpetual shades, Wesker was recruited by a headhunter for his sharp insight and eventually founded the S.T.A.R.S. unit in Raccoon City
A very important member of S.T.A.R.S. He is the communication expert for Bravo Team. The only link back to headquarters for teams out in the field, Richard actually has to pull double duty as radioman for both units since Alpha Team really has no trained operator, except for Jill (who has a knack for technology). A very confident person, Richard greets new members warmly
The youngest member of the group, Rebecca has been recruited for her knowledge of field medicine and First Aid. She is nervous around other members, both because of her age and her lack of experience. Rebecca is eager to please and will not hesitate to take on any new task
Bravo Team's leader, and Wesker's second in command for the S.T.A.R.S. unit. Enrico feels threatened by the arrival of the Alpha Team, thinking that Chris or Barry may end up replacing him as #1 to Wesker. Nonetheless, Enrico is a dedicated S.T.A.R.S. operative and is always proud to lead the unit when Wesker lets him
Forest is a great sniper as well as Bravo's vehicle specialist. He is a consummate professional, and his work earns him great respect from the other members. He instantly clicks with Chris, and it seems they'll end up good teammates
A quiet but very talented field scouting officer. Kenneth also has spent time as a chemist. He wonders why his chemical experience would be necessary in Raccoon City but quickly discounts this since Wesker himself sought him to enlist in S.T.A.R.S.
There's also a flamethrower and rocket launcher to be found within the hallowed halls...
RESIDENT EVIL CONFIRMED!
Those people who haven't seen Resident Evil will no doubt be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well it caused a huge stir last year when it was released on PS and was a massive commercial success. This survival horror follows the exploits of Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield who are both members of the STARS (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) Alpha team. They have been called to investigate a series of grisly murders at a place known as Raccoon City. The gameplay is similar to Alone In The Dark but far better requiring a great deal of exploration and puzzle solving. But the gore factor was perhaps the most popular aspect of Resident Evil. Rumors are flying that the Saturn version will have some extra features (such as extra costumes among others) and knowing Capcom, it wouldn't surprise us. More in the months to come!
EVIL HAS A NEW ADDRESS: THE SEGA SATURN!
One of the most popular PlayStation games last year was Capcom's awesome RESIDENT EVIL. We knew a Saturn version was on the way, what we didn't know was how soon. LEE NUTTER takes a look at what could well turn out to be the Saturn game of the year....
Let's face it, Resident Evil is an incredible and terrifying gaming experience. For Capcom's first foray into the realms of 3D, Resident Evil is an awesome achievement which upon the time of its release received rave reviews and much critical acclaim. The game uses a mixture of horror and puzzle elements to dramatic effect, creating an atmosphere unparalleled in any other video game ever. As a result it proved to be immensely successful, surpassing SEGA Rally Championship as the fastest selling CD game of all time. So why are we hyping one of the PlayStation's flagship titles? Well because Capcom's awesome horror-fest is the second so-called "exclusive" PlayStation title this month to turn up on the Saturn. So what can Saturn owners expect, a poor second-rate conversion compromising the gameplay and losing the overall effect? Yeah right! The Saturn version of Resident Evil is not going to be as good as the PlayStation version... it's going to be better!
Capcom of Japan are renowned for being perfectionists with a meticulous attention to every conceivable detail as is evident from their 2D beat 'em up classics. So despite the high praise heaped upon Capcom, they weren't entirely satisfied with the finished PS version of Resident Evil. Several ideas that the programmers had in mind for the game failed to come to fruition, so upon completion of the original game the programmers set to work on an enhanced version. The new version 1.5 would allow the programmers the opportunity to iron out the gameplay irritations of the original and incorporate those various elements that were absent. The new Resident Evil Dash as it became known was intended for release on the PlayStation some time ago, but failed to arise as it was canned not long into its development cycle
The good news for Saturn owners is that the all-new enhanced Resident Evil Dash is the version of Capcom's masterpiece that Saturn owners are likely to be playing in only a couple of months' time, putting them firmly one up on PS owners. And it's going to be awesome!
THE PLOT THICKENS...
Like every B-movie horror flick, Resident Evil Dash has a terrifying plot which unfolds and develops as you play. The horror story centers around two main characters Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, two members of the STARS (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) Alpha team. They are called to a remote town, Raccoon City, to investigate the grisly murders and the disappearance of the STARS Bravo Team, with whom all communication has been lost. After a brief encounter in the woods with a pack of savage canines, Alpha Team seek refuge in a secluded mansion, which, unknown to them is full of horrors the likes of which they have never seen before
Further investigation leads to the recovery of reconnaissance notes which reveal sketchy details of a company known as Umbrella who have been conducting genetic mutation research commissioned by the government. The aim of this research is shrouded in secrecy, with a cover- up under way to prevent details of horrific events leaking out. Alpha Team's mission is to explore the mansion and eliminate everything within, locate the whereabouts of Bravo Team and find out exactly what the hell is going on...
THE EVIL WITHIN...
Put simply, RED (Resident Evil Dash) is a disturbing and harrowing experience which players are proud to say they have endured and survived. The idea is to guide Chris or Jill around the dingy, claustrophobic and blood-splattered rooms of the mansion uncovering clues to the plot which remains shrouded in secrecy until the very end. All the while players are stalked by a bizarre series of genetic mutations, evidence if ever it were needed of a scientific experiment gone horribly wrong. From the flesh-eating zombies to the giant tarantulas, ravenous Dobermans and lizard creatures, danger is lurking around every corner and behind every door
It quickly becomes clear that our brave investigators are ill-equipped to deal with the situation at hand, so survival becomes the primary goal. This makes locating the secret ammo stashes even more essential, whilst getting acquainted with the capabilities of different weapons
But that's all by the by, the main interest of RED is clearly the gratuitous violence. To my mind there's no other video game as blatantly gruesome, gory and stomach-churningly violent as RED. Frantically reaching for the shotgun and blowing the head clean off a zombie as a fountain of blood erupts from between its shoulders, is one of the most shocking, yet strangely satisfying moments in video game history, bar none I agree with Mr. Nutter... what a glorious moment!
However there's so much more to RED than the infamous blood-spilling sequences. There's a strong puzzle element to the game requiring much lateral thinking and forward planning. Some of the puzzles are self-explanatory switches or locating certain items. But as players gain access to more areas of the grounds and the plot steadily unfolds, the puzzles become more complex requiring a much greater deal of head-scratching. However that's not to say that RED is a rock hard mammoth gaming chore reminiscent of Core's Tomb Raider. Capcom appear to have set the difficulty level just right, allowing novices to progress through the game with competence as Jill, whereas pro's are able to take their gaming skills to the limits as Chris
Graphically RED is in a class of its own, with the pre-rendered backgrounds looking absolutely stunning and exhibiting more detail than even the original PS version. From the blood-stained corridors to the dark laboratories, the level of detail and depth to each of the scenarios is incredible. The real stars of the show however are the hideous monsters which are superbly animated and chillingly realistic. It's almost a shame to blast them with a shotgun ALMOST...
But what makes RED so undoubtedly great is the tense atmosphere upon which it thrives, keeping players engrossed in a masochistic kind of way. The feeling of your imminent demise is intense throughout the game, heightened by the chilling Hitchcock-style tunes, not to mention the accompanying moans and groans from the undead. Add to this the dramatic fixed camera positions reminiscent of Alone in the Dark giving the game a cinematic feel to it "SAY HELLO TO THE MRS. FOR ME!"
Factor all this in and the scene is set for one of the most horrific games of all time. Enjoy
HEAR NO EVIL SEE NO EVIL!
Deep within Capcom HQ, work continues at an astonishing pace on arguably the finest 3D adventure title ever. So much so in fact that we've just taken delivery of an 80% complete version of Resident Evil. LEE NUTTER takes a tentative walk through Capcom's house of horrors.
Capcom's Saturn development is arguably the best of any third party developer. Over the last couple years Capcom have supplied Saturn owners with a wealth of arcade beat 'em ups, such as the awesome Street Fighter Alpha 2 and X-Men: Children of the Atom, a trend which appears set to continue. Why, just flick through the glossy pages of this esteemed magazine and you'll discover the very latest earth-shattering pictures of Saturn Marvel Super Heroes and Street Fighter Collection. However, Capcom's latest and possibly greatest Saturn development is not another 2D arcade beat 'em up but rather the multi-genre gore-fest of Resident Evil. And from what we've seen already, we don't mind saying that this game is going to be huge! Now, ordinarily we reserve such comments for the review, but after an exhaustive play test of the very latest Saturn version of the game, it's difficult not to feel enthusiastic about it. And, with the news that the game is to feature all-new Saturn specific modes, Saturn owners can look forward to a truly monumental release
BE AFRAID... BE VERY AFRAID
Playing Resident Evil is like nothing gamers will have experienced before. Though comparisons will undoubtedly be drawn with Core Design's Tomb Raider, essentially the two games play very differently. For the most part, the gameplay of Resident Evil is of the killed or be killed variety with players being stalked throughout the mansion and its ground by hordes of bizarre genetic mutations. The range of monsters is astonishing, from the giant spiders to the huge Tyrant boss, all thirsting for the taste of your blood. Survival soon becomes the main priority as operatives struggle to escape the confines of the mansion and ammo is even scarcer, so it's not simply a case of running around in a mad blasting frenzy. Some monsters are best avoided altogether as they're either too tough or too difficult to hit. Conserving ammo is the key to success, as players soon learn how to side step the hordes of genetic mutations in order to amass enough ammo to destroy the final boss
All the while players struggle to overcome a wealth of diverse puzzles featured throughout Resident Evil. Most of these require players to locate a certain object before using it to unlock a door mechanism, or finding a hidden switch. But later on the puzzles become more complex, with chemical formulas being mixed and even a piano to play! On the whole, the difficulty level of the puzzles appear to be pitched just right, presenting a deep challenge to even experienced gamers
However, what really sets Resident Evil apart from Tomb Raider is the tense atmosphere. Terror lurks around every corner with some genuine shocks in store for first time players. Savage dogs leaping through windows, seemingly dead zombies chomping at your ankles and giant snakes bursting through walls are just a taste of the shocks in store. Add to this the macabre music, eerie silences and accompanying moans from the hordes of the undead, and Resident Evil works better than a strong laxative. You may not want to admit it, but you might need an extra pair of drawers on ya when playing this in the dead dark of the night...
The problem that has beset so many other adventure games in the past, is that their linear structure means that once the game has been completed there's little to entice players back. Therefore it's to Capcom's credit that such pitfalls have been avoided with Resident Evil. The gameplay is surprisingly nonlinear, with players being required to make decisions at several key points during the game. Depending on which choices have been made greatly affects the unfolding plot and eventually the game's ending. However, the main source of variety in Resident Evil stems from which of the two STARS' operatives players select at the beginning. Choosing either Chris or Jill affects which weapons players are able to discover, the amount of monsters and ultimately the outcome of the plot
Though Chris handles himself considerably well when separated from his fellow STARS crew members, players choosing to take on his mantle are essentially opting to travel the most difficult route through the game. That said, players who wish to explore every nook and cranny of the mansion, and solve every last puzzle in order to appreciate the full splendor of Resident Evil, are best off choosing Chris. To begin with our hero is ill-prepared for the horrors which await him, being devoid of all firearms and armed only with his trusty combat knife. Obviously this causes a few problems when encountering flesh-eating zombies, hell-bent on sinking their teeth into your flesh and draining it of blood. So to begin with, Chris' first priority is to seek out a more powerful weapon. Once the Beretta has been located, Chris' superior shooting skills become evident, as he is able to fire with greater accuracy than Jill, requiring less bullets to take down the mutated monsters. It's a good job too, as the plentiful ammo supply enjoyed by Jill is not available to Chris, with extra ammo being scarce throughout the game. By way of compensating somewhat, Chris' bulky frame is better able to take several maulings before death comes knocking. However, Chris is what the Americans may refer to as a "jock," being all brawn and little brains. So from time to time Chris requires assistance from his fellow STARS team members to get him out of some of the more tricky situations
To make matters even more difficult, Chris left his backpack at the drop zone and his action slacks are only able to carry up to six items at a time. This means playing as Chris requires a great deal of forward planning and effective management of resources. Much of the time players find themselves legging it back and forth between storage rooms and depositing unwanted objects in favor of more useful items
Despite his shortcomings, Chris Redfield is a skilled member of the STARS Alpha Team whose superior shooting skills, strength and resilience make him a worthy, if challenging character to play as
Jill Valentine is a relatively new members of the STARS Alpha Team whose mission through the horrors of Resident Evil is considerably simpler and shorter than that of her colleague for a number of reasons. Firstly, Jill begins her adventure armed with a Beretta pistol, having a clear advantage over Chris who spends much of the early part of the game foraging for weapons and ammo. In addition, Jill is given a lock-pick early on by fellow STARS teammate Barry Burton, enabling Jill to enter certain rooms and storage areas not accessible to Chris without the corresponding key. Jill is also able to carry up to eight items in her navy blue action slacks, her larger inventory meaning that managing resources is a tad simpler than playing as Chris. Jill's game is also considerably easier in that fewer monsters patrol the corridors of the mansion, so players needn't worry too much about being overrun by hordes of the undead. Besides, even if Jill were to find herself in a spot of bother, secret admirer Barry Burton is on hand to make sure she comes to no harm
However, in many respects Jill is worse off than Chris. Being of a slight build, her body is less resilient to an enemy attack, taking less chomps from a marauding zombie to kill her. In addition, Jill's aim isn't up to the same standard as that of her teammate, requiring her to take more time when aiming and with less accuracy than sharp shooter Chris. Despite her failings, Jill's superior intelligence and lock-picking abilities make her mission a more straight-forward affair, though rather less challenging
THE EVIL HAS LANDED
As we exclusively revealed in last month's SEGA SATURN MAGAZINE, the long-awaited Saturn version of Resident Evil will be quite different to its PlayStation brethren. As opposed to merely churning out a carbon copy of the original game, Capcom have seized the opportunity to incorporate various elements into the Saturn version that failed to come to fruition in the original game. Capcom have remained tight-lipped as to what exactly these enhancements are, until now that is. A recent press conference held by Capcom of Japan outlined several improvements they are planning to add to the original formula
Possibly the most exciting addition to the Saturn Resident Evil is the planned inclusion of an Arena Battle/Survival Mode. This is a special mini-game which becomes available once the regular game has been completed. Choosing to control either Chris or Jill, players progress through fifteen stages fending off a continuous onslaught of eleven different types of genetically mutated monsters which advance with relentless speed. Only one weapon of choice is available to begin with, though more are collected as players use all their skills to battle through the stages. Players are then ranked upon completion or demise according to items used, the time taken and lives remaining
At long last Capcom have also confirmed Saturn Resident Evil will DEFINITELY feature new monsters... and we've seen 'em! The new, as yet unnamed monster in the 80% version we have is a redesigned version of a Hunter and lurks in the sewers beneath the mansion, acting similarly but looking quite different. Unfortunately, the others haven't been programmed in yet but are slated to make an appearance in the all-new Arena Battle Mode, though details as to what form they will take are scarce. In addition, survivors of the PlayStation version may recall the huge Tyrant boss at the end of the game. A genetically engineered super-creature, the Tyrant was very agile and extremely difficult to kill. Well, depending on your point of view and game playing skills, the good or bad news is that for the Saturn version of Resident Evil there are now two Tyrants to destroy!
As reported way back in Issue 17, both of the playable STARS' operatives, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, will feature new and original costumes. Though this will have no bearing on the gameplay whatsoever, it's nice to see a third party developer taking their time to ensure that Saturn owners get the very best conversion possible. Other small changes for the Saturn version of Resident Evil include improved loading times, especially on the save game screens allowing for quicker saves and less breaks in the scenario. In addition, Capcom have taken the time to improve the backgrounds of the Saturn version, adding more detail to the already highly detailed originals giving them more depth than before and making them looking quite brilliant
And now, let us meet the monsters...
After a lethal experimental virus was accidentally released amongst the Laboratory technicians, the effects were devastating. After the initial itchy sores had subsided, the laboratory technicians began to lose their minds and bodies slowly began to decay. Their stinking rotting corpses stagger around the mansion, arms outstretched in the hope of snaring their prey and feasting on its blood. However, their lack of agility and intelligence makes them easy to run around, though if absolutely necessary a single shotgun blast to the head will take it clean off in a bloody mess. Players should also beware of downed zombies as they tend to play dead, pardon the pun, awakening only to chomp at your ankles
After the bio-research secrets have been uncovered, one of the STARS' operatives attracts the unwanted attention of the deadly Hunters, who take it upon themselves to follow the STARS into the mansion. Genetically engineered to be devastating fighting machines, the Hunters are extremely difficult to avoid and even more difficult to kill. When attacking their enemy, the Hunters leap about into the air, making targeting at times a virtual impossibility. Their sharp claws prove deadly and are often used for severing heads from shoulders. A close range shot from the powerful Colt or several shotgun blasts at close range should see off their potential threat, letting out a painful scream as they die at long last
After being infected with the same lethal strain of virus which drove the lab technicians insane, the one-time guard dogs of the mansion are similarly affected. Still the hungry Dobermans retain their in-bred instinct to protect the mansion and its grounds from intruders, and that means you! Cerberos dogs often hunt in packs of three, combining speed and a resilience to bullets to cause the STARS a few headaches. Players are best advised to use the shotgun when confronting a pack of ravenous dogs, as the wide ranging shards of lead blasted out often hit several dogs at once. Wounded dogs let out a soft whimpering cry, but don't be fooled, these dogs would rather rip your balls off than fetch your slippers
Appearing towards the end of the game in the power generator rooms, the Chimeras are the result of yet another disastrous laboratory experiment. A lethal and deadly opponent, the Chimeras not only patrol the floors of the tight corridors but also the ceilings, occasionally swinging down to attack their prey with their vicious claws. Naturally this makes targeting the genetically mutated monsters very difficult indeed, which invariably leads to heavy ammo losses. So STARS operatives are best advised to simply avoid the Chimeras at all costs with some nifty foot work. However, if players find themselves cornered by one of these genetic mutations, several rounds from a Colt Magnum or bazooka should do the trick. What a creature...
As a result of a genetic experiment with growth serum, a seemingly ordinary snake was transformed into a giant monster far bigger than the cages designed to enclose it. The giant snake is encountered twice throughout the game and is the largest genetic mutation roaming the mansion. STARS' operatives who are bitten by the snake, will find their bloodstream infected with a deadly poison unless treated immediately with an anti-poison vaccine That's one big mother effin' snake [Thank you -Ed.]
And I'm not talking about the obscure Saturn beat 'em up either! The crows are a surprisingly hostile enemy which fortunately are only encountered twice throughout the STARS' exploration of the mansion. Much of the time they remain passive to the STARS' exploits, but make a mistake and the aggravated flock of crows swoop down with great haste to peck their prey to death. Just ask Forest Speyer of Bravo team. To cull the flock, STARS' operatives are best advised to blast them with a raised shotgun, often taking out several at once
The grand finale to the long-awaited Saturn rendition of Capcom's awesome horror-fest sees the unleashing of not one, but two Tyrants. A genetically engineered killing machine, the Tyrant was created to be the ultimate life force. Clearly something went wrong. The huge Tyrant is extremely fast, attacking opponents with a devastating series of claw swipes before finishing off with an uppercut which skewers the victim. STARS' operatives are confronted by a Tyrant on a number of occasions and are best advised to run away from this super creature, stopping occasionally to launch an attack. Players using Chris should use the Colt Magnum for this or the bazooka if proceeding as Jill. Good luck!
SEGA SATURN MAGAZINE'S REVIEW
Taking a break from the 2D beat 'em ups for which they have become synonymous, Capcom's latest Saturn development is the critically acclaimed RESIDENT EVIL
Originally titled Biohazard for its earlier Japanese release, the game offers a scenario whereby players are called to investigate a series of grisly murders around a secluded mansion at a place known as Raccoon City. As one of its two members of the elite STARS Alpha Team, it becomes evident that the mansion has played host to a series of bizarre scientific experiments which early reconnaissance notes suggest have gone terribly wrong. Alpha Team's mission is to explore the mansion and eliminate everything within, find the missing Bravo Team and find out what the hell is going on
The game itself works similarly to last year's massive hit Tomb Raider and the rather dated Alone in the Dark games, but is arguably superior to both. Basically, players find themselves trapped inside a vast mansion crawling with all manner of strange genetic mutations with an unquenchable thirst for blood. Protocol is quickly discarded, as players struggle to survive and escape the confines of the mansion. However, blocking the route to safety through the dark and dingy blood-splattered corridors are locked doors, the keys to which are usually hidden at the opposite side of the mansion at the other end or a diverse range of puzzles. These usually involve locating certain objects and exchanging them with others, or triggering a hidden switch to reveal a secret passageway. Some of these puzzles are huge, requiring a great deal of lateral thinking and forward planning, considering operatives are only able to carry a certain number of items at any given time
Of course, this could have the makings of a pretty boring game were it not for the vast amount of action in Resident Evil, something which clearly distinguishes the game from the likes of Tomb Raider. For the most part, the gameplay is of the killed or be killed variety as players are stalked throughout the mansion and its grounds by a continuous onslaught of genetically mutated monsters. So locating the more powerful weapons and replenishing the limited supply of ammunition quickly becomes a priority for operatives wishing to stay alive. This gives way to some of the most gruesome and shocking scenes ever witnessed in a video game, with huge amounts of bloodshed featured throughout
Clearly these elements contribute to a fantastic game, it is the intense feeling of terror heightened by the chilling music and eerie silences which sets Resident Evil apart from any other adventure game you may care to mention. The shit-scary feeling of your imminent demise as players are faced with a room full of zombies and rapidly deteriorating energy is quite unlike anything players will have experienced before in a video game, being more akin to a Wes Craven horror flick. Indeed the game has a very cinematic quality to it, with the ensuing action being viewed from the dramatic fixed camera positions pioneered by Infogrames' Alone in the Dark series. Some camera angles can lead to some rather interesting visuals...
In fact, aside from the terrible voice-overs and over-emphasized hand gesticulations which provide the game with some unintentional light relief, there's very little to moan about with Resident Evil. The one complaint I would voice is that considering Capcom have been sitting on this title for over 18 months, they could have done a little more with the Saturn version. Still, we would have been more than happy with a straight port of the original game and as such, no one should have any complaints with the enhanced Saturn version of Resident Evil. The all-new Saturn features are most welcomed and with the excellent battle mode, it appears Capcom have made a serious stab at addressing the distinct lack of replay value which beset the original PlayStation version
The bottom line is that for Saturn owners mourning the loss of Tomb Raider 2, Capcom's Resident Evil is a more than worthy alternative. The surprisingly non-linear gameplay offers players a deep and challenging gaming experience, with some excellent graphics rivalling those which emerge from within Sega of Japan
Quite simply the best adventure title to arrive on the Saturn so far. Forget about Tomb Raider 2 and buy Resident Evil now!
(On a related note, EGM gave it scores of 6.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0)
SOME OF MY MORE FAVORITE MEMORABLE BITS...
Snooping in other people's diaries always come back to haunt you...
You see?! What an awesome dramatic moment
Pop a cap in that ass! Do the 'hip kids' still say that these days?
If you use Jill, you get to see this cool cutscene. The first time I saw it, I just couldn't believe the amount of gore and how raw it all was. I remember thinking to myself on that summer night of '96, how far video games have gone from when I played the ol 8-bit Nintendo!
Kind of fascinating to think how gaming has changed over time
Hmm, looks like we're Alone in the Dark here... [HA HA HA -Ed.]
Flick on the lights... this doesn't look too good...
Ouch, the Tyrant reminds me of a souped up Freddy Krueger!
"One... two... Freddy's COMING FOR YOU..."
I shall never forget that summer night of '96 when I first faced the horrors within Resident Evil. It was like no other console gaming experience I ever had. Players were literally dumped into a horror movie from hell. They were submerged into a twisted world of monsters and mayhem. The game had an atmosphere like no other. There was always the impending feeling of doom in the pit of your stomach, as you dashed through the dark corridors of the mutant-infested mansion, searching desperately for an ink ribbon, herb or new clue. Ammo was limited, so you really had to rely on your brains and not so much your brawn. It really was a harrowing game playing experience the likes of which I had personally never seen before
"THAT'S A GOOD BOY NOW... OK, ROLL OVER!"
Players entering the world of the original Resident Evil, be it on PlayStation or Saturn, today may not quite get it. I liken it to playing 1993's DOOM for the first time today. You *really* had to be there when it first came out to get the full impact. Although the controls were a bit clunky; there was no 180° degree turn back then, and the graphics had its limits (though I'll admit I actually enjoy the jagged less-than-perfect 3D polygons of the 32-bit generation), bottom line was, Resident Evil was a shit-scary experience. It left an indeliable mark not just on me, but countless others, as evident by the swarming legion of fans still to this day, numerous sequels and really the original spawned many other clones, including the awesome SILENT HILL. Capcom, like they had done five years earlier in 1991 with Street Fighter II, once again struck gold! "MMMMMM... tasty... itchy..."
Last night I fired up my Saturn and had a go with Resident Evil once again. It's a true classic and a title I love revisiting every October. The eerie music and creepy silences add tremendous atmosphere to the game and around every corner, behind every door... there lurks a bloodthirsty zombie or two. It's got a simple involving plot, a great cast of characters and monsters, and brought home an authentic B-Movie feel in raw 3D. Good times indeed "SMILE -- YER ON HIDDEN CAMERA, BITCH!"
Another notch on Capcom's belt, Resident Evil is a classic adventure from the 32-bit age
One of the defining moments in not just 32-bit, but gaming history, period