Bring me your scorn now for I’ll have a Resident Evil confession to ask mercy for later….
The original PlayStation, for me, was a sports game machine and that’s about it. My cousin had access to one and the controller always seemed to mesh better with late-night sport-a-thons than the Nintendo 64. It was my literal “play” station where I vacationed from what I considered meatier games.
Games such as Resident Evil 2, which I played for the first time on Nintendo 64. That’s where I felt the “serious” scene of gaming was. Mario, Zelda, Resident Evil 2, and Glover were all examples of what I was always determined to get gud at playing.
All of this is padding to help you forget about the following confession: I’ve still never played the original Resident Evil. Not that bad you say? Well, come a little closer. When I first bought the Gamecube remake, I thought it was an original game without pretext.
Hey, it could’ve been a reboot to the series or something. I’d only played 2 and heard of Code Veronica up to that point so I had no idea the history behind the rotting curtain. My ignorance probably did Resident Evil a solid though as it quickly became one of my favorite series to follow and play through on the first day of release.
Fast-forward to the most recent release and that still hasn’t changed. I love the Resident Evil remake with all of beating, shapely heart even as it engulfs my upper abdomen.
Without that original touchstone, I came in blind and somewhat jaded by Code Veronica due to some of the playful elements. I was expecting something lighter with another terrible protagonist that I could breeze through (at times). It was at the precise moment JIll is left alone for the first time, in that hallway with raven cages, where I dropped that expectation toot sweet.
Movement is classically mapped to cardinal directions when at a standstill, but the full range of maneuverability available when running is key to any avoidance. The quick turn is slow but saved my life a time or two. The highlight of the mechanical side of Resident Evil is always the balancing of inventory versus space, to which this game stuck to perfectly. It also speaks to the Capcom staple of small animation boons that you can angle up with a shotgun for the all-mighty headshot with some brave baiting.
Headshots have never been more important for survival in any other game I can think of because of the Crimson Heads. These creatures have a notorious x-factor within the RE universe and change the Spencer Mansion based on your gameplay. They’re not exactly procedural, but they do serve as a third level of consideration when you’re moving through the suffocating hallways. Do you need health? Do you need ammo? Do you dare disturb that zombie laying on the carpet that appears to be breathing…?
They and Lisa are two of my favorite additions to Resident Evil in any entry. Lisa is far more tragic and absorbed slowly as a creature to be pitied in a Frankenstein’s monster way. Still, she’s also an unkillable beast that announces her presence with chains and little else, painting a purely unnerving list of encounters.
You also get to see Wesker at his most human and fall in love with that sultry voice for the first time. His character is as face value as a 99 cent store trinket, but look me in the eye and tell me dat voice doesn’t set your heart on fire. Barry is the same way to an extent, but I much prefer his original actor. Excuse me, butcher? I see a whole rack of meat I want to take home….
Anyways, where were we?
Ah, yeah. Resident Evil…. I’m not much for “which is the best” arguments, but this HD release of a remake of a survival-horror original gives me everything I’ll ever need from the horror genre. Even when the series eventually gets the reboot I believed this to originally be, I won’t be purging this virus from my bloodstream for all the Chimera hives in the world.
Resident Evil HD Remaster Score: