Tanner’s Resident Evil Retrospective: RE Gaiden

Resident_Evil_Gaiden_BoxartI’ll be honest this review is going to be short. There just really is not much to talk about here. Resident Evil Gaiden is probably one of if not the most obscure game in the entire RE universe and is not only dubbed as ‘non-canon’ but really the game had no chance of leaving any lasting identity on the world.

Doomed from the start when it was launched on the Gameboy Color in 2002 (2001 in Japan and other areas) the game was set to failure just by the restrictions of the gaming device. Nowadays with the new handheld gaming devices decent graphics and story telling are not that hard of a sell but for the Gameboy Color Gaiden could only hope to be a cheap novelty collector for fans down the road.

Set on the ocean liner Starlight the story tells of an outbreak on the ship while players take control of either Barry Burton or Leon Kennedy while they search the ship and discover Umbrellas recent plot and find a little girl name Lucia. Hijinks ensue.

Back when this game came out in 2002 I was in full swing on my RE loving phase. I had RE, RE 2, RE 3 Nemesis, RE Code Veronica, and RE Survivor (against my better judgment) and this game took me a while to acquire… Not because it was hard to find but because I was not aware of its existence. I found out about this game from a rumor of all things of a friend telling me that it MIGHT exist. I did some digging and eventually I found it and played it and then never played it again. Goes to show what an impact the game had on me. Even Survivor I at least gave a second play through. That being said let’s take a look at Gaiden and see just how strange it is.

The Gameboy Color just isn’t Good for a Resident Evil Game

Running on an 8 Bit Processor a game with such low graphics (as compared to a Playstation, Nintendo system, and so forth) just has no hope of making a genuinely good and terrifying RE game. The graphics that the game allows turns humans and zombies into blocky somewhat shaped creatures and removes all sense of horror thanks from its top down perspective.

Combat mode which is just a basic point gun and time the arrow to aim correctly takes away any threat and makes combat more tedious busy work. I suppose I can see where the idea for it came from, a cheaper RE game that could be played on a small handheld device. Nice thought but terrible in practice as it sucked away any fear or even cheap jump scares and replaced them with the terror equiviliant of a Pac Man game.

I Really Have Nothing More to Say

I have been stretching to find something else to talk about but damn it this is pretty much it. There is nothing wrong about the story other then the fact it rehashes the ‘Barry Burton is a traitor’ red herring and there is nothing really to say about combat that I didn’t already say. The game is just boring and lacks passion and the thrills of being an RE game. Saying it is on the Gameboy Color says all my complaints about the game so really I have nothing else to discuss.


This game is bad but at the same time I really can’t fault it. It did the best it could with the restrictions that it had to work with. The only problem is that the restrictions set the game far below the ‘passable’ bar leaving it buried in the realms of obscurity. It doesn’t feel right for me to give a zero to this game but anything more will just be unfair. I have never seen a cartridge for this game sense I found it in 02 and have sense lost my other version with the rest of my Color games. So… I guess it is something that is just lost to the ages.

Final Score: 0.5/5

So now comes a time in the Retrospective where I will skip the only game in the series and that is Resident Evil Gun Survivor 2: Code Veronica. Bottom line it is a rail gun shooter based on Code Veronica and by reviewing it again i feel like it would be an effort in redundancy. So that being said the next spot in the retrospective will be the REmake.

Well that one was a short one. If you liked this review please like and subscribe for more. You can also follow me on twitter @TannerReviews and I will have a facebook page coming up soon.

One thought on “Tanner’s Resident Evil Retrospective: RE Gaiden”

  1. I tried watching a walkthrough on this a few months back, and have to say I would have rather have chopped off parts of my body than relive that experience again. Great review.

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