When I first heard that there would be a remake to the first Resident Evil… The levels of fanboy nerdery excitement were well over 9000. I had been waiting for this for so long. FINALLY a remake of the original, same story, same characters, all that they did was fix the borked dialogue and add in a few more villains and scenes. I was stoked, I was thrilled, I waited in anticipation for the game to release… And it was a Nintendo Gamecube exclusive……………………… Fuck.
I’m not going to get into a long debate on console wars mainly because it will culminate into a nerd raging profanity laced brawl over which console is superior and after the whole hoopla about the XBox One (which sucks) it is a forum best saved for another day. But what I will say is that I have been and I always will be a Playstation guy. I owned Nintendo consoles up until Nintendo 64 when I also bought the PS1. Once the next gen of Xbox, Nintendo Gamecube, and PS2 came out I did not have the money to shell out for both the Gamecube and the PS2 so on that day I had to choose my fate… And I took the path of the Playstation. Sony and Playstation just had more games that I liked back then and back in those days games were not as free to play on every console. Now there are a few console exclusives but they tend to be in the minority as I have noticed. But back then when you committed to a console you committed to a fucking console.
So when I heard that REmake was going to be released on the Gamecube only I was devastated and by all accounts in full blown nerd rage. I had bought every single game up until this point and now I get screwed over because I took the PS2 over the Gamecube. I did buy this game and in order for me to play it I actually borrowed a friends Gamecube and spent a whole weekend doing nothing but play REmake so I could return it within a few days. And by God I had a lot of fun those three days reliving my memories of the first game in a slightly better picture and I have not been able to play the game since.
This game is polarizing for me in particular due to my love for it and due to my inability to play it. But… Regardless of my feelings I certainly have a lot to talk about.
It Kept the Same Story!
This game takes a very smart approach and does not attempt to tell the story in their own special way. It does not attempt to do any tricks or any new story lines or attempt to force any retcons into the old one… This game is the same story as the one before with the only exceptions being better graphics, cleaned up dialogue, and some added areas, villains, and character development. It does not take away from the original story but merely enhances it with a few new add ons that by all accounts give a fantastic feel to the game.
The problem I have with so many remakes is they attempt to put a more ‘modern’ touch on a former classic. But really I think a remake should be that, a shot for shot remake of the older version of the story with better technology and maybe some added dialogue and scenes to spice up the old one and tie off certain loose ends. This game does a fantastic job of retelling the story and ensuring that fans to not grow upset and call betrayal.
It Was a Game That Needed to be Made
There are certain games that need to be left alone. That should be left to stand the testament of time as a representation of what they were and what the game itself represented for the console that it was created for. I would never want to play a complete recreation of Ultima or Final Fantasy games with PS3, Computer, etc graphics because in a way the graphics of the game adds to the mystique. I cannot fathom playing certain games on different more modern engines because it just feels wrong or out of place. If I played a full shot for shot recreation of Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo Wii with just modernized graphics I would have this deep nagging sensation that this does not need to be played with such modern and clean cut graphics and settings.
Resident Evil on the other hand, I feel is an exception to this rule. While I will be the first to throw my hands up in praise for the original… Sadly at the time of its original release, the PS1 was not the best way to present a full horror story with its graphics. Now I’m not saying they did not succeed but the blocky obviously fake graphics just seemed to take away from the mystique of survival horror. Not to mention the very poor quality of voice acting in video games at the time (we will get to that later). With a newer and more cleaner game, I feel like REmake is what the game was intended to look like and represents a better presentation than its predacessor.
Removing the Cheese Kind of Hurts the Mystique
While the graphics I feel really helped the game and presented it in a way that I personally viewed the universe that I was watching, there are certain aspects of the REmake that seem to take away from the mystique of the original. The one thing to really remember about the Resident Evil series is that it became famous for two things. 1) Being a really good zombie survival horror game and 2) Being filled with some of the cheesiest dialouge and voice acting in the history of video games.
Part of the fun of the original was listening to painfully hilarious lines such as the infamous ‘Jill Sandwich’ line or the ‘Master of Lockpicking’ line and those are just the more memorable ones. Granted they do give some throwbacks to the old dialogue but it still just feels like it is lacking without that big pile of ham and eggs from voice actors who have no idea what they are doing from people attempting to translate Japanese to English with only two years of Community college classes backing them up.
I mentioned this earlier in great detail but it bares a real looking into as to why this is a big problem with the game itself. I’m not sure if many of you noticed but back in the days before the current gaming licenses, games that could be played on all three major consoles was more of the rarity instead of the rule. A lot of this has changed over the years mainly because gaming developers and companies wanted to expand their horizons and reach players of all creeds and consoles instead of just focusing on one console and potentially cutting a huge chunk out of your profits. Merely on a money stand point, this makes a lot of sense. But back in the day this was still a rare concept and only shared with a hand full of known games. Well Resident Evil was not one of these lucky games. Up until this point all of the RE games had come out almost exclusively on the playstation systems. But for some baffling reasons which is lost on me this game is for the Gamecube which for the most part was not a really widly touched area for Resident Evil to delve into.
Reasons for this are a dime a dozen. CAPCOM wanted to break into a new market that had mainly only been used to release there games years after the original release. They thought the Gamecube had the best c hance for selling copies at this point and so on and so forth. Whatever the reason, this game has only been rereleased onto the Wii and thus remains a Nintendo exclusive. This game like many others remains a testament to the old ways of consoles hording certain games. Because of the fact that it is only on Nintendo systems I have to own one in order to play it and even shelling out the $20 bucks for a used Gamecube at a thrift shop just feels a little too much just to play one game.
The game is a lot of fun and has the same elements as the first game for better or worse. Some of the dialogue that made the game memorable is missing and the fact that it is a Nintendo exclusive still hurts me but other then that it is a game that is a lot of fun to play and if you have an old Gamecube I say dust it off and give it a go.
Final Score 3/5
I hate to leave on a somber note but tragically I lost a near and dear friend to me. My cat Playful, who was my best friend growing up passed away on Friday after a solid 16 years of life. He was the best cat a guy could ask for and so I am dedicating this review to him. I love you buddy and I know you are in a better place sitting in your old Coke Box.
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