It has now been ten years since those damn dogs came flying
through the window, and no longer do I panic and scream like a little girl as
my handgun bullets fail to find their mark. I’m not afraid of this game any
more, and I feel silly for ever being so in the first place. Alas it is because
I have grown up, my spooks are now more psychological than shock value, and
after playing through Resident Evil for the umpteenth time I must say that this
game has little to offer, even with the new “Rebirth” mode. But I will say
this, if you’ve never had a chance to play the original Resident Evil, you’ve
probably never picked a better place to start.
To reproduce the whole RE cannon in this review would be
silly so I’ll keep it simple, S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team has been lost in the Arklay
mountains near a town called Raccoon City following a series of grisly murders.
It’s up to Bravo team to find out what has happened to them. The search will
take them through a mansion loaded with zombies and a ton of other apparitions
that are out for your brains and blood. The story sets up for the many
spin-offs that have occurred at this point, but you’ve really got to see the
humble beginnings that this series has come from, complete with simplistic
graphics, shorter than short game play, and insultingly bad voice acting.
All is not that bad though in Resident Evil land, the game
play is still as solid as it was before, it’s still fun, and the graphics
translate surprisingly well on to the little DS screen. On the bottom screen is
where all the action happens, and if you’re playing the new Rebirth Mode, a lot
of the cool extras go on here. One of the key things is the ability to swing your
knife from a first person view, it’s a good way to conserve ammunition however
you’ve got to be good with the knife because it’s still the weakest weapon in
the game, even after all the improvements that were made from Resident Evil:
Code Veronica and on, you’ve still got a really crappy knife.
If you’ve played the original Resident Evil then without a
doubt you’re familiar with the awesomely bad voice acting, short of Dead
Alive’s line “I kick ass for the Lord” I think you’ll be hard pressed to find worse
voice acting. There’s the classic “Jill sandwich” line, along with a whole lot
of other scenes that are just made much worse when combined with the decidedly
bad acting. Some of the side characters have even been replaced with worse
actors, something I didn’t think previously possible. The rest of the sound
remains faithfully intact, so I still get the shivers when I hear one of those
damn hunters running down the hallways.
Graphically this game holds up very faithfully, it looks
good, and has all of the full motion video scenes that were present in the
original game. The character models have suffered a slight hit in the polygon
count but they still look as good as they did almost a decade ago. A touch up
on the still shot backgrounds would have been nice but it is acceptable as it
This game still handles like the ancient dinosaur that it
did on the Playstation and that is too bad, because this game really could have
used a fully 3-D controls scheme instead of the forklift style of control. It’s
still functional but it feels very slow and clunky, even with the DS control
Given how long it has been since the last time I played the
original Resident Evil I must say that this is a great port of a game that has
not necessarily been able to withstand the test of time. Granted this is the
only good portable survival horror title it still is simply above average at
best. There are a number of other games that can fill your DS library, but if
you’ve never had the chance to experience the game that started it all, then
try it with this version, or the GameCube version if you’re looking for a
challenge. I have once again entered the world of survival horror, and for
once, I wish I stayed home.
If you've never played any of the games in the series then you may want to try this one out, if not there are plenty of better DS titles out there.
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