I love survival horror games, so much in fact that I rue that I didn’t have more gaming systems growing up or a PC. There have been so many interesting horror games over the years, that I wish I could play them all, but sadly, they either haven’t aged very well, or they have been lost to time.
So on that note, keeping with my idea to write on certain subjects throughout the week, I’ll make Thursdays my horror game day. I haven’t played a whole lot, but this should probably last several weeks at least, so could be some interesting reading (hopefully).
Today I will talk about my favorite Horror series, Resident Evil (or Biohazard everywhere else). I’ve played most of the games in the series that I was able to get my hands on, and have played most of them numerous times. I have a few action figures, some collectables, posters, and yes, even read the novels. Here is a small sampling:
That is why I call it my ‘favorite’ horror game series, because as where Silent Hill 2 or Fatal Frame, in my opinion are much scarier games, I’ve only ever played SH2 once, and I’ve never finished Fatal Frame.
So onto the first Resident Evil game I ever played, and what got me hooked on survival horror, Resident Evil 2.
Now I played the N64 port that was released in 1999, which puts me at 15. I’m pretty sure I read about it in Nintendo Power, and new that the game was for me. I didn’t have too much previous horror game experience, unless I count Castlevania III for the NES or the 11th Hour for the PC, and if I’m honest, it was probably the big M Rating that really interested me, but none the less I knew I had to have it.
Now I remember being in the Toys ‘R Us with my Mom and begging her to get the game for me for my birthday, but she saw it was rated M and wasn’t sure if she should buy it. My Mom was pretty stalwart about that stuff; I was never allowed to have GI JOEs or any sort of gun related toys. So how the hell I convinced my Mom to get Resident Evil 2 for me, I’ll never know. Especially when the cover looked like this:
So anyway I’m freaking ecstatic, I load the cartridge in and fire up my N64 and dive right in, and RE2 did not disappoint, as evidenced in the intro movie.
The game was scary, still is in fact, which is why I go back to it and play it over and over again.
One example is when the Tyrant is dropped into the Police Station that you escape to after the car crash. Tyrant, or Mr. X as he called in the novel, is essentially unkillable in the beginning of the game. Your best bet is to either run the hell away, or pump him full of lead until he drops. But considering this is an early RE game, pumping him full of lead will only leave you with less ammo for the next monster that will pop out at you.
So usually Mr. X will appear, you drop him, and he won’t show up again for awhile. Well this one part in the game, he blows through a wall, and corners you, at this point you have to shoot him. He got so close that I probably could have smacked him with my dick before he dropped to the floor. I wipe the sweat from my brow, and leave the room. I walk past the new opening in the wall (keep in mind this when the environments were pre-rendered) and BAM he come busting through the wall again right in front of me! I actually yelled JESUS FUCK HOLY and dropped my controller. Am I a big wimp? Probably, but just like horror movies or Haunted house rides, they are way more fun if you can get scared easily.
So does RE2 have cheap scares? Oh hell yes, especially with the Lickers, which are incidentally my favorite enemy from anything ever.
What makes RE2 great though is the creepy characters you come across, the cut scenes, and the creepy story. For anyone who’s played RE2 all I have to do is mention Chief Irons, and you know exactly what I mean by this game being fucking creepy.
So we got scares, gore, zombies (which Capcom better bring back in a proper RE game dammit!), biological monsters, creepy story, memorable characters…and what else? Oh yeah! Multiple play through, four in fact! The first vid up above is if you pick Claire, this is if you pick Leon.
Yup, if you play the A story the first time through with Leon, you meet different characters than Claire will, and when you beat it, you can play it again as Claire through the B story line, which will take you to different parts of the game. This works the other way too. So essentially the game because 4x as long as you’d expect! And there are unlocks and secrets to get, such as alternate costumes and weapons.
Resident Evil 2 was also the first game in the series to introduce the incredible bad-ass HUNK, the UMBRELLA hired mercenary dropped into Racoon City to confiscate a new strain of the T Virus.
Now I don’t want to go too far in detail about the game, just in case anyone reading this has never played it. I’ve played the A and B stories for both Leon and Claire twice on the N64, then again for the release on the Game Cube. This game also exists on the first Playstation and the PC. I can tell you that the N64 and the GameCube are identical to each other, and has an extra “item shuffle” mode than the PSX, so I would suggest getting those versions over the PSX version. However the cut-scenes are crappier looking on the N64 than the disc versions.
So yeah, I’m trying to get better at this ‘review’ type writing, I know my posts can be a little disjointed, so if anyone out there wants to comment and give me some constructive criticism, I’d really appreciate it.
Ok so expect these every Thursday, I’ll probably write a more in depth analysis on RE2 in the future, because I’ve played it so damn much, and I just love talking about it!